Thursday, November 13, 2014

Definitely drinkable

     I came across these caps when I was trying to find the simplest way possible to make alcohol. I figured if people in prison make there own booze there had to be simple way to do it. I really didn't want to buy a bunch of equipment, take up a bunch of space and try to master the process of wine making. Especially because I really didn't know if I would ever do it again.  So while searching around I came across these caps and bought a set on Ebay.  The EZ-caps are a two liter soda bottle cap with a hole drilled through the center and a thin piece of foam placed inside the cap with a tiny little slit cut in.  The cap lets the gas from fermentation out, which keeps your bottle from exploding, while also keeping bugs or other things from getting in your wine.

       Every year in the spring and early summer the landscape here is covered with wild dew berries and black berries.  There are only so many that the kids can eat and how many jars of jam could you possibly use in a year.  We do make more jam than we can use in a year because if there is a drought there is not much of a wild berry crop, but even still we have frozen berry juice that we don't need to make into jam. This year was quite wet which also meant a good crop of wild muscadine grapes, fruit from a family member who's trees were loaded with peaches/pears and we get some of the honey from the bee keepers at my wife's grandmothers place. All of which can be turned into alcohol using the EZ-caps.

       The package of six caps and a small medicine bottle full of wine yeast was around sixteen dollars on Ebay. According the Ebay listing I should be able to make around 300 liters of wine. I have a feeling it will be a long time before I make 300 liters of wine, but it will only take a few liters to have been worth the price.  If I went with the cheapest five gallon set up my initial investment would be probably be around three hundred bucks and I would have to commit more of m juice stockpile into making something I am not sure I want to drink. I just don't drink enough to make it worth spending that kind of money on wine making supplies, but I really wanted to be able to do it and this seems to work.

         I started with blackberry juice using 16 oz of juice that I had run the berries through a tomato mill to get rid of the seeds and most of the pulp.  After thawing it out I strained the juice though cloth to get out the rest of the pulp.  The one page instructions said you could use concentrated juice so I figured this pure juice would be enough if I added enough water to fill up the bottle. Then I added 1 1/2 cups of sugar and and 1/8 of a teaspoon of the wine yeast.  I didn't read the  part about letting the sugar dissolve before adding yeast. I did put a regular lid on and give it a health shake and then I re-capped the bottle with the EZ-cap and waited.  After a week I put the bottle in the fridge and then after another week, I tried my creation.

        Not the greatest thing I have ever had to drink in my life which probably has more to do with me than the EZ-caps, but far better then some of the booze I have consumed. I would guess I will get better at the process and hopefully find a recipe I like enough that every year I can put up a couple bottles.

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