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Making All Grain Beer with BIAB (Brew in a Bag)

Published on June 4th, 2018

BIAB (Brew in a Bag) is a relatively cheap entry point for making beer from the rudimentary elements of grain, hops and yeast. Why do that? I can see a lot of people look at the home brewers out there like we’re all crazy – a whole day making booze? No way!

Why do BIAB Brewing?

Well, imagine the difference in taste and quality between a cake you make from a packet (or buy in the supermarket) and a cake you make from carefully sourced fresh quality ingredients at home in an oven where you control the variables of cooking. That’s a large part of the answer right there. Quality.

Another part of the answer is cost. No, it’s not ever going to be cheap to make all grain beer because equipment costs serious money. But BIAB is a way of doing all the things relatively cheaply in one pot. So it’s really not that expensive. Once the equipment arrives it’s going to cost you a few bucks a 700ml bottle. That’s not bad.

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A Brave Simple Cure for Tasmania’s Housing Crisis

Published on April 24th, 2018

Before you even read about the question or the constraints I’ll give it to you here. For free. Start building new affordable housing targeted at the young families who want and need to buy into a property future. There. Was that so hard to digest?

OK, the problem is more complicated. In the short term, people need shelter and security. And we should do that like it was a State emergency; we should be activating our situation room as though a suburb burned to the ground last week and we need to house and feed everybody who lived there. But we won’t. We would, as decent human beings, except consecutive governments have gone down the road of vilifying anybody who is unemployed and/or homeless as burdens in our society. Giving the poor too much of a leg up out of the gutter just won’t happen… too many Tasmanians would complain.

So, while you’ll see a lot of meetings and discussions in the public sector, it will always end in croissants at noon and everybody back to their safe warm office buildings by afternoon tea. Public servants and their masters just don’t care about the homeless. Not enough to fix the problem. However convincingly their tears.

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Identifying Sloe Berries from Damson Plums

Published on March 14th, 2018

It’s that time of the year again when everybody (because it’s all joy playing with the cool kids, right?) goes out looking on the highway for sloe berries to exploit their extraordinary tartness as a gin or vodka infusion, or as a jam ingredient. Unfortunately a lot of these people have brought home the equally lovely, but not quite on the money, damson plum. If, after reading this post, you found and used damsons, don’t shoot the messenger.

Sloe Berries are Visually Distinctive

A sloe berry is easy to recognise in that the berry, often covered in that lovely blush, looks remarkably similar to a 5 cent piece sized blueberry in the palm of your hand. When you bite the berry your mouth will dry out instantly. Pucker up. There’s no mistaking it’s power in that regard and once you’ve tasted one sloe berry it will be easy to identify the sloes from damsons in future.

The sloes will generally be found as hedges or along farm fences. Walk up to the plant and look closely at the leaves. These leaves have fine serrated edges on branches that are dark; thus the sloes are found on a plant called the Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa). On the reaching limbs you’ll see (and they can be difficult to spot at first) wooden thorns up to a couple of inches long and a fair way apart. Your chances of being spiked by these thorns rapidly approach zero, so don’t worry.

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More Articles on StevenClark.com.au

  1. The First Year of Brewing All Grain Beer
  2. How Randomised Trials won the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805
  3. Making All Grain Beer with BIAB (Brew in a Bag)
  4. A Brave Simple Cure for Tasmania’s Housing Crisis
  5. Identifying Sloe Berries from Damson Plums

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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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