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Jan. 19th, 2011

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Root beer update

This morning the bottle of root beer was hard so I put it in the fridge for a few hours and then, after a lengthy period of bleeding off excess carbon dioxide, gave it a try. I think it turned out quite well!

No video this time but some photos are behind the cutCollapse )

Jan. 18th, 2011

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Next up: root beer

I was at the grocery store today and noticed they sold root beer extract, so ... here's the recipe.

Changes made from that recipe:

I used 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup white sugar, and 1/4 cup honey. In retrospect I should have added the honey after step 9 ("Half fill the bottle with fresh cool tap water") because it appears to have trapped some of the yeast against the bottom of the bottle. I'm hoping it will dissolve as the mixture warms up. Edit: Actually just jostling the bottle around for 10-15 minutes seem to have done the trick -- though there is still a chunk of undissolved brown sugar at the moment.

In addition to the ingredients listed, I added 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 1/16 tsp nutmeg, a splash of vanilla, and a little lemon zest. Any or all of these might be mistakes but I gotta be me.

I tried using a little less water than I did with the ginger beer but I'm not sure if I succeeded or not -- if so it is probably not enough of a difference to matter. Oh well.

The claim is that this will take 3-4 days to be done, which I am a bit doubtful about after the ginger ale was done about three times as fast as it was supposed to be. We'll see how it goes.

Since last time I tried making soda I have invested in a funnel and a sieve, which should help to facilitate further experiments along these lines.

Jan. 16th, 2011

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Adventures in ginger ale part 1

secritcrush posted a link to this ginger ale recipe by an Ohio biology professor (which includes links to the chemical reactions involved in making ginger ale) recently and yesterday I decided to give it a whirl. I made some modifications based on secritcrush's experiences and also based on personal whims, etc.

She said when she made it it was a bit sweeter than she'd like so I decided to use 3/4 cup sugar instead of half a cup. I also probably used more ginger than the recipe called for, though I didn't really measure it. Finally, I added 1/8 tsp cinnamon, with the idea that it would make it spicier, although as I dumped it in I found myself thinking, "this is probably a mistake." (But at least I didn't throw any pepper flakes in, which I was also considering doing. I probably shouldn't improvise on recipes when it's midnight and I'm low on sleep.)

The recipe says that it should take a day or two for things to ferment sufficiently, but after eight hours the bottle was hard as a rock. This freaked me out a little and I started worrying about explosions (which the recipe also warns about). I put the bottle in a garbage bag (because garbage bags are proof against explosions) and stuck it in the fridge. Around midday today, assuming no mishaps, I'll open the bottle and report back.

I'm not sure why it fermented so quickly. Maybe the yeast I used was particularly active? I used less sugar than called for so I would have expected it to ferment more slowly if anything. But I think secritcrush's batch also fermented more quickly than expected so perhaps yeast technology has changed since 2006.

Some premature thinking about future soda making:

Owning a funnel would have made some things easier and I may invest in one.

I was given a 5-pound jug of honey recently so I may try using some of that next time. Brown sugar also seems like it would be worth trying. Maybe add some vanilla?

Speaking of vanilla, the same gentleman who wrote the ginger ale recipe has a recipe for root beer with modifications for making cream soda, so I might try that as well sometime.

Edit: The ginger ale has been opened. Here, have a video:

Nov. 12th, 2010

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Knitting tutorial: kitchener stitch with ribs

Occasionally when you're knitting you'll run into a situation where you have to graft two ends of, say, a cabled or ribbed band together to make a loop.

Unfortunately most of the tutorials on the web only discuss the situation where you're grafting stockinette to stockinette, so if you have to graft two ribbed edges together and you need the ridges to match up you may be in a bit of a fix.

Fortunately, making the leap from grafting stockinette to grafting ribs isn't that difficult. (The hard part is wrapping your head around kitchener stitch at all.) Here's how to do it.Collapse )


The quick reference version.Collapse )

May. 28th, 2010

LOST

Lost: A Honkin' Big Post About The Finale

cpr94 sent me this link: http://bit.ly/cG6L7W which discusses the series finale of LOST and I wrote a lengthy response which I'll post here. (Craig hasn't actually seen most of LOST so I tried to keep that in mind when writing my response. Nonetheless: big spoilers ahead.)

big spoilersCollapse )
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Apr. 25th, 2010

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Voice Post

VoicePost
132K 0:45
(no transcription available)

Jan. 23rd, 2010

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Note to self

Tonight I played:

Stale Tequila
I'm A Guy
Adorable Kittens

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

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Conversation at Fiddlers & Fishermen

Jon: "So what do you have planned for tonight?"

Me, slightly confused: "After this, nothing."

Jon, amused: "Woah, slow down, big guy!"

(He meant what songs was I planning to sing.)

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

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Jan. 14th, 2010

yarn

knitted stegosaurus note

Some of you may remember that I came up with a knitted stegosaurus pattern a couple of years ago and published it in my livejournal.

People generally have reported that it's a quick project and not difficult to knit (which is to say, not as complicated as it looks), but in case there are folks out there who want to own a stegosaurus without having to knit one themselves I thought I'd note that someone recently wrote to me asking if she could make some to sell and I told her she could, so she may be willing to make one for you! More information can be found at http://rizny.livejournal.com/105661.html .

Dec. 22nd, 2009

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X-Mas: a poll

Poll #1502258 to use xmas or not to use X-Mas

Do you use XMas? What do you think the 'X' means?

I don't write or type 'X-Mas' and I think the 'X' is something derogatory, generic, or secular.
0(0.0%)
I don't write or type 'X-Mas' and I think the 'X' stands for 'Christ'.
12(35.3%)
I do write or type 'X-Mas' and I think the 'X' is something derogatory, generic, or secular.
0(0.0%)
I do write or type 'X-Mas' and I think the 'X' stands for 'Christ'.
12(35.3%)
Some other option not listed above.
7(20.6%)
I wish to complain about this poll.
3(8.8%)

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