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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Sparkling Ginger Mead

In my last blog post, The President's Porter, I wrote about making a variant on the Whitehouse's Honey Porter. That made me think about using honey as the sugar for fermentation, which naturally led me to think about making mead.

The principal sugar used in making beer is maltose, a dissacharide made from two units of glucose. The sugar in honey, by contrast, is principally invert sugar.  Invert sugar is a mixture of  the simple sugars fructose and glucose. Fructose and glucose can also form a dissacharide called sucrose, cane sugar. The reason invert sugar has its name is that a mixture of fructose and glucose rotates plane-polarized light in the opposite direction from sucrose.

Invert sugar is very sweet and honey makes an excellent starting material for mead, a honey wine.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The President's Porter

In a previous post, I described the last batch of beer I made. It's time to start a new batch. As the Whitehouse recently released their recipe for a honey porter, I thought I start there. I also changed some of my methodology to correct some of the problems I encountered in my last batch.

The recipe I used is based upon the Whitehouse recipe. My local brew store was out of Nottingham yeast; so I am used Windsor yeast. I used a local organic honey instead of Whitehouse honey. I used 9.6 HBU of bittering hops instead og 10 HBU, and 1 oz. or aromatic hops instead of 1/2 oz., because the quantities are more convenient, and a little more aromatic hops never hurt anyone. I  used diammonium phosphate as a yeast nutrient, and gypsum for flavor. Also, I will use a process that is somewhat modified from the Whitehouse process that I will describe here. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Amateur Summer Amber

I've brewed beer a few times, but I have not done so in quite some time. In the past, I have not kept very detailed notes about the beer I've made. This time I decided to do so, and as long as I was keeping notes, I thought it would be fun to blog about it.

I am far from an expert when it comes to brewing; so I decided to keep it simple by brewing a pure extract beer. I did create my own recipe, but it is very similar to recipes in a couple of my references below.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sign Seen in the Neighborhood

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Laws of Thermodynamics

If one looks around the Internet, he or she can find a multitude of pages that state the laws of thermodynamics; so why add one more?  I've been writing a lot of posts on thermodynamics, but nowhere have I given a concise statement of the laws; also, I am not always happy with how the laws are described.  So this post is my contribution.

The Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics

The zeroth law states:
If two bodies are in thermal equilibrium with a third body, then they are in thermal equilibrium with each other.

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Few Thoughts On Ender's Game

On the recommendation of a friend, I recently finished reading Orson Scott Card's book, Ender's Game. This book has a lot to recommend it.  So much so that I have heard that it has been used in actual military education classes alongside Sun Tzu and von Clausewitz.  I found Card's anticipation of the Internet to be visionary, and there were twists in the plot of the book that I did not expect. There was one element of the story that bothered me, however.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Third Law of Thermodynamics

The Third Law of Thermodynamics states that it is impossible to reach absolute zero in a finite number of steps. A shortcut way to remember the law is "you cannot leave the game."  An alternate shortcut to remember the law is "let's keep score" which is based on the fact that the third law provides the foundation for thermodynamic temperature scales.

Monday, January 2, 2012


Yes, I am a capitalist.  Actually, I support a mixed-market economy, but my point is that I am not opposed to profiting from my blogging, if is possible. For some time, I have been getting enough page views to make me wonder whether it's worth allowing advertisements.

I realize the pitfalls.  I am especially sensitive to the potential for inappropriate ads.  If you are a regular reader and have a strong opinion about advertisements on blogs, please let me know.  I am going to experiment with it.  If you see ads that seem inappropriate, please let me know.