Category Archives: general

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. 




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.  

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. 


New Host and Domain Registration for

After the introductory offer I got from ipage when I was first setting up my website ended I have since changed my hosting and domain registrar.

I have moved the hosting to Hostgator Get some money off Host Gator by clicking on this link the main reason for this was price and some alright reviews I read online. I found that most reviews for hosts were mixed. Hostgator did a great job of transferring my site from ipage and got it up a running very quickly. The website seems to be running faster than when it was hosted on ipage.

My domain registration has transferred to Hover get some money off by following this link

Hopefully this will all work out okay! My next post will not contain any links for money off i promise!

I have also spent sometime setting up the plugin Postie which is great for emailing blog posts. This works great if you have limited internet access and quickly want to post something without using the wordpress app.

Renewable Energy Bulb

If you have been thinking about green energy now is the time to switch to Bulb. If you do this using the link above then we both get a some cash back ££££££. 

Do this by Monday 20 November and we both get £100, do it after then we both get £50. So switch now.

If you want anymore info just send me a message. When Sarah read this she said she thought it was a virus/spam post it is not!