Author Archives: admin

CD Player Repair Marantz CD6000SE

My CD player stopped working- it basically didn’t seem to realise there was a CD in it. I decided to replace the optical pickup. I followed these instructions: 

You Tube video

Good photos here

Lots more information here

The old optical pickup was a philips VAM1201/11 I got this replacement, Ebay VAM1202 it seems to be a straight swap. I got a replacement unit that had all the wires to the two motors already soldered on as I wasn’t sure I would have been able to manage that!  

So far it is all working fine playing Yo La Tengo. The only problem I have is that the CD tray does not open unless there is a CD in there. I am not sure why- I think it might be the magnets that hold the CD in place might be slightly stronger in the new optical pickup. 

First All Grain Brew

This was my first go at an all grain brew,

The process I followed was mash the grain in the cool box at about 65°c for an hour.

Then I batch sparged them with water at about 75°c.

Following this it was time for the boil for an hour with various hop addition. The results and ingredients will be posted to this page Beer when I have bottled it. 




After I said in a previous post that I wouldn’t recommend anything again and then went on to recommend a few things I am going to do it again. I was chatting to a friend and they asked for some “media” recommendations I said that I would put them in a email but then I thought I would put them in a blog post. 

Recommendation are hard because you don’t want to recommend something then somebody spent there time on it only for them to not like it so sorry if you don’t like any of these things!



  • Inside number 9
  • Detectorists you really should watch this 
  • Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
  • Stranger Things 
  • Master of None
  • Hunt for the Wilder People 
  • Mudbound
  • Okja
  • Curb your enthusiasm
  • Peep Show
  • Arrested Development  


  • Joan Shelley- Joan Shelley
  • Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile – Lotta Sea Lice 
  • The National- Sleep Well Beast 
  • War on Drugs- A Deeper Understanding 

Sour Aubergines 

I love aubergine, I think they are probably one of the best things to eat. 

I seem to be making a lot of fermented food at the moment so thought I would make some sour Aubergines

Rough method

  • Boil the aubergines for about 20mins until soft
  • Grate some carrots and garlic 
  • Heat the carrots and garlic 
  • Slice aubergines in half 
  • Put the garlic carrot and oil inside
  • Press them down for a couple of days
  • They put in a jar

This didn’t work for me as they went all moldy which I don’t think they are meant to. 



So i started to make this drink

I have now drunk some and it doesn’t taste great it is sharp and has a bit of a bite to it. In summary not very nice. My wife described it as ermm a slightly weird beer tangy taste, and asked what could be put with it to make it nicer! I didn’t have any ideas.  

Rye Bread and final sauerkraut update

I was looking up bread recipes, as I wanted to make some bread but then I got distracted by a recipe for Khlibnyy kvas- Russian fermented rye drink. It is the very last recipe in Olia Hercules’ book Mamushka This needs 200 grams of dried rye bread crusts. So I thought I would make some. 

I search for how to make Rye bread and as ever the Guardian knows how to make the perfect Rye bread It was fairly easy to follow and I left it over night to prove. It didn’t get much bigger.

The bread was fairly solid with a beery taste it was not unpleasant but fairly heavy. I have saved some in the freezer to make the drink at a later date.

Now to the Sauerkraut– I decided to put some in a jar and put it in the fridge this way it will carry on fermenting but a lot slower than it would have done at room temperature. I also heated up a couple of jars and put these in the back of a cupboard to maybe enjoy in a year or so. Heating up the Sauerkraut kills all the bacteria so the fermentation cannot continue. Some people say this means that it won’t taste as good and won’t have the full health benefits of unheated sauerkraut. This page explains a bit more about it.  

Sauerkraut update

There is a bit of scum and it tastes a lot of onion. I should have tried making it without the onion.

I am going to leave it a bit longer before I put it in the jars. When it goes into the jars this will stop the fermentation process.


As promised here is a post with no promotions!

After hearing The Food Programme on Radio 4 a few weekends ago I thought that I would have a go at making some Sauerkraut.

As I normally do when I try and make something new I look at loads of different recipes or instructions and follow a combination of them in no particular order or without any reason.

For Sauerkarut I looked at the following:

Wild Fermentation

BBC food

and Great British Chefs

I also looked in two books we have Sloe Gin and Beeswax by J Newdick and S Allison’s Book of Preserving

The basic summary of all those recipes is:

Cabbage + Salt + Time – scum = Sauerkraut

Or in a bit more detail

  • Chop or grate cabbage
  • Add salt about 15g per 0.5kg of cabbage
  • Pack into a tub/pot (clean)
  • Put some sort of stopper (that fits inside the tub/pot so not really a stopper more a lid that  is too small for the tub/pot) or plate on top of the cabbage keep this pressed down with some sort of weight
  • Leave for about 5 days the stopper/plate should be under water- brine is made from the water drawn from the cabbage
  • Any scum get rid of it
  • Leave for about 2-3 weeks taste to see when you like it
  • Get rid of scum every 3-4 days
  • After about 2-3 week it is ready to eat
  • If you don’t want to eat a cabbage in a couple of days put it in some sterile jars

I have basically done the first few steps of the above- I added one onion maybe a mistake as the kitchen stinks of onions . Also in the mix was caraway seeds, dill and juniper berries. I am waiting for the first 5 days or so.