Gut Rumbles

July 19, 2008

blackberry "brandy"

Originally PUBLISHED May 28, 2005

That chemistry experiment in my kitchen has simmered down somewhat from the way it started. Now, it's sounding like a clock with a second-hand that ticks about twice every second into the blow-off can. Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! So far, so good.

I like the color. It's dark and murky and looks exactly like.... BLACKBERRY JUICE, with lots of foam on the top and bubbles in it. I figure that in about a week, it'll be ready for the finishing touches. (Heh. Some of you people probably thought that I was making this shit up. Well... I AIN'T! Oh, I'm making the shit up, all right, but this is NOT a fantasy.)

My Uncle Virgil was at mama's house today and when I told him what I was doing, he insisted that I save some for him. He always liked my home-made beer and wine. He never tasted any of my moonshine, but HIS DADDY (MY grandfather) taught me how to do it, so I suppose that I owe him a slash or two.

I have no idea how this chemistry experiment will turn out. If all goes according to plan (which it has, so far), I should be able to make close to a gallon of brandy, once I water it down to around 100 proof and if I don't blow up my got-dam still in the cooking process. I should have about 20% alcohol in the mash (I put 10 pounds of sugar in there) when it's through percolating in that 5-gallon carboy.

I bought twelve Mason jars on my last trip to Wal-Mart, which will be MORE than enough to catch my squeezin's when I perform the ILLEGAL part of my plan, probably sometime around next weekend. I've got the still ready, just not fully assembled yet. If the cops raid me tonight, I am doing NOTHING against the law.

Right now, I'm making home-made wine and THAT'S not illegal.

When I get ready to run it off, I know what to do. The trick to making good stuff rather than bust-head is to toss what comes out of the worm onto an open flame until it explodes like gasoline instead of making a steamy hiss when it hits the fire. Then, allow about half a Mason jar to go to waste. That's the BAD alcohol that evaporates first. That's what will give you headaches, make your hair fall out and cause you to go blind.

After that, catch it all until you throw some on the fire and it hisses again instead of exploding in a bright, blue flame. Quit when that happens. You're done.

Of course, I'm lying about every bit of this. But if I WERE going to do such a thing, that's how I would do it.

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