Baking with hefeweizen yeast

Wheat beers such as hefeweizen, weissbier and wit are all light beers made from a mix of malted barley and wheat. In southern Germany the typical hefeweizen is fermented with a non-flocculating yeast, and it is not filtered before bottling. This gives the beer a yeasty, bread like flavor accompanied by aromas reminiscent of banan, cloves (we’ve encountered that combo before), coriander and citrus. I’ve just begun to read up on brewing and my first batch of a partial mash hefeweizen is bubling along. As I pitched the liquid hefeweizen yeast into the wort I decided to keep a tiny amount for baking. If hefeweizen beer is reminiscent of bread, why not use the yeast for making bread? In particular I was curious whether some of the aroma top notes characterizing hefeweizen beer would stand out in bread made using the same yeast.

Hefeweizen is my favourite style of beer, and I've brewed with this specific White Labs yeast. Baking with it isn't something I'd ever considered but I'm sure the results would be amazing. Sounds wonderful!

Life sure has become globalised

This morning I've got a meeting with developers in Vancouver, then straight after that a meeting with our dedicated support guy in Utah. Later this week I've organised a meeting with developers in Paris, where I'll be dialing in from my holiday in New Zealand if I absolutely must.  I have regular conversations with friends from London over a mailing list we run.

The effortless way we work across borders these days has kind of crept up on me, but actually I've been doing it for years.  In London I worked with clients across Europe, North America and Australia.  My last job had developers in Graz, Austria.  My current job has developers all over the world.  Living in Australia you get used to scheduling meetings for 08:30 or 18:00 to catch people in other timezones.

There's always far too many intermediaries in the kind of companies I work with these days, so weeks of to-and-fro emails can be short circuited by a five minute conversation with the actual person doing the work.  Working across timezones also gives lazy developers the opportunity to spent a day futzing around by asking a roadblocker question when they know we've left the office.  One way to avoid that is to occasionally check your work email before you go to bed and surprise them with a "get to work" answer.

One of the indispensable tools for working across timezones is timeanddate.com. On that one you'll see my current timezones of interest. Paris has the developers of the set-top-box project we're working on, San Francisco and New York because I'm always interacting with people in the US. Salt Lake City is where Omniture are based, and Dallas is the data centre for our Omniture implementation. London still has loads of my mates, Stockholm has Justine.

Funniest bug ticket comment ever!

Comment #56 on issue 1180 by bryce.boley: Email app does not display inline images

http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=1180

So my ex-girlfriend sent me some really hot photos of herself. Much to my dismay.. I fucking couldn't view them on this fucking phone.. (evo). What the fuck? I thought I had something wrong in settings.. increased download size... tried sending to another email account.. nothing. Ironically my pos palm pre (it's still on and connected through WiFi) has no problem at all viewing online attachments. So I "googled" it and here I am. I don't know what the hell they do on the Google campus.. but it's not email development for the Android phones. All these fucking never-been-laid nerds at Google need to understand the importance of a woman sending you provocative photos of herself as inline attachments. Let me make a suggestion.. buy palm.. keep their software developers.. fire yous.

Sadly it's already been deleted, but hopefully that means some Googlers will finally look at the bug. It's a pretty lame bug on their high-profile device, for their high-profile service.

Considering the Kindle

I've been keeping an eye on Kindles since launch. The idea of a very small, very light reading device is very appealing. Two things where I would use it every day are The Guardian and Crikey. Neither are formally available on the device, but its new web browser sounds like it might provide adequate access.

Has anyone got the Kindle 3 and have any comments on the experience reading long-form content online?

Final question, dear lazyweb, is this: I remember people talking about setting your country to US to get access to the full catalogue. Does this still work?

Wouldn't want to be restricted to the retarded delayed book release dates in Australia. Not only do Australian publishers charge more, they want me to wait for it? William Gibson's new book, released in the US tomorrow and would cost me AU$26.48 delivered to receive now, or I could wait until January for the Australian release and pay AU$31.95.

Churches get opt-out point on same-sex adoption bill

THE independent state MP Clover Moore has moved to shore up support for her same-sex adoption bill by giving church adoption agencies the right to refuse services to gay and lesbian couples without breaching anti-discrimination laws.

If churches want to discriminate, they should lose the ability to administer adoptions. This is churches not reflecting community standards, not the other way around.

Why thank you Windows

So I'm copying files onto an SD card to go into a digital photo frame and suddenly get this message:

Odd.  I check whether there's space on the card.  Loads.  I check that the file names aren't too long somehow.  Nope.

Turns out that the SD card is formatted as "FAT" -- the old, very basic DOS file system -- and there's a limit to the number of files you can place in the root directory.  Moving the new files to a new subdirectory solved the problem.  Great.

Now try explaining that to my Mum.  Particularly when she's received that wonderfully useful error message!

Wollongong weekend

We spent the weekend down in Wollongong. Scott & Katie were up for. Violet's first birthday so we got to meet Penny at last.

Loving the gorgeous sunny days!

Charlie Brooker: 'Ground Zero mosque'? The reality is less provocative

I once had a poo in a pub about two minutes' walk from Buckingham Palace. I was not subsequently arrested and charged with crapping directly onto the Queen's pillow. That's how "distance" works in Britain.

The "Ground Zero mosque" isn't a mosque and isn't at Ground Zero, but the wingnuts won't let that get in the way of their outrage. Recent behaviour from Australia's conservatives has started down the same path. Scary for our future.

Bring back National Service

Now before you wonder what reactionary has taken over my blog, some background.

On Saturday I spent the morning handing out Greens How To Votes at Wilkins Public School.  One of the disturbing things about watching an election is the amount of misunderstanding of the process from the general public.  People really don't understand preferential voting, or how preferences flow.

I had lots of questions about whether a Greens vote will go to the Liberals -- questions I answered by explaining that the How To Vote flyers are only our party's recommendation of how you vote, and you are perfectly able to allocate your preferences any way you want.  Of course in the Senate ticket this is somewhat onerous, with 84 boxes needing to be filled in NSW, so above-the-line is more likely and people really need to know how their chosen party will allocate preferences.

So my suggestion is this: 18-25 year olds should be required (or perhaps just strongly encouraged) to work as scrutineers or counters in one election while they are in this age range.  Working as a scrutineer means you get to watch the entire process of ballot counting, including the distribution of preferences.  It's actually a reasonably difficult thing to explain in words, but very simple to explain in practice.

I suppose an alternative would be to ensure school civics classes teach this, and teach it through a little election in the classroom complete with preferences.

The photo shows the queue at our polling place.  It didn't get below about 30 minutes wait the whole morning, mainly because two of the three people handing out ballot papers were totally useless.  The video is some random kids who picked up some of our corflutes and were going around spruiking for votes while they waited for their parents.  The kids are alright!

At last, everyone might get a say

Instead of everyone - even ministers - finding out about major reforms after the arguments have been had and the brochures printed, non-kitchen cabinet members might actually get some say.

Instead of the executive imposing an idea upon the government and Parliament, it might have to make a case, think about alternative views - accept some of them even.

Gillard Abbott

Illustration: John Shakespeare

Saying a policy had tested well in focus groups, or had been promised to a special interest group, or was sure to win over a particular demographic at the next election, might not pass muster as a convincing reason to implement it any more.

That's right, governing through negotiation and debate. What a concept! Smells like... democracy.