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(Seattle Times)   Nearly 80 years after Prohibition ended there's a very good chance your neighbor right now is brewing moonshine on his stove and you would never even know it   (seattletimes.nwsource.com) divider line 85
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6937 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Jul 2012 at 11:04 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-08 12:37:12 PM

KrispyKritter: they're right, i did think americans over 18 were allowed to make 'X' amounts of assorted adult beverages for their own consumption per year. i'm confused. i know there's a shiatload of Farkers who make brew. i guess TFA is getting real specific. i don't care if you are brewing, distilling, raising grapes or growing reefers. bless your hearts, you kids go have a good time.

/fark laws. life is too short to live scared.


According to Federal Law, an adult is legally allowed to brew up to 100 gallons of beer per adult in the household. I am allowed to brew 200 gallons of beer per year, but I have never come close. I do about 60-80 gallons a year. Distilling at the home level is illegal. You can freeze concentrate beer (think: ice beer) since it is not distilling and actually get brews up to 20% and higher through that process that will rival any liquor...
 
2012-07-08 12:38:18 PM
I've always wanted to make my own bourbon. There, I said it.

/ One of my classmates in HS had a moonshine still in his back yard. CSB
 
2012-07-08 12:38:50 PM

SwiftFox: Adding flavorings to normally taxed neutral spirits, diluted with water to strength, sounds like a promising way to come up with new beverages. I gather that it is legal?


At home? Or in a bar/restaurant? Either way you are just watering down already legal booze which is fine.
 
2012-07-08 12:41:07 PM

Savage Belief: My former neighbor was a bee keeper. He decided to start making meade one year. When that didn't sell he distilled the meade into whiskey.

/Good stuff
//Haven't gone blind
///Yet.


Did he liked his women like he liked his coffee?.
 
2012-07-08 12:47:41 PM

mrmyxolodian: Anyone on here want to admit that they've tried this?
I've been making beer for years and would love to give this a try. I'm not to concerned about the legal ramifications, and I can afford the still.

How hard is the process? How long does it take? Is the end result worth it?


same here. I have beer downstairs waiting to be bottled. Been wanting to try some harder stuff. I don't think you'll really run into the 'law' if you are making for your household, something to sip at home. It is when you mass bottle it in mason jars and sell it where you can run into trouble, big trouble.

I have a friend, of a friend's firend (:D) that brought home some from a guy in Ohio. Damn good stuff but strong... after a few shots my mind was all WTF?


tallen702: Christmas stocking stuffers this year were jelly jars full of "cherry bounce" (neutral grain, honey, and crushed ripe cherries). Good stuff!


you... I like you. LoL

This friend of a friend's friend had some Apple Pie (apple & cinnamon flavor with sticks of cinnamon in the jar) & a cherry flavor with chunks of strawberries in it. My buddy poured a few shots and put a few blueberries & a strawberry in each glass... man, just eating one would give you a good buzz.

 
2012-07-08 12:48:18 PM

CygnusDarius: Savage Belief: My former neighbor was a bee keeper. He decided to start making meade one year. When that didn't sell he distilled the meade into whiskey.

/Good stuff
//Haven't gone blind
///Yet.

Did he liked his women like he liked his coffee?.


Ground up and stored in the freezer?
 
2012-07-08 12:53:36 PM

PacManDreaming: My Great Grandad, Grandad and all his brothers and sisters used to make rye whiskey and charge .50 cents for a quart Mason jar of the stuff. The youngest brother would be posted by the road to watch for revenuers. When he spotted them, my great grandmother would bolt the doors and take the younger children down into the cellar(which could only be accessed from inside the house). They had plenty of food and water to wait out the feds. My great grandad, grandad and great uncles would grab the still and the whiskey and haul ass out into the woods. And you didn't dare follow them.

Of course, this was during the great depression, they weren't trying to get rich, they were just trying to survive.


Your's too? I heard stories about mine brewing wine as a tween, begging the old 'herb witch' to help him fix the recipe since it tasted horrid ("add sugar to the mash next time" she told him), and so on, but he avoided mentioning anything harder than wine and beer. I suspect he wasn't distilling later, but driving.

And then the CCC, but if a bunch of former moonshiners and bootleggers weren't using that state park's nice fresh clear water for something, I'd be very surprised.
 
2012-07-08 12:53:43 PM

Optimus Primate: I was handed the business card of a moonshiner named 'Rockhopper' just last night at a concert...he also gave me a taste of his "apple pie" varietal, which kicked ass. Found it quite synchronistic that this got greened today...


My Grampa made this shiat called "Applejack" which I suspect was similar to the Cherry Bounce mentioned by tallen702 upthread. I know it was done by distilling out the remains of the crushed leftovers from the Cider that he made, then flavored with cinnamon and brown sugar. Came out to about 100 proof and tasted just like the best apple pie you could imagine. It had some interesting side effects. One of them being not feeling particularly intoxicated at all even after three glasses.

Until you stood up.
 
2012-07-08 12:55:56 PM
As long as his still doesn't blow up and start a fire in my yard, why should I care?
 
2012-07-08 01:30:24 PM
High school, in the vicinity of Roswell Georgia. 1970.

A high end well off residential suburb neighborhood. An innocent looking cul de sac nestled in the pines.

5am. BA-BOOOOOM

House next door to a friend goes up like a Nazi munitions dump hit by B-17s. Entire house goes up in splinters and fire. And I do mean the whole thing.

And the hideous stench of sour mash. Which afterwards could be smelled for miles. Smoking crater left behind, just the poured concrete full basement foundation.

No one killed, eventually three men arrested for making 'shine. Their reason for this suburb location?

"Because who'd a though we were making shine there? In the woods, hell yes. Agents always looking for us, but in the suburbs?"


Gas line got loose and filled the basement for a long long time until the furnace kicked in and ...

True story.
 
2012-07-08 01:37:16 PM

mrmyxolodian: I've been making beer for years and would love to give this a try. I'm not to concerned about the legal ramifications, and I can afford the still.


Ditto. It's a logical progression for a homebrewer.

It's not that hard. We did it as a lab project in organic chem in college.
 
2012-07-08 01:46:18 PM

Kuroshin: Bootleggers were Heroes. Wish I had a few in my family.


ykarie: Your's too?


What's funny is, if you had known them during the time I knew them, you'd have never believed they had been bootleggers. My grandad was in tool design at Consolidated/Convair/General Dynamics and did work on the B-24, B-36, B-58, F-111 and the F-16. His brothers and sisters were CPAs, electricians and other "respectable" professions. Only saw my grandad drink one time in my entire life and that was one glass of champagne at a cousin's graduation.

Funny how a little "old-time religion" can change people.
 
2012-07-08 01:49:07 PM

wildcardjack: That being said, when you get up large enough to attract attention it might work out to economies of scale. But you might as well save your pennies and go legit and get all the permits and licenses to produce commercially.


It's $250,000 just for the ATF bond. When you add in all the state level crap as well as the feds, it's closer to half a mil, just for the paperwork, before you can legally distill a drop. Add in capital equipment and first year operating costs and you're looking at a minimum million-dollar up-front investment to go legit. Which is why moonshiners are still around.
 
2012-07-08 02:02:12 PM
FTA: Is it cheaper than the legal stuff? Tastier? We wanted to find out.

Maybe I don't have a fancy journalism degree, but when you start the article with a question, shouldn't you attempt to answer the question?
 
2012-07-08 02:16:37 PM

rudemix: John Lee Pettymore nods is approval.


Same as his daddy and his daddy before...
 
2012-07-08 03:00:25 PM
I met Zymurgy Bob a few weeks ago on his "national book tour" and got his book.
Good science and engineering in it and some starter tips on the art of making this stuff palatable.
Remember to stop and get a sh*t ton of activated charcoal before you offer it to friends, or at least some oak and stash it away a few years.
 
2012-07-08 03:09:33 PM
My junior high chemistry project was basically building and running a still in the chemistry lab. My teacher and I got away with it by him having me denature the product afterward--we were "making aftershave lotion" (yeah, that's the ticket). Still was able to smuggle a few ounces of Everclear-strength hooch out of the lab for my personal consumption.
 
2012-07-08 03:45:11 PM

PacManDreaming: Kuroshin: Bootleggers were Heroes. Wish I had a few in my family.

ykarie: Your's too?

What's funny is, if you had known them during the time I knew them, you'd have never believed they had been bootleggers. My grandad was in tool design at Consolidated/Convair/General Dynamics and did work on the B-24, B-36, B-58, F-111 and the F-16. His brothers and sisters were CPAs, electricians and other "respectable" professions. Only saw my grandad drink one time in my entire life and that was one glass of champagne at a cousin's graduation.

Funny how a little "old-time religion" can change people.


Mine stayed in the railroad area he was born in. Most of the family is still there, so it isn't that hard to picture him as a moonshiner. Talking to him, though, he just never seemed the type; taught us grandkids to respect the law and love God and how golf was played. And how to raise chickens, kill chickens, cook chickens, and otherwise run the small farm. Or how to run a grocery store produce section; and how to beat his kids at poker (guilt trips work wonders it turns out). Didn't teach us much about the train yard, but that was no place for kids anyways. But until I had some school project to interview a grandparent and get stories, not even my mother knew the trouble he got up to as a kid; and some of the stuff he told me grandma swears he had to have made up on the spot cause "he wasn't that kind of boy. But he wouldn't lie to ykarie either . . . " And they swear that old Model T ran faster than it should have.

Surviving is like that. Alcohol is easy to make, easy to move, and sold for a lot. When it's what kept the family alive through the depression, I can't knock it. And it is still a stupid law. I mean, I get that if everyone can distill they will sell the head and tail just to get a few extra ounces per run, but the whole thing needs fixin'.
 
2012-07-08 03:50:56 PM
Since it's forbidden to distill in your home, you have to find someplace else and sign a lease. City code enforcement and the fire marshal have to sign off. Your bottles have to be government approved. So does your label design and your equipment and just about everything else you can think of.

Jesus Effing Christ, how much power do the feds have ? A lot.
 
2012-07-08 04:47:54 PM

PacManDreaming: My Great Grandad, Grandad and all his brothers and sisters used to make rye whiskey and charge .50 cents for a quart Mason jar of the stuff. The youngest brother would be posted by the road to watch for revenuers. When he spotted them, my great grandmother would bolt the doors and take the younger children down into the cellar(which could only be accessed from inside the house). They had plenty of food and water to wait out the feds. My great grandad, grandad and great uncles would grab the still and the whiskey and haul ass out into the woods. And you didn't dare follow them.

Of course, this was during the great depression, they weren't trying to get rich, they were just trying to survive.


A lot of us with mountain heritage have similar stories, I'm sure.

In my family, we're still unsure how Great-Grandfather Nichols kept all his money through the Great Depression. He was a strict Baptist and probably a teetotaler, but he did have those logging camps way back in the hills where nobody could get except his loggers and their trucks.
 
2012-07-08 05:08:32 PM

Gyrfalcon: A lot of us with mountain heritage have similar stories, I'm sure.


Well, we're more of a rural Texas family, but we do have ties to Kentucky. But, yeah, I know what you mean.
 
2012-07-08 05:17:22 PM
I know a few people who live on logging roads near here who make their own moonshine. It's farking undrinkable swill that tastes like turpentine. They mix it with fruit juice to kill the flavour but as far as I'm concerned there isn't a sweet enough juice or enough of it on the planet to kill that nasty taste.

On the other hand the outdoor weed in these parts is legendary.

/singing Copperhead Rtherese rest of the afternoon
 
2012-07-08 05:18:18 PM
Wow. Autocorrect really mangled the end of that post, eh?
 
2012-07-08 06:03:47 PM

Deathfrogg: Optimus Primate: I was handed the business card of a moonshiner named 'Rockhopper' just last night at a concert...he also gave me a taste of his "apple pie" varietal, which kicked ass. Found it quite synchronistic that this got greened today...

My Grampa made this shiat called "Applejack" which I suspect was similar to the Cherry Bounce mentioned by tallen702 upthread. I know it was done by distilling out the remains of the crushed leftovers from the Cider that he made, then flavored with cinnamon and brown sugar. Came out to about 100 proof and tasted just like the best apple pie you could imagine. It had some interesting side effects. One of them being not feeling particularly intoxicated at all even after three glasses.

Until you stood up.


That's the best part about that stuff. It is the most mellow drunk you'll ever experience. I make my own version using store bought everclear (long drive, not really worth the effort to get it), mix it up with the cooked apple, cider and cinnamon. It comes out at 31 proof. The weaker stuff I've made from 151 was tasty but nowhere near as good.

The 31 proof stuff goes in pint jars. A pint of plenty. The stuff from rum goes in quart jars.
 
2012-07-08 06:38:41 PM

Deathfrogg: It had some interesting side effects. One of them being not feeling particularly intoxicated at all even after three glasses.

Until you stood up.


Hmmm...interesting. Ouzo/Arak have the same effect. You stand up...and then you keep on going up!
 
2012-07-08 06:41:19 PM

Toshiro Mifune's Letter Opener


Just as long as it's not her recipe.


Yeah, but with Mags (RIP) you have to be careful of the glassware before you get there.
 
2012-07-08 07:09:14 PM
Another stupid journalist wishing to be a fiction writer. How many paragraphs into a news story before you get to the f*cking point?
 
DVD
2012-07-08 07:52:09 PM
The moonshine isn't the problem. It's the methlab in a bottle that gets ya sick forever after you buy the house without knowing about the correct tests.
 
2012-07-08 08:54:38 PM

Surool: Another stupid journalist wishing to be a fiction writer. How many paragraphs into a news story before you get to the f*cking point?


Journalism isn't about merely producing fact sheets. There are several different styles of writing that must be mastered if you want to be a decent journalist. For example: "Hard news" stories are essentially emotionless, unbiased lists of facts. "Feature/Human Interest" stories present essentially the same information in an entertaining, relatable way.

Wanna guess which style most people prefer to read? Hint: Good luck finding a genuine "hard news" story these days.
 
2012-07-08 09:29:30 PM

WordyGrrl: Surool: Another stupid journalist wishing to be a fiction writer. How many paragraphs into a news story before you get to the f*cking point?

Journalism isn't about merely producing fact sheets. There are several different styles of writing that must be mastered if you want to be a decent journalist. For example: "Hard news" stories are essentially emotionless, unbiased lists of facts. "Feature/Human Interest" stories present essentially the same information in an entertaining, relatable way.

Wanna guess which style most people prefer to read? Hint: Good luck finding a genuine "hard news" story these days.


Most of the first several paragraphs are like this:

"The dog sniffed, wagged, and went away. Bob stretched out his hand, with a big smile, looking less like a bearded hillbilly and more like, well, a retired engineer. Which is what he is. Brainy."

I have a large monitor. I can see from the headline to the first bolded subhead. I don't think it is out of the question to expect the author to get to the point before I have to scroll.
 
2012-07-08 10:24:59 PM
I just like that this guy pretends to be so secretive, then he goes and tags himself and his wife on the blogs for his book. Oooh, he is a real moonshiner cause he greatx3 granddad got arrested during the Whiskey Rebellion. I am not sure if it was him, or the wannabe author, that said he was using port to make brandy, when port is normally fortified with brandy. The whole story stinks.
 
2012-07-09 01:18:36 AM

Surool: WordyGrrl: Surool: Another stupid journalist wishing to be a fiction writer. How many paragraphs into a news story before you get to the f*cking point?

Journalism isn't about merely producing fact sheets. There are several different styles of writing that must be mastered if you want to be a decent journalist. For example: "Hard news" stories are essentially emotionless, unbiased lists of facts. "Feature/Human Interest" stories present essentially the same information in an entertaining, relatable way.

Wanna guess which style most people prefer to read? Hint: Good luck finding a genuine "hard news" story these days.

Most of the first several paragraphs are like this:

"The dog sniffed, wagged, and went away. Bob stretched out his hand, with a big smile, looking less like a bearded hillbilly and more like, well, a retired engineer. Which is what he is. Brainy."

I have a large monitor. I can see from the headline to the first bolded subhead. I don't think it is out of the question to expect the author to get to the point before I have to scroll.


I also have a large monitor and you missed my point. This story is meant to be an entertaining read, not a list of bullet points. The "useless" text you quoted gave me a better idea of who the subject is, brought it to life a bit more than "A guy brews his own liquor on a stovetop. The end."

If you prefer to read short, simple stories that do not require you to scroll maybe you should just stick to reading the first 20 headlines on Drudge.
 
2012-07-09 03:36:39 AM

WordyGrrl: I also have a large monitor and you missed my point. This story is meant to be an entertaining read, not a list of bullet points. The "useless" text you quoted gave me a better idea of who the subject is, brought it to life a bit more than "A guy brews his own liquor on a stovetop. The end."

If you prefer to read short, simple stories that do not require you to scroll maybe you should just stick to reading the first 20 headlines on Drudge.


Why do you say I "missed the point" when it's obvious I do not agree with you? You keep pretending you can't write an interesting article on this guy without writing 6 paragraphs of fluff first. I disagree with you. Talking about his life instead of writing what the journalist was seeing in verbose fashion would be a much better solution.

...and don't be snotty because I don't see it the way you do. Explaining your POV is fine, but really?
 
2012-07-09 10:24:31 AM
Came for sexy still pictures.

Leaving kind of disappointed.
 
2012-07-10 12:58:05 AM
Let me eat when I am hungry,
Let me drink when I am dry,
A dollar when I am hard up,
Religion when I die,
The whole world's a bottle,
And life's but a dram,
When the bottle gets empty,
It sure aint worth a damn.
 
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