Image 01

A Bundle of Myrrh

"My beloved is unto me as a bundle of myrrh." Song of Solomon 1:13

Archive for the ‘For The Nerds’ Category

Alkalinity Reduction Test

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Are you tired of baby pictures?  This should hit the spot then.

The water in Bancroft tastes fine, though it has a ton of temporary hardness (the kind that drops out when water is boiled).  Since beer is 95% water, the hardness does affect it.  My beers in Nebraska have been held back by this water hardness, I believe.

This experiment tested a way to reduce the temporary hardness, without boiling (which is expensive for ~10 gallons).  I used slaked or pickling lime (Calcium Hydroxide) in the water to precipitate Calcium Carbonate, which eliminates temporary hardness as Calcium Bicarbonate (CaCO3) at the bottom of the vessel.

The white stuff at the bottom is the temporary hardness precipitated out, after settling out over night.


>The Talented Mr. Hales.

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008


The Hale men have many talents. Here is the jewelry box Phil’s dad Neil made for me. I’ve never seen anything like it! Isn’t it beautiful?
And Phil has been beaming about the “box” he made to attach to a speaker to amplify the sound on my computer and ipod. I’ll let him explain….

“In technical language we call this an amplifier. I had an old kit with all the components in it that I had never put together. I sodered the components and cut up an old set of computer speakers.”


“This is the printed circuit board. It has an integrated circuit which does the real work. There are a few capacitors and resistors too. The white knob is part of the potentiometer, which is a variable resistor used to control the volume of the amplifier output (otherwise known as a volume knob).”

“I found a battery holder for 2 AA’s and wired everything together. The 1/8th in male adapter plugs into any headphone output. I put the circuit in an aluminum box which I folded together like a cardboard box. I drilled a hole for the volume knob. It works pretty well, though turned up it sounds bad because it is too much power (max 1.2 watt) for a such a little speaker (rated .5 watt). But it works nicely to amplify audio. It was also fun to do a bit of engineering and get it to work. We have used it a few times since Aubri’s MacBook has a puny integrated speaker which can not be heard over background noise.”

To which I replied…”Um thanks for the speaker.”