I have attempted brewing!
At a just passed one day event, a friend brought along a traditional Finnish drink she'd made called Sima. She'd followed the traditional recipe, which is lemon based, and though I'm not massively fond of lemons, I found the Sima delightful. I had quite a few oranges to hand, and given that Nessa was kind enough to share the recipe, I decided I'd give it a try.
I can already think of variations I'd like to try with this, but for the first try I followed the recipe exactly (apart from using oranges instead of lemons that is). It's quite a simple recipe, giving a refreshing, lightly bubbling drink that is only slightly alcoholic, maybe 1%. I left my solution in the pot for a full 48 hours then poured the filtered solution into clean bottles.
24 hours later and just one of the bottles so far has presented all of it's raisins at the surface, so it was all the excuse I needed to pop it open and try it. It's not bad. It lacks something that the lemon version had, and I'm not sure if that's the fruit or my inexperience. But it's still very drinkable.
And the most important part was this has completed my first foray into yeast use. The next time won't be half so scary.
And on a minor update with the marbles, the shellac solution is complete.
On the left is the solution just after mixing and on the right is 24 hours later. Though I left it the full time needed, an hour in most of the shellac had dissolved, and two hours later even the more stubborn pieces were giving in. I'm using a brush to apply this solution at the moment, hoping to build up several layers before applying a pigment layer.