Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I've never dropped a drink in my life although I have not picked one up in a longtime. I did have one slide off the table once, but that was an accident because the top of the table was already wet. I more or less come by my interest in alcoholic beverages naturally because my grandfather was a Braumeister in Germany before he came to this country. During Prohibition I had an uncle and cousin that were in the business of making bathtub gin. The first time I ever became involved with moonshine was when I was in the Army. My best buddy’s family had a great walloping still it away in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. The next time I got caught up in the moonshining business was years later when I was prospecting for zinc in eastern Tennessee. I was tracing a high zinc chemical reading in a small mountain stream and instead of finding a zinc deposit I found a washtub right alongside the stream that was full of spent mash from an illegal whiskey operation. Within two minutes of making this find I found myself looking down the muzzles of six Winchester's along with some pretty mad Hill folk. It was a very good thing that I do some names to drop or I probably still be alongside that stream. This would have sort of been a shoot, shovel and shut up situation.

The making of alcoholic beverages by a man can trace its roots back into antiquity. No doubt our ancestors first tied one on by eating fermented fruit. This still goes on today as one of the funniest movies I ever saw involved a bunch of animals in the Kalahari Desert of Africa tying one on at a water hole that was surrounded by fruit trees. The fruit had dropped, and fermented and the animals came from far and wide and got drunker then Lords. There were elephants and lions and hyenas and monkeys and apes at just about every other animal you can think of. For the drunken fest the various animals declared a truce and were falling all over each other. A scene taken the next morning was a chimpanzee trying to stuff his brains back into his head, while on the other side of the water hole was a stork that stayed sober during the drunken fest who was watching the proceedings, and shaking his head back and forth.

As the name implies Making Alcoholic Beverages is all about teaching you how to make your own drinks. Alcoholic beverages have one thing in common they are all made of ethyl alcohol, the only alcohol that is not poisonous to man. In the chapters that will follow in this Blog we will teach you how to make everything from alcohol to being a zymurgist that is one who practices the study of the yeast. That my friends is the A to Z of it.

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