By tov617, Oct 21 2017 06:51PM

#Inktober Filthy: The Nene past the Dog in a Doublet at Whittlesey is tidal, a muddy soup that swills in and out everyday. At times fast flowing, the water of the lower reaches is an opaque and impenetrable brown that if leaking into the bilges and left undrained, can make the cabins stink. On most moorings and sometimes worst still if laid up ashore, it doesn't take long for a boat to start looking disheveled and uncared for. Leaves blow in and collect in any suitable shaped area, water-trap or drain-hole, turning to sludge, algae greens everything; at times baking on hard in the sun then turning to a super-slippery hazard in the rain. Mold grows in the tiny pits and scratches of paint or gelcoat, particularly in the nonslip deck moulding treads. Recently sparkling new ropes blend into the old the rigging with a green-grey tinge embedded deep in the twist, that only hard use or a thorough wash can partially remove. The flaky paint layers, sunbleached and powdery in their pastel hues or the greying surface of exposed untreated timber left to 'silver up', is eye-candy for romantic onlookers and the subject of countless postcards and photography books. To the boat builder it is the sure sign that the maintenance has been let go and the wood left to go brash and rotten. #Inktober2017

By tov617, Oct 17 2017 08:18AM

For over 10,000 years humanity has been trying to harness the biological and chemical alchemy that makes beer using basic ingredients usually: water, barley, hops and yeast. Scientific advancements have only relatively recently understood the complex chemical reactions that occur during the brewing process.

A simple grass known as barley grows grains that exist to reproduce and provide a food source for the new plants. The malting process tricks the barley into germinating creating fermentable sugars and amino acids in the process. Mixing this malted barley with warm water sets off another chemical reaction producing a sweet liquid known as wort. This is known as mashing, much like making a cup of tea. The wort is then transferred to a vessel in which it is boiled, thus initiating another chemical reaction. Hops added during the boil give bitterness to the beer. Hops contain alpha acids and the boiling process helps fix these acids in the solution. Hops also contain volatile compounds giving distinctive flavours and aromas, and boiling will evaporate these compounds, so the art is to add these hops at the latter stages of the boil or at ‘flame off’ thus retaining flavour and aromas. The wort is now a bitter/sweet concoction and needs to be rapidly cooled before the introduction of the essential ingredient: yeast. The ‘run off’ process through a heat exchange reduces the temperature providing the right conditions for the yeast to flourish and instigate the fermentation process. Those sugars released during the malting process now provide essential food for the yeast to feed on, and feed they do, gobbling the fermentable sugars like glucose and maltose, producing carbon dioxide and alcohol as waste products. And three weeks later you’re drinking a cool, refreshing beer full of flavour. #Inktober2017

By tov617, Oct 17 2017 08:09AM

A young Tawny Owl tries to respond to the adult's call but it comes out more like a screech. Parking our Peugeot by the central entrance to Castor Hanglands Nature Reserve beside the Helpston Road, the low clouds reflect the sodium street lights of Peterborough to the Southeast. Two other cars rip past, not sure if they are racing each other. What will this landscape look like in 100 years from now...? #Inktober #inktober2017