Lenny Domnitser’s

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This is a static archive of the domnit.org blog,
which Lenny Domnitser wrote between 2006 and 2009.

My Plans for the Future

Invariably, becoming a man means trying to make your own alcohol. Whether you brew hooch, ferment hobo wine, or plain old moonshine, you are starting a journey that can scar your stomach and pride. A week ago I set on this journey for the second time.

I go to college in New York state, and every Fall enjoy the bounty of New York apples. So two years ago when I found the simplest homebrew recipe online, I answered the call to make hard apple cider. The potentially delicious experiment at once captured the pleasure of making something myself and the illicit thrill of being underage and brewing under my bed in “chem free” dorms.

I waited a few weeks before racking the cider for the first time (that is, removing the dead yeast). I had a taste, and it was…delicious! According to the recipe the cider only gets better with time, and I had all the patience in the world for my baby. When I went to rack it again a few weeks later, I was eager to taste the hooch, but something must have gotten into it when I racked it the first time. It was poison, and I dumped the batch.

I was hurt by the loss, but I learned a great respect for the masters. Which is why I was surprised to find myself last week buying a gallon of juice and a packet of yeast.

A week in, having sneaked a taste of my pleasantly sweet, lightly carbonated, and so far just slightly alcoholic new project, I am encouraged. I am more careful this time around, using a glass jug and a real kitchen, not a plastic jug and a dorm sink. One day, I hope to be able to say, like Michael Jordan, I have discarded 9,000 infected gallons of alcohol, and that is precisely why I succeed.

My Plans for the Future: Hobo Wine

2 comments on My Plans for the Future

1. Justin says:

You have inspired me to try this. I will use Motts. Maybe.

—Justin, 28 October 2008, 22:30

2. Mom says:

Your great-grandpa used to make hard cider. It was deeeelicious… I remember he used a cork with the plactic tube inserted through it and the other end resting in a container with water.

—Mom, 10 November 2008, 14:19

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