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Re: All grain fermenting itself

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  • gary
    ... I assume here you refer to corn as the general term for cereal crops (i.e. wheat, barley etc) and not as it is used in the US, Australia, and NZ, i.e.
    Message 1 of 16 , Jun 15, 2010
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      > But long before the humble spud arrived on the shores of the awld Emerald Isle corn was the sugar source of choice.

      I assume here you refer to corn as the general term for cereal crops (i.e. wheat, barley etc) and not as it is used in the US, Australia, and NZ, i.e. maize? Otherwise, as far as I am aware, potatoes and maize (corn) were introduced into Europe around about the same time.

      Gary
    • Rufus
      Nicely presented explanation Geoff - or maybe we should you Professor Geoff . I ve always found it interesting that fermentation processes of old are
      Message 2 of 16 , Jun 15, 2010
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        Nicely presented explanation Geoff - or maybe we should you "Professor Geoff". I've always found it interesting that fermentation processes of old are grounded in the economics of the time and that as the economics of sugar availability have changed the fermentation methods remained unchanged. With the advent of Internet communication worldwide we may see some real change a breweing - pardon the pun.
        Regards,
        R
      • waljaco
        Mead was probably one of the earliest alcoholic beverages and probably fermented fruits - natural sugars. Airag and kefir contain fermented lactose sugar in
        Message 3 of 16 , Jun 15, 2010
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          Mead was probably one of the earliest alcoholic beverages and probably fermented fruits - natural sugars.
          Airag and kefir contain fermented lactose sugar in the milk.
          Distillers did not begin to use potatoes on a large scale until 1820. The yield from grain is 4 times that from potatoes and there are more undesirable fusels in potato vodka. Grain vodka is generally the preferred variety.
          In Ireland the cash crop was barley, and potatoes were a basic survival food for those with small land plots. I have not come across any evidence of potato poitin - these would be available police records. All the evidence suggests early poitin was from malted barley - unaged single malt whiskey!
          In Russia and Poland the traditional vodka grain is rye due to climatic conditions.
          Sour dough starters contain wild yeasts but also wild fungi that contain enzymes to convert starch to sugars - this is the basis of Asian starch fermentation, although the Koreans still also use malted barley.
          Cheers,
          wal

          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "geoff" <jeffrey.burrows@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi shot,
          >
          > As regards your sugar
          >
          > A short history lesson
          >
          > Way back 100's of years before refined granulated sugar as we know it existed. Would be beer makers/distillers had to get their sugar from somewhere and the corn or barley was the natural source they used. In nature plants needed to store sugar or energy, to fuel seed to plant production i.e. in the seed. They did this in different ways other than the granulated sugar format we all use in our coffee/tea. The usual form was starch like in potatoes (i.e. the poteen in Ireland) or barley for Vodka in the Russia/Baltic's.
          >
          > But long before the humble spud arrived on the shores of the awld Emerald Isle corn was the sugar source of choice. In order to get nature to release or unlock this sugar they needed to get the cereal grain to start growing or sprouting (this growing or germinating converted the starch). Dry them early just after spouting and knock the sprouts off, you now have a converted starch to sugar cereal that has usable sugar. Boil it up and the sugar comes out into the water (or Wort I think it's called) this is basic beer making. This now low concentrate sugary liquid was very high tech stuff when first discovered and is your fist ingredient for alcohol making. But in order to get enough alcohol to get pissed you needed a lot of it 100's of gals, the Wort that is.
          >
          > As to your early ferment apparently without yeast
          >
          > Well yeast is every where in the ground on plants i.e. that whitish stuff you get on black grapes (called Bloom) and it's always airborne. In your case your wash got contaminated by unpredictable airborne yeast.
          >
          > By unpredictable I mean it could ferment and make the most horrible tasting hooch you ever tasted or it could make some of the best hooch you ever tasted in that case keep and farm the lees or yeast Trub at the bottom of your fermenter as you own secret recipe for making whiskey, that's what the big commercial boys did before they got big.
          >
          > Whatever happens with the wash you've now got you're not going to get much alcohol from it because there isn't much sugar in it
          >
          > History lesson over
          >
          > HTH
          >
          > Geoff
          >
        • Robert Hubble
          Good job, Geoff. I d like to add a couple of things, if I may. In allgrain beer brewing, which you pointed out Shotman s process was, so far, it s always
          Message 4 of 16 , Jun 15, 2010
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            Good job, Geoff.

            I'd like to add a couple of things, if I may. In allgrain beer brewing, which you pointed out Shotman's process was, so far, it's always stressed that we must cool the wort to yeast-pitching temperature as quickly as possible, and then pitch the yeast. That's because at *partly* elevated temperatures the wort is very susceptible to infection by "wild" micro-organisms, and it appears that we all agree that's what happened to Shotman.

            While I use a piece of hardware called a "wort chiller" to accomplish this rapid cooling, some brewers use a plastic milk jug full of water frozen solid. In your case, Shot, because your sugar concentration is so low to start with (you done good - that's just how it is with grain whiskeys), just put the whole jug, plastic, ice, and all in to your hot wort so you don't dilute it. I suppose it's possible you might need 2 of these frozen jugs to get cool enough.

            One of the advantages of getting known yeast pitched early, is that many yeasts can suppress the growth of wild bug infections. While it might not be my first choice for a corn whiskey, EC1118 is known to be a "kiiler" yeast, because it competes like crazy.

            Anyway, Shotman, you have done very well with the starch conversion, which is where most people fail first. Get those wild infections solved, and you're very close to making good grain whiskey. Of course, you've already noticed all your gear is too small to make much whiskey, and that's something we all have to deal with. Finally, with a 9-gallon brew (mashing) kettle, a 55-gallon fermenter, and a 16-gallon still, I can make enough whisk(e)y to keep around for long enough to give away nicely aged spirit for Christmas.

            Keep up the good work.

            Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller




            To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
            From: jeffrey.burrows@...
            Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2010 10:31:23 +0200
            Subject: [Distillers] All grain fermenting itself

             

            Hi shot,

                As regards your sugar

                 A short history lesson

            Way back 100’s of years before refined granulated sugar as we know it existed.  Would be beer makers/distillers had to get their sugar from somewhere and the corn or barley was the natural source they used.  In nature plants needed to store sugar or energy, to fuel seed to plant production i.e. in the seed.   They did this in different ways other than the granulated sugar format we all use in our coffee/tea.  The usual form was starch like in potatoes (i.e. the poteen in Ireland) or barley for Vodka in the Russia/Baltic’ s. 

                 But long before the humble spud arrived on the shores of the awld Emerald Isle corn was the sugar source of choice.  In order to get nature to release or unlock this sugar they needed to get the cereal grain to start growing or sprouting (this growing or germinating converted the starch).  Dry them early just after spouting and knock the sprouts off, you now have a converted starch to sugar cereal that has usable sugar.  Boil it up and the sugar comes out into the water (or Wort I think it’s called) this is basic beer making.  This now low concentrate sugary liquid was very high tech stuff when first discovered and is your fist ingredient for alcohol  making.  But in order to get enough alcohol to get pissed you needed a lot of it 100's of gals, the Wort that is.

                 As to your early ferment apparently without yeast

                 Well yeast is every where in the ground on plants i.e. that whitish stuff you get on black grapes (called Bloom) and it’s always airborne.  In your case your wash got contaminated by unpredictable airborne yeast. 

                By unpredictable I mean it could ferment and make the most horrible tasting hooch you ever tasted or it could make some of the best hooch you ever tasted in that case keep and farm the lees or yeast Trub at the bottom of your fermenter as you own secret recipe for making whiskey, that’s what the big commercial boys did before they got big.

                 Whatever happens with the wash you’ve now got you’re not going to get much alcohol from it because  there isn’t much sugar in it

                 History lesson over

            HTH

            Geoff    




            The New Busy is not the too busy. Combine all your e-mail accounts with Hotmail. Get busy.
          • geoff
            Hi Wal, I sit here corrected I m only going from befuddled un-researched memory. As you say, nowadays the energy input i.e. labour potatoes needed for potato
            Message 5 of 16 , Jun 15, 2010
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              Hi Wal,

               I sit here corrected I’m only going from befuddled un-researched memory.  As you say, nowadays the energy input i.e. labour potatoes needed for potato starch conversion would be counter productive for what you’re gonna get out. 

                   But before the Irish potato famine there used be a glut of the wonder/potato crop in the countryside you could hardly give the spuds away.  Manual labour mattered little in the making of the creature (pronounced ‘the kray-turr’) and turf was readily available for cooking, from what I can remember my grandfather telling me, what his grand father told him, corn and cereals were the crop of choice for poteen.  But you used what was available and plentiful in a time of grain shortage (the grain was short not because the didn't have it but it had to be handed in the land lords) and the smell of boiling potatoes was common in the countryside so went un-noticed.  And the smell of cooking corn most of the day was a dead give away that there was poteen a-cooking

                   I can still see those big old rusty cast iron tubs (3 feet dia. And about 4.5 feet high which he used to boil all the small potatoes, small Swedes/turnips and other left over farm vegetables for the pigs and chickens, and it all went into these boilers and I would listen to him telling me about Trevelyan (not sure if that’s spelt correctly) demanding more and more corn for the rich English share holders in John Bulls’ country (London, England) try this link to see who he was talking about. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Edward_Trevelyan  And he told me those cast iron pots that were craned on and off the fire pit and were used to make poteen from spuds when corn was in short supply well sorry not available       

                   Come to think of it all the local historical folk songs I used to hear in the auld sod re. Poteen were of the barley corn verity.  So yeah you are right to a point.  Well you know what the Celtic races are like for their alcohol. Usually by hook or by crook ,  normally by crook they made it.  But definitely an interesting subject with Paddy,Jock and yes Taff exporting the craft all over the world to wherever he emigrated and landed usually.  You only have to look at our venerable Harry’s Celtic ancestry his great-great-great Scottish grandfather from the Isles hence his preference to the Scottish Isle malts and his extensive passed down oral history and knowledge of the craft

              Hope this helps to muddy the waters a bit more Hee-Hee

              Geoff           

            • Shot Man
              Thanks for all the info my friends,. I now know why you chill it after brewing. Knew what a chiller was but didn t really understand why it was necessary to
              Message 6 of 16 , Jun 15, 2010
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                Thanks for all the info my friends,.
                I now know why you chill it after brewing. Knew what a chiller was but didn't really understand why it was necessary to cool it so fast. I've never made beer but would love to have a go at it a little later. Was just a bit of surprised that it took off so fast. I would love to go with a bigger boiler  but I live in a small subdivision with an officer of the law a block and a half away so small and discreet is the rule right now. My neighbor is having a 30 gallon still built and I think his problem will be how to keep it hid. He has spoken with the officer who is a friend of his and he said they didn't really go after the guy who done a little for himself but the problem was that not many people knew the smells associated with mashing and distilling and their first thought would be a meth lab close and call in the authorities. Kind of hard to wiggle out of that I think. It will only be a small amount I get but well worth what I learned in the process.
                Again thanks for all your advice, knowledge and help,
                shotman
                 
                 
                 
                .

              • Robert Hubble
                Shotman wrote: Was just a bit of surprised that it took off so fast. Truth to tell, I was kinda surprised at that speed also, but there it is. Zymurgy Bob,
                Message 7 of 16 , Jun 15, 2010
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                  Shotman wrote: " Was just a bit of surprised that it took off so fast."

                  Truth to tell, I was kinda surprised at that speed also, but there it is.

                  Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller




                  ----snip----

                  The New Busy is not the old busy. Search, chat and e-mail from your inbox. Get started.
                • Harry
                  ... But definitely an interesting subject with Paddy,Jock and yes Taff exporting the craft all over the world to wherever he emigrated and landed
                  Message 8 of 16 , Jun 15, 2010
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                    --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "geoff" <jeffrey.burrows@...> wrote:
                    >
                    <snip>

                    But definitely an interesting subject with Paddy,Jock and yes Taff exporting the craft all over the world to wherever he emigrated and landed usually. You only have to look at our venerable Harry's Celtic ancestry his great-great-great Scottish grandfather from the Isles hence his preference to the Scottish Isle malts and his extensive passed down oral history and knowledge of the craft
                    >
                    > Hope this helps to muddy the waters a bit more Hee-Hee
                    >
                    > Geoff
                    >


                    Hi Geoff,

                    How right you are. Emigrating Scotsmen, fleeing the English tyranny are responsible for the colonisation of the Appelachians in the southern states of the U.S. Thus the world-renowned "moonshine" is also a piece of Scottish handiwork. Here's an extract from a book in my Library "The Foxfire Book", a history of the area...

                    "Scotchmen (now known as Scotch-Irish) exported to the three
                    northern counties of Ireland quickly learned from the Irish how to
                    make and defend stills. When they fell out with the British government, great numbers of them emigrated to western Pennsylvania
                    and into the Appalachian Mountains which they opened up for our
                    civilization. They brought with them, of course, their hatred of excise and their knowledge of moonshining, in effect transplanting it to America by the mid 1700s. Many of the mountaineers today are
                    direct descendants of this stock.
                    These Scotch-Irish frontiersmen would hardly be called dishonorable
                    people. In fact, they were Washington's favorite troops as the
                    First Regiment of Foot of the Continental Army. Trouble began after
                    Independence, however, with Hamilton's first excise tax in 1791.
                    Whiskey was one of the few sources of cash income the mountaineers
                    had for buying such goods as sugar, calico, and gunpowder from the
                    pack trains which came through periodically. Excise taxes wiped out
                    most of the cash profit. Kephart quotes Albert Gallatin:
                    We have no means of bringing the produce of our lands to
                    sale either in grain or meal. We are therefore distillers
                    through necessity, not choice, that we may comprehend the
                    greatest value in the smallest size and weight.
                    The same argument persists even today—battles raged around it
                    through the Whiskey Insurrection of 1794, and over government taxes levied during the Civil War, Prohibition, and so on right to this
                    moment."

                    Source: "Moonshining as a Fine Art" pp 303-304 from "The Foxfire Book" - Anchor Books ed. 1972



                    Slainte!
                    regards Harry
                  • geoff
                    Hi Gary, Yes I do mean cereal crops (i.e. wheat, barley etc) Beer making as far as I m aware can be traced back to the Druids and Irish legend as well as
                    Message 9 of 16 , Jun 15, 2010
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                      Hi Gary,

                       Yes I do mean  "cereal crops (i.e. wheat, barley etc)" Beer making as far as I’m aware can be traced back to the Druids and Irish legend as well as the odd reference to a wee drop of the distilled creature of the corn.

                      Geoff  
                    • Graham Truman
                      Dont forget the ancient Egyptians were also beer brewers GT
                      Message 10 of 16 , Jun 15, 2010
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                        Dont forget  the ancient Egyptians were also beer brewers
                         
                        GT
                      • Harry
                        ... As documented in my Library... http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/Egyptian_Beer/ Slainte! regards Harry
                        Message 11 of 16 , Jun 15, 2010
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                          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Graham Truman" <grahamtruman@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Dont forget the ancient Egyptians were also beer brewers
                          >
                          > GT
                          >


                          As documented in my Library...

                          http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/Egyptian_Beer/


                          Slainte!
                          regards Harry
                        • waljaco
                          Re: sprouting potatoes - dubious if you get full conversion but you do get toxins formed. Normally potatoes need to be boiled and malt or enzymes added. See a
                          Message 12 of 16 , Jun 15, 2010
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                            Re: sprouting potatoes - dubious if you get full conversion but you do get toxins formed. Normally potatoes need to be boiled and malt or enzymes added. See a historical message -

                            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/message/4197
                            cheers,
                            wal

                            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "geoff" <jeffrey.burrows@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Hi shot,
                            >
                            > As regards your sugar
                            >
                            > A short history lesson
                            >
                            > Way back 100's of years before refined granulated sugar as we know it existed. Would be beer makers/distillers had to get their sugar from somewhere and the corn or barley was the natural source they used. In nature plants needed to store sugar or energy, to fuel seed to plant production i.e. in the seed. They did this in different ways other than the granulated sugar format we all use in our coffee/tea. The usual form was starch like in potatoes (i.e. the poteen in Ireland) or barley for Vodka in the Russia/Baltic's.
                            >
                            > But long before the humble spud arrived on the shores of the awld Emerald Isle corn was the sugar source of choice. In order to get nature to release or unlock this sugar they needed to get the cereal grain to start growing or sprouting (this growing or germinating converted the starch). Dry them early just after spouting and knock the sprouts off, you now have a converted starch to sugar cereal that has usable sugar. Boil it up and the sugar comes out into the water (or Wort I think it's called) this is basic beer making. This now low concentrate sugary liquid was very high tech stuff when first discovered and is your fist ingredient for alcohol making. But in order to get enough alcohol to get pissed you needed a lot of it 100's of gals, the Wort that is.
                            >
                            > As to your early ferment apparently without yeast
                            >
                            > Well yeast is every where in the ground on plants i.e. that whitish stuff you get on black grapes (called Bloom) and it's always airborne. In your case your wash got contaminated by unpredictable airborne yeast.
                            >
                            > By unpredictable I mean it could ferment and make the most horrible tasting hooch you ever tasted or it could make some of the best hooch you ever tasted in that case keep and farm the lees or yeast Trub at the bottom of your fermenter as you own secret recipe for making whiskey, that's what the big commercial boys did before they got big.
                            >
                            > Whatever happens with the wash you've now got you're not going to get much alcohol from it because there isn't much sugar in it
                            >
                            > History lesson over
                            >
                            > HTH
                            >
                            > Geoff
                            >
                          • waljaco
                            Thanks for the local details. I have seen a reference to potato whisky in Scotland. Lot of the malted barley in Ireland went to the Guiness brewery rather than
                            Message 13 of 16 , Jun 15, 2010
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                              Thanks for the local details. I have seen a reference to potato whisky in Scotland. Lot of the malted barley in Ireland went to the Guiness brewery rather than used locally. Economical factor I guess. The nature of poitin did change with changes to distilling technology and economics.
                              Cheers,
                              wal

                              --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "geoff" <jeffrey.burrows@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Hi Wal,
                              >
                              > I sit here corrected I'm only going from befuddled un-researched memory. As you say, nowadays the energy input i.e. labour potatoes needed for potato starch conversion would be counter productive for what you're gonna get out.
                              >
                              > But before the Irish potato famine there used be a glut of the wonder/potato crop in the countryside you could hardly give the spuds away. Manual labour mattered little in the making of the creature (pronounced 'the kray-turr') and turf was readily available for cooking, from what I can remember my grandfather telling me, what his grand father told him, corn and cereals were the crop of choice for poteen. But you used what was available and plentiful in a time of grain shortage (the grain was short not because the didn't have it but it had to be handed in the land lords) and the smell of boiling potatoes was common in the countryside so went un-noticed. And the smell of cooking corn most of the day was a dead give away that there was poteen a-cooking
                              >
                              > I can still see those big old rusty cast iron tubs (3 feet dia. And about 4.5 feet high which he used to boil all the small potatoes, small Swedes/turnips and other left over farm vegetables for the pigs and chickens, and it all went into these boilers and I would listen to him telling me about Trevelyan (not sure if that's spelt correctly) demanding more and more corn for the rich English share holders in John Bulls' country (London, England) try this link to see who he was talking about. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Edward_Trevelyan And he told me those cast iron pots that were craned on and off the fire pit and were used to make poteen from spuds when corn was in short supply well sorry not available
                              >
                              > Come to think of it all the local historical folk songs I used to hear in the auld sod re. Poteen were of the barley corn verity. So yeah you are right to a point. Well you know what the Celtic races are like for their alcohol. Usually by hook or by crook , normally by crook they made it. But definitely an interesting subject with Paddy,Jock and yes Taff exporting the craft all over the world to wherever he emigrated and landed usually. You only have to look at our venerable Harry's Celtic ancestry his great-great-great Scottish grandfather from the Isles hence his preference to the Scottish Isle malts and his extensive passed down oral history and knowledge of the craft
                              >
                              > Hope this helps to muddy the waters a bit more Hee-Hee
                              >
                              > Geoff
                              >
                            • waljaco
                              In the U.S. the Irish preferred grain {corn) to potatoes. Apparently earlier German, Dutch, Swedish settlers grew and distilled rye grain (korn) on the eastern
                              Message 14 of 16 , Jun 15, 2010
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                                In the U.S. the Irish preferred grain {corn) to potatoes.
                                Apparently earlier German, Dutch, Swedish settlers grew and distilled rye grain (korn) on the eastern seaboard - rye whiskey. Further inland maize (Indian corn) grew better.
                                wal

                                --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "geoff" <jeffrey.burrows@> wrote:
                                > >
                                > <snip>
                                >
                                > But definitely an interesting subject with Paddy,Jock and yes Taff exporting the craft all over the world to wherever he emigrated and landed usually. You only have to look at our venerable Harry's Celtic ancestry his great-great-great Scottish grandfather from the Isles hence his preference to the Scottish Isle malts and his extensive passed down oral history and knowledge of the craft
                                > >
                                > > Hope this helps to muddy the waters a bit more Hee-Hee
                                > >
                                > > Geoff
                                > >
                                >
                                >
                                > Hi Geoff,
                                >
                                > How right you are. Emigrating Scotsmen, fleeing the English tyranny are responsible for the colonisation of the Appelachians in the southern states of the U.S. Thus the world-renowned "moonshine" is also a piece of Scottish handiwork. Here's an extract from a book in my Library "The Foxfire Book", a history of the area...
                                >
                                > "Scotchmen (now known as Scotch-Irish) exported to the three
                                > northern counties of Ireland quickly learned from the Irish how to
                                > make and defend stills. When they fell out with the British government, great numbers of them emigrated to western Pennsylvania
                                > and into the Appalachian Mountains which they opened up for our
                                > civilization. They brought with them, of course, their hatred of excise and their knowledge of moonshining, in effect transplanting it to America by the mid 1700s. Many of the mountaineers today are
                                > direct descendants of this stock.
                                > These Scotch-Irish frontiersmen would hardly be called dishonorable
                                > people. In fact, they were Washington's favorite troops as the
                                > First Regiment of Foot of the Continental Army. Trouble began after
                                > Independence, however, with Hamilton's first excise tax in 1791.
                                > Whiskey was one of the few sources of cash income the mountaineers
                                > had for buying such goods as sugar, calico, and gunpowder from the
                                > pack trains which came through periodically. Excise taxes wiped out
                                > most of the cash profit. Kephart quotes Albert Gallatin:
                                > We have no means of bringing the produce of our lands to
                                > sale either in grain or meal. We are therefore distillers
                                > through necessity, not choice, that we may comprehend the
                                > greatest value in the smallest size and weight.
                                > The same argument persists even today—battles raged around it
                                > through the Whiskey Insurrection of 1794, and over government taxes levied during the Civil War, Prohibition, and so on right to this
                                > moment."
                                >
                                > Source: "Moonshining as a Fine Art" pp 303-304 from "The Foxfire Book" - Anchor Books ed. 1972
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Slainte!
                                > regards Harry
                                >
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