Sunday, April 29, 2012

Star Trek: The Next Generation I

Little and I have just finished (re)-watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, except for Nemesis and a couple episodes I just could not bring myself to rewatch (Shades of Grey, Aquiel). It was a fairly long process, spanning a couple months (I think?), unlike things like Buffy, where we just chewed through them. Both Little and I got distracted from finishing, moving between series (the most recent being Little's obsession with Korean Dramas). But, after watching All Good Things on Thursday and Generations/First Contact/Insurrection yesterday, we made a final push.

Some brief thoughts:
Generations was a lot better than I remembered it. Not nearly as good as First Contact, granted, but probably the best of the 'odd' movies. The weakest part of the story was the attempt to unite the two crews, but I guess that had to be done. Picard was exceptional, though I wish he and Guinan had advanced their relationship a bit more. She, as is often the case, was just the mysterious guru used to advance the plot. Her escape from the Borg was an interesting aspect of her character, but we didn't get to feel any of those implications. Data was a little too much of a sideshow, and they didn't really follow up on the implications for Geordi and his relationship after Data fails to save him.

The weakness of relationship development runs through the movies, I think. The characters who are defined primarily by their relationships to the major characters - especially Beverly, but also Geordi - become non-entities. Movies also seem to be weaker for advancing interpersonal relationships, which is probably the reason I prefer TV to movies. The exception is Deanna and Riker starting in Insurrection - that was good fun.

Perhaps more later.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Adam Smith II and III

A while back I brewed a beer, all grain, that I dubbed "Adam Smith." Unfortunately, I did not keep track of the ingredients I used or the process I used, so I am unable to perfectly recreate it. I have been able to piece together a vague understanding of it, so today Anna and I are going to attempt to brew a beer that, while not quite Adam Smith, will come somewhere close to it.

This attempt will be hampered by two facts: 1) My left over yeast from the Adam Smith has spoiled and 2) I ordered the ingredients a while back. One of the sets of grain is not even cracked, so we will have to make do with the food processor.

Adam Smith II - The Invisible Hand.
All Grain
Yeast - ? The one that smelled best from the fridge.
3 Gallons
6 lbs Gambrinus ESB Pale (base malt, crushed, a little old)
.5 lbs Belgian Aromatic Malt
.25 lbs Briess Carapils
1 oz New Zealand Motueka (.25 First Wort, .5 60min, .25 15 min)
2 oz UK First Gold (.50 First Wort, .50 5 min, 1 oz dry hop)

Stats from iBrewMaster:
Predicted O.G. 1.050 F.G. 1.015 ABV: 4.59%, 52 IBU
Actual O.G. 1.053.

Mashed at ~151-153F for 60 minutes. Added the First Wort hop additions around 50 minutes into it. Had a second pot of water boiling alongside. I left the stove on low, and that kept the temperature about stable.

Adam Smith III
All Grain
Yeast - Safbrew S-33 Dry Ale Yeast
3 Gallons
6 lbs British Golden Promise
.5 lbs Belgian Aromatic Malt
.25 lbs Breiss Carapils
1 oz UK WGV (.5 60 Min, .5 15 min)
2 oz UK First Gold (.5 FWH, .5 5 min, 1 oz dry)

This one got a little too cool once I added the grain - about 145 degrees. Slowly brought the temperature up to ~153, added the First Gold.

Okay, so Adam Smith II has so far done fairly well - the Adam Smith III is showing some problems. The F.G is around 1.023, and the O.G. was much lower than 1.050, so this is going to be a mild brew. In addition, I aerated it while transferring into the secondary, since I thought it was a stuck fermentation. Well, it wasn't, so I just aerated a finished beer. Bad news. I'm going to do 1/4 cup sugar for the ASII, and 1/3 for the ASIII, in case I took too much CO2 out while aerating it. This could be bad news.