Mar 22

VDI Comparisons

VDI-in-a-box graphic

VDI-in-a-box graphic

Been looking at replacing our current Terminal Server environment and rethinking our workflow for our end users.  Of course, VDI has come up and I’ve begun to ask whether we should move to some VDI solution or stay with Terminal Services (or Remote Desktop services as Microsoft now calls it).

So, I’ve begun researching.  And researching.  And asking lots of people lots of questions.

The best resources I’ve found so far?  Easy.  Here’s the first:

VDI Smackdown.  This link contains a whitepaper laying out the different VDI solutions, including VDI-in-a-box and Microsoft Server 2012’s solution.  Incredible resource.  Download it now.

Spiceworks.  Their communities are a great source of info.  Lots of IT people with lots of IT wisdom.  If you aren’t a part of the Spiceworks community yet, sign up here.

From what I’ve found, traditional VDI is way too expensive for an organization our size. The rule of thumb is >200 users for traditional VDI to pay off.  So, right now I’m exploring both Server 2012’s enhanced Remote Desktop services, which has a feature for deploying virtual desktops based off a golden image.  The other option I’m looking at is VDI-in-a-box by Citrix.  Dell has a  VDI-in-a-box solution they market called the DVS Simplified appliance, which is basically a R720 server running Windows Server and the Citrix VDI-in-a-box software, but they fully support it.  Given that they own Wyse as well this could be an attractive bundle.

What should I choose?  What should you choose?  Well, that depends on what your goals are.  My goals are the following:

  1. Simplified Management for end users
  2. A rich end user experience (fast UI reaction, video, desktop sharing, conferencing, viewing CAD drawings)
  3. Better management of difficult apps (such as DWG Trueview, Saleslogix desktop manager, GotoMeeting) without jumping through a ton of hoops.
  4. Quicker disaster recovery response for our end users.

We haven’t finalized our decision, but I will keep notes on our process and hopefully update this blog with the results.  Stay tuned.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.brettgorley.com/blog/?p=923

Oct 20

Big Fat Oatmeal Stout- Batch 55 bottled

I bottled the beer tonight, with the help of my friend Rob.  I also helped him bottle two beers he’s been sitting on since March.  At least they’re beers that mature well with age!

Final gravity came out to be 1.024, which would give me an 8.7% alcohol by volume.  Nice!

Of course, we tasted it tonight.  One sip and it’s ok.  One mouthful and it’s better.  You get more of the oatmeal texture and creaminess with larger tastes.  Ohh, it’s good!  Can’t wait to show it off to everyone at my friends beer tasting party!

Big Fat Oatmeal Stout

Big Fat Oatmeal Stout

Permanent link to this article: http://www.brettgorley.com/blog/?p=919

Oct 12

Imperial Oatmeal Stout- Batch 55

Gearing up for a beer tasting party next month and need to cap it off with a good stout.  Was planning on doing my old stand by Oatmeal Stout, which I love, but I wanted to do something bigger.  Something better.  Something…. imperial!

Imperial Stout Ingredients (minus the grains)

Ingredients (minus the grains)

So, here’s what I came up with for a recipe:

2 lbs quick oats
3 lbs light malt extract
6 lbs liquid dark malt extract
1-1/2 lbs 60L crystal malt
1/2 lb chocolate malt
1/2 lb roasted barley
1/4 lb black patent
4 tsp gypsum
1oz Centennial hops (boiling)
1 oz Cascade hops (boiling)
1/2 oz Cascade hops (10 minutes left)
1/2 oz Cascade hops (2 minutes left)
1/4 tsp Irish Moss (10 minutes left)
Irish Ale Yeast

Oatmeal for stout

Oatmeal for stout

So I made a tea with the grains by putting them in a grain bag.  Had about 2.5 gallons of water and held it at 150 degrees for 30 minutes.  My boys enjoyed splashing the grain bag around.

Tea-Bagging grains

Tea-Bagging grains

Once I got the kids to bed I began the boil.  I added the light malt extract and my bittering hops. Once I had 10 minutes left I added the liquid dark malt extract and the Irish moss.  I also added my flavor hops.  About this time I realized that I forgot to add my gypsum to my water.  Oops.  There’s always next time.

Hops in Oatmeal Stout

Hops in Oatmeal Stout

With 2 minutes left I added the remaining hops.  Finally my boil was done, so I removed the wort from heat and began to strain out the hops.  This didn’t take too long.  Then I poured my hot wort into my fermenter, burning my finger in the process.  Topped it off to 5 gallons and cleaned up my mess, which wasn’t too bad this time.

I’m so looking forward to this being done.  I’m going to enjoy this one!

Edit: Just took the initial gravity and pitched the yeast.  Initial gravity was 1.090.  I started to wonder if I shouldn’t be more scientific and precise when I take the gravity readings, given how my readings seem off sometimes.  Tonight’s was probably right.  I got it from pretty much dead center of the beer.

Also, this beer already tastes AMAZING!  Oh, I so can’t wait for this to be done!  My wife even liked it, and that says a lot.

Brett aerating the beer before pitching the yeast

Brett aerating the beer

Permanent link to this article: http://www.brettgorley.com/blog/?p=909

Sep 15

IPA and Pumpkin ale bottled- Batch 53 and 54

Bottled my IPA and Pumpkin ale tonight. IPA final gravity was 1.014, and the Pumpkin final was 1.018, giving  me an alcohol percentage of 6.56 for the IPA and 8.75 for the  Pumpkin.

You  know, I don’t really trust my alcohol readings anymore.   Why is this so different from my others?

Oh, well. They still taste yummy.

I also forgot to mention that I ran out of corn sugar while bottling, so I had to substitute evaporated cane sugar juice, which will slightly affect the flavor.  I just hope it doesn’t affect the carbonation.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.brettgorley.com/blog/?p=903

Sep 03

IPA and Pumpkin Ale- Batch 53 and 54

Gearing up for a beer tasting event next month, and my beer is the one going to be on the spot.  So, for the first two beers I’m making an IPA and a Pumpkin ale.  Here are the recipes.

God Is Good IPA

Preboil tea
3-1/2 gallons (17 L) water
1 pound 60L Crystal malt
2 pounds 2 row malt
7 pounds pale liquid malt extract
1-1/2 ounces Centennial hops (bittering) (60 min)
1 teaspoon Irish Moss
1/2 pound (225 g) light brown sugar
1 ounce Cascade hops (flavoring) (10 min)
1/2 ounce Cascade hops (aroma) (End of boil)
Yeast: Wyeast 1272
Dry Hop
1 ounce Cascade hops (Days 5-7)
Same IPA I just did, slightly modified.  Added some 2 row to boost maltiness, and added the brown sugar with the Irish Moss and the flavoring hops.

Used a grain bag for the grains and sparged the lazy man’s way with a kettle of hot water poured over the grain bag.

Grains in grain bag

Grains in grain bag

Now, what I failed to mention is that I actually started the pumpkin ale first.  I’m putting the IPA first because it was easy.  The pumpkin ale was a lot more labor intensive.  This year I cheated and used canned pumpkin.  That didn’t speed things up a whole lot.  But, let me finish with the IPA before I begin the pumpkin tale.

So, after sparging I began my boil with my hops.  Added my flavor hops, Irish moss and my brown sugar with 10 minutes left in the boil, then added my aroma hops at the end.

Hops in my IPA

Hops in my IPA

Once done I strained out all the hops and poured the beer into my fermenter, topping it off at 5 gallons.  It should be interesting to see how the brown sugar comes out as opposed to adding it in the secondary.

 

Pumpkin Ale:
Ingredients for 5 gallons
7 lbs extra light malt extract
2 lbs pilsener malt
1 lb 15L Crystal malt
7 ‐ 10 lbs whole pumpkin
2 oz Williamette whole hops (at 75‐90 minutes)
1/2 oz Cascade whole hops (at 75‐90 minutes)
1 oz Mt. Hood hops (at 0 minutes) (aroma)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 vanilla bean, chopped
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground dried ginger
1/4 tsp powdered Irish moss
2 packages of liquid ale yeast, or dry yeast, or an equivalent yeast starter

Cans of pumpkin waiting to become beer

Cans of pumpkin waiting to become beer

Putting pumpkin in my mash

Putting pumpkin in my mash

Now, I started this beer making process about 11am and didn’t fully finish with cleanup and all until 9pm.  I stopped for dinner, but other than that I was solid.

I did a protein rest with the grains at 122 degrees for 30 minutes.  Then I brought the temp up to 150 and added my pumpkin.  I let it sit there for 60 minutes mashing away.

Pumpkin in my mash

Pumpkin in my mash

Once the mash was done I sparged it with about 3 gallons of water.  Now, sparging with pumpkin guts is interesting.  It doesn’t really sparge well.  It sits there dripping every so often.  It got stuck a few times too.  I had to break one of the cardinal rules of sparging and give it a bit of a stir every now and then.

Pumpkin in my lauder tun

Pumpkin in my lauder tun

It took forever to sparge.

Pumpkin and Grain guts

Pumpkin and Grain guts

I had to boil it down as I was sure I had more liquid than 5 gallons.  After taking a break for dinner I got back to my wort and began to boil it again, as I had turned off the stove.  It boiled, I added my hops, let it go for 75 minutes, then added my spices.

Pumpkin Spices (and malt extract)

Pumpkin Spices (and malt extract)

The vanilla bean was interesting.  I forgot how to deal with it, so I looked it up online.  For most applications, you want the insides of the bean.  Those are the vanilla seeds, and they look like a black paste.  The vanilla pod is not normally used, but can be for extract or other flavorings.  After reading up on it’s use, I gutted the vanilla bean, chopped it up and threw the whole thing in, seeds and all.  What the hay!

10 minutes later I added my aroma hops, which were supposed to be Willamette hops, but for some reason I left Steinbarts with Goldings.  I didn’t want to open a brand new bag of Goldings, so I used some Fuggles I had left over.  With my beer sufficiently hop aromaed, I strained all the hops and stuff out, poured it in my bucket, and topped it off to 5 gallons of water.  It seems my fear of too much liquid was unfounded, as I only had about 3 gallons in the bucket before topping off.

Tomorrow sometime I will aerate and pitch my yeast.

Edit:  9/4 and I took my gravity readings and pitched my yeast.  The initial gravity on the IPA was 1.064 and the Pumpkin ale was 1.074.  IPA was lower than last time.  Hmm….

Permanent link to this article: http://www.brettgorley.com/blog/?p=890

Aug 03

Weizenbeir, Hefeweizen, Whatever – Batch 52

Finally bottled my wheat beer tonight.  Final gravity was 1.010, giving me my standard 5.25 alcohol by volume for this beer.

Taste was lacking some of the normal wheat sweetness, but had plenty of wonderfully Hallertauer hoppiness.  Can’t wait till it’s bottle conditioned.

Witty Weizenbeir

Witty Weizenbeir

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.brettgorley.com/blog/?p=885

Jul 23

Weizenbeir-Hefeweizen-Wheat whatever- Batch 52

So, a friend of mine asked me if my blog was up to date.  Yes, I said.  He said you haven’t brewed since April.  Yeah, yeah.  My beer supplies are running low, time for a summer beer.

I brewed my traditional Half-a-weizen on Sunday.  Simple recipe- 7lbs liquid wheat malt extract. Hop schedule I used Hallertauer hops: 1-1/3 oz for full boil, 1/3 oz at 10 minutes left, then 1/3 oz for the last 2 minutes.

I pitched the yeast tonight.  Initial gravity was 1.050.  Can’t wait to drink this.  I want to add some peaches to the next wheat I brew.  Maybe next time.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.brettgorley.com/blog/?p=881

Apr 16

Bottled the IPA and Belgian Dubbel- Batch 50 and 51

Saturday I bottled my IPA and my Dubbel.  The IPA I named “God is Good IPA”, and of course I’m sticking “Rob’s Belgian Dubbel” for the dubbel.  The IPA final gravity came to 1.022, which doing straight math would give a 6.3% alcohol by volume, but I didn’t do the initial and final before and after I added the brown sugar, so this number should be much higher.  I’m guessing closer to 7%, but I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to do the math right now.

The Dubbel ended at 1.016 final gravity, giving me a 6.8% alcohol by volume.  Either my initial was off or Rob got most of the sugars in his batch when we split it, cause this thing should be a lot higher.  Last time we did it I got 8.9%.  Though this is annoying, I will still enjoy this beer, so I’m not going to let it get me down.  I have two great beers to drink!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.brettgorley.com/blog/?p=878

Mar 28

How to Crack a Wi-Fi Network’s WPA

I knew it was only a matter of time.  Here’s a nice little guide on how to crack a WPA or WPA2 Wi-Fi using freely available tools.
http://lifehacker.com/5873407/how-to-crack-a-wi+fi-networks-wpa-password-with-reaver

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.brettgorley.com/blog/?p=876

Mar 21

IPA- Batch 50

Last night I added 1/2 pound of brown sugar to my IPA.  Boiled it with 2 cups of water, then waited a bit for it to cool off.  After adding it I noticed the activity pick up on it.  Next step will be dry hopping it.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.brettgorley.com/blog/?p=873

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