As an aside. If you ever want to attract fruit flies and mosquitoes I cannot imagine any better lure than a six-gallon vat of sugar that farts carbon dioxide.
Fermentation lock on a sugar wash with turbo yeast in it. The kind that comes with nutrients in the package. I am sort of running a batch of it just to get practice. And like. Okay. If you haven’t brewed anything– the fermentation lock is just an S-bend filled with water, right? So gas can bubble through, but no air will come back through the other direction. (You don’t want too much oxygen getting into your mash/wash/whatever; I forget why, but it makes vinegar. You just want the yeast’s excreted carbon dioxide to leave, so it doesn’t build pressure. So you pop one of these on.) 

Normally, air will bubble through merrily in a happy fermentation, probably like two a second or so, regularly. This is like– this is ridiculous, and it’s been doing this for about twelve hours. (Twenty-four hours ago, I started it, and within an hour it was going blurp! every so often. By this morning it was like brrrrrrrp! and this evening it’s like FRR-RRR-RR-RR-RRT!)

A normal wash usually takes two weeks to finish. This one claims it’ll be done in three days. We shall see! It will probably taste atrocious. But the point is, it’ll finish quick to high alcohol. People use it to make ethanol for fuel. (Which, by the way, kiddies, is why you never run a still indoors, because guess what’s explosive.)
I should clarify re:distilling; NY State recently enacted a bunch of legislation making it dead easy and cheap as anything for a small farmer to operate a still, with the caveat that you have to use a percentage of NY State products to create your fermentation. (And that percentage is increased every year, possibly unfeasibly, but we’ll see. NY loves passing laws that sound good but were proofread without regard to realism or say, physics.)
So, long-term, sugar cane is right out. But I need to teach myself the basics, and I’m doing that with cheap easy cane sugar, so I’ll have some idea what I’m doing when I start using, as is the plan, the produce from the family farm.
(Said produce includes fruits and vegetables, and honey and maple syrup, and potatoes and sunchokes and oats and barley, so there’s a lot to go on.)



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