b3ta.com qotw
You are not logged in. Login or Signup
Home » Question of the Week » Homemade Booze » Popular | Search
This is a question Homemade Booze

SpanishFly writes, "I have a 'make your own absinthe' kit here, fucking terrified of making it...

"Tell us your stories of when you got so drunk on homemade mead you pissed in the cupboard.
Or tell us about the time you tried to buy wine stabiliser but got chased out of the friendly merchants shop because that compound is used to bash cocaine.
Tell us about the trials and tribulations of not being able to afford 4 cans of strongbow and couldn't brew your own poison so you got pissed on antifreeze and the next day pissed in your own mouth."
Thanks SpanishFly. MAKE THE ABSINTHE

(, Fri 5 Dec 2014, 9:39)
Pages: Popular, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

Warm the damn jar!
I did a bit of brewing as a grad' student and generally it went well. After a while, we decided to branch out from beer to some more ambitious concoctions including a rather tasty spiced mead.

The recipe we had involved boiling the honey to sterilise it, then topping up the jar with boiling water. However, being a complete idiot, I didn't think of warming the jar before pouring in the boilig honey.

Four pounds of boiling, spice-infused honey has an interesting effect on a glass demijohn - it cracks the whole of the base off into a beautiful glass frisbee and, of course, spills vast quantities of sticky spicy goodness all over the kitchen floor! I don't know whether you have ever tried to mop up several pounds of hot honey but it's not an easy task. The kitchen smelled lovely for weeks, but you felt that if you ever stopped moving you might find yourself permanently bonded to the floor.
(, Tue 16 Dec 2014, 16:50, 3 replies)
When I was about 15
My girlfriend and I ran out of cheap cider. Looking around my room for pennies to take to the shops I notice the second ingredient of my bottle of mouthwash is alcohol (the first ingredient being water so it can't be that bad for me right?).
Cut to necking half the bottle (the lady was generous enough to forgo her round), followed almost immediately by excessive amounts of blue vomit for a heroic amount of time. Towards the end of the surge of upchuck I am vaguely aware of the vomit getting redder and more solid. At some point in my stomach the mouthwash transmuted into some kind of polystyrene-esque substance and was lacerating my throat as it made its bid for freedom.
(, Wed 17 Dec 2014, 10:53, 5 replies)
I killed a kangaroo
I went to high school in a mining town in northwestern Australia in the 80s. Me and a couple of mates had discovered the joys of alcohol, but didn't have much money to pay for it (and there was the added complication of trying to buy alcohol in a small town where everyone knows you before you're 18). I had been reading encyclopedia articles on alcohol (this being before the interwebs) and had become aware that a) vodka was made from potatoes, and b) alcohol is basically the product of yeast and sugar. I convinced myself that I now knew the secret to making vodka, and, being blessed with the gift of the gab, convinced my mates that I knew what I was talking about and we should all chip in and buy some potatoes and sugar, and make a still.

Since none of us was confident we'd be able to pull this off under the noses of our parents, we decided it'd be best to start our moonshining operations at a cave a few km out of town. The next weekend, having made a quick run to the supermarket for sugar, potatoes, and baker's yeast, we set off on a camping trip for the weekend to the cave. At said cave, we peeled the potatoes and chucked them in 20 or so 5 litre plastic tubs with some sugar and baker's yeast and water, and sealed the lids on tight. Sterilizing the tubs? Encyclopedia Britannica hadn't mentioned that step. Or any other steps, quantities, or notes of caution for that matter. Confident that our brewing operation was now well afoot, we headed back to town the next morning with the plan of returning the following weekend for another camping trip where we'd spend our days distilling and our evenings drinking the product.

The week passed in a frenzy of still making, producing a masterpiece of coffee can and copper pipe, poorly soldered together with more lead-based solder than your average Roman water pipe. On our return to the cave, we found to our surprise that the lids had blown off all our containers, leaving some liquid and a lot of grey foamy sludge. And a hapless kangaroo, dead on the ground a few metres from our tubs. Much speculation commenced about whether it'd died after consuming the product of our fermentation or of unrelated natural causes. To our sixteen year old minds, the idea we'd brewed something so potent it could kill a kangaroo seemed like a plus rather than a subtle suggestion that maybe we should toss the stuff, so we immediately built a fire and commenced distilling what was left in the bottoms of the tubs. After a few false starts we got a nice dripping action going and slowly filled a cup with a greyish-white fluid. Much argument commenced about who was going to taste the stuff first, since it had eventually sunk in that drinking something that might have killed a kangaroo might perhaps maybe not be a good idea. Finally, the stupidest person in our group (yours truly) dipped a finger in and sucked it, only to discover we'd produced an incredibly vile tasting batch of vinegar rather than anything even vaguely resembling alcohol. Which probably saved our lives, and makes for a better story than 'I killed half my mates with homemade moonshine'.
(, Sun 7 Dec 2014, 23:49, 2 replies)
I was probably 13 years old at the time,
and I was interested in making wines after finding a book with recipes for various "country" wines. I gathered a number of wild sunflowers to make a sunflower wine, pulled the petals and steeped them in boiling hot water, added the sugar, yeast, and, I think, a tablespoon of very strong tea.

Of course I had little idea of what I was doing, and not having a fermentation lock, I screwed the top of the half filled gallon jug tight to keep the "bad bacteria" from infecting the newly made must.

I came home to a very angry Mother, the section of my solid oak desk I had put the fermenting liquid in "to keep it in the dark" blown wide open, the dog shaking in another part of the house, and thick sugary liquid all over the floor. There were shards of glass embedded in the wood of the file drawer of that desk that I never got out.
(, Sun 7 Dec 2014, 13:48, 3 replies)
My grandfather, a chemist by trade (but bon-viveur, pisshead, stoner and serial adulterer by personality) built a still in the shed in his back garden. I was working at the time for a well-known wine warehouse, and he would often call by to pick up the dregs from the tasting counter, which he would cart off, mix with oranges, distill, and turn into Kewntreau (named after the leafy suburb he lived in). He was amused by the fact that the employees of the bank above which he lived would traipse through the garden every day, unaware of the desperate acts of criminality that were being committed in the shed (Breaking Bad was a long time off, and I don't think the plod were particularly interested in a small-time maker of undrinkable liqueurs).

The produce was sweet, orangey and dangerously strong, and invariably offered as a Christmas treat in place of a present. My parents would normally try and flush the stuff down the toilet as soon as he left, but the odd bottle was sampled- the effects were slightly hallucinogenic, and you would invariably have the impression of having had caramelised Tango sprayed on your teeth the morning after.

I once asked him why he bothered making it, after he had admitted that it was pretty hard stuff to like . He replied, "Well, friend, you and I, we'll drink pretty well anything so long as it's alcoholic".

Damn. Rumbled.
(, Fri 12 Dec 2014, 21:47, Reply)
In 2008 I went to a music festival in Trena off the coast off Norway and camped out there for a couple of days. Around 10pm on the 2nd night some Norwegian festival goers let me have some of the local homemade moonshine also known as Hjemmebrent or home burnt (I had to google the spelling). I took a big swig out of a coke bottle and don't remember much after that. When I woke up the next day I had lost my wallet, glasses and camera. Due to it being Midnight Sun there was also 24 hour day light which meant this particular hangover was more a mindfuck that usual, when I eventually got someone to tell me the time it was 10pm the next night, I had literally lost around 24 hours of my life to moonshine induced amnesia.

When I found Dave my fellow adventurer he said I'd disappeared to the other side of the island with a gang of Norwegians come back unable to speak or stand up properly then passed out around 2pm. Some Norwegian goth later told me I'd dropped all my belongings over a cliff face trying to catch a sea gull and climbed up a water tower.

I got pancreatitis a couple of years ago and I think that may have a contributing factor.
(, Sat 6 Dec 2014, 2:54, 3 replies)
Simple one, but rather good.
Pound of frozen raspberries. Have to be frozen, it does something to them to make them, er, not waterproof or something.

Very clean glass pot, with a good seal on it.

Bottle of cheapo brandy. Something like Sainsburys el crappo is fine, it just has to be Brandy.

2 tablespoons of sugar.

Chuck the lot in the jar, seal it and leave for a couple of weeks. Keep the brandy bottle.

Decant brandy from jar into bottle. Eat raspberries with ice cream, don't drive afterwards.

You now have a bottle of rather good raspberry brandy.
(, Fri 5 Dec 2014, 16:43, 11 replies)
Caramel piracy
Over a weekend when I was staying with a couple of friends, they explained the technique for making caramel rum, wherein you put a packet's worth of a particular brand of caramel sweet into a bottle of rum and left it for three weeks, over which time the sweets and the alcohol would interact and infuse to form a sweet and potent cocktail.

I bought a bottle of paint-strippingly acrid agricultural rum, stuffed a bag of said caramels into it and left it in the kitchen cupboard for three weeks. Shook the outcome when the maceration period was over, and it had indeed turned an even and enticing caramel colour.

When you tasted it, you could feel two distinct layers of flavour on your tongue: pickled caramel with a hint of herring on the top, and vintage white spirit aged in plastic barrels underneath. The magical alchemy of chemistry had somehow combined to blend together the worst aspects of each individual ingredient and intensify them until they took centre stage. I christened it Care Bear Bile and served it to guests that I didn't like.
(, Fri 5 Dec 2014, 14:54, Reply)
At the age of fourteen, I received a home-brew lager kit from my brother, for Christmas.
I duly followed the instructions to sterilise the container, at the required amount of boiled water, cool it to the appropriate temperature, add the sachets of brown stuff... oh, hold on, Add X sugar for 4%ABV, X amount for 5%, so on and so forth....

I think I was a little optimistic in adding two Kilos. The drink itself was disgusting, we only managed to get eight litres out of the ten litre container and although a litre of the stuff would get you insanely drunk, it did also give you an incredibly watery case of the shits and a headache that could only be replicated by shooting yourself at point blank range with a cannon.

Naturally, being 14, I drank the lot over the course of a week.
(, Tue 9 Dec 2014, 16:34, 1 reply)
You only need instructions if you're an idiot
Back before my brain grew, I bought a cheap home brew kit from a dodgy looking bloke at a farmers' market. Aware that it looked like cess, I decided to make it special by adding a bit of flavour.

Sounds like a plan, right? Can't go wrong with a bit of flavour, you'd think. Well, unless you flavour it with black currants and red chillis, that is.

And of course, being hard as nails, I put a lot of chillis in because I was ever so cool and tough.

You know the diarrhea you get after washing a vindaloo down with a bottle of Ribena? Well, I have a very good idea of what that tastes like.

It took me weeks to drink it all.
(, Tue 9 Dec 2014, 13:32, Reply)
Home Poo
At family gatherings, my Maw n’ Paw usually drag out this tale from when I was a wee bairn. A babysitter of mine disposed of a used Terry nappy into what she thought was the wash-basket but tuned out to be a plastic barrel containing my Dad’s home brew.

It was left to ferment away quietly and wasn’t discovered for several months. Imagine the gut wrenching disgust when the foul concoction was finally unearthed. But everyone agreed it improved the flavour of the home brew immeasurably giving it a pungent nose and a robust nutty finish.
(, Mon 8 Dec 2014, 23:20, 4 replies)
Sloe women and fast talkies
About five years ago we went to a friend's for a Sunday afternoon party-with-a-purpose (can't remember what, though). Lots of people, lots of booze - including a couple of bottles of home-made sloe gin. I was driving, so couldn't really drink but I had a taste - it was very nice and I remember wishing I hadn't agreed to drive that day.

On the way home we suddenly became aware of how talkative our four-year-old was, sat in the back seat, next to her godfather. "Shops, Uncle Brian - have you seen the things you can buy in shops?" Or "Traffic lights - they just change colour all the time. What's that all about?" I know that children's chat is usually only funny and endearing to the parents but there was a surreal quality to it that took it out of the realm of normality.

This carried on for the forty-minutes or so it took us to get home, whereupon she went straight to bed and crashed out until eight o'clock the next morning. Next day our hostess called my wife, asking if my daughter was OK. It turned out that just before we left, someone quietly relieved her of the plastic breaker of sloe gin they found her swigging from and which she obviously thought was Ribena. That's mah gurrl...
(, Sun 7 Dec 2014, 13:37, 5 replies)
Late July, residential school, Yorkshire, end of term.
The short-arsed Headmaster, with his Brylcreemed hair and tightly manicured moustache was a throwback to the 30's. He wasn't running some local authority dump for wayward kids. No, his school was the Eton of the North ( without the bum fuckery and wads of inherited cash, obviously).
He decided that as soon as the last kid had departed, the staff should celebrate the end of term with a genteel wine and cheese party. Genteel and very pleasant it was for almost two hours and then... the wine ran out.The party fell flat and the Headmaster and his wife retreated to their private living quarters.
New boy staff member here then leaped to the rescue with:
"I've got some of my dad's homebrew lager in my room if anyone's interested."
Turns out the Deputy, the Matron and three of the female houseparents were interested and followed me hastily to my room.Some time after the first two bottles I seemed to remember my dad had said the lager might be a bit stronger because he'd added more sugar than usual.Some time after the fifth bottle a half naked gaggle of drunkards were into the full swing of a game of strip poker when there was a knock on the door. I couldn't go to the door because I was pissing in the sink by the window at the time so I shouted:
"Coming!" meaning "I'm coming, wait there!"
Apparently "coming!" can sound like "come in!".
You've guessed the rest.
Late edit: if you didn't guess the rest see replies.
(, Sat 6 Dec 2014, 13:33, 6 replies)
My dad tried a bit of home brewing one winter, when I was very small (apparently it smelled so bad that he was banned from further batches)
He did wine and beer. On Christmas Day I was taken to the obligatory mass and watched with great interest as the priest drained the chalice. "Daddy's wine all gone now!" I announced right in the middle of some religious silence, making my grandmother* cringe.

He and his mates then celebrated the birth of my younger brother with the beer. It was so strong that 2 of his mates passed out in the garden on the way home. Lucky he was born in March, not December...

(* Although not as much as when that same baby brother, looking like an angel but acting like a devil most of the time, did an enormous fart, magnified in the way that only a wooden, uncushioned pew can, and immediately turned to her and said accusingly, "little grandma!!!" Shortly afterwards he misbehaved and was taken outside for a bollocking/smacked bum. Desperately trying to prolong the inevitable, he was frantically trying to shake hands with people from his position under my dad's arm, hissing, "peace be with you!" "Peace be with you!" as if that were going to save him)

(I don't even care that most of this is about farts. Farts are funnier than home brew)

(, Sat 6 Dec 2014, 10:29, 14 replies)
A friend of mine called Bill
used to talk about drinking "bath tub gin" at the time of prohibition in the States (he was an old bloke, died in the seventies). Alkies used to make it in the bath tub by a method called cold compounding, with botanicals such as juniper, coriander, clove, cinnamon, orange peel and cardamom being left to infuse in high strength pot-distilled grain spirit (moonshine) they got from the local bootleggers. Imagine my surprise when I found out today that Ocado will deliver the stuff to your door.
And at £47.07 per litre it's almost as if Al Capone was still fucking with us.
(, Fri 5 Dec 2014, 22:36, Reply)
Bought a homemade lager kit when I was about 14.
Someone told us that it's the sugar that makes the alcohol. Even said something like that in the instructions, but obviously I didn't give them any more than a cursory glance.

So it occurred to me that if it says put 1kg of sugar in, if I put 2kg in, it'll be really REALLY good lager.

I'm not sure, I could be wrong, but I think there were actually bits of my own liver in the vomit.

Which brings me to a top tip; a) If you brew your own lager, put a little bit less sugar than the recipe says, it makes it a bit weaker, but it tastes better, and you've got 40 pints so you can always have another one. b) More importantly, don't ever brew your own lager, however well you do it, it tastes like shit.
(, Fri 5 Dec 2014, 12:03, Reply)
Blue Nun, or the German equivalent
Blau Nonne, possibly. In any case this was one of my lowest points of student drinking. Picture the scene of a 20 year old shamelessly walking out of a dodgy South London offy, Peckham 2004, with the cheapest/strongest booze his meagre student loan would allow at that point.

So I'd made it home with this wine without being mugged stabbed or shot, so to celebrate I poured myself a glass. It was utterly disgusting stuff, which I expected, but had such a sour aftertaste, like fruity curry farts or rotten citrus fruits (apparently the smell of rotting human corpses), I had to do something.

This was the point that I discovered that sugar does not dissolve in shit white wine (despite vigorous stirring, my wank-hand was strong), nor sweeten its taste, yet forms a glacier at the bottom of a glass, refusing to be involved in this atrocity against God and man.

Dear reader, I still drank it all, despite that first failed attempt at making it more palatable, because I'd paid for it and I'm fucking badass. In the intervening decade, I've drank some horrendous stuff, but none so much as made me actually want to add sugar to make it humanly palatable!
(, Fri 12 Dec 2014, 21:29, 4 replies)
A famously alcohol-fixated relation of mine hit on the idea of brewing his own beer, seemed to solve all his problems.
He fixed up his garden shed with all the clobber and began churning out beer for pennies a pint. Lovely stuff it was, and he could adjust the ingredients to make it stronger - more sugar or something.

All went well until he was taken ill, with various symptoms including a huge itchy rash.

Turns out that he'd developed a random reaction to the sterilising chemical. He can never handle the stuff again and even if someone else does that stage for him it's too risky.

He is still heartbroken - must be the unluckiest pisshead in Britain.

I just try not to let him see me laughing.
(, Fri 12 Dec 2014, 9:11, 4 replies)
I made a eucalytus beer once, by boiling up gum leaves and straining the liquid into my pilsner fermenter
It didn't taste very good, but it did clear up my sinuses
(, Wed 10 Dec 2014, 22:05, Reply)
I've been making me own beer and cider for years
when I moved to london a sarth efrican mate in wimbledon told me he had an apple tree and a lot of apples that were going to waste lying on the ground. I took two huge duffle bags and headed out across town to fill them up. They were that fucking heavy once full, I'd reckon each one was at least 50 kilos. Now I'm a big strong bloke, but I reckon getting those bags home was the hardest most physical thing I've ever done. I didn't think I'd make it to the end of the street, let alone, catch three trains and walk a couple of miles with them. It was a stupid, painful torture and it almost fucked my back. I had deep bruising on my shoulders where the straps had cut in.
When I got the home I found my cheap juicer I bought at Currys had to be cleaned after each apple so it took forever to juice up.
I'm normally generous with my homebrew, that's if I can get anyone else brave enough to touch it. But I was buggered if was going to let other people have some of me cider. My wife would offer it to people at parties, usually after all the regular piss had been drunk, but I wasn't having it. "They can have the stout, or even my wheat beer, but not that. I sweated blood for that cider"
(, Sun 7 Dec 2014, 11:42, 21 replies)
Uncle Bob's homebrew
1. My uncle has always made the stuff - apple, dandelion, blackberries picked from hedgerows, the lot. Once he spilt some on the sideboard, and it took the varnish off.

2. My mum once made (non-alcoholic) ginger beer. She was using dozens of those old lemonade bottles, the glass ones (Corona or something). Anyway, she got the recipe a bit wrong, namely by putting twice the amount of yeast in. We were awoken in the middle of the night by a series of bangs from the spare room - a number of the glass bottles had exploded and the stuff was all over the floor and up the walls. The next batch she did was really good though.

3. When I moved into my first house, I found a bottle under the stairs with a hand-written label saying "sloe gin". It took me years to pluck up the courage to try it, but it was lovely stuff.
(, Sat 6 Dec 2014, 16:16, Reply)
Vodka bong
Not exactly a home made booze thing, but when I was a bit of a stoner, but had no gear to hand, I once tried putting vodka in a bong in place of water and pipe smoking tobacco in it.

No. Don't try this. Inhaling pipe smoke and alcohol fumes in big lungfulls 1) doesn't get you high, 2) gives you a hangover like someone is knifing your skull within minutes.
(, Fri 5 Dec 2014, 19:06, Reply)
nothing to do with homebrew but mixing booze. booze that is probably left unmixed.
Dog's nose - traditional version. Pint of bitter with a measure of gin on top. Pig's nose, as dog's nose but with cider.these are not that bad, pretty good for a Sunday livener.

special brew, gold label and gin. Terrible, eventually you walk through glass doors and fall into the Leeds and Liverpool canal.
(, Fri 5 Dec 2014, 18:03, 4 replies)
pretty sure i've posted this before
went to some bloke's house after the pub for a few drinks. he handed me a glass of what i didn't know was homemade whisky. this stuff was rocket fuel, but i was already half pissed, so i didn't really care.
we had a few drinks,we talked, he stripped naked and tried to play the piano with his cock. you know, the usual.
staggered out of his house at about 4.30 in the morning and headed off to my friend's house. fortunately, she was awake and let me in. unfortunately, she didn't want to share the large bottle of hooch i'd got from naked piano-playing bloke, so i had a drink myself. i don't remember much after that, apart from having my clothes cut off in casualty.
i had severe alcohol poisoning and needed a stomach pump. i've never felt so ill or been so hungover in my life, it was terrible. even to this day,i can't bear the smell of whisky.
recently,i heard that the bloke who i was drinking with died of liver failure. if he'd kept drinking that shit for the last 20 years or so, i'm not surprised, tbh.
(, Fri 5 Dec 2014, 15:13, 4 replies)
I made magic mushroom mead.
That mead made me mad.
Well by "mad" I mean sick.
It really was ick.
I didn't feel at all well.
In fact I felt like hell.
And that's the last time I'll ever follow a recipe from Blue Peter.
Here is some slightly rancid honey.
(, Thu 18 Dec 2014, 13:52, 4 replies)
Screenwash, and lemonade.
Ok, so i didn't MAKE it. I had screenwash, i had a car so it's only natural to have screenwash stored somewhere that isn't your car so you never have it when you need it.
I had lemonade. I didn't make this either. There isn't much making going off i must apologise for this.
So picture the scene, it's 2003, i'm a student, in a halls of residence, i'm in the particular halls in the city that has a bar on site. Me and my flat mates had been consuming alcohol for quite some time but the bar had closed and it was time to go back to our flat. more beer consumed and then things took a turn. it turns out that concentrated (not that shit thats watered down that you put straight in your car) screen wash, with lemonade that's really quite cold. half and half in a tall glass (umbrella optional) is pretty much the nicest drink you can comprehend drinking. I would recommend it to anyone who has at least 3 days with nothing to do and wouldn't be overly pissed off if they died. Never never in my life have i felt so violently sick. Never before in my life have i BEEN so violently sick. By day 3 i had started composing a note, i knew i wasn't going to make it. I knew that the blood i was throwing up wasn't getting better and that it was only a matter of time before the inevitable death. However, later that day i started to improve and by day 4 i was considering leaving my room. Despite the clear stupidity, i still to this very day believe this to be the nicest tasting drink that one can imagine.
(, Sat 13 Dec 2014, 21:16, 3 replies)
An interesting grog related fact
-There's a gas cloud in the constellation of Aquila that contains enough alcohol to make 400 trillion, trillion pints of beer.
(, Sat 13 Dec 2014, 9:01, 4 replies)

This question is now closed.

Pages: Popular, 4, 3, 2, 1