ANSWER TO NO ONE BUT THE TRUTH
YOU CAN MAKE BOOZE OUT OF ANYTHING SHORT OF A RUBBER BOOT. MAY WE SUGGEST GRAPES OR APPLES? CHECK OUT BOILED BANANA AND RAISIN RECIPE TOO!
HERE'S A PIC OF OUR BOILED APPLE "MUST" FOR OUR APPLEJACK:
BUY A ZINC DRYING TREE MADE BY THE FRENCH. OR, AVOID BEING A FRENCHIE WUSS BAG AND JUST LEAN THEM ALL UP AGAINST A WALL AND LET THEM DRY.
Tom Clerkin is a badass 80 year old retired cook/musician I interviewed for Insider magazine in 2015. He had this brilliant story of coming to Manhattan on the Queen Mary from Glasgow in search of his destiny and an adventure with only a harmonica in his pocket. As we sat and chatted he began to tell me about the applejack they used to serve in all the lower east side restaurants in the early 40's. They would get a big empty barrel and fill it with tap water. Every day in the kitchen, they would toss the rinds and peelings from all the fruit into the barrel and at the end of the year they'd strain it and sell the "booze" to the guests as liquor. My chin hot the floor and I gasped. Could this be true? Is it that easy to manufacture countless gallons of free booze? Why doesn't everyone know this? And why the hell am I paying %50 a bottle at the liquor store? Six months later I was drinking free applejack that tasted like piss and vinegar… but for FREE! 5 years later I’ve perfected the recipe and have branched out into red wines and my own rendition of a champagne with 40% alcohol! Want to know how? I did about 6 years of research for you. Salt Zine is here for you baby.
YOU'LL NEED: YEAST PACKETS ($2), USED BOTTLES ($0), CORKS ($15), A CORKING MACHINE ($45), A POUND OF SUGAR ($5), A MOUTH ($0)
BUY A BOTTLE OF "STARSAN." FILL YOUR TUB WITH HOT WATER, ADD A CAPFULL AND GET A CHEAP BOTTLE BRUSH. SCRUB-A-DUB DUB YALL!
REDSTAR IS CHEAP AND WORKS GREAT. REHYDRATE ONE PACKET IN A 1:1 WARM WATER + MUST MIX, STIR FOR 10 MINUTES STRAIGHT. LET COOL FOR TEN MINUTES THEN GO TO STEP 7.
I like to use champagne yeast to give my wine a light effervesence. I explode more corks but my wine is dope. After 2 weeks pop the lid and stir to decarbonate or if you're using a regular yeast, just pop the lid and rack it into the glass carboy. This article from the wine makers academy claims you should rack the wine 5-7 days after pitching the yeast and 2 weeks later again into the glass carboy once the fermenting has stopped. You need to rack the wine back and forth a couple times for clearing a wine and keeping it from picking up nasty flavors but you don’t want to rack any more than absolutely necessary. Each time you rack you expose your wine to oxygen which will accelerate the aging process. Some people also add oaks chips at this point since we don't all have french casks in our cellars. I skipped that part.
After 10 days, pour, or "Rack" into the glass carboy. Hey, wasn't I writing this in all caps before? Ahhh the lackadaisical luxuries of writing for a zine and not the New Yorker.
Get yourself a long plastic hose or "racking cane" and syphon it from up high on a table to down low on the floor into the glass carboy. Mine pictured below came with the bottle filler device attached on it. pop that off and rack your booze over.
IF YOU THINK YOU'LL BE DRINKING YOUR WINE EARLY (AND YOU WIL) YOU WILL NEED TO STABALIZE THE WINE IN THIS MANNER. EXACT STABALIZATION INSTRUCTIONS CAN BE FOUND AT THE BOTTOM OF THESE INSTRUCTIONS.
BEFRIEND A BARTENDER, DISTRIBUTOR OR A PROGRAM DIRECTOR AT A RETIREMENT HOME. OR JUST RECYCLE YOUR OLD EMPTIES!
If you're making white wine, add peptic enzymes now.Pectic enzyme, also known as pectinase, is a protein that is used to break down pectin, a jelly like glue that holds plant cells together. In wines pectin can cause troublesome “pectin haze” that is not easily cleared without the use of pectic enzymes.
ADD CHEAP REFINED SUGAR. 2 TO 21/2 LBS OF SUGAR PER GALLON. STIR LIKE A CRAZY MAN BIT BY A BEE FOR 10 MINUTES! WHEN YOU PUT THE LID ON, FILL THE AIRLOCK BUBBLER ON TOP OF THE LID WITH GRAIN ALCHOHOL OR STARSAN TO KEEP FRUIT FLIES AND EVERYTHING ELSE OUT.
If you haven't realized by now, we here at Salt zine are 110% dedicated to re-using and re-purposing everything around us. As an artist, I think it's a great idea to build and fabricate things custom rather than buy them at Ikea or Home Dept. Below is a custom wine rack I made that holds 500 bottles. Get creative, you can make your own to fit your own living space in your own creative way! Why stop there? You can even make your own wine glasses out of every day item too! Live DIY.
Some people say you need to add some junk here, but some say it's not needed. I did it but this step is your call.
Campden tablets (potassium or sodium metabisulfite) are a sulfur-based product that is used primarily to sterilize wine, cider and beer making to kill bacteria and to inhibit the growth of most wild yeast. If you add Campden or pot-meta at the time of the first racking, add it again at the third and fifth racking and before bottling (when stabilizing the wine.) "Stabilize" means to add these crushed tablets into your mash at the same time, stir until dissolved, and then allow the wine to "rest" for four weeks to see if it re-ferments (bubble boil toil and trouble). The ratio for potassium sorbate is half a teaspoon of the sorbate plus a crushed Campden tablet per gallon of wine. You'll see guys talking about K-Meta, that's just the potassium metabisulfite, sulfite, cambden tablets and more. They think they fancy.
If you are going to drink your wine early, then step eight is the time to stabilize and clarify your wine. To stabilize your wine, rack into a sanitized fermenter but only after fermentation has stopped! Then add 1/4 quarter tsp of K-Meta (Potassium Metabisulfite) to kill any stray bacteria to each 5 gallon of wine and one quarter tsp of potassium sorbate (aka "stabalizer," a preservative that stops yeast from reproducing further) per gallon. If you skip this step you run the risk of exploding corks or at least fizzy your wine and sediment on the bottom of your bottles. If you don't care about any of that just skip step 8. Many wine makers don't use it and have their own ways of clearing and cleaning their wines, Google can help you there.
...and I never have to buy wine, or gifts for friends, again.
A CARBOY IS A FERMENTOR-ATOR, A WORD I MADE UP. GET TWO ACTUALLY. ONE TO LET YOUR MASH SIT, AND ONE TO "RACK" IT TOO IN A FEW MONTHS (I'LL EXPLAIN LATER). I LIKE THE PLASTIC ONES TOO CAUSE, WELL, I'M A CHEAP ASS. THAT AND GLASS BREAKS. GOOGLE "BROKEN GLASS CARBOY HORROR STORIES" IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE ME. BUY ONE WITH HANDLES IF YOU'RE GETTING A GLASS ONE, OR POUR IT AND NEVER EVER EVER MOVE IT. OR MOVE IT AND LOOSE YOUR FOOT.
At this point, since your first wine will taste like piss, don't wait for your piss to age, just pop the lid and drink up. I'm not sure my sugar ratio is correct because according to my alcometer my wine is 40% by volume so it's more like a red hard liquor which I love :) If your wine tastes like yeast or you run into any other problems, Jack Keller's wine making troubleshooting guide really helped me out. Have fun and post your comments in our facebook feed below!