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Arak - Rice wine - anyone heard the bad reports??

Perth WA
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446 posts
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Arak - Rice wine - anyone heard the bad reports??

Hi there - arrived back from Bali yesterday. Had arak at a couple of places & then went to Rama Garden to wath the AFL... Ordered arak - they have stopped serving it as there is an issue with arak at the moment (apparently!!)

A staff member at Rama Garden told us that the Government had put out a warning not to serve arak due to the number of deaths from drinking it - apparently 5 deaths in the past 3 days!!!.

I thought maybe any deaths were from the "amount" people may drink - I have past experience with it in 1985 & have noticed it no longer packs the "punch" it used to!!!

After the advice from Rama Garden, noticed that we could order it pretty much everywhere else & the other bars advised they didnt know anything about the Government advice or deaths.

Just wondering if they "chose" not to serve it so that we would buy cocktails or spirits or if there really is something in this???

Dublin, Ireland
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for Seminyak, Ubud, Bali, Dublin
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1. Re: Arak - Rice wine - anyone heard the bad reports??

Usually these accidents are due to illegally produced Arak, which is very lethal.

Last year over 25 people died over a few days after drinking that.

Legitimate Arak will only mess with your head the next day, the "Moonshine" version is most likely to make you very sick or very poisoned.

Cheshire, United...
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for Bali, Amed
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2. Re: Arak - Rice wine - anyone heard the bad reports??

There was a problem with arak but that was several months ago. It was due to arak that had been produced by one supplier & there were deaths.

Haven't heard anything about it recently.

I drink locally produced arak when I'm in Amed, a little arak with alot of sprite is the way that I avoid an arak hangover next day. I've never had any problems with it in Amed.

Brisbane, Australia
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3. Re: Arak - Rice wine - anyone heard the bad reports??

Some smaller, local distillaries are using methanol to give their brew that extra punch and well, cheaper to produce. This is what is killing people. It's been an ongoing problem for over a year now. But it has been confined to the small places that produce mainly for the locals.

The larger commercial distillaries, where the bars and restaurants should be getting their supplies from, have not been implicated in this, as far as I know. They have too much to lose.

The actual distilling process for arak is labour and time intensive ( a small home distillary can only produce about 1-2 litres per day), hence why some people have been taking shortcuts.

My husband distills his own spirits so we were very interested to read a very good article about arak distilling late last year. Methanol is what can be produced if the distiller used the liquid that comes off before the still gets to the correct temperature. Hence the stories from days past of people going blind from drinking moonshine. I use the methanol that comes off Hubby's still as a fantastic window cleaner as it's 90% alcohol.

Edited: 24 April 2010, 00:17
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4. Re: Arak - Rice wine - anyone heard the bad reports??

22 Indonesians dead from poison liquor


April 23, 2010, 10:55 pm

At least 22 people in an Indonesian village have died and 300 have been poisoned after drinking bootleg liquor laced with methanol, police said Friday.

The victims purchased the liquor last Friday in Karangpete village and many started suffering signs of methanol poisoning over the weekend, said Captain Susetio Cahyadi, police chief in Central Java's Salatiga district.

He said the number of dead could go up because hundreds were thought to have drunk the liquor at local parties and several people were in poor condition at hospitals.

Police have arrested a 41-year-old man who is accused of making and selling the liquor for 10,000 rupiah ($A1.40) per litre.

Cahyadi said he will be charged with violating a health law and could face 15 years in prison.

Methanol, also known as wood alcohol, can be used as a fuel and is an ingredient in formaldehyde, plastics and paints.

It is toxic to humans and can cause blindness or death in even small amounts.

Alcohol is heavily taxed in Indonesia and the high prices have spawned a huge black market for wine and liquor, but sometimes homemade batches are mixed with methanol.

The latest deaths bring to 71 the number of people who have died in Central Java of suspected methanol poisoning since 2009.

Last year, 25 people, including four foreigners, died of suspected poisoning in a two-week period on Indonesia's resort islands of Bali and Lombok.

5. Re: Arak - Rice wine - anyone heard the bad reports??

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