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Australia’s government says Vegemite sales should be limited in some communities to prevent the yeast-based spread being used to make home-made alcohol.

Well, yes, yeast based, but the yeast is dead isn’t it?

It’s boiled till it is dead and then salt is added. There’s no live yeast left there, is there?

And it’s not as if there’s ever a shortage of yeast about, is there? You’ve usually got some just on the bloom of any fruit you’ve got lying around….

14 thoughts on “Eh?”

  1. Blimey sport, sometimes you Poms make me roll up.

    Like asking whether marmalade’s dead or alive?

    Jeez, you guys are something else.

    And I’ll tell you something else for free, if you think there’s any yeast in our fine Oz beers, you’ve got another think coming.

  2. So Australian indigenes will also have to do without fresh baked bread as well. And of course shoe polish –from which Russian soldiers used to get their alki. And fresh fruit of course because the sugars are another route to booze.

    So much for all that bullshit about “aborigines can’t afford to buy overpriced Outback oranges”–now its govt policy.

  3. Typical utter and total ignorance of science being displayed by those who presume to boss us about.

    And these are the same people who like to lecture us about gorbal worming?

    Give me strength.

  4. Irresponsable media reporting and subsequent frenzy.

    The only use Vegemite (or marmite) has in brewing is as yeast nutrient in nutrient-poor brews (honey-based brews can require a bit of a help, for instance). And then you don’t need much of it.

  5. “…these are the same people who like to lecture us about gorbal worming”

    Tony Abbott on AGW “The argument is absolute crap.”

    Tony Abbott’s Indigenous Affairs Minister on Vegemite “A precursor to misery”

  6. I must admit I’ve lived in this country for all of my 41 years and I’ve never heard of this particular practice. But assuming it happens (and it might), the point wouldn’t be to provide yeast (you would have to add live yeast culture to start fermentation) but protein as a replacement for the barley or wheat based wort normally used in beer. Less than $10 would get you more than a kilo of the stuff, dissolve that in a few gallons of water and it should ferment ok, much more cheaply than using fruit juices or the like. The high salt content might be an issue.

    I wouldn’t want to drink the end result though.

  7. Talk about clueless – one scientist contacted about the possibility of using Vegemite as a yeast nutrient (not as a source of live yeast, which is obviously not going to happen) said

    “This is possible, and more plausible than actually sourcing the yeast inoculum from Vegemite, but again, would need to be tested.
    Again you can buy yeast nutrient in bulk fairly cheaply, I’d be surprised if the Vegemite was cheaper and/or gave a better result.”

    Totally missing the point that we are talking about remote, voluntarily dry communities where if you buy obvious brewing supplies you are going to get rumbled in no short order. Same if you tried to order whole barley or pre-prepared wort (no, it will not be on the shelf). Personally, if I were looking for an cheap, easily purchased staple for illicit fermentation I’d go with potatoes, but boiling up and sparging the mash etc might be hard to hide I guess.

  8. we are talking about remote, voluntarily dry communities

    If they are voluntarily dry, why would anyone be even thinking of brewing vegemite hooch?

    The fact that they are doing so proves that these communities are not voluntarily dry; and if it’s a major issue then these communities are being kept dry by force.

    So we have communities where the puritans are in charge, insisting that everyone climbs aboard the wagon, and where some to many of the inhabitants just want to have a beer. To do this they have to brew some nasty, and potentially dangerous, homebrew.

    The solution is obvious: kick out the prodnoses, and allow a couple of pubs to open in each community that wants them.

  9. Voluntarily dry as in a decision by the community as a whole. Doesn’t mean that some don’t disagree and find a way of producing hooch. I really don’t want to get into the history of that.

    You’ll note I made no comment on the rightness or wrongness, just the practicality.

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