Munguin and his new Personal and Executive Assistant, Fuzzy.

No one really knows what is going to happen next April when the UK will leave the EU.

If we had a government that knew the first thing about governing, we would already know the terms of our leaving. But we have a set of genuinely incompetent and ignorant fools “inebriated with the exuberance of their own verbosity” as Disraeli once said (of Gladstone, I think). So we know sod all, except that we know that they know sod all…about anything.

Of course, everyone will try to come to some sort of agreement on the most important aspects of trade and of mutual recognition of basics like driving licence and insurances, so that goods can move from Europe to this benighted island.

But, let’s be fair here, when you leave the golf club, you really can’t expect to be allowed to play a round from time to time, pop into the bar of a Friday with a few mates for a drink or six, and take your partner for dinner in the restaurant on a Saturday, all the while refusing to recognize the authority of the management committee.

Because, if you can, then all the members can do it too… and guess what happens then? Your golf club has ceased to be a club any more.

Munguin likes a lifestyle of some comfort and is most worried about the idea that he may not be able to lay his flippers on the high-quality goods to which he has become so accustomed. So our reader Kangaroo gave us an idea.

An occasional series where we will look at how you can provide for yourself (and your media mogul) with just a little forethought. Vestas has been telling up about growing your own tomatoes… and Munguin has a tree absolutely covered in apples. But what about one of life’s most important items of nourishment?

Kangaroo (not surprisingly) lives in Australia. He has been brewing his own. and here he gives a few hints on the process.

n kangaroo

He writes…
“It is a Coopers Dark Ale, brewed with light malt rather than the instructed dark malt, it takes 7 days in the fermenter and then it’s been in the bottle for 21 days. It is quite bitter for my taste and I would prefer it a bit creamier. All in all though its a 7 out of 10, a big success.
“Costs around $25 (Aust), that’s about £14, for 19 litres, plus you need the equipment which costs around $130 (£75) for the fermenter, bottles, sanitiser and cleaner.
“So from a financial point of view, it is a resounding success. I will try to find another Ale which gives me a taste closer to my liking.”
Here’s a tutorial.
Clearly there are other brands available.
If anyone has any tips on anything else we can do ourselves if we have to, feel free to drop Munguin a line.


82 thoughts on “GETTING READY FOR APRIL”

    1. Hi Terry
      I started my very first brew, the Dark Ale, on 23 July so I am brand new to the process and it is so easy I wish I had done it long ago.
      For people who can’t be bothered to even do this then there is an even easier option – brewery in a bag.

      As a survival strategy for immediatley after Brexit a few cans of beer and the brewing sugar stocked in a cupboard would be a prudent option.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I still think the can shall be kicked down the road and the UK won’t properly leave on the date mentioned. That said, if we buy tins of food now we can cheat any Brexit-related inflation by eating them later. Most tins can be eaten up until 2022 or so, so if there is a hard Brexit after all we have three years to eat said items. The dark ale looks wonderful, but it’s more of a luxury!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t help thinking that too, but I’m not sure what I base it on.

      Is is hope, wishful thinking… or is it practical.

      I just don;t think any government would actually get us into a situation where there were no medicines, and little food… then I look at May and her band of useless z list cabinet members and I wonder.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dottore
        Apologies for being way O/T from this thread, but can I seek a swift ‘diagnosis’ from your guid self, please (Terry Entoure, too, perchance)?

        You Twittered me a “Duh” @Gillemhuire yesterday and I was concerned that I had offended you, replied, apologized lest I had, and sought your input so I could rectify any wrongs.

        I was immediately taken down by Twitter and my account was locked and continues to be given the Byzantine procedures of Twitter.

        I am wondering, given your comment, if something weird was going on with my account that prompted this response by you? Am told my account has been compromised by Twitter (and the latest update from them pins it down to Kawasaki City in Kawasaki Prefecture near Tokyo – may be a server/re-route hack? Am no techie, but this is all very odd and frustrating especially given the aforementioned Byzantine hoop-la imposed on folk by Twitter in seeking an explanation and re-expediting the re-opening of ones account – almost akin to habeas corpus suspended unitarily. Guilty until proven innocent, in effect).

        Dottore: Again, did you notice anything out of the ordinary? (I should add, again for the record, that I was subject to a flurry of British Nationalist Tweets related to our former FM around the same time which I blocked). I would appreciate your insights, Doc, as it may help to clarify matters. Thank you and anyone else who can offer fruitful insights and comments.

        Terry: You seem to be a bit of a ‘techie’ and were recently engaged in robust debate with another independentista on my thread over the People’s Voice initiative – fair play on that; it’s part of the democratic integrity of the agora. Have you noticed anything strange of late? Your insights would also be most welcome. Thank you, too.

        A swift post scriptum: Have just been direct messaged by a fellow independentista on Twitter who has noted this take-down. Tried to respond on DM, but was blocked immediately.

        Folks: Is their a pattern going on? A re-entrenchment of censorship along more subtle lines after the blatant faux pas by the organs of the UK state regarding Stuart Campbell and Peter Curran as well as the current, Parnellesque shenanigans?

        Can we are we gathering data in this respect and sharing and securing this shared data?

        Thank you, Dottore, Terry, and everyone for your kind attention


        1. David,

          Firstly I’m sorry about your troubles with Twitter.

          I can’t remember the actual exchange, but I would remember if someone had offended me. Let me put your mind at rest on that at least.

          I can’t say so far that I’ve noticed anything strange about Twitter. You hear from time to time of someone account being frozen for very little or no reason. Because someone has complained maybe.

          But surely people only complain about extreme strong language, threats, racial, religious, sexual persecution.

          I suspect you did none of that.

          Certainly the débacle with Peter Curren and Stuart Campbell may make people wonder… but I’d have thought that if the state were trying to silence the independence campaigners, there are many more they could hit.

          Let us know how this goes. I hope it is rectified soon.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Can’t help with most of those but a few ISA chickens would be worthwhile as they lay over 300 eggs a year. Neighbours may complain about the smell though, but you can appease them with a few free eggs.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wine is easy to make, from unsweetened, preservative free fruit juices.
    To make a demijon full, 1 carton of fruit just, 1 bag of sugar, wine yeast and top up with warm water. Keep warm (around 20°c), bung with a fermentation air lock, once the bubbles escaping are less than one a minute, add a Campden tablet, which kills the yeast, let the wine cool and allow the sediment to clear, fall, to the bottom. Carefully syphon, into a sterile demijon, then on to sterile bottles. Or in my case, straight to the glass, and enjoy.
    You get a palatable, fairly strong wine.
    I’ve been making it for years, under no circumstances try to make tomato wine, or use rhubarb leaves, the former is ghastly, the latter poisonous.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beer and Bread. A good survival strategy as both sets of ingredients can be bought well in advance and stored for future use. Simple bread making when you don’t have a bread machine. Try this

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Also living in the comfortable climate of Eastern Australia, I too make my own home brew, though I am more taken with the continental lagers and pilsners, suited to drinking in the sunshine. What Kangaroo maybe didn’t highlight is that the ambient temperature out here is maybe ten or twenty degrees higher than I was used to back in the frozen north. So the brew is pretty quick to complete, without the need for heaters and thermostats.
    A lot less hot air flying about though.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A subject close to my heart. 🙂
    I used to homebrew a lot when I was a young father and impoverished. The malt for most of S&N’s products was produced about two hundred yards away from my house and I had friends who worked there…
    Bugger the Panda is the real expert though.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Used to do a lot of homebrewing myself but never managed to do a decent lager without an “aftertaste”. Some bitter kits were OK, some weren’t. Boots (many years ago) did a brilliant cider kit which I did many times.

    Now you have to buy it all online & its all the same manufacturers….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to do wine, with berries I picked in the countryside.

      The first batch I made (Elderberry) was fantastic. But somehow after that it all went down hill, and yes, there was always some sort of chemically aftertaste.


      1. Oh wines dead easy, as is cider & some bitters. Lager not so much.

        Sounds to me like you used too much in the way of chems for cleaning/didn’t rinse enough or siphoned it off badly. Campden tabs are about the only thing I’ve had ruin wine (siphoning into bottles), although its been some years.

        OT but I may have some piccies of the husky for you – assuming daughter emails them soon(ish). Old golf course got grass cut so she’s got a video (today) of the 30-40 secs when he’s let off the leash & allowed to go. Joy is not the word 🙂 The dog lives in central Leicester about 100m from the prison, there’s a park there but obviously its got lots of dogs using it & he’s still unpredictable around other unknown dogs so the old golf course here is paradise to him.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. It pretty much always was the same manufacturers. I was in the maltings that I’m sure Conan refered to and at the end of the process they had a production line that tinned the stuff*. Now and again, depending on orders, they changed the label. They supplied to everyone except Boots. Everyone. It was a bit of an eye-opener for me because in those days I used to make my own beer and got myself a bit prissy and particular about one brand or the other.

      * some of it they put in jars…you’ll remember the stuff I’m sure…one of the options was sweetened and flavoured with butter-scotch.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Snails. We have an ideal climate in Scotland for rearing snails on a snail farm, we could be self sufficient in them. Every garden could have its own mini-farm. We could barter them for a Couple of pints of “Roobrew” ™ and they would go down a treat.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve been tempted. The snails in my garden are the size of walnuts. As for the garlic…there’s a few weeks in the spring when the wild garlic is quite gorgeous. Even when it’s slightly over the flowers are magic sprinkled over croutons in an otherwise boring green salad. Today I was out and about and fair taken by the number and variety of mushrooms this year.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. In a country, far ,far away in a parallel universe, a story of sustenance creation.
    To protect the innocents.
    At the supermarket you could purchase apple juice in strong bottles with stainless steel spring clips to hold on the bung. These were well sought after for wine making by the experts.
    We purchased said apple juice for our breakfast and sold off the bottles to the wine makers.
    Being cheapskate Scots, as the wine making season was nearly upon us, xmas in the desert, we purchased in bulk. What to do with the excess juice!. We found 2 gallon demijohns in the house and decanted the juice into them, after giving them a quick flush with water.
    Put containers away in the dark for later consumption.
    Anyway about a week later there was a small explosion in the kitchen during the night, one of the glass containers had ruptured and spilt most of the contents.
    A tidy up and a check of the second bottle revealed a beautiful cider of reasonable strength, good enough for xmas diner in the desert.
    We found out that the containers had previously been used to culture yeast and the a small quantity had remained in the bottom.
    So I can confirm that a lock is a requirement if brewing.
    A gallon of cider doesn’t go far a xmas but it was an experiment that was reused, just to see if the reasoning was correct.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The first batch of cider I ever made was about 8% ABV. I put it in plastic 2 litre bottles with metal screwcaps.
      A few weeks later, the wife was visiting relatives and I thought I’d have a wee drink. The plastic was tight as a drum – you could nearly see the bottles quivering – so to be on the safe side I put one bottle in the sink and gingerly loosened the cap.
      It shot up into a kitchen cabinet and wrapped itself around the cupboard’s handle. About a litre of cider gushed out all over the kitchen. It was the first time I’d ever used a mop on the ceiling.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. 8% is about the strength of the aforementioned Boots cider kit when done “properly” 😉

        Many years ago we had a housewarming (first house we “owned”) and I had two 40-pint pressure barrels of this ready as it was August and warm/hot.

        People literally abandoned their beer/wine and drank both barrels dry. We had enough beer/wine left behind to last us months 🙂

        I’d love to find a lager that works (ie no aftertaste) without using filters/chems.

        I remember my dad & I did one 35+ years ago which was tremendous bottled/barrelled but again that would be probably one of the ones Woolworths sold, so long since defunct. Then again maybe it was just the same & the “passage of time” has made me think otherwise.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Airlocks, then, I’d say.

        Bet you were popular when Mrs Conan got home…

        Erm, I’ve mopped the kitchen floor (and ceiling) and wiped down all the surfaces, dear.


      3. My grandmother had a recipe for ginger beer. The bottled result was stored in a cool place. But they frequently exploded, always during the night! I think she only tried it once but I still remember it.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Conan…..Great story! Is there some reason why one would want to put a cap on something that might still be fermenting? I read that PET containers from 20 ounces to 2 liters can certainly withstand the industry standard of 150 psi. Beyond that it’s Katy bar the door! Demonstrating just how effectively a screw cap seals a plastic bottle is better illustrated in an open field than in the kitchen of your abode.

        Glass bottles have their own dangers, and not all glass bottles are the same. “Five Home Brewing Tips to Avoid the Dreaded Bottle Bomb”:

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeh it’s so really concerning isn’t it?
        Anyway, enough of that inconsequential destroying our ecosystem for profit shite. For more important stuff please read further down the page.

        Is that a fiddle I hear playing?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m sure a case can be made for harvesting kelp, and with controls in place ensure sustainability I’d welcome trials and research. But dredging…no. On that scale…no, no, no.
        There’s enough damage done already dredging for scallops.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. The deadline as per the twitter feed to register objections with the Scottish government was midnight last night. I only discovered the threat yesterday and was in an area with real shitty net coverage so I couldn’t do a more detailed post. I’ve since discovered it’s already been reported in the Scotsman among others. So there’s maybe a downside to blanking the MSM. Apart from the raging fury at reading their shit.

            They are, as I understand it proposing to rip the kelp up by the roots or holdfasts as they are more accurately called. It’ll destroy the habitat of everything living in the vicinity, its an attack on the bottom of the food chain and means all species in the area will be affected. The affected species aren’t cute nor are they cuddly but they’re very important to the seas health and therefore to us.

            My hope in posting was that the environmentally caring folk on munguin would have taken it up and emailed the Scottish government as advised on Twitter but In the absence of the customary affirmative comments I don’t think that happened.

            I was a wee bit disappointed hence the earlier nippy post. Sorry.

            Well kind of a wee bit sorry, well, no, not really at all actually. ☹️

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes would appear to be the answer to that, however you’re also going to need malt extract, sugar syrup, sugar, lemon juice etc which would be the problem in self-sufficiency 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes that might help us float through brexit without a care in the world.
          Stanley Kubrik could make a film about it if he was still alive – “How I learned to stop worrying and love Brexit”.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. We could, probably. feed ourselves. We could, probably, get enough medicine to keep us alive.

    I am not at all convinced that we would be allowed to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, they are only stockpiling 200 medicines, presumably the ones that come from Europe, but what happens when they run out?

      I dare say a country this size could manage to grow something to eat.


  10. Very interesting discussion! But leaving the obvious need for alcoholic beverages aside, an obvious question arises. Can Britain feed its own people with its own agricultural bounty these days?

    I had always assumed that the reason rationing continued for nine freekin YEARS after the end of WWII for example involved the incompetence of the British government in managing the post-war supply lines from its empire, which fed a mother country that had never learned how to feed itself.

    As suggested here, perhaps American policies played a part. And America might have been more helpful in those policies if it were not for the fact that the USA at that point generally disapproved of the British Empire. Churchill once snapped at FDR (who had asked about miserable living conditions he had seen in a country of the empire) and told him (FDR) to mind his own business while he (Churchill) would take care of the British Empire thank you very much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Addendum:
      As of 2014, based on the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, only France among European countries was self-sufficient in food. “England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland import 38 percent of all food they eat.”

      My view is that surely Scotland has Aberdeen Angus beef. And Scotch whisky of course. So what more do you need? (An Idaho potato would have to be imported I suppose.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. France is a massively agricultural country… and they love their food!

        I see we got different figures though on domestic food production.

        One of the worries about Brexit is that without EU subsidies, many smaller farmers will go out of business, in which case we would be growing even less.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. As Marie Antoinette might have said…

        “The Scotch are starving? Why let them eat Aberdeen Angus Sirloin and drink Macallan 25 year old!”

        Liked by 3 people

    2. I doubt if we could feed ourselves.

      Well not properly, or certainly not the way we eat now.

      I suspect that back in the day, many people’s back gardens were given over to vegetable production.

      I doubt many are, or could be, now or if many people would have any idea of how to grow food.

      More than half what we eat is sourced from abroad.

      Still, it might work well with the obesity crisis.

      I couldn’t get that link Danny, but I recall hearing that FDR lectured Churchill on the Empire, and the way that British subjects were treated. Of course I also heard that Churchill replied with a cutting comment about the conditions of the blacks in the southern states.

      To be fair to the Brits back then, they had a great deal to do with the generous Marshall Plan money that the Americans gave us. To the credit of Mr Atlee there was the National Health Service. To his shame there was the Nuclear Weapons programme, for fear that without them Britain would lose its position as a world leading nation.

      That was more important than feeding people.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tris……Churchill’s response to FDR’s criticism was right on point, although when you consider Churchill’s racism regarding dark skinned peoples of the empire, I’m surprised that he found anything with the conditions in the American south. 😉

        This was the relevant information in the Quora link about the extended post-WWII British rationing:

        “Our finances were disastrously poor, flirting with bankrupt, at the end of WW2, and as we’d turned more of our economy (55%) over to armament production than any other belligerent power we had to perform a painful readjustment back to a peacetime economy.

        This wasn’t helped by the USA suddenly terminating Lend-Lease in 1945. The UK had been relying on Lend-Lease imports of food and just couldn’t afford to pay for imports due to lack of exports (by 1945, exports were barely at 1/3 of the level in 1939).

        The USA provided a loan of $4.33bn (equivalent to US$56 billion in 2013) that was supposed to tide us over until we got back on our feet. British politicians had been hoping for a gift, but the USA was not that generous.

        And unfortunately one of the US loan conditions was that we made sterling convertible. Within a month, nations with sterling balances had drawn almost a billion dollars ($13Bn in 2013 dollars) from our dollar reserves and we had to devalue, making imports more expensive.
        And now we had to use our scarce dollars to pay the loan back.

        To add insult to injury, many of our foreign currency generating assets had been sold at fire-sale prices early in the war to pay for US arms shipments (Cash and Carry was replaced with Lend-Lease when Britain was within months of going bankrupt in 1941) and many of our foreign markets had been irretrievably lost.

        So, quite simply we couldn’t afford to buy food from abroad.
        The last payment on the US loan was made in 2006.”

        An interesting article on the repayment of the British war debt and the beginning of the Marshall Plan:

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks, Danny.

          I think it was much of a muchness as far as the treatment of the black minority and the empire’s black residents were concerned.

          Despicable and utterly inexcusable in my view.

          Liked by 1 person

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