Currently, the back garden is out of bounds. Well the lawn is, as the soil beneath is waterlogged. Any footfall will turn it into a muddy bog within minutes. Oh, and as I put these thoughts together, it's raining. So much so, there's standing water in places.
This is the same week as we've been told by our water authority that we are officially in drought. You couldn't make it up. And, as of April 4th we will no longer be able to use a hosepipe until further notice.
The allotment will be unaffected, despite the busy period of seed sowing which is upon us as we don't have conventional water taps at the allotment. We have water stations which are filled from the mains using a ballcock. Plotholders then fill their watering cans from these tanks, which are situated at various points around the site. So we've never had hosepipes and it's never been a problem.
Beer production, however, is a different matter. During the cooling process, water is circulated through a heat exchanger via a hosepipe. So, while I can fill all the vessels with a bucket easily enough, I cannot see a way around the chilling process.
Does this mean the end of my homebrew? I'm not sure - the official restraint is shown here. There is seemingly a 'catch all' in point 6; drawing water, using a hosepipe, for domestic recreational use.
So is brewing deemed domestic/recreational use? Clearly it's not commercial, as the beer is solely for my own consumption. Could it be argued that it's the production of a foodstuff? Against that, I guess if you cannot water your seeds (also foodstuff) then it follows you can't use a hosepipe for beer production either, if it's for domestic use.
Seeing the standing water in the garden makes me fear not for the general 'drought'. But a shortage of beer scares the pants off me.