Monday, March 09, 2009

The Wonderful Brew Wizard of Oz

Hmmmm, methinks I just *might* have to explain the title. Just maybe...

See, I've kinda gotten into this whole homebrewing thing (you were right KC, it's addictive, but it's still way cheaper than buying beer down here). Hence, the "Brew Wizard" part of the title.

So far all the brews have been not only "palatable", but everyone loves them. Not that I am a brewing wizard yet, but if I follow the instructions it turns out damned good.

I'm very pleased with the Cooper's range, and I've just put in a batch of Cascade's Golden Harvest. Should be ready to bottle at the end of this week.

But what about the "Oz" thing? Enquiring minds want to know! There's something you need to know about Aussie's. They like to shorten EVERTHING and give nicknames to EVERYONE.

Anyone down here who's last name is Murphy, will (without fail) be called Spuds. No way around it.

And popular sportsman get nicknames too. And they even answer to the nicknames! Adam Gilchrist is "Gilly". Matthew Hayden is "Haydos". Ricky Ponting is "Punter". Andrew Symonds is "Roy" (long story) or sometimes "Symo". Michael Clarke is "Pup" or "Clarkie". Stuart O'Grady is "Stuey".

Names of things and places get shortened too. Adelaide becomes "Addie". Brisbane is "Brissie".

And the one that'll really surprise you...

Australian Rules Football. Yep, that's the official designation. It's sometimes refered to as "Aussie Rules". But the most popular one is...




Imagine big, huge musclebound blokes sitting around talking about...






Yes, it's called Footy down here.

Imagine you are at a bar down unda. Imagine that a big ole bloke next to you tells the bartender to turn on the "telly" so he can watch "the footy".

There's even a weekly TV show. Highlights, upcoming matches, etc. And it's called (you can probably guess what's coming)...

The Footy Show

I kid you not! Just google it and see what comes up.

Does this have ANYTHING to do with Oz? Yes, I heard you ask that all the way from Western Massatooshits (sp).

Since Aussies shorten pretty much everything, then this'll make perfect sense.

Australia become Aus
Aus sounds like Oz

Hence, if you are an Aussie, then you are from Oz.

See???!!?! Doesn't it make sense?

Think about email. Would a company down here call itself "Australian Email Service"? Hell no! Let's just shorten it to... hmmmmm... how about "Aussie Email"? Nope, still to long. "Ausemail"? Nah, that looks bloody well awful, mate! What about "Ozemail"?


Yes, there is an email provider down here called Ozemail. I'm not kidding.

If any of the above seems to give the impression that I don't like the truncations and nicknames, then let me say right now that nothing could be further from the truth! I love it! Just had to get used to it...

Afternoon becomes Arvo, btw.

Alrighty then! On with the Aussie bird pics for the day, and then we'll do some more homebrewing!

Let's play a game of "Count the Rainbow Lorikeets"!

How many can you see in this first pic?
two lorikeets

Well, that one may have been too easy for some of you, so how's abouts this one:
lotsa lorikeets

And now for a harder one:
how many lorikeets

For the third pic I'll give you a hint: It's one less than the second pic. Go ahead, try to find them all!

On to the finalisation of the primary fermenter for your home brew!

As I left you five days ago (sorry!) we had just finished "yeasting" the wort. Now it's time to put a lid on that tank.
the lid
Be very careful not to cross thread cuz you want a tight seal.

Now, this is an airlock. A very simple device with no moving parts that keeps the ucky, gucky, contaminated air (the stuff we breathe) from getting to the wort and infecting it, while still allowing the carbon dioxide out of the tank. I imagine this type of device has been in use for millenia.
plastic airlock
That's boiled, cooled water in it, btw.

This blog will now become dirty and kinky for a bit.

You now get to shove the stiff, plastic base of the airlock into the o-ring grommet on the lid of the fermenter. Naturally, the thick, plastic shaft on the bottom of the airlock looks waaaaaaay too big for the tiny o-ring it's supposed to be jammed into.
insert airlock01

Unfortunately for the tiny, flexible, o-ring you are not allowed to use any lubricant on the plastic shaft of the airlock. So you have to be very careful and go very slowly as the plastic shaft penetrates the o-ring opening. I've found a slow "up and down" motion works well and doesn't blow out the o-ring.
insert airlock02

Once the shaft of the airlock is fully inserted into the unlubbed o-ring, it should look something like this:
airlock fully inserted

Ok, I'm now done being disgusting. Yeah... RIGHT!

Anyways, you now want to take a couple of readings and write them down. You want to monitor the temperature of the fermenter, and you want to monitor the specific gravity as the wort ferments.

First, there's a temp strip on the outside of the tank:
temperature reading

And then you want to take an SG reading. First, fill your tube with a bit of wort:
first SG filling

Then insert your hydrometer into the tube and take a reading:
first SG reading

And make sure you don't drip wort onto the shag carpet. Not that I'd ever do anything like that, of course.

Here's a couple of teasers for upcoming posts:

1) The cat was apprenticed with the Vendol.

2) Red hot naked pink ladies from Oz.

So, which one would you like first?


Loveanewidea said...

Well, butter mah butt, an' call me a biskit! I didn't realize all of this about Aussies and their word truncation...NOW I get the Oz thing, which I see refered to often on other Australian blogs and Twitterers.

PS..."When you say football, do you mean "real" football or soccer?", she asked innocently.

And, thanks for the very detailed info on brewing...we're all getting educated while you do all the work! Ah, life is good.

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

Glad I could edjumacate you about Oz, no worries mate.

Regarding brewing, yes I do all the work, AND I get to drink the beer :)

Regarding Footy... Hmmmmm, guess this means I need to post something about footy, eh?

Fizzgig said... do you come up with spuds as a nickname for murphy? cus its irish and the potatos?

that looks like a helllllllovalotta work for some beer. Its a wonder they dont charge more for it. I wish i had the patience for such things!

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

Fizzgig: Yup, you's right. Murphy is an Irish name, and Irish are renowned for growing potatoes. Spud is short for potato, so any person with a last name Murphy is nicknamed Spud or Spuds.

Regarding beer making. It's actually very easy. Saturday morning is when I load up the primary fermenter. The whole job (including disinfecting) takes about an hour. Bottling (usually Thursday depending on the SG) takes about 30 minutes. Each mornings SG reading takes maybe 30 seconds. Soooooo, an hour and a half on my part and the yeast does the rest! I've got it down to about Aussie 23 cents per beer --that's USD 15 cents for a 12 ounce beer :)