Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Art of Label

This will be my first post of 2011. I intend it to be a recap of the year that was for my little site, but first, here is an update on the ongoing home brewing experiment. I have been meaning to mix up a batch of the home brew since I got back from China, but I have been busy with work and the holidays. Also, due to extenuating circumstances, I found that I did not have a whisk which is needed during the brewing process or any sugar which is needed for bottling. I took care of the first issue yesterday by picking up some whisks along with some other kitchen supplies including measuring cups and measuring spoons.

Instead of buying a bag of sugar which I otherwise did not need, I decided it was time to try another method for creating carbonation. The two main carbonation options are Coopers Carbonation Drops and Munton's CarbTabs. Based on information from various message boards, I understand the main difference between the two is that the Munton's tabs contain mostly glucose (a.k.a. dextrose or corn sugar) and the Coopers drops are a mix of sucrose (or table sugar, 73%) and glucose (27%). While the Coopers drops are suppose to be faster, I decided to go with the CarbTabs.

I also took the opportunity to visit Fifth Season Gardening Company which is located on Hillsborough Street over near the state fairgrounds. In addition to being a gardening store, they also have an inventory of home-brewing supplies. After mastering the Mr. Beer kit, I think I would like to step up to a more full-function kit such as this one from Brewer’s Best. Anyway, the store was out of both the CarbTabs and the Carbonation Drops, so I had to order some of the CarbTabs. Since I assume they will be delivered within two weeks, I went ahead with mixing up the brew and putting it in the keg. I used the last can from El's original gift which was Octoberfest Vienna Lager. Now I need to look into buying some refills.

Moving on, I am a few days late, but I published my first post on this site one year ago on January 3. No, I did not do anything in particular to celebrate this first anniversary. This post is sort of a follow-on to my State of the Site post from back in February where I summarized the first month of the site. For the full year of 2010, I had 62 posts which is an average of just over five posts per month and over one per week. I got off to a strong start with 15 posts in January and 11 in February. After that, my posting frequency dropped off considerably. I averaged only 36 posts over the next ten months or less than one a week.

I came up with the title for this post before I started typing it. My plan is to examine the labels that I have used so far. Of course, leading the pack is the "beer" label with 37 posts which is a whopping 60% of all my posts. I went back and added a new label for posts that were specifically related to home brewing. There are thirteen posts with the new "home brew" label. This post will be number fourteen. The next highest ranking label is "sports" with 22 posts. Those posts cover a variety of different sports including baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and racing. I also went back and added a new "NFL proposal" label to my four posts (so far) on that subject.

None of the other labels cracked double-digits in posts. Next on the list is the "books" label with six posts. As my Goodreads gadget will attest, I have read several books since my last book-related post in March. I just need to try harder to post about what I have read. The next three labels all tied with five posts apiece and are each related to entertainment. Last month, I had one post labeled with both "movies" and "television", and another post labeled with "music". To summarize, my site is primarily focused on beer, sports and various forms of entertainment.

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