Melbourne APA Wetpak

We’ve been at our new house for 4 months now, most of that with a very empty beer cupboard, but I’ve been loathe to put a brew on as the quality of the water is so shocking. Apparently the problem is galvanised steel pipes which are clogged up. The water that comes out is discoloured, tastes bad and is at a very low pressure. We asked the landlord to fix it but apparently the cost of replacing all the pipes in the house is more than he is willing to spend, so we just have to cop it.

But the lack of cheap, tasty beer has been getting to me, so I’ve bitten the bullet and put a batch on. Before I left Sydney in 2008, I made sure I had a kit of my favourite homebrew with me — the American Pale Ale wetpak from The Country Brewer. Looking at the history of this site it appears I have not made this kit for 4 years!

Previous brews recorded here:

TCB Wetpak

Fermenting: 02/08/2010 Bottled: 06/11/2010

Ingredients: 3kg can containing light malt extract and hops, 150g of crystal malt, 20g of cascade hops and 10g of Safale s-04 yeast

Add the hopped malt to 3L water, simmer for 1 hour. Steep & sparge grain, then add to pot. Add hops and wait 10 mins.

Pour the hot wort into your fermenting vessel, then top up with water to 22L and add the yeast. Leave it alone to ferment for a week or so, then bottle.

HTC Desire

Due to a combination of circumstances (Priscilla’s phone turning off 50% of the time when someone calls her) and myself wanting to only carry one phone, we’ve both gotten new mobiles. Work was willing to reimburse me for mine (rather than pay for a company phone) but preferred I go with Telstra for their better coverage so we could afford to pay a little more for Priscilla’s than we would otherwise have been able to convince ourselves to.

HTC Desire

As a result, we’ve both now got new HTC Desires running Android 2.1 on Telstra. An excellent phone and certainly rarer than the seemlingly ubiquitous iPhone. Priscilla is loving being connected to her email, messenger & facebook wherever she is, which is a big help given her reduced mobility at present. She’s also taking up the challenge of combining her phone and email contacts and getting them up to date, complete with photos.

As for me, exchange support means email, calendar and contacts all come from work simply (the secret to making it work – add your webmail address rather than your actual server address) and the gmail sync is excellent for all my personal stuff.

We are very happy, now just looking forwards to Android 2.2 coming available on the Telstra Desires, and hopefully keeping up to date over the next 2 years as Google update and improve Android.

Moving house

Moving Truck

Just had a frustrating weekend moving house because our landlord wanted to move back in. Huge expense, time and effort was too big a price to pay, it feels like. Now we are trying to get used to a new house that doesn’t necessarily have all the stuff we are used to. More frustrating times ahead as we unpack, I think.

Biggest issues right now are plumbing and doors/locks.

RBR – Simulate to Accumulate

Take a ride with Mark Webber as he prepares for the opening race of the 2010 Formula One season in Bahrain by tackling every corner of the Sakhir circuit in Red Bull Racing’s state-of-the-art simulator.

Vindaloo against Violence

One Melburnian has come up with a novel way to support the Indian community in Australia and speak out against the violence recently committed against Indian students.

Her website, Vindaloo against Violence is encouraging people to visit their local Indian restaurant on February 24, 2010.

Some media reports of the event:

There’s no reason you can’t visit your own local curry house, no matter where you are. The important thing is to celebrate diversity in culture and food and show that Australians value multiculturalism, rather than fear it.

Building, Building, Building…


It’s been a bit frustrating around our house recently. The house next door was demolished and 3 houses have been built on the block in it’s place. The house to our front had to demolish his garage and rebuild it as it wasn’t council approved. Our landlord was compelled to dig up our backyard and install a proper water retention pit – which took 8 weeks of after hours intrusion.

The end result is we won’t have fences on two sides anymore – only rendered walls because the houses have been built so close together. Ahh, medium density housing out in the suburbs.