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The Inspector's Journal

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When in the Virginia Blue Ridge, I became fascinated with the tradition of making Apple Brandy (Applejack). At the time, there were still some practicing this mountain tradition the same way as in the 18th century.


This site is a brandy-making still as the item to the left is an apple mill.

In later years, I might have considered acquiring a small vintage all-copper still with turnip pot, thumper and worm. I might have considered producing a small batch of apple brandy each year, to distribute among friends and family during the holiday season.

The trick is the correct temperature. Get it wrong and you've made a great batch of weed-killer.

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Craft distilleries are doing what craft breweries did about 20 years ago. It's the new thing.

There's a distillery by my house called FEW Spirits. It's named for Francis E. Willard, the founder of the Women's Temperance League, which was located in Evanston.

They make a decent gin, and just came out with a bourbon. I'm going over for a taste this weekend.

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I think it is still not legal, at least in this state, however, in my college days I made a trip to a bud's relatives in the Carolina hill country where we loaded up a few jugs of apple jack and had our own rendition of Thunder Road on the trip home.

Before that, an older brother made some whisky for a high school science project. Kept a pail of mash in his closet and cooked it off with a Bunsen burner and a glass coil to a beaker.

Those days he made pocket money holding schoolyard raffles at $2 a ticket to win a five-dollar fifth. He would sell ten or twelve tickets and pocket the proceeds.

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Ever made your own whisky? I'm seriously considering getting a still and looking to talk to someone who has experience. Email me at: JamesAndrewMorrison@gmail.com



Sounds like a fun personal project. Let us know how it works out.

As a home inspector and whisky maker you will give new meaning to the name Jim "Beam" Whisky. (Insert rim shot and cricket noises here).

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