Here's a wee pic of my first brewery - Leederville, Perth, Western Australia, circa 1991. Wood-fired - no electric or gas, just a firebox for heating.
We've been having a bit of a home-brew discussion in the brewery this week, as 3 of us are regular practitioners of this dark art, so I had a look at home for some relevant snaps.
To those of a technical bent, there will be seen a mash tun, insulated with wood (1'' x 2'' dressed all-round for the carpenter amongst you), hydrometer, sparge liquor tank - with patented slotted spoon sparge distribution system - Redhead matches and pencil (why pink I cannot remember) for brewing notebook. The wort running into the 10 gallon copper cauldron - it's the old clothes washhouse copper in the shed at the bottom of my garden- was for an 120/- Edinburgh Strong Ale. The boil itself should have taken 90 minutes, but my pals and I were having so much fun chopping up the old blocks of jarrah, an Australian really hardwood, to feed the firebox underneath that the boil lasted four hours! Had to keep adding water to keep the gravity down....
The beer was called Flaming Copper Cauldron and had an adequate strength of 7.7% abv. Tasting it was like a leap back into Scotland's brewing heritage - strong, heady, dark, rich, malty and sweet, oh so sweet, but still luscious and lasting...I even won Homebrewer of the Year with it.
Times like these, oh they were the days...but now we have Blackfriar. Huzzah!