That’s a BAD TomCat!

So I was screwing around with TomCat, thinking of using it to replace Orion which is the web server I run. I made a symlink to the vonnieda.org web application in TomCat, started up and installed it. I played with it a bit in the manager thing and decided to “remove” it, thinking this would remove the information from TomCat’s configuration about vonnieda.org.

Oh no.

The page was taking much longer to come back than I expected it to so I quickly kill -9ed TomCat. Not before it had deleted most of my web site, including all the photography.

I had a backup of course, but backups are never as good as the original so let me know if you find anything missing.

Not even a warning. Damn.

Easy Hard Cider

I mixed up my first ever batch of hard cider yesterday and tonight (this morning?) it’s bubbling happily away. In case it turns out to be the best thing ever, here is what I did:

– Put 4 gallons no name, supermarket, unpastuerized apple juice into sanitized fermenter.
– Added 4 crushed Campden tablets and covered with saran wrap. Let sit 24 hours.
– Heat about a half gallon tap water, and dissolve 2 lbs white sugar and 2 lbs brown sugar.
– Add Acid Blend, Grape Tannin, Pectic Enzymes and Yeast Energyzer (in approx. amounts specified on packages) to syrup.
– Mix juice and syrup into primary fermenter.
– Pitch Wyeast Labs 3766 Cider and airlock it.

I did all that around 3pm yesterday afternoon. It’s now about 3am, so almost 12 hours and there is good activity in the fermenter.

I bought a 6.5 gallon glass carboy and used that as my primary fermenter for the cider. All my other fermenting has been done in plastic buckets and I wanted to see the process as it happens. Honestly, it’s gross. About 4 hours in, little blobs of yeast were forming all through the wort. When they got big enough the floated to the top and started to form an ugly mess. Now 12 hours later there is a fairly think kreusen (I think?) of yeast on the top of the wort and it looks pretty cool. Kinda creamy with brown splotches.

My goal with this cider was to produce a very sweet, potent cider. After doing some reading it seems that might be hard to do. Most homebrewers end up with very dry ciders. I guess the yeast they normally use (champagne) yeast will ferment every last drop of sugar out. The starting gravity on my finished wort was about 1.075 and most people say that their finishing gravity is 1.000 or under. If that’s what I end up with I should get something along the lines of 10% alcohol, which will definitly meet the potent goal. The sweetness will be a little harder.

Being a novice at this, I have some ideas that are probably terrible. I believe my homebrew store sells an additive that will kill the yeast in the wort. So I could wait till the gravity is about 1.020 and then kill it. I don’t know if that’s feasible. The other thing I was thinking was throwing the whole fermenter in the fridge which should knock the yeast out, let it settle and then siphon to a secondary. That would get a lot of the yeast out and should slow down any additional fermentation.

Who knows? Anyway, I am excited about it. The cider was so easy, and cheap to make I don’t mind experimenting a little bit. Should be a learning experience, and hopefully will give me something good to drink over the winter 🙂

UPS Really Sucks

The last time I received a package via UPS the driver delivered it to the house across the street from me. I found this out because when I checked the tracking information for the package, it said “DELIVERED: PORCH” but when I got to my porch it was not there. I called UPS and they said “It was delivered to XXXX Whatever Lane.”
I explained that that was not my address and I checked my receipt to make sure I had my shipping address right. I did. I asked the UPS rep what they had down for the shipping address and they read my address back to me. So why did the driver deliver it somewhere else, and then record that he delivered it somewhere else without realizing it?

So today I am all excited because I am receiving a package full of yummy electronic components for me to play with tonight. Paid extra for 2 Day Air. Check tracking and it’s “DELIVERED: PORCH”

Uh oh.

I get home and no package. I immediatly run across the street to ask for my package but they are not home, so I call UPS. This time the driver delivered it to the right house number… two streets away. The names of the streets are not even slightly similar. I ask the rep to confirm the shipping address and it’s correct. Once again the driver has delivered the package to the wrong address and recorded his stupidity. I bitch loudly at the UPS rep and he thinks something is fishy too so he sends an urgent message to the local UPS distribution center.

A guy from the distribution center calls me about an hour later and appologizes profusely. He says “I will talk to the driver and find out what is going on.” He says “Maybe he just thought he was on the right street?” and I explain how the driver recorded that he delivered it to the wrong street. I ask him if he still thinks the driver thought he was on the right street and he says no. He’ll check in to it.

So I go to the address of where the package was supposed to be delivered. The package is not on the porch, and they aren’t home so I assume they took it inside. I leave a note on the door for them to call me. Hopefully I will see my stuff sometime this weekend.

Moral of this long winded story? UPS Really Sucks. I don’t know if my driver has a personal grudge against me or what, but 2 packages to the wrong address in two weeks (a 100% ratio!) is pretty bad. What the hell?

Intresitng

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe.

New Beer!

Brewed a new batch of beer tonight; Maggie’s Brown Ale. I tried a few new tricks this time in hopes of having a much clearer final product. Maybe you can tell me if I am in for a disaster.

This particular brew had a bunch of cracked grains in addition to the malts. I used a nylon bag for the grain and then reused it for my hops. I’ve never bagged the hops before, and the bag did get pretty plugged up but the hops aroma was plenty strong. When I was done with the hops I squeezed the water out and ended up with two fistfulls of clay like hops that would have otherwise been in the beer. Good, I hope.

I also let the wort settle for about 30 minutes after the boil, before cooling. Since the hops were already removed there was not much trub, but a decent amount of break still ended up in the fermenter. This will settle out pretty well I think.

Anyway, the beer looked and smelled great so here’s hoping it will taste great as well. I picked up some 1 litre Grolsche style bottles which I am going to use to bottle this batch instead of 12oz bottles. Bottling is the only part of the entire process I don’t like at all, so I think only having to wash, sterilize and fill 16 bottles instead of 54 will make a big difference, plus it’s easier to share! 🙂