Saturday, January 12, 2013

Aussie Homebrew

I didn't meet many Australian homebrewers in my travels.  However, I did spy a homebrew shop in the small town of Marysborough on the Sunshine Coast, and stopped in for a look around.

(For you Mary Poppins fans - I known you're out there - Marysborough was the birthplace of PL Travers, author of Mary Poppins.)

It looked much like your average neighbourhood homebrew shop, perhaps leaning more towards wine-making than beer.  Liquid yeast wasn't stocked, as there wasn't enough demand to keep the fresh stuff on hand, and high Australian temperatures favour hardier dry yeast.

Apparently homebrewing is very popular even in this rural area - not surprising given the high price of commercial beer.

The proprietor mentioned how strict the authorities were regarding the tasting and serving of homebrew at the shop - they basically couldn't do it, even though they held brewing classes and such.  This is much the same as Canada.

However, Australia has British Columbia, Canada beat in at least one major respect - distilling!

That, my friends, is a 5 litre distilling condenser, and it's sold as such at the homebrew shop.  Home distilling is not allowed in BC, but it's perfectly fine in Australia as long as your condenser size is 5 litres or less.  So the above unit is even labelled as a distilling device.

The homebrew shop also sells larger units - I believe the one above is approximately 15-20 litres.  Since the rules don't allow distilling on equipment over 5 litres, these big ones are labelled as "condensers" and can't be advertised as useful for distilling alcohol.

Sl√°inte, Australia!

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