Archive for 9th January 2011

Area 51 IPA Kit


After a ~3 year hiatus from brewing beer, I woke this morning and decided that today would be the day I brew a batch. Not wanting to take the time to put together a recipe I decided to use an off the shelf kit, and off to Cap n’ Cork I went. $48 later I had the Area 51 IPA kit seen above and a packet of Wyeast 1272 American Ale II yeast. This partial mash kit should make about five gallons of 5.6% American IPA, perfect for filling my newly acquired corney keg setup.

As he’s been wanting to try it brewing himself and curious about the process Nick came by just as I was beginning the partial mash. Everything was going great, until it came time to boil the wort and I found that the burner on the outdoor stove (burner from a turkey fryer) wouldn’t light. Troubleshooting pointed to a bad regulator, so we set off to Home Depot where I purchased a new regulator and some brass fitting to connect it all. Despite it all connecting nicely, the new regulator didn’t let through enough gas and the burner petered along barely heating the wort.

Nick then remembered that he has a turkey fryer burner available and that Marty would soon be passing through the area and would be able to drop it by. She did, and this replacement burner provided a proper amount of heat, taking the wort from the a tepid 160°F to boiling in less than 15 minutes. Then, an hour later, it was ready to cool, rack to a fermenter, and pitch the yeast.

Now it all sits in a bathtub in a warm interior room waiting for fermentation to begin. If everything goes according to schedule primary fermentation a week from Monday (or so), I’ll then rack it to secondary and dry hop it, then a month or so later I’ll keg and carbonate it. After sitting for another month or so beyond that it should be ready to drink. In the mean time I can contemplate dispensing possibilities, including maybe fashioning some manner of kegerator.

OG for this batch is 1.053, which is just 0.002 shy of the target OG of 1.055. Hopefully the rest of the batch will go as planned and it’ll come out great.

UPDATE: Racked to secondary on 16-Jan-2010 with 1oz of Cascade hops. Gravity (at this point, after degassing) was 1.012 making for 5.38% ABV. Will allow to condition for another 2 weeks to 2 months before transferring to a keg.

Salty microSD Card


On Friday while out at lunch I found a microSD reader and card in the parking lot of a local Biggby Coffee. While it had been run over, was caked in salt, and appeared to have a cracked microSD card, I decided that I should try and see if it’ll work anyway. Unfortunately, after washing it in water and alcohol and drying it I found that the crack damaged the chip inside. Thus, when placed in a microSD reader, the card wasn’t detected and no data could be read.

Comparing the image above to this one (from Bunnie Huang‘s excellent article On MicroSD Problems) shows that the crack ran through the area where silicon lies. This photo, where I finished breaking open the card after failing to read it shows a thin silver line which I believe to be the chip itself.

If you’d like to see more photos of the microSD card that I found and my attempt at recovering data from it, check them out here: Salty microSD Card.