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Archive for the 'personal' Category

Town Lore, Memory & the Bullshit of Time

Thursday, March 14th, 2019

I come from a small town in Northern Tasmania where I seem to have become a part of town lore over the last forty years. Particularly for some people with nothing better to do than gossip or pretend they are somebody important to those events. Sadly, if another person tells me they heard about “what happened at the caravan park” (one of many miss told tales of my invented biography) I’ll probably eat their face and wash it down with a pint of stout.

So I offer some corrections. Because on the Internet I can offer those corrections.

There was no incident at the caravan park. This story of town lore is based around several incidents in my youth that had no presence in any caravan park. Why is the lead in about a caravan park? To be honest, I have no idea.

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My Biggest Beer Brewing Lessons from 2018

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

For about a decade I’ve been brewing various concoctions from mead to cider and fruit wine (and, yes, beer extract and wort kits). About a year ago, I received a grain mill for Christmas from my generous and loving partner and I almost immediately bought a BIAB (Brew in a Bag) set up for my move into all grain brewing. This year I have learned that making consistently good beer has it’s challenges.

Some 2018 Beer Lessons Worth Heeding

Beyond the rudimentary truth of obsessive cleaning and sanitisation of all brewing equipment the biggest tip I’d give anybody starting out is to ramp up the temperature of the brewing beer right at the end of secondary fermentation. Just when that airlock appears to be slowing right down to nothing. Why? Well, the yeast is struggling. Simple. It’s been making some heat of it’s own during fermentation and as it gets sleepier it therefore gets a little colder. And you need it not to go to sleep before it finishes the job of cleaning up all the bad stuff.

To that end, I have an electric blanket that helps just ramp the beer up a little right at the end. Makes a lot of difference to the final product. If you’ve got money for temperature control I’d highly recommend going down that road.

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The First Year of Brewing All Grain Beer

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

There are hobbies and then there are hobbies that get your drunk, I guess. I’m a big fan of making slow booze. It creates a different relationship and experience around alcohol in the same way baking a cake is way different than buying something from a bakery. Just be cautious… booze is highly caloric and I hear a little whisper that it might just be a little bad for you.

My hobby of making fermented beverages went a step further this year with (a) the gift of a grain mill last Christmas, and (b) the almost immediate purchase in late January of a 95 litre brew kettle and the other items I needed to produce all grain beer in our back yard. Since then I’ve made ten batches of various beers of varying sizes using a technique called Brew in a Bag.

Brew in a Bag is a method of all grain brewing that only requires a brew kettle and a fine mesh bag pegged inside the pot for mashing in the grain. Mashing in is just a fancy word for throwing your grain into a specific temperature water where you use a paddle to moosh it all into a porridge. It gets left an hour and voila… remove the bag & the sugar you need to make beer remains in the kettle. You have unboiled wort.

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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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