Honey Bock Results

Since bottling the honey bock last month, I’ve tried a bottle last week and this week. While it is a very nice beer, the honey flavour is not very noticeable. That said, the second bottle I tried had a slightly stronger honey flavour than the first so it might just need to mature for another month or so.

If I was to do this beer again, it would make sense to use a stronger flavoured honey or just use more honey. Then again, perhaps it isn’t worth trying honey flavoured dark beers.

One beer I’d like to make again is Chilli Beer.  I haven’t seen any commercial equivalent to it, and it was great on a hot summer afternoon.  Since there were chilli pieces in the bottles of the last batch, it got hotter as it matured.  It is an interesting experience where taking a sip of the beer cools your moth down, but it starts heating up again once you swallow.

Honey Bock

Yesterday I bottled the honey bock that has been brewing over the last week. This one was made with the following ingredients:

  1. A Black Rock Bock beer kit.
  2. 1kg of honey
  3. 500g of Dextrose
  4. Caster sugar for carbonation

The only difference from the standard procedure was replacing part of the brewing sugar with honey. Before being added, the honey needs to be pasteurised, which involves heating it up to 80°C and keeping it at that temperature for half an hour or so. This kills off any any wild yeasts or other undesirables that might spoil the brew.

I’ve used honey in a few other brews over the years but had not tried it with a dark beer, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out. The previous beers had a stronger honey flavour than commercial beers like Beez Neez, which is probably a good thing for a dark beer.  I guess I’ll find out after it matures for about a month.

Beer Pouring Machine

One of the novelties in the airport lounge at Narita was a beer pouring machine. It manages to consistently pour a good glass of beer every time. You start by placing the glass in the machine:

Beer machine (1)

When you press the start button, it tilts the glass and pours the beer down the side of the glass:

Beer machine (2)

After filling the glass the machine tilts the glass upright again and some extra foam comes out of the second nozzle:

Beer machine (3)

Not only was the machine fun to watch, but the beer was okay too.

Chilli Beer

Got around to tasting the latest batch of home-brew beer recently: a chilli beer. It came out very nicely: very refreshing but with a chilli aftertaste in the back of your throat. You can definitely taste the chilli after drinking a pint :).

I used a beer kit as a base, since I haven’t yet had the patience to do a brew from scratch. The ingredients were:

  1. A Black Rock Mexican Lager beer kit.
  2. 1kg of Coopers brewing sugar.
  3. About 20 red chillis.
  4. Caster sugar for carbonation.

I took half the chillis and cut off the stems and cut them up roughly (in hind sight, it probably would have been enough to cut them lengthwise). I then covered them with a small amount of water in a pot and pasteurised them in the oven at 80°C for about half an hour. The wort was then prepared as normal, but with the pasteurised chillis added before the yeast.

After the fermentation was complete (about a week later), I cut up the remaining chillis (a fair bit smaller this time – they need to easily fit through the neck of a bottle) and pasteurised them the same way as the first batch. This lot was added to the bottles along with the priming sugar.

The beer tasted pretty good 4 weeks after bottling, and it should improve further with time.

17 June 2002


Last week, one of the servers died because one of the
sticks of memory died. After pulling it out, the system
booted fine. It would have been a lot easier to test if I
didn’t have to open it up to plug a floppy drive in. I now
have Memtest86 in
the GRUB
boot menu. Was pretty easy to set up:

cp memtest.bin /boot
grubby --add-kernel="/boot/memtest.bin" --title="Memtest86"

This is the second stick of DDR memory we have had that
died; probably due to overheating. As the server has 5 IDE
ribbon cables, I might look at getting rounded cables which
Jaycar is stocking
these days.


The release candidate for GNOME is out. It is looking
very nice, and will be a great release. Still working
towards a 2.0 release of PyGTK and
gnome-python. I did a bit of work on gnome-vfs bindings
(there are a number of annoying inconsistencies in the API,
but overall it is a nice library), and jrb
has been trying to implement a full widget in python (and
reporting bugs for things that prevent him from doing so).


The honey ale I brewed turned out very nice. The first
bottle I tried (two weeks after bottling) was a bit sour,
but subsequent bottles have improved a lot.

12 May 2002


The Call for Papers is out:


There is also an HTML version on the website, but it
doesn’t quite match the final version of the CFP (yet).


Bottled the honey ale today. It will be interesting to
see how it tastes in a few weeks. The sweetness was gone,
but I could definitely taste the honey still. It should be
very nice.


Put out yet another beta of libglade for the GNOME 2.0
beta 5 release which should be comming out this week. I
should also make new releases of pygtk and gnome-python as
well. I have done a number of improvements to the code
generator, so pygtk is a bit more complete. The last
gnome-python release no longer compiles with the latest
GConf, so it also needs a new release.

5 May 2002

Started another batch of beer yesterday. This time I
mixed in a kilogram of honey (replacing some of the sugar),
so it will be interesting to see how this turns out. The
bubbles coming out of the airlock smell fairly different, so
it will hopefully go okay.

Merged some patches from various people into my jhbuild
build scripts over the weekend. Thanks to jdahlin, it now
has support for getting things from other CVS trees. At the
moment, we have rules for thinice2, gstreamer and mrproject
using this feature.