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Showing posts from August, 2014

Zen Of Beer Web Application

From time to time I find myself wishing I had a convenient place to store notes about beers that I've tasted. Some good, some bad, some just lost and forgotten in the crowd. There are some apps available, but nothing really quite fit my needs, so I decided to make one of my own. I've been working on it, as time allows, for way longer than I'd planned. Worse yet, I'm still not quite ready to get it out there hosted and online, but it is getting closer.

I've got a hard set of features to launch with, and once I hit that point I'll be going live. The site page is HERE with the project roadmap. The first version will allow the entry of tasting notes (public and private), and currently only web based. From that point I'll be bringing an Android app in to parity with the web site, and building features out from there.  Down the road I'm planning to bring in user defined groups, soon to be followed by tools to add beers and breweries that aren't available …

Zen Of Beer BreweryDb API wrapper

A while back I decided that I wanted to use BreweryDb as my external data source for the ZenOfBeer.com website (which will be coming online eventually). As I got in to development I realized that it might make sense to create a wrapper around the REST calls in a .net portable library so I could use the same API in an eventual Windows Phone app as I'm using in the website. I put it together, and it's out there. So far I've only added things that I need, but soon (releases within the next couple of weeks) I'll be working my way through the rest of the endpoints, as time allows, to make a more complete library.  I'm planning a pre-release update this weekend with some usability enhancements and updated exception handling. I'm looking at a potential of a couple of dependency issues because of unexpected changes to the portable library dependencies when I migrated from a VS 2012 to VS 2013 project. Hopefully it goes smooth, and nobody will notice.  In any case, if y…

Tired of IPA

What is the obsession with IPA? Don't get me wrong, I'm not slamming your favorite ale. I don't dislike it. In fact, I especially enjoy the recent variation, Black IPA. I just don't understand how this one variety had become so popular. It fills the shelves, leaving almost no room for my weizens, dopplebocks, schwarzbiers, and kolsches. So popular some breweries are actually making multiple versions. I spent most of my life in Utah. A place where the beer isle in the grocery store is often almost exclusively Bud, Coors, Miller , with a little space left over for Michelob and Heineken. Substitute IPA with the previously mentioned big 3, and this is what Washington beer isles are starting to look like.
Just stop. Not forever, just for a little while, and try something different. Take a minute to realize that tasting like a skunk's backside isn't an inherent attribute of beer.

SonicAgile project hosting

SonicAgile
So far, (just one day in), totally awesome. I've got a small number of projects I'm working on, and I tend to be very disorganized, and allow scope creep on a scale that really pisses me off in my day job. Because of this I've been looking for free (because "labors of love" don't pay for subscriptions and licenses) agile project tracking. I've tried a few including VisualStudio online (awesome during the trial, not so much after) and Trello (very cool interface, nice tool, but missing a little of the stricter process that I tend to need out of the box), FogBugz (which tried to do too much with source hosting, and subscription limits), and nothing quite meeting what I'm after. I came across SonicAgile yesterday, and after moving in the backlogs of my projects, I may be sold. It has the agile organizational structure that I'm after, ability to make roadmaps public (which may end up being useful information), doesn't limit usability bas…

Zen Saison V 1.0

It's been a while since I've done any brewing. It's a long story, but the short version is that due to a shoulder injury it's been several months since I've been able to lift my brewing stuff, but I'm a little better and back at it.
After Sharing a Hennepin with my dad I got an itch to make a saison.
The original recipe plan was very simple:
#10 German pilsner two row malt
#2 German wheat malt
1 oz. Chinook pellet hops
WLP575 Belgian ale yeast

Somewhere along the way I started thinking that maybe kicking it up a little with some Belgian candi sugar might be a good idea, and settled on trying an experiment to make my own. I found this guy's recipe and went with it. The plan was to go for a clear sugar, hoping for no added flavors, and naturally, it didn't work out that way. After getting busy with mashing and sparging and general wandering around I ended up with a deep brown syrup with a rich caramel cotton candy flavor. I'm looking forward to the ou…