DIY Mash Tun

After being intimated by the though of doing an all grain brew, I decided to give it a try. So, because I am doing small scale, I required my own custom mash tun. That took several trips to Home Depot, and some additional research on my side. Originally, my plans for the MLT came from One Man’s Beer, and it was 99% functional. However, there was one problem with my mash tun when everything was assembled; It leaked.

Because it leaked, I had to figure out some way to stop it. I couldn’t find any washers that were the right size, and cutting larger ones didn’t work. So, after some research on the internet I decided to use glue to seal everything up. Now, because we are dealing with a container that we’ll use to create a consumable item, we need to be safe about our choice. As far as I understand, aquarium glue is actually higher safety than food grade. So, I was able to find some aquarium safe glue at a different store (Home Depot didn’t have anything, or at least they didn’t have any one to help me).

After using the glue, everything was functional and ready to be used. Next step; Brewing My First All-Gain

Nikola Teslale

Nikola-Teslale

Nikola Tesla is the unknown father of the modern age. Responsible for the A/C motor, remote control, and the modern electric motor to name a few. He held somewhere around 300 patents, in 26 different countries. In 1907, Nikola Tesla saved the Westinghouse Electric company single handedly simply by being awesome.
For more information about Nikola Tesla, check out this comic from The Oatmeal

American Pale Ale

Of British origin, this style is now popular worldwide and the use of local ingredients, or imported, produces variances in character from region to region. Generally, expect a good balance of malt and hops. Fruity esters and diacetyl can vary from none to moderate, and bitterness can range from lightly floral to pungent.

American versions tend to be cleaner and hoppier, while British tend to be more malty, buttery, aromatic and balanced.

(Description from Beer Advocate)

Some useful Homebrewing sites

If you need to calculate your ABV, use this handy link;

http://www.brewersfriend.com/abv-calculator/

For those of you using refractometers, this site allows you to adjust the readings appropriately;

http://www.northernbrewer.com/refractometer-calculator/

Small Scale Homebrew

Small scale homebrewing is, in my humble opinion, is the only way to do homebrew with one exception; If you want to do the same beer for a large amount of people (such as a specific event). Otherwise, why wouldn’t you want to hone your craft and be able to experiment (and potentially produce a batch of not so good beer)? Homebrew shops/people seem to be a bit snobbish, in my experience, when they hear that you are doing 1 gallon batches. Why wouldn’t you want to do large batches, it takes the same amount of time… well thats just not true, the boil might be the same, but the cooling time, the time it takes to heat the water, the time that it takes to crush all your grains, the cleaning, etc. – that’s all less.

In one month’s time, I been able to brew four different batches of beer (three completely different styles). Presently, I have 3 different beers in primary fermentation. I did a brew on a Friday evening, another on a Saturday afternoon (after running errands all morning), another on a Thursday evening, and they all took only about 2 hours each from the time I got up to do it, until I pitched the yeast. And I don’t need to find a huge amount of space for four 5 gallon carboys to store. I’ve got four 1 gallon carboys sitting atop a dresser, and I could probably fit two or three more there.

Finding recipes wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t all that hard. I did some simple math and was able to figure out a 1 gallon batch, and it worked just fine. I also didn’t need to spend a ton of money on malt extract for any of my batches, and it usually costs less than a buck a bottle for my beer (and will be cheaper once I go all grain).

And, the biggest part, there is absolutely no worry that my beer won’t be completely drank until 6 months from now. I make a batch, and for those who got a bottle, they feel hugely privileged because they got one of only 10-12 bottles.

Best part is, I get to brew all of the time, because it is so much fun to do. Pretty soon, I’ll be going all grain and it will cost me pennies to make beer then (pretty close anyways).

1 Gallon Equipment

After some experience with brewing a few 1 Gallon batches, I’ve learned a few things that might be helpful for others. First off, you need to know what you need, because most homebrew places won’t know for 1 Gallon setup. Also, in my area, many of the homebrew places were setup to do wine brewing so a lot of the equipment that they provided in the starter kit was for wine, not for beer. So, here is the list of brewing equipment that you should get;

Brewing

1 Gallon Carboy (or Fermentation bucket)
Air Lock
Refractometer (instead of your hydrometer) – But this could be optional
Thermometer that can read to at least 100°C (212°F)
Auto-Siphon (must be able to fit into your carboy) and tubing (NOT a racking cane, these are awful!)
Stir-spoon (doesn’t have to be anything special, but something specific to brewing)
Mesh bags (for hops and grains, not necessary if you have a beer-in-the-can type – they aren’t that expensive though).
Starsan (or similar no rinse sterilizer)
Chlorine powder or other cleaner (need to clean before sterializing)
Digital scale, one that can read to 0.1g (tenth of a gram). Super important, because my scale was to the nearest gram and wasn’t quick enough.

Bottling equipment

Bottling wand
Dextrose
Bottle caps (usually quick cheap).
Capper (You can get a cheap $20 one, or some homebrew places will be equipped so that you can do it there).
Bottle brush
Bottles, of course (these can be purchased or collected). They should always not be the twist off (they suck to work with, and could end up not working).

Your local shop

One of the most important things to remember, you have your own reasons for doing 1 Gallon batches instead of the normal 5-6 gallon batches. They won’t necessarily know what you need, and most likely will keep asking you why you are doing 1 instead of 5 gallon.

American Pale Ale Recipe

Here is my extract recipe for a 1 gallon American Pale Ale.

500g Dry Light male extract
45g Cara Malt 20L
45g Orge Maltée 6 row

3g Centennial – 60 minutes
6g Centennial – 15 minutes
6g Cascade – 15 minutes
3g Centennial – Flame out
6g Cascade – Flame out

1. Tie the Orge Maltée 6-row malt and Crystal 20L malt in a mesh hop-bag. Heat 1.25 gallon of water (4.75 litres) in a large pot to 71°C and remove from heat. Add malt and let steep for 20 minutes.
2. Raise temperature slowly to 76°C. Make sure mesh bag isn’t sitting directly on the bottom of the pot.
3. Bring the wort to a vigorous boil. As water is heating, slowly add malt extract, stirring constantly until completely dissolved. When boil begins, add 3g Centennial hops in mesh bag.
4. After 45 minutes of boiling has passed, add 6g Cascade and 6g Centennial in mesh bag.
5. After total of 60 minutes of boil remove from heat, add 6g Cascade and 3g ounce Centennial in mesh bag and cover.
6. Cool wort by placing pot in ice bath until it is below 29°C. Transfer to sanitized fermentor (either a carboy or a fermentation bucket). Top off to 1 gallons using refrigerated water.
7. Sanitize outside of yeast package, fermentation stopper and airlock. Carefully pour 2g of yeast into cooled wort (it should be below 21°C), and agitate vigorously. Ferment in dark place, keeping ambient temperature consistent, preferably between 16-19°C.
8. Bottle after two to three weeks.

Quiet Droid

Recently I’ve been diving into the world of Android development, just for fun. I decided to make an application that I needed, because I wanted to and nothing else seemed to do exactly what I wanted. Its an app that allows you to setup some automatic quiet times, when everything will be turned off and you can have some quiet. Should it be work, study, whatever, it doesn’t matter… try it out. Its free on Google Play.


Get it on Google Play

Send to Android Device

I discovered a great new plugin and app for my android device. Its called Chrom-To-Phone as an app, or chrometophone plugin for Chrome. However, best news is that there is also a FoxToPhone for Firefox. It allows you to right click anywhere on a page, or any link, and then send it to your android device. It is supposed to able to do more, but I haven’t yet had the need. So, if you’ve got a page on your desktop and you want to send it along to your android device to continue reading it on the couch, you now can!

Android ListView

I was browsing the interwebs trying to find an example of how to do a ListView on Android through XML. However, there were not very many good examples. There were many that talked about creating a new activity, but I wanted my list view to be within another so that was no option. I finally stumbled upon this website that talks about how to create the listview and add everything to it without creating a new activity. Here is the link:

Android ListView and ListActivity – Tutorial

Changing Android Views Dynamically

So I was trying to figure out a way to change a view at runtime, depending on the click of different buttons. I came across one site that seemed promising so I decided that I would post it here.

Android: How to load layout xml files dynamically during runtime

In addition, I found that this stackoverflow post was helpful as well:

Dynamically change view inside view in Android

In the end I had to do some work myself to make everything work, and this is what I ended up accomplishing:

listView.setOnItemClickListener(new OnItemClickListener()
		listView.setOnItemClickListener(new OnItemClickListener()
{
	public void onItemClick(AdapterView<?> parent, View view, int position, long id)
	{
		LinearLayout contentView = (LinearLayout) findViewById(R.id.contentView);
		contentView.removeAllViews();

		LayoutInflater li = (LayoutInflater) getSystemService(Context.LAYOUT_INFLATER_SERVICE);
		View subView = li.inflate(R.layout.mylayoutfile, null);
		contentView.addView(subView, new LinearLayout.LayoutParams(contentView.getLayoutParams().width, contentView.getLayoutParams().height));
	}
});

Of course the above need the R.layout.mylayoutfile replaced with whatever is desired, and the appropriate imports taken care of, but this should help. The very important part is the contentView.removeAllViews() because adding views on top of views doesn’t work.