From one password to another

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From being a set of personal questions for validating the identity, the self-reset password of a company has moved to a self-service password mechanism.

Brilliant. Absolutely Genius.

I cant imagine how forgetting a password you use everyday or has just set will make the chances of remembering another password that you barely use much more likely. I guess if one will write it down on a post it it will be easier to retrieve. But why wasn’t it done for the everyday password?

This is the reason I keep stuff in a password manager like LastPass. If O wilI forget a manually entered password then I have the PW manager’s password (which I dont use anywhere else) to fall back on.

Brewing Kombucha : not so short guide

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Drinking Kombucha (fermented tea) is an acquired taste as it range from slightly sweet (less fermentation) to tart (apple cider) and also sour (like apple cider vinegar). The health benefits however are being touted for centuries. The TL;DR; is that is it a fermented product so it has micro-nutrients and amino acids that your body cannot product on its own. For the long version, try reading this article from draxe.com which also has a video near the middle that summarizes the main points of the article.

Kombucha is considered a health drink which translates to being expensive. In Manila, a 500ml bottle can fetch somewhere in the Php250-300 range. Brewing kombucha however is very easy as soon as certain rules are followed. For all intents and purposes it is sweet tea fermented by adding a colony of organism that will eat the sugar and poop out beneficial organics. What makes its expensive is the brewing period and the fancy labels and packaging. Enough talk, lets start with the guide.

1. Pre-requisites

  • SCOBY – or “Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast” for long. It is also called mushroom due to its appearance. Or brainmatter by some. 😉 It is the living colony that will convert your sweet tea to kombucha. You can look for brewers in your area who has some to spare or some enterprising individuals that sell scoby and some starter kombucha brew.
  • tea leaf – preferrably of the black variety. Green tea can also be used for a more delicate brew. Stay away from herbal teas or flavored/fusion ones as they contain oils that can become rancid or kill the SCOBY.
  • Sugar – white or brown cane sugar is best. Don’t use honey as its anti-bacterial properties will kill the scoby. The scoby will eat the sugat so dont worry about using the real thing.
  • Brewing vessel – pots or pans for brewing sweet tea. If these are metal, try to stick to stainless steel ones.
  • Stirring implements – preferrably wooden, plastic or ceramic ones. It is ok to stir the brewing tea with metal spoons but under no circumstance should the scoby touch any metal surface.
  • Brewing containers – where the sweet tea with scoby will be left to ferment. If this has a spigot, make sure that the spigot is plastic. Try to have wide-mouthed containers as a narrow mouth can slow the brewing period.

2. Brew the tea and ferment

  • What I normally do is heat water to the point before it boils briskly (only a few bubbles starts forming). I read somewhere that using a fully boiled water in tea is frowned upon but I have used briskly boiling water without any issues.
  • Once the water has reached the desired temperatre, add 1-2 tablespoons of sugar for every liter of water and stir. This can be increased if desired. The SCOBY will eat the sugar anyway. Don’t reduce the ratio further though as it can starve the SCOBY which can lead to its death. Remember: sugar = scoby food.
  • Once the sugar has dissolved, add your teabags or tea leaf in your favorite infuser. My ratio is 1 teabag per liter of water. I normally use black tea or roiboos. Steep the tea. Some say to limit it to 15 mnutes but I have accidentally left the teabag overnight. The brew was still usable.
  • Cool the sweet tea brew. Then transfer to the brewing containers. Then add the kombucha starter brew (or from a fully fermented batch) so it makes up 20% of the total sweet tea brew. If there is no starter brew, white vinegar can be used to jumpstart the acidity/pH level of the mixture.
  • IMPORTANT!!! : Cover the mouth of the brewing canister with cheesecloth or table napkins then secure them with string or rubberband. It is important to let the brew “breathe” otherwise it can die if it suffocates. The scoby eating the sugar will product carbon dioxide so a tightly covered container will cause oxygen deprivation and build pressure that can shatter the container.
  • After 5-7 days, taste the brew if its tart enough. Make sure to take the liquid sample from the mid to lower part of the container by using a straw.

The fermentation period will vary on several factors like temperature, if the container is exposed to sunlight, the amount of sugar in the sweet tea brew, and the size of the scoby. Quick fermentation is not always desirable as it can produce a very sour brew. Some brewing guide recommends up to 30 days but I find 7-14 days is the sweet spot (pun intended) for me and my wife to consume the kombucha.

3. Consume or do a second fermentation

Kombucha can already be consumed as is when it is tart enough. To stop or slow the fermentation, transfer it to another container that has a tight lid and then put it in the refrigerator. It is now ok to have a tight lid as this will cause the carbonation of the drink or the formation of the “fizz” found in soft/soda drinks.

If the Kombucha was too sour (i.e. left to ferment for longer than expected) then another option is to do a second fermentation. The second fermentation is also desirable if you want to make flavored kombucha. The way to do it is to mix it with your preferred fruit juice and then put a tight lid. My preferred ratio for the second fermentation is 20% juice (normally grape or black currant), 70% kombucha and 10% water. Letting the mixture brew from overnight to 24 hours is usually enough to have a fizzy drink. Serve with ice or refrigerate before consuming. 🙂

4. Notes and where to go from here

Here are some items to take note:

  • Dont consume all of the liquid. Reserve some for your next brew.
  • When starting the brew, there is probably only be a small amount of kombucha with the scoby you procured. Start brewing a liter first and then use that to start brewing a larger batch.
  • The scoby can float or sink. That is normal.
  • It the floating scoby starts developing dry spots, see if you can remove it if it has not touched the liquid. That is already mold and harmful to humans. If the mold has already touched the liquid then throw the batch and start anew.
  • During fermentation the scoby will grow or might spawn a “baby scoby”. The baby scoby can be used to start a fresh brew when it is large enough.
  • Extra scoby can be eaten like a tasteless jelly or can be added to salads. Or better yet give them to a friend or sell them. 🙂

Enjoy!

SMH

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I saw this phrase in a social media comment : “idealistic and gullible”

Two words that are dangerous when put together. These words are what mobs are made of. The gullible aspect will feed the idealistic side with enough high the same way that adrenaline can mask pains and injury that would have triggered the common sense to stop the body from hurting itself.

It is not a matter of age but more of experience. Be idealistic. Don’t be gullible. Learn to recognize and keep the two apart. I know it is not easy as it took me a while to recognize it myself.

Six feet under

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And the stupidity and zealotry continues. Each side spouting points on a whimsical issue.

When I die I want to be wrapped in the cheapest, flimsiest banig (straw mat) and buried six feet under in an unmarked rice field. So that in my passing I will go back to the earth that nourished me and in turn I will contribute in nourishing the next generations.

However my loving wife and commander refuses to acknowledge that so I will compromise on being cremated and my ashes placed inside a hollow coconut shell. The shell is to be buried under a patch of land where a fruit bearing tree will be planted on top.

If possible please make it a mango or chico tree. 🙂

ciao! 

Dearly Departed

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Kahit may kurot, may pait na di ko mawari
Aalis ako na mayroong mga aral na maiiwanan
Mga kaalamang naibahagi, mga karanasan na pinagsamahan.

Lilisan akong may pagmamayabang
Dahil ang pangkat na sinimulan ay di na pwedeng daan-daanan.

Matatag na sila, kaya ng tumayo
Kaya ng mag-isip, kaya ng gumawa ng sariling desisyon.
Di na mga bata na animoy laging nakanganga
Naghihintay ng utos mula sa kanilang mga ate at kuya.

Alam ko na malayo pa para maging perpekto
Madadapa ulit, minsan dahil sa mismong kagagawan mo
Ngunit alam ko na di kayo papasupil, hindi susuko
Babangon sa pagkakalugmok na may napulot na bagong talino.

Tatlong buwan ipapamalagi na naging limang taon.
Di ko inakala o inasaahan ang bilis ng panahon.
Dinatnan, iniwan, naghubog at nagpakawala.
Parang inang lawin sa kanyang mga inakay na alaga.

Pero hindi, di yata bagay na ako ay ihambing
Sa isang nilalang na mapagkalinga at malambing
Mas maganda siguro na ikumpara sa isang sarhento
Hinahanda ang mga kadete sa mga hamon ng trabaho.
Sa tagisan ng talino, tibay ng loob at galing.
Ngunit may nakabiting patlang na hindi pwedeng salingin.

Lilisan na ako dahil ito na ang tamang oras.
Bibitbitin ang aking mga gamit at sarili.
Panahon na para magsimula ulit maghanap ng mga bagong kasapi
Uulitin ang pagbuo ng isang grupong katangi-tangi.

Aalis na ako, pero hindi ako mamamaalam.
Dahill maliit lang ang mundong ating ginagalawan.
Nais ko na sa muling pagkurus ng ating mga daan.
Kwentuhan mo ako ng iyong mga natatanging karanasan.
Ipabatid mo sa akin na wala kang oras na sinayang
Gusto kong mamangha sa mga problemang nilampasan
Mga bagong kakayahan… O luma man pero iyong hininang….
Mga hindi pinalampas na oportunidad at pagkakataon
Na sana kung iisipin, dahil ako ay yumao.

Salamat UPEM.

“Once UPEM, always UPEM”
– Pansol battlecry

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