More thoughts from yesterday

Think of this as a continuation of yesterdays update. First off the dishwasher did well with the little red doodad finally liberated.

Decorative pastic that was stuck in our dishwasher

The fridge is now at a safe temp – but it’s cranked all the way up to do it so we are going to have to have it looked at…but it can hold for a few weeks since this just isn’t a good time for us to be worrying about fixing the fridge. I may also go into a bit more detail about what happens when I get a new obsession with some more talk about coffee. And just for fun a couple of fisheye photos from Christmas that I found on my memory card when I took the photos for this post. So read on for the rest of the fun.

The dishwasher ran very well with it’s drain now clear. I was amazed that other than not having any signs of adhesive left on it the plastic button looks completely unharmed. Given the amount of noise it had been making I assumed it would be a mangled mess. My first guess that it was bouncing around on the impeller didn’t make much sense. Either there would be enough room for it to get past the impeller – or either it or the impeller would have ground up rather quickly. When I saw it in the drain hose a few weeks back I knew it was past the impeller – and it was making way too much noise to just be bouncing at the bottleneck. Once I removed the house the cause was pretty clear. The shape of the drain meant there was a little chamber inside the hard plastic of the impeller housing and this plastic chunk was basically trapped in there. The sound was it hitting against the equally hard plastic walls. With the red bit removed the dishwasher seemed MUCH happier but it still didn’t get off the haze it has been putting on our glassware since it backed up.

I’m still organizing my files after moving, and the new dishwasher manual is one of the things I’m still not sure where I filed it. So while I was waiting for the PDF to download I did a quick google search and found this suggestion. The owners manual suggested something similar though omitting the bleach step. Gave it a try today and sure enough our glasses are nice and clear again – and the “new plastic” smell our dishwasher has always had is finally somewhat better!

The fridge is also showing about 38F-39F measured in the middle of the second to top shelf. As I already mentioned it’s set to its highest setting to achieve this though so we are going to have it looked it. But at least for now we know our food should stay a little fresher.

Anyone know what this is?

Inside my popcorn popper

It’s our popcorn popper. A 1200watt White Westinghouse. Works ok, but tends to burn the popcorn a bit and we tend to just nuke our corn now. So it’s been collecting dust. It’s one of the reasons for my newfound fascination with coffee however. You see, the past few years I’ve been bouncing into coffee hacks that sound like fun to me. And the one I kept hearing again and again in different but all universally positive ways is home roasting coffee in a popcorn popper. But to be honest I think it’s the roasting itself that first intrigued me.

And that’s thanks to Williams Brewing a homebrew supplier I’ve bought from off and on over the years. Their kits are nice for the beginner but a little too “Packaged” for my preferences. Though every now and then they’re great for a lazy background brew, like during a party:

Rich stands guard over his brew at my birthday party - note the blue glow of the hot burner.

They were also where I got my brass tap tower for a remarkably low price because it was a “Scratch and dent”. The “dent” was a tiny little thing in the top, most people don’t even see it when they know it’s there and are looking for it until it’s pointed out to them. But the point is a few years ago Williams started carrying home coffee roasting supplies and green coffee beans.

I didn’t even like coffee but the idea intrigued me, and the roasters they offered intrigued me further. The fanciest was a hot air device that immediately reminded me of a popcorn popper. The other was a pop-corn popper, the stovetop kind with a spinner in it. And the third was a basket for use over a grill – though it was warned that this method took a LOT of practice and skill to do even passably well at. And the stovetop method wasn’t very easy either. $75 for the roaster killed my interest on top of me not being a coffee drinker. But the simple methods nagged at me and I kept thinking about ordering a small bag of green coffee to play with along with my beer order. I order from Williams so infrequently though that it was never very likely to happen. Still it nagged at me that there must be a quick, cheap, and easy way to roast coffee at home based on what I had just learned.

And sure enough I would shortly learn about people using hot air popcorn poppers. And it just happened that our popper was the correct style – though it’s wattage may be a bit low. I’m not too concerned though since I’m not looking to push things to a french roast. And even a vienna roast will probably be something I do more by accident than on purpose. Apparently the lighter roasts are supposed to let more of the “local” character of the bean show through instead of the roast. And I’m rather keen to learn the differences between various coffee beans. I ordered up an 8 pack sampler selection (4lb total) from Sweet Marias (Side note: Apparently SM was started on Columbus Oh where Maria worked as a curator at the Wexner Center at OSU, one of my favorite museums, how could I not order from them!)

I’m not going to do any modifications to the popper just yet, aside from some kind of chimney to replace the plastic top that’s in bad shape. I may eventually add a speed control to the fan, but we’ll see if I need to get that crazy. I have some other ideas on home roasters that I may also pursue if this works out. But like I said, when something tweaks my interest I do tend to go a little deep into it. And hey, 4lbs of green coffee, even with shipping, is less than 4lbs of store shelf coffee would cost me. And I’ll have a lot more flavor experimentation possible.

And Finally the fisheeyes from Christmas that I found:

Fisheye at Matts house over Christmas.

Oh – and WordPress apparently released a new version over the weekend. I’m testing the new gallery with this post and I don’t think lightbox will be working with it. In fact I’m not even sure if lightbox is still working on my old posts after this upgrade, I should go check that out!

Leave a Reply