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Thread: anyone making their own booze?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic*
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    Default anyone making their own booze?

    for the past 6 months or so ive been making my own hard apple cider. i did a practice gallon run at first simple with brown sugar and apple cider. next i made a 3 gallon batch starting in November and finally bottled it a couple weeks ago. it was cider, brown sugar, maple syrup and light toast oak chips (turned out pretty amazing). now i have another gallon of cider thats been fermenting since last week. decided to mix it up and went with dark toast oak chips, vanilla, extra dark brown sugar (very strong molasses flavor) and cocoa nibs. i decided to only go a gallon on this one because im not sure how the flavors are going to go with that. next im probably going to go with a honey cider batch and another maple syrup batch. this all started from being a fan of Crispin cider. they had a maple syrup flavored cider called "the saint". however, i havent been able to find it around here for the past 2 years now and decided to try making my own. ive been very pleased with my results so far. anyone else here making their own drink?

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* Str8stroke's Avatar
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    Default Re: anyone making their own booze?

    I did the Mr. Beer stuff a few years back. I had mixed results. It was a fair amount of work. I did enjoy doing it. I would say I did about 6 batches in the little brown keg. Half turned out pretty decent. One, the Cowboy Lager, was really good. One, some sorta of cherry thing was horrific. I had to poor it all out after like 2 months of "work".

    But if you have the time, it can be rewarding.
    Interested in Saltytri lights. Pm me!


  3. #3

    Default Re: anyone making their own booze?

    This isn't really what you meant, but thought worth mentioning because, for no great reason, I hadn't had a drink in 9 years before last night. I had a bit of a throat tickle and stopped by the druggest for some DXM syrup, and since the spirits counter was attached and it was Friday, and there may or may not have been drama earlier, I picked up a twentieth of Black Label (for about the price of what I remember a fifth of White Label used to cost me). At home I prepared a pot of black coffee, poured myself a hot mug, and mixed in a few capfuls, and 10mL of syrup. This Irish Coffee was strong and minty and settled my cough and my nerves, and honestly, cheered me up a bit, too. Today, my coffee and my cough are gone, and I'm feeling quite special.
    Last edited by chillinn; 02-06-2016 at 09:00 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: anyone making their own booze?

    My father came home with a HUGE copper still with dog latches 45 degrees apart and we made some potato mash with sugar and yeast and distilled a large amount of white lightning that was high enough in proof that when you lit a spoon full the flames were pale blue. Similar to the color of my 12 year old face after tasting some.
    will work for peanuts

  5. #5
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: anyone making their own booze?

    I make lemoncello.The best in the world.Beware of a liquor making hobby.First you have all the drunken nights sampling your batches(fell in a fire pit,true story).Then all your friends that want to drink your booze.Then all the friends and family that EXPECT large quantities at Christmas,birthdays,ect.Then the crowning blow,Daughter wants big blowout wedding with 120 guests and for table favors?Lemoncello!Well that was 5 years ago and im considering making my next batch.

  6. #6

    Default Re: anyone making their own booze?

    At $12 a pint, yep. All grain of course.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: anyone making their own booze?

    I have been toying with the idea of "improving" some vodka using multi stage distillation - basically a fancy still.

    One of the challenges with simple distillation is that the first portion of the distilled liquor to come off typically has a substantial amount of lower boiling point methanol in it. In large quantities, this is really bad for your health, but even in smaller quantities, it is responsible for a significant part of the "hang over" effect. The "tails" or higher boiling point end of the distillation is similarly not that great for you either. In a perfect world, you could use a gas chromatograph to test exactly how far along you are in this process.

    On shows like "moon shiners", you can see how the more experienced distillers are testing for when the majority of methanol being condensed is gone. They use very simple methods, like "shaking it for how it bubbles - or not", taste, and how "oily it feels". These qualitative methods are surprisingly good indicators, although I don't really recommend using them.

    In multi stage distillation, similar to how oil refining is performed, the tower is packed and temperature controlled so that low boiling point products are carried toward the top and removed there, middle range boilers (the ethanol enriched portion in this case) come off in the middle of the column, and then low boilers are trapped down lower. I have not built one yet, but I think it could be built into something the size of a carry one suitcase.

  8. #8

    Default Re: anyone making their own booze?

    Cautionary tale: Years ago, I read about an individual that got into some trouble for legally distilling spirits. Actually, it wasn't the legal distilling of corn grain that got him in trouble. This was back when gas prices were pretty obnoxious. He had converted his vehicle to a "rice burner." There is a small population of "pure" rice burners, and they'll claim honestly the engine conversion is not for the fuel efficiency, but for the performance. By using his grain as fuel, his trouble was with the IRS for (probably not being aware of and) not paying the ?˘/gal. federal fuel tax. Had he drank it, there would have been no legal issues. In a world where the 62 richest individuals hold as much wealth as the poorest half of the entire world's population, about 3.5 billion people, it would be neater if the IRS stopped bending over a dollar to pick up a dime.
    Last edited by chillinn; 02-07-2016 at 04:03 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: anyone making their own booze?

    decided against making a batch of honey cider and went with a butterscotch/banana cider! smelling good!

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* RBR's Avatar
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    Default Re: anyone making their own booze?

    Used to make "Black Pig" as a kid which is Turkish Pepper set up with ethanol at 96% and thinned to strength of choice with de-ionized water, ~50% was the typical percentage.

    Enjoyed as a shot, or in German "Schnaps/Kurzer".

    Similar with sloes but way more nasty to produce, picking the berries from the bush (after at least one frosty night, better more), cooking the berries to juice sweetened with a bit sugar and reducing that to oily consistence prior to setting it up with ethanol at 96%, thinning again to strength of choice with de-ionized water.

    Cheers

    RBR
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: anyone making their own booze?

    currently i have 3 gallons of blackberry port chilling on some oak chips right now. after fermenting it to 15-16% alcohol i added enough brandy to get it up around the 19% mark. showing a lot of promise right now.

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