• Beer Comments Off on New Custom Hot Liquor Tank

    I have been doing all grain brewing with my current setup for a number of years. It includes a 5 gallon hot liquor (water essentially) tank made from a Igloo Cooler. I usually load it up with the sparge (used to flush the sugars from the mash grains after mashing) water when I am heating up the strike (initial water put into the mash to bring it up to the right temperature) water. I just let the water remaining from the strike amount continue to heat up until it’s about 178 F degrees. By the time the mash is done, the output of this tank is around 168 F – perfect for the sparge,

    The issue I’d like to deal with is the actual Mash temperature. While the initial strike water temperature (BeerSmith tells you this plus quantity) can bring the mash to, say 152 F initially, but the time an hour has passed, the mash will be down to 148 F or lower, causing different enzymes to have an effect on the kind of sugar produced (more fermentables at the lower temperature). I can continue to add hot water to the mash to keep the temperature at 152 F, but it’s hit or miss.

    I needed a recirculating mash system that would not only allow me to keep the temperature of the mash constant, but also allow me to do step mashes (multiple temperature steps that cause different enzymatic actions). There are basically two major methods for this: RIMS (Recirculating Infusion Mash System) and HERMS (Heat Exchanger Recirculating Mash System). The drawback of a RIMS system, with a heating element in direct contact with the recirculating wort is that some of the wort that passes over the heating element may experience temperatures higher than the desired temperature, although with a good flow past the heating element, this is minimized. Over time this can denature enzymes and add caramelization of a small amount of the wort. This can add up in a multi-step mash and affect the beer style you are trying to brew.

    So I decided to go with a HERMS approach and have a Hot Liquor Tank (HLT) with a copper coil inside for the recirculating mash wort. The HLT water is set to the deserted step temperature (or slightly higher) such that the output temperature is brought to the desired mash step temperature.

    In the picture below you can see the HLT connections:

    Hot Liquor Tank Connections Detail

    The top connector is the Wort In connection that goes to the top of the copper coil. The bottom connection in the front is the Wort Out from the bottom of the coil (so the wort in the coil will drain out when done). There is a T concoctor for adding a thermometer measuring the wort temperature going into the mash. The connector in the back on the bottom is the Strike/Sparge water out. 

    The heat exchange takes place when the wort flows through the copper coils as shown below:

    Hot Liquor Tank Copper Coil Detail

    You can see that the coil is suspended such that the surrounding water in the HLT will transfer it’s heat into the wort flowing through the coil. I plan to use my propane burner to bring the water to the strike temperature initially and then use an electric heating element (seen through the coils above) to maintain the temperature of the water in the HLT. I don’t plan to add 220V where I brew, so this is a 110V element. I plan to use a controller that senses the Wort Out temperature with a probe inline and turns on and off the heating element to maintain the set point temperature.

    The below picture shows the electrical connection for the heating element:

    Hot Liquor Tank Heating Element Detail

    Lastly, I plan to use the same heat exchange principle to cool my wort after the boil by adding ice and tap water to the HLT and recirculating the finished wort through the coils yet again and whirlpooling in the brew kettle with the cooled wort until the entire wort is cooled to the yeast pitching temperature.

    My new HLT was designed and built by a local (Boulder, CO) homebrew shop called Boulder Fermentation Supply. Check them out if you have something similar in mind,











  • Uncategorized Comments Off on Shangai Nights


    The SNIA US delegation has Thai food and good times with some prospective Chinese technical work group participants.:
    Get the Flash Player to see this video.


    SNIA China technical activities are looking up….


    On friday we took a trip to the Yu yuan gardens:


  • Uncategorized Comments Off on Moving web scale applications to NoSQL

    I attended a Silicon Valley Cloud Meetup this week where Siddharth Anand (Sid) gave a great talk on how Netflix has moved to the cloud from applications hosted in their own datacenter. In particular he focused on moving applications from using a traditional RDMS (Oracle in this case) to first SimpleDB (an Amazon offering) and then Cassandra (an open source Key/Value store). SriSatish Ambati (DataStax, @srisatish) hsd given a great overview of Cassandra’s history and capabilities (slides) as a warm up talk.

    Sid focused down on the actual issues their engineering team ran into when moving to the could, including:

    • Data Model changes required
    • Living without SQL support
    • No joins
    • No transactions
    • No triggers
    • etc.

    The gist of it amounts to a lot of work in your client code to handle these differences. Netflix accomplishes this by a common layer in their architecture that deals with the NoSQL and hides some of these idiosyncrasies from the application layers above. This is a lot of work (as evidenced by their recent hiring spree – they do these talks to recruit), but is necessary if they are to outsource their resource management and planning to the cloud so that they can scale efficiently.

    Sid will give a followup part 2 talk that deals in more depth with the Cassandra issues that they are still working on solving. His slides and a whitepaper are available if you want more details. Updated: There is now a video of the talk.


  • Cloud Comments Off on Why not pick one of the “open” APIs instead of CDMI?

    There is a post by Jerry Huang , CEO of Gladinet on the problems with trying to be compatible with Amazon’s S3 API. Jerry suggest you look at OpenStack or a common library instead.
    Amazon’s API (as with any cloud vendor’s API) is a moving target for sure, but the main issue is that these APIs are under the change control of a single vendor. Doesn’t matter how “open” the API is (in terms of copyright license) because the vendor can change it to disadvantage a competitor. So if you are a competitor, you would be foolish to use that API as the only interface into your cloud. So what happens? Each cloud vendor releases their own “open” API – similar but slightly different (enough to get around copyright), almost always RESTful and pretty much they all do the same thing.
    So, you get the situation we have today with rapid proliferation of many different interfaces all pretty much the same. But that doesn’t help the poor clients. They have to code to N different interfaces to work with N different clouds. And since they are rapidly evolving, they have to keep up with all these API changes over time.
    The Cloud Storage standard CDMI does not have this problem. CDMI is under the change control of a standards body (SNIA) and accommodates requirements from all the cloud storage players in it’s standardization process. More importantly, it was developed under the SNIA IP policy to help prevent any of the specification author companies from gaming the spec with their Intellectual Property. Thus cloud vendors can pick up the CDMI specification and implement it with confidence. They don’t need to come up with their own API. CDMI also has a standard way to extend the specification for vendor specific functions that still allows for core compatibility with other vendors. Want to do versioning? There is an example vendor extension in CDMI that shows you how.
    From a client side point of view, Jerry also mentions common libraries. Jclouds is a good example of this (for Java). There also common libraries for other languages. While that can insulate a client from the many proliferating APIs, it’s a tough task to keep that library up to date with these APIs (just ask Adrian). The sooner the various cloud providers can implement the CDMI standard (even along-side of their existing ones), the sooner common libraries like Jclouds can just maintain a single adapter to a standard API.

  • Sun Blog Comments Off on Happy 25th .COM domain!

    The .com domain has been around for 25 years now and it’s still going strong. Sun.COM has been registered for 24 of those years, and hopefully Oracle will keep it registered for awhile.

    The oldest version I could find (from the Internet Archive Wayback Machine) is from about 10 years after that:


    Regardless, Sun lives on as a brand and product line with a new owner now, and the innovation continues.

  • Cloud Comments Off on Draft 1.0 Cloud Storage Specification Available

    The SNIA has released a final working draft of the Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) version 1.0. The folks that have put this specification together in record time include:

    Company – Individual
    Bycast Inc. – David Slik
    Cisco Systems – Mike Siefer
    Hitachi Data Systems – Eric Hibbard
    Iron Mountain – Chris Schwarzer
    NetApp Inc. – Alan Yoder
    NetApp Inc. – Lakshmi N. Bairavasundaram
    Olocity – Scott Baker
    Oracle – Mark Carlson
    QLogic – Hue Nguyen
    Individual – Rich Ramos

    Thanks as well for the comments from lots of folks outside of the SNIA. These have all been incorporated into this latest public review draft.

    The specification is now in front of the SNIA membership for a vote to become a SNIA Architecture industry standard. It will also become both a National (ANSI) and International (ISO) standard down the road.

    I have heard lots of FUD around standardization of cloud interfaces, including the notion that standards take “too long” and that they cannot evolve quickly enough to accommodate the rapid evolution of this new industry. The SNIA Cloud Storage TWG that created this specification was formed last April and has produced a robust 1.0 version of a cloud standard in less than a year – record time for a standards body.

    The CDMI standard is extensible by vendors to cover the complete functionality of their cloud and can also be “shrink to fit” for clouds that don’t have all the bells and whistles of the full specification. These extensions are expected to be candidates for future version of the specification as multiple vendors implement them.

    Storage and Cloud vendors who have putting off implementing CDMI until 1.0 was available, now no longer have an excuse! Customers of public and private clouds can now start asking their vendors to show adoption of the standard in their roadmaps. Tools and common API libraries can now proceed to add support for a standard cloud storage interface.

    To get the Draft 1.0 CDMI specification, go here:


  • Cloud Comments Off on SNIA Release new draft of Cloud Storage Standard

    The SNIA announced that version 0.9 of the Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) is available for download.

    This version incorporates comments received from the initial public review back in September, as well as some new features. One feature is the ability to access specific byte ranges of a data object. Another important feature is the ability to access specific metadata elements individually. These features will help reduce the bandwidth required to perform certain operations.

    We have also incorporated feedback suggesting better conformance to HTTP and the principles of REST. The document is easier to read and better explains the concept behind the interface. One of those is the notion of tagging the containers and data objects with Data System Metadata. Table 14 in chapter 16 now goes into much more detail on the various metadata tags that are standardized:


    By tagging a data object or container of data objects with this metadata, specific data requirements are expressed to the cloud. If the cloud provider can deploy data services to meet these requirements, they can charge more as a result, leading to cloud storage that is better than the typical “best effort” services offered today.

    For each of these elements, there is a corresponding “billed” value that the cloud provider supplies indicating how well the data requirement has been met. The better the service provided, the more they can charge as a result. This metadata is preserved in the serialized data format that is also standardized by CDMI so that as you move data from one cloud to another (Public<->Public, or Private<->Public), the data requirements can be interpreted interoperably by the new cloud.

    There are many other new features in this version of CDMI, including a new security writeup. Please download and review this version and provide feedback over the next month so we can have a robust version 1.0 early next year.

  • Family Comments Off on Merry Christmas 2009

    Merry Christmas 2009


    Well it’s that time of year again and time for the yearly Christmas blog post. We hope you and your family have been well the past year, surviving H1N1 and the economic downturn of 2009. The picture above is from the annual Maloney family picnic held in May and (almost) every year since at least 1914. Mark and brothers Paul and Joel are in the back, with their wives Misa, Nina and Lisa in front, and with Ellen seated.

    Below is a picture from 1914 of the Maloney clan at that time:


    With help from Mark’s mom, Ellen, we’ve been able to identify most of the Maloneys in this picture. More family picnic pictures and the names of the 1914 Maloneys can be found here.

    HundleySevierMaloney.jpgThe patriarch of the Maloney clan was Mark’s great grandfather Hundley Sevier Maloney. Born in 1850, he fought in the civil war and then came west to Oregon and fathered 14 children. He is buried in a family plot near where the annual picnic is still held.


    Its also been a recent tradition to stop by Mark’s uncle (father’s side) Burt and wife Barb’s house after the picnic.

    This year has been a busy one for us, with Misa taking accounting classes and enrolling in the Buddhist missionary school (Chiryu Gakuin) for Shinnyo-en, and Mark traveling as usual for his job at Sun Microsystems.

    During a trip to Europe in May, Mark was able to visit Berlin for the first time since 1973 (when he visited both East and West Berlin), 20 years after the wall came down.


    Now a historical curiosity, but still a powerful symbol.

    Some new German cities mark was able to visit on his travels include Regensberg


    where there is a Sun engineering team as well as Dresden


    in the former eastern Germany.

    But the most exciting travel that Mark did this year was to China (for the first time). As the VP of Alliances for the DMTF, he lead the organization of and spoke at an annual academic conference (SVM2009)held this year in Wuhan China.


    He also got a chance to visit Beijing and spent a day sightseeing with his friend Winston (also with the DMTF), visiting the Great Wall


    and the Forbidden City. The whole city was preparing for the 60th anniversary of communist China at the time.


    More photos from Mark’s travels can be found here.

    Well that’s pretty much what we have been up to over the last year. Please send us a note with what you have been doing.

    13 December 2009

  • Family Comments Off on Merry Christmas 2008

    Merry Christmas 2008


    Here we are again with our annual Christmas blog post. The year has been good to us again and we are doing well. Misa has been taking classes to improve her English skills, so we haven’t been traveling together as much as last year. We did get to visit New York together in February to visit the US opening of the traveling exhibit: “The Vision and Art of Shinjo Ito”
    The exhibit featured many statues, photos and calligraphy created by the founder of Shinnyo-en.


    We also visited the Shinjo Ito center that was set up in Manhattan that had more exhibits, including a replica of the workshop where Shinjo Ito did all his creative work


    We also attended the dedication ceremony for the new Shinnyo-en head temple in Redwood City. It is on the site of a former convent for Catholic nuns from the Franciscan order.

    Mark made many trips to San Francisco for work, and on one of these trips Misa came along and we went to a small bookstore to listen to a Jazz band. These guys might be old, but they sure can play!


    We also did some volunteer work for Boulder Parks and Recreation, helping to clean up Scott Carpenter Park and helping to build the Picture Rock Trail in Boulder open space.


    It was lots of hard work, but very rewarding. We still need to take a hike on the trail that we helped to build now that it is open.

    Mark also helped out the successful Obama campaign by registering voters and was rewarded with a ticket to see him accept the Democratic nomination (along with 70 thousand others) at the Invesco field portion of the Democratic National Convention. That had to be the highlight of the summer.


    Mark is still traveling and giving talks as part of his work in the storage industry. If you really want to see him in action, here is one of his talks on video.

    As always we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    Sunday, November 30, 2008

  • Family Comments Off on Merry Christmas 2007

    Merry Christmas 2007

    Merry Christmas again. The picture above (left to right) is Ellen (Mark’s mom), Mark and Misa on our visit last January. The big news this year (if you hadn’t heard) is that Misa and Mark got married. We married ourselves just in time to meet the deadline for filing paperwork to get Misa’s green card (still no sign of that from our government).

    We also visited Mark’s brother Joel and his wife Lisa at their cabin on the lake.


    Misa and Mark have exchanged religions which means that Mark is now also practicing Buddhism and Misa is now practicing Christianity. It has brought us closer together and brought increased meaning to our faith. As a result, we have made a number of trips to Buddhist temples in the US, including San Francisco and Los Angeles.

    It has worked out great for us, using all those airline and hotel points Mark has accumulated from his travels. We even arranged a trip together to Europe on miles and points (with the help of some business for Sun Microsystems).

    The Munich temple of Shinnyo-en (below) was formerly the estate of the founder of the international conglomerate Linde. We attended a ceremony here.


    We began our Europe trip in Toulouse, France at an academic conference that Mark helped to organize in his role as VP of Alliances for the Distributed Management Task Force. Toulouse is a wonderful city with universities and industry such as Airbus. It is filled with history of course and we had more than our fill of local cuisine such as Foie Gras. I really enjoyed the sidewalk cafes and people watching (below).


    This is a cafe we enjoyed on the Place du Capitole.

    From Toulouse we took the French TGV (high speed train) to Paris where we ate dinner with some friends.


    Then we boarded an overnight sleeping car for Munich and arrived the next day. After spending the weekend in Munich, we then proceeded to Frankfurt for my talks and meetings at Storage Networking World Europe.

    Other highlights of the year include Mark organizing the annual SNIA Storage Developer’s Conference. Mark’s talk on Management Frameworks is available (warning: long and technical). Mark also took Misa horseback riding in the Rockies (her first time on a horse).


    Boy were we sore after a two hour trail ride….

    Well that’s about it for our annual personal blog post at the most festive time of the year.

    We hope you had a good year and we wish you a happy and successful 2008.

    — Mark and Misa

    Christmas Letter 2007
    Monday, December 24, 2007

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