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Topics - bluefoxicy

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Other Fermentables / Cinnamon: boil or not to boil?
« on: December 11, 2015, 01:23:19 AM »
How do you handle cinnamon?  I've been told to boil it.  I thought you didn't boil cider, but I guess you could boil a pint of cinnamon sticks in juice and add that to the primary.  Boiling seems like it would extract additional compounds from the bark, possibly changing the flavor versus dry addition.

Cloves?  Other such?  What can give cider a kick?  What can I safely bring into the foreground, instead of adding a hint of a whiff of the spice?

The Pub / Ordered a nuc and hive
« on: February 16, 2015, 05:27:18 PM »
Have someone building me a hive and ordered meself a nuc.

Now if this unbelievable frigid cold ever ceases, maybe I can catch some bees... what do I do with 3 gallons of honey, though?  It takes long enough to get through 3 pounds!

Kegging and Bottling / Is this kegerator okay?
« on: December 14, 2014, 03:03:38 AM »
Is this okay?

It looks to cost roughly what all the regulators, kegs, fittings, CO2 bottle, and fridge would cost, if I converted my own.  The tower probably needs replacement.

I'm thinking of fermenting off a bunch of cider (like, get a big jug, some hoses, 3 piece airlocks that I'm discarding 2 pieces off, and have 4 6gal fermenters running tubes to a 1gal jug that I keep topped up, because I never keep those airlocks full).  I've been out of it for a while, because I don't have a stove right now and don't really drink much anyway; I brew and pass the bottles on (bottling friggin' sucks).

I've become interested in soda and cider.  There is no way I can make tawny port; it cannot be done.  One day, I will arrange a bulk agreement with Dows, and have them deliver 100 $12 bottles at some discount.  Not this month, as I only have $1200 of my paycheck left after making a quintuple mortgage payment and paying off half of an outstanding credit card (doing debt elimination), and buying a $700 futon.  Can't spend all my money; that would be terribad.

The Pub / Birds keep stealing workers
« on: June 02, 2014, 03:31:04 PM »
There's a bird camping next to the beehive entrance.  It steals forager bees when they come out, runs off, then comes back and steals another one.


And here I was going to put a hive next to my house too, since I have wasps.  Bees are rather docile, but territorial:  they'll attack wasps.  Wasps are also idiots and will try to invade the hive to steal honey.  Lavender and peppermint fields will give my bees stuff to protect... but will birds start nesting in my trees and stealing all my bees too?

Every time I think I've bent nature to my will, something eats it.

« on: May 31, 2014, 07:35:53 PM »



 >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(

The Pub / Bad habits that are just too awesome
« on: April 16, 2014, 10:31:48 PM »
Who has bad habits that are just too damn awesome?

I flossed a while back, and uh.  Yeah.  Turns out if you use high-end tooth brushes, but no floss for a year, when you floss you get to inhale the fumes of a toxic waste dump.  It's a little like huffing Round-Up.

So now I have a water jet flosser.

Which means, of course, I can floss using a 90PSI stream of Cool Mint Listerine!  (Or, for that matter, Irish whiskey...)

Which I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to do.

The Pub / Tailoring... serger or sewing machine?
« on: February 03, 2014, 12:32:11 AM »
I didn't buy a $900 sewing machine because they do some fancy stuff you're better off using an overlock stitcher for.

Thinking on tailoring my own clothes, but have no idea how to do it.  Wondering if this should be done with a basic sewing machine (someone says I should be using a serger, but a lot of stuff online just says sewing machine... because that's what people have) or if I should throw $200-$300 for a serger and learn to do it with that.  I've been told that hemming is vastly superior when done with a serger, but then there are hemming settings on my sewing machine that do a passable (but not necessarily perfect) job--I haven't evaluated the difference or even determined if there is any difference.

I could pay to have my clothes tailored, but I'll pay more for that than for the clothes themselves--I can sink over $1000 into that, repeatedly, and machines and classes and learning and mistakes won't even cost me that much... nearly, but not quite.  I wear "Small" men's clothes and have about 30%-40% of the fabric bunched up behind me; around here plenty of guys have resorted to wearing babydoll tee shirts as casual wear because they fit nicer (and get you chicks if you do a lot of push-ups all the time), but that seems sub-optimal to me.

Anyone do the tailoring thing?  Worth sinking my time into or wot?  I know Cap forges his own swords and armor over there, maybe he makes shirts too.

The Pub / Anyone know where to discuss project/risk management?
« on: November 19, 2013, 01:14:26 AM »
I can find a number of project management forums online; but there's just nowhere that seems active and, to put it simply, helpful.  Compare Homebrew Talk and AHA, Badger And Blade and Straight Razor Forums, Gamefaqs, BikeForums, and so on with ... PMzilla or the Project Management Forums.  All of these places are active... except the PM forums, which have a handful of users and posts days out of date in the one or two forums that haven't been dead for weeks or months.

I'm trying to find some information on risk management.  A lot of RM stuff seems to be technical and mechanical--identify risks, rate them by probability versus severity, develop mitigation and contingency, estimate cost and risk tolerance, develop a risk management plan, risk breakdown structures, and so on.  There isn't really a lot of "how to estimate risk", though; and I happen to be very good at this.  So good that so far nobody can point me at anything that's ... enlightening.

I'm up to a point where I've been writing my own risk analysis theories, based on experience in things I've had to analyze.  For example, some places tell you that risk can be estimated in terms of probability versus severity:  Probability often starts as "Never, Unlikely, Likely, Definitely" and becomes "Infrequent, uncommon, common, frequent" and eventually just time spans like "Every 3 years" "Every 1 year" "Every 6 months" "Weekly" "Daily" "Multiple times per day".  Severity similarly goes from abstracts like "Negligible, Moderate, Severe, Catastrophic" to "Dollars, Thousands, Hundreds of Thousands, Millions, Billions".  That's not a progression so much as the refinement:  low-probability events WILL happen "eventually", and a situation is not severe unless it carries a cost (money in business).

My experience has lead me to more complex concepts such as lease terms:  when you have the choice to invest so much up front to reduce the cost of a certain ongoing operation, you're facing a lease.  It costs $500/mo to keep a Large Amazon EC2 server running, or $150/mo with an up-front pay-up of $3600 for 3 years.  This means $250/mo, and means you're saving $250/mo.  Okay, so the risk diminishes over the lease:  You're risking $3600 if you no longer have a need for this up-front; but every 1 month diminishes the risk by $250--10 months in, if you have to ditch this and move up, you're only behind by some $1100 (and had you gone big up-front, the difference in cost over 10 months would make this only a little cheaper... or more expensive).  Plotting this diminishing over time, versus probability, versus risk tolerance, you can do complex risk assessment ... with calculus and basic algebra.

It gets complex.  I can't find an appropriate forum or any books that go into the really crazy s*** I've gotten balls-deep into, and I can't imagine I'm factually better at understanding risk than every other person on this planet.  Somebody's written books about this.

The Pub / Red worms
« on: September 30, 2013, 09:51:22 PM »
I dumped a bunch of used coffee in the red wiggler bin.  They seem to have all disappeared... too wet I suppose.

Can't find the friggin' things!  They didn't escape the bin, but there's only 50 in the bottom and god knows where the rest are.  They're not digging through the coffee grounds.  I started with like 500!

I added more paper to balance the wetness.  Hopefully that helps.  Going to add more worms; I think I may have killed most of mine when some potato fermented and alcoholized the bin.  Worms dislike wodka.

Does anyone know wtf I'm doing?  Because I sure don't.  Five dollars I don't have says Weaze or Cap knows how all this crap works; lord knows they know everything else.

All Things Food / VacuVita [Semi-plug]
« on: September 10, 2013, 07:53:32 PM »

... looks to me like the large container is the size of a loaf of bread, and the small container is the size of a sandwich.

This seems to be a next evolutionary step technology.  I've used those "Seal-A-Meal" whatsits with the hot wire and bags and the sucker things that try to vacuum out your Tupperware, and they're rather... irritating.  This is going, "That's a good idea.  How about doing it not-stupid?"

Risk of first generation tech being crappy is kind of high here.  Failing seals and electronics are common in primary runs.  On the other hand, these folks appear German; German engineering I trust.  Besides, this looks like something I want to encourage.

Guess I'll bite.  Fresh-made sandwiches are good, but not so good 5 hours later when you fetch them from the office refrigerator.  This interests me.


All Things Food / I want a new class of sodas
« on: August 29, 2013, 07:55:45 PM »
There's no soda board so here goes.

I want a new class of sodas.

I'm looking at Jamaicans like Stewart's Ginger Beer and Blenheim (hot and not-so-hot), and that's where I want to go with this.  Blenheim will make your throat close off.  Stewart's is like drinking glass needles.  I think the recipe is like... 1 gallon of water, 1 pound of ginger, some sugar?  This isn't a can of Canada Dry we're talking about here.

That's what I want.  I want some strong, deep, rich colas; some dark, heady root beers; something akin to Dr Pepper with a deeper, warmer flavor of molasses and clove; rich cream sodas.  Less sugar, more flavor.  Something non-alcoholic with the class of a good beer or martini.  Ostensibly, something more of a chilled, fizzy herbal tea.

More or less carbonation--for bitter or bitter-offset things I could see using much more carbonation as a preservative method, likewise for citrusy you'd use lemon juice or citric/ascorbic acid as a preservative.  Cream sodas might take less carbonation; spicy ginger ales more or less, that style exists and has real variation; root beer can go either way too.

I need to build a dedicated kegging system just for this.  I would love to make something like Blenheim that'll make your testicles descend, at least.

The Pub / Want to plant a hachiya, can I?
« on: July 24, 2013, 12:36:00 AM »
I have this tiny house with a small front yard, near as I can tell 11 foot wide, 15'7" foot from house to sidewalk, and 6 feet from lawn to the edge of the sidewalk.

Trying to figure out if I can put a Hachiya Persimmon or a Hachiya grafted on American native out front, maybe 12 10.5 feet from the house.  It has to be a hachiya; I don't eat any other type.  Americans generally prefer Fuyu--which is very amenable to my needs--because they prefer firm fruit, but I strongly prefer the flavor and the soft gelatinized Hachiya fruit.  It's not worth putting a tree there at all if it's not a Hachiya.

I simply can't find enough about the root system.  The power lines are in the rear, not out front; I'm mostly worried about the root system attacking the basement wall, but as I understand these are more rooted by a deep tap root than a wide root system.  The roots are vulnerable to crowding, so growing near a wall is more an issue of the health of the tree--unlike oak, which will destroy s*** in its way.

Still, you see my problem.  I don't want to find out later that those roots really are nasty.  No luck with finding any good info.  It's looking like I could make it with a dwarf, which grows some 12 feet tall... less than satisfactory I guess, as I wanted a shade tree for the sun-facing end of the house... but it will shade the porch, so that's a plus.  Yes I know, mowing around a tree is annoying.  I use a reel mower (Fisker) or a Scythe, both of which are absolutely fantastic for mowing the lawn.  The scythe takes more practice and a little more work, but will do whatever you want.


EDIT:  Looks like the dwarf grows a 12 foot circle, so 6 foot needed between it and the house.  Should be plenty.

All Things Food / Pitcher recipes - Non-alc
« on: November 29, 2012, 09:55:12 PM »

So two questions.

  • What kind of loose tea should I use for this?  Wegman's and Twinnings both have a wide selection.  Something black suitable for throwing in round slices of lemon, and maybe Earl Gray with rounds of blood orange?
  • What else can I make in this pitcher besides Sangria?  Red stuff with sugar and chunks of fruit?  Something based on lime that's not as acidic as lemonade?

I wanted a pitcher for iced tea. I also possess mate.

The Pub / Air filters and mold spores
« on: November 27, 2012, 02:49:42 PM »
I'm thinking there's mold spores--the mold, I killed, and is constricted to the basement (which I dehumidified to 45%).  In the apartment, I know there's mold; a year ago I started itching like hell, and later found out that mold was leaving my apartment and entering the one below.  The new house has a problem where water pools at the rear foundation, and some mold started to grow; I killed it with Moldex and dehumidified and am working on fixing the grade of the rear yard and the downspout, but obviously mold spores when it dries.

Anyway, after I enter the basement, I start to itch.  Rashes appear all over my body.  A good shower and fresh clothes allieviates 90% of the reaction; a single small anti-histamine dose blocks 100% of the reaction for 4-6 days.

So I read this EPA report and have a few thoughts:

Electrostatic purifiers seem interesting, but in practice no good ones exist and even middle-quality ones are expensive.  The basement is 680 square feet and so I'd need a very high end HEPA filter or electrostatic purifier to clear it out.  I'm probably better off buying a higher-end canister vacuum cleaner with a sealed HEPA and vacuuming out all the joists.  I actually have a lower end one.

I'm going to put a filter in my furnace (haven't figured out the correct size yet, only been in the house a week).  The EPA says MERV 7-13 is roughly equivalent to HEPA in residential use, so I'll aim for MERV 10-13.  MERV 12-13 is readily available for a wide range of filter sizes.

This thing looks interesting, dunno if I want/need it though.  Ironically, it's cheaper to buy a $30 filter for this every 10-12 months than to replace a $20 filter in the furnace every 60 days, but that's about a 4-5 year ROI, aside from the dedicated unit purportedly being much more effective.  The EPA reports that the MERV 13 filters I want to use are top-tier for my use case because there's simply no nuclear material micro-particulate or silicon dust to filter, which is what HEPA filters are for, so really the "upgrade" may be excessive.

How in the heck do I get rid of this crap?  All these filters and fancy doogadgets can't possibly help.  The primary issue, I think, is going to be getting the water away from the foundation of my house.

The Pub / Hurricane broke the house I"m buying D:
« on: October 30, 2012, 03:38:24 PM »
Trying to buy a house here.  Signed a contract, didn't close.

The electrical panel took a surge.  80% of the breakers are dead.  The sump pump and everything above the basement lost power, but I moved the pump to another outlet (I got authorization to enter and inspect the property during the emergency on my own expense, found the pump nonfunctional) and drained the inch or so of water (concrete unfinished basement).

The roof also failed, and is leaking in one room, damaged the ceiling.

Well, that sucks.

Clause 21 says that the property shall be delivered at closing clean, free of debris, and in substantially the same condition as when the contract was signed.  Aside from that, code requirements, and any addenda, property is delivered as-is.

Contract is contingent on bank's willingness to give a loan.

Seller can't sell the house in that condition, so has to repair it.

I guess I have enough negotiating power here to make the seller make repairs to the electrical panel and the roof and ceiling in the one room.

Also I'd been planning to install one of these:

I was looking at this one, which is adequate:

All the breakers were 10kA rated, obviously there was a bigger than 10kA surge because it destroyed like 12 breakers.  They don't function after reset.  Either of these takes (40kA, 50kA) to ground by wiring into the main feed.  The protector is powered by a 20A breaker; in the event of a surge, it drives the current to ground rather than through the breaker, though the breaker may throw to protect the protector itself.

So ... either I get them to fix the roof and electric and I purchase the property, or my lender refuses to issue a loan and I walk and they pay me $1000 (in the contract, I gave them a $1000 deposit) and then fix the property and try to sell it again.

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