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Archive for the 'booze' Category

Super-Hopped Beer Kit Braggot

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

My last post on Fast & Easy Beer Kit Braggot was enough to get you started. On this occasion, I also chose to hop the braggot because it was being made in a beer style. And, yes, I went crazy with the hops. And, yes, hopping at this stage of fermentation is a little unconventional (but that’s my middle name).

At this stage, the braggot had fermented in our basement for approximately 4-5 weeks. I racked one-quarter of that braggot (a murky sink water beige colour) into a freshly sanitised 5 litre fermenter and bottled straight away with a few Citra hop pellets in each bottle; carbonated with demerara sugar. I put these bottles aside in a dark place.

That left me with the remaining 15-or-so litres of braggot in my basement that I intended to super-hop. No, that’s probably not a term, but you get the point. I wanted this braggot to pack a pucker.

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Fast & Easy Beer Kit Braggot

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Braggot is a mead style brewed using honey and malt. To that end, braggot could be looked at as either a honey dark ale (or stout), or as a malted-mead. It was historically served as an intentionally fermented beverage, or poured as a mixture of ale and mead in the mug.

Don’t believe the ‘style advocates’. Braggot can be a lot of things, even though many people think of braggot as a particular style of beer with honey characteristics, or as a style of mead. See, I just hit you with some rules to break. Braggot can be pretty much anything you want within the confines of honey, malt, fermentation & your willingness to take a risk.

The styles and array of beverages produced in this way are as endless as your imagination. Some braggot I’ve made has fermented through to 10% ABV with a clear finish like malt-honey wine that spent three months in a fermenter and self-carbonated in the bottles over a hot summer. I’ve made braggot that brewed, carbonated and tasted like beer without more than a faint suggestion of the flavour of honey. And I’ve made crazy reaper chilli sack braggot with an ABV higher than wine (and where I made certain mistakes that won’t be repeated). It’s nothing like beer if you ferment it to a clear dry finish, or as a thick highly alcoholic portal to oblivion.

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Discussing the Ethics of Driverless Cars

Saturday, May 21st, 2016

This morning we got into a discussion about the complexity of designing ethical driverless cars that meet social expectations. That’s a hard subject to articulate. Mostly because there isn’t just one ethical framework; but also because there is probably no way to produce an ethical car that passengers would step inside for a journey. We can’t even produce a safe car. Imagine if the car could insist, for the greater good, that you die.

When I see discussion about the design of an ethical driverless car the question, at least for me, becomes “Which ethical framework are we talking about?” Utiliarianism? Kant’s Categorical Imperative? Ethical Rights analysis? There is no hard and fast ethical regimen that would hold true in all cases.

In Utilitarian analysis, for the greater good, the car might be designed to sacrifice one driver so the family of five in another car survives. But what if the other car was at fault? Is it ethical to sacrifice the single driver so an oncoming carload who made an error would be spared? Do we count five lives against the one life; or, do we count each life as being of equal value to the individuals involved? Are younger lives more valuable than older lives? Would your gender, weight, health, criminal record or race be taken into account? Who makes that judgement? In the real World the Utilitarian perspective is a very cold calculation.

And if we run with Kant’s Categorical Imperative then the maxim might be something like: “All cars will kill all drivers all the time.” Or, “No cars will kill any drivers any of the time.” I’d take a punt that the second is the maxim that makes sense. Ethical driverless cars should never kill drivers.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark (aka nortypig) and I live in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a photographer making pictures with film. A web developer for money. A business consultant for fun. A journalist on paper. Dreams of owning the World. Idea champion. Paradox. Life partner to Megan.

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