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      CommentAuthorThom B.
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2008
    @ Brendan McGinley - Alaskan Winter Ale is brewed with Spruce tips and is F'ing amazing. I'm in withdrawal for 6 months out of every year as I wait for it to come back. It arrived in the stores last week and I've been drunk ever since :D
  1.  (3578.62)
    @ Warren

    I'm still trying to find the piece of paper--it's different from the linked one. Family recipe in this case, from the husband's absolutely mad old great grandpa. No raisins for one thing, and a different prep. method. So far I remember having about a gallon of water boiling with honey, 3 oranges worth of grated peel with some fruit in there too, 3 lemons worth of peel, and I think about a strainer full of flower-heads (yeah, I know, how exact). I think it was 2 1/2 cups of cane or plain white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar. Also, yeast. Boiled it for hours, I remember that, because we couldn't leave the damned house. Four hours, maybe? The 30-day sitting time was the same though. We cleaned out a bunch of old beer bottles and sat them out in the garage, covered, so each bottle would ferment separately.

    I'll repost a correct recipe whenever I can find the thing. And yes, I liked it--very sweet, almost syrupy. Extremely citrus with a hint of pleasant bitterness. Also, as I mentioned before, goddamn strong. Maybe it's because I'm a lightweight, but two of them had me wobbly, and I can have two regular beers without a blink.
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2008 edited
    No raisins for one thing, and a different prep. method.
    The raisins aren't in most old Dandelion Wine recipes -- yours is a variation of midday dandelion wine that's been made for generations anywhere with fields full of the weeds. Adding raisins/grapejuice gives the finished product a fuller body, closer to what's expected from the word wine. The reason yours turns out so light is because it's missing that grape body.
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2008
    My dad used to brew beer and wine; he used to ferment it in bottles in the bottom of the airing cupboard. My mother banned him from homebrewing after all the bottles exploded quite dramatically one night, drenching all the towels and bed linen in elderflower wine and blackberry beer - it also seeped out under the door and drenched the carpet.

    That was the last time my mother ever made the mistake of having a cream carpet. The living room smelled wonderfully fruity for months afterwards though....

    I used to brew my own mead, and a friend around the corner used to brew his own stout. We usually had very cheerful New Year's parties. :-)
    • CommentAuthorPooka
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2008
    i make wine in a big green pickle bucket with a lid, four pounds of sugar, yeast, and good fruit juice...usually i just use concord grapes...
    then you sterilize everything, boil a gallon of juice with the sugar, pour it all together in the bucket, add a lid with a hole, tube and jug of water for the fermentation gases to escape into, and let it sit for about a month in a warm location. It's pretty good...
  2.  (3578.66)

    Hm, that's cool. Might try it with the raisins next time and see how it turns out.
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2008 edited
    I've got a few friends making kombucha, the Russian fermented sweet tea. Haven't tried it yet, but it sure sounds good. There are a lot of guides on Instructables on how to make it (and plenty of other drinks).
    • CommentAuthorAnonymous.
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2008
    What about Mulled Tea Wine? Like a cup of tea and cup of wine in one? I mention it only because my tea tastes a little of those anonymous mulled wine spices, and a little bit like cold medicine too.
    • CommentAuthormoniker42
    • CommentTimeOct 19th 2008
    I've made Kombucha and I think something interesting to do would be to use coffee, which I've never done.

    One of these days I will build my own still, however small and primitive, and figure out top to bottom just how to make aqua vitae.

    Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers is the single most fantastic book ever written. We must clone Stephen Harrod Buhner and create a vast Buhner army, laboring to shade every facet of human existence in the same beautiful and poetic fashion that he has written about fermentation.
      CommentAuthorThom B.
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2008 edited
    I usually mix green tea and fruit juice when making kombucha. The kombucha culture seems to like it, the thing is out of control - I have to throw out about 1/2lb of freaky jelly pancake thing every couple of weeks to make room for the new growth.
    • CommentTimeOct 21st 2008
    Weird question - is Kombucha alcoholic? For some reason I can't tell/haven't found a definitive answer on yahoo yet. I planned on making some home brewed stuff for my family this Christmas, and was thinking of options for my cousin who doesn't drink. This sounds like something she would dig, especially with the reputed health benefits and all. I just don't want to accidentally slip her a mickey.
    • CommentTimeOct 21st 2008
    As with anything that you add yeast and sugar yes, it's alcoholic. According to the wikipedias its around .5% -1.5%.
    • CommentTimeOct 21st 2008
    @blunder. Thank you. That is what I figured, but I was still kind of hoping. Ah well.
    • CommentAuthorhank
    • CommentTimeOct 21st 2008 edited
    These folks make a lot of good Mead/wines

    It helps that my partner and their head vintner were room mates at one point in ancient history.
      CommentAuthorThom B.
    • CommentTimeOct 21st 2008
    @ fiasco - Unless your Cousin doesn't drink for religious reasons the Kombucha should be fine. The alcohol content is so low that it's near impossible to get drunk or even tipsy on it. Plus you could mix it with fruit juice and bring it down even further.
    • CommentTimeOct 21st 2008
    @ Thom B. I don't think she really puts it this way, but she is, for lack of a better term, a recovering alcoholic. Thanks for the suggestion, I'll keep it in mind.
      CommentAuthorThom B.
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2008
    Ahh, yes, I knew there was another reason why people don't drink...
  3.  (3578.78)
    I'm surprised nobody's mentioned homebrewed ginger beer. It only takes three days to ferment in warm weather, and you make it in plastic soft drink bottles.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2009
    Scary alcohol story, not specifically brewing related.

    I used to know a med student who made fruit punch out of tinned fruit salad and 60% proof medical alcohol.

    That's not the bad bit.

    After a party he'd go around with a bucket emptying out glasses and bottles.

    Then he'd add more 60% proof alcohol and freeze it to distill out some of the water.

    Next party he'd add it to the fruit punch.

    The alcohol content and the freezing probably killed most micro-organisms, but still ...
    • CommentAuthorPooka
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2009