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Takes That Are Correct

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Granting that In-N-Out is tough competition, this is true:

What is the most overrated fast-food restaurant in the USA?

Shake Shack. I haven’t been to every cult fast food restaurant in America, but I’ve been to Shake Shack enough times to tell you that it’s not worth braving a line with 6,000 yuppies pushing strollers just to get a burger there. I’m convinced that Shake Shack’s success is strictly the result of savvy marketing and the fact that little kids go apeshit for crinkle fries. The best part of the Shake Shack burger is the bun, which is a Martin’s Potato Roll you can get at pretty much any grocery store. The fries are underwhelming to anyone above the age of eight. The special sauce is just undercover mayo. And the shakes are made of frozen custard that’s so dry it’s like sucking on a pile of dust. I’m not even sure how it comes out of the machine.

Does any of that stop me from doing a double take any time I see a Shake Shack out in the wild? Of course not. I’m drawn in like any other sucker. Oh wow, this airport has a Shake Shack! The Starbucks of burgers! Then I wait 20 minutes for a burger that I could have gotten in a tenth of the time from Five Guys. It’s not worth it. Five Guys may have the ambience of eating in a barn, but at least I get free peanuts.

There are definitely worse fast food restaurants than Shake Shack, like Jerry’s Subs or Burger King. But no one likes Burger King. If I’m eating at a Burger King, it’s because something awful has happened. You can’t be overrated if Americans generally consider you to be a last resort. You gotta be a true fast food destination, like Popeye’s (which is very much not overrated and is a manifestation of everything good about America). Shake Shack, like Chipotle, exists in that Fancy Fast Casual category where you get to pretend you’re being smarter and healthier for plunking down $4 extra to consume 1,500 calories worth of food inside the spiritual equivalent of an Apple store. I’d rather just to go an actual restaurant to get my burger.

Actually, Chipotle is another good candidate, although I think all of the ebola has made it less highly rated. But what puts Shake Shack over the top is that it actually has a star from the New York Times. I look forward to the 2-star review of Potbelly and 3-star review of Popeye’s this logically requires.

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davebelt
16 days ago
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Oh wow, this airport has a Shake Shack! The Starbucks of burgers
earth dimension c-138

Lumen: A Portable Breathalyzer That Measures Your Metabolic Fuel Usage

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Full disclosure: I am genetically predisposed to be skinny, yet am struggling to get rid of a potbelly because I cannot stop drinking beer and eating Oreos. We live in a crazy world, where an impoverished chunk of the population cannot get enough calories, and another chunk takes in so many calories that they are preoccupied with weight loss for the sake of health or vanity.

That is the reality. To paraphrase the old Chris Rock joke, there are millions of people on this planet for whom the ability to get fat would be amazing. It would astonish someone from a starving nation to see one of us relatively rich Westerners at an all-you-can-eat buffet. And it would amaze them even more to see this new device called Lumen, designed by frog.

Lumen is a small technology-packed item that you breathe into. The device then analyzes your breath to tell you whether you're burning carbohydrates or burning fat. Here's how they envision the device being used:

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What Lumen can do is an amazing technological feat, and one that previously could only be done in a lab. That the developers have created a portable device that one can use to instantly measure their metabolic fuel usage is pretty jaw-dropping.

Demand for Lumen is high, judging by the fact that it was 3,511% funded last week on IndieGogo, with $1,764,302 in pledges. And those who struggle with weight loss are sure to find the $249 device useful. It's just sobering to think about what someone from a developing nation would make of this--we have so much to consume, that we must create technological devices to tell us when we are taking in too much of it.

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davebelt
18 days ago
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Obesity and it’s associated health risks are a problem in the developing world too.
earth dimension c-138

A “CORNY” IDEA THAT MAKES SENSE — KEGS

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“For a quart of ale is a dish for a king,” an appreciative William Shakespeare wrote in A Winter’s Tale.  And yet – while Bard’s father was an official ale taster, and he enjoyed an occasional pint at The Windmill when not inserting drinking references into his plays – neither Shakespeare nor his characters home brewed.

Had Prince Hamlet taken up the hobby when not plotting revenge against his uncle, he would have stared at the carboy of his first completed batch of ale and rhetorically asked: “To keg or not to keg – that is the question.”

Why a beginner should consider corny kegs for beer packaging

Determining how finished beer will be packaged is the second most important decision a novice brewer will make after selecting a brewing system and its components.  Many start with bottling, usually as a cost-saving measure after an expensive outlay for equipment.  After a batch or two, however, the time-consuming processes of washing and sterilizing bottles, and filling them, has some brewers wishing for a faster, more efficient system.

corny keg

This article is written with the beginner in mind to help demystify the corny keg by providing some background information, explaining its anatomy and function, and examining some advantages of using them.

The corny keg is a fairly recent invention, known originally as a “beverage transfer tank,” created by the soft drink industry in 1957.  Coca-Cola

invented a system for restaurants called a “Post-Mix” in which a tank of syrup mixed with water and CO2 for carbonation as the drink dispensed into a cup.

While the first tanks were manufactured by the Firestone & John Wood Company, and later Spartanburg Steel Products, the vast majority were

produced by Cornelius, Inc., from Osseo, MN, and so all of these tanks came to be known as “corny kegs” regardless of make.

Homebrewers flocked to these immediately, purchasing surplus tanks and modifying them for beer.  It’s purely coincidental that corny keg

s hold 5 gallons and the typical homebrew batch is the same volume.

Today, the corny keg is obsolete in the soft drink industry and has been largely replaced by the drink fountain syrup bag-in-box, yet it continues to thrive in home brewing.  Many brewers prefer pre-used soft drink kegs as a reliable, cost-efficient alternative to new kegs that are more expensive.  Refurbished older tanks are becoming scarce on the market and sell quickly when they appear.

What is the corny keg?

The corny keg is a stainless steel upright cylindrical tank with rubber gaskets constructed to hold pressurized liquid up to a maximum of 130 psi.  It is 8.5 or 9 inches in diameter and from 22 to 25 inches tall, minus the draught line and gas line quick disconnects.  It comes in a variety of sizes, including 2.5, 3, 5, 10, and 15 gallons.  An empty 5-gallon corny keg weighs roughly 10 pounds and a little over 50 pounds when filled.

The corny keg’s anatomy has three main components: the lid, the gas-side post, and the draught-side post.  The oval-shaped lid provides access into the keg.  It is held in place through tension by a thick wire handle that folds over.

The lid has a shallow lip to hold a gasket ring that seals the gas and liquid in.  The lid has a pressure valve, enabling the user to depressurize the contents.  Most have a manual value, operated with a wire ring.  A few have an automatic type, known as a “Hansen valve.”  The Valves screw into the lid and can be swapped out.

The gas-side post screws onto the keg, using an 11/16 or 7/8 star wrench socket. It provides the link to the CO2 gas line through a gray connector.  The post also houses a spring-enabled poppet and a 1-inch gas dip.  O-rings are located on the post and the dip tube makes contact with either the gas line quick disconnect or the keg itself.

The draught-side post is identical in size to the gas side but uses a hex socket.  It also has a poppet and a long liquid tube going to the bottom of the tank and O-rings to prevent leakage at either the base of the keg or with the quick disconnect.

Corny kegs fall into one of two categories, pin lock and ball lock (the more common)

This is a distinction dating back to the soft drink days when Coca-Cola pioneered the former and Pepsi Co, which wouldn’t be caught dead using its rival’s method, adopted the latter.

corny kegPin lock tanks are roughly 2.5 inches shorter and a half inch wider diameter than their counterparts.  Pin lock quick disconnects use a connecting mechanism of horizontal pins on the posts to attach.  Of note, the gas side has two pins and the draught three, so the lines cannot be confused.

Ball lock posts, on the other hand, have ridges which ball in the connectors grip.  While there are conversion kits, pin lock and ball quick disconnects are not interchangeable.

The keg’s function is a simple application of physics.  Carbon dioxide pumps into the tank headspace until an equilibrium is reached.  As the keg is tapped, the gas presses on the liquid, forcing it up the liquid dip tube and into the draught line.  Like using a drinking straw, the liquid pours from the bottom up.  When the tap is shut, the CO2 flow stops when the new equilibrium is reached.

In addition to the time savings of cleaning, sterilizing, and filling one tank versus 53 bottles, there are other advantages to using corny kegs, including:

Force Carbing.  Kegging provides the flexibility to artificially carbonate, allowing the brewer to control the CO2 volume and completing carbonation in a fraction of the time as natural.

Lagering and FermentationStainless steel conducts cold well, enabling low temperatures to be maintained.  An airlock can be installed in place of the pressure release valve.  As the beer is already packaged, it is ready to serve at the end of conditioning.

The benefits of corny kegs are worth considering for packaging and serving your homebrew.

 

The post A “CORNY” IDEA THAT MAKES SENSE — KEGS appeared first on Homebrew Academy.

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davebelt
38 days ago
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#michaelIanBlacksThroughTheYears
earth dimension c-138

6 Things I Learned About Myself During My First Trip to Martha's Vineyard

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I recently wrote about my first visit to Martha’s Vineyard and some of my impressions. ‘Twas a splendiferous time. But what I didn’t share was the tremendous amount of new knowledge I learned about myself after spending roughly a week up yonder. I’d like to share, with you, some of my personal findings since sharing…

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Five Ways to Use a Speed Square

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speed square uses

If you're doing any kind of DIY or construction work, there are a handful of absolutely essential tools you need in your belt: hammer, tape measure, level, to name just a few. Batting cleanup in this list is the humble speed square. Easy to use, inexpensive, light and portable, made of one piece of metal so it won't become untrue if dropped. And most importantly: multifunctional.

How many functions, you ask?  Read on for ManMade's five top ways to use a speed square!

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