USB Cord Surgery

Last weekend when heating up caustic last weekend to clean I burned the USB cord on the HLT temperature and float sensor.  Multi tasking the boil, hop additions, manning the pumps and trying try to get the hoses all sorted out I failed to notice the cord got pretty close to the high output burner.  Didn’t notice the issue at first but the temperature shown on the screen was decently far off so I ran the troubleshooting menu and noticed the mis formed cord sheathing.  It felt a bit crispy.  I cut off the burned section and decided to put a female connector up higher and use a USB extension incase it happens again I can just use any USB cord vs having to do this again.  Once I opened the cord it occurred to me that this will be somewhat of a chore to solder and repair.  I got the tools and order the cables and gave it a shot.

Once the outer sheath is pealed back there is a mesh weave that has to be cut, this provides pull strength on these types of cables.  Once that is gone peal back the foil and you will be presented with a red, black and three shielded pairs (some string and other strength wires as well).  Pull off the plastic and foil on the pairs and separate them all out , you should have 8 separate wire at this point.  Get them all organized and straight, strip a short section off each and start splicing them together.  Once the pairs are spliced together hit the wire with the fine tipped solder gun, apply the solder to the wire and wait for it to flow on to the wire, making a one piece connection.  Once a good splice it made I went with liquid electrical tape to each connection to minimize a short.  When its all sealed and your happy with you work apply some heat shrink wrap over the splice and give it enough heat to make the joint nice and smooth.

A splice in wires this small will never be as good as one solid piece but it works and was a good way to save a chunk of change over buying an entire HLT sensor.  They only sell this entire assembly so stainless and all.

I would like to see MoreBeer make a connection near the top to one could just buy new cables as I am sure this will happen again.  There is no way to keep the cord entirely protected when they are cut to specific length and the HLT burner kicks out some serious BTU’s.

All done and tested, success.  It lives to brew another day.

Black Friday Amber Pale Ale Brew day

While the mad dash to go shopping amongst thousands of nut cases has never drawn me in, I do find it fascinating. Wake up at the crack of dawn, stand in line shoulder to shoulder with tons of people to save what you spend on Starbucks in a week? I digress. Set out to brew a darker style amber with the hops we had on hand. Brew day went as planned with the exception of over oxygenating the wort and over flowing the conical. Excited to see what some of the lesser known to me hops taste like. I scored about 20oz of free hops at the Homebrew shop a few weeks ago, mostly European but some common ones as well.

First casualty of the brew stand also occurred, the HLT prob cord got a little toasty and started malfunctioning. At $75 for a new probe I decided to cut off the melted section and perform a bit of surgery. It appears to be a standard USB with temp shielding. The plan is to place a female USB end up high and use a USB extension to make the run past the burner in the event it happens again. The cord is shielded, has a red and black and three sub shielded pairs carrying data. Utilizing a USB extension will also give the ability to make this cord run around the heat source and minimize the chance of future issues. I will perform the cord surgery this week and post a short video of the repair.

Other Brewery tasks completed:

  • Juice Box NEIPA was Kegged and placed on tap.
  • All Kegs cleaned, sanitized and purged
  • Ordered a second Tilt Hydrometer. These are great and a good way to monitor fermentation from afar.

Anchor Christmas in large format was consumed, it was OK this year. Definitely was not my favorite year for it or my tastes are going away from spiced beers. Nonetheless it has become a tradition at this point so I will endure on.

Brew Stats for the Pale Ale (Euphoria Pale) brewed

English Style Bitter Brew Day


With a break in the rain forecasted I took another opportunity to fill the kegerator. I have always favored ESBs and the ordinary Bitter style but never seen to brew them. I brewed a delicious version of a ordinary bitter last fall and decided to make V2. Brew day went as planned with the exception of brewing a 10g batch on a 15g recipe. When milling it felt like a large amount of grain for a supposed low abv beer but I pushed on. Curiosity got the best of me and I consulted BeerSmith and like I thought, far too many fermentables for a 10g batch. Guess I am brewing a Strong Bitter. Wort smelled of the bready, malty overtones that Marris Otter yields, this will be a great, yet big bitter. Wrapped up, pitched yeast and dropped the Tilt Hydrometer in and went inside to devour the delicious Pork Butt that the smell had been a major distraction all day. Beer went into the conical at 1.070 and Imperial Pub yeast was pitched so we shall see a 7ish ABV Bitter in a few weeks. Tasting notes too come.

Brew Link

Juicy NE IPA


Looking forward to welcoming winter with a chilly brew day.  We will be brewing a NE style “Juicy” IPA with homegrown Hops on Saturday.

11/06/2017 Brew day was a success!  10g of a home grown hopped NE style IPA is in the conical and the yeasties are going nuts.  Being the first time brewing in almost a year it was a little chaotic at first but like riding a bike, it comes back pretty quick.  I was pre occupied with trying to squeeze in truck maintenance on the same day but it all worked out.  The weather was kinda nuts for the beginning of November, snow all weekend.  Looking forward to trying this brew in 7-10 days.  Cheers!



Westland Distilling Peated Whiskey

Westland Distilling Peated


Nose starts with a smoldering campfire and a touch of honey.  Taste is light smoke, sweet almost honey taste and a touch nutty, almond like.  Over time, the taste moves into earthy herbs and spices and leather. Peat, iodine and smoke are on the finish.  A very good Washington Whiskey, my favorite from Westland.  I was comparing it to Lagavulin 16, a very different much peatier, smokier version that still has by heart.  This is a good local staple to have on hand.



Thanksgiving 2014

We decided to do a low key Thanksgiving at home this year.  The menu was Ribeye, Mashed Potatoes and Green bean casserole.

Ashley donning the stunner shades to cut onions, not really sure this helps…


Green beans coming out of the oven looking perfect.

Final product, looking better than turkey in my book.  Now to watch the SEA/SF game.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Valentines Day Weekend

V-day this year fell on a 3day weekend this year thanks Presidents day! Ashley and I hit Serious Pie in S. Lake Union for dinner with our friend/waitress Kate.

Valentines day 2014

Saturday was the the Seattle Progressive International Motorcycle show.  Fun looking at all the cool bikes and nice to have the feeling that I made the right decision on getting mine.

Couldn't turn it down

Seattle Seahawks custom HD Street Glide
Seattle Seahawks Bike

Sweet Bagger with quite the stereo
Sweet Bagger

Ashley rides the HD
Ashley's First Ride

Monday we hit the last day for the Modernist Cuisine at the Pacific Science Center.  Very cool, great photos and good work.  Highly recommended.
Modernist Cuisine Exhibit
Modernist Cuisine Exhibit
Modernist Cuisine Exhibit
Pacific Science Center, Seattle WA

As we get home the sunset after the storm.  The hills are getting dumped on 29in in 24hrs.  We need to hit up Stevens some time soon.
Everett rainy sunset

Great weekend and short week ahead.