Monthly Archives: August 2014

Playing with brewing

In recent months I have taken up brewing, I have made up six 30 bottle 7 day kits. The whole process input from myself from start to bottled has worked out as under two hours, the process itself takes about 7-10 days.

Time wise:

10 minutes to get the kit going, as it’s basically add the packets and water then walk away.

10 minutes to sterilise buckets.

45 minutes to sterilise bottles ready for bottling, tend to do, rinse and shake off, then soak in sterilising solution (did 3 bottles at a time, moving through bottles) and shake, rinse in a bowl of water and shake then lastly add in some tap water and shake. In theory I could cut this step out if I was to buy bottles, however they are currently £1 per bottle, the other method is to use demijohns which I will probably use in the future.

Bottles ready to go

30 minutes to actually bottle. Really just use the Siphon and boom.

The brew kit:

I picked up all the bits from love brewing, though as far as I can see, it’s pretty much a much of a muchness. The kit I picked up was http://www.lovebrewing.co.uk/luxury-wine-starter-pack/ , which contains every I would need.

kit base 1

kit bits

The wine kits:

I’ve so far picked up 6 kits, started with a wine works one from love brewing, then moved onto wine buddy kits. The wine works one was better quality not needing extra sugar, though was more expensive at £30. Tescos had an offer on the wine buddy kits so got 2 more of those for £10, they changed the offer to make them upto £20 however they had a double voucher value offer, so got another 3 working out as £10 each again.

The wine:

Firstly, all of them are quite drinkable and I’m pleasantly surprised. In the past I was  generally drinking £5 bottles from supermarkets and these compare quite favourably. My personal favourite is between the love brewing kit, the cabernet sauvignon and merlot from wine buddy, though I do prefer red wine!

bottles1

From left to right, wine works merlot 8 bottles, chardonnnay 15 bottles, cabernet sauvignon 8 bottles, merlot 11 bottles, sauvignon blanc 27 bottles (bottled today) and 22 cabernet sauvignon.

The costs:

£80 in wine kits

£30 in equipment (love brewing did a combo with a kit for £60)

£15 in sugar

All in all made around 195 bottles of wine, so that’s 64p per bottle including set up fees, pretty awesome if you ask me. (n.b. Not included water costs so it’s a bit more). Also now got everything set up, a £10 kit and sugar at £3 works out as 43p per bottle, pretty crazy.

The future:

Going to add another bucket or two to my set up so can have multiple brews on the go and a few demijohns to allow easier bottling. Still having fun with this and will move onto more interesting recipes and probably kits as well over time.

Happy brewing 🙂

bottles2

“4 hour work week” from 2009

Intro:

For the past year or so I’ve been averaging just over 4 hours of work per week. I know this because I’ve been using rescuetime.com to monitor my the time spent in different applications and tried to keep a split of applications for my proper work and my random other projects.

rescue time work time usage output

What work:

I work as a linux, coding and consulting geek. The standard structure of the way I deal with clients is that they give me a specification and a deadline and then I deliver.

How to:

There’s alot of things you can do to start off down this road. A few that spring to mind; specialise, enjoy your work, have a good setup, have an idea on how you are going to do a bit of work before you start, work remotely, work sharp, buy less crap, take breaks/stock and have/make contacts.

Why:

For me the 4hr work week is all about time and personal freedom. Working in this style just gives the ability not to just seat warm for the 8hr shift. The number of hours I saw wasted with people unable to get working in the morning, lagging before and after lunch and towards the end of the day, it’s just such a waste of everyones time.

Conclusion:

The stats don’t tell the whole story on this. For starters there’s the thinking time needed to actually fully work out the problem, then the logging method isn’t going to get all the time spent and simply the fact I just enjoy what I do. The 4hr work week isn’t for everyone, however it’s something that works for me and gives a good work life balance.

Have a good day

“It’s not which browser it”s which browsers and how you use them” from 2009

Intro:

We’ve got so many browsers to choose from, for me, it’s not which one is the best one, it’s how you use them together.

What browsers:

Currently using a combo of Opera.com, firefox, ie7, ie6, ie5.5, safari and google chrome.

How I’m using them:

Opera – Do most of my morning crap surfing here. Been a fan for a good few years, love the mouse gestures, the solid session save and the quick dial. For my random surfing it suits me perfectly and when I want to do some work, it just gets minimised to the toolbar. For avoiding ads go for a hosts file solution which while not as beautiful a solution as ffs still does the job.

FireFox – My work browser. So many lovely firefox plugins to make web dev just that much easier and also use for google mail which have has my main work contact point.

Google Chrome – Quick browser. Do love the speed and house mates most used, but for it’s speed don’t really use it enough. Currently testing it as my work research browser.

IE7 – Used when in windows for hotmail (as it opens directly from msn, instead of the default browser, *cough*), windows updates and checking that somethings not borked in ie7.

IE6+IE5.5+Safari – Check not broken in that browser.

Why/Conclusion:

Find the split keeps me on track, can straight away know where certain stuff is and can keep my surfing from my working.