Thursday, January 19, 2017

Popcorn on the Induction Cooker

With the surplus power I have been getting on days like today, I felt like it was a good chance to push my luck and try out our popcorn popper.

It has been used a couple of times a week here on the woodstove, but the whole reason I special ordered one that was suppose to be induction compatible was so that in the summer we could still enjoy our snacky treat without having to fire up the butane or wood stove.

First I assembled our popcorn staples - popcorn (usually from Bulk Zone...  Either white or mushroom), peanut oil (it doesn't seem to burn as quickly, and we all love us some peanuts), the induction cooker, and the popcorn popping pot.
Everything ready to go.  So excited!
And a close up of just the ingredients?
I put in enough oil to coat the bottom of the pot, as well as about five kernels.  Then I put it on the cooker and started it up.
Test kernels installed.  Waiting for it to warm up sufficiently.  I like the reflection of the photographer here!
The default setting of the cooker is 1000 watts or 150 degrees Celsius.  I let it ride at 150 degrees and then tried to look up the best temperature to use.

Within a few moments, I heard the kernels popping!  I was shocked - shocked I tell you!

I poured in about a quarter cup of unpopped corn and started cranking the handle.  It popped amazingly rapidly - I would say it was as fast as a bag of microwave popcorn!  I quickly emptied it into a nearby bowl, and in fast succession, popped two more bowls.

Kenny scrambled to get the first bowl out for me.
You see, it seems we all have different preferences for what we put on our popcorn.  I like popcorn salt, Kenny likes plain salt, and Donna right now is rocking the white cheddar seasoning.  So I usually make three small batches and we each have our own.

I repackaged mine in the bag to eat later.
I'm super pleased with the setup - it worked fast and easy!  I even boiled water right in the popper afterwards and was able to clean it up in a snap!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Leaky Chimney? Or Condensation?

Last year, before we installed the ceiling, we noticed a few times where water would occasionally seem to drip in behind the stove from somewhere near the stovepipe.  I thought that perhaps it was condensation forming up in the chimney cone and running back down.

I hoped that it would be cured by finishing the ceiling and packing the cone with insulation.  As usual, reality wasn't in my favour.

We've been having a bit of a warm spell lately, and the snow on the roof is actually melting off rapidly.

I happened to glance up at the top of the inside stove pipe the other day, and noticed that one of the boards alongside it was fairly water stained.  Closer examination showed it to actually drip once or twice.
Hmmm, that doesn't look like it has always been like that.
I sighed, and then took the family out for a snowshoe walk through the ravine to try to clear my head.

When I returned, I headed up into the attic and found a slow drip, drip onto the Roxul stone wool packed up there.  I simply added a large can to catch the drips, and I assume that there must be a slight leak around the cone somewhere.

Looks fine from back here.

Oh wait, there's some water there.

Oh, and some obvious water dripping off the insulation.  Rats.
 When my brother comes to visit, I'll try to convince him to go up with the caulking gun and do some touchup in exchange for A (i.e. one) beer.

In the meantime, things look dry again, especially in light of the fact that all the snow around the chimney has disappeared.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Small Scale Solar Power Pulling its Weight Today

Just thought I'd throw up a couple of pictures and a blurb about our solar power system this afternoon.

I ran the generator this morning as it called for flurries off and on today, but around lunch the sun came out and the skies cleared, so I shut it off and gave the panels a really thorough sweeping.

Right now you can see that the batteries are in absorption.
Pulling down close to 1200 watts!
And on the wall, you can see that the temperature has come up from 17.7 around lunch, to (as I type this) 19.4.
Chilly outside, but not bad inside.
I don't know if I can attribute that to the sun outside (where it's -17.1 in the shade), or to the space heater that I plugged in and is running in spite of the fridge, internet and laptops all drawing juice.
This little heater only does 400/800 watts.  Not enough to heat the cabin, but if I point it at the thermometer...

I'm pretty happy about this!  It's like money and heat in the bank!
Bright sun, but still pretty low in the sky.