Thursday, December 31, 2009

Woo hoo!

Currently sipping on my first glass of home brew whiskey, and looking at trying a Caribbean rum afterwards!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Home brew

Right, first batch stilled off and in the filter for the first pass.  Second batch in the still.  New wash in the fermenter and running.


The second wash is still burping away, will check it tomorrow night to see if it can be cleared.

Home brew

The first batch has been in the still for an hour now, and I’m just starting to get spirit!  WOO HOO!!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Right, the second stage of the finings is in.  Smells very beery.  Distillation tomorrow afternoon!

Home brew!

Very happy – the 2nd fermenter has been going off its nut all day, it’s blown the contents of the airlock out twice.  Not bad for 3 days from pitching.


The first batch at just over 5 days from pitching has hit 985 SG and is no longer gassing, so I’ve degassed it (nothing) and done the first stage of fining about an hour ago, off to do the second stage now.  Distillation tomorrow night!


Little bastard fish have eaten the entire skin off 2 hunks of zucchini, but not the flesh.  If they don’t chow down on the core by tomorrow morning it’s coming out.  Tank continues to lighten but slower now, I may need to change the filters entirely to scrub the last of the particulate carbon.  The peppermint bristlenose catfish are lightening to a chocolate colour with milk coffee spots as they grow, which is apparently their normal colour.  One albino is growing much quicker than the other.


The idiot and increasingly irrelevant CEPU called a spot walkout at work this afternoon, precisely ZERO staff walked off the job.  Supposed to go until COB Thursday, we’ll see how many are there tomorrow.  I think the CEPU are quaking in their boots.  I would be in their position.

Things you learn

Protip:  if your fiancĂ© asks what music you’d like at the wedding, do not reply “The end of the world as we know it” by R.E.M.


Trust me on this one.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Fish tank update

Only about 10 hours since I stripped the filter and chucked that
useless carbon bag, and already the tank looks better. Most of the
dark tinge has gone. I dried the carbon bag thinking I might be able
to get the "dust" out of it dry but I ended up chucking it.

Found a place in Brisbane that does filter pads for $3.50 each so I
have ordered a set, I'll use them to make a cutting template and make
my own from doona dacron afterwards. Also ordered another 60 bioballs
which I will use to fill the last tray where the carbon was. Quite
cheap, $27 the lot shipped.

My MonCarbone xarbon fibre iPhone case has also left the USA - got it
for $60 US shipped free. :)

Home brew

Bought a home brew spirits kit for myself and my partner for christmas.  It’s an Air Still kit, uses a simple electric pot still design with an air blast condenser – no water jacket required.  The whole kit is a fermenter vat, the still (which is about the size of a small urn), and a filtration system which is basically a plastic strainer bowl set with plug-in carbon cartridges.  I’ve already acquired a second fermenter.


A single “batch” costs just over $10 for the kit of sterilizer, sugar (high solubility dextrose), a carbon suspension slurry, the yeast and a two stage finings system.  It also includes the carbon filter cartridges used to polish the finished spirit.  That will produce two liters of 40% alcohol spirit, to which you then need to add flavouring escence – about $8.50 a bottle.  The only other consumables are a smidge of sterilizer solution, the odd replacement gasket and a tiny bit of anti-foam solution for the still itself to stop fluid carryover.  Call it under $15 for a 1 litre bottle, not bad.


I’ve been thinking about this for literally years, but the full reflux still systems are just too cumbersome and large for what I want it to do.  These Air Stills are brilliant.

Pulled my AquaPro canister apart for the first clean today, as it’s been going for about 4 weeks so far.


Only slight bacteria buildup on the ceramic noodles and bioballs, but the filter pads were absolutely filthy.  I cleaned all of them in tank water and also pulled out the carbon bag as I’m still pissed off at how much powder it’s releasing.  I found the filters distorted very easily when being cleaned, hard not to tear/stretch them.


I definitely have much better pump pressure now, but I still doubt it’s hitting the rated mark – I bet that only counts if there’s no head to pump against.  Not too worried, it seems to be doing the job.


I did boil the carbon bag and it’s drying in the sun but I think that if I need to put carbon in again I will be getting something much more granular, this crap is just breaking down to powder.  The darkish tint the water had is already clearing, so I suspect it was just particulate carbon.


I found a place in Brisbane which does the replacement filters for $3.50 each, so I’ve ordered a full set plus enough bioballs to completely fill the second and third trays.  I decided to get one set of genuine filters so I can make a template, then I’m just going to make my own from doona wadding after I’ve got something to cut to.


Also did a full set of water tests before I started changing water etc.  7.6pH 0ppm ammonia and nitrite, 10ppm nitrate – looks good.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Don’t you go away on me.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009