Saturday, May 30, 2009

Free Beer Label

I made a label for the Saison Du Mont beer the club made for Big Brew. Anyone interested can download it for free. Visit the RAZE site for the free beer label. This was made from a Saison label I found online and I modified the lettering, created new letter and other things. It prints out very nicely.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

ColdFusion Client Variables

I just watched a great presentation "Sessions and Clients and Crashes, Oh My!", with Charlie Arehart on the ColdFusion Meetup site. Its a very good presentation if you have client management enabled or run on a server where it is enabled. Anyone managing a CF server needs to watch this preso. We don't use client variables because we store things in session and save to the db only when needed. We also use sticky sessions and can re-create anything in session from the db. A long time a go we watched client variables do like 3 or 4 queries to the db on every page and said we can do better than that. How ever client variales are a nice feature to have if you need to use it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Saison Du Mont - AHA Big Brew Beer

For the AHA's Big Brew on May 2nd a fellow club member and I split a 10 gallon batch of the Saison Du Mont and pitched different yeast. He pitched the While Labs Saison yeast and I pitched a Wyeast French Saison (special edition) yeast. We both fermented around 64 ish the first couple days then ramped the temp up the best we could to 78-80. The French Saison yeast hit 1.008 and I think the White Labs was at 1.014 yet but I have not talked to him in a week or so. Its been about a week since I bottled mine and I put one in the fridge the other day. Quality control is very important.

Appearance: It was already carbonated and had a nice head that formed lace. I think it has a little more carbonating to go.

Aroma: The aroma was like a Wit, orange and spicy but seemed a little more funky.

Mouth feel: It was very smooth and finished dry. Maybe a little more carbonation yet.

Taste: It tasted very much like a Wit but not as strong orange and corriander. It was more bitter (25 IBU) than my usual Wit's (16 - 18 IBU) and my wife mentioned the bitterness. Its also pretty green yet. There was a that Belgian funk taste in the after taste. A good thing if you like the Belgians.

Overall a very good beer for one week after bottling. It should turn out to be a nice summber beer.

PS At right is the label I made for it.

Brew stong!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

ColdFusion performance and stability

Once in a while I hear a comment or a question about ColdFusion and its performance and stability. Usually this is coming from an experience where the CF environment was not architected well, not best practice. We follow best practices and our stability is 99.5% to 100% and usually its some maintenance or non web server outage that lessens that number.

Let me tell you that my team has been running several very success medical information sites for over 8 years on CF. One site now gets about 70 to 80 million page views a month. It uses FarCry for a CMS and does a lot of caching. Its no static site by any means of the imagination. Especially considering FarCry is not a page based CMS but rather the objects have views and the data can be displayed in a multitude of ways. Makes caching more fun that way. lol.

We have a host of other sites we run that are more db bound. One of them maintains about 1000+ logins an hour durring peak load. That is just logins, not counting users who are on the site already. It also rocks for stability and performance.

We run multiple instances of CF on our servers. Some servers have 5 instances running 5 different sites. Sure we do run in to times when we need to tune the code to utilize memory better but that's not a bad thing. By the way CF8 and a newer JVM gave us a nice performance boost. Some apps saw a 20% improvement.

My tips (from the top of my head):
  1. Use multiple instances to isolate applications.
  2. Use trusted cache and save class file settings if you can.
  3. Cluster - using a hardware load balancer.
  4. Use CFC's, ColdSpring and other frameworks where you can. Like Model-Glue.
  5. Use stored procedures or at least cfqueryparam
  6. Use a var scope checker.
  7. Use session scope to lessen db writes, this will require sticky sessions in a cluster.
  8. Look at you debug output and see where you can tweak performance.
  9. Look at your db performance, can you cache data, indexing...
  10. Benchmark and load test.
  11. Have a dedicated administrator who can actually spend the time needed on the servers.

If you follow best practices ColdFusion is very fast and stable.

Centaur aka ColdFusion 9

Well, as I'm a CFUG leader we were shown a CF9 preview. Let me tell you about [Censored] and [Censored]! By the way there is an NDA in place. I'm very pumped for this version. Lots of integration and programmer features. If you thought CF8 was great, CF9 with shine!

Hop Rhizomes

Well 7 of my 8 rhizomes I planted are doing great. Many of them are twisting up the twine trellis. I had ordered 4 and 4 were from a brew club member. Both sets were stored in the fridge over a week before planting. I soaked the rhizome in water about 30 min before planting. Planted them in April, still cold in MN. I put them just 2" down. A couple weeks later sprouts. Now they are about 18" or more tall. It seems like they grew faster once they were around the swine. Unless that's just because they are more established. Well I should have Hallertau, Fuggles and Centennial this fall.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bottled Meads

I bottled two meads last night. A sparkling Blueberry mead that tasted pretty good at bottling. The other was a vanilla mead that had a rubberband flavor. I had added the bean in at primary fermentation and not sure that was a good idea. Or the off flavor could have been the yeast. I used a german wheat beer yeast. The wine yeast BM45, I used in the blueberry makes great melomel.

About time...time to brew...time to code

Okay after over a decade of being in the web industry I finally created a blog. Woot! Welcome! This blog will be about web development and brewing topics.