Suck-in-your-cheeks bitter!

Put the Coopers IPA in the bucket yesterday. I boiled up a huge couple of handfuls of Fuggles hops for half an hour to try and get a bit more bite in. Fuggles is, supposedly, an aroma hop and I got these very cheap from Spencers Homebrew so wasn't worried about using loads.

I chucked in another handful and continued boiling for five minutes or so, just for a bit of aroma. Then I strained the lot into the bucket with the beer.

When I tested the Original Gravity (1050) I had a taste. My, it's gonna be one bitter beer! I guess that's kinda authentic to the IPA style, and not really a problem. I just hope that it has enough residual sweetness to counter the bitterness, since I used 1kg of glucose and no extra malt. Must remember to prime with malt, then.


A couple of weeks ago, Andrew Allen took us up to Snowdonia to climb Mount Snowdon. Of course, being Andy, the nice easy tourist walk wasn't dangerous enough and he convinced us to climb the hardest climb, via another mountain called Crib Goch. Little did we know that this would actually involve rock climbing, knife-edge scrambles with many hundred metre drops, being completely wet and no visibility.

Anyway, we made it but ended up having to turn back. Fortunately we ran into some very experienced mountaineers who showed us the fastest way down, or we might not have made it in daylight. Ack!

Photos are available here. Most were taken by Thomas.

Coopers IPA

Just doing my water treatment (boil it all, nothing more) and yeast starter for my next brew, a Coopers India Pale Ale which I'll brew up tomorrow. Will make according to directions with 1kg glucose for a nice, light flavour. However I think I'll boil up a big bunch of hops to try and get it a bit more bitter.

In other news, Pomegranates are 7 to the £1 at North End Road market. Yum!

Geek travel guide

My latest project is a geek travel guide. It's currently kinda limited to the UK because the Openguides software doesn't quite handle coordinates outside the UK, well not in an ideal way.

The idea is that we geeks and engineers like seeing interesting engineering hacks, the bigger the better, when we're travelling. That means things like Nuclear power stations, big dams, the sites of engineering accidents, spy stations and the like. I'd be curious what fellow geeks and engineers think of the idea. And, of course, it's a Wiki so get in there and add some stuff!

The address is temporary and will change, but I'll remember to update it to point to the new location so this blog entry shouldn't get out-of-date.

Warm glove time

I switched to full-finger gloves on the bike today. Had the heading on briefly last night too. We all know what that means! cold weather here we come!

Chilling effect...

I've been thinking about the election result this morning. It's very depressing, but has to be done.

If Howard's agenda with control of the whole parliament is as radical as I would expect, things could be good for the next election. Any backlash will only help The Greens, and should see Labor back in. That said, these guys are nothing if not slick manipulators of the zeitgeist, so anything could happen.

The thing that really bothers me is the effect this will have on Labor. Latham had to really push to get his excellent forests package through, particularly against the CFMEU. This huge loss for them is only going to strengthen their hand. I just hope it doesn't see Labor ditching the environment as an issue, arguing it's just a vote loser.

And I find myself strangely hoping that the Liberals win that last seat in Victoria. If Family First win it, we might see the Libs bending over for a bunch of lunatic Xtians. Argh! What a choice!

Are Australians this fucking stupid?

It's crunch time. The election is on tomorrow and I'll know by London lunchtime whether Australians have goldfish memory.

The result also has a very big bearing on whether I head home to Australia in the next few years. I really don't think I could bear to live in the narrowminded Australia that reelected an unpopular Howard due to the Tampa lies. I think it would be even worse to see him reelected again now that the lie is seen for what it is even by the dimwits who originally believed it.

So get out there and vote for someone who isn't Howard!

Xmas beer in the bucket

After quite a long break over the Summer, I've finally started brewing again. On Monday night I put a Woodeforde's Wherry all malt kit on. I'm gonna keg this one and have it for xmas day at Rachel's place.

Since I started using yeast nutrients (a teaspoon in the water), my fermentations have been a lot quicker starting and seem more vigorous. Must say I'd recommend them.