Archive for April, 2011|Monthly archive page

Crankandstein 328d vs Barley Crusher

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

I find this comparison quite amusing 🙂

Openoffice grab open, unsaved file from remote computer

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

I just arrived home from my office and remembered that I forgot to save an open spreadsheet on my office computer (which runs ubuntu). I can access my office computer via ssh, but I do not have remote desktop access. I needed to access this document from home, so I started looking for the folder where openoffice keeps open, unsaved files. Openoffice saves all files you’re working for recovery in case openoffice or the computer crash while working on them.
So I sshed into my office computer, found a folder called /home/user/ and ran this command to find any openoffice files (hoping that would yield a recovery folder):
find . -name *.ods
This yielded a few results, most of which from this dir:
I checked the dir, and sure enough there was a file called untitled_0.ods, modified just a few hours ago.
A prompt copy from the backup folder to my Dropbox folder and it turns out this is the file I was looking for.
I love linux.

Building a stirplate

Monday, April 4th, 2011

I recently started acquiring everything I need to be able to slant and propagate yeast. I’ve never used liquid yeast before, so the first order of business was building a stirplate to be able to step up slants and make starters.

Stuff you need

  • A fan – Many people use 12v 120mm or 80mm computer fans
  • 1 or 2 strong magnets. I used one from an old hard drive, and some epoxy to attach it to the fan
  • 12v power supply (wall wart) Make sure it is at least 500mA, preferable 1A.
  • Project box – make sure it’s large enough to hold the fan + components. You can get a cheap tupperware box from somewhere, or you can go fancy and buy an electrical box from eBay or radio shack.
  • For the speed controller (optional, but recommended):
    • 10k linear potentiometer, 1k resistor, 1uF electrolytic capacitor, 0.1 uF ceramic capacitor, protoboard, LM317 voltage regulator
  • You’ll also need some tools to assemble everything, f.e. soldering iron, drill, screws, glue and a few screws

Let’s start with the speed controller

I followed the instructions from here to arrange the components on the protoboard. In retrospect I should probably have gone with a PWM speed controller in order to have greater flexibility with setting the speed. Maybe next time.

As for assembling everything in a project box, a picture is worth a thousand words:

Depending on what box you will pick your mileage may vary. I used 4mm machine screws to mount the fan, and a couple of bolts to secure it:

The main concern with assembling everything is centering the magnet(s) on the fan. What I did was get some silly putty, put on the fan hub and fastened the magnet with that. Then turn the fan on (on low speed) and check for vibrations. Repeat until vibrations are virtually gone. When the magnet is properly centered, turn on the fan and mark the center of gravity on the magnet with a pen, like so:

Then just remove the silly putty and fasten the magnet with epoxy or other strong glue.

This is my finished stirplate, ready for making starters:

I have a 1000ml Erlenmeyer flask in the video, but it works equally well for 500ml and 2000ml flaks. The stirbar I got is 1 3/8″ long and teflon coated. I got it from austin homebrew supply.

I hope this post proves helpful for someone trying to make his/her own stirplate.

Next on my yeast propagation todo list

Before I’ll be able to make yeast slants I have a few more things I need:

  1. Buy a pressure cooker to sterilize everything, including yeast slants
    1. I ended up buying a Fagor Splendid 10-Quart pressure cooker
  2. Buy some yeast to use. I’m thinking I want to do a wit beer, some kind of belgian trappist and more. There are no home brew stores in Iceland that sell liquid yeast, so I will have to order from abroad and cough up some cash for express shipping and cold packs