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Old 01-27-2012, 06:13 AM   #1
Jan 2012
camarillo, California
Posts: 57

ive never brewed before but decided to try to make some apple cider a few days ago. since im very impatient i just used what ever was available to me at the time: 1 gal. store bought apple juice (no additives), 3 cups light brown sugar, backers yeast, no nutrient, home made air lock made from plastic tube. everything is fermenting inside the container the apple juice came in @ ambient temp (around 65f). had a rotten egg smell at first but now is starting to go away and being replaced with a fruity smell.

its about 4 days in and it looks like everything is going good. started bubbling 2 hrs after i put the yeast in and has been bubbling like crazy ever since. i know everyone going to tell me to get some good yeast and not use backers yeast but its what i had at the time, and ive read both good reviews and bad reviews when using it for cider so im curious to how it turns out.

anyway my main question to you guys is why is making apple cider with backers yeast considered to be dangerously close to making hooch, or related to some degree. ive been spending a good amount of my time on this site doing research and when the subject of backers yeast comes up there is sometimes warnings to be careful because its "dangerously close to hooch".
im assuming hooch is bad and from my understanding its illegal, but whats the difference between brewing at home legal (i.e. making cider) and making hooch.

im still very new to all of this, didnt know anything as of 5 days ago so any good information would be great.

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Old 01-27-2012, 09:04 AM   #2
Oct 2011
Tucson, AZ.
Posts: 40

I'm assuming by hooch they mean distilling...which is illegal without a license. But there is nothing you could do with any kind of yeast including bakers yeast and cider that is remotely against the law. Unless of course your brewing it on a very large scale 100 gallons plus in a year. But I highly doubt that. The only advice I can offer is that bakers yeast like fleischmans can produce wine like abv if enough sugar is present...(hooch)...not in my opinion. By the way ur recipe sounds fine, and welcome to the addiction...cheers
Every morning I wake up and piss excelence....its a shame though, most of it ends up on the floor.

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Old 01-27-2012, 11:41 AM   #3
gratus fermentatio
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Jun 2008
Posts: 12,439
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Individual states remain free to restrict or prohibit the manufacture of beer, mead, hard cider, wine and other alcoholic beverages at home.[18] For example, Ala. Code 28-1-1 addresses the illegal manufacture of alcoholic beverages in Alabama, and no other provision of Alabama law provides an exception for personal use brewing.

However, most states permit homebrewing, allowing 100 gallons of beer per person over the age of 21 per year and up to a maximum of 200 gallons per household annually when there are two or more adults over the age of 21 residing in the household.[citation needed] Because alcohol is taxed by the federal government via excise taxes, homebrewers are restricted from selling any beer they brew. This similarly applies in most Western countries. Many homebrewing related articles and books[who?] mistakenly claim that, in 1979, President Jimmy Carter signed into law a bill explicitly allowing home beers and winemaking, which was at the time illegal as a holdover from the prohibition of alcoholic beverages (repealed in 1933). In fact, the U.S. Congress passed an Act in 1978exempting a certain amount of beer brewed for personal or family use from taxation.

The change also exempted home brewers from posting a "penal bond" (which is currently $1000.00) which had the prohibitive effect of economically preventing brewers of small quantities from pursuing their hobby. President Carter signed the Act, which addressed other issues as well.

Regulated at the National level under USC Title 26 subtitle E Ch51. Production of distilled alcohols for consumption carries an excise tax and numerous requirements must be met to legally produce.[19]
Owning or operating a distillation apparatus without filing the proper paperwork and paying the taxes carries federal criminal penalties.[20]

Hope that helps. Regards, GF.

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