Using PBW to clean brewing equipment

PBW cleaning product is widely used to clean gear and equipment in commercial breweries around the world especially in Northern America as it was originally used by the Coors brewery so spread across the land.

It’s now quite prevalent  in the home brewing  industry – especially as brewers have cottoned on to how good it really is for cleaning their own brewing equipment.

Powdered Brewery Wash is a very trusted brand among most home brewing communities. If you are looking for some guidance about how to clean your brewing equipment, they will probably recommend you use this powdered wash. Don’t believe me? Check the on-line forums – brewers love and use this stuff, all weekend, every weekend.

What are the benefits of using PBW?

  • If you’ve ever used a 5 gallon stainless steel boil pot after homebrewing sessions you’ll know how krusty the residue that collects at the bottom of the kettle can get. A quick round with PBW will sort them out easily. All you have to do when cleaning with hot water, add just a little bit of PBW, mix it up, and let it germinate in the kettle. You will find the residue goes in quick time.
  • Whites brighter kind of brewer? Your stainless steel will never have looked so shiny and clean after 24 hour soak in the stuff.
  • PBW is environmentally friendly, biodegradeable, and will not harm septic systems nor polar bears.
  • You can also clean your dish washer with it!  You know how dirty and smelly they can get? PBW sorts a disher washer out – put it on a heavy duty soak so you get the higher water temperature than a normal soak and you’ll be right.
  • In fact you can clean any stainless steel utensils and equipment with it – that’s why it’s so versatile as a cleaner for home brewers. You just need some er… steally resolve.
  • If you need to remove an odour that is coming from some organic substance PBW will remove the substance and the accompanying odour. So it’s great for cleaning up old brewing equipment that might need a bit of love before it’s used again, especially if its been sitting in the back of the garden shed for a few months.
  • It’s not as toxic as other chemical cleaners. It doesn’t burn skin as other chemical agents can (like say Sodium Hydroxide) or create a strong pungent smell like other heavy duty cleaners
  • It’s pretty handy to remove labels from beer bottles after a good soak!
  • If you think PBW is too expensive, you can always make your own PBW substitute.


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Star Wars Prequel facts and trivia that the keenest fan should know

16 insightful facts about The Lucas Prequels

vader fights kenobi revenge of the sith

There’s a lot to love about the Star Wars prequels but there’s no point trying to convince the naysayeers so let’s just get on with the trivia.

Instead, for those of you who love George Lucas’ Star Wars backstory, here’s 16 cool facts and bits of trivia that you might want to learn about the prequels!

  1. E.T. creatures made a cameo appearance in The Phantom Menace
  2. The Millennium Falcon is spied landing on Coruscant in Revenge of the Sith. This was prior to Lando or Han Solo owning it!
  3. Darth Maul has ten horns on his red head. While Ray Park is famous as playing the Sith Lord, Peter Serafinowicz actually voiced the character. Benicio Del Toro was originally cast to play Darth Maul but he abandoned the role after George Lucas decided to trim Darth Maul’s screen time in the film. Benicio del Toro was originally cast but dropped out due to being a pussy. Actually, we take that back as Del Toro is up for a role in Star Wars The Last Jedi.
  4. Hayden Christiansen played Darth Vader in Revenge of the Sith as opposed to David Prowse who previously did the role. Hayden apparently begged Lucas to let him play him. The suit had to be designed to accommodate his smaller stature than Prowse’s.
  5. The sound of the hovering battle tanks used by the battle droids in The Phantom Menace was created by running an electric razor around a metal salad bowl and then digitally lowering the pitch.
  6. In Attack of the Clones, Jar Jar Binks stands in for Senator Amidala and puts forth the motion that gives Palpatine supreme powers. This means that Jar Jar, one of the most universally hated characters in the Star Wars films is unwittingly responsible for the fall of the Old Republic and the downfall of the Jedi.
  7. Revenge of the Sith featured hands being cut off in the film. Anakin loses one to Obi Wan, Mace Windu loses one to Anakin, and Obi-Wan cuts two of General Grievous’ hands off and Dooku looses two to Anakin.
    concept art of gungun army phantom menace
  8. The sound effect when Obi-Wan Kenobi’s lightsaber is kicked down the reactor shaft in the climatic battle with Darth Maul, is the same sound effect heard when Luke Skywalker throws his lightsaber away in Return of the Jedi . You know, when he tells the Emperor that he is a Jedi, like his father before him!
  9. George Lucas made his first and only Star Wars cameo in Revenge of the Sith. He dressed as a Pantoran senator, Baron Papanoida. You might not have recognised him as he all dressed up in blue body paint! His daughter also cameoed with him at the same time.
  10. When Anakin is slaughtering the Tusken Raider in Attack of the Clones, Qui-Gon’s voice can be heard in the background. This is no accident as Qui-Gon Jinn’s Force-Ghost was trying to stop Anakin’s rage, but clearly failed.
  11. Every clone trooper in Revenge of the Sith is a creation of CGI. No clone costumes or helmets were manufactured for filming.
  12. The shipping title of Phantom Menace was “The Doll House”, Clones was “Cue Ball” and Sith, “The Bridge”.
  13. Phantom Menace was the first Star Wars film to be released on DVD.
  14. When Jango Fett gets into his ship after his fight with Obi-Wan in Attack of the Clones, he bangs his head on the open door. This was intentional, and is a reference to a famous goof from the original ANH movie where a cloned Stormtrooper accidentally bangs his head on a door (the clone being the descendant of Jango Fett and having inherited this character trait).
  15. “Phantom Menace” was the name of a villain in the “Flash Gordon” comics. Which shouldn’t surprise too many people as George Lucas has often cited Flash Gordon as one of his inspirations for making the original Star Wars.
  16. Revenge of the Sith is the only Star Wars film thus far that does not feature R2D2 in the final shot (and Rogue One if that counts!).

Extra for Experts:

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Facts about C3PO

Here’s some facts about C3PO and the actor who gets inside the golden suit, Anthony Daniels.
  • Daniels has played C-3PO in all sight of the Star Wars feature films from the original installment in the series.
  • In Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, he also performed the vocal tracks for scenes that featured a computer-generated C-3PO.
  • Daniels also took part in the Star Wars spin offs Droids and The Clone Wars (film and show)
  • Daniels has reprised the role for cameos on The Muppet Show and Sesame Street (where he befriended Big Bird) and most recently a quick part in Legoman.
  • Anthony Daniels did a cameo in Attack of the Clones – check him out in the bar scene where the assassin is caught.
  • Anthony is the only actor to feature in all seven Star Wars films and will continue this streak with The Last Jedi.
  • George Lucas took a lot of his inspiration for Star Wars from a film called The Hidden Fortress (amongst other things). It featured a pair of bickering sidekicks who served as comic relief and crucially managed to help keep the plot ticking along. Lucas adopted this concept and applied it to the C3PO and R2D2. The two loosely serve to tell the tale of Star Wars from their viewpoint and naturally make a few saves along the way.
  • Robby the Robot from The Forbidden Planet movie also inspired Lucas, especially the fact that Robby was a protocol droid.
  • Here’s three choice quotes from the golden rod:
    • “I suggest a new strategy, Artoo: let the Wookie win.”
    • “Excuse me sir, but that R2-D2 is in prime condition, a real bargain”
    • “Sir, it’s very possible this asteroid is not stable”
  • Famed artist Ralph McQuarrie designed C3PO by taking inspiration from the robot Maschinenmensch that featured in Metropolis.
  • As C-3PO, he has the first line in A New Hope (Did you hear that? They’ve shut down the main reactor) and the last line in the Revenge of the Sith (oh no!), neatly tying the two trilogies together.
  • In Sith, All filmed shots of C3PO had the green screen set reflecting in his shiny gold armor, so digital effects artists in post-production had to digitally redo C3PO’s armor frame by frame to remove any traces of the green reflection.

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I just finished the Star Wars book ‘Heir to the Empire’ and immediately (and finally) understood what all the fuss was in terms of Grand Admiral Thrawn. He’s the chief antagonist of the book and it’s quite clear from the first few paragraphs he feature in that he’s the real deal. Inspired by this belated introduction to the Big Blue Chiss, I thought I’d present some facts about him.
  1. Timothy Zahn, the author who created this beloved character described Thrawn as thus: “He’s a clever villain. People like reading about clever, interesting opponents to our heroes. People who are able to out think, outmaneuver as well as outfight. Ultimately the heroism of the hero is measured by the villainy or power of the villain and with Thrawn I wanted something different than Force using Vader or Palpatine. Somebody who doesn’t have Luke’s Force Powers, but can run him around in a maze whenever he really wants to.”
  2. His real name is “Mitth’raw’nuruodo” – Thrawn is a shortening of his full name
  3. While he make’s his debut in Timothy Zahn’s ‘Heir to the Empire’ novel, Thrawn has actually appeared in 8 novels, several graphic novels and turned up in a few video games.
  4. Thrawn’s species is ‘Chiss’. All Chiss are human like in their physical appearance, save the blue skin and red eyes.
  5. The name “Coruscant” was originally used by Timothy Zahn. George Lucas was going to include the capital world of Had Abbadon in Return of the Jedi, but adopted Zahn’s name for Imperial Center when presenting the planet in the Special Edition and prequel movies.
  6. Zahn has said thatThrawn’s character is a composite of various historical and fictional personalities, including Erwin RommelRobert E. LeeHannibal Barca, Alexander the Great, and Sherlock Holmes. Some of those names are the greatest military leaders of history.
  7. Thrawn was not a known beer brewer and likely never ever used a good quality gas burner on brewing day. Which is a shame because a good burner gets your wort to the exact temperature needed to make the grain to its thing.
  8. The Secret History of Star Wars by Michael Kaminski credits the Thrawn trilogy with reigniting the general public’s interest with the Star Wars franchise.
  9. Due to the changes to what is considered Star Wars canon, The Blue Chiss is no longer canon – he’s now formally part of the Legendary expanded universe. As of writing, Thrawn has not made it into any new Star Wars canon, though it is strongly speculated that he may turn up in Star Wars Rebels.

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What gear do I need to start home brewing?

What gear do I need to start home brewing?

If you’ve decided to brew beer, you’re in great company. Einstein, Churchill and Thor himself and every man with a shed has at one point or another brewed some tasty beverages. But they all had to start somewhere, and so here’s a list of what equipment you might need to get started brewing beer.

We’re talking about brewing using a beer kit here, the kind of brewing where you ‘beer wort’ basically comes in a can. You get to choose what hops or sugar you add (jelly beans maybe) and the rest is simply following some good brewing instructions.

But what do you need to brew some good home made beer. This list is just the basics, you could probably actually get away with using less but at the very least, this guide should help you decide what you need to get that golden ale flowing down your gullet.
What gear you might use on brewing day 


  • A beer kit – source a handy brew from an online store, or your local brew supplier. Some supermarkets stock them
  • A brew enhancer, DME or dextrose – 1Kg
  • Hops – an optional addition but good for getting some good aromatic flavours and it’s easy to add hops to the beer *

Equipment for brewing

  • Sanitizer – To sanitize all of your equipment. It’s a must. If you don’t your beer might die.
  • 6 gallon / 23 litre fermenter (drum or bottle). You will use this for making your beer in
  • Thermometer – To monitor the temperature of the wort – this is so you can add the yeast at the correct temperature and avoid killing it. *
  • Hydrometer – Used test the original gravity of your batch *
  • Paddle or spoon – Something to stir the boil with, maybe not your wife’s best spoon. A long handle is what you need.
  • Gloves – making beer can get a little messy *
  • Can opener – to open the beer kit
  • Water – Access to both boiling and cold water
  • Bubble Airlock – to allow the release of CO2 and to assist with the observation of fermentation

Bottling your beer – what you need

  • Bottles! – cleaned and free of dirt and spiders or slugs (trust us on this, it’s happened)
  • Sanitizer – Yes, one again you need sanitize all equipment and bottles and caps
  • Bottle caps – Make sure they are not twist-off bottles
  • Bottle capper – speaks for it self, helps you place the caps on bottles
  • Hydrometer – To measure the final gravity *
  • Priming sugar – Sucrose which is to carbonate the beer while in the bottle (called beer conditioning)
  • Bottling wand – This allows you to easily control the flow while bottling and means less spillage will occur. *

* denotes an optional item of equipment

Originally published on How to homebrew beers as What equipment do I need to brew beer?

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How many number one songs have U2 had?

How many number one songs have U2 had?

The short version: UK 7 and US 2

The long version:

U2 have had all kinds of hits on the music charts but at the end of the day it’s the songs that made number one on those charts that are often the ones asked about as questions in pub quizzes. So to help you out, here’s a list or two of U2 songs that have made number one.

There are various kinds of charts that track popularity and they often revolve around rock, country and blues and are used to allow music that would never be mainstream get some air time. There’s even the itunes charts which for some unexplained reason people seem to think matters…

Two my mind there are only two charts that really count. Being ‘Top of the Pops’ in the UK means you are number one and crowning the Billboard 200 means you have the most popular song for the week in America. And we’ll use those charts to show how many number on hits U2 have had.

First up is the America Billboard chart which shows the U2 have had two number one hits. Both hits were from The Joshua Tree and were With or Without You and I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. Desire from Rattle and Hum made it as high as 3 and a couple of singles from Achtung Baby and Pop made the top 10 and that’s it.

So, U2 have only had 2 number one American hits.

It’s a better story for the UK chart where U2 have had a bit more success in terms of chart toppers.

Nothing from The Joshua Tree went to number one despite the album’s massive success so it was Desire that became U2’s first UK number one hit. It came from Rattle and Hum. In 1991 when The Fly flew off as the lead single from Achtung Baby it landed at number 1.

It was a long time between drinks when Discotheque dropped in 1997.

U2’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind had a string of popular singles but only Beautiful Day in 2000 managed the spot. A debatable number one is Take Me to the Clouds Above” by LMC vs. U2. Debatable as it was a song featuring samples from U2’s With or Without You with a health splash of Whitney Houston thrown in. At the end of the day, the song has U2’s name in the space where the artist’s name goes so it counts as a number one.

How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb offered a notable double with both Vertigo and Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own grabbing their time in the top position.

No Line on the Horizon suffered from a lack of hit singles.

This means U2 have had seven number one hits in the UK and two in the U2. Unsurprisingly U2 are even more popular in their home country of Ireland and owned the number one place an awesome 21 times.

The next most popular country is the enlightened people of Canada with 14 which is twice as many as the UK successes.

List of U2’s UK number one songs:

  • Desire
  • The Fly
  • Discotheque
  • Beautiful Day
  • Take Me to the Clouds Above
  • Vertigo
  • Sometimes You Can’t Make it On Your Own

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Who likes Star Wars?

The Force is strong with these Star Wars Stories

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Super cosplay girls

Here’s a few cosplay pictures that might brighten your day.

This Power Girl tells you where to go:

power girl

UP here boys!

We promised you a Super Girl:

cute super girl

What would this wicked Wonder Woman cosplay?

Wonder Woman costume play megan mar

Do you even lift?




















Check out Emma Frost cosplay from Xmen:

Frosty reception guaranteed




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Avenge this, baby!

Play time for Captain America

Here’s some cosplay of the heroes that can be found in the Avengers movie and comics – Hulk, Black Widow, Iron Man, Captain America, Hawkeye, Nick Fury and the hammer man himself, Thor.

Iron Man and his bikini loving Ironettes

Cute couple?
Black Widow sure loves her leather
Where’s the Hulk?
Hawkeye and The Black Widow
Nick Fury and some red heads
Wide eyed Thor
An effective trio
Nick Fury and War Machine
Beer o’clock and double vision for this Captain America!

You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry

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The Blunder and The Bus

Love Interruption Lyrics by Jack White

Love Interruption is Jack White’s first ‘proper’ single as a solo artist. Since his divorce from The White Stripes he has released a large volume of material but it has all been with other artists. His efforts with The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather were notable examples.

Love interruption is from Jack’s solo album, Blunderbuss.

Love Interruption’s lyrics are a strange tale of love involving desires to be stabbed and murdering mothers.

The b-side to Love Interruption is Machine Gun Silhouette.


I want love to, roll me over slowly

Stick a knife inside me and twist it all around

I want love to grab my fingers gently

slam them in a door way, put my face into the ground

I want love to, murder my own Mother

Take her off to somewhere, like hell or up above

I want love to, change my friends to enemies

Change my friends to enemies and show me, how it’s all my fault


I won’t let love disrupt, corrupt or interrupt me

I won’t let love disrupt, corrupt or interrupt me

I won’t let love disrupt, corrupt or interrupt me, anymore

I want love to, walk right up and bite me


Grab a hold of me and fight me, leave me dying on the ground

And I want love to spin my mouth wide open

And cover up my ears and never let me hear a sound

And I want love to forget that you offended me

Or how you have defended me

And everybody let me down

I want love to, change my friends to enemies

Change my friends to enemies and show how it’s all my fault


I won’t let love disrupt, corrupt or interrupt me

I won’t let love disrupt, corrupt or interrupt me

I won’t let love disrupt, corrupt or interrupt me, anymore


Maybe you are more of a Pink Floyd fan? You might be pleased to know the band has announced plans to release a new album called The Endless Summer. Here’s the lyrics.

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