Friday, April 17, 2015

consuming to invest 25


CONSUMING TO INVEST 25

Garbage Can Wine

Decades ago Kurt Saxon introduced a lot of us to homemade Ripple, junk wine on the cheap ( Kurt Saxon, for those new to the survivalist way, was a crazy as a craphouse rat but loveable rogue who was the author of books on improvised weaponry and 19th century technology level-of-social-decline survivalism ).  It wasn’t much more complicated than placing a can of condensed grape fruit juice in a big jug, adding a lot of table sugar and a pack of bread yeast and water, then placing a balloon over the opening and waiting a week.  Of course, everyone had to try it out, and some improvements suggested were using actual wine yeast ( bought in bulk through the mail, you paid no price difference penalty ) and using a purpose made jug with one of those relatively inexpensive doo-dads that lets fermentation gases out without letting air in.  Garbage can wine is a different animal all together, and by employing its name I’m only being cute and clever and am NOT suggesting to anyone you should try making it.  Garbage can wine is prison made wine, and the yeast part is dangerous.  Those fools use moldy pieces of bread, or any other kind of mold, to try to turn juice in a plastic bag into wine ( I’m a bit vague on the added sugar part, if there is one ).  Needless to say, garbage can wine can get you drunk, or dead, or wishing you were deceased rather than in excruciating pain.  Although, honestly, if fellow prisoners were shoving their junk up my nether regions, I guess drunk or dead is just as good.

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Economically, junk wine of the Kurt Saxon type has a lot going for it.  Even if you use a whole bag of sugar, you are looking at what?  $4 a gallon for wine, which includes the yeast and juice.  If that.  You’ll have to do a bit of research, as I don’t have portions or exact brew time, but I know you can use almost anything for flavor.  Surely you’ve heard of strawberry wine and the like?  Be creative and original and frugal ( dumpster diving for, say, the tough core scraps of pineapple that are thrown away as the stores produce department makes those hideously expensive cut fruit bowls, then pureeing them in a blender before using them as wine juice ).  Have several jugs in production at once ( look into buying the air-lock caps, as a balloon sounds like too chancy health wise ), and before you know it you are getting drunk or buzzed every day on pennies or quarters rather than dollars ( I’m glad I don’t drink anymore with beer in bulk bottle cases going near a buck each for crap brew ).  Plus, homemade gifts!  You will have new friends and family you didn’t know existed.  All for the price of a few pieces of brewing equipment and some bulk ingredients.

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18 comments:

  1. I have tried it, and I can't say I liked it. But here are a few suggestions to make the final product a bit more palatable: wash out used wine bottles(or jugs if you are ambitious), if you don't you will taste the plastic later. Only use fruit juice that has 30% sugar listed on the label, this lets you use only about a tablespoon of sugar to give it some kick.

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    Replies
    1. I think taste is secondary to alcohol consumption

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    2. If taste is not a consideration then by all means use plastic carboys and bags of sugar. Just make sure you keep it from over heating and
      outside the blast radius of stuff you don't want covered in sticky goop.
      The hotter the environment, the more it works off, them splat!

      Delete
    3. Damn, could have eliminated #4 that way

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  2. Sounds like a cheap source of post collapse entertainment to me. Definitely worth looking into. I think that Big Bear guy posted something like this on his now defunct website one time, and he made it sound pretty simple.

    In the mean time, until one can get the hang of it, and as a starter home entertainment system. That box wine was still pretty affordable the last time I checked, and comes in a decent quantity of around 5 liters I want to say? I think it would store well in a basement long term.

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    Replies
    1. I love big bear to this day, for his advice on 12v LED bulbs

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  3. I try and drink a pint of bourbon every day just to stay regular. I used to drink and take pills but someone told me I could DIE! and so I gave up the pills. damn shame, I have to buy the bourbon and the narcotics were free from the VA.

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    Replies
    1. Pills profit Big Pharm. Booze profits Big Corps, but at least some are in otherwise low job areas. Plus, you can raise your own bourbon. For medicinal purposes only, natch.

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  4. Jim you nailed how to make cheap wine.The ballon will work you but a pin hole in it before you put it on the jug. Increase sugar = alcohol up to a point 10 lb sugar = 10 to 13% alcohol per gallon .sour dough starter can be used to start a batch or save the dreages from another batch to start a new one.Hence the name sour mash .

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    Replies
    1. "sour mash" name origin-I didn't know that. Interesting.

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  5. Meh, I would rather avoid the booze other than the truly medicinal/fuel sort. I'm congenitally predisposed to alcoholism _and_ it takes so much to get me drunk it really isn't worth it. (6hrs, gallon of vodka on the rocks was all mine, I didn't stagger when I had to piss at the end of the 6 hrs and thought all the drunks around me who shared a couple of bottles were just acting more idiotic than usual).
    And drunks come in many forms including belligerent. No PODA I will no more embrace the drink than I do now. Now POT on the other hand - and other soporifics that are currently controlled substances- that you can easily do at home and find a number of uses for, can make sense in a PODA. The raiders try burning your pot farm down, if the wind blows the wrong way they will loose all enthusiasm for pursuing you. But if really I doubt it will be worth it as a trade good- even the really good stuff is a weed after all and will be hard to keep everyone who wants there own from growing there own.

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    Replies
    1. I love pot, not that I'll smoke it again until NV gets its crap together and decriminalizes it, but it does tend to dial down ones motivation. Coffee was thought to be an economic driver after being introduced to Europe.

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  6. After having tried making both wine and beer, I think beer is easier and the product is more uniformly palatable. Gotta make something out of all that grain you have stored after all! That said, I think the most straightforward DIY alcohol source is low temperature distillation of vodka from sugar. I've done this using the Amazing Still (free plans at amazingstill dot com). You build it yourself out of plastic buckets. Right now I use a small electric heater to maintain 115-120F needed for the process, but I'm looking at combining it with a "hay box" to eliminate the need for electricity and just top off a hot water bath once or twice a day. I've only used sugar as feed stock, but someday I want to try potatoes just to make sure I can source a feedstock after the big upset.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The plans page doesn't come up. I'll try later.

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    2. Sorry about the link. Didn't try it before forwarding. Here is a direct link to download the pdf.

      http://shonari.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Amazing-Plastic-Still-Clever-Method-of-Making-Spirit.pdf

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  7. Sir Lord BaltimoreApril 22, 2015 at 6:44 AM

    James,

    An easy and appetizing way to make your own booze is to make hard cider. It can be quite strong (hangovers are a bitch though). My lady bought me a cheapy starter kit from this guy. www.ciderup.com

    Plenty of fun and if you can boil water you are good to go.

    Sir Lord Baltimore

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