Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Testing boiling peanut butter in water: results

Following up on preparing to test boiling peanut butter in water, after letting the mixtures sit for a day, I tested them.  They looked very similar - they hadn't noticeably separated further.  The oil layer (top) was about the same thickness, same color, possibly less homogeneous.  The other two layers also appeared the same (thickness, color / cloudiness).

Monday, February 17, 2014

Bottling the carob porter

I bottled the carob porter (previous posts: initial brewracking into secondary) today.

Cleaning / sterilization

I washed everything with soap and water yesterday, I used a brush to scrub inside of bottles and auto-siphon.  I sterilized my equipment and the bottles using iodine solution, prepared by filling the bottling bucket with the hottest possible water. I added about ~3 splashes of iodine solution from the bottle until the the color of the solution was light orange.  Everything sat in solution at least 2 minutes, and then was allowed to drain / dry for several minutes.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Testing boiling peanut butter in water: preparation

In preparation for making a peanut butter beer, I ran some small scale experiments boiling peanut butter in water, to mimic what will happen during the brew.  I had read the biggest concern was avoiding having the beer be oily, so last time I tried peanut butter flavored beer, I centrifuged the peanut butter for ~90 minutes, which separated the it pretty well into oil and dry solids.  I discarded the oil and boiled the solids in the wort.  After bottling (after a secondary fermentation), I tried the liquid at the bottom of the carboy and it had a very strong peanut butter flavor.  However, the bottled beer had no peanut butter flavor.  My guess is that since the beer I sampled had a lot of solids, but the bottled beer had none, the solids were the source of the flavor.  That presents two possible next steps:

  1. prepare the beer with the peanut butter with its oil to try to extract some amount of flavor and or oil into the beer mixture, then remove excess oil
  2. leave the peanut butter solids in the bottled beer, and like a hefewezein or wheat beer, serve with the sediment

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Matlab spconvert function - undocumented "feature"

Matlab has a useful function for loading data that is in a sparse format - spconvert.  Basically, you create a file where each row contains the row, column, and data of the matrix you wish to load.  The first column is indicates the destination row, the second column indicates the destination column and the third column indicates the value at that row and column.  You load that into matlab (using, e.g., csvread):
sparse = csvread('mydata.csv');

sparse = [1 1 2
2 1 3
2 2 5
3 3 7];

"sparse" is now have a N by 3 matrix, where N is the number of non-zero entries in your data.  With the command:
mat = spconvert(sparse)

2 0 0
3 5 0
0 0 7

Warning!!!! This doesn't appear to be documented!!! If you repeat a location in sparse, the value that appears in the result (mat) will be the sum of the entries in sparse.  For example, if sparse is modified to be:
sparse = [1 1 2
2 1 3
2 2 5
3 3 7
1 1 11];

then mat = spconvert(sparse) yields:
13 0 0
3 5 0
0 0 7

Note that the (1,1) entry of mat is 13, the sum of 2 + 11, the first and last rows of sparse.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Straightening the steering tube of my bianchi

Do not try this yourself, ever.  According to everyone I've talked to it is the most dangerous thing you can do, you will die a horrible, burning death if you try this.

My bianci is awesome.  It's a steel frame, red, I bought it from Stos & Alicia for $75 a few years ago.  I think they got it off of Craigslist.  It is a great commuter bike because it is rugged but goes fast - the frame actually fits me.  Unfortunately it is hard to get parts for it.  The rear axle broke awhile back and none of the bike shops had one or could get one.  I finally went to Harris Cyclery, and they had one that was close to the right size, so I bought it and a hack saw, made a rough measurement using the broken pieces of the old axle, and voila!  Back in the saddle.  This was after I partially rebuilt the rear wheel (replacing dead spokes, truing).

Not long after that, while I was riding along the Charles to work one morning, the front brake fell off, lodged in the front wheel, and I went flying over the handle bars.