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Hacker Public Radio

Your ideas, projects, opinions - podcasted.

New episodes Monday through Friday.


In-Depth Series

Beverages

The making and consuming of all types of fermented drinks, such as: brewing your own beer, beer tasting and home wine making

My 18th HPR Beer Podcast - JustMe | 2016-07-27

JustMe here again. This time with my 18th beer tasting podcast.

This time we’re tasting a Flying Dog Single Hop Warrior Imperial IPA, 10%ALC/Vol

I do believe you’ll like this one. I know I did.

hand holding beer bottle


My 3rd HPR Beer Podcast - JustMe | 2016-06-29

JustMe here again.

This is my 3rd HPR Beer podcast report.

We're going to introduce you to two (2) beers. The first is Rebel Rider IPA & the second is Red Seal Carousel.

As always, thanks for listening & supporting HPR.

picture of rebel rider ipa beer

picture of Red Seal beer


My 14th Beer Podcast - JustMe | 2016-06-22

This is my 14th Beer Podcast. I know. I know. I've only put two (2) up online so far. But trust me, the other ten (10) are coming. This one's just out of sequence is all.

Oh, yeah. A little other morsel/tidbit for those of you inclined to brew your own. Go to https://www.brewdog.com/diydog and download BrewDog's DIY Dog pdf of all of their brews/beers.

You ask, who's BrewDog? Well, they're two guys and a dog, who in 2005, began home brewing in a garage in North-Eastern Scotland. Two years and countless successes & failures later, BrewDog came howling into the world. Eight years after that - and more than 200 different beers later - they've released the recipe and story behind every single one of those brews.

Picture of Beer Bottle

So, if you've ever wanted to try to brew your own, here's another reason to start.


Homebrewing - m1rr0r5h4d35 | 2016-03-30

In this episode, I will share some tips about how to get the most out of an inexpensive, entry-level homebrewing kit such as the Mr. Beer branded kit. These tips will work with any kit, however.


5150 Shades of Beer 0005 River City Brewing Company Revisited - FiftyOneFifty | 2015-03-20

The great thing about brew pubs is that they always trying new beers so the customer experience doesnt become as stale asa half finished can of Budweiser let out overnight. That means I can return to the same place and experience a whole new vista of flavors. Such was the case last Sunday, when a social affair brought me withing blocks of the River City Brewing Company in Wichita Kansas. I had the forethought to be my three growlers for refilling, and by the time the meeting was of it was time for a burger and a beer anyway. Lets talk about the meal first.

Having already tried their pizza and amazing Cuban sandwich on previous trips, this time a went for a burger. From the River City menu ( http://www.rivercitybrewingco.com/rcbmenu.pdf ) The Memphis Burger is topped with sweet pepper bacon, cheddar cheese, crispy onion strings and chipotle BBQ sauce. On top of all that, the hamburger was grilled to perfection, in my case that being exceedingly rare. (One of my Dads friends, every time he sees me eating a steak or a burger, always comments You know, Ive seen a critter hurt worse that that and live). I was most impressed by the onion strings. These are not the French fried onion rings that you find atop your green beans on Thanksgiving, but rather the most delicate strings of onion imaginable, battered and fried. I found myself wishing Id thought to order extra BBQ sauce for my French fries, which were hearty and sprinkled with fresh ground black pepper. Id never thought of peppering my fries before, but be assured Ill do so in the future.

To accompany my burger, I selected the Breckenridge Bourbon Smoked Imperial Stout. It weighs in at 9.0%abv, so you get a smaller that average portion in an 11oz brandy snifter. While stouts are usually nearly as bitter as IPAs, I dont notice it as much when coupled with the beers bold flavor. Unlike IPAs, stouts tend to have enough malty richness to add balance. In the case of this beer, the barley is smoked over hazelnuts before fermentation, giving this beer its flavor and its name. Ive want to try a smoked stout since I heard Tracy Hotlz speak of them back on the old Podbrewers show. I dont think Id want to be restricted to an exclusive diet of smoked beers, but this was a welcome change from the ordinary, and a great compliment to my beefy repast. Truly an excellent brew.

Now, on to the contents of my three growlers. I wish I could give you first impressions, but come on, I just couldnt wait for you folks. It was hard enough to wait for the containers to chill overnight in the fridge.

The first beer is even more unique than the smoked stout. Donut Whole Love Affair #3 Pineapple Wit is made with actual pineapple donuts (from River Citys Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/RiverCityBreweryCo/photos/a.555320064516059.1073741826.194563133925089/796375363743860/?type=1 ). The first taste you encounter is tart pineapple on the tip of your tongue joined by powdered sugar as the beer washes towards the back of you mouth. The sugar taste tends to stay with you between sips, but the whole effect is subtle and wonderful, not fruit juicy like a shandy. The wheat beer hovers in the background, not enough to obscure the donut, but blending the pastry taste into the breadyness of the beer. I didnt know what to expect of this beer when I ordered it, but I am most pleased I did. 5.65abv 11 IBUs 16oz Weizen

Next, we have Pryze Fyter Red Rye. By far, this is the smoothest and richest rye beer Ive ever tasted. Im a big fan of rye beers, but they tend to be a little more harsh than wheat beers, and are of course more bitter. Like rye whiskey, rye beer is an acquired taste for many people, and best suited for those with a palette that craves bold flavors. According to the menu, Carmel malts, a copious amount of rye. Spicy, floral, earthy, and ready to smack you in the kisser. 5.6%abv 55 IBUs 16oz Nonic

Finally, we have the Buffeit Bourbon Baltic Porter. Of the two bourbon barrel aged porters on the menu, my barman described this slightly sweeter. While Ive never been a fan of the woody tasting bourbons of Tennessee, barrel aging lends a roundness to beers, and compliments the roasted malts and the hops. This is the strongest of the beers I brought home, at 7.2%abv, 47IBUs, and would be served in a 13z Tulip glass.

I made the mistake of not taking a beer menu home with me for documentation, as a list of currently available beers no longer appears on line. Chris Arnold took the time to scan a copy and send it to my e-mail. Thanks Chris. I dont think River City Brewing Company will mind me attaching the menu to my notes for you listeners to salivate over. There are two in particular Im sorry to have missed, the Stinky Pete Plum Saison (they always seems to be out of the raisin and plum beers) and the Emerald City Stout (a man has only so many growlers).

That brings me to my next topic. Among the many interviews I want to do from Linux Fest next week, Im also going to visit the Free State Brewery, only a couple blocks away. I called ahead, and they wont fill other pubs growlers (thats going to cost you some points Free State). On the upside, Ill have a couple new growlers to add to my collection.

Menu: http://hackerpublicradio.org/eps/hpr1730.pdf


Boulevard Brewing Company "Sample Twelve" - FiftyOneFifty | 2015-01-27

Unrelated tech stuff: Recently, Knightwise showed me a link to use a Raspberry Pi as a streaming music box, much like a Sonos player http://www.woutervanwijk.nl/pimusicbox/ . I looked at the enclosures people had come up with and saw transistor radios from the 40s and 50s which were true works of art, but don't provide a great selection of controls. It was then I remembered seeing a 1950's juke box wallbox control ( http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313.TR2.TRC1.A0.H0.Xjuke+box+wallbox&_nkw=juke+box+wallbox&_sacat=0 ) in a local "antique" shop. I'm never sure when addressing our European friends what parts of the American experience they are familiar with, but in the 40s to the 70s, in just about every American diner with a jukebox, at every booth there would be a remote console with a coin slot. Usually, you would have card tiles that could be rotated by a knob or by tabs, and each song would have a code made up of a letter and a number. Dropping in the required currency and making a selection would cause the song to be played on the jukebox (and sometimes on a set of stereo speakers in the wall unit). As you may see from the eBay link in the shownotes, wall boxes progressed from just a dozen titles in the 40s to far more complex systems, some with digital read out in the 80s. Most were marvels of late art deco design.

My parents were far to frugal to let me drop coins into one of these pioneering marvels of analog networking, but thanks to a couple modders who have tied their panels into a Raspberry Pi, I can give you a general overview of how these units communicated with the central jukebox via primitive serial protocols. First off, if you have the expectation of following in Phil Lavin's or Stephin Devlin's footsteps, be prepared to pay more for a wallbox certified to be ready to connect and work with the same brand's jukebox (while all wallboxes seemed to communicate by serial pulse, each company employed a different scheme). Wallboxes of all conditions seem to start around $50 on eBay, but can go into the thousands. As I said, all of the wallboxes are marvels of art deco design if they have no other purpose than to occupy your space and become a conversation piece. Right now on eBay, there is an example of a wallbox converted into a waitorless ordering system (this looks like it is from the 70s, only now do we have this functionallity with iPads at every table). In other words, where once was "Stairway to Heaven", now there was "Steak and Eggs: $4.95". The add on plaque covering the face of the unit identified the system as T.O.B.Y., for Totally Order By Yourself. I could find nothing on the tech on Google, but I really hope it was successful, because it truly would have been a master hack.

First step. most wallboxes were powered from the jukebox, you can't just plug them into 120v alternating current, you will likely need a 25 or 30v adapter (research your model). If everything works, you should be able to drop your quarter, punch a letter number combo (which will stay down), then a motor will whir and you selected keys will punch back out. What happens in the background, the motor will cause an energized arm to sweep in a circle, making a circuit with electrodes in it's path. They keys selected determine how many pulses go down the output line, like a finger dialing a rotary phone.

Each manufacturer used a different code. In the case of Steve Devlin's Rowe Ami, there would be an initial set of pulses for the number, a pause, then a more complex set for characters A-V (earlier wallboxes had 10 letters and 0-9 to create 100 selections, later boxes had as many as 200). Phil Lavin's Seeburg uses pulses corresponding to two base 20 digits, both protocols were discovered through trial and error. Each gentleman uses a different method to protect his Pi from overvolt. Devlin uses a 3.5v voltage regulator, which also makes the pulses appear more "square", Lavin uses an optical relay to electrically separate the Pi from Seeburg console entirely.

Both Lavin and Devlin use there wallboxes to control Sonos streaming players. My idea is more flexible, I'd like the Pi to be able to launch either streaming podcasts, or play the last ep of a selection of podcasts, or launch various home automation processes. I didn't think this talk warranted it's own podcast yet because it is clearly an unfinished idea, but I thought this application of old tech was too cool to wait until I was actually motivated to do something with it. If I get a wallbox, I might be inclined instead to connect each button to a momentary switch and wire each in turn to one of the Pi's 40 I/O pins for an even more flexible instruction set.

http://wallbox.weebly.com/index.html http://phil.lavin.me.uk/2013/11/raspberry-pi-project-a-1960s-wallbox-interfaced-with-sonos/

Boulevard brewing Company "Sample Twelve" http://www.boulevard.com K.C. Mo

This is a unique marketing campaign from my favorite K.C. brewer. The twelve pack contains four varieties of beer, two are established Boulevard offerings, and the other two are bottled with non gloss "generic" labels that appear to have been hand typed. In other words, we are to believe we have been sold two prototype beers for our approval.

80 Acre "Hoppy" Wheat Beer (the quotes are mine). The graphics consist of an old Farmall tractor towing a pickup trailer carrying a gigantic hops bud. From this presentation, one would expect an oppressivly hoppy beer, fortunately for the hop timid this is a rather satisfying abulation that only registers 20 IBUs. I detect a distinct citrus taste, so I suspect Citra or related hops but Boulevard is keeping the exact specs closer to the vest than some other brewers. The brewers escription of the beer may be found here (link in the shownotes) http://www.boulevard.com/BoulevardBeers/80-acre-hoppy-wheat-beer/ Pours corn silk yellow with lots of head but not a lot of lacing. Damp wheat aroma.

Oatmeal Stout: This is the first of the "generic" label "test" beers. Pours opaque dark brown with a very small lite brown head that disappears. Milk chocolate aroma. Thin mouth feel, choclately after taste that lasts more than a flavor washing over your tongue (i.e., you drink it, then you taste the chocolaty/coffee like essence). For locally brewed Oatmeal Stouts, I'd give the nod to Free State in Lawrence KS, but I wouldn't turn down the brew from K.C. if they decide to produce it. As it is not yet an "official", they don't document this beer on the Boulevard web page.

Unfiltered Wheat Beer: There is a graphic of a farmer gathering wheat bundles to build shocks, surrounded by hops vines. Pours the color of cloudy golden wheat straw, lots of persistent head that leaves little lacing. Slight biscuity aroma. Distinctly more citrusy than the 80 Acre. Not much malt and just a little hops bitterness. Despite the name, you can safely drink this beer to th bottom without winding up with a mouthful of particulates.

Mid Coast IPA: The last "experimental" beer. At 104 IBUs, this is where all the hops you expected from 80 Acre went. Pours wheat straw golden, thick white head that leaves little lacing, with a hoppy aroma. Even at 104 IBU, its has a slight sweet taste and doesn't seem to be one of those "my hops can beat up your hops beers". The label states: "The hoppiest thing we have ever brewed. Pretty nervy for a bunch of midwesterners". It's a great complement to the baked ham and spicey glaze I'm having for dinner (link in the show notes, even though I had to improvise somewhat). http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/apple-cider-glazed-ham

Before I leave you, I wanted to play the sounds of dusk from my new homesite. I can think of no more eloquent argument why living on the lake is better than living in town.

Note: Recorded with 2.4Ghz Creative Labs GH0220B headset. I am not happy with the result.


5150 Shades of Beer Jacob Leinenkugels Winter Explorer Pack - FiftyOneFifty | 2015-01-15

Jacob Lienenkugels Winter Explorer Pack "Chippewa Falls, WI since 1867"

Winters Bite - Do you know what it smells like when you open a tin of cocoa (the semi-sweet kind, not the unsweetend) and no matter how you do it, a litle of the powder puffs out? The best descrition I can give this beer is it tastes just like that smell, even down to the dryness. Neither cloyingly sweet or leaving you wondering who mixed the chocolate syrup into you beer, just a sublte taste of dry cocoa. This lager pours dark with very little head. This beer (my favorite it this group) is only available in the Explorer pack, and it's ABV and ingredients are not featured on leinie.com.

Helles Yeah - (German blonde lager, Helles means "light" in German, but unlike American beers, it refers only to color). Straw color, very clear, moderate head that disapears w/o lacing. Sublte flavor, a hit of hops and just slightly more than a pinch of pepper. 5.5 ABV Malts: Pale malts Hops: Five All-American hops including Simcoe and Citra

Cranberry Ginger Shandy - [From Wikipedia, Shandy is beer mixed with a soft drink, carbonated lemonade, ginger beer, ginger ale, or apple juice or orange juice.] Pours cloudy yellow amber, moderate head that disapears w/o lacing. Leinenkugel managed to resist the urge to color it red. Not as syrupy as Shock Top\'s Cranberry Belgian Ale, but unlike many fruit adjunct brews, neither is the flavor so subtle you have to go searching for it. I like to use ginger in cooking, and I can also detect the taste of that sweet spice in this weiss beer as well. 4.2% ABV Malts: Pale and Wheat Hops: Cluster Other: Natural cranberry and ginger flavors

Snowdrift Vanilla Porter - Pours dark brown with just a litle carmel color head that disipates imediately. Vanilla bean aroma. Vanilla flavor is perhaps more subtle than Breckenridge's Vanilla Porter, but there will be know doubt you are enjoying a beer flavored by vanilla and roasted malts, with a hint of chocolate to keep it from being too sweet. 6.0 ABV Malts: Two- and six- row Pale Malt, Caramel 60, Carapils, Special B, Dark Chocolate and Roasted Barley Hops: Cluster & Willamette Other: Real vanilla

BONUS ROUND -Leinenkugels Orange Shandy - Wheat beer, likely exactly the same one that's in the Cranberry Ginger Shandy, but in this case the tart/sweet orange juice taste dosn't completely obscure the flavor of the beer. I like them both, but I think I would grab the orange shandy on a hot day. 4.2% ABV Malts: Pale and Wheat Hops: Cluster Other: Natural orange flavor


5150 Shades of Beer 0003 River City Brewing Company and Wichita Brewing Company - FiftyOneFifty | 2014-11-24

Image of beer

links


5150 Shades of Beer: 0002 Wichita Brewing Company - FiftyOneFifty | 2014-11-04

beer


5150 Shades of Beer: 0001 He'Brew Hops Selection from Smaltz Brewing Company - FiftyOneFifty | 2014-10-28

Smaltz Brewing Company - He'Brew (The Chosen Beer) Hops Collection

David's Slingshot - Pours golden, like an American lager, large head that subsides, rye aroma. Blend of multi-grain malts, an emphasis on hops w/o being excessively hoppy. Citrus taste from the hops. Malts: Specialist 2-row, Carmel Pils, Rye Ale, Crystal Rye, Vienna, Wheat, Flaked Oats Hops: Cascade, SAAZ, Summit, Citra, Crystal

Genesis Dry, so dry you could be excused for wanting a glass of water to go with your beer. Bready, not biscuity, like a fresh sourdough loaf, almost makes you want to spread butter over your beer. Just enough hops to be interesting rather than annoying. Just a little sweet on the back end, so subtle you'll likely miss it on the first sip. Watery mouth feel. 5.5% ACL. Malts: Specialty 2-row, Munich, Core Munich 40, Wheat, Dark Crystal Hops: Warrior, Centennial, Cascade, Simcoe

Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. Double Rye (an ode to comedian Lenny Bruce). Pours very dark amber, small head. Aroma of sweet rye bread. Sweet honey taste w/o being cloying, washed away by the hops. Strong rye flavor, much more than Slingshot. Malts: 2-row, Rye Ale Malt, Torrified Rye, Crystal Rye 75, Crystal Malt 80, Wheat, Kiln Amber, Core Munich 60 Hops: Warrior, Cascade, Simcoe, Saaz, Crystal, Chinook, Amarillo, Centennial

Hop Manna IPA Pours medium amber with a good head. Little distinct aroma. For the hops enthusiast who doesn't want other flavors getting in the way, but still not so hoppy that the hops get in the way of the hops. Hoppy enough to satisfy most hops heads without making your tongue feel like it is under assault from the Hop High Command. Malt: Specialty 2-row, Wheat, Munich, Vienna, Core Munich 60 HOPS: Warior, Cascade, Citra, Amarillo, Crystal, Centennial Dry Hop: Centennial, Cascade, Citra Even though hoppy beers aren't my preference, Smaltz/He'Brew were 4 out of 4 winners. If you see this brand, grab it with both hands. Even if I hated the beer, I'd be a fan because each bottle lists the malts and hops, giving the home brewer a shot at replicating the brew and the expert consumer a hint of what the beer is going to taste like before purchasing.


Home Brew Part 2 - Bottling and Fermentation Fun - jelkimantis | 2008-07-17

jelkimantis' part 2 of his home brewing adventures

Home Brew Part 1 - jelkimantis | 2008-06-24

Equipment needed for Home Brew:
8 Quart Pot
Fermenting Vessel (glass or food grade plastic)
Bottling Vessel (again, food grade plastic)
Siphon Hose & Bottling tool
Spoon
Funnel (if using a glass fermenter)
Bottle capper bottles
caps
sterilizing solution (c-Brite or B-brite)
Hop Bag
Thermometer
Hydrometer
Beer Kit (ingredients)
Links:
http://www.leeners.com
http://www.homebrewtalk.com