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What gear do I need to start home brewing?



What gear do I need to start home brewing?

If you’ve decided to brew beer, you’re in great company. Einstein, Churchill and Thor himself and every man with a shed has at one point or another brewed some tasty beverages. But they all had to start somewhere, and so here’s a list of what equipment you might need to get started brewing beer.

We’re talking about brewing using a beer kit here, the kind of brewing where you ‘beer wort’ basically comes in a can. You get to choose what hops or sugar you add (jelly beans maybe) and the rest is simply following some good brewing instructions.

But what do you need to brew some good home made beer. This list is just the basics, you could probably actually get away with using less but at the very least, this guide should help you decide what you need to get that golden ale flowing down your gullet. 

What gear you might use on brewing day 

Ingredients 
  • A beer kit – source a handy brew from an online store, or your local brew supplier. Some supermarkets stock them 
  • A brew enhancer, DME or dextrose – 1Kg 
  • Hops – an optional addition but good for getting some good aromatic flavours and it's easy to add hops to the beer *
Equipment for brewing
  • Sanitizer - To sanitize all of your equipment. It’s a must. If you don’t your beer might die. 
  • 6 gallon / 23 litre fermenter (drum or bottle). You will use this for making your beer in 
  • Thermometer - To monitor the temperature of the wort – this is so you can add the yeast at the correct temperature and avoid killing it. *
  • Hydrometer - Used test the original gravity of your batch *
  • Paddle or spoon - Something to stir the boil with, maybe not your wife’s best spoon. A long handle is what you need. 
  • Gloves – making beer can get a little messy *
  • Can opener – to open the beer kit 
  • Water - Access to both boiling and cold water 
  • Bubble Airlock – to allow the release of CO2 and to assist with the observation of fermentation
Bottling your beer - what you need
  • Bottles! – cleaned and free of dirt and spiders or slugs (trust us on this, it’s happened) 
  • Sanitizer – Yes, one again you need sanitize all equipment and bottles and caps 
  • Bottle caps - Make sure they are not twist-off bottles 
  • Bottle capper – speaks for it self, helps you place the caps on bottles 
  • Hydrometer - To measure the final gravity *
  • Priming sugar – Sucrose which is to carbonate the beer while in the bottle (called beer conditioning) 
  • Bottling wand - This allows you to easily control the flow while bottling and means less spillage will occur. *
* denotes an optional item of equipment

Thrawn. He's all that and a bag of chips.



I just finished the Star Wars book 'Heir to the Empire' and immediately (and finally) understood what all the fuss was in terms of Grand Admiral Thrawn. He's the chief antagonist of the book and it's quite clear from the first few paragraphs he feature in that he's the real deal. Inspired by this belated introduction to the Big Blue Chiss, I thought I'd present some facts about him.
  1. Timothy Zahn, the author who created this beloved character described Thrawn as thus: "He’s a clever villain. People like reading about clever, interesting opponents to our heroes. People who are able to out think, outmaneuver as well as outfight. Ultimately the heroism of the hero is measured by the villainy or power of the villain and with Thrawn I wanted something different than Force using Vader or Palpatine. Somebody who doesn’t have Luke’s Force Powers, but can run him around in a maze whenever he really wants to."
  2. His real name is "Mitth'raw'nuruodo" - Thrawn is a shortening of his full name
  3. While he make's his debut in Timothy Zahn's 'Heir to the Empire' novel, Thrawn has actually appeared in 8 novels, several graphic novels and turned up in a few video games.
  4. Thrawn's species is 'Chiss'. All Chiss are human like in their physical appearance, save the blue skin and red eyes.
  5. The name "Coruscant" was originally used by Timothy Zahn. George Lucas was going to include the capital world of Had Abbadon in Return of the Jedi, but adopted Zahn's name for Imperial Center when presenting the planet in the Special Edition and prequel movies. 
  6. Zahn has said thatThrawn's character is a composite of various historical and fictional personalities, including Erwin RommelRobert E. LeeHannibal Barca, Alexander the Great, and Sherlock Holmes. Some of those names are the greatest military leaders of history.
  7. The Secret History of Star Wars by Michael Kaminski credits the Thrawn trilogy with reigniting the general public's interest with the Star Wars franchise. 
  8. Due to the changes to what is considered Star Wars canon, The Blue Chiss is no longer canon - he's now formally part of the Legendary expanded universe. As of writing, Thrawn has not made it into any new Star Wars canon, though it is strongly speculated that he may turn up in Star Wars Rebels.

A sweet collection of Star Wars quotes



Quotes from the Star Wars movies

Star Wars is full of great quotes. One of them accounts for one of the most famous movie twist of all time, "No, I'm your father!" other's like, "I've got a bad feeling about this" serves to lend a long air of continuity across all the films.

Here's a sweet collection of pages that will lead you to the quotes and lines of some of the most popular characters from the franchise such as Darth Vader and Obi Wan Kenobi to the new characters such as Jyn Erso and Captain Phasma.

Here's quotes from the 'Big Five' characters of Star Wars.
Faithful friends have the best words of advice
Bad guys often have the best lines to chew their scenery with!
The Force Awakens quotes
Rogue One movie quotes
A collection of lines and quotes from across the Star Wars films

Transformers: The Last Knight


Is Optimus Prime the Last Knight? 
The name of the 5th Transformers movie has been revealed. The Last Knight.

Is this a reference to Optimus Prime being the last Prime? Let's hope this outing has some semblance of plot. The name is curious and hints at an exploration of the origins of the Transformers (given the ending of the last movie).


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