Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Hunt for Water

Ah water, its so free...... oh wait. NO ITS NOT. City council privatised water to "watercare" and now its about $70 a month.

Small price to pay for clean drinking water, first world problems etcetera

However, my new brew obsession demands chlorine free water, and perhaps something with a decent mineral content to emulate some old world brews.

But where can you find 23L of free artisan water in the city?

A bit of research leads me to the raw food meet up blog, where everyone so super healthy the ne'er a skerrick of chlorine passes their lips. But they pointed me to 15 Eden Cres in the heart of Auckland city. Its the current location of the Auckland University Law Library.

15 Eden Cres. There is a driveway by the telecom phone box but it has a barrier arm.
So far it looked less than promising. Concrete jungle surrounded me. Parking could be had for a short time  for a dollar, even though I didn't plan to be long I had to pay due to a hungry looking parking warden stalking the pavement.
The driveway did not inspire confidence.

No free parking at the spring!

But we persevered. I swear this spring had featured in "North", Marcus Lush presented, he wouldn't lie to us..WOULD HE?
Urban beauty, the interplay of orange and grey so so so frank!
Instructions were to head right under the walkway and  through the covered car park. I still felt as though I was on a wild goose chase, but beyond! Beyond! In the light a hint of green and the legendary brink wall!
There it is, a nice black plastic tap has been installed by some thoughtful person and its easy to fill your jerry can.
Not sure if vines poisoned or dead due to winter
This is what it used to look like (image by Phil Hanson)

So I grabbed my water and when I got home I did a bit more research. Auckland city history is well served by the timespanner blog and has load of knowledgeable commenters. From here I learned that the spring once served Grey and Menzies, a local soft drink producer.
From Interesting collectables of New Zealand

The spring also helped the city through a drought in the late 1840's. The spring is called Waiariki and originates near Albert park. It's also popular with Geocachers, but as its a popular site it keeps getting "muggled". It was also run down to the wharf at official bay to refill ships barrels, these days the overflow still runs to the ocean, but unused and unloved via stormwater drains.

So there is free spring water to be had in the CBD. Surprisingly easy to find and easy parking on a Saturday too.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

First Batch Label

Second Batch of Home Brew

Experimental Double Pale Ale

So I dumped two pouches of Mangrove Jacks Pale Ale malt extract and topped up to 25L. No dextrose, that's what the second pouch of malt extract is for.
One sachet of yeast.

Two days later and I have huge krausen and bubbles every 7 seconds. Smells a bit fruity, not sure if that's good or bad.

Initial Gravity Reading 1.0425

Well its been a week, fermentation has slowed. Nice flavour developing, still considering dry hopping.
Gravity now 1.0175

Gravity 1.015 creeeeeeeping down. I want it under 1.01! tasting gooooood though!

Gravity 1.015 still. Hmmmmmmmm is it stuck or finished? I have no idea!

Gravity 1.015 heck it I'm bottling next chance I get.

Yeah I really could have bottle this last week. But its all done now! Dry hopped for two days with some hallertau wakatu in a mesh bag. Next time, more hops, more days.