|Jean-Claude Van Damme displaying the full range of his acting talents.|
Homebrewing is all the rage right now amongst white people, so I thought I’d get involved bottomshelf style and make a little pruno; AKA prison hooch; AKA toilet wine. Seeing as how pruno is typically made in prison it’s not that popular amongst white people, because we don’t go to jail, unless we’re poor. Pruno might not be beer per se, but I’m trying to find the bottom of the bottomshelf and I’ve heard pruno described as a “vomit flavored wine cooler” so it probably comes pretty fucking close.
In prison you can’t go down to the liquor store and get a can of fermented hops and barley courtesy of the G. Heileman Brewingcompany, so you have to make your booze yourself. Only you probably can’t get hops and wheat so you have to ferment whatever is at hand. Personally I used 6 oranges, a can of fruit cocktail, ketchup, half a lid of Tang, some moldy bread, and a plastic bag. I didn’t ferment the bag but I thought I’d mention it because you’ll need one of those too.
First thing I did was peel off the stickers from the oranges. My brother says the stickers are edible, and I do realize we’re making a drink in which one of the key ingredients is moldy bread. Still, the thought of drinking something with a bunch of stickers floating in it disgusts me. Then you put the oranges in your plastic bag, bucket, or whatever and mash the shit out of them. If oranges aren’t available you can use apples, tomatoes, or just about any produce. I’ve heard of people using potatoes or milk, but both of those greatly increase your odds of getting the shits. Plus they sound disgusting.
Then you add a can of fruit cocktail, and moldy bread. Brewers’ yeast is sure as shit contraband in prison so the moldy bread acts as source of yeast to consume the oranges, fruit cocktail, and/or what-have-you and turn it into alcohol. Most recipes recommend stuffing the moldy bread in a sock so you don’t have to drink moldy bread, which is an admittedly sound idea considering the person who thought of it wasn’t smart enough to stay out of jail. I shouldn't talk though, I gave the sock a squeeze to get the last bit pruno and a bunch of brown liquid squirted out and infected the rest of the batch with gross brownness.
|The 58th Heinz variety|
Once you have everything in the bag you accelerate the fermentation process by mashing it all up real good and running your bag of garbage under a hot tap or putting it on the radiator. When you get done heating it wrap the whole thing in a bedsheet or towel to trap the heat and incubate your concoction. A couple of day later I added the half lid of Tang and couple of squirts of ketchup. Why ketchup? I have no idea. Every pruno recipe I found contains ketchup so ketchup it is then. I ran it under a hot tap and started playing the waiting game.
Most recipes say the process takes a little over a week. For me it took at least a whole week longer. During that time be sure to periodically reheat the bag and let out the gasses that build up during the fermentation process. When the gas build-up started to slow down I filtered that shit through an old T-shirt and gave it a taste test. I have to say…not bad. I don’t really taste the alcohol, but at this point in my life I only notice the taste of alcohol in an abstract way. I’m 90% sure there’s alcohol in straight whiskey but I’d be hard pressed to explain how I came to that conclusion. It mostly tastes like a primitive mimosa, something a caveman would drink at brunch with his sabertoothed bacon and dinosaur eggs. This is nowhere near as bad as a lot of the stuff I’ve ended up drinking during my research.
I did not see that coming at all. I expected to find the bottom of the bottomshelf, and the pruno I made wasn’t that bad. If I’m being honest though I have to say that fresh produce and other ingredients, when acquired legally, cost more way than it should to get drunk especially when you factor in time. Time is one of the few things that isn’t scarce in prison, hence the phrase “doin’ time.” In the real world it’s not really worth the effort. All that being said, prison sounds a lot less bad than it did before, plus it would give me a chance to show off my full torso swastika tattoo.