Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   Javascript grapher
Friday, November 20 2009

After putting in some new patches of drywall compound in the brownhouse interior, I worked outside installing styrofoam over the ground at the west and some of the south exterior. Then I covered the styrofoam with rocks, eventually building the ground up six inches or so to meet the bottom of the front door to make something of a proper landing. Though it shifts around as it settles, I've found that styrofoam eventually forms a solid substrate below rocks or soil, thermally isolating the surface from lower levels that (in this case) contact the brownhouse basement. My goal with the styrofoam is to keep surface soil temperature swings from reaching into the basement and disturbing the decomposition happening in the shit can.

When I wasn't continuing with my generally ill-fated phone experiments, I was cleaning house for another weekend rich with houseguests. Our population was to briefly swell by five, which is a record (at least for adult guests). Not only would Ray and Nancy and a friend be coming up, but Gretchen's friend Akima and her man Kevin would be spending the night.
Some time after Ray, Nancy, and friend (Sarah) showed up, the conversation somehow drifted to the subject of David (of Penny and David) and his weird (and largely theoretical) obsessions with DIY alcohol projects. This reminded me of the ten gallons of carrot mash I've been fermenting since January. So I decided, right then and there, to try distilling it to see what I could get. I had a fire in the woodstove, so all I had to do was put some carrot mash in the biggest bottle I could find (a two quart Keegan Ales beer bottle), cork it with a perforated cork, run a flexible copper pipe into the perforation, heat the bottle in a pot of water, and cool the copper pipe with room-temperature water. This is a distillation technique I developed half a life ago when I was a sophomore in Oberlin College. It worked great for cooking sherry, which was "free," along with the gas needed for distillation. But the wood fire never got hot enough to boil the water around my two quart bottle, and so my distillation effort failed.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next