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These are amazing

These results are from Xbench, these numbers aside, the response time of the computer is unbelievably better.

Dark and Stormy

This is a Dark and Stormy made with homemade Ginger Beer and dark rum.

I found the recipe from The Paupered Chef and modified just a bit:

These are my steps
  1. Run the ginger through the food processor and put it in a saucepot with the sugar and the lemon juice
  2. Add the boiling water and stir to dissolve the sugar
  3. Throw it in the fridge for about 2 hours, I check it about every 45 minutes until it reaches about 75-80 degrees
  4. Pull it out and pitch (fancy word for put the yeast in the pot) the yeast
  5. I usually leave it over night on the counter, to let the yeast activate and allow the ginger to steep
  6. After the yeast has activated and ginger is sufficiently steeped, scoop out as much ginger as you can and/or use a funnel with a strainer to transfer it into bottles.
  7. Let the sit on the counter for 5 or 6 hours, this allows the beer to carbonate
  8. Throw it in the fridge, when it’s cold it’s ready.

You can add a lime wedge and mix it with dark rum to make a dark and stormy, but I actually just prefer to drink it straight, it’s sweet like soda but has that amazing ginger spice.

Calibrating a BeerBug is not hard.

My initial readout (it should be at right around 1 in water):
initial reading in starsan

first find a tall slender container, a beer thief would be a good choice, but i just broke mine so used a vase.

Take a reading with a hydrometer in plain water

hydrometer reading cal 2

find the Cal 1 screen by pressing the button to the left

cal 1 entry

enter the value from the hydrometer by pressing the button for one second (it will long beep)

now add a couple of cups of sugar to the water and take another reading with the hydrometer and enter the value into Cal 2

cal 2 entry

It’s best to have a sizable difference between the first and second number, i may have gone a bit over board.

I then mixed half of my sugar water with pure water and took readings again to test.


So i’ve been collecting some new brew gear, some of my new toys are:

Last night we (@leftmostcat and i) put together a Coffee Stout entitled “Black Cat Stout.” It called for two packets of yeast, and because I’ve recently decided that I don’t trust my plastic bucket for fermentation i’m doing primary in a 5 gallon carboy.  I should have known that this batch was going to be pretty active and so I’ve had some fun times cleaning up from a blow off. I’m hoping that this batch will be the first home brew to grace the kegerator.

We picked up a really excellently (and locally) made dog house for our dog for Britta. The dog house has 2 rooms, an entry way and an insulated room with a window. The roof in hinged so you can open it up for cleaning and what not. We made this connection on craigslist and i have to say that it’s been one of my best craigslist experiences.  The dog house was built to order, we had input on size and color and we even got some extra paint for touch ups.  We paid less than half what I’ve found similar dog houses I’ve found for sale online.


If you or someone you know are looking for a killer deal on an awesome dog house let me know an I’ll pass on the contact Info, here’s the original craigslist post

A follow up to Setup Oracle/PHP connection on RHEL6

The Code:

if ($c = oci_connect($username, $password, $hostname)) {
echo "Successfully connected to Oracle.\n";
} else {


The Output:
=> 24408
[message] => ORA-24408: could not generate unique server group name
[offset] => 0
[sqltext] =>

The fix:

Downgrade the Oracle Instant Client from 11 to 10.