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Jim Neal

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About Jim Neal

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  • Birthday 10/06/1977

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    Kettering, Northants

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  1. Jim Neal

    Mares Tail

    Surely if you could get near enough to put salt on a pigeon's tail you'd already have caught it? 😯
  2. Cheap discs don't last, false economy. Never had one shatter but that can be down to abuse as much as anything. Always wear goggles and a decent pair of leather gauntlets
  3. Got all my kit together! Boiler and fermenting buckets, wort chiller, sparge arm plus some other bits have all been sat outside for 18 months so they needed a really good soak and scrub but have come up nicely. Had a leak from one of the heating elements on the boiler so removed, cleaned up, re-fitted and tested - all OK. Found my box of nik-naks in the shed. Located my last ever (didn't know it at the time 😔) box of supplies from Yonny which I bought December 2018 - special malts, packets of yeast and several vac-packed bags of hops, of which some are now well out of date! Got my brewing books out to refresh my memory, checklist of kit... then realised I broke the last hydrometer I had and never replaced it. DOH. Hopefully can borrow one off a friend tomorrow. I can probably guess when to stop sparging from visual appearance of the wort and how full the boiler is, and it's basically just a lottery not knowing what ABV you're ending up with so I think I'll just crack on regardless! Now where's my recipes....
  4. .... and keep the spaniel off it! 😂😂
  5. Ah!! Yes I saw his facebook post earlier, made me laugh! "New job driving lorries at night, playing havoc with my alcoholism!" I've been following the new venture, yes he's really done a great job with Boot Town. I'm personally not into the really funky craft stuff (I'm an ale drinker on a budget!l) but have tried a couple and it's at least as good as, if not better than a lot of the Brewdog stuff. Agreed he is a superb bloke, always got time for you and I spent a lot of time in the shop with him chatting carp and sampling his and other customers' brews. He basically made my kit for me, whilst I helped out and did a few little parts like screwing fittings together, he even drove me over to the plumbing merchants one day to get the right bits of copper pipe and fittings! You just don't get that from most people who run a business. I felt really sad when he shut the shop down, almost guilty for not brewing any more and spending money there. Right that's it, I'm getting all my kit together tomorrow, cleaning it up and doing a brew in the next few days ☺️
  6. Just to pull you up on that point... The majority of the funding which the Government is promising to the country's working individuals and businesses is coming from what is, in effect, a ginormous overdraft facilitated to the Government by the Bank of England. The interest rate on it is the BoE base rate. Therefore they're using money already in existence rather than printing more. This is precisely because they recognise that "just printing more money" means inflation and will end up with post-WW1 images of people collecting their wages in wheelbarrows, etc etc... They're on the case, this isn't that same as the 2008 financial crisis although I'm suspecting many of us will feel the pinch regardless.
  7. I'm not an expert , and the photo doesn't show the best close-up detail, but it looks like it might have a fair bit of moss growing in it, which thins out the grass. If that's the case I think it will need scarifying to pull up the moss first, then seeding/feeding etc. You probably have to go through a period of it looking awful before it improves, don't bank on a plush lawn this summer maybe?!
  8. @Zapp did you used to frequent Yonny's homebrew shop in Burton Latimer when it was open? Some of your kit and fittings etc look very similar to his, and similar to mine! He helped me loads when I wanted to get myself set up for all grain brewing! My kit has been sat around in various states of decay for a few years,. Since having a kid I've just not had time to get back into it again 😐 Keep saying I'll do it tomorrow but never do! Naively I thought the lockdown would allow me a bit of time to get stuff done at home but in reality I've got less time than normal with a hyper 3 year old to contend with. Enjoy your brew in a month or two's time, maybe call it "Oat of Lockdown" 😀
  9. Get hold of NASA, you could sell them back the Apollo 13 capsule they lost a few years ago Nice work, feels good to get stuck in to jobs like that./
  10. Can you find the operating manual that goes with the fridge(s) and see if they state a recommended working ambient temperature range? I'm not so clued up on refrigeration technology, what's the system they use if not using a compressor? If there's still a process of condensing the refrigerant that needs to happen, there may be issues with the temperature differential...ironically it might be necessary to have some sort of heat source near them?! Take one of them indoors and run it for a day or so to see if it changes the fridge's behaviour. If you can get the fridges to work on maximum setting out in the garage, a digital temperature controller might help to regulate temperature: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/STC-1000-Electronic-Digital-Display-Temperature-Controller-Thermostat-Tools-UK/293496931446?hash=item4455c7c476:m:m7lTA96kTPo-Z7m6YOtB0Pw Set the fridge controls to maximum (coldest) and let the controller do the rest. I believe we had a conversation about something similar a while back, for your freezers, to convert them to fridges when needed - the offer still stands if you'd like me to translate the wiring diagram! The instructions make it look a bit mind boggling but becomes really logical when you see it in real life. Best of luck!
  11. Have a go at making some nesting tubes for them. Vids on youtube. Probably missed the boat for this season but get them in place for next season and see what happens.
  12. Our syndicate ordered our birds some time ago. We have ex-layers from a local game farm so they're there already. Whether we get all we wanted, or at the price we wanted, who knows? This game farm rears from a closed flock so theoretically there should be no change in the availability of birds, as long as their staffing and supply line are unaffected. Lots of ifs and buts. We will need to have a concrete answer from the game farm and also know whether we can legally be out doing the keeping duties come late June, before we decide to press on. My gut feeling is syndicates like ours can be reasonably assured of at least some sort of shooting this coming season. We just need to cover the rent really to survive, even if we have only wild bird days. I fear for a lot of commercial operators but, then again, maybe this whole thing will re-shape game shooting perhaps for the better? There's been a lot of greed crept in to the sport over the last few decades when it comes to selling shooting. Watch out for syndicates selling pegs this season at stupidly high prices for rather low expected bag numbers...
  13. Chaps, I think we've got bigger things to worry about at the moment....
  14. Apologies, my initial post #2 on this thread was only a tongue in cheek attempt at humour and I meant no offence. I don't doubt what you and blackpowder have seen. I'd be interested to see the photos!
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