Simple homebrew beer recipe

Preparation time 20-30 minutes

Brewing time 2 weeks+

Equipment:

  1. 3 Liter mason jar with a tight screw lid/plug
  2. A blow off tube (1m) or airlock
  3. A grommet gasket or plug with 7-8mm inner diameter
  4. A steel pot (at least 5 liters)
  5. A hydrometer (optional)
  6. Swing top glass bottle (6 x 500ml or 3 X 1L)
  7. Food grade siphon tube (1.5m)

Consumables:

  1. Malt extract: 450gm
  2. Purified water (RO or bottled) 3 liters
  3. Brewing Yeast: 1 tea spoon
  4. Hops to taste (7gm to 28 gm)
  5. 1kg ice (from boiled water)
  6. Gelatin
  7. Sulfur less sugar 6 teaspoon (or brown sugar)
  8. Iodine solution 5% (1 teaspoon)
  9. Arishtam Vedic spice pack (7gm or as per taste)

 

Steps 1: Prepare wort

  1. Near Boil at least 2 kg of water
  2. Add malt extract: stir it to prevent it from sticking to the bottom and caramelizing
  3. After 15 minutes of continuous boiling
  4. Take a few drop of this wort and test it with iodine solution. If it turns purple then you have unmalted starch residue and 15 more minutes of flame is needed.
  5. Add hops: Continue boiling for additional 5 minutes (more if you want bitter taste)
  6. Take the vessel out of flame and plunge it in ice bath.
  7. Chill till room temperature is achieved and then filter to make your wort.

Step 2: sanitize

  1. Use diluted iodine solution to wash & soak all equipement and surfaces (atleast 5 minutes of soaking of the mason jar)
  2. Rinse it with sterilized water to remove any residual taste/color of the disinfectant.
  3. You might have to use a hot nail to puncture the lid of the mason jar to insert the grommet gasket & airlock/blowoff tube.

Step 3: kickstarting fermentation

  1. Pour wort in the mason jar, take the hydrometer reading
  2. Oxygenate (use a hand blender or manually shake vigorously)
  3. Add yeast: After ½ and hour you will see bubbles forming in the wort (if not then add some more yeast and wait)
  4. Seal the lid and attach the blowoff tube/airlock
  5. Store it away from sunlight in a cool dark place and check periodically over next 7 days.

Step 4: bottling

  1. Wait till bubbling has stopped completely (usually 7-10 days depending on ambient temperature) also a thick layer of yeast has settled at the bottom
  2. Taste & take the hydrometer reading to check for any unfermented sugar (sweetness)
  3. (optional) Chill or Refrigerate your mason jar to near freezing temperature. Add some dissolved gelatin to further clarify your
  4. Sanitize the swing top glass bottles & rinse off the disinfectant.
  5. Use a siphon tube to pour your beer into the Bottle & add 1-2 teaspoon of sugar for natural carbonation
  6. Seal the cork tight and store the bottles in a cool dark place for natural carbonation
  7. Serve chilled in a glass mug. (Homebrew is never drunk from the bottle directly because of the yeast deposit at the bottom)

You can visit https://www.facebook.com/arishtam/ for any help & supplies for your homebrew. Also they conduct classes every 4th Saturday of the month to help amateurs.

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Sharbati Wheat Malt

Commercial Wheat malt is often made from cracked HRSW Hard Red Spring Wheat which is another way of saying wheat fit for lifestock consumption. Indian Whiskey is often made from molasses. Hence a homebrewer seeking quality often has to rely on making their own malt. Here is a step by step guide:
Step 1: Immerse the wheat in a water bath. Any pest, infected wheat should float and should be removed.

Step 2: Overnight soaking in a strainer. The volume of wheat should also grow by 50% in the process. If you can crush the grain between your fingers then the wheat is adequately soaked.

Step 3: Put your soaked wheat in the sprouting basket. An ideal sprouting tray would have a lid to keep mold and pest away, perforated base to drain excess water and ensure a healthy air supply. To get the optimal yield you need to ensure uniform sprouting, which means in spite of bulk quantity, all grains should get uniform temperature, air and light. Try tasting the wheat, it should be soft and sweet.

Step 4: Wait till the spouts are there. You know the sprouting is complete when two germs are visible and the length of the longer germ is equal to 1/2 of the grain length (as seen in photo). Waiting too long will lead to loss in malt weight as the sprout will start feeding over the starch. Waiting too little will lead to incomplete enzyme action.

Step 5: Stopping the germination. You could do it by drying it strong sunlight, freezing the malt which leads to bursting of cells and releasing the sugars and enzyme for good action. Industrial batches can be lightly roasted to achieve the same.

Step 6: Crush the dried grain between the fingers to remove the sprouts. It contains no ferment-able sugar and most of the protein. hence removing this will greatly improve your wort efficiency.


Step 7: Say hello to grunt work. 2 Hours of roasting with enough churning to ensure uniform caramalization of sugars. If the wheat starts making cracking noise, add a little water to ensure darker caramels without risking burnt grain. I typically watch a nice bollywood movie alongside this process.


Step 8: Break your malt into three lots.
a) lightly roasted cracked wheat malt which is ideal for light beers. It also makes an excellent porridge which is healthier than the market Daliya/broken wheat.

b) Medium roasted malt great for most recipes.

c) Dark caramelized wheat malt for stout beer.

Step 9: Aerate: Apart from the malty flavor this grain will have a lot of foul smells and storing it in paper bag for 2 weeks helps reduce the unwanted odor and retain the pureness of nature.

Step 10: Crush (not grind) in a pestle mortar. Essentially reduce the size allowing efficient sugar dissolving

Step 11: When you boil it into a wort use a few drops in a refractrometer to guage when to stop. A hydrometer is cheaper but you need to cool 50ml every time you take a reading.
Happy homebrewing.

If you want to outsource all this trouble, then you can buy home made malt at Arishtam

Classic Insults

A UK member of Parliament to Disraeli: “Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.”

“That depends, Sir,” said Disraeli, “whether I embrace your policies or your mistress.”

 

“He had delusions of adequacy.” – Walter Kerr

 

“He is a self-made man and worships his creator.” – John Bright.

 

“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” – Winston Churchill

 

“He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends..” – Oscar Wilde.

 

“I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend, if you have one.” – George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill.

“Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second … if there is one.” – Winston Churchill, in response.

 

“I feel so miserable without you; it’s almost like having you here.” -Stephen Bishop.

 

“I’ve just learned about his illness. Let’s hope it’s nothing trivial.” – Irvin S. Cobb.

 

“He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others.” – Samuel Johnson.

 

“He loves nature in spite of what it did to him.” – Forrest Tucker.

 

“Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?” – Mark Twain.

 

“His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork..” – Mae West.

 

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.” – Oscar Wilde.

 

I am not saying I hate you, but you are literally the Monday of my life

 

I am really sorry if I hurt your feelings by calling you stupid. I really thought you already knew that.

I was hoping for a battle of wits, but you are apparently unarmed.

  • You are the kind of guy to take to the cinema when I want to watch the movie.
  • Philip of Macedon-If I win this war, you’ll be slaves forever. Sparta- “If!”
  • Mark Twain-Politicians and diapers must be changed often and for the same reason
  • A conversation between a drunk man and  the American poet, Dorothy Parker: Drunk man-I can’t bear fools. Parker- Apparently your mother could.

pros and cons of 2-row & 6-row barley:

During my homebrew experiments, I was faced with the epic question of using Indian Barley or imported barley. Using 6 row barley malt or 2 row malt etc. Here is some literature that I could dig out on the same topic.

Six-Row Pros:

  • It has more protein, less starch, and a thicker husk than two-row.
  • Six-row is less expensive per pound, and allows further cost cutting through the higher use of inexpensive adjuncts to offset the high protein levels.
  • Six row is locally available, which means lesser logistic hassle and uncertainity.
  • Higher protein levels may help speed conversion to fermentable sugars. This is important to homebrewers using high mash-in temps; more conversion would take place than otherwise.
  • Six-row has higher enzyme content for converting starch into fermentable sugars. More enzymes means it can convert adjunct starches (which lack or are deficient in enzymes) during mashing. Offset this with more (less expensive) adjunct grain use, and you know why so many large breweries use six-row.
  • Supplementing two-row malt with some six-row malt might increase extraction, conversion time, and fermentability, particularly if you have a high percentage of adjuncts.
  • Six-row yields more per acre, the true reason for its affordability.
  • Those thicker husks improve the filter bed for lautering.

Six-Row Cons:

Enzyme and protein levels are high enough that a brewer probably doesn’t want to use six-row barley exclusively in a recipe. (Adjunct grains are cheaper.) Unmalted cereals (corn and rice) are often mixed in with malt to compensate for the higher protein levels in six-row barley—up to 40 percent of six-row grist can be adjunct. New malt strains mean adding adjuncts is no longer necessary, but it’s economical and, in the case of some large breweries’ beers, traditional.

  • Six row is more susceptible to the formation of dimethyl sulfide, a process begun through protein breakdown in malting. Some DMS is acceptable in some beer styles, but too much may contribute to a cooked or sweet corn flavor.
  • Higher protein content can result in more break material during wort boiling and cooling, which can cause protein haze. Pay attention to this extra hot break for coagulation and removal.
  • Six-row husks are high in polyphenols (tannins), which can contribute to protein-polyphenol haze, and can impart an astringent taste.
  • Higher protein content often indicates less starch for conversion in malting. Six-row malting barley contains from 12-13.5 percent protein, whereas two-row has 11-13 percent. Malting doesn’t change the protein levels much.
  • High protein levels can lengthen steeping time in the malting process, which causes erratic germination, particularly if low- and high-protein barleys are mixed to meet protein limits for malt. (And I was worried about controlling what went into my malt extract…)
  • High proteins can lead to other beer quality issues like color control.
  • Syrup adjuncts and six-row: Syrups are prepared by enzymatically hydrolyzing corn starch into fermentable sugars. It’s added to wort in fermentable form, which can take the wort over acceptable enzyme and soluble protein levels if you’re using six-row barley cultivars.

Two-Row Pros:

  • Greater drought tolerance
  • You can make more beer from two-row than from six-row malt; its lower enzyme content, lower protein, greater starch content, and thinner husk make it better suited to higher extract. This is less obvious at the homebrew scale and more a concern for large breweries.
  • Arguably gives beer a mellower flavor than six-row.

Two-Row Cons:

  • The lower diastatic (enzymatic) power of two-row becomes an issue when a large proportion of unmalted adjunct grain is used.
  • Two-row tends to be more expensive per pound.
  • Big breweries generally use far more adjunct grain than they strictly need; large amounts of adjuncts tend to have little body and less maltiness.

Economical punching bag installation: piñata style for amateurs

This post is meant for amateurs only who are operating at a shoe string budget and constraints on space.

 

Why you need a punching bag?

After a stressful day at work, who does not like a piñata to beat the crap out of. Want to clear your mind: just stick the picture of your least favorite person on a bag. This is what prompted me to install a punching bag at home and I soon realized that it’s actually a good cardio exercise and a compact practical tool as well. Cycling, treadmill and most cardio exercising machines focus on mainly leg muscles but this bag gives much needed toning to the upper torso. Also a few lessons on self-defense are like swimming, you never know when you need them but can be lifesaving when you actually use them. MMA Pads occupy the least space, if you are unsure of your fitness goals. However, you would need one dedicated person to hold the pad and coach you for the pads to be of any use. Hence a suspended bag is preferred.

 

Let’s talk business: Why you need a punching bag, How to fill your bag, how to install it, and what protective gear to use.

How to fill your bag?

The most expensive punching bags have 5 layers of concentric cylinders. The outer most will be leather (vinyl or canvas if you opt for a cheaper version) then gel/fluid to prevent knuckle bruising, followed by a layer of dense scrap fiber or high density foam/mattress filling. In the core there will be high mass sand column encased in a PVC/cardboard tube (5th and 4th layer respectively). If you are at an amateur level, most likely you will buy an empty sac and fill it yourself. Here are a few tips:

  1. Inspect the seams and buckles of the bag carefully for any damage.
  2. Make sure that the outer bag is not of cheap vinyl. It can withstand at least 6 months of brutal assault by your fists and feet.
  3. Buy a roll of duct tape and reinforce the seams from inside. This will lengthen the life and prevent dust/fiber bits spraying after repeated blows. Also patchwork from inside is much more elegant than any repair you will do from outside.
  4. Avoid sand. The inner material will invariably leak and sand only makes a mess. If you are looking for a really heavy bag, go for rice/grain instead. They are homogenous enough to pack tightly, and large enough to absorb blow, yet not leak from the seams.
  5. Always encase your heavy material inside a bag/cardboard case. Else they will breakdown into powder and settle at the base. Sand/flour settling at the base is an issue because the bag will not be homogenous and also will make you more prone to injuries when you kick the bag. If you can stack it as thin long packets, duct-taped into a tube, it will be the best.
  6. Raid your old garments, old mattress to get the filling that you are looking for. Make sure that it is sundried enough to prevent any mold infestation. You could use paper shreds also to supplement. The ratio of width of inner dense core to softer filling depends on how hard you want to train and your endurance levels. For kick-boxing you could even use low density saw dust which is ideal for beginners.
  7. Remove any plastic, metal esp. buttons from the garments before filling. Try to have uniform packing from all sides and press as much as you can before adding a new layer. Keep in mind the intended heavy bag weight that you want to achieve before you seal the bag.
  8. Take care of the zipper and seams. Try to paste a duct tape on them to prevent them from spraying dirt when you hit them.

 

How to Install:

Most websites will recommend you to install the punching bag through the ceiling. That is great if you have access to a shed where there is a beam (timber or steel) to loop through and hoist your bag. If you have a dedicated MMA (mixed martial arts) room, then you could probably remove your ceiling fan and install a punching bag instead. However, most condo/apartment dwellers don’t have such a luxury.

Also most ceiling fan hooks are 10 feet high making the boxer to invest in an expensive long chain (default ones are usually only 1 feet long and ropes are susceptible to breakage) You could buy a boxing stand and attach it to the wall, but that is expensive and is going to be a permanent fixture.

What I did was install a simple door frame pull up bar on my door. (you could use it for pull ups and exercise as well) and install the punching bag on it. It has a few advantages:

  1. The bag will be low enough to allow you to kick without the extra expense of an extension chain.
  2. You can easily remove the bar and the bag without leaving any tell tale signs of being a fitness freak.
  3. You can install it yourself without need of any drilling machine and tools.
  4. Make sure that there is enough space below your bed/behind it to stash away the bag & bar when not using it.
  5. Also the bag swings a bit more than the ceiling mount, but a bit of rope can arrest this movement.
  6. When you want to do “round horse kick,” move the bag to one side of the door frame. During punches/jumping kicks move the bag to the center.
  7. Kick-Boxing is an intensive sport that allows you to tire every muscle really rapidly. Be mindful of the door frame when you exercise. Kicking/punching wood accidently could seriously harm you.

Protective gear:

Luckily most boxing/mma gear is useful only when you go for actual combats or learn defense. Punching bag can only teach you offense and right padding on wrist is usually enough. Go for wraps (atleast 2m long and not more than 5cm wide) and boxing gloves with good amount of padding. Wraps tightens the small delicate bones in your hand to prevent carpal/arthritis/bone shards in the future. The cushion of the gloves prevent knuckle bruising and wrist damage due to impact. So one cannot compensate for the other.

Best of luck for your training and post pictures if you find the tips useful.

Yashwant sinha speaks out

At first glance I dismissed his rants as a burned out veteran trying to come back to the spotlight even if it means jeopardizing the son’s career. However on second read, some of the points he raised makes sense:
1 What is the picture of the Indian economy today? Private investment has shrunk as never before in two decades, industrial production has all but collapsed, agriculture is in distress, construction industry, a big employer of the work force, is in the doldrums, the rest of the service sector is also in the slow lane, exports have dwindled, sector after sector of the economy is in distress
2 Demonetisation has proved to be an unmitigated economic disaster.
3. A badly conceived and poorly implemented GST has played havoc with businesses and sunk many of them and countless millions have lost their jobs with hardly any new opportunities coming the way of the new entrants to the labour market.
4 For quarter after quarter, the growth rate of the economy has been declining until it reached the low of 5.7 per cent in the first quarter of the current fiscal, the lowest in three years as per the changed methodology in 2015
So, according to the old method of calculation, the growth rate of 5.7 per cent is actually 3.7 per cent or less.
5 Even SBI, the largest public sector bank of the country, has stated with unusual frankness that the slowdown is not transient or “technical”, it is here to stay and the slowdown in demand has only aggravated the situation According to the SBI chairman, the telecom sector is the latest entrant to the long list of stressed sectors.
6. The prime minister is worried. A meeting convened by the prime minister with the finance minister and his officials appears to have been postponed indefinitely. The finance minister has promised a package to revive growth. We are all waiting with bated breath for this package. It has not come so far.
7. The performance of the monsoon this year has not been flattering. This will further intensify rural distress. The farmers have received “massive” loan waivers from some state governments varying from one paise to a few rupees in some cases.
8. Forty leading companies of the country are already facing bankruptcy proceedings. Many more are likely to follow suit.
9. The SME sector is suffering from an unprecedented existential crisis.
10. The input tax credit demand under the GST is a whopping Rs 65,000 crore against a collection of Rs 95,000 crore. The government has asked the income tax department to chase those who have made large claims.
11. Cash flow problems have already arisen for many companies specially in the SME sector. But this is the style of functioning of the finance ministry now.

12 We protested against raid raj when we were in opposition. Today it has become the order of the day. Post demonetisation, the income tax department has been charged with the responsibility of investigating lakhs of cases involving the fate of millions of people. The Enforcement Directorate and the CBI also have their plates full.

13 Instilling fear in the minds of the people is the name of the new game.
14 Economies are destroyed more easily than they are built. It took almost four years of painstaking and hard work in the late nineties and early 2000 to revive a sagging economy we had inherited in 1998. Nobody has a magic wand to revive the economy overnight. Steps taken now will take their own time to produce results.
15, A revival by the time of the next Lok Sabha election appears highly unlikely. A hard landing appears inevitable.
16. Bluff and bluster is fine for the hustings, it evaporates in the face of reality.
now the climax
17. The prime minister claims that he has seen poverty from close quarters. His finance minister is working over-time to make sure that all Indians also see it from equally close quarters.