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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Apple Jack

No self respecting Patriot would ever go without making a batch of Apple Jack every winter. Heck, good ol' George Washington used to make barrels of it! It is the absolute easiest (and most tasty!) form of liquor anyone has ever made while living in the great white north! This finally solves the riddle why anyone in their right mind would EVER want to live in a climate with such a cold, harsh winter!

Now, thanks to good ol' Thomas Edison and his electric current and the artificial refrigeration technology developed by William Cullen way back in 1748, anyone can make it these days! As an added bonus, he that hath the best freezer, will hath the best hootch!

Why is that one might ask? Well, the colder you go, the higher the proof! For an idea of what you can get, at zero degrees you'll make 15%, minus ten will yield 21%, minus twenty will yield 27%, and minus thirty will yield 33%. That is 30, 42, 54, and 66 proof respectively! So for the colonial Americans, the rougher the winter, the better the summer! Not bad for no still huh? Speaking of stills, a note on legality here:

"In the United States the production of applejack, since the process used is considered distillation, is illegal. The ATF&E considers this the same as operating a still, and therefore this should not be attempted without licensing."

Now, for historical purposes only, here is how it was done by the Original Patriot Type Folk!

"Take a wagon of good apples plucked during the peak of ripeness and mash them well into a barrel, removing the bodies to leave the juices. The fellow now prepares sweet water by adding four scoops of molasses sugars dissolved into one jug warm water. He adds this to the barrel at a rate of one portion of sweet water to one portion of apple juices. He adds lastly to the barrel one scoop of yeasts. Having done these steps he then loosely caps the barrel to exclude vermin and places in the cold cellar to await the coldest freezings of winter. On the harshest of winter days when it is too bitter for all else, he will venture into the cellar and using a holed ladled covered in mesh cloth, he removes all the frozen waters leaving behind the prepared elixir. Five full barrels of the prepared mixture will give remnants of one full barrel of elixirs."

So to help understand it, in today's English it shakes out like this:

One gallon apple juice with no additives or preservatives what-so-ever.
Four pounds of dark brown sugar dissolved into one gallon of hot spring water.
Cool the sugar water mix.
Add two packets of wine yeast.
Mix all together and allow to ferment until the yeast are almost all dead.
(Using an air bubbler, wait until there is less than one bubble per minute.
Without the bubbler, wait at least two weeks.)
Filter the mix into freezer safe plastic jugs.
Place in the coldest environment (deep freezer) available and freeze overnight.
Shake in the morning.
Repeat this cycle for one week.
(replicates the freeze thaw cycle during a winter season)
Starting day eight, shake and filter out the ice.
Return the liquid to the jug. Repeat until it will no longer freeze.

Apple Jack.