Brewing Equipment Use for the Claustrophobic Brewer

If you ever had the experience of getting stuck, or feeling trapped in a small and uncomfortable space, you most likely have recurring memories. Perhaps it happened as a kid, and you may have found yourself in a small dark room without being able to see the light switch anywhere. Or it might have been something that developed in your teen or young adult years, if you had to go for an MRI. Claustrophobia is certainly a troubling thing to deal with, and it can truly affect the quality of one’s life.

When brewing in smaller spaces, use brewing equipment that are economical in size

What if you are not so claustrophobic, but rather just uncomfortable in small spaces? If you are a brewer who operates in a very small space, you might feel cramped inside of your workspace. But rest assured that your choice in brewing equipment can complement the small space, and contribute to it feeling more comfortable. A small space can make brewing more challenging, but it’s important to remember that your equipment contributes to the available space. Learning to balance this will allow you to keep things in perspective, and take control of your brewing no matter how limited the space is.

When the Walls Start Closing In

Have you ever seen movies where a character was about to get crushed by closing walls? You probably sat on the edge of your seat, and your heart raced as you watched for the outcome in anticipation. If you find yourself in a situation where the space between the walls was next to zero, you probably felt like those characters. For brewing purposes, a medium-to-large space is ideal, since it’s easier to carry big, heavy buckets and pots around in these bigger spaces. But if you brew in a small space, which is most likely to be your home, then asking you to find a bigger home or brewing space might be too much to ask. What can you do?

Make Sure You Have the ‘Must-Haves’

To start off, make sure you start off the essential brewing equipment to ensure that homebrewing is possible. It doesn’t matter what size your workspace is, you have to make sure you have the basics in order to make palatable beer. The phrase “every little bit helps” applies here, and even the smallest brewing set can help you produce a quality brew that your friends and family enjoy. These include:

  • Brew Pots – Of course, if you could get a big brew pot, it will serve you better in the long run. But brewing isn’t possible if you don’t have one to begin with! So use a small one if that’s all there is space for.
  • Fermentation Bucket – Your yeast will be quite sad if they don’t have a home where they can comfortably turn your wort into alcohol. So make sure you have a fermentation bucket around, even if it’s a smaller one.
  • Airlock – You want to make sure air is entering your fermentation bucket, or else you’ll be disappointed with the results.
  • Bottles & Bottle Caps – Your beer has to sit somewhere, right?

Regardless of the size of your brewing space, make sure that you have these basic pieces of equipment in order to make the brewing process possible. You don’t need to have the floor space of a multibillion dollar brewery to make good quality beer. At this stage of the game, you should focus on the quality of your brew, rather than the quality.

A Bigger Scope on Smaller Spaces

The concept of space and size is for the most part a subjective one. A lot of it depends on your physical size – the bigger you are, the more likely you’ll find smaller spaces, small. It can also relate to prior environments in which you resided. Therefore, if you are accustomed to the openness of a large space, then a smaller will automatically feel smaller. But here are some examples of spaces that can make brewing seem cramped, no matter your size and past experience.

  • Apartment – Unlike a home which usually has more than one floor and several rooms, apartments don’t have as many options in terms of available space. Many apartments are limited to two rooms, and the kitchen space may not be large enough to support big equipment. You might peer at your balcony with ambitious eyes, but for many apartments, there are limits to what you can use your balcony for, so make sure you know the rules. With that said, there are also limits to how you can use the facilities in your apartment, and you may not be able to take over them and install your brewery.
  • Basement – If you live in a basement apartment, you will also face space limitations. Just like apartments, basement units may only have one or two rooms, and other spaces are usually smaller. You won’t be able to venture out into the backyard, since this would of course lead to contentions with you and your landlord.

Stretching Limits

If you live in a small or somewhat cramped space, you will have to make the best use of the available space. This means that you will have to be creative with how you use your space, but the right brewing equipment can help you achieve this. You might be surprised with what you can do by thinking outside the box!

Make Space Out of Unusual Places – If you are single, or married without kids, you may be able to use that extra room as your brewing den. You can clear out the usual items, such as beds, dressers, and clothing to fit larger brewing equipment. That bit of extra space can allow you to bring in those 20+ gallon brew kettles, and those larger fermentation buckets. But remember not to go overboard, since you want to leave enough room for you to walk around!

Go Vertical – Think of your apartment, or any tall building. How can a building house or facilitate so many people? It’s because of vertical floor space. If you have a limited amount of space, then consider using a vertical setup involving stands and mounts, so you can stack your equipment. This will create maximum economy for space, since it will give you plenty of room to move around while allowing you to stack bigger buckets and kettles.

Your world is three-dimensional, so don't hesitate to stack your brewing equipment if necessary

Think Small – Remember those classic Volkswagen ads which were graced with this iconic slogan? You can apply this mentality to a tight brewing space. If there’s little you can do about your floor space, then you might have to accept this limitation for some time. But that’s where smaller equipment comes in! Five and ten gallon brew kettles will be your best friend in this situation, and you will have to opt for smaller fermentation buckets as well. You might have to store other pieces of equipment in separate rooms, but this shouldn’t be too problematic. The most important thing to remember when using smaller equipment is to think strategically so you can yield more with less.

Conquer the Dilemma of Cramped Brewing

Next time you enter your brewing space, and shake your head in frustration over cramped it is, remember that effective use of brewing equipment will solve your problems. In fact, you may come to realize that the amount of available space is not so much the problem, but rather your setup might be faulty. Also, don’t be afraid to turn unconventional spots into brewing sites where necessary, since they may in fact be the roomiest parts of your home. The most important aspect of cramped-space brewing, is learning how to maximize your space creatively, and also learning to accept your limits. Some of the world’s most successful brewers started in tiny rooms, but they eventually moved onto bigger ones due to their initial focus on the quality of their beer. By applying these principles, you will find that you will have command of your brewing efforts, even if you feel like there isn’t much room!

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Three Reasons to Rent From A Mumble Host For Your Gaming Needs

You may not be aware of what a Mumble host  is or the important role it serves in online gaming. You might think of this term being what you would call a very shy restaurant staff, or perhaps a tricky sore that rests on the underside of a tongue. In reality, Mumble is a voice chat client. Imagine a program like Skype or Google Hangout but with all the excess stripped away. What are you left with? A relatively bare bones program that doesn’t support video calls, but gives crisp and clear voice communication. While Mumble may not be the best choice for, say, video calling your boyfriend while he volunteers in Peru, it has its niche as the best way to communicate amongst gamers. Instead of the bulky, unwieldy keyboard communication that gets lost in the shuffle or out and out ignored, players use nimbly, speed voice chat to get their concerns, commands, or questions across in a second. Your gaming quality of life will skyrocket before you even realize how useful and fun this program is. Still not convinced? Here are three good reasons why a Mumble host will change your gaming hobby for the better.

reasons to buy a mumble host for your gaming needs

All the Cool Kids Are Doing It

When you use a Mumble host, you eliminate the possibility of playing alone. There are Internet communities with hundreds of thousands of members, such as Something Awful, /v/, and Penny Arcade. These people often congregate on Mumble servers to play their own games. For example, on the Penny Arcade Mumble servers, there are channels for every popular (and some niche) games that are out to the public at the moment. You can join these servers and queue up for a game with them in seconds. Before long, a collection of strangers with a common interest becomes an out and out community. You can meet some friends and allies from around the world through playing games on Mumble. Share laughter and good times as you rack up the high scores together.

Doors Will Suddenly Open

In many popular games, there’s the concept of an end game. Look at an MMORPG like World of Warcraft for instance. In World of Warcraft, you spend 90 levels playing the game, picking herbs, leveling up your skills, finding rare mounts to ride, buying the ability to ride faster and fly in the sky, running dungeons, and generally exploring the world. Despite the fact that leveling from 1 to 90 is a huge time investment, most people spend more time sitting at level 90 than they do getting there. Why? The end game. The end game is running raids, playing with friends, trying for new challenges and bosses, and so on. In League of Legends, you level up to 30 and buy runes and get points to spend in skill trees along the way. 30 is where the real fun starts; you have everything you need to compete at the top levels. A Mumble host is essential for the most fun in end game you can have, as the level of communication turns a frustrating experience into a fantastic one.

Spend Your Spare Time Wisely

When you play online games, you don’t have time to futz about. Leisure time can be an absolute rarity for most adults. Between work, school, paying the bills, taking care of homework, doctor’s appointments, and all sorts of responsibilities, gaming time can be rare. You want to spend that time wisely. There’s nothing more frustrating than having only a couple of hours in the day with which to play games with and spending those hours sitting in lobbies, futilely sending out text messages, and basically wasting your time. Playing alone isn’t always a viable alternative; using a PUG (Pick Up Group) to play your favorite game has a horrible reputation, due to the fact that many games have communities of rude or poorly skilled players. If you go with a PUG, you might end up dying over and over with your few hours of the night. That’s hardly ideal!  A Mumble host prevents that. You can find interested players in seconds, and if someone is part of a video game community and hooks up voice chat, the chances are higher that they have a vested interest in making the night succeed just like you. In addition, this minor barrier is often enough to prove that a player will not stand in the fire or dive into the enemy team five against one (or at least that they have the capability to learn from these mistakes).

For online gaming, you have needs that need to be addressed outside just downloading the game and booting it up to play. A Mumble host sates those needs admirably. Your fruitless, fun free nights will turn into something much more productive, and you’ll have a blast while you’re doing it. You can find communities and connect with them instantly, find new depths to your favorite games by exploring the end game, and save time when you can’t afford to sit in a lobby all night.

Tacky Mats: A Great Tool for Inexperienced Renovators

We are in an age where there are more home renovators than ever. More and more people are picking up a hammer and tool set to get to work renovating their home. There are entire TV channels that help people figure out the tools and skills they need to turn their house into a dream home. Whether it’s a new bathroom, a remodel of your kitchen, or fixing up a tired old building into a piece of property that can be sold, it can be rewarding and even invigorating to remodel and renovate your home. However, inexperienced renovators often run into the problem of what to do about the mess, dust, and debris. When you’re tearing down walls and ripping apart buildings, there’s a ton of filth that has to be cleaned up. Add in the mess that comes from sawing and creating new pieces, and then the mud, moisture, and dirt that can be tracked in by your helpers and friends who are doing the heavy lifting or giving you a hand, and then your renovation site can quickly become a nightmare! What do the pros do about these problems? They use the right equipment. When you have a nail that needs to be pounded, you grab a hammer, and when you have a renovation site that needs some mess control, you use tacky mats. If you’re intrigued, read on for an explanation of how this handy mat saves you time and energy on clean up by preventing the mess from starting in the first place.

tacky mats are good for inexperienced renovators

Why is a Tacky Mat Useful?

These mats may not seem impressive, but they do a great deal of heavy lifting. They are unobtrusive mats that you lie down on the floor. If you remember the mats that you used in gym class during school, then you have a pretty good idea of how much room these renovation tools will take up. Once they are laid down on the floor, that’s all the set up required. From there, they passively do their job. Tacky mats are coated with an adhesive; this adhesive picks up any unwanted dirt and filth off the boots of people entering and leaving and from the inevitable mess on the site of renovations. Don’t worry: the adhesive is formulated to only pick up mess and debris, not people. You won’t have to worry about catching your boots or getting stuck to the floor. You can move freely. Once the tacky mat catches onto the dust, it will stick there and not be disturbed, meaning that you don’t have to worry or stress about the trapped dust becoming dislodged and becoming a delayed problem. The difference between a renovation site with these mats set up and one that is unprotected can be night and day. When you have these mats down you won’t notice them as you work, but you will certainly notice the difference they make on your surroundings.

Focus on the Important Things

While we’ve talked about the foolproof nature of the tacky mat and the complete lack of care or attention they need to maintain, there are other reasons why they are fantastic for the inexperienced renovator. The first reason is that someone who is new to the business of renovating has many things on his or her mind. You have to carefully measure and weigh every introduction to the new room. If you’ve ever been in a house that was slapped together without much care or attention, you know how awful it can be. Drawers won’t close, cupboards slam shut, the floor is uneven and you have to keep an eye on your balance lest you slip, and surfaces won’t take much weight. A renovator has to keep their eye on many factors to ensure that this doesn’t happen to them. Dealing with mess, dust, and debris while doing all that can be overwhelming to a novice. Tacky mats let renovators focus on the important things, not the little detail of cleaning.

Secondly, tacky mats are completely straight forward and simple to maintain. Eventually, the top layer of the mat will clog from all of the dust and dirt it is holding. This may seem like a major pain; you might expect having to haul the mat out and bring a replacement in. In reality, you can simply strip off the top layer. A fresh new layer, ready to take all the dirt and dust you can throw at it, waits below. You can deal with the soiled full layers on your own time without having to pause the renovation to deal with it. Inexperienced renovators will find this a treat.

When you’re a renovator who’s working on one of their first few projects, you have a lot of things to balance on your plate. Dealing with cleaning up and taking care of the mess that renovations inevitably cause is pretty low on your priorities list. With tacky mats, you can delegate this duty to these handy mats that do all of the work and take no maintenance. Even the most inexperienced renovator can operate these with ease and enjoy the benefits they will earn from it. Don’t start renovating without these mats!