I was at a family funeral last week. Yes, a sad day. As my husband and I were getting into our car to join the procession to the cemetery, I grabbed a couple of bottles from the back seat and tucked them into the waiting arms of my little brother—the same little brother who is the sometimes giver and receiver of our birthday and Christmas gag gifts. I can’t decide if my favorite gift to him was the taxidermy frogs in a compromising position or the straight jacket. My favorite from him was the dead horse head in the bed.
Anyway, I digress…
More than a couple of people saw this illicit-looking exchange, but only one man asked me what was in the bottles. Well, what could I say?
It was my homemade Hooch! Nothing to be ashamed of. We were in North Carolina, after all.
My brother is the one who set me on my wine making path. Until now I have mostly stayed with the kits available from places such as Northern Brewer, also the place where I get my wine making equipment. But in January of last year I started a batch of apfelwein. (The recipe and instructions are here.)
It wasn’t difficult at all and only required apple juice, dextrose (corn sugar) and yeast. I mixed it all up and put it into a carboy with an air lock. I stored it in the basement and waited patiently (procrastinated) for a year to bottle. And before bottling I added another two cups of corn sugar so that now it is a wonderful, apple-y, wine-y tasting brew. Surprisingly good!
I’m not sure what’s next. I am emboldened by this apfelwein. That is, I’m emboldened by the success of this apfelwein, although it would also embolden me if I were drinking it right now. It does pack a little punch. I didn’t measure the alcohol content (a process that involves a hydrometer, two measurements of the specific gravity and a mathematical calculation). But it definitely earns the name Hooch.