Sorachi Ace Single Hop Home Brew Recipe

This is one of my favorite recipes of all time. I discovered Sorachi Ace when someone brought a homebrewed gallon to a friend’s party and I gave it a try. For the first time in years, I felt as though I was trying a new style of beer. It wasn’t just good, it was completely unfamiliar. A hop profile I had never experienced. It’s a strain that was developed in Japan by Sapporo in the 70’s and 80’s, and is only now making it’s way to the US market in meaningful quantities.

I went home and immediately did some research, eager to brew something similar. The below recipe is what I came up with. And I’m very happy with it.

Here’s what I went with:

3 lbs Maris Otter Light
3 lbs Pilsner Light
1 lb Wheat
1 lb Rice
1 lb Flaked Barley
2 oz Sorachi Ace (30 min, 15 min, 5 min, flame out)
2 oz Sorachi Ace (Secondary dry)
California Ale Yeast

The rice lightens it up a bit, the flaked barley adds a creamy head profile, the the California Ale Yeast is unobtrusive, allowing the hop profile to dominate the taste.

A few weeks after this was ready I tried the Brooklyn Brewery Sorachi Ace single hop. It seems to be the most popular one on the market. It was alright, but I think the high 7.6% ABV and Belgian yeast they use masks the Sorachi Ace flavor. I’m still looking for something on the market that I like, but until then, I’ll keep brewing it.

As always, shoot me an email with any questions.


Here was the first pour:72A007E5-EBAE-4E9F-82F0-E4ABC42E2051

Posted in Beer, Homebrew Recipe | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Sorachi Ace

This will be some delicious beer:


Posted in General | Leave a comment

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Zion National Park

Laura and I had the opportunity to spend a couple days in Zion after CES. It’s actually a great place to visit in the Winter. The park was practically empty, places to stay were cheap, and it was perfect hiking weather.

Angels Landing, with its steep narrow final stretch, was definitely a highlight. Quite a few people on the trail had turned back before reaching the end (and the signs continuously remind you that quite a few people have fallen off and died), so I was actually expecting it to be more narrow than it is. When I got to the end, I didn’t realize I was there because I was expecting to hit a point where I questioned whether I’d continue. Not to say it isn’t intense.

Here are a few shots, first from the West Rim Trail hike on the way to Angels Landing:

Samuel Kornstein: Zion National Park &emdash; Zion_National_Park-1

Samuel Kornstein: Zion National Park &emdash; Zion_National_Park-2

Samuel Kornstein: Zion National Park &emdash; Zion_National_Park-3

And here’s the final stretch:

Samuel Kornstein: Zion National Park &emdash; Zion_National_Park-4

Samuel Kornstein: Zion National Park &emdash; Zion_National_Park-5

Samuel Kornstein: Zion National Park &emdash; Zion_National_Park-6

Samuel Kornstein: Zion National Park &emdash; Zion_National_Park-7

Samuel Kornstein: Zion National Park &emdash; Zion_National_Park-9

Samuel Kornstein: Zion National Park &emdash; Zion_National_Park-10

It actually felt steeper on the way down:

Samuel Kornstein: Zion National Park &emdash; Zion_National_Park-11

We drove around and had some good views, mostly in the evening and the following morning:

Samuel Kornstein: Zion National Park &emdash; Zion_National_Park-15

Samuel Kornstein: Zion National Park &emdash; Zion_National_Park-17

Samuel Kornstein: Zion National Park &emdash; Zion_National_Park-19

Samuel Kornstein: Zion National Park &emdash; Zion_National_Park-20

Samuel Kornstein: Zion National Park &emdash; Zion_National_Park-21

Samuel Kornstein: Zion National Park &emdash; Zion_National_Park-23

Samuel Kornstein: Zion National Park &emdash; Zion_National_Park-25

Samuel Kornstein: Zion National Park &emdash; Zion_National_Park-26

Another highlight was the Watchman Trail, where we saw a bunch of mule deer:

Samuel Kornstein: Zion National Park &emdash; Zion_National_Park-28

And the view at the top:

Samuel Kornstein: Zion National Park &emdash; Zion_National_Park-29

Samuel Kornstein: Zion National Park &emdash; Zion_National_Park-31

Samuel Kornstein: Zion National Park &emdash; Zion_National_Park-32

Posted in Photography | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Check Out Startup from Gimlet Media

I’ve listened to NPR on a regular basis for years, but hadn’t gotten into the habit of subscribing to shows using a podcast app until recently. I would typically listen to RadioLab, The TED Radio Hour, and Planet Money, all through the NPR app. And I’d sometimes catch This American Life on the radio. All this probably makes me an extremely typical casual NPR listener.

To me, good online radio has always been synonymous with NPR, and I had never seen a compelling reason to explore further. Not because I didn’t think there was other interesting content out there, but I figured that if it hadn’t found me, it probably wasn’t worth the effort.

That has changed. I’m now a podcast person, and it began with a new series called Startup.

I first learned about it a few months ago when a friend told me about how my business school classmate, Matt Lieber, was a cofounder of a venture backed startup. I asked what they do. He said they are a podcast, but also a podcast platform. I asked him to elaborate.

He explained that it was a bit confusing, and that they might be a technology platform, but they definitely have created a podcast about their startup. And he thought they were trying to make more podcasts, but he was also almost certain there was a tech play, likely with an app. I told him that this made no sense to me. He said he was still trying to figure it out as well, but they definitely had momentum because they raised a bunch of cash. So I was very much confused, but intrigued.

It took me a while to finally look into Matt’s startup. When I did, I understood the initial vision after listening to two minutes of the first episode of the Startup podcast.

In short:

-Alex Blumberg used to be involved with This American Life and Planet Money

-He contributed to the success of these shows, and understands first hand what it takes to build awesome audio programs

-While there are many great audio programs out there, he thinks it’s a shame there aren’t even more, as he believes the market could be much larger if there were more organizations innovating and catering to a diverse range of interests/topics

-His vision is to build an ad supported for-profit audio content company that thinks up and produces a bunch of awesome new audio programs

-He decided to document his journey building this company, and so he started Startup, a podcast about building a podcast company

Startup received a good amount of media attention, which ultimately helped facilitate an initial round of funding at a very favorable valuation. At some point along the way Alex realized he needed help from someone with business experience, and he found Matt.

After listening to the first episode, I was hooked and went through the next nine over a span of a few days. There are a few angles to its appeal. To start, it’s a good story. Alex is a talented storyteller, and he’s woven together his experiences taking this company from an idea into a funded business in a compelling way.

It also offers a rare glimpse into the process of raising a round of funding, and getting a startup off the ground. Regardless of the industry, many of the challenges Alex and Matt face – pitching investors, coming up with a name, negotiating equity with a cofounder, hiring employees – are relevant to most startups.

And finally, it’s really honest. Throughout the series, Alex walks through many of their mistakes, challenges, and fears. Botched investor pitches, a bad start to the equity negotiation with Matt, a really embarrassing advertising mistake, burned out employees. Many startups go to great lengths to hide or spin their mistakes and worries, and to inflate their success. Alex and Matt aren’t, and it’s refreshing.

The story also really evolves as their business grows. By episode eight, the company had hired a team to launch another podcast, and Alex introduces their second show, Reply All, which is also worth a listen.

Here’s the first Startup episode, give it a shot:

Posted in General, Radio | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

A Dog that Rides the Bus Alone

Continuing with my above average quantity of dog-related posts, my friend Jenny recently sent me this article, about a dog in Seattle:

Commuters in Belltown report seeing a Black Labrador riding the bus alone in recent weeks. The 2-year old has been spotted roaming the aisles, hopping onto seats next to strangers, and even doing her part to clean the bus — by licking her surroundings.

“All the bus drivers know her. She sits here just like a person does,” said commuter Tiona Rainwater, as she rode the bus through downtown Monday. “She makes everybody happy. How could you not love this thing?”

When the dog got off the bus – without an owner – at a dog park last week, it piqued the curiosity of local radio host Miles Montgomery of KISW-FM.

“It doesn’t really appear to have an owner. The dog gets off at the dog park. I just look out the window and I’m like, ‘did that just happen?'” Montgomery asked. “She was most concerned about seeing out the window, and I couldn’t figure out what that was. It was really just about seeing where her stop was.”

I recommend just watching the video:

Posted in Dogs, General | Tagged | Leave a comment

You wanna know what takes real courage?

I am very much looking forward to the last weekend in February:

Posted in General, Television | Tagged | Leave a comment

Mother: Interesting in Concept, Creepy in Execution

One thing I saw at CES was Mother, a a ghost-like bowling pin-shaped hub that has a glowing smiley face. It comes with “motion cookies” that you place on various objects. You set goals (e.g., I want to drink more water), place the cookie on a water bottle, and then “mother” tracks how well you’re keeping up with your goals. Seems like some interesting technology, although seems a quite bit excessive for most people. I just couldn’t get over the way it looks:2015-01-06 10.49.51

mother senseHere’s a promotional video with more examples of the device and use cases:

I’m not sure the “Mother knows everything” motto evokes the “this will make your life easier” vibe the company is shooting for:

mother1 Sense Mother   because mother always wants the best for you

Posted in Technology | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Tech East and More of Day 1 at CES

I wrapped up at Tech West (previous posts here and here), and in the afternoon I ventured over to Tech East at the Las Vegas Convention Center where many of the larger tech firms have their exhibits.

A big theme this year was obviously the Internet of Things (IoT) — connected everything, with a focus on connected home devices. There seems to be a lot of innovation here, and many companies seem to be pushing their products closer to the point at which the benefits of some of these devices justify the (falling) costs, but I don’t think we’re there yet.

Zigbee had a big home automation demo, showing everything from connected lights, speakers, flood monitors, motion sensors, and more:

2015-01-06 12.25.39

New connected lights from Sylvania, which appeared to be competitive with the Hue and Lifx at a much lower price point:

2015-01-06 12.28.16 HDR

More home automation from Wemo:

2015-01-06 15.01.43

Not sure who would use this, but there was Droplet, a Roomba-like robotic sprinkler system. Kind of amusing. Who knows, maybe it works:
2015-01-06 12.37.25

There were a few exhibits showing sleek connected car interfaces, and all digital dashboards:

2015-01-06 14.49.46 2015-01-06 14.50.03

Of course there were drones, and luckily for everyone at CES, they were all in drone cages:

2015-01-06 14.54.50 2015-01-06 14.54.58

I was very impressed with a company that created electronic waterproofing technology. They showed a working circuit board powering a TV above (not shown) and iPhone submerged in water:
2015-01-06 15.30.47

They also had a fully functioning TV, operating in a tank of water:

2015-01-06 15.31.40 2015-01-06 15.31.47

Water-free solar panel cleaning robots:

2015-01-06 15.42.11

I was excited to see Nikon’s setup, as I was hoping they’d announce an update to the D7100 camera, but no such update yet. Only a new entry level SLR, the D5500, which does look nice.

2015-01-06 15.52.49I did get to play with a bunch of beautiful lenses. I loved the 300mm f2.8:
2015-01-06 15.56.30

Too bad it’s $6,000.

They had a guy telling stories about amazing photos he took on an African Safari — I was blown away by some of the shots he had taken:

There was a “mirror” that shows you an image of yourself wearing virtual clothes:

2015-01-06 16.17.29

Towards the end I made it over the to bigger exhibits, which were impressive, but nothing too surprising.

2015-01-06 16.23.07

Just when I thought 4K TVs were only getting started, there were 4K Ultra TVs, 4K 3D TVs that didn’t require any glasses (they made me dizzy), and a whole new line of 8K TVs. They looked beautiful, but with all the competing technologies, it just made me think I don’t want to upgrade my TV for a very long time.

Curved TVs were a big craze. Nearly all of Samsung’s TVs were curved:

2015-01-06 16.25.17 2015-01-06 16.24.58They just made me think of this from Vizio:

Curved TV seating chart


2015-01-06 16.29.24

And finally Sony:

2015-01-06 16.35.35

2015-01-06 16.39.14

That was it for day 1. My iPhone step counter says I walked 11 miles.

Posted in Technology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

3D Printing at CES

In my second hour at CES, after spending some time looking at health trackers, I stumbled into the 3D printing area. There seemed to be hundreds of firms showing off their 3D printing skills, and all of the plastic things they printed. I was struck by how many firms are eagerly competing and innovating here.

The first printer I saw, and maybe my favorite, was Zeus: A 3D scan, print, copy, fax machine:

2015-01-06 11.46.18
When pressed, the Zeus guy admitted the fax button just sends a copy of a scan to any other connected Zeus machine over the internet, but still. I was impressed. I asked about resolution, and learned that it’s measured in layer microns, and the highest (smallest) resolution of this machine was 80 microns, but it could print more quickly to other resolutions. Here they made a copy (left) of a Zeus figure (right):

2015-01-06 11.47.26

And here’s an elephant, printed at 200 microns. The picture doesn’t quite do it justice, but it has a number of moving, interlocking parts, all of which were printed in one go, with no need for assembly:

2015-01-06 11.48.34

Another printer we spent some time looking at was the Cube, which offers a range of consumer-focused 3D printers
2015-01-06 12.02.50 Cube 3D printer

While I know 3D printing technology has come a long way in the past few years, going from an interesting idea to an effective way to illegally make guns or to send tools to the international space station, the sense I got from the conference is that this is only the beginning, and quality keeps rising while prices have dropped to the point where you can easily buy a 3D printer for less than $1k. Good stuff.

Posted in General | Tagged , | Leave a comment