Gut Rumbles

May 23, 2005

hit the start button

In celebration of my grandmother's 94th birthday, I started my home-made chemistry experiment today. In checking all my fermenting stuff, I noticed two problems. First, Jennifer crimped my worm (in more ways than one) when she packed up all of my shit and had me tossed out of my house.

In case you don't know, a "worm" is the copper tubing you use to condense alcohol from the mash when you cook it. Jennifer bent the old one up so badly when she crammed it into a box that I didn't think it would work anymore. I also quit making beer, wine or anything else alcoholic several years ago and started using my funnel to perform oil changes on my truck. That thing looked pretty bad, too.

So, I went to the hardware store today, and I bought 15' of 3/4" copper tubing, a funnel and a big tube of silicone putty. As the guy at the store was measuring my tubing, he said, "If I didn't know any better, I'd think you were making a moonshine still." I told him that he was crazy. Moonshining is against the law. "Yeah, right," he replied. He sold me everything I wanted.

I'm about to start cooking all the berries and the sugar on my stove very soon now. I'm going to pour that stuff into a 5-gallon glass jug when it's done (that's what I needed the funnel for), let it sit until it cools down to titty-warm, and then I'll pitch the yeast into it. After that, I'll drag it off into the garage, plug in the blow-off tube and let it do its natural thing.

In about ten to fourteen days, I should be ready to cook it off.

In the meantime, I'll work on getting the still put back together and carefully bending my worm into the proper shape to fit my home-made condenser. I'm looking forward to see how this project turns out. I have high hopes.

I don't intend to blow this one up.

(UPDATE: The nefarious deed is done and everything looks good so far. That sumbitch is ALREADY beginning to foam and blow bubbles, and I pitched the yeast only about two hours ago. Must be some damn potent yeast, or VERY good mash.)

(ANOTHER UPDATE: Mary, don't try that shit on me again. Spam is spam--- and you weren't out to do anyone except yourself a public service. Free I-Pod, my ass.)


I learned that if you fill the tubing with sand before bending it, it's far less likely to crimp. I have several stills, of several different sorts, so I've bent a lot of tubing in my time.

Posted by: Noddy on May 23, 2005 04:31 PM

I used to make alot of beer and wine too. I even made a batch of hooch from fermented pears, pressure cooker with a worm in a coffee can in the sink next to the stove.

It worked and we didn't die...

I might get my brewing stuff working again myself..

Posted by: Mark -- on May 23, 2005 05:51 PM

Time to go back and tell these youngins what wasn't when your Gran was born: how long a list...starting today going back:

Cell phones, satellite dishes, cable TV, DVD's, VCR's, 8 track tapes, cassette players, cordless phones, remote controls...

Now what is that...just the last 15'on....go way back...give us a picture of the world that Gran was born into!

Must have been even harder than my Granddad's....he had gas street lights here in the big city!

Posted by: Maggie on May 23, 2005 07:02 PM

Many well wishes to your grandmother, Rob. I wish my own grandmother was still alive so I could pick her brain about family history...I wasn't smart enough to do it while she was alive.

And Mary apparently needs a bitchslap.

Posted by: Chablis on May 23, 2005 07:40 PM

I bet that guy knew because he's got his own still in his yard.
Many birthday blessings to your grandma.

Posted by: Maeve on May 23, 2005 07:48 PM

I'm looking for a still design that would be accurate for the mid to late 1700's. Me and a buddy want to build it for our living history events ("Och! Tha' be oor water puir-EH-fication system! Move along noo, nothing ta see here folks....")

Posted by: Graumagus on May 23, 2005 09:40 PM


Posted by: Arcs on May 24, 2005 07:35 AM
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