Probably Due To Network Congestion

Archive for February 2009

OK, I’ve gone and done it… these should be pretty different.. One weak and light, and One Dark and bitter!
Its a Geordie Yorkshire Bitter Kit split in two so I can mess around a bit with the brewing process, each of my two Fermentation Vessels

In FV1:

  • 20 Pints of Geordie Yorkshire Bitter
  • ASDA Smart price Liquor
  • 500g Medium Spray malt
  • 280g Brewing Sugar (just what I had left in a bag)
  • 100g Demerara Sugar
  • 20g Target Hops Steeped for 15mins in cafetiere (Hop Tea)
  • Kit Yeast used and brought to life for a good couple of hours before pitching
  • OG: 1040

In FV2:

  • 20 Pints of Geordie Yorkshire Bitter
  • ASDA Smart price Liquor
  • 500g Light Spray malt
  • 20g Saaz Hops steeped for 15mins in cafetiere
  • Safale s04 Yeast also working well before pitching
  • OG: 1032

Are they going to be OK or awful?
They might both be awful, but I’m thinking of these as experiments before I make a mess of any other kits πŸ™‚

**Update**
The Only Drawback here is I shall probably have to prime my bottles rather than priming my Bottling Bucket (which is FV2).
I do have some other buckets but I’d have to buy a drum tap, I’ll probably stick to 1 Bucket brews after this as I think I bent my head a bit trying to remember what volumes of liquor to add…
I mixed the Kit and the liquor in 1 bucket first to less than the stated full 40 Pints, then had 1L dissolved malt/sugar and 1L-ish of Hop Tea.
They both have a nice rocky head this morning πŸ™‚
My rehydrated yeast was pretty impressive as both the Kit Yeast and the Safale04 were trying to escape from their sterile cling-filmed jugs, the S04 was really going for it. Pitched the Yeast at about 24 Deg C.
As the pictures now show, yeast heads and constant 20 Deg C πŸ™‚

**Second Update**
Looks like FV1 is going to have Alcohol Content (ABV): 2.89% and FV2’s Alcohol Content (ABV): 3.94% as they have both settled at around FG: 1010

**Third Update**
Primed with 40g Brewing Sugar and bottled today (07/03/09) 23 Bottles of each and half a 2L coke bottle, all capped and at 20 Deg C for 1 week. I’ve wrote on all the crown caps so I don’t get them mixed up, GYB Saaz & GYB T – Geordie Yorkshire Bitter Saaz + Light Spray Malt & Geordie Yorkshire Bitter Target + Medium Spray Malt + Brewing Sugar + Demerara.
My sneaky little taste of both brews are quite promissing as they both taste better than the Woodfordes Wherry, I’ll be looking forward to these ones. πŸ™‚ The Saaz batch with the Safale s04 Yeast dropped out almost clear whereas the Kit yeast stayed in suspension a bit more.
Geordie Yorkshire bitter - Saaz & Target hopped batches

The two big plastic buckets I got from work streamlined my bottle sanitizing procedure, it still took me over an hour to clean, sanitize and rinse about 50 bottles though (did some extras so i wouldn’t get caught out). I also got a couple of drum taps from the HBS so I fitted 1 bucket with a tap and used it as my bottling bucket.

thelineup
From left to right;
Coopers Stout, Geordie lager, Thomas Coopers BrewMaster IPA, Brupaks Fixby Gold,Coopers Dark Ale, Geordie Yorkshire Bitter.

  • The ‘Geordie Yorkshire Bitter’ kit is going to be done with added Hops, Light or Medium Spray Malt, and I may split the batch so I can try out 2 different hop varieties (Fuggles & Target).
  • Brupaks Pride of Yorkshire Fixby Gold with added Fuggles Hops.
  • Coopers Classic Old Dark Ale with either Light or Medium Spray Malt.
  • Coopers Stout with either Medium or Dark Spray Malt (I’m tempted to split this batch with maybe some Liquorice and Muscovado sugar, maybe even some extra bittering from Target hops, but I might not as its going to taste pretty good without messing with it!).
  • Geordie Lager with Wheat Spray malt and Light Spray Malt with Saaz Hops and Safbrew WB06 Wheat yeast and maybe some Golden Syrup.
  • Thomas Coopers Premium Selection IPA with Light Spray Malt

That little lot should keep me busy and it should also keep me in beer for quite some time (not spending money at the *supermarket!)
*and a seriously smaller amount of recycling as I am re-using bought glass bottles which is much more eco-friendly πŸ™‚

It seems beer bottle crates for Home brewing are like gold dust, rocking horse poo, and sparrows teeth! So I thought I’d draw some plans up with a view to having a go at building some. πŸ™‚

The Shepherd Neame bottles are the biggest diameter ones I have and the Timothy Taylors bottles are the tallest so I’ve designed this crate to accommodate both, using a diameter just 1 mm of space bigger than the larger dia Shepherd Neame bottle but setting the Dividers out so that there is an 81 mm square with 6 mm MDF dividers, if you want a little more room use 4 mm MDF instead. Click here to download the PDF to print out

beerbottlecrates1
Click here to download the PDF to print out
*Disclaimer, I’ve not actually made these yet so please check your bottle sizes, thanks.

Click here for the 9mm MDF, 12 bottle crate

Lookstat have released another feature:

“We just released a new feature that allows you to view thumbnails of all the images that sold over a particular time period, from all the microstock sites we support. You get to the feature by clicking on the β€˜Earnings’ link on the Dashboard above the Top Earners thumbnail strip.

You can filter the list by site and you can click on any image to get that image’s sales history. It’s a simple addictive feature and we hope you enjoy using it. Feedback, as always is welcome.

(Also, we hear you loud and clear re: getting more sites into the system. Fotolia is coming soon!)”

http://blog.lookstat.com/2009/02/05/new-lookstat-feature-view-all-images-that-sold-at-all-microstock-sites-in-one-place/
I’ve merged the first two pages of image thumbs to make the image below, looks pretty cool…

lookstat-new-feature
Click on the pic for a bigger version!

Pretty funky stuff guys, things can only get better with more agencies added πŸ™‚
*note: looking at the thumbnails its pretty easy to see that there are a few image matching problems across the sites*


Fermentation of Coopers Stout!

I toyed with the idea of splitting the batch in two and adding extra stuff to one of them, but I’m lazy so its all in one FV with 1kg DSM, a teaspoon of yeast nutrient and I rehydrated the yeast for a good 20+mins before pitching, did some major aeration of the wort too. Pitched at 26 Deg C and took an OG reading of 1036.
For my first taste of DSM, Yummy stuff… Malted Milk Biscuits Mmmm, even the Coopers concentrated wort tasted pretty good straight out of the can πŸ™‚

Fermentation of Coopers Stout!

Had a little taste, not bad for straight out of the FV… fingers crossed yet again for a few weeks time.

Coopers stout, doing it stuff, Dark spray malt used instead of sugar.
Probably good to leave for 10days in the FV but I’ll probably bottle once its reached a steady FG (will be bottling in plastic).

I made up the bottling stick pipe-tap tubes from (http://www.18000feet.com/how/bottle.htm did it with the drum tap) worked absolutely great.

Rehydrating yeast and pitching feels like ‘lighting the blue touch-paper on a firework’ only to see it go out but you’re never really sure so you stand well back!

5 Days in the FV and its settled down now, and enough clear surface area to plop in the hydrometer which looks to be sating about FG:1010 making for an (ABV): 3.41%. I presume this figure sounds right for 1KG of DSM instead of sugar?

Bottled this evening (Feb 08, 2009), primed the bottling bucket.
Got this lot at about 20 Deg C for the next week πŸ™‚
Conditioning Coopers Stout

Drinking it… its bloody good πŸ™‚ Well worth doing a kit and a great stating point for home brewing πŸ™‚ Coopers stout with 1Kg Dark Spray malt: Bottled Sunday, so only in its third day of bottle conditioning.
Pleasantly surprised with the hiss as the crown cap came off, though it could do with a little more conditioning to increase the carbonation just a tad!
I’m getting Bonfire toffee, liquorice with the liquorice bringing a sweetness across the pallet after swallowing, subtle bitterness.

not at all bad, and it should get better with age, will brew again :)
I might be silly and go for some Muscovado sugar and a few extra hops in the next one ;)

Next its time to compare the original to the home brew!!
original vs home brew

The Original Coopers Stout:
Smells and tastes somewhat like Cough mixture, very dark, not really a burnt taste more of a caramel with slight liquorice.
Its obviously stronger at 6.3% and you can taste the alcohol which might be adding to the cough medicine taste and aroma.
I can’t actually say that I like it… maybe it doesn’t travel well!

The Home brew Coopers Stout:
Simple, smooth, nothing harsh, easy drinking… nothing like the Original stuff.
What a shame the original isn’t as pleasant as the Home Brew!

Conclusion:
I’m going to tip the Original as it reminds me of a nasty 10.2% Chilli beer I tried the other week at the Bradford Beer fest, that was worse… I’ll stick to Cough medicine when I have a cold! Unimpressed. I prefer looking at the photograph to drinking the beer.

I’d love to hear someone else do a comparison, give it an alternative perspective.

January’s been pretty good, a couple of nice surprises in the form of a $100 referral and $25 Extended license at Dreamstime, and January as a whole feels to have been a busy sales month.
CanStockPhoto has had some Fotosearch sales, one nice ‘Fotosearch regular sale’ brought in $19.80 and a trickle of subs sales from Fotosearch… looking more promising that CSP has for ages! (ever before!)

I’ve actually managed some uploading, and I’m still at it, I’m going to have to do some overnight (un-metered) uploading or I’m going to bust out of my ISP’s 15Gig/month limit an I’ll start getting charged more (Β£1/Gigabyte).
Considering that I’ve got myself a new project, of Beer brewing, I’ve done quite well with the keywording and editing this month, I have a batch of 103 waiting to go up to a couple more of the sites and lots of already approved images at Stockxpert though iStock have rejected quite a few of the first 20. Also I have another batch of 28 which is edited, keyworded and ready to go, iStock is going to take a while at 20/week in the queue and I notice that Dreamstime has set a 25/day limit on adding to the inspection queue too.

I’ve stopped uploading to Mostphotos and YaY Micro for the moment as its going to be counter-productive if nothing actually sells there!

Here’s the Lookstat graph:
jan2009-lookstats
Lookstat’s new feature is pretty cool, its an image specific stats function that lets you drill down through an individual file and check out its sales over time. Obviously this is only across iStock, Shutterstock and Dreamstime at the moment but from what I read over at their blog we’ll soon have Fotolia too… Quite an exciting prospect being able to cross-reference the sales of a particular file on all these sites and see their true full earnings, fingers crossed for Stockxpert next πŸ˜‰

All-time earnings averages pie chart:
all-time-averages-a-month
The Leader board looks like this:

  1. iStockphoto
  2. Shutterstock
  3. Dreamstime
  4. Fotolia
  5. StockXpert
  6. 123RF
  7. BigStockPhoto
  8. CanStockPhoto
  9. Crestock

Dreamstime just edging ahead of Fotolia, which is probably due to good referrals and an Extended License sale at Dreamstime and the exact opposite at Fotolia.

All in all I have cashed-out $483.30 in January, which is above my current average of $401.65, not a bad first month to say we are in this (bogus) Recession!

We would be creeping out of recession if people would just start to spend again, so come on folks go buy the thing you were thinking of buying but just holding off to wait and see what the financial climate does. Spend wisely and save, but remember to spend, pay off those debts too!
Though I do like the USD-GPB exchange rate at present, watching the exchange rates can net you a few extra monetary units in PayPal with a bit of balance swapping or cashing out πŸ˜‰


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