Bottling / Brewing Day Muse

Well, today is “Bottling Day” when the Mr. Beer gets put into bottles. That is also “Brewing Day” as there’s this nice fermenter with a decent layer of fancy yeast on the bottom (Ale Yeast) and clearly not contaminated as it’s not “gone off”. So I can either toss all that, buy fresh yeast, clean the whole rig and sterilize it, wait for it to dry, etc. etc. OR … I can just dump in fresh Apple Juice. So I just dump in fresh Apple Juice.

Yield was 22 bottles of 16 ounces each. Cost of new juice was abut $10. Figure about $2 / bottle in a store (as they are big 16 oz bottles with fancy bail tops) and that’s about $44. Minus $10 (no caps cost, no yeast cost to speak of) and I’m at $$34 to me of “advantage”, that is worth about $68 of “labor rate” in the market including tax burden. Call it $75 including commute costs and related.

I tend to keep “serial batches” going until I run out of bottles. That’s typically 3 or 4 batches. Then I do the wash. Later I do the new yeast thing in a fresh batch, when I’ve run out of bottled stuff to drink in a month or three… ;-)

So, muse for today?

While bottling, I got to pondering the Amazon Video Icon. I get to stare at this thing on the TV a couple of times a day, so it’s not like I can avoid it. It looks like this:

Amazon TV icon

Amazon TV icon

Now, is it “just me”, or does that not look suggestive of a “Mr Happy” headed for a “Triangle Of Joy”? Hmmm?

And just how does Amazon get away with that?

They also have an animated one that rotates on a ‘vertical shaft axis’ and the, er, “penis” pokes out in the plane of rotation…

Or maybe I’ve sampled too much product today ;-) Y’all can take a vote ;-)

Subscribe to feed


About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in Emergency Preparation and Risks, Human Interest and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Bottling / Brewing Day Muse

  1. p.g.sharrow says:

    I think you have been spending too much time at home alone and are going stir crazy.
    Nice day outside today;-)…pg

  2. E.M.Smith says:


    I’ve been outside already a few times today. Including a run to the store for a lot of apple juice ;-) I’ll be out again in a moment. The dogs see to that.

    Got to spray for some kind of biting “chigger” thing yesterday. They leave little welts on the lower leg and midriff, plus the dogs itch. Seems to have stopped it now. Later today I’ll be chopping down weeds in the other half of the back yard and then spraying it too. I hate chiggers… and mites… and mosquitoes… and…

    I first noticed them when building the fence… They were over in the dry areas mostly.

    Oh, and I’m going to be changing all the tires on the Banana Boat. It has really good tires on it, but it is going off to the mechanic this week for ‘assessment’ that I suspect is going to result in the “Parts Car!” pronouncement. So I’m going to put “standers” on it. Crappy old tires that are good for standing on, but not running much. Just in case it never comes home again. (Wobbly distributor shaft, backfiring caused by that that blew off the exhaust pipe at the end of the headers, 1st gear transfer shaft in the tranny has and odd sound / Bearing?, firewall to passenger compartment has a hole corroded in it thanks to 2 years in Chicago, seats worn to the stuffing showing stage for the driver, leaks in the rear window seals, etc. etc. I’m guessing about $4k and that’s not really worth it…)

    So yeah, plenty of outdoor time…

    Now the “home alone”, you may have something there… Me and 2 dogs is it.

    Even changing tires, there’s not a lot of conversation…

    Speaking of which, it’s time to go do the tire audit.

    And my cup is empty ;-)

  3. p.g.sharrow says:

    Yeah, we have one those old SE gas rigs in our junk pile. Great car until my lady took out a BIG muley at 70 mph, kind of bent the right corner and radiator. Engine rebuilt not long before. Can’t seem to find anyone to haul it away…pg

  4. tom0mason says:

    Ref your comments about Amazon reminds me of what a friend, who is a big tennis fan, and pointed out that this logo —

    surely means d**k-head.

  5. Gary says:

    What about the company name itself? Amazon is close to “amazin’.”

  6. Jeff says:

    @E.M., Your comments about firewalls and car maintenance remind me of the legendary announcer and raconteur Bill King, who worked for the Warriors, Raiders, and A’s (and Giants) since the early 1960s: from :

    Bruce MacGowan of radio station KNBR also gave a moving speech about how he met King through Lon Simmons and even worked as a Raider statistician in the early 1970s. He once asked King for a ride home and noted how beat-up King’s car was. On the drive to Marin County, MacGowan noticed that there was a draft, even though the windows were rolled up. To his dismay, he discovered there was a hole in the floorboard by his feet. MacGowan asked how long King had been driving his car. King replied, “I just got it a week ago. No sense in paying more than $250 for a car.”

    and from

    Varuna is a handsome vessel of Honduras mahogany, teak and white oak. King has nothing but contempt for fiberglass boats, craft he denigrates as “plastic throwaways.” With its good wood, Varuna is more precious to him than even his Russian grammar or breakfast onions, and he lavishes constant attention on her. The boat’s shimmering beauty is in marked contrast to the dilapidated appearance of King’s automobile of the moment.

    He does not accept the popular notion that a car should be washed and serviced from time to time. His life is a mess of contradictions, but never more so than when he and Nancy, both dressed to the nines, pull up in front of the stately San Francisco opera house in a vehicle that could have transported the Joad family West.

    King simply drives his cars until they ignite, explode or quietly succumb to the infirmities of advanced years. He was obliged to flee a 1956 Buick several years ago when it burst into flames with 128,000 miles on the odometer. He had been driving a 1954 Ford for more than a year when a missing tooth in the flywheel led to a dreadful commotion under the hood. The transmission fell out of his 1961 Oldsmobile after 120,000 miles.

    [Scotty] Stirling feels he may-have shamed King into abandoning a 1960 Pontiac last fall when he advised him that without floorboards on the passenger side, riding with him was something of a hazard. King, who apparently had been oblivious to this defect, glanced down in alarm and reluctantly conceded that Stirling might have a point. When he turned the car over to the junkyard it had gone a courageous 135,000 miles.

  7. p.g.sharrow says:

    @jeff; Now that was a man after my own heart! My favorite vehicles were old beater pickups.
    One day while working at the local meat market in my home town, A distrait young man came in, he had backed into the rear of this blue GMC pickup in the parking area. I went out to inspect the damage………………. after a bit I asked him which dent was his…. then smiled 8-) “no sweat man, have a nice day”…pg

  8. E.M.Smith says:


    So, when would you like me to come look at your SE? I can see a potential tow truck in my future ;-)


    Yeah, er, um…. like the Greek Helmets! ;-)


    King is a man after me own heart, surely!

    Drive it ’till it bursts into flames or will cost more to “make go” than a replacement….

    Yet I ride in style in Mercedes ….


    About a decade ago, me and the Banana Boat were in Orlando Florida. It was raining lightly. At a stop, a lady of “40 something” years I’d guess discovered that locking up brakes in the rain did not improve stopping. BANG! she hit the back of the B.B. with some Japanese tin can.

    I got out. The Euro-Style bumper was bent, but nothing else at all was broken.

    I looked at her with my best look of stern consternation and power:

    “Well, Euro bumpers are NOT cheap…. Clearly you didn’t stop in time…. How about this: It’s raining. I hate insurance companies. You go home and we both forget about this? O.K.?”

    The look of astounded relief on her face was exquisite.

    To this day, the Banana Boat has carried a dent in the rear Euro Bumper with pride!

  9. Larry Ledwick says:

    I drove my 1974 Gremlin until one of the rear shocks fell off on the street.

    I do the same thing buy an older car where the owner has repaired a couple things, and given up on it, I get a fully depreciated car, and only have one or two more things to fix before I get another 50k-100k out of it. Insurance is dirt cheap, folks get out of your way if they think you don’t see them because they know you don’t give a crap if you put another ding in it.

    A car is for one function only to reliably get me from point A to point B it is not a fashion statement. The are occasionally a fun toy bought just because you can – that is why I bought my WRX when they first came out here in the states. Old fart with a gray beard driving a car that will go 0-60 mph in under 3.6 seconds is good for a chuckle or two from time to time.

    Unfortunately I had a bit too much fun at 24 psi boost and spun a bearing so I need to put a bigger engine in it and a stronger transmission with better gears. I will get around to that one of these days. I have 6 engine blocks in the garage waiting to be rebuilt so not like I am worried about breaking the engine again if I get too frisky.

  10. Power Grab says:

    I am inspired to share my story of an exciting “dance” my first car and I did on a 2-lane highway when there was just a dusting of snow on the road.

    I left work early to meet my parents at a theater about an hour away to see Hal Holbrook do his “Mark Twain Tonight” act. It was a family favorite. Dad first recorded it off our B&W TV with his first cassette recorder. We all had to stay quiet, of course.

    Anyway, this was our chance to see the show live. And even though it started snowing very lightly when I was about a third of the way to my destination, I was determined to get there, come heck or high snow (or something like that).

    So I was on the edge of a tiny burg between me and my destination. I was sort of “tiptoeing” along, trying not to do anything tricky since I figured the road might be getting slick. As I said, it was a 2-lane highway. There was other traffic on the road. Well, I got too close to the right and my 2 right wheels went down on the shoulder. It wasn’t gravel; it was paved, but it was a bit lower than the regular roadway.

    I thought, “Well, I don’t want to drive all the rest of the way on the shoulder, so I’d better carefully get those 2 right wheels back up on the regular lane.” I tried to give a little correction with the steering wheel, but the car went WHOOSH!, not only back onto the roadway, but over into the other lane. So i’m staring down a school bus, maybe 5 or 6 car lengths away.

    OK. So the road was getting slick. Just as I feared.

    I reminded myself of the steering trick they say you need to use on slick roads when you start to slide, and did another slight steering correction. Then I went WHOOSH! back over to my lane, actually back onto the shoulder.

    Not being willing to drive the rest of the trip on the shoulder, I did the opposite steering correction and, again, the car went WHOOSH!! back over into the “wrong” lane. This time I was staring down a big pickup truck, maybe 3 or 4 car lengths away from me. My first car was one of those Japanese tin cans (a Toyota Corona). I didn’t really want to challenge that big truck in a game of “chicken”.

    So I checked with my feet (“You guys are NOT on the gas or brake, right?” “Right!”) and did the steering correction again.

    This time when I went WHOOSH! back into my lane, I spun a quarter turn and bumped the rear of my car into the guard rail.

    After that impact, it rebounded and spun back around, then finally came to a stop, in my lane, on the shoulder, facing the way I wanted to go.

    I got out and walked around the car, looking for damage. I couldn’t see any. While I was out of the car, a guy in a station wagon stuck his head out the window and yelled, “ARE YOU ALL RIGHT?!?!?”

    I nodded.

    I got back in the car met my parents at the theater. We enjoyed the show. By the end of the show, quite a lot of snow had accumulated. They insisted I follow them home (an hour in the other direction). I didn’t tell them about that experience for many years because my dad was one of those people who teach injured people how to walk again. ;-)

    Oh, the next spring, the first time waxed my car that season, I did find a tiny dent on the body of the car where the (chrome) bumper had impacted it when I hit the guard rail. It wasn’t very bad at all. I bought a can of primer and a can of paint that matched my car and doctored it up. It never gave me any trouble.

  11. Power Grab says:

    @ Larry: We have the same philosophy. :-)

    I bought my current daily driver (a 26yo Buick) about 10? years ago from some friends who were moving and had to scrape up some funds to help buy their house. At first, they asked for $1500. I said I was expecting a signing bonus of about that much (never any royalties, just a signing bonus). Then when we were ready to do the deal, they lowered the price to $1000 so I would have money for insurance. It only has about 156K miles on it. It looks really rough, though. Even so, it has been the one I preferred to take on road trips.

    I explained to my kid not long ago that the reason I don’t get it painted or get the headliner fixed (yeah, it’s one of those) … is the same reason I keep an old hard hat in the back window. It’s so no one will think I’m prosperous enough to support them in the style to which they’d like to become accustomed.

    But I do also sense that folks are happy to give me a wide berth because …well… we’re not proud.

    It runs well. I keep it up mechanically. It likes to cruise on the highway. I usually get around 28-30 on the highway, even though it has 6 cylinders. And I like the way it rides better than the 15yo Honda some relatives gave us. The Honda is prettier, but it has more than 186K miles on it. When they gave it to us, they mentioned that the brakes were rather odd, and if you ran the AC on a hot day while sitting still, it would die and not want to start again for a couple of hours. That is another reason I didn’t take it on road trips. Since then, though, I’ve had the brakes repaired (a pin was stuck), and the dying problem was apparently due to a bad TDC sensor. Since that was replaced, it hasn’t died again.

    It sure is nice having cars that require cheaper insurance and tags! I’m sure Dave Ramsey would be proud of us!

    Oh, and I can get ethanol-free gas here at many stations, so I don’t have to sacrifice MPGs or know that my 26yo engine’s days are numbered because the seals(?) are being eaten up by ethanol.

  12. p.g.sharrow says:

    @EMSmith; any time,
    BUT before the rainy season gets too bad if we need to move the car;-)…pg

  13. Another Ian says:


    Around sailplane maintenance courses the streams wer “Termites, tinbashers and tupperware”

    And “If god had intended fibreglass gliders there would have been fibreglass trees”

  14. Tim says:

    I’m still trying to work out how you get beer from apple juice. Or is that just the American language?
    You remind me of the old Ford Consul I once had, cost £25. Another car ran into it and damaged the wing and door. New parts from the scrap yard cost £4, and the insurance paid out £50 scrap value. £21 profit.

  15. Graeme No.3 says:

    You can make cider from pear juice. A local wine maker has just got a medal for his “world’s best cider” made from pears. You have to call it Perry for snob value.
    Many years ago (over 40) I worked with a women who traded in her diesel Mercedes with 810,000 miles on the clock and got over $A400 trade in. And the car was sold and back on the road again.
    I think it was an 1948 model.

  16. Phil Andersen says:

    It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize the arrow was simply illustrating the ‘a’ to ‘z’ nature of what you can find on Amazon – I’d simply assumed it was a smiley face of sorts…

  17. E.M.Smith says:


    I’m making hard cider from Apple Juice. The “Mr. Beer” is a brand name and I can’t change that…

    So I put the “Mr Beer” contents, that are apple cider, into bottles…


    Well, it took me longer… right up until your comment ;-)

    I originally thought the same “smile missing a dimple?”. Then I thought “Funny Swoosh like Nike?”. Then it rotated on one of the ads and looked like it was sticking out of the word sideways like, er, um… something else…

    @Graeme No3:

    I may do that some time ( I’ve bought it, perry, before…) but with pear juice being expensive and apple juice being $3 / 3 quarts at Walmart, I’m mostly doing apple cider (I add between 1 and 2 cups of sugar / Mr. Beer full depending on inventory. Once I’ve got the first batch made and bottled, later batches I tend to make weaker as then I can just drink more of them if desired…)

    @Power Grab:

    I know the feeling…

    Once, driving up to go skiing on I-80 with about 4 lanes wide, we were in a Honda Accord (first year made…) and running in the ruts someone else had made in the snow … more or less middle of the road… Doing too fast (about 45 IIRC) and commented to my friend in the passenger seat (his car, my turn to drive) that we were making great time and the car just tracked the ruts dandy and as long as they go straight…. SPINNNNNIng…. to a halt. Seems the guy had had an “issue” and my tires tracked his “issue” until I was ass backward… So put it back in gear (there being no traffic around) and proceeded to point the nose back toward the mountain but at about 25 MPH…

    It was rather exciting, especially as there was a several hundreds foot drop off the passenger side down into Donner Valley…

  18. D. J. Hawkins says:

    First, why are you wasting your money on Apple Juice? Use the real stuff, cider. Much tastier.

    Second, the first car I ever owned was a 1969 Dodge Dart with a 225 slant six. I bought it with 69,000 miles on it. I’d be driving it to this day (you just can’t kill that motor) if the torsion bar on the passenger side hadn’t decided to unwind itself from its moorings. It was quite exciting having that happen at 65 mph on Route 80 in New Jersey. All things considered, it was probably for the best. It had a stubborn tendency to drive ass-end front at the merest hint of snow on the road. I did a nice leisurely 360 on the Garden State Parkway one day while driving my brother to work.

  19. Power Grab says:

    @ EM: Wow! It takes my breath away to imagine that car spinning so close to a drop-off like that!

    I just googled the stretch of road where my car whooshed back and forth between lanes. I hadn’t remembered that there was part of a lake just beyond the guard rail my car bounced off of! There was a line of trees beyond the guard rail, but it’s still scary to look at it from above and see how close it was!

  20. Brad says:

    All that yeast can make a stronger beer. I always brewed when I transferred and made higher gravity beer.

  21. Larry Geiger says:

    An automobile is a pile of junk that get’s me from here to there. Most of the time I drive my 1995 Jeep. It has no doors, no sides, no top (much like the lamented GoldWing that I can no longer ride). 5 speed on the floor. Rubber floor mats covering the rust. I enjoy chatting it up with students at the school bus stop and folks at the public transit stops. They always seem surprised that there is someone who can see them and chat for a second before the light changes. Much fun. I love the Subaru commercial with the guy with the windows down singing and people singing along with him. Great fun.

    :-) :-) Mr. Happy? Seriously? :-) :-)

    I’ll be smiling for the rest of the day…

  22. E.M.Smith says:


    Yeah, I never quite understood why you would pitch all that yeast out when by definition if the beer was not spoiled it was still uncontaminated…


    Friend in high school had an old W.W.II type Jeep. We’d take it out to the country (all of about 2 miles no matter what direction you headed out of “town” ;-) to play in the dirt. No top. Doors? Did they ever have doors?… So yeah, familiar with that experience… like being on a bike built for 4 ;-)

    @D.J. Hawkings:

    Well, the stuff they call Cider here (not the Hard Cider) is indistinguishable from Apple Juice, near as I can tell. Sometimes I buy one, sometimes the other. Not much difference in the fermented product that I can tell… then again, I’m not all that experienced with hard ciders… and after IPA, all cider tastes a lot like acohol in water ;-)

    Maybe I’ll get some hops and try hopping the juice… I’ve read that can be done.

    Oh, and had a Dodge Dart in about 1968. Indestructible.

    @Power Grab:

    Well, the “good news” was that the snow ploughs had built up a foot or three of snow along the edges so it would have taken some effort to get through that AND over the guard rails. (The bad news was I had the velocity…). But being as the “tracks” went squirrelly along the middle of the road, the major risk was other cars. Being at it was lightly snowing lousy weather, not many other folks were crazy enough to be out there then, so it was a fairly safe ‘spin’.

    The other thing is that “growing up country” on gravel and mud roads, you know how to drive a car like a boat. I never really get bothered by slides or spins. We used to try to do them for fun ;-) So I just reacted appropriately and worked to keep it going down the road even if not necessarily nose forward ;-) On another occasion, a 67 VW Fastback decided to go butt first into a 90 degree turn. (Something about me daydreaming after 2000 miles of flat empty and looking at cows out the side window too long, then seeing the curve at too fast…) Well, I just kicked in the clutch, shifted to steering via the rear view mirror, and completed the corner, then let it back into a dirt road driveway, put it in first, and proceeded back out onto the highway.

    I don’t know what it is that gives that kind of reflexes, but I’ve had “Aw Shit!” moments often enough to know it kicks in. (On a motorcycle, you get lots of those as folks don’t “see” you and do things like pull out to pass someone and suddenly you are nose to nose with a barge at a closing rate of 140 MPH…) For a while, I adopted the habit of any new car I got, taking it out for “spin training” in snow covered parking lots. In ski season, I’d head up the hill and find a parking lot with few poles in it, and a few inches of snow, then ‘test it out’.

    I started doing that after the Accord experience (it was my first front wheel drive experience and “things are different”). Later that paid off when my own Honda Civic was caught in a series of “decreasing radius turns” on Highway 1 in Marin County… on a rain dampened road.. going a little too fast into it. I ended up almost sideways in the road, but stopped. I was hard on the hand brake to slow, with some push on the gas to get the front wheels to pull me around the corners. Drop off to the river on my left, hillside on the right. Got through the first 2? fine, and was slowed enough that the last, very tight one, was mostly an exercise is sliding to a halt under control. It’s a bad idea to use the foot brakes then as they tend to lock up the front wheels when the fronts are non-powered and sideways… which is what happened at the START of my entry into the series… which is when I rapidly got OFF the foot brake, onto the hand brake, and hit some gas to turn a way-understeer slide into a significant oversteer power around the first corner and back into my lane.. then coped with the next few while burning off speed with side slides and rear handbrake.

    I’ve not done the slide testing recently due to figuring I’m pretty good at it already and that the Mercedes just doesn’t want to slide really… I buy really good tires now ;-)

    Since I’ve had all of 3 “accidental spins” in about 50 years of driving (and somewhere near a million miles) I figure I’m doing OK anyway.

  23. Larry Ledwick says:

    It has been my observation that folks who grew up on a bicycle have good instinctive reactions to skids (especially those of us who started out on coaster brake bikes), as steering into the slide is completely natural on a bike.

    Like you say some time on loose gravel roads and some parking lot play in the snow are good practice and early in the winter even after 52 years of driving I still do a few test skids to get a feel for how slick the road is.

  24. Power Grab says:

    EM: Well, if I’d seen that performance when I was young and stupid, it probably wouldn’t have bothered me. ;-)

    My brother bought a Mustang to race at one of those at-your-own-risk places. It was not that old, but he got it for $500 because it wouldn’t go in reverse. (He’s quite the bargain hunter…)

    I rode with him one time. I thought I would enjoy it because my favorite part of flying is taking off and landing. But when he started sliding through all those turns, all I could think about was my kid.

    They say your life flashes before you when your life is in danger…well…all I knew is I couldn’t stop thinking about my kid.

    When he finished the run and parked it, he asked, “So, do you have a new hobby?”

    I said, “No.”

    That’s all. Just “No”.

  25. Power Grab says:

    But when Larry mentioned “instinctive reactions”, that made me think of when my ex almost ran me down with the 1-ton with the welder’s bed on it.

    I’d been discing a field in the 4WD Versatile when he drove into the field to check out the situation. I wasn’t needed for whatever he was doing, so I walked off and ended up behind the truck, still with my earplugs in.

    I wasn’t doing anything in particular, when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the truck moving towards me. I didn’t hear it start up. It was probably less than 5 feet from me. I instinctively did sort of a flying somersault on a 90 degree path to get out of the way.

    I never do stuff like that. I’m not the least bit athletic. I’m not sure where that reaction came from.

  26. Power Grab says:

    EM: I almost forgot…if you haven’t watched it (and I don’t think you watch a lot of animated movies, right?) look for “Cars”, the Disney movie. There’s a car character in it that drives on dirt the way you described.

    I really enjoyed it in the theater with my kid, but I think my kid wasn’t that enthused.

    I kept having flashbacks to the old days when my family would take off on 2-lane highways for summer vacation.

Comments are closed.