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Archive for February, 2016

Scrumpy with Post-Fermentation Loomi Addition

Saturday, February 27th, 2016

The secret of making a good beer is all about what you do at the beginning. And I’m told the secret of making a good cider is about what you do at the end. So I decided to approach scrumpy with the same philosophy as I’ve always approached the making of slow booze – I followed my tongue.

Scrumpy is a traditional alcoholic cider that originated in the West Country of England. At the end of the season any apples on the ground would be crushed for juice that was then left to ferment for many months until it became a cloudy hard cider.

Wikipedia explains that scrumpy has evolved into a term “used to distinguish locally made ciders produced in smaller quantities and using traditional methods, from mass-produced branded ciders.”

To make a scrumpy you need enough apple juice to fill your sanitised fermenter. The apple juice needs to be preservative free. It may seem obvious, but note that if the apple juice contains preservatives it simply WILL NOT ferment.

I would suggest locals acquire freshly crushed juice from Southern Tasmanian orchards that don’t use concentrate or other additives. I don’t see the sense in fermenting with second rate products.

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Our Sweet Little Valentines Day at Low Head

Friday, February 19th, 2016

Last weekend we drove to Northern Tasmania for a lovely Valentines Day. It was beautiful at Low Head, regardless of the smoke emanating from Tasmania’s unprecedented fire season. And it was nice to share where I grew up as a boy with the woman who shares my life and closest thoughts. My lover. Confidante. Soul mate.

We stayed at the Low Head Pilot Station for two nights in Boatcrew West (at $180 per night). Wooden floors, a reasonable sized bedroom, a lounge room with a comfortable couch and television, a kitchen with cooking facilities and a surprisingly luxurious bathroom. The Low Head Pilot Station was quiet, we could cook and come and go as we felt like it; and there were a lot of those ungodly carnal noises our neighbours complained about when we inhabited a rental flat in New Town.

When I was a teenager this pilot station still housed the crew for the pilot boat. In storms they’d rush out on their little orange boat and save yachtsmen from the dangerous reefs at the mouth of the Tamar River and in the calmer days they would guide in the large tankers that avoid reefs and rocks by the length of a long stick. It’s a dangerous river.

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An Australian Faux-Mamajuana

Monday, February 8th, 2016

The Dominican Republic have a drink called Mamajuana – dark rum, red wine, honey and spices in a bottle. The quantities of liquid and the exact spices vary from island to island so it doesn’t seem that a hard and fast Mamajuana recipe is as important as the idea. So I thought it could be fun to have a good old Australian stab at it. We headed off to the local spice shop for supplies.

Mamajuana curing in a three monkeys bottle

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark (aka nortypig) and I live in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a photographer making pictures with film. A web developer for money. A business consultant for fun. A journalist on paper. Dreams of owning the World. Idea champion. Paradox. Life partner to Megan.

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