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Archive for February, 2021

Some of my Favourite Beer Ingredients

Friday, February 26th, 2021

As a committed home brewer it’s a natural thing to have favourite beers and favourite ingredients that go into those beers. Yes, I’m one of those lone wolves of the home brewing scene because I don’t belong to any club, and I’m not interested in meeting specific style guidelines for competition. What I’m interested in is making beer that is at least as good as the craft beer that I buy. Hopefully, sometimes, fresher and better beer than I can buy. Pouring a super fresh XPA into a glass from my own fridge is a special experience.

Home Brewing Motto

My home brewing motto is simply to love the beer you’re with. Sometimes it’s not the beer you set out to make, but is it a good beer? If so, enjoy the hell out of that beer and make another one. Another way of saying that is don’t expect perfection because perfection is like a rainbow and you’ll never get to the end. Chasing rainbows is fun; just do it knowing tomorrow is another beer. Keep it real.

Home Brewing Philosophy

My home brewing philosophy is pretty simple, too. Follow your tongue. I’m not much into the style guidelines as a Bible of right and wrong; I am into whether or not it’s a Porter in my glass or a Pale Ale as far as I want to describe one. If it tastes good, then drink it. And if your tongue suggests you might like to tweak the flavours, then it’s your experience to experiment and enjoy. Experimentation is fun. I have a basement riddled with bottles of experiments that keep paying off in my glass.

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Amateur Web Designers are not Professionals

Thursday, February 18th, 2021

The barriers to embarking on a web design/development career are pretty low. I once had a female friend email me her revelation that she would forthwith be selling herself as an SEO Expert, for example. Why? Because for some reason people think that there is a whole heap of easy money to be made in the web sector that I’m here to attest is rarely made outside of corporate work; often, it’s a slow death of pennies on the dollar and being underpitched by the amateurs.

My credentials. Well, I have TAFE Certificate 4s in Website Design and Website Administration, a Bachelor of Computing, and a Master of Business Administration with an extra specialisation in Journalism and Media Studies. Yes, the business degree is relevant because professional web design/development is fundamentally about solving business problems for your client. I’ve also worked on a bunch of web projects, both paid and gratis (ending in 2010) in the private and public sector and by invitation taught a semester to TAFE Design Diploma students in the subject of hand coding websites using Web Standards best practice.

Relevant units in my computing degree outside direct IT and programming skills were KXA156 Multimedia and Web Applications, KXA281 Advanced Web Development, BSA207 Web Management, BSA309 Multimedia Professional Placement, KXA358 Human-Computer Interaction, KXT307 Computer Networks, KXA355 Ubiquitous and Mobile Computing, KXT301 and KXT302 Software Engineering Project. I also did business electives like BMA251 Principles of Marketing and BSA102 Information Modelling and Infrastructures.

During my MBA (Master of Business Administration) and specialisation units the relevant subjects – ignoring strategic management, law for managers, ethics, finance, statistics, economics, organisational behaviour, etcetera – included BMA584 Marketing Management, BMA684 Electronic Marketing, BMA787 Entrepreneurship, HEJ504 Media Writing and HEJ606 Advanced Journalism. Beyond that I completed a postgraduate unit in Investigative Journalism with John Martinkus.

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Inside the Beer Fridge in February 2021

Saturday, February 6th, 2021

My hobby (and to some degree obsession) in recent years has been the pursuit of making good beer. I’ve been making beer for over a decade, but moved to all grain Brew in a Bag about three years ago and disappeared down the rabbit hole of science and chemistry. A big part of that hobby has been about learning to appreciate and value beer, especially some of those that I previously wouldn’t have considered worth the money.

The fact is that the more you learn about making beer and appreciating beer, the more you understand the value in barrel ageing, souring, wild and spontaneous beers. The more you learn about hopping, for example, the more you appreciate what it takes to bring you a good IPA in that glass at the cost you’re willing to pay.

In the beer fridge, I’ve got a few beers that are definitely for drinking in the near term; but there are also beers that I’d like to open in years to come. If I can resist the temptation. And I often fail. This collecting hobby has been a secondary part of my pursuit as a maker. I’m not interested in pursuing good examples of style so much as creating flavours that I want to drink from my own kegs and bottles. So you might love my beers or hate them. I certainly succeed and fail along that pathway. If it intrigues me, I make it. If I can’t buy something or it’s cost prohibitive, I think about making it. This week I’m drinking XPA and coffee stout; next week I’ll pull something else from the basement or the fermenters, or put on tap. That’s the joy of the hobby.

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About the Author

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

My name is Steven Clark and I live in the Derwent Valley in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a mazer & a yeast farmer (making beer, fruit wine and mead as by-products of continuous improvement in my farming practices). I'm a photographer, although my film cameras are currently silent. I do not tolerate idiots. I do not tolerate bigotry. I do not tolerate excuses. Let's be clear, if you sit with my enemies you my are my enemy for life.

Blogger. Thinker. Brewer. Drinker. Life partner to the amazing and incredible Megan.

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