Home made Hooch (1 Viewer)

Older Than Dirt

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Well, of course the brew shop guy's were better, he had optimal working conditions, while you were brewing beer in hunter-gatherer conditions, which i, as a person who has been brewing since the '80s, would have thought totally impossible.

Beer is supposed to be the drink of agriculture and civilization, not savages sleeping under tarps!

I bet your "Houseless Pale Ale" was probably a lot better than many specimens of "McMansion Pale Ale" the brewshop guy was proudly showed, thus i bet he used your bottles for shaming purposes (and to improve StarSan sales- "the kid in the tent has better sanitary technique than you do!")
 
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Doobie_D

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Ha ha. Yeah it was a decent beer. I was getting super cheap hops off of a guy who went out of business and was selling the remainder on Craigslist. I also had cleared out a 30ft area in the woods where I had a fairly decent garden and I planted some cascade and Chinook hops around the perimeter. One of the last "houseless pale ales" had a nice helping of fresh hops added a week prior to bottling. I even dug out and lined with tile a little 3ft deep "cooler " for aging purposes. I use the term aging very loosely.


So I take it you started your brewing adventures ala Papazian style -mail order - no name-outdated -yeast packet and half corn sugar beer recipes? It's hard to believe that it used to be illegal to homebrew (although Oklahoma didnt legalize until like 2013?) I'd imagine techniques back then weren't too far from my conditions out at camp in 2011 😆
 

Older Than Dirt

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i have Crystal and Fuggles hops growing, just started this year.

You are right on the nose: i was growing reefer in a basement on Staten Island and realized CO2 is good for growing plants, and brewing makes CO2 (and ales like the same temperature range as cannabis) , via seeing the Charlie Papazian book Joy of Homebrew, which i still have. It was still illegal then, and hard to find anything out- there were literally 3 books.

We started brewing lots of shitty beer and then got better at it, and yes, my first few batches were strictly Fleishmann's.

The only grow store in NYC rapidly became also the first homebrew store, since i guess others had the same idea i had, then things got easier. Now the local yuppie supermarket/garden store in the Hudson valley NY where i live now has malted grains, a grinder, and every kind of hops and yeast one could want.
 
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Older Than Dirt

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Yes. i keep the gardening and brewing separate these days but it was a worthwhile experiment.

Hops and weed are very closely related and some nice dried buds are an excellent substitute for some of your finishing hops when brewing less hop-forward styles like the abbey ales i mostly do. There is no alcohol yet to dissolve THC in wort, so no psychoactive effects are added, but my beer is strong enough and you can get some nice flavors.
 

Older Than Dirt

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Funny you should mention that Durban, i may have to make some experiments this fall. Went to Colo in May and there are new genetics in the hiz-ouze.
 

Barf

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I have a book called Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz. It is about the benefits of fermented foods. If you haven't read it, it is a good read. I saw Katz give a presentation on his book at Bonnaroo one year(think it was '06 or '07).

I tried his recipe for fermented apple juice. It was pretty simple but something didn't click.

I bought some unfiltered apple juice at the store. I don't believe it was pasteurized. I poured the juice into one of my clean, dry, growlers and covered the top with some cheese cloth. I secured the cheese cloth to the mouth of the bottle with a rubber band and let it sit.

The idea was to let the natural yeast in the air ferment the apple juice into an alcoholic beverage.

I was kinda hoping it'd produce a beverage that was, well, alcoholic to get me by.

Would adding some sugar in the juice have helped at all?

I guess it could have fermented, but the alcohol level was so tiny that I didn't pick up on it?

I've been wanting to try and make some simple mead(fermented honey water) but I never got around to it after my apple experiment.

Anyone have any ideas as to what I did wrong?
 

WyldLyfe

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I don't drink alcohol... but I've got a friend who makes his own brew.. this is how he does it, maybe someone might want to know...

*Find a fruit juice thats 100% juice or at least 99% juice and it has to have no preservatives, he usually uses a 2 litre bottle of apple juice from Coles.
*Pour out about one cup of juice from the bottle, add 1 and a half cups of sugar then close the lid and shake the juice until the sugar is completely dissolved.
*You can fill the bottle back up to the top with water or the juice you just poured out.
*Add 1/3 of a teaspoon of wine yeast to the juice (he uses CL23 wine yeast that you can buy from brew barn) close lid and shake the bottle up a bit to get the yeast moving.
*Unscrew the lid slightly so that air is able to escape and store the bottle of juice in a dark and warm place like a cupboard and leave it for two weeks. After that it should be ready.
 

Jackthereaper

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I don't drink alcohol... but I've got a friend who makes his own brew.. this is how he does it, maybe someone might want to know...

*Find a fruit juice thats 100% juice or at least 99% juice and it has to have no preservatives, he usually uses a 2 litre bottle of apple juice from Coles.
*Pour out about one cup of juice from the bottle, add 1 and a half cups of sugar then close the lid and shake the juice until the sugar is completely dissolved.
*You can fill the bottle back up to the top with water or the juice you just poured out.
*Add 1/3 of a teaspoon of wine yeast to the juice (he uses CL23 wine yeast that you can buy from brew barn) close lid and shake the bottle up a bit to get the yeast moving.
*Unscrew the lid slightly so that air is able to escape and store the bottle of juice in a dark and warm place like a cupboard and leave it for two weeks. After that it should be ready.
Get the organic stuff, works every time.
 

Doobie_D

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I have a book called Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz. It is about the benefits of fermented foods. If you haven't read it, it is a good read. I saw Katz give a presentation on his book at Bonnaroo one year(think it was '06 or '07).

I tried his recipe for fermented apple juice. It was pretty simple but something didn't click.

I bought some unfiltered apple juice at the store. I don't believe it was pasteurized. I poured the juice into one of my clean, dry, growlers and covered the top with some cheese cloth. I secured the cheese cloth to the mouth of the bottle with a rubber band and let it sit.

The idea was to let the natural yeast in the air ferment the apple juice into an alcoholic beverage.

I was kinda hoping it'd produce a beverage that was, well, alcoholic to get me by.

Would adding some sugar in the juice have helped at all?

I guess it could have fermented, but the alcohol level was so tiny that I didn't pick up on it?

I've been wanting to try and make some simple mead(fermented honey water) but I never got around to it after my apple experiment.

Anyone have any ideas as to what I did wrong?

Your main problem was allowing the naturally occurring yeast to do the job. Using a packet yeast is much
1. Faster
2. Tastier (debatable)
3. Predictable

Using the wild yeasts in the air is doable but you stand the chance of nasty tasting yeasts finding there way to your brew or just straight bacterial infection. It's also alot slower to start up the actual fermentation compared to dumping an army of highly specialized ninja yeasties
 

Older Than Dirt

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Unfiltered cider will definitely go hard on its own, but it will take a lot longer and sometimes will taste funky. As everyone else has said, yeast, and preferably not bread yeast, though that will work.

Pro tip: After you turn your cider hard, freeze it. The alcohol won't freeze; pour it off. Instant applejack, no still needed.

 
OP
VibeR

VibeR

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Beat me to it! 1118 is great. I have gotten to 23% with it and dry as centurian pussy. If you need some i can send an oz or 2 your way, i was doing barrels for a while and this is leftovers.

Using bread yeast works on jail, but its far from ideal, you can def get a much better result with a champagne yeast
I had no clue there even was a specific kind of yeast for alcohol or any thing other than breads and such. I hope I remember that the next time I make Hooch.
I got kinda lost in the thread, but anyways, I put my Hooch in the fridge thinking it would stop the process. But now it seems to be becoming more like beer (carbonated); is that normal?
 

Older Than Dirt

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Yes, all yeast eats sugars, and shits alcohol and carbon dioxide.

Bread yeast makes very little alcohol, and lots of CO2, and is easily killed by alcohol. The tiny bit of alcohol bakes off, and the CO2 makes the bubbles that make the bread rise.

Wine or ale yeasts will make lots of alcohol, and stay alive, and will make less CO2, but still enough for fizziness, like beer or champagne.

Wine or beer yeast will make better bread than bread yeast will make wine or beer, BTW.

To put this fact to use: when done fermenting, you can pour off to another container to avoid funky dead yeast flavors.

Take the slimy residue from the bottom of the fermenting container and add flour, sugar and salt as needed to make dough (in the ratio 1 cup flour to one tablespoon of sugar to one teaspoon of salt).

Let rise covered with plastic wrap about 12 hours, beat it down and shape into a ball, put on board or in bowl smooth side up. 2 hours later flip over (so side with folds is now up); bake at 450 F for about half an hour.

2 methods for a hard crust: Put in a dutch oven if you have one (and remove lid at about 20 minutes), or put a small pot of boiling water on bottom of oven and throw in ice just as you put bread in oven.
 
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Older Than Dirt

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Even if you do totally wild fermentation (no added yeast), your hard cider will have a slimy yeast layer after fermentation dies down, and this will make excellent bread.

Bread is easy, beer is hard, but they are the same thing with different amounts of water, and salt added to bread.

One more wild fermentation tip: if your cider is not fermenting enough, cheat and add wild yeast. Grape skins and raspberries, and any fruit that tends to get a white haze are covered with yeast- guess what that white haze is? Put a couple grape skins or whole raspberries into the cider- this is an old sourdough bakers trick for feeding "the bitch" [the general pro kitchen term for sourdough starter; aka "that science experiment"] besides giving it flour every day or so.
 
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Older Than Dirt

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One more thing and i will stop detouring into bread: KING ARTHUR FLOUR is #1.

The package is mostly RED for a reason: it is a worker-owned coop. It is also hands down the best bread flour. You wanna see some anarcho-syndicalism in action- bake bread with KING ARTHUR FLOUR. That is all.
 

Older Than Dirt

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Peaches are especially good, see above re white haze on fruits being yeast- you want the skins for the yeast they are covered with.

They should be at least as ripe as what someone would want to eat, but fruit you would discard as too old is fine as long as it is not moldy or vile, but merely soft and funky. Get the pits out as they are full of cyanide you will want to save for your enemies. Mash up vigorously with very clean implement in very clean vessel; add lots of water til soupy. Can add sugar here too, and cheat with storebought ale or champagne yeast, both are optional. Either or both will increase fermentation (that is, alcohol output), and how quickly you get results.

Put in very clean compound bucket you have drilled a hole in lid of and put a brewlock (find a brew store, maybe $2 at most). When fermentation dies down, taste. If it isn't strong enough, add fresh mashed up peaches (or more store yeast); cover; wait; test.

I would say about half a bucket or perhaps 40% full of mashed peaches, with water to almost fill, would work well, but i am a little out of my depth here, and we have some real fruit-hooch experts here, esp @Doobie_D and @Jackthereaper .
 
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BradKajukenbo

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Yea I got a bucket of some real soft ones that had sit on the ground for a day. Was going to give them to the farmer few miles away. He puts it in his pigs food.
 

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