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Old 07-07-2019, 10:47 AM   #31
namada
 
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Default Re: Post apocalypse alcohol

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Nice - the gun threads attract shooters, this thread attracts homebrewers ;)
;)
Maybe I should work on a GURPS Alcohol supplement?
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Old 07-07-2019, 11:28 AM   #32
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Default Re: Post apocalypse alcohol

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;)
Maybe I should work on a GURPS Alcohol supplement?
Or start a new batch of homebrew :D
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Old 07-07-2019, 12:42 PM   #33
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As for bread yeast, I've actually often read that does produce unpleasant flavors (rather bready for a beer, perhaps), low alcohol (compared to commercial varieties, so it may be comparable to wild yeasts), and tends to not settle out, leaving your beer rather cloudy. Though, I have no actual experience with that, or personally know anyone that's tried it, I should add. I mean, it will make alcohol, and it will make something that can get you drunk, it's the same family of yeast as those that have been cultivated for beer & wine, if not the same varieties. I just can't see it being capable of making a good beer or wine - not without decades of use, and thus breeding out unpleasant traits, as has been done with varieties used for beer & wine.
Maybe I just got lucky but I tried it (fresh baker's yeast and dry yeast) when I didn't have brewer's yeast and although I feared the bready taste due to similar readings, I didn't taste it. The ABV was higher than with wild yeast but less than with commercial yeast, maybe I just got better at it though as these experiments were near the beginning. However this was for cider, I don't know if specific problems would arise with beer.
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Old 07-07-2019, 01:07 PM   #34
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Default Re: Post apocalypse alcohol

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Note that cultivated strains are much faster than wild strains, and in urban areas, the wild strains often produce unpleasant side chemicals.
It's not really anything about urban areas. Just that wild strains haven't been specifically selected for the combination of chemicals we like. Of course, if you find a strain you like, it's not really going to be that hard to cultivate, a brewery that doesn't make special effort to avoid it should rapidly wind up developing its own local strain anyway.
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Old 07-08-2019, 04:02 PM   #35
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Default Re: Post apocalypse alcohol

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Maybe I just got lucky but I tried it (fresh baker's yeast and dry yeast) when I didn't have brewer's yeast and although I feared the bready taste due to similar readings, I didn't taste it. The ABV was higher than with wild yeast but less than with commercial yeast, maybe I just got better at it though as these experiments were near the beginning. However this was for cider, I don't know if specific problems would arise with beer.
I suspect fermenting apple-water as opposed to barley-water would make huge differences in flavor profiles - at least it should, to my thinking. But I have no real experience along that line of experimentation, so IDK, maybe all the talk online about baker's yeast producing bad beer is just folks thinking that it shouldn't work & there's no real evidence that it doesn't actually work well. The meme just keeps propagating & no one ever experiments with it. Maybe one day I'll actually try that and see what happens.
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:55 PM   #36
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It's not really anything about urban areas. Just that wild strains haven't been specifically selected for the combination of chemicals we like. Of course, if you find a strain you like, it's not really going to be that hard to cultivate, a brewery that doesn't make special effort to avoid it should rapidly wind up developing its own local strain anyway.
The mix of wild yeasts and other micro-organisms will vary regionally, seasonally, and through time, but I don't see any reason for it to be worse in an urban area. It'll be *different* than the countryside, because there will be a lot of "feral" yeast from the urban bakeries and breweries, but that's not necessarily any worse, and indeed might be better than the local wild populations.

Once you get lucky and get a batch you like, you can save a starter culture. Though if you are brewing your beer in the same building for any length of time most of the "wild" yeasts in the air are probably from those earlier batches, which probably accounts for a lot of historical batch to batch consistency.
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:21 PM   #37
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Default Re: Post apocalypse alcohol

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Originally Posted by namada View Post
I suspect fermenting apple-water as opposed to barley-water would make huge differences in flavor profiles - at least it should, to my thinking. But I have no real experience along that line of experimentation, so IDK, maybe all the talk online about baker's yeast producing bad beer is just folks thinking that it shouldn't work & there's no real evidence that it doesn't actually work well. The meme just keeps propagating & no one ever experiments with it. Maybe one day I'll actually try that and see what happens.
Having used the same ingredients changing only the yeast, the yeast does make a significant difference in the overall flavor profile. Enough that a buddy who also brews was able to tell which I had used by taste alone.

He uses a particular wine yeast that, while not bad, leaves a bitter note that the champagne yeast I prefered does not.

Also, the water used can make a big difference - the mineral content of the water is important.

When you add more ingredients, those interact with the mineral content and yeast, as well...
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:30 PM   #38
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Default Re: Post apocalypse alcohol

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The mix of wild yeasts and other micro-organisms will vary regionally, seasonally, and through time, but I don't see any reason for it to be worse in an urban area. It'll be *different* than the countryside, because there will be a lot of "feral" yeast from the urban bakeries and breweries, but that's not necessarily any worse, and indeed might be better than the local wild populations.

Once you get lucky and get a batch you like, you can save a starter culture. Though if you are brewing your beer in the same building for any length of time most of the "wild" yeasts in the air are probably from those earlier batches, which probably accounts for a lot of historical batch to batch consistency.
Things the most desirable yeasts live on in the wild are absent in most modern cities.

Some of the least desirable yeasts (ones which can cause infections on/in humans) are also concentrated in cities, and while not fond of alcohol, they can leave a nasty flavor profile. Most yeasts will happily munch on simple starches and sugars; the ones that parasite on animals have other things that they exude to get their usual nutrients converted.

There was a show on the San Francisco sourdough cultures... and how they have to be conserved and preserved, because the yeasts now endemic in SF produce mildly toxic and unpleasant byproducts. Wild yeast contamination is a concern...
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Old 07-09-2019, 10:51 AM   #39
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Default Re: Post apocalypse alcohol

Wine/cider is easy, in fact you can make it by accident if you don't keep things orderly in your orchard. However you don't see a lot of orchards in post apocalypse movies and if there's fruit around people likely need it for nutrition. "Beer" can be made from a variety of grains that are more durable than fruits. But it would be a lot harder to drink than what we bottle today and can be a bit toxic.

Meads just taste great, and whatever in the environment that doesn't kill the bees won't kill you if you drink they honey.

Ethanol is the intoxicant for most liquors. Any survivor group that is making ethanol to power machines has all of the building blocks to build clean distilled liquor and probably the expertise to do a good job of it. There's still some risk from toxicity but multi-pass distilling would greatly reduce toxins and make the hooch much more smooth.
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Old 07-10-2019, 08:33 AM   #40
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Meads just taste great, and whatever in the environment that doesn't kill the bees won't kill you if you drink they honey.
It made me wonder about honey tainted with grayanotoxins. I looked online a bit but couldn't find any information on that general class, however, it seems some alkaloids have been studied in more details and that they remain in quantifiable concentrations in meads.

Mead being amongst other things a dilution might be a good idea to make honey consumable in a post-apoc setting where nature becomes a lot more hostile.
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