The Blob

Dear Mr. Sebert,

Just wanted to add a silly story to my order. My sisters and I enjoy the movie “The Great Escape”- anytime it is on TV we call each other up, don’t say a word and just whistle the theme music-which makes the person on the other end of the phone say “When? What channel?” There is a sequence in the movie where Steve McQueen and James Garner rustle together all the potatoes in the prison camp and make some very powerful hooch. As they test it they each say in a very hoarse voice. “Wow!” I got idea of holding a Great Escape party for my sisters-got the DVD-and proceeded to brew some of my own. “Wow”. I searched around online for a good potato recipe but any that I found weren’t convincing – and it seemed that the yield from potatoes alone would be significantly less than with standard sugar recipe – so I decided to wing it, using a combination of sugar (about 4 kg), water, the Turbo yeast and a mash made from 10 pounds of fine Ontario white spuds. I made the mash in a big pot. Once everything had cooled down I combined it all in the bucket and waited to see what happened.

The next morning my wife and young son woke up with the news: “Your experiment is trying to escape!” It was like a scene from another Steve McQueen movie …. “The Blob”. A great gurgling spew of grey-brown foam was crawling with great determination out of the incredibly swollen bucket – oozing with remarkable speed out of the airlock and leaking out the edges of the sealed lid. And it was making a groaning noise that was quite disturbing. It truly looked like it was about to blow a hole in the ceiling. I did my best to clean up the spew but the relentless “yeast beast” (as we nicknamed it) kept burbling and bubbling and growing and clawing its way out of the bucket. The best I could figure out was the combination of starch from the potatoes with yeast made the escaping carbon dioxide gas into some resilient bubbles. I was afraid the whole mess would have to be trashed. It took another eight hours (with the bucket lid off) for the major expansion to subside. The “yeast beast” had finally been tamed and allowed itself to sealed up once again…This time without creeping out the airlock….

When the entire process was completed it resulted in a fine end product. Absolutely extraordinary! And we all watched the film together and at the appropriate moment in the story – we joined Steve McQueen and James Garner in a wondrous “Wow”. The next time I try potatoes I’ll be sure to alter the recipe – and use a bigger bucket – and buy a bigger mop.

Thanks again,

Connecticut Moonshine Out In The Open

Manchester Company Lands First Customer For Its Prohibition-Inspired Liquor

September 28, 2011|By JESSE LEAVENWORTH,, The Hartford Courant

MANCHESTER — — A proud Connecticut moonshiner is peddling his company’s first batch at bars and restaurants this week, ensuring proprietors that his white liquor won’t cause flames to shoot from customers’ ears.

Well, not in those exact words. Adam von Gootkin, co-founder of Manchester-based Onyx Spirits Co., says he’s been telling bar managers and owners that he and partner Peter Kowalczyk worked for years to make their Onyx Moonshine as smooth as a single-malt whiskey. Made with Connecticut spring water, grains and honey, the 80-proof legal booze has none of the harshness of the eye-watering hooch that dripped from illegal stills in the 1920s, von Gootkin says.

Surrey senior busted for making ‘moonshine’

METRO VANCOUVER — A Surrey senior has been busted for making and selling bulk liquor in an illegal still in the 12500 block of 70th Avenue.

On Wednesday while executing a search warrant, Mounties located five large barrels containing about 200 gallons of “moonshine” in various stages of fermentation in a trailer at the rear of the property.

Investigators also found another 30 containers of distilled spirits.

Police said today that the moonshine was allegedly being sold to walk-up customers from a basement window of the family home on the property where three adults were living.