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Old 06-07-2013, 09:43 PM   #1
Dak19Delta
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Default Ghetto brewing project.

Greetings everyone. This thread is the documentation of my roommate and I's current project.

My roommate and I are both deployed to Afghanistan right now. The only beer they have here is non alcoholic Krombacher. My roommate is an alcoholic, and I like to drink my problems away, so we figured we would try out a little home brewing while we are here.

We have researched how to brew hard apple cider, and have broken it down into the basics. Cut up an Apple and stick it in a bottle of water with some sugar for two weeks. Since we don't have yeast here, the natural yeast from the fruit skins work out for us. Now we are also experimenting with Pears as well.

We have 13 bottles total. 4 with Apples, 8 with Pears, and 1 with a plum. They are all about a week into the process, and all have 2-3 packets of sugar mixed into them. We are using water bottles, as we currently have nothing else. The bottles with Pears in them seem to be doing the best, and the Apples in a close second. The Plum one isn't doing so hot. We shake them up once a day, and open them every two days to check the smell and taste.

They all have a wine-ish type smell to them, albeit it's kind of sickening. They have an aftertaste of alcohol, and it's easy to tell that the process is working, but it still tastes watered down. They all are very well carbonated and bubbly. When we opened one of the Pear bottles, it was like opening a shaken up beer. I hope this is a good thing.

My roommate and I are both first time brewers, this is our first attempt with what we have available. When we get back to the states, we hope to begin brewing with proper equipment. Thank you in advance for reading this post, and any helpful advice or criticism is much appreciated.

-Dakota

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Old 06-07-2013, 11:42 PM   #2
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They are going to be ugly as sin, without much alcohol.

Is your CO okay with you making prison hooch?

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Old 06-08-2013, 02:10 AM   #3
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What the CO don't know won't hurt him. I figured it would probably turn out to be not so good. My roommate is hell bent on getting drunk before we're gone though. He keeps the bottles behind his bunk. I figure if we have enough bottles it will amount to something though.

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Old 06-08-2013, 02:27 AM   #4
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If you wanna go full-on prison hooch, surely you can find some bread dough somewhere. That would be a better source of yeast. If you can get away with it, take a bucket with a lid, drill a hole in the top and jam some tubing in it. Sterilize the whole rig with ~10% bleach and rinse well with boiled water. Then add your juice, sugar, fruit, and bread dough to the bucket. Run the tubing into a jar or bottle filled with bleach water for an airlock. Try to keep everything as clean as you can.

If you can find honey, I would recommend it as your best fermentable option. Avoid anything with preservatives.

Don't get caught. Thank you both for your service to our country!

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Old 06-08-2013, 02:32 AM   #5
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you got some nasty lactobacillus-based stuff there. pretty soon you'll be woke up in the middle of the night with bottlebombs. look up joe's ancient orange mead and make some of that

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Old 06-08-2013, 02:36 AM   #6
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I actually used an extra camelback bladder as a fermenter when I was still active. Just put the end of the drinking tube in some water and you have an airlock. Nothing we made tasted good but it got the job done and no one thought anything of a camelback bladder laying around.

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Old 06-08-2013, 02:38 AM   #7
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Shakybones- If I had that kind of equipment, I'd definitely give that a try. Hell I might give it a try when I get home just to see if I can do it. Sadly though all we have here are tons of apples and tons of waterbottles. I had thought about using honey, but it seemed like it required too much maintenance for our time limit. We've only got two weeks left.

Lumpher- That Joes ancient orange mead sounds interesting, I'll definitely look that up. Right now what my roommate has been doing is opening the bottles atleast once every day so they don't build up too much pressure. He's under the impression that the more sugar he puts in there, the more alcohol in the end. Whether that is true or not I don't know.

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Old 06-08-2013, 02:56 AM   #8
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First, Thanks for your service bro! Come back in one piece and live the good life!

Second, it's cool you guys are brewing with what you got! I was talking to an ex con a couple of years back. Told him I was a homebrewer and he said he used to homebrew as well. I think he was a contractor/laborer working on my house or something- I forgot?? Anyway they used to make what he referred to as "homebrew" in the joint. He would get yeast from the prison bakery, orange juice and sugar from the food prep guys, hefty bags from janitorial, and the landscape guys would bury the bags for a couple of weeks outside. Said it tasted kinda raunchy but did the job. All of the convicts helping out would get a share of the goods.

Another example, my old coworker would leave juice type beverages open for a day or so then cap them off loosely. After a week or so they had a bit of a kick to them.

Can't help you much more but know that where there's a will there's a way!

Best luck to you dudes,

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Old 06-08-2013, 03:08 AM   #9
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Northcal- That's an interesting concept, and good teamwork too. As long as it gets the job done then taste doesn't matter.

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Old 06-08-2013, 05:25 AM   #10
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JAOM uses honey (mead=honey). The honey would help keep infections away. Two weeks is plenty of time for fermentation. You'll be fine with no airlock. One warning, your brew will still have a lot of active yeast and will make you gassy as hell.

The camelback idea is fantastic.

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