Heat Exchangers

28 11 2007

Ever since I visited Bulgaria in 2005, I’ve been thinking about building a still. I had some wonderful apple rakia while I was there, and the fellow who distilled it was kind enough to give me the recipe. Actually, he told Priscilla how to make it, in Bulgarian, and she translated.

Although Bulgaria seemed behind the times in many ways, it was a beautiful place to visit and they get bonus points for maintaining communal village distilleries. When your fruit mixture begins bubbling in its plastic container in the basement, and the fruit flies no longer congregate nearby, you simply sign up for a time slot and distill your annual supply of twenty gallons or so of rocket fuel rakia.

This has come to mind again because articles about micro-distilleries have been appearing with some frequency in the New York Times. I’m not sure that it’s actually legal to distill spirits for personal use in Kansas, but I suspect one could pull it off with a minumum of discretion. I mean, it’s not like cooking meth or something like that. Anyway, it’s not like that if you’re careful to stop the distillation process before it goes too far. Apparently, that can happen if you get to sipping the early output and fail to pay attention to the process near the end.

But I’m rambling. My suspicion is that I could locate a functional still within driving distance with six phone calls or less. That gives the theory of six degrees of separation a whole new meaning, doesn’t it? Anyway, if I ever find myself underemployed during the apple harvest, I intend to get serious about brewing a batch of rakia. Who knows, maybe it will turn into my next career.




2 responses

28 11 2007

“It’s just a heat exchanger” she said.

As though it were that simple.

Bootlegging is an old and venerable profession. It never goes out of style. And in any event, in rakia veritas.

Sign me up for a case or two.

28 11 2007

This sounds like a fun passtime to me……….throw in a few peaches (my favorite fruit) and I’ll join you in the business. Anything for a little excitement.

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