My Bitter is done

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Well my bitter is done. Its aged enough. I don't think it will get any better with age so here's to drinking it :D This is the first beer iv ever put gas in to. Gives it a smooth head that goes well with the beer. Its a smooth drink that is pretty sweet bitter with a fruity taste. Without gas it tastes like rite flanker but more bitter less fruit.

This just shows you how easy it is to make a good ale. I made this one the 25th of march and I blogged about making it. It didn't cost me to much to make because I was using left over hops from other beers like my barley wine. With some malt, a few hops, a cheap extract kit and dried yeast I am impressed that it tastes good enough to be in a brew pub. I followed no recipe (though I did write down what I did when making it), just used common sense and kept it simple.

Cider Update

A few days along...

Its gone a bit neon yellow. It's a lot lighter than it looks. Some of the odd apple bits gone to the bottom.

Cider Making o'r

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Yesterday I made some cider with 16 apples and some wine yeast. Oh and also a whole bag of sugar! This stuffs going to be really really really strong. I got the idea from the alaskan bootlegger's bible, which has a few cider recipes that are practical. A lot of the sugar went stright to the bottom of the demijohn so I had to stir/beat the hell out of it and within an hour it was really going. Over night a lot of it went up the air lock so it has to be good stuff.

Alcazar Maidens Magic

This is a beer from a brewery not far from me in Nottingham called Alcazar. This is a beer apart of a Sherwood range fence the name. It's a brown ale. Dark red brown colour. Quite a lot of carbonation and good head. Theres a pleasant sweet burnt malt taste to it. With a nutty caramel hint to it which you can also smell. Little hops that give it a fruity finish. The body is smooth and light. Smells stronger than the 5% labeled on the bottle.

Rating: Good
As you can see am a professional at rating beer
Overall: Good brown ale yet not as good as speckled hen but maybe better than newcastle.

Desmond a Celtic fan?

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Anyone noticed the latest episode of lost has references to celtic.
For example while talking to some woman he broke up with
"we dated for six years and the closest you came to a religious experience was Celtic wining the cup"
Desmond talking to his x misses
youtube video

Another one is Desmond drunkenly singing the Celtic song. The one that goes Hail Hail, the Celts are here but he's singing the second verse For it's a grand old team to play for.
desmond drunk
youtube video

Wouldn't Desmond being Scottish go for hearts or rangers? Maybe hes got Irish links or something who knows. Its lost. He might be an alien for all we know. Another thing is that the episode was shown in the UK on the same day Celtic won the SPL. Weeeeeeird.

Finally ubuntu 7.04 installed

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Finally! I have downloaded it with the checksum right. Took about 10 times to get a good copy. I downloaded the alternative edition (text install version) since I was impatient to go through the GUI install. I only have 256mb anyways. It installs like a dream with the text install, no waiting around for windows to pop up.
No changes effecting the speedtouch modem scripts. I'm using the normal scripts from
All I need to do now is install mp3 and video codec support which ill do tonight and post the commands under ubuntu/hacks or something. As with other hacks I may find :)

The desktop effects work better than I thought. Its a lot faster than any install of compiz/beryl iv ever tried. Another thing is iv gone back to using gnome for a while. Who knows how long that will be.

I like the gnome theme applet. Lets me get rid of the brown.

Ubuntu download

I have been trying since yesterday to fully download ubuntu 7.04 (came out of final beta yesterday). Every time I download a copy the checksums would not match up. Having tried 6 times with different mirror's and torrents I kind of think it's my connection being pretty poor. I'm going to try and download it again today so maybe ill have my hands on it. Hopefully.
I need a clean install since I'm having login problems, something to do with kdm. I don't have the space on the drive to reinstall KDE. So I started to login with a terminal and then 'startx' to start the window manager.

Morland Old Speckled Hen

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Must be the most legendary ale people talk of in my area. Now sadly owned by green king, this is brewed in Suffolk. I have a few cans from tesco found on the bottom shelf's.

The colour is a clear golden amber brown. Little white head. The aroma is sweet and hoppy. Has a medium body that is smooth. The taste is a combination of light malts, balanced hops and sweetness. Its one hell of a drinkable beer. I can see why it out sells Newcastle brown, one of my favourite brown ales. 5.2% makes it a strong ale but I would say it's a session beer. I mean I could drink this all day. It's that drinkable. I will be looking for it on cask at the next beer festival Ben and I go to.

Check out the website for history and other information.

Rating: Amazing
As you can see am a professional at rating beer
Overall: A highly drinkable ale. Don't care what anyone says if you don't like this one your not an ale fan, go drink lager and don't come back!

Theakston Old Peculiar

I decided to try out some legendary ales since I am trying out all these beers these days. I have Theakston Old Peculiar on bottle from tescos that I picked up yesterday lunchtime. It's brewed in north yorkshire and the brewery is about 180 years old.
First thoughts are: very distinctive taste to other ales. Dark brown colour. No head, disappears quick. The smell is a pleasant sweet malty fruit combination. I don't smell any hops. The taste, o'man the taste is great. Plenty of dark roasted malts with a little caramel, fuggle hops, a few spices and a little fruit. It's warming and rich. 5.6% makes it a strong drink.
Charle Papazian's book, the joy of home brewing, mentions the ale twice making examples of beers.

Rating: Amazing
As you can see am a professional at rating beer
Overall: A pleasant ale that is well recommended

Life on mars finished! nooooo

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The coolest tv show on BBC is now finished. Last episode was shown last night. I always thought it was very original idea: bloke gets knocked over by car, wakes up in the year 1973. Is he mad? In a coma? Or in the past?
Good actors and characters. DCI Sam Tyler (John Simm) and DCI Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister). I think everyone likes Gene Hunt. Tough no nonsense kick the shit out of someone attitude.
It's quite obvious sam dies towards the end. Getting back to present time/coming out of the coma. Then being pretty depressed and not fitting back into normal life. He jumps of the police building. Putting himself back in the coma, back in 1973. When he gets in the car with gene you can hear a sirens from the radio and a doctor saying "were loosing him". To make things more clear the little girl in the red dress that pops up every now and then appears and turns the tv off (tv off effect and then the screen goes black).

I love the car. The classic brown Ford Cortina MK III

Best quote of the whole show have go to be:
"Don’t move, you’re surrounded by armed bastards" ~ Gene Hunt
The sequel to Life on Mars is to be set in the 80's called Ashes to Ashes with Gene Hunt back! which begins filming in the summer.

Marston's Oyster stout

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Trying out another stout. I'm sure iv had an archers oyster stout on cask. Which was a pretty good beer.
This stout is made by Marstons brewed in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire.
This is a dark, plenty of malt tasting beer. Tiny, if not no head. Quite smooth. On the bottle it says "hint of chocolate". Thankfully its a tiny hint. It does however have a nice fruity taste to it. Not over powering but a slight taste. Fuggles and Goldings hops are used to give its spicy fruity taste. 4.5% is a descent strength for a stout like this.

This stout has no oysters in it. It's name just accommodates its history. Once a time in london stout and oysters were a poor man's meal.

Rating: Very good
As you can see am a professional at rating beer
Overall: A very nice stout, well worth trying again. Marston's do good ales.

The Alaskan bootlegger's bible

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edit 23 nov 2007
Iv changed my mind about this book. Yes it isn't fancy. But if you like to read about brewing in Alaska or the home brew beers during American probation you might enjoy it. I keep picking it up to read. Although its full of simple extract recipes (for beer brewing) it does offer some great stories and simple practical advice.
I don't really know if you want to learn how to make 'booze' using everyday items with bakers yeast. Hmm I think not. Do not bother getting this book if you want to brew beer or wine. It wont explain anything to you other than there was 2 cave men, yeah, and they put some fruit together, left the fruit to rot, till it fermented. Then they drank the fermented juice and got drunk.

I'm not a book reviewer yet I do like books, plus I am interested if the subject is brewing. I don't think the advice in the book is going to make good beer. The book tends to not go into taste, it values strength and simplicity. I have read the 'joy of home brewing' by Charlie Papazian. As far as I am concerned that is the beginners brew bible. Buy it if you’re interested in brewing.
So anyway why did I get a book that I am hardly going to get anything out off?. Well, one word, Whiskey! It shows you how to make stills (yes, it is illegal. But it doesn’t hurt to know). I've read on a book review site that it warns of poising. Not really seen much of that. Something I find interesting is that it mentions for at least a page of apple jack. Which requires hard cider being frozen and water being separated from the unfrozen alcohol. Ill make a guess and say that’s illegal too. In fact most of this book is describing illegal stuff.

The book has a few English problems. Spelling mistakes, which I don't mind, but the sentences are not clear and generally hard to follow. Sometimes you will be reading along the lines and strangely words appear where they shouldn’t. I don’t think it has seen an editor. An editor wouldn't know where to start.

Saying that though there are a few positives, a few wine recipes, interesting stories, whiskey distilling, apple jacking (freeze distillation) and improvised brewing on the cheap. Don’t buy it if your looking for a easy to read DIY brewing guide.

Ill post something on apple jack sometime. Someone will have to remind me though.

Ubuntu 7.04 to be shipped

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Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) will be available with shipit!
Very good news.
Serveral things I cant wait to get my hands on are:
  • the built in desktop effects (compiz)
  • the new gnome (hey ill give it a try!)
  • the driver manager
  • the theme detail applet
  • the windows migration tool (I'm curious)
I also read that there is a HP printer toolbox so I might be able to get my printer to work easier.
It all looks promising. Cant wait for it to be realised.

Finally the bitter stopped fermenting

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Took 10 days to finally stop fermenting. Not sure why it took so long maybe it was because of the high gravity and dry yeast used. A heater belt was used as well, which makes me think even more why it would take so long. I think a litre has evaporated out of the brew bin. The beer looks okay though. Slightly red pale bitter. Ill give it a few days before I have a quick small taste. Then another week on top of that. Should be okay after 2 weeks of ageing.
Using carbonation drops (coopers) for priming sugar hoping there will be at least some carbonation. Every other beer I brew is a little flat to my disappointment. Maybe I will invest in a gas system.

April fools day...

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uhm that time of the year where internet companys/web sites go out of their way to pull a prank.

Google are running with gmail paper. Something about sending your emails through the post. Ha. I still don't think it beats gmail being announced on April fools day. People thought google was joking about it making a web based email public.
Google paper

Then theres this news story from games bid [dot] com:
Principality of Sealand to Bid for 2016 Olympic Games
Posted 12:04 am ET (

The Principality of Sealand, a self-proclaimed sovereign state off the coast of Britain will bid for the 2016 Olympic Games, has learned. The tiny nation was founded in 1967 on an abandoned World War II sea fort by Roy Bates but is now ruled by his son, Michael, also known as Prince Michael of Sealand. The country is basically a large steel platform sitting on two giant concrete pylons.

Hell yeah go sealand! We could all get on boats and watch the olympic swimming.

Then there's the best. Pirate bay claiming to have started a "cooperation" with north Korea. It gets funnier as you read the comments on the blog post. With pirate bay users debating if their communist or not.

Finally a permanent solution for the hosting.

Today we announce that we're moving some of our servers to the North-Korean Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden.

After lenghty discussions with the leader of North Korea Kim Jong-Il we have decided to start a cooperation.

Some of the reasons are the extremely good bandwidth agreement we get - redundant fibre links, redundant power with diesel to last for four years makes the colocation a very good deal for us.

Photo movie

Best photos I have taken so far this year...