Published on April 18th, 2016
The go-to political and media punching bag has long been our prison system. Escapes have a certain glamour. Crime is rating high on the Idiot Box. There are people in prison extorting, getting drunk, corrupting guards, raping, bashing and stealing. Riots. Hunger strikes. You name it, the prison system is a microcosm of the outside World without that ethical signature we think of as civilisation.
That’s the real trouble with all these stories. The latest article about Risdon Prison this last week was the shock horror front page revelation that prisoners are using an illicit mobile phone network within the prison to send out selfies that other people post on Facebook pages in the prisoners’ names.
Oh, for fuck sake. The headline should have simply read “Breaking News: Prisons are full of Naughty People”.
Considering the Australian prison system houses over 30,000 inmates and releases 50,000 inmates a year back into society; considering those inmates have friends and family that visited them (or forgot to visit); and considering this country has 24 million residents, of which only half a million live in Tasmania – it’s probably not much news to anybody that Tasmania’s prisoners use illicit mobile phones.
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Published on April 1st, 2016
The simplest to make of all alcoholic drinks has to be the humble (and often underrated) naturally fermented hard cider called scrumpy. And it’s that time of the year to start on our scrumpy production.
Making scrumpy is as easy as purchasing fresh apple juice without preservatives:
- Pour the fresh apple juice into a sanitised fermenter,
- whack on an airlock to keep out the yeasties and bugs, and
- watch that fermentation go crazy, eventually slow and then stop.
This process should take around six months. Some people advocate that you should siphon the cider off any dead yeast every month-or-so, but it’s fine to leave it alone until all fermentation has completed. The final product should be a dry cider with a reasonably high alcohol content.
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Published on March 18th, 2016
The foray into trying an Australian Faux-Mamajauna went really well. I used the two finger rule where two horizontal fingers of red wine and two horizontal fingers of good honey were combined in the spice bottle with two fingers (thumb to index) of Bundaberg Select Vat Rum.
The result is surprising for a drink that would have to carry an ABV of around 30 per cent (60 proof). I could taste the cinnamon and berry flavours with a strong nearly medicinal smell. This worked in a really good way. The drink is spicy, fruity and extremely smooth without being sickly sweet. It’s a liqueur.
So if you’re thinking of that little something nobody else will sell you then I’d suggest you follow the recipe. I think only adding things you’d eat in your food was a good place to start. But be careful, it packs a punch.