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  My name is Michael Kakulas. I live in Perth on the west coast of Australia.

I am a structural engineer by profession and like toying around with different gadgets and ideas. I am particularly interested in how the equipment and practises of old can be married with today's techniques and procedures, in such a way that the average person can make basic foodstuffs at home better than what could have been done in the past.

The onset of industrialisation has meant that the manufacture of many basic foodstuffs are so mechanised and mass produced that the average person no longer knows how to make them. Nor can they, since the equipment needed is often too large and expensive for the average person. The equipment manufacturers are targeting the mass producers not the home market. So we almost need to "re-invent" the equipment that people as recent as 100 years ago took for granted.

The advantage that the home producers now have is that today's technology can be used to make food better than what people of 100 years could make.

Wine making is a good case in point. The entire wine making process from crushing to pressing to clarification and bottling has remained pretty much the same for centuries. Today's home wine maker, using these traditional methods, together with just some of the advances of today's professional wineries (such as sanitation techniques, cultured yeasts and so on) can make consistently better wine now than what the wine makers of centuries ago could have ever dreamed of making.

In fact, with experience and practise the home wine maker can make wine as good as what some of the commercial wineries produce. I have been making wine for five years and the last few vintages in particular are every bit as good, if not better than the what you can buy from a professional winery.

Over the past couple of years I have been investigating making olive oil at home (see the sidebar link) and my current project is the construction of a Wood Fired Oven.

 
 

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Last Updated: 15 August 2009