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Wheat Beer

wheat-beer

It's been a while but today I brewed a new batch of beer, my 57th. A wheat beer, not quite according to any of the well-known German or Belgian styles, but just the way I like it. I hope, at least, since one never knows exactly how it will turn out until the first tasting, after fermentation and carbonation are done.

If you are into the details, the grist is 56% Pilsner malt, 34% wheat, 10% Munich and a smidge CaraAmber. Hops are Nothern Brewer, East Kent Goldings and a very small late addition of Citra. Yeast is Lallemand's "Munich Classic" which is the same as Wy3068, the most common wheat beer strain, and it well deserves this place. Originally I thought I would add some sugar later on, to bring it in the vicinity of Grosse Bertha, but I think I won't. I prefer weaker easy-to-drink beers, especially since this one is meant for the summer.

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Dumpster Dive

dumpster-dive

I work in a large university building that hosts physics, chemistry and some more applied technical research, which means that it is great fun to occasionally go down to the cellar where the trash is being collected. Usually there is not much interesting in the electronics bin, but over the years I have brought home, for example, a fully functional TV (720p) and a few magnetic stir plates that are useful for yeast propagation.

Some while ago I picked up the power supply that is pictured above. It looked useful for some home automation project or whatever, and I hoped it would be low-voltage DC, which is most useful in this context. I could not have been more wrong: It turns out it is AC, adjustable up to 5 kV! While I took enough care to not electrocute myself, the multimeter that I used got fried for good.

A look inside reveals some nice manually assembled circuits and the ID of central unit is searchable, confirming this is a high-voltage AC power supply. I have no idea what to do with it now, but I have not brought it back to the bin either. Ideas welcome!

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Aligned

aligned

Sometimes the stars align such that you have to run back inside to get the camera. From an early morning in February.

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Tear Down

I think my first outside project for the spring and summer is taking shape in my head: a shed extension to move the home brewery out of the kitchen and wardrobe.

The first step is, as so often, to make thing worse, before they bet better. Yesterday I tore down the the small firewood shed (before-picture) after having emptied it in recently.

tear-down

The area there measures about 3 by 4 metres which should be plenty for my rather modest brewing equipment, even if I decide to expand it somewhat.

But first I'll have to finish the removal of large rocks that are in the way. I started this more than a year ago, but granite is hard and heavy, slowing down the drilling and driving of wedges. Lifting the remaining pieces out of the way is good deadlift exercise though!

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Slaguggla

slaguggla

In November a Ural owl visited our garden. This might not be very spectacular, after all they are not that rare in middle and northern Sweden. But I had never seen one before and was glad it stayed long enough for me to go get the camera.

It is commom knowledge here that Ural owls can get pissy during the spring when they have offspring. The Swedish name for them is slaguggla which literally means "the owl that hits you".

Nevertheless I just built a nesting box this morning, from some scrap material: slaguggleholk

The cube of 30cm on all sides, plus a half roof, is meant to mimic a dead tree trunk that has rotted away on the inside, leaving a cavity. My little book on animal shelters says this is what Ural owls like to nest in. Now I only have to find a good spot in the forest and a way to put it up; it is quite a bit larger and heavier than it looks in the picture.

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Meta

meta

Last night I read this piece in one of the Lesswrong books (pictured).

And just now this video flew by on Twitter. It is about meta discussion, the sphinx that both derails and guards conversations, be they with others or yourself.

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Winter

winter1

We have had quite the winter here in Uppsala, Sweden. Many days my exercise was replaced by shovelling snow. It never became too much to cause real problems and we made it through the stretch of cold by emptying the firewood sheds.

Now all snow has melted already, but we are in that frustrating period called vårvinter (spring-winter) where everything is gray and ugly, snow and wet take turns, until spring finally comes at the beginning of May.

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Yeast Fun

yeast-fun

The pleasures of homebrewing include cleaning up, a lot. This time because the yeast liked the wort a bit too much and decided to climb out of the airlock. 🙄

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Flash Tasmota On A Sonoff

flash-tasmota-on-a-sonoff

Ok, that title takes some unpacking: A Sonoff is a microcontroller that connects to Wifi and can switch some other electrical device on and off, pictured on the right. It is basically a remote switch that can be used for all kinds of purposes, from a manually triggered remote to some fancy home automation. To flash in this context means putting a new operating system (firmware) onto the microcontroller and Tasmota is the open-source firmware that everyone seems to love and recommend.

I have had two of these switches for quite a while, but never got around to converting them to Tasmota. Earlier today I finally did, following this guide for using a RaspberryPi. The Sonoff provides an old-school serial port and wants 3.3V power internally. The only thing I had available that can do both was my Pi Zero (left in picture), and I am happy to say that it worked without much fiddling around. The most tricky part was to physically hold the Sonoff button and cables in place while turning on the Pi, then waiting for it to start up to trigger the software transfer whithout losing the connection on the cables.

Not I have to decide what to do with the switches. Probably I will go back to installing Home Assistant for central control. I have tried several years ago but I expect it to have improved much since.

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Blåmesen

blames1

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