Brewing: Father’s Day Cream Ale

I bottled my latest brew the other day, a Cream Ale. Basically it’s a Canadian Draft mix with some Northern Brewer Hops. I also have a Vienna Lager maturing and which I plan to drink next weekend.

The only reason I’m posting about it is that after I was done bottling, I tried some of the yeasty flat leftovers at the bottom of the keg. By god, that stuff was delicious. It’s going to be a quality beer. I just hope I didn’t screw up the carbonation like I think I did. I keep waiting to hear a loud popping sound from one of the bottles exploding. Fortunately, I use a cooler for the storage, so it won’t hurt anything if it does blow.

My next brew is going to be a Dopplebock. I’ve already got the ingredients, I just need to make bottle room. It looks to be a hell of a beverage, with three different kinds of malt extracts, a whole ounce of hops (instead of 1/4 ounce as per usual), and my first attempt at using liquid yeast. It also takes 6 months to bottle condition, so I’ll have it around October or November. But it’ll be about 9.2% ABV, so at least it’ll have a good kick to it. )

Some inventions are just pure genius…

Check this one out: The Lazydrinker

It’s a modified portable cooler that is designed to hold, cool, and mix up to 16 bottles of beverages. Basically it pressurizes the bottles and uses that to pump the liqour out, which then goes into your drink. It therefore produces whatever drink you want on command. The mixer device is reprogrammable via a PC to put in your favorite mixed drinks, and the thing uses a CO2 tank to pump out the sweet, sweet candy.

Some pictures:

Lazydrinker interior Lazydrinker mixing output

At $750, it’s a bit too expensive for my tastes. However, they offer a $550 DIY kit, which seems like it would be an excellent addition to a home bar. )

Coastr Widget

Ran across Coastr yesterday while I was reading some blogs about beer. It’s kinda nifty. Very simple app. It lets you put what beers you like to drink and where you like to drink them and tells you other people who have similar tastes. The idea being that maybe you can find some new beers by looking at what other people who are similar to you like.

I made a post on the guys blog about adding RSS feeds for the individual users, and to my surprise, he had it up and going the next morning. Very cool.

So naturally, I made a widget for it. You can see it in my ever-growing sidebars somewhere (bottom right, at the moment).

And so here it is: The Coastr Widget.

Update: Version 1.1 adds some code to handle the beer names and such properly, so it won’t cause validation errors on your blog anymore.

Google Calendar Widget

Note: This widget does NOT work with WordPress 2.1 and up. Don’t bother trying.

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I created a new widget for my blog. It’s a simple little thing that shows stuff from my Google Calendar. You can find it as my “Upcoming Events” sidebar, bottom left. Okay, so it doesn’t have much there yet, I need to add stuff to the calendar. )

Anyway, here’s a link to it: gcalendar

If anybody has any suggestions on improving it, I’d love to hear ‘em.

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Note: I’ve updated the widget to use Google’s Calendar API properly. But in order to do that, I had to modify WordPress’s built in MagpieRSS functions rather heavily. So read the readme.txt file for installation instructions before attempting to use it. Failure to install correctly will break your blog. Heck, it might do that anyway. So read carefully. )

Memphis in May

Okay, so MiM is coming up soon, and the Beale Street Music Festival is calling out, crying out for recognition. As usual, I will be having over any of my friends who care to come for a weekend of music, ribs, and debauchery, albeit not necessarily in that order.

So, all the information you want can be found on the Memphis in May website, and I’ll be emailing everybody soon with details on my discount. It will not be much, but considering that the single day price at the gate will be $25 this year, it’s better than in the past.

The band lineup is also available on their website, but if you’re not up for web navigation, here’s a direct link: (PDF)

Dates are May 5th, 6th, and 7th. There is one other good thing this year. In the past couple years, they always saved the best for last, as Mandy can testify to. This year, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Sunday’s lineup does have some quality bands, however, IMO, the best music is going to be on Friday and Saturday. Including B.B. King, who’s right at the top of Friday.

Anyway, come one, come all.

Edit: I sent out an email to several people with the details. If you didn’t get that email, and you want to come, email me for those details.