Thursday, November 7, 2013

nomen est omen?

Not sure, but, the name for this blog was chosen carefully.
Yes, it reflects "homebrew IT", i.e. computer stuff. However, the name also allows for "homebrew it", it being beer, wine (OK, wine is actually no brew), etc. whatever you might understand under making your own drink (or food).
Food? you may ask?! Yes, a lot of food is based on fermentation in one or the other way. Mind you, some bread is based on yeast for rising, which is exactly the same process used when making alcoholic beverages, with the only difference that the alcohol is "boiled" off.

What I want to share today is actually not a type of hack or file server or something, it is about making ginger ale!

The equipment used is really inexpensive an easy to use. As fermentation vessels I use 2l PET cola bottle (content dumped!) and special caps.

So far, I started 2 mini batches (<2l). Each using 1 thumb of ginger.
  1. 1 thumb of ground ginger (peel included) together with 200g of unrefined cane sugar and a little bit of water brought to a simmer of about 15min. The juice of 1 lemon added to the fermentation vessel with the addition of some (filtered) water, in which the (slightly cooled) ginger wash was added.  Filled up the vessel to about 2l with filtered water and pitched some dry yeast.
  2. 1 thumb of peeled ground ginger, together with 200g of beet sugar and some raisins, brought to a simmer in some water for about 15 min. Since I had no more lemon, I added some lime concentrate to filtered water. The slightly cooled wash was added and the vessel topped up a bit. This time, I used yeast which was harvested from a previous batch of cider. 
Too many parameters changed between the 2 batches, you might think. And yes, you are right, however, taking things to the extremes in the beginning may also put you off a track which does not lead anywhere.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Reducing the Hack

Not doing so much other than email, youtube and some primitive photo and video editing, I decided it was time to reduce the power consumed by the Hack.
The first move was to remove the 2GB GT610, which is a very nice graphics card, however, I am not sure if my system profited from this card in any way.
The second step was to replace the USB studio monitors by regular active PC speakers. The incentive of doing that is that those speakers do not draw the amount of current required to be linear (the studio monitors got quite warm over time) and additionally, the PC speakers are not influencing USB, i.e. not waking up the Hack when switched off.