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  1.  (3578.1)
    There were two true stories in episode 26. Mad Jacko actually lives down my street. And my grandad used to make tea wine.

    He used to mix it up in plastic dustbins ("plastic garbage cans" for our Colonial cousins). Basically, he would toss A Shitload (that's an exact measurement) of cheap teabags into the bin, and throw a few gallons of boiling water over the top of them, followed by what was probably two or three pounds of sugar and whatever yeast was indicated. He would them fish out the myriad teabags with a long-handled fishing net, lock it up and put it in the bathroom for a couple of months.

    We ended up being given bottles and bottles of the stuff. I got to quite like it, actually.

    Now, the banana wine -- which he made using exactly the same tools and process, only, obviously, using a quarterton of badly aged bananas -- that was something else entirely...
    • CommentAuthorcjstevens
    • CommentTimeSep 13th 2008
    I was wonderin about this when I read it. Suppose you could make anything into wine with yeast and sugar and water etc. My dad has got one of those wine making kits that we've just started with a red wine pack. Takes
    about 6 weeks but you get 6 bottles and the pack costs about 2 quid so it's worth it if you have time. One day I would like to grow my own grapes and then make the wine myself, experimenting with different fruits etc.
    • CommentTimeSep 13th 2008
    I'm actually tempted to try this. Wouldn't use table sugar though, as sucrose and yeast behaves oddly flavorwise.

    Damnit. I keep getting distracted from beer by other fermentable ideas.
  2.  (3578.4)
    I was a spoiled child, and the earlier part of my childhood, I lived on a small holding. We had loads of apple trees and one year, to clear the lawn, we bunged all the old apples into a tinbathtub, and promptly forgot about them. Unfortunately, the booze that developed as a side effect of the bathtub filling with rainwater, from the cloudbreaks in an otherwise nice sunny summer, didn't go unnoticed by my sisters horse, whos erratic behaviour, was eventually diagnosed as him being ratarsed on accidentally created scrumpy.
  3.  (3578.5)
    I had a feeling 'Mad Jacko' was based on personal experiences. I think in England everybody always knows at least one complete nutcase.

    I once tried making Pruno, which is prison alcohol, using instructions from the internet. I used oranges, sugar and tomato ketchup. It tasted like death but got me very drunk. The hangover was unbelievable.
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeSep 13th 2008
    @mybrainhurts - No wonder your brain hurts.

    Question - is not blindness a possible outcome of such home-brew fun?
    (That said, I've always wanted my own still, out in the woods somewhere.)
  4.  (3578.7)
    My wife's uncle likes to use apples from his small orchard and homemade still to make apple-jack every fall. His first attempt was clear as glass and tasted like poison. He put the second go in an old wine barrel he got from a friend, that tasted considerably better, but I still felt like my vision was going to go if i drank too much.
  5.  (3578.8)
    tea wine sounds like it would be the only wine i would like. i love me some tea.
    • CommentTimeSep 13th 2008
    @MisterHex - I'm pretty sure Blindness due to alcohol usually only occurs when your drinking the wrong kind. (I.E. Methanol or Denatured alcohol.) Ethanol wont actually do that in the concentrations you get from homebrewing. That being said, apple jack or anything home distilled makes me a tad leery.
    • CommentTimeSep 13th 2008
    I think in England everybody always knows at least one complete nutcase.

    No need for the 'In England.' England doesn't have ALL the nutters, whatever the rest of the world likes to think.

    Also, I am going to try every one of these ideas. Except the oranges, sugar and ketchup one; I ain't that desperate.
      CommentAuthorIan Mayor
    • CommentTimeSep 13th 2008
    Tea wine sounds utterly revolting. But then, bad booze is essential for human life.

    And the thing about England is, no matter where you live, you always think you have the best nutcases.
  6.  (3578.12)
    Mad Jacko was actually a lovely bloke. I knew him as John. Used to sit on a chair on his front step (he's a bit frail now, don't really see him) and watch the world go by. So a cab picks me up one day, an older cabman, and he swings the car round and I wave to John as we go by. And the cabman says, "is that Mad Jacko you're waving to?"
  7.  (3578.13)
    What writer wouldn't want to immortalize such a character?
  8.  (3578.14)
    @Ian Mayor,
    What's truly amazing is that not only does everyone think they have the best nutcases, but everyone actually *does*.

    When sharing a flat at uni, there was a woman who lived down the hall who did various obscene things around the apartment building in the name of Wicca, including (memorably), daubing the lift with some sort of pentagram in her own menstrual fluid, and leaving the offending tampon on the floor under it. YUM!
    The devout Christian who lived next door with noone but her overweight, home-tutored son (who suffered from ME (meaning I once had to help her lift the helplessly catatonic and stark naked boy out of a bath) and gave rocks covered in melted wax as presents to my flatmate (who dressed up as a cat every day of her life (and was also a devout Christian, once performing an exorcism with the help of her mother in our flat))) didn't like the Wiccan down the hall.

    Life is just fucking odd.
    • CommentTimeSep 13th 2008
    @Paul Duffield - I'd pay money for youe autobiography. Good LORD, man.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeSep 13th 2008
    Guildford seems to be lacking in nutcases at the moment, I haven't seen the bearded lady about the place for some time now (she even has a myspace page...)

    On the homebrew front, my dad used to be really into it when I was growing up. Big bottles of the stuff, and lots of weirdly shaped glassware. It all vanished from the house one weekend, never did find out why. I'd like to think there was some sort of catastrophic drunken incident that I slept through the way children do.
  9.  (3578.17)
    hm... You know, my conscience/better half is out of town for a week, so I have the place to myself...

    I may have to try this. All of it. Except the menstrual seal and the cat lady.
    • CommentAuthorWinther
    • CommentTimeSep 13th 2008
    I've seen tons of different home brews. Then again, I spent four years at a chemical institute, where the 96% ethanol we used in experiments was liberally stolen for... other uses. I once had a fairly decent, or at least drinkable, rum made from rum extract bought in a drugstore, and the right proportions of water and ethanol. Thankfully, the only risk of blindness here was accidentally picking the wrong bottle.

    By the way, 96% ethanol is a treacherous liquid. The taste is quite well covered in most sodas, and as you get more drunk, you tend to forget that this stuff is about twice as strong as most conventional boozes, which is when you end up doing 1/5 ethanol to soda. Which is followed by you waking up in a different country with no money or identification, dressed in a torn ballerina costume, with an uncomfortable soreness around your nether regions, and a strong odor of goat hanging off you.
  10.  (3578.19)
    Just a thought - distilling tea wine into tea brandy...
  11.  (3578.20)
    This might be a stupid question, but does it taste like tea or something completely different?