August 17, 2009
like riding a bicycle
Originally PUBLISHED June 15, 2005
Catfish wanted to watch me do it help me with the project, so he dropped by the Crackerbox a little before 7:00 this evening. The weather was still hot and stiflingly humid, but it was a lot better than it was earlier in the day. I had everything set up and ready to go, so we popped a couple of Bass Ales and retired to my back porch. I showed him my set-up and explained how everything was SUPPOSED to work.
"Well... don't just sit there, bow-legs," Cat said. "Fire that baby up and let's see if you know what you're doing."
We fired it up. Within 10 minutes, I had a pretty, clear liquid that smelled faintly of blackberries as it came spitting from the worm. It burned with a blue flame, too. I let that run for a few ounces and then tasted what I was making. "We catch the rest of this," I announced, and we did.
The still wine-making equipment started working so well that it was blowing stuff clean over the Mason jar I had set up to catch it. Catfish had a taste and said, "We don't need to be putting any of THIS on the ground," so he Cracker-engineered a really clever anti-burp device that caught everything and channelled it back into the jar.
It took us about an hour and a half and two Bass Ales apiece to get the job done, but we managed. I ended up with seven pints of STRONG elixer and another pint of the somewhat watered-down after-effects. Once I tasted some of that, I turned off the heat and called the project a roaring success. Not bad for five gallons of mash.
I gave Catfish a pint from the first of the run for being such an excellent still-sitter conversationalist. He appeared to be proud of his trophy, but I think I started evil wheels spinning in his head. He looked at my setup and said, "Hell. Any asshole can do THAT."
If I didn't know any better, I might believe that an asshole in MacIntosh County wants to try it himself. If he wants any help, he knows who to call. But he's right about one thing: any asshole CAN do it.
It's like riding a bicycle, too. Once you learn how, you never forget.
All content © Rob Smith