Archive for the ‘Class/Workshop’Category

Really Late Wine Tasting Follow-Up

So last last Friday, the 16th, member Kyle Bieneman held a wine tasting class on Pinot Noir. I’ve been meaning to get this post up earlier, but enjoy the pictures and information from the handout:

photo 5

“It’s…thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It’s, you know, it’s not a survivor like Cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and uh, thrive even when it’s neglected. No, Pinot needs constant care and attention. You know? And in fact it can only grow in these really specific, little, tucked away corners of the world. And, and only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Pinot’s potential can then coax it into its fullest expression. Then, I mean, oh its flavors, they’re just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and…ancient on the planet.” –Miles Raymond, Sideways

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Note: From Burgundy

The grape: Pinot Noir grows in tightly packed bunches (the “Pinot” in the name refers to the pinecone shape of the bunches). These tight bunches tend to be somewhat more susceptible to disease. Being thin-skinned, the grape is also at great risk from extremes in temperature. Fortunately, as it ripens early, it can be grown in cooler regions than heartier grapes (like Cabernet Sauvignon).

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Color: For red wines, color comes from the skins (it is not naturally present in the juice) in a process called “extraction.” Grapes go through a machine called a “crusher-destemmer,” and rather than being juiced as with white wine, the pulpy mass is then fermented in giant vats. Note that the skins will naturally float to the top, forming a “cap,” requiring some kind of system to circulate the fermenting juice (whether a “punch-down,” a “pump-over,” or some sort of a mixer).

Sometime after fermentation has completed, the “free run” is drained off. The remaining “pomace” is then pressed to extract all the remaining liquid. The free liquid is generally light in flavor and color than the pressed liquid, and so will often be aged separately, being blended only at the end to fine-tune before bottling.

Pinot Noir is thin-skinned with less color (anthocyanin) in the skins, it tends to extract less color, and thus is paler than most red wines. Being lighter in flavor, some winemakers will even leave the stems in for fermentation to impart more “tannins.”

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Tannins: Tannins are much more present in red wine than white wine, partly because they come from the skins during extraction (as well as seeds and stems, if present), and the oak barrels during aging. Tannins are traditionally used to turn hides into leather (“tanning”), hence the name. This is why bitter red wines often make your tongue feel dry and leathery. The “resolving” of tannins is a prime reason why many red wines get better with age.

Pinor Noir is notably low in tannins, and so some winemakers will leave the stems in for fermentation.

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Note: Australian

Flavors in Pinot Noir: As a lighter, more delicate wine, flavors tend toward the redder fruits such as cherry, strawberry, and raspberry. Less prominent notes might include vegetal (beets, green tomatoes, olives) or earthy (truffles, barnyard) flavors. Pinot does not typically display the darker fruit (plum) or spicier notes (cigar box) of other red wines. As a result of its lighter flavors, it tends to pair well with pork and fowl, rather than beef.

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Burgundy: Pinot Noir originates from Burgundy, a region in the east of France, between Champagne to the north, and Beaujolais to the south. Burgundy is divided into four major sub-regions (from north to south, and highest to lowest quality): Cote de Nuits, Cote de Beaune, Cote Chalonnaise, and Maconnais.

However, Burgundies will generally be labeled by their village, of which there are too many to list. There are about 600 “Premier Cru” vineyards across Burgundy, and only 32 “Grand Crus,” which will be more expensive, and generally superior to, the villages. The Premier and Grand Crus are designated by the French government based on the reputation of past production.

The Grand Cru red Burgundies are some of the most expensive and sought-after wines in the world, costing nearly $1000 a bottle in good years.

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Thanks again to Kyle for these notes.


01 2015

Circuit Soldering with the Women’s Electronics Workshop

Saturday’s Circuit Soldering Workshop was a blast!

For updates on future workshops, check out our MeetUp page.



01 2015

Beer Church Brew Day Sunday 1/4/2015

We’ll be brewing up a beer this Sunday the 4th of January at 12:00 Noon. As per usual, we’ll hold a beer tasting first. If you can, please bring something interesting, unusual, homemade – if not, you’re just as welcome, we have never not had enough beer for the tasting.

Once we’re done tasting we’ll select a brewmaster (the person in charge of the brew – as much as anyone is in charge of the brew), pick a recipe, and head around the corner to Brew & Grow to get the ingredients. By 1:30 or 2:00 we’ll be brewing and we will usually be done brewing by 7.

The event is very hands on – anyone who attends can help out at any stage. You will get to try the beer when it’s finished (this can take a few weeks), and help with the later steps if you like including transferring into secondary fermentation, kegging, and bottling.

Potential recipes for this Sunday:

* Winter lager
* Doppelbock
* … you tell me?

You must be 21 or older to attend Beer Church. We encourage you to RSVP on Meetup, but this isn’t required.


12 2014

Orientation Class!

Hi all,
​As per our norm (and of course the calender on the Wiki), ​the monthly orientation class is happening again this Sunday (the 2​3rd) at 4pm in the 1st floor lounge.

The class is not only a great way for people to get a feel for the space and our community, but it is also a requirement for joining​ as you must take the class before joining or within 3 months after joining.


PS:One Orientation (previously known as N00bz Paradise) is happening ​this ​Sunday at 4pm in the downstairs lounge.

Never been, but want to learn more about PS:One?
New member?
Old member, but want to know all the secrets of the inner workings of PS:One?
Want to get certified, but don’t know how?
Want to do-ocritize, but haven’t even heard of do-ocracy?
Then this event is FOR YOU!
Free, open to all event – just show up at 4pm on Sunday ​November 23.

You’ll learn:

  • the one and only rule you need to remember at PS:One!
  • what mailing lists and IRC channels you should join
  • how to get discounts on classes, tee-shirts, stuff around town, and even monthly dues!
  • how to get certified on equipment
  • how to donate equipment to PS:One
  • how to create a class, event, group, meeting, or what have you
  • how to request a class, event, group, whatever
  • how to blog
  • the wiki.
  • do-ocracy and how to do-ocratize things

The basics:

  • Who: anyone who wants to learn more about PS:One and how it works
    • When: Sunday, ​November 23 at 4pm
  • Where: PS:One 1st floor lounge
  • Cost: free

Here are the class notes – please feel free to read beforehand (Note: these notes are not a good substitute for class attendance).

Steve Farkas

​​AKA Steve (The Other One)


11 2014

Solder Party

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Saturday’s Solder Party was fantastic! We got all the circuit boards trimmed and tinned.

I’m thinking of doing this again for future projects (and I’m looking for circuit knit ideas and collaborators!). A few things I learned from Saturday’s event that will be helpful:

  • Removing the scrap wire  beforehand would be helpful and/or we need better diagonal cutters in the lab.
  • A piece of cardboard behind the board keeps flux off the table, and provides a guide for blocking the knit.
  • Boards to practice on would be helpful. Also, wetting down the boards will prevent scorch marks.
  • We have replacement soldering iron tips in the lab.
  • Bacon really is the best pizza topping and La Villa is the Pizza In A Bag place.

We didn’t get everything done, so I’m hanging out in the lab this week to finish. (Jay Hopkins apparently has become addicted to soldering knit circuit boards, and has been working on them even when I’m not around! Thanks, Jay!)

Everett took great pictures. I’ve posted a few here but you can find the entire album on our Meet Up page. Please visit, and tag yourselves!







10 2014

Brew day 10/12 @ noon!

If you’d like to get into beer brewing or are already a brewer, or just like & appreciate beer, then come down to the space at noon on Sunday.  We’ll be having a beer tasting and brew day. We’ll likely taste a brew we made recently and make something new. Justin will be the brewmaster. Of course, you must be at least 21. See you Sunday!

You can RSVP on meetup if you like but it’s not required.


10 2014

Beer Church Brew Day: Saturday 9/20

We’ll be having a beer tasting and brew day on 9/20 (Saturday) at 12:00PM noon. We normally brew on Sundays, but we’re mixing it up this time. We’re looking to make an Octoberfest Lager or a Märzen, but it’s really up to whatever the people who are going to participate in the brew want to do.  Our temperature control system Chillmon is working, so any fermentation temperature is possible.

The brew is a very hands on workshop, even first timers can try their hand at various parts of the brewing process including recipe development, prep, mashing, grain grinding, mashing, sparging, boiling, pitching, kegging, and setting up our in-house bar.  We go from malt, hops and yeast infusions all the way to serving out of our chilled tower tap system. If you just want to watch and listen, that’s fine too. Any idea or person is welcome.

We’ll be tapping our Rosemary Stout for the first time this Saturday. If you’d like to share anything please bring it (craft brew, homebrew, whichever)! We love to talk about your homebrew or the interesting beer you made or found that you want to experience with other beer aficionados.  You must be 21 years old to attend Beer Church.

You can RSVP on our Meetup group.


09 2014

SPICE it up – Circuit Simulation using LTspice


Probably the most neglected, yet most useful, tool for circuit designers is SPICE.  SPICE gives you the luxury of simulating circuits to predict the results prior to building a physical circuit.  Being able to change resistor values or transistor configurations within a couple mouse clicks and a few keyboard presses, is a very powerful and time/money saving feature.  As such, it is also very useful in troubleshooting previously built circuits to find solutions to lingering design problems.

SPICE (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis) is open-source software released under the “BSD license”.  Several companies produce their own version of SPICE, such as TINA from DesignSoft or PSpice from Cadence.  However, the fastest and most user friendly implementation is LTspice.  LTspice is provided by Linear Technology and is completely free to use without restriction.  It is the same software that is used internally at Linear Tech to develop and test their line of analog/linear semiconductor ICs.  It was written by Mike Engelhardt, who periodically goes on tour teaching classes and answering detailed questions for his own software.

I’ll be holding a class to introduce the basics of using LTspice.  LTspice was originally written for Windows and was recently ported to Mac OS X.  The Windows version is capable of being run on Linux through Wine, but it obviously doesn’t run as well as on a native Windows machine.  I’ll be teaching with the Windows version, since I am the most familiar with it.  The Mac version has a slightly different user interface, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to keep up.  Here are the topics I’ll be covering:

  1. Placing & Wiring Up Components
  2. The Most Basic Simulation: DC Operating Point
  3. Labels and “Net” Names
  4. Finding Frequency Response: AC Sweep
  5. Using the Plot Window
  6. The Real Deal: Time-Domain Simulation (Transient Analysis)
  7. Piece-Wise Linear (PWL) Sources
  8. Using SPICE “Directives”
  9. Working with Semiconductors
  10. Linear Tech’s IC Models and Test Jigs
  11. Importing 3rd Party Models & Sub-circuits


The Details:

  • Who: Anyone who wants to learn LTspice (Open to the Public).  Some circuit knowledge is required.
  • When: Sunday, September 28th – 2:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Where: 3519 N. Elston – 2nd Floor in the Electronics Lab
  • Cost: FREE



09 2014

Beer Church Brew Day, 8/24

At 12:30pm on 8/24 we’ll start with a beer tasting (bring your favorite homebrew or craft brew), decide a beer recipe, go shopping for the ingredients, and then do a hands-on brew session with the following steps:

1) malt grinding
2) mashing
3) sparging
4) boiling
5) hopping
6) chilling
7) pitching yeast
8) setting the fermenter temperature and starting the fermentation.

We’ll probably also keg or bottle one of our previous brews.

This event is open to anyone ages 21 and over. No need to RSVP, see you on Sunday!


08 2014

Women’s Electronics Workshop: Circuit Building on August 3



Sunday, August 3, 1-5pm

Take a circuit from diagram to breadboard to finished project.

– Learn to Solder

– Read circuit diagrams

– Breadboard a circuit

– Design an LED circuit and solder it to perfboard.

Time: 4 hours
Price: $40
Materials fee: $10
Pre-reqs: none

This workshop is for participants who identify as female or genderqueer. Open to both members and non-members of Pumping Station: One.

Taught by Jesse Seay of Columbia College

Register for the workshop at the Women’s Electronics Workshop Meet Up Page.


07 2014