Archive for May, 2010


Posted in Edibles on May 26, 2010 by jkiparsky

Online brewing notes, number 2

Started a batch of actual beer the other day. Since I can’t find my recipe book (it’s around somewhere, but I haven’t looked at it since Portland) I went to the Steinbart’s site, and sure enough their recipes are there, how clever.

So this is basically their “NW-style IPA”. Screwups are mine, not theirs. Will post the link to the recipe. Here it is:

I started this on March 22, which means it’s had two months in the fermenter. I racked it at about two weeks, and it hasn’t flocculated a lot since – very little yeasty sediment.
From the initial tasting, it seems like an excellent brew. Warm and uncarbonated, it still had a clean flavor, sweet but no syrupy mouth feel. Quite strong hop presence (look at the recipe, you’ll see why!). Don’t bump up the hops on this one, whatever you do.
I’ll be cracking into it in a week or so, will update then.

Well, I’ve been drinking this for the last few nights. Came out very nice. Still very clean, nothing cloying in the mouth feel. Not a lot of body, but enough that you know you’re drinking a beer. Hop bite has mellowed a little, but some people will probably find it too strong still. Not a very distinctive flavor, but a nice cold beer for drinking.

The Holy War

Posted in Idiosyncracies on May 22, 2010 by jkiparsky

So far, I’ve always been a vi guy. vi makes sense to me – the command set is a little wonky, since it’s actually a visual editor layered on top of a line editor, but that’s okay. Once you get past the insert/command mode scheme (and in modern implementations, that’s really all there is) it’s pretty much smooth sailing, and you can do a lot with a minimal command set. After a while, you wish for some feature, but you go ahead and do it the hard way, because you’re in a hurry. And then you do it the hard way a few more times because it’s a habit, and then you finally look up that command, and then everything goes a little quicker. It all works.
So why do I want to learn emacs? I can give all of the reasons to stay away from emacs – it’s ungainly, overloaded with stuff, every time I look at it funny it tries to do something helpful and I have to figure out how to get away from whatever feature it’s throwing at me. It’s basically the annoying Microsoft Paperclip, without the animation. With all of those features, nothing can be done easily. In vi, everything is one keystroke away, maybe two. In emacs, I have to know the ridiculous extended command name, plus all of the other command names in that command’s namespace, so I can type the appropriate number of strokes before hitting tab to “autocomplete” the command that SHOULD HAVE BEEN TWO STROKES IN THE FIRST PLACE.
But I promised myself i’d give emacs a fair go before I gave up on it entirely, so I’m doing that this summer. So far, it seems like it’s basically a lot of features that I don’t want, wrapped around a few features that I do want, that vi already has. But maybe I’ll find something useful in it.
The one feature I’m looking for, though, is hard to find. I’m not looking for syntax highlighting, or built in games, or the ability to launch a barrage of thermonuclear missiles if you accidentally hit the wrong control-key sequence. I’m looking for a word processor. If there’s a version of emacs that does that well, point me to it.