Archive for the ‘Class/Workshop’Category

Beer Church March 17th @ 1PM: Make Your Own Hard Cider

An event description from Tucker Tomlinson:

Interested in home brewing but unsure how to start? Confused by mash
schedules and monitoring? Well I have the Beer Church for you! This
Sunday I’ll be running a cider making workshop, which will show you
how to make 1 gallon batches of cider in your own kitchen. Each
attendee that wants to participate should leave with a 1 gallon jug of
precursor potent potables, and instructions for its care and use.

The plan will be to start around 1PM at PS:One. We will make a quick stop
at Jewel for anybody that hasn’t picked up juice or spices. Then we
will head over to Brew and Grow to pick up some fermentable sugars and
equipment. Then it’s back to PS:One to mix up some delicious concoctions.

all the required items to participate can be purchased at the event,
but participants should consider bringing the following:

  • 1 gallon of fruit juice.
  • 1 or more spices to complement the juice
  • a 1 gallon fermentation vessel: this can be the jug your juice came in.
  • Some tips:

  • A 1 gallon milk jug makes a fine fermentation vessel, just make sure
    to clean it completely before bringing it.
  • If you want a glass vessel, Whole foods frequently sells unfiltered
    apple juice in 1gal glass jugs. This is where I got most of my cider
    fermentation jugs because you get a nice jug and juice for the same
    price as the glass jug alone would cost elsewhere. Brew and Grow also
    has empty glass jugs that will work great.
  • I will bring a spice grinder, so whole spices are encouraged.
  • When considering spices there are two good routes to follow: 1)
    common flavor profiles: if you make apple cider with the standard
    complement of apple pie spices you have a very nice drink that tastes
    like the holidays. 2) Think weird and exciting; I like to try new
    things (so far cranberry juice and black pepper is my favorite), but I
    recommend keeping it simple. Try one spice per batch at first to see
    how the flavors meld, If you like it then make another batch with
    additional spices.
  • Honey can be added to your cider rather than fructose. The yeasts
    will consume some of this but it will still lend a more complex,
    heavy, flavor than the basic sugars. Honey can be expensive, and while
    Brew and Grow has honey at an OK price, you might find a better price
    somewhere else.
  • If you have more questions, get on the Beer Church mailing list and ask! We have several knowledgeable folks who can give you all kinds of helpful advice.

    Nitty Gritty

    Event Host: Tucker Tomlinson
    Date: 3/17/2013, 1PM
    Location: Pumping Station: One, 3519 N Elston, Chicago IL
    RSVP: Please post to the beer church mailing list or otherwise notify Tucker Tomlinson that you are attending so he knows how many people to plan for.
    Requirements: Be 21 or older, and that’s it! You don’t have to be a Pumping Station: One member to participate.


    03 2013

    Beer Church: March 3rd @ 2PM

    Howdy from Beer Church! Just this weekend we put Rhubarb Waves of Grain on tap, and it’s super tasty. Putting the India back in IPA is also quite great, but isn’t yet on tap.

    This coming Sunday we plan to brew a simple ale or porter (to be determined!). Suggestions are welcome via our twitter @ps1beerchurch or on the Beer Church mailing list.

    To start off, we’ll have a beer tasting featuring any homebrew you bring, both the Cardamom IPA & the Rhubarb mentioned above, and anything from the store you bring too! Tiny beer steins will be provided – please bring a bottle of something if you can.

    Once we’ve had a taste, met each other, and talked over the basics of brewing in the process, we’ll move on to brewing a beer. This is just the first day of a weeks long journey that a beer takes from the boil kettle to your mouth, but it’s the most labor intensive and the most interesting to see, so we like to show people this step. Watching a bucket ferment isn’t as fun. Since we’re going for something simple, we’ll probably be done brewing in around 3.5 hours. The ingredients will have been purchased ahead of time, so we’ll get into the brew by around 3PM. The steps include mashing, sparging, boiling, chilling, and pitching. You can lend a hand with most of them, and learn a lot in the process.

    Currently in the fermenter are Barely Barley Ale and A Horrible Missake which we’ll be taking a peek at to see if they’re ready to transfer to kegs.

    Nitty Gritty

    When: Sunday March 3rd, 2PM. We expect to be brewing until around 7 PM or so, but you don’t have to hang around the whole time if you don’t want to. People who help out until the end get a bottle of the beverages they helped with when it’s completed (approximately 1 month later).
    Where: Pumping Station: One, 3519 N Elston, Chicago
    What: Beer tasting and brewing hands-on
    Who: Anyone 21 or over, Pumping Station: One members or not!
    Why: Because beer is a worthy purpose for your Sunday afternoon
    To Brew: TBD
    Brewmaster: TBD


    02 2013

    Analog Signal Processing – Class Knowtes



    Thanks to all who showed up on Monday night (Feb 18th, 2013) for the signal processing class.  It was a lot of material to cover in one night, but I hope everyone at least learned (and retained) something.  I was asked by several people to post my lecture notes online so people can review them.  It took me awhile to go through my notes and clear them up (somewhat) for someone besides me reading through them.  Also, I had to erase and rewrite a bunch of stuff because they were too close to the edges and were being cut off by my scanner.  So that’s why it took so long.  Anyway, here are the notes, the notes for the pre-class Math Review, and the 8-page info packet that I passed out during class:




    Now that the class is over, the next thing to do is figure out what class to teach next.  I noticed that many of the attendees enjoyed the filter design example we went over.  Perhaps we could do a short class on some practical Analog Filter Synthesis?  Some people have “thumbsed-up” the idea for doing a class on learning how to use LTSpice to build schematics & simulate circuits.  Recently, I’ve been reverse-engineering schematics from double-sided printed circuit boards in older consumer electronics.  I could demonstrate some techniques on how to do that.  Another idea is moving directly past the Analog Signal Processing class and going right into Digital Signal Processing.  All the same topics from analog appear in digital such as convolution, impulse response, frequency response, & transfer functions.  Except most of the integrals become discrete summations when in the digital domain.  There are neat topics specific to digital such as FIR filters and sample rate conversion, which I think are the most interesting.  Actually, the website Coursera just started a DSP class this week.  If you were at Monday’s class, the Coursera course should be much easier since most of the topics are similar, like I described above.  Check it out.

    If you have any feedback on Monday’s class, ideas for other electronics classes, or any other comment, then please let us know.  If you see me at Pumping Station: One and remember what I look like, then feel free to talk to me in person.



    02 2013

    I Can Haskell? Sunday 2/24 at 6:00pm

    Perl has a mantra that goes, “Easy things are easy and hard things are possible.” In Haskell, the mantra is slightly different:

    “Hard things are easy and the impossible just happened!”

    If you’ve never seen Haskell before, you’re in for a real treat. It’s a language where functions can’t have side-effects, where variables
    don’t vary, and where infinitely long lists are a topic suitable for chapter 2. To learn to program in Haskell is to bend your mind.

    At its heart, functional programming is about correctness. Correct programs are ones that do what they’re supposed to do. While most
    programming languages today are designed to churn out mostly-working code very quickly, the aim of functional languages is to produce actually-correct code at a reasonable pace. It’s a great tool for writing compilers, concurrent applications, secure systems, and algorithmic-heavy software for science or engineering. It’s also a good way to keep your robots from uprising against mankind.

    Especially in the last few years, functional programming has been gaining significant momentum in industry. It is purported to be more modular, better at scaling, easier to parallelize, and leads to fewer bugs. Come see what the hype is all about and decide for yourself.


    Who: Programmers interested in learning about functional programming.
    What: A class on functional programming using Haskell.
    Where: PSOne.
    When: Sunday 2/24 at 6pm.
    Why: Because lambdas.
    How much: The class is free.
    What else: Bring your laptop. You might also want to install Haskell Platform.


    02 2013

    eTextiles Arduino Workshop Recap and Stiches with Switches


    The first eTextiles workshop was a blast, and we have another coming up on the first Saturday of March. RSVP soon!

    Adafruit has some good tutorials on getting started with the Flora here. After handing out Floras and supplies, we all introduced ourselves, Nate explained the arduino platform and talked through techniques and ideas for doing etextile projects.

    • conductive felt styluses
    • embroidery with conductive thread
    • pressure sensors with velostat and fabric

    The flora can work like a usb input device, and someone cut out a kitty shaped pressure sensor that typed “say meow” to the keyboard when pressed. Give focus to a mac’s terminal app and it will send “meow” to the text-to-speech program. This is cute.

    meow button

    Ever since the workshop we’ve had regular Sunday meetings of “Stitches with Switches”. Come along to one of our Sunday events for a skill share or work on your own projects.


    02 2013

    Beer Church Feb 10th @ 1PM: Sake & Mystery Beer

    Hello again from Beer Church! Just this weekend we added the flavorings to Rhubarb Waves of Grain. We may keg Putting the India back in IPA this Sunday as well. But before all that, we’ll have a pot luck beer tasting featuring our in-house brews Pumpkin Spiced Ale, Doppelbock, and whatever you bring! Bring something you brewed or something out of the ordinary from a store.

    Tucker’s worked out what’s needed to make Sake. So, we’re making Sake this Sunday. That won’t take much time total, so we’re going to do 2 things at once: Barleywine’s also on the ticket. We have Stone Brewing’s recipe for Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine which is a possibility. Other options will be considered day-of unless Eric’s already bought the ingredients for Barley Wine.

    Brewing mead in November 2012

    Brewing mead in November 2012

    During downtime of the brew we’ll have the opportunity to have our heads 3D scanned by Colin, the CNC area host of Pumping Station: One… maybe. Take a chance: come taste some beer, help make sake & barley wine, swap stories of brewing, get your head scanned into a 3D model, and go home happy.

    Nitty Gritty

    When: Sunday February 10th, 1PM. We expect to be brewing until around 7 PM or so, but you don’t have to hang around the whole time if you don’t want to. People who help out until the end get a bottle of the beverages they helped with when it’s completed (approximately 1 month later).
    Where: Pumping Station: One, 3519 N Elston, Chicago
    What: Beer tasting and brewing hands-on
    Who: Anyone 21 or over, Pumping Station: One members or not!
    Why: Because beer is a worthy purpose for your Sunday afternoon
    To Brew: Sake!
    Brewmaster: Tucker Tomlinson
    To Brew 2: Barley wine.. or something else, depending on what we decide.
    Brewmaster 2: Eric Stein


    02 2013

    ECE Academy – Analog Signal Processing



    Transfer function?  Poles??  Frequency Response???  Are these sections you skip over when reading electronics datasheets and application notes?  Well, let’s put the shame behind us and finally learn these topics which are fundamental to being an electronics engineer.  Come join us in learning the exciting world of Analog Signal Processing!  We’re going to cut through most of the clutter usually taught in a core electrical & computer engineering course and present you the most basic and useful concepts within this discipline of electronics.  You’ll learn powerful tools to help expand your knowledge as an engineer and/or an electronics hobbyist.  The following topics will be covered:

    1. Complex numbers & impedance
    2. Common signals & classes of signals
    3. Linear systems & the impulse response
    4. Convolution
    5. Time-domain analysis of an RC Circuit
    6. Fourier Series
    7. Fourier Transform
    8. Laplace Transform
    9. Frequency-domain analysis of an RC Circuit
    10. Ideal & Practical filters
    11. Bandwidth
    12. AM Modulation
    13. Sampling Theorem & Aliasing

    The overarching theme of the class is to emphasize why analyzing signals & systems in the time domain is inefficient and why you should do it in the frequency domain instead.  Along the way we’ll learn useful tools which have countless real-world applications.  We end the class with sampling an analog signal and turning it into a digital signal for use within a computer.

    The class is quite heavy in mathematics, so be prepared.  Attendees who want to grasp everything should have at least some Calculus experience (know what derivatives & integrals are).  Come early if you would like to review some math.  The class will be all whiteboard & markers so you aren’t required to bring anything.  You can bring a notebook to take notes if you like.  There is a lot of material to cover, so it’s possible the class might run long depending on how savvy the audience is.  Either way, you’re more than welcome to stay after and discuss signal processing applications or anything else with electronics.

    The Details:

    • Who: Anyone (Open to the Public)
    • When: Monday, February 18th – 7:00pm to 9:00pm;  Come at 6:30pm for math review.
    • Where: 3519 N. Elston – 2nd Floor in the Electronics Lab
    • Cost: FREE



    02 2013

    N00bs’ Paradise: an introduction to PS1

    Are you new around here?

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, and you’re hardly alone. PS:One has seen explosive growth in the past year or so, and we’ve decided to create a formal way of teaching new folk how to be a healthy, happy member of the PS:One community.

    Meet with PS:One old-timers (including at least one former president) to learn the many opportunities available to PS:One members, plus hacks for getting around easier.

    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 how PS:One works
    • When: Sunday February 17th, 4 pm until about 6pm
    • Where: PS:One 1st floor lounge
    • Cost: free

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

    Tags: , ,


    02 2013

    eTextiles Arduino Crafting Workshop this Saturday

    reactive fabric controlling LEDs

    reactive fabric controlling LEDs

    When: February 2, 12:00 to 5:30


    We’ll intersperse lessons with small projects. You’ll learn what an Arduino is, and how to sew it together with fun glowing, noisy things on a scarf or hat or shoes or whatever we find that we can work thread through. We’ll have a break with sandwiches so that no one goes hungry

    What to bring

    Required: Yourself, a laptop, and $42 dollars if you go home with an Arduino, else $20.

    Suggested for maximum fun:

    • scrap fabric, zippers, buttons and notions
    • junk toys with keypads, switches, speakers, etc.
    • old gloves, scarves, hats and such
    • scissors, pliers and other small hand tools

    Class size:

    We have room for 20 people and some overflow, but we only have 20 Floras to give out. We’re using this meetup to handle RSVPs: eTextiles using Arduino

    If you can’t make this workshop then sign up for the next workshop on March 2 here: eTextile Workshop


    01 2013

    Beer Church Beer Tasting & Brewing a Rhubarb Wheat Ale: January 20th, 1PM

    Hello again from Beer Church, the brewing group at Pumping Station: One! This past Sunday the 6th, we tasted & kegged a beer (the Doppelbock’s leftover batch, titled Kinderbock Son von Doppelbock), tasted our previous foray into Mead-making (I Didn’t Mead It That Way, and brewed an American IPA with Cardamom titled Putting the India back in IPA, all grain. It was an all-around great day and the ferment bucket for the IPA is bubbling along crisply in the fermentation chamber. Today at N00B’s Paradise (Pumping Station: One’s event for newcomers), we tapped the Doppelbock – it’s good.


    Doppelbock, one of Beer Church’s brews.

    We just cleaned the taps. The bar is operational. We’re rocking and rolling.

    sterilizing tap valves

    sterilizing tap valves

    So, on the 20th we’ll do it all again. This time we’re going to create a Rhubarb Wheat Ale; this is something few have done. The idea comes from Brittany, who is so enthused with the idea that we’ll oblige and make it happen. If this kind of idea appeals to you – and why wouldn’t it – then you should come visit Pumping Station: One on the 20th at 1PM. You don’t have to be a brewer; you can watch, or participate. Before the brew we’ll go over the basics of how brewing works while tasting our previous brews, including:

    * Doppelbock
    * I Didn’t Mead It That Way
    * Pumpkin Ale
    * Whatever bottle you bring! Find something in your fridge or the store that you think most people haven’t had, and introduce us to it.

    Another new addition to equipment is our BeerGun which we can now use to bottle beers. This and future brews will have a small amount taken aside for a limited run bottling. Part of that bottling run will be granted to those who took part in brewing of the beer; 2 bottles for the brewmaster and 1 for all the helpers who stuck around until the end. Of course, this doesn’t happen immediately; the brew has to make it through brew day, fermentation, maybe racking for secondary, kegging, kegging, and bottling first. This in mind, if you help out on brew day you’ll get something to show for your efforts that’s a little more solid than being able to come in and try your brew on tap. The rest of the bottles will be saved for future Beer Church events so we get to savor them for a little bit longer. Our brews tend to go by pretty fast after they go on tap, since they’re so good (so far).

    Nitty Gritty

    When: Sunday January 20th, 1PM. We expect to brew brewing until around 7 PM or so, but you don’t have to hang around the whole time if you don’t want to.
    Where: Pumping Station: One, 3519 N Elston, Chicago
    What: Beer tasting and brewing hands-on
    Who: Anyone 21 or over, Pumping Station: One members or not!
    Why: Because beer is a worthy purpose for your Sunday afternoon
    To Brew: “Rhubarb Waves of Grain” – Orange Ginger Rhubarb Wheat Ale
    Brewmaster: Eric Stein

    See you on Sunday. Follow along at our twitter, @ps1beerchurch.


    01 2013