Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Exploding Russian Imperial Stout

Well, I broke my first carboy last weekend 4/9/10 when I was moving them around in the garage. Barely clinked two of them together and a chunk fell off one of the carboys after it cracked. I was able to find the glass pieces and salvage most of the beer. My dad was there to helped so he poured the beer through some cheese cloth and into a bucket. I put the breather on the bucket and the emergency was averted.
Before this mishap this Russian Imperial Stout has given me problems. At the beginning of the mash, it broke my plastic stirrer. This caused me to have temperature problems. Various other problems occured during the brew including a partial stuck mash and over flowing the mash. My new system still needs fine tuning especially for a 42 lb. grain bill.
That morning, as I was driving to work, I called my wife to warn her to keep an eye on the carboys because I had filled them to much and there was no blow off tube and the RIS is high in fermentable sugars. She said they looked fine. A couple hours later she called back because there was explosion in the closet and a river of beer running out. This Russian Imperial has caused problems, but it will be good. Coming in at 1.082 OG. I will wait to at least three months to drink it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Blood Red Beet Beer/ Pinot Brown

I brewed last Sunday, so this Sunday I went to the brew shop to share some Willava IPA with the folks at the shop and to ask about adding beets and wine-soaked oak chips.
I brewed a brown ale, but was aiming for a red. I added too much roasted barley although the recipe called for that amount.
Since I brew 10 gallons at a time, I have two carboys of 5-6 gallons each. When I rack into a secondary, I want to add beet juice to one carboy and add a measured amount of oak chips which I will soak in wine, first I was thinking Chardonnay, but now I think Pinot Noir.
The reason I brewed this beer is so that I could add a Russian Imperial Stout to the English Dry Ale Yeast when I brew next weekend. I read online that it is important to add your RIS to a yeast slurry because there are so many fermentable sugars. The sugars will beat up the yeast too quickly if I add a vial of White Labs.
My IPA was well received at the brew shop and I tried a Tripel and a Smoked Porter that were fantastic. I bought some French Oak Chips that will be soaked in wine for a couple days then go into the secondary along with some of the wine. The beets are a little trickier. Canned beets may be the way to go, but I am not sure how to juice them. I am thinking I will blend them, boil them with some water, strain them, and bring them back to a boil. Let it cool and add to my beer.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Use this website to get into the OC Market Place for free.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pete's Woodworking Blog-- Skills to Pay the BIlls (My skills won't pay anyone's bills)

My friend Pete of Pete Records formerly of Sea Monsters formerly of Crankcase and current Math Teacher has a new occupation/ hobby. He does custom furniture in the modern style of West Elm and Room and Board, but he will do whatever you want and he will work with you. Check out his blog: http://furniturebypete.blogspot.com. There are a bunch of pictures and you can see what a craftsmen he is. In honor of Pete the only person who even lays eyes on my blog. Here are pictures of the woodworking I did this weekend. Next project, which will include lumber that has not been left out in the rain for three years or found on a corner, will be to make a beer brewing rack that will support my kettles and the liquid they hold. Keep up the good work Pete. I obviously need to keep trying.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

AUtotune is kickass

How to cut the cord from Verizon

PS3 MediaServer
Internet, whether it be dsl or cable, is necessary, but free tv and much cheaper phone seems readily available to those of us that are willing to do a little research. Yesterday, I figured out how to have my PS3 communicate with my Mac through a wireless modem network. I was able to put a veoh.com episode of Max and Ruby onto my computer, but when I went to play it the .avi file it had screen judder. I used PS3 MEdiaserver and continue to finagle with it. I will try to use Handbrake or a similar Video Modification program to change the format of my videos to see if that helps. (FREE)
Free TV on the web
There are many sites including veoh.com, hulu, or youtube that supply top quality television shows for free. Cnn.com, pbs.com, abc, cbs and on and on offer free streaming or downloads of there shows. You can buy shows on itunes. I am still wondering or figuring how to stream these shows from my Mac to my Ps3. Does anyone know how? Can I just use PS3 Mediaserver?
Amplified Satelittle Antennae
There are many amplified satellites out there. It is hard to figure which is the best for my purpose. I went to the site Antennaweb.org and found that I should be able to get over 15 channels in my area of Long Beach. I have not tried it yet, but if these channels come in clearly and they should even come in HD, I will surely stop using cable. PBS, which is the main channel my kids watch, is right down the street in Huntington Beach. Terk seems to be the main manufacturer of these antennaes. ($30-80)
The reviews are mixed for this little device that hooks up to your computer and in turn connects to your phone. The voice quality gets mixed reviews from passable to awful. Another drawback seems to be that your computer must be on when you want to use your phone. My computer is always on and often in sleep mode. I wonder if the phone will work while my iMac is in sleep mode. Does anyone know? ($40.00 with first year free, $20. a year afterward)
Elgato Eyeconnect
This device can be used to send television signals to the computer. It does work for Mac. It has a DVR type of function where you can record shows using the software that it comes with.
My Verizon bill comes in at about $180 a month. I have three televisions and a DVR Media Center. I get the standard Cable Channels with HD. We watch PBS kids, sports (ESPN), and CNBC and CNN.
$180 X 12= $2,160

MJ= $40.
DSL up to 10 Mbps= 39.99 X 12= $480.
I save almost $1,500. the first year.
Works for me. I just have to get it dialed in. Any help is appreciated. Leave comment, fool.

Thursday, January 7, 2010