The new Temperature Conversion Calculator has been released. This calculator performs temperature conversions between Fahrenheit, Celsius, Kelvin, and Rankine (a fairly rarely used scale that uses Fahrenheit degrees, but equals 0 at absolute zero like Kelvin (I am a big fan of absolute zero)).
This is the second calculator brought to you by the Nutty Brewer. Stay tuned for the latest updates to the Calculators as more will be coming soon.
Now I know that most of you have a set of towels that you keep handy for Brew Day. You almost have to. Between boilovers, leaky sample jars, overfilled bottles, and spilled beers, a good table Zamboni is about the most important tool in your collection. As with so much of my equipment, I prefer to have a dedicated set just for brewing. That way I have full control over how they are treated, including selecting, cleaning, and stashing in convenient locations so there is always one close by when a spill occurs.
Over the years, I have built up an assortment of odd towels from a variety of sources. Check them out! As you can see, I prefer hand towels. Hopefully it doesn’t get to the point where you need a beach towel (what a mess!), and you can keep a small one in your pocket at all times for all sorts of minor things.
I am a huge fan of the Colorado Mammoth, and you can see that I have picked up some towels from going to the games. As a season ticket holder, I get out there a lot, so these towels end up being the backbone of my towel fleet.
I also like to keep around any towels I pick up from my other local sports teams. In this case, the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Rockies have made runs into the playoffs in recent years. The Nuggets towel I picked up at a home playoff game. As it happens, Rockies towels were much harder to come by, and that one was given to me by a friend who was lucky enough to get a ticket.
Ahh, the Green Bay Packers. I am not a huge football fan, but I am not afraid to catch a game once in awhile. On a business trip to Chicago a year or so ago, I had the opportunity to move my flight to the Saturday before my meeting started. Of course, I took advantage of this and drove the rental car up to the Holiest Patch Of Grass On Earth, Lambeau Field. While I ended up there during breast cancer awareness month, which is why the towel is pink, instead of yellow, it’s still a pretty cool item to have around. I rather enjoy having it in the collection.
And finally, the flagship of the fleet. The Sierra Nevada Brewery towel. I picked this one up at, of all places, the Bonaroo music festival. I attended in 2011 to do a presentation at the “Broo’ers” Festival (read “Brewer’s” Festival) where I gave a talk about beer styles, process, and homebrewing. It was the first time I had done a beer talk on that scale, and turned out to be a fun experience, even though we were overrun by a bunch of Rooers who had been in the 100 degree heat for too long and just wanted some free beer. After the talk, the rep from Sierra Nevada gave me the towel.
Next time you brew, have some towels around. But even if you make a mess and don’t have a towel around to clean it up, the Nutty Brewer will never say “I told you so.”
Normally I try not to be the sucker for the clearance item, but I was over at the hombebrew store a couple of months ago and I couldn’t help but notice that the Twisted Mist Margarita Lime was on sale for half off. By the time any fermentable gets to the point that it’s cheaper than ingredients for a batch of homebrew and as easy and delicious as most of the Wine Expert kits, I’m in.
I bought the kit, and brewing the Twisted Mist is actually well documented by Mim over at It’s New and Different. Well, several weeks of fermentation and clarification later and, voila, it’s time to take what had appeared to be an ordinary wine kit and give it a tasty margarita zing before storing it in the bottles that will probably end up going to everyone on my Christmas list.
A quick gravity check showed that the final gravity on this brew was 0.994, a decent bit less dense than water, even. This was quite a bit lower than last time, so I went over to the Alcohol By Volume Calculator to check. The Twisted Mist finished at just over 14% ABV. Wow. And with well over 6 gallons in the batch, I am looking forward to sharing with all my friends.
The fun part was adding the flavoring, a gooey, syrupy, blend of what appeared to be invert sugar and margarita flavor that was thicker than cold molasses. After getting both of the “F-packs” in the carboy, it becomes a simple matter of stirring and bottling. Initial tastings have been great, sweet and yet simple, an awful lot like a wine powered margarita. We’ll really know the answer once I can confirm whether or not the advice of the guy at the brew store was right. He told me “Fill the bottles a little low; then you can stick them in the freezer and pour a slushy drink right out of the bottle into the glass.”
That all sounds tasty to the Nutty Brewer. I hope you have some delicious mystery beverages for your friends during the holiday season as well.
One of the things I have been wanting to do with this blog is to put some handy calculators up to allow me to do whatever calculations I have a need for. I am proud to announce the release of the first Nutty Brewer calculator, the Alcohol By Volume Calculator. Simply enter your initial and final gravity, and voila, there is the measure of your alcohol content. Don’t worry, there are more to come soon!