Gut Rumbles

June 15, 2005

like riding a bicycle

The "home-made wine" is a done deal. Everything went just as slick as an onion, too.

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.


Hmm hmm! Mouth is watering for a taste...

Posted by: Desert Cat on June 15, 2005 11:56 PM

I made it home bow leggs. They were 40 cops on I-95 and I drove 70 miles an hour because of all the shit I carry in my truck. If they would have stopped me for speeding and smelled that jar and saw all of those guns and ammo, not counting those 500 pills I have, I would be under the fucking jail. Thanks for the shine lesson, Cat

Posted by: catfish on June 16, 2005 12:13 AM

mmmmmmmmMM black berry 'shine.

Posted by: Maeve on June 16, 2005 12:20 AM

It will make you higher than a Georgia Pine.

Posted by: catfish on June 16, 2005 12:23 AM

Alright then. Next weekend. Cat's. I want to taste this stuff.

Posted by: Velociman on June 16, 2005 12:32 AM

That's pretty good time , It takes our "water purifier" approximatly 11 hours to get 10 L of 95% distillate from an 80L boiler.

Posted by: efa on June 16, 2005 02:48 AM

I'm inspired! I've been thinking about making me some 'wine' for a long time now and after following this fine blog for a while, have decided to a) get my cauldron and tripod out over a firepit and make gumbo, b) make some biscuits to go with it, c) try getting hold of a whole pig to roast as well, and d) turn garage into 'wine room'. Bollocks to what the neighbours here think. Mind you, this could be difficult with only a small dog to help me. I don't suppose anybody out there is visiting London at some point and could give me a hand?

Posted by: Misty on June 16, 2005 05:06 AM

Hot damn that sounds like some fine sippin' wine! You gonna be home this weekend? Up to a few house guests????

Posted by: Michele on June 16, 2005 07:11 AM

My hat is off to you! You have truly inspired the masses. The wineberries here in Virginia should be getting ripe around July 4, the blackberries in a week or so. Some have asked about the "wine making" equipment, so here you go:

If I only knew how much sugar and yeast?

Posted by: Ed on June 16, 2005 08:21 AM

Hi Misty,
If the powers that be can kickstart the "Nimrod Project", that bloody ugly spy plane of yours, I might get to take another trip across the pond. London is a lot of fun, but damn, the accomdations suck!

Posted by: Ed on June 16, 2005 08:28 AM

Hi Ed,
Sadly, I don't control the 'powers that be' yet, but I'm working on it ;) Where were you staying in London? Not all the accomodations here suck, I can assure you! I know some rather nice hotels :)

Posted by: Misty on June 16, 2005 08:36 AM

I stayed in a Hilton outside of London. I don't remember where exactly. When it came time to iron my shirts, I discovered there were no steam holes in the iron. That was disaster number one. The plumbing was well... you know, English, but the beer was worth all the suffering!

Gotta run. Duty calls.

Posted by: Ed on June 16, 2005 08:48 AM

Has anyone here ever had "scupponong" wine? (I don't know how to spell it...anyway it's a grape with a really "tough" skin...My uncle used to make cousin and I got into it when we were about 14...I really don't remember much after that...

Posted by: Kellie on June 16, 2005 09:05 AM

Since your experimenting and all...

Can you use a bit of your product and see if this does any good?

Posted by: Hooz on June 16, 2005 09:18 AM

Ed, A Hilton - say no more, I concur, they do suck! I can recommend far better places to stay round here, one of which being a public toilet in Balham. Yay for your comment about the beer here, but wtf do you mean by 'the plumbing was, you know, English'? what's wrong with the plumbing here?
ttfn x

Posted by: Misty on June 16, 2005 10:44 AM

Hi Misty, thanks for the tip. The sinks had two spiggots, one for hot, one for cold. I had never seen such an arrangement. Washing the hands was a bit like - too hot! - too cold! - too hot! - too cold! The lack of wash cloths was a bit disconcerting as well!

The Queen's English can be a bit tricky too. I once asked a bloke for directions at Piccadilly Circus, had him repeat them twice and was still clueless.

All said, I've been over there three times and had a blast!

Posted by: Ed on June 16, 2005 11:03 AM

Ed, Right there with you on views on taps/faucets/spiggots whatever you want to call 'em. Not all places have such torturous devices in the washrooms, but too many do. As to lack of washcloths, again, you were in a Hilton - nuff said.
Re: Queen's English and directions, are you sure you weren't talking to a member of 'our wonderful royal family?'* Nothing any of them say makes any sense, you'd have more success asking a lamp post for directions.


Posted by: Misty on June 16, 2005 11:18 AM

You DO know they use that stuff as a laxative in Kentucky.

Posted by: Steve H. on June 16, 2005 11:22 AM

That sounds like fun. The youngest kid conned me into making root beer, then wine, then beer, and now he keeps talking about making liquor. I admit that I have the same worries you did, about it blowing up and all. Nothing like having the fire department call the police department when they discover why the roof of my garage blew off.

Posted by: Cerberus on June 16, 2005 12:04 PM

"In the still of the night.."

Posted by: Scott P on June 16, 2005 12:40 PM

Sounds like some stuff I once had from Czechoslovakia.I can't recall what they called it in Czech but I think it was made from blackberries also, crystal clear, tasted good but would put your dick in the dirt. Have fun.

Posted by: gravdigr on June 16, 2005 01:10 PM

You might wish to use a wee bit of caution, Rob.

It is, after all, illegal to distill drinkin' liquor, even for personal use (it used to not be, up to some number of gallons N, but either Congress or BATFE changed the regulations, and now it is), without a ridiculously expensive and complex system of permits, tax stamps, and construction.

In other words, this is all fiction, right?

Posted by: Sigivald on June 16, 2005 01:26 PM

Right you are Misty! Besides beer, you can get that wonderful libation known as Absinthe across the pond. I always bring back a bottle of Hills. I've heard that it's not the best brand, but hey, after the third shot it tastes great to me!
Of course, the down side is waking up on the floor!

Posted by: Ed on June 16, 2005 01:37 PM

Ah, Absinthe! now you're talking :) I've spent a fair few interesting evenings* with The Green Fairy ;) Check this out: I think you'll like it :)
btw, Rob, if you can make absinthe I'll be really impressed ;)

* I think... from what I remember anyway ;)

ps. pop quiz.
If a green fairy came over the top of your monitor would you:
a) hit it?
b) blame it on the Absinthe?
c) wipe it up before it stains?

Posted by: Misty on June 16, 2005 02:28 PM

I went and set on the toilet and remembered what it was named: Schnitslvitch (spelling???)

Posted by: gravdigr on June 16, 2005 02:59 PM

GRAVDIGR- Schnitslvitch?!?!?! I tried to wrap my tongue around that one and can't stop laughing!

MISTY - Uhhhh.... d) lick it up before it stains?

Posted by: Ed on June 16, 2005 03:10 PM

Gravdigr, that'd be Slivovitz. It's distilled from plums, not blackberries - and has a pong kinda like lighter fluid. I always keep a bottle in the house.

Betcha Rob's stuff is way better, though.

Posted by: Elisson on June 16, 2005 03:25 PM
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