First brew day of the year was going well, but cmpletely stopped in its tracks as the grainfather pump has stopped pumping.. Can’t ascertain if its a blockage or yet another technical flaw with this unit but either way, the brew is fucked.. My patience with grainfather is pretty much exhausted.. Going to look for a replacement.

It seems that my suspicions about the gss refill being very under-pressurised was spot on. Empty already after about 4 weeks.. Previous one lasted a year..

An evening of cleaning and sanitising brewing equipment awaits as tomorrow is the first of hopefully many brew days of the year!

Sticking with the same beer style as last time but this one being a blend of a handful of different recipes.. The previous beer is drinkable but not overly enjoyable and lack any sort of head\foam retention.. Drinks a bit like a Scottish export from the 80s.. Hoping this next one will correct some flaws.

Hmm after updating my instance to the latest round of pixelfed commits, my discover page is now entirely populated by posts made by myself..

Not that it was hugely meaningful before the changes, as the trending section was populated with posts that appeared in my timeline but I’m not sure that these new changes fulfil the brief of “discover” for a decentralised/federated app.. How is a user on a small single-(or few)user instance meant to discover anyone if it is local only and they only see their own posts?

I’m sure this is still a work in progress but given the importance of discoverability, particularly to smaller servers, why would anyone want to join anywhere but if their experience will be hamstrung elsewhere?

I can already play through the conversation with friend..

Friend: Oh this is a cool looking site, fairly familiar layout, sure, I’ll give it ago..

Me: I just send you an invite

Friend: eh, is there anyone other than you using this app?

Me: yes, haha, thousands of people

Friend: and I find them how?

Me: well you have to have pre-ordained innate knowledge of their existence, you know from experience with another activitypub app with enhanced discoverability options

Friend: activitywhat?

Me: of course despite my many attempts to get you to move over, this is your first account.. In that case you need to create an account on other instances and check their discover pages for interesting accounts.. But people also post photos from other non-pixelfed sites so if you want to find them you’ll need to sign up to another service, but I can give you an account on my..

Friend: Actually, never mind, thanks anyway..

My new uni course is very different in approach to the last one.. The previous course was comprehensively taught with mountains of relevant paper suggestions. This one is very much a hands off, go teach yourself, kind of course.. Almost no per topic literature suggestions for the first 2.5 hour lecture which was very much just a summary of the 5 slides of “learning materials”.

There will be lots of guest lectures which will hopefully be a little more generous with content, first from a professor of microbiology working at Diageo.

I have just read through the two assignments.. I’ve to create an industry briefing report on a proposal to replace an inefficient filtration process for the first, then complete a number of external safety courses then write a reflective essay for the second. Not riveting but at least researching both will provide useful information for the future.. Even though I intend on brewing unfiltered beers.

First lecture of new semester today, up to 2.5 hours long.. Not sure how likely it will be that I can watch and work every Monday afternoon but we’ll see.

On the plus side, hopefully I’ll find out details about both of the mid-semester assignments today and make a start on researching them.

I emailed a friend who used to be my Japanese tutor (both private then subsequently at uni), best teacher I ever had, to catch up and also offer assistance to her husband who I’d heard through a mutual friend was attempting to encourage the Japanese government to loosen their laws around home-brewing.

.. Turns out that her husband imports brewing equipment from California, where they live, to Japan and additionally has a consultancy which encourages and helps people to set up a brewery in Japan..

How fortuitious! So in return for my offer of help, I now have a return offer to help me set up my brewery when the time comes!