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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Drinks and Food I want to make okolehao - need ti roots!
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I want to make okolehao - need ti roots!
Okolehao
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Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 234
From: Monterey, CA
Posted: 2007-07-22 10:48 pm   Permalink

This crazy haole wants to make some old fashioned okolehao. I need a large amount of ti roots to make the mash. Does anyone have any, or know of someplace I can get them? Some retailers sell small cuttings for growing your own plants, but I want several pounds worth. Anyone on the islands want to dig some up from their yard?

 
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captnkirk
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Joined: Nov 06, 2002
Posts: 322
From: Hockessin, Delaware
Posted: 2007-07-24 11:30 am   Permalink

You must be a very crazy Haole. You are risking your freedom for a bottle of booze.

If you make you own liquor in the USA (even for your own consumption) you will be commiting a federal crime when you heat the mash and distill it. Like other "moonshiners" who distill with out giving the government it's tax money. If you get caught there is a good chance you could do about the same amount of prison time a the average murderer will get.

If you do get off, the lawers etc. will make that the most expensive bottle of liquor you ever made.

Don't mess with the ATF.
Buy it legally or do without it.

[ This Message was edited by: captnkirk 2007-07-24 11:31 ]


 
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Krakatowa
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Joined: May 16, 2006
Posts: 67
From: Baltimore
Posted: 2007-07-24 1:42 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-07-24 11:30, captnkirk wrote:

Don't mess with the ATF.
Buy it legally or do without it.

[ This Message was edited by: captnkirk 2007-07-24 11:31 ]



I was going to comment on this, but figured anyone stupid enough to try home distilling deserves what they get.

If you are that hard up for it, you could always soak Ti leaves and roots in a clear ethanol of some variety, and at least make a tincture. Not the same thing, but its legal... and most importantly SAFE. Distilling is a serious science and all too easy to screw up.


 
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Okolehao
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Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 234
From: Monterey, CA
Posted: 2007-07-24 7:31 pm   Permalink

Quote:

I was going to comment on this, but figured anyone stupid enough to try home distilling deserves what they get.



What I love about TC is the supportive, positive attitude that prevails . . .


a) If you think the ATF is going to bust down anybody's door for personal home consumption, then you're much more paranoid than you need to be.

b)Yes you can get sick if you don't have the right equipment and you don't know what you're doing. But your chance of getting sick from moonshine is less than getting sick from home canned pickles.


It ain't rocket science:
http://www.jerryeden.com/alc/

http://cgi.ebay.com/3-L-Copper-Alembic-Still-Whiskey-Moonshine-Distiller_W0QQitemZ330148852996QQihZ014QQcategoryZ118QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

I know people who've made shine. It wasn't that good, but it did the trick.

[ This Message was edited by: Okolehao 2007-07-26 09:04 ]


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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 4964
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2007-07-25 11:41 am   Permalink

We made a freakin still in science class in High School. In the calss, with the teacher. ran it for weeks... No ATF. just good old alcohol.

There are wine and beer making packages and a store down the street from me that just sells the supplies for that stuff. You are in no danger making up a batch of oke.

Do you have a recipe though? There are kits I have found online for making your own rum and bourbon, etc. That's nothing more than a correct barrel and a packet of flavorings. You pour in your high octane vodka and the packet and let it age for a few years. Oke is likely much the same. Start with some liquor base, a barrel, vodka and add ingredients. Maybe they actually make a mash with the stuff and pot distill it off, but, I doubt it. Alcohol is largely alcohol. Various fermenting vegetable matter can produce alcohol this way, and its just alcohol. Not a lot of flavor variation.

Here is an Ebay auction for a DIY barrel of rum.

If you have a recipe to make it, please share.
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Okolehao
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Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 234
From: Monterey, CA
Posted: 2007-07-25 4:04 pm   Permalink

Swanky helps me once more!

No, I don't have a recipe for Oke, damn it. And believe me, I've been searching the net high and low. I've got postings at a home brew site asking if they have anything. Maybe someone will come up with something. For a brew that used to be so popular it baffles me that I can't find anything.
I've heard that there are some old time shiners still making the stuff on the islands, but the chance of me hooking up with one is probably nil.

The other problem I still have is getting Ti root in a large enough quantity. What you can buy is little 'logs' of the root to sprout a potted plant, but nothing in bulk. You can also buy fresh Ti leaves that are used for cooking Hawaiian treats like Lau Lau, but not the whole plant. I think there are Dept. of Agriculture restrictions on importing the live plant from Hawaii - the only place I've found that sells them. I know people grow them as ornimentals here on the mainland so that's who I'm trying to find.

I might try contacting the University of Hawaii and see if anyone has done research on the subject or has an old copy of a recipe. Wouldn't it be great to have some authentic Oke for some of our drinks?


 
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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 4964
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2007-07-26 06:10 am   Permalink

I did a bit of research after yesterday, and I think the answer is that they indeed made a mash with the ti and pot distilled it, rather than the aging technique. You won't need a ton of it to experiment. You can set up a "still" with a beaker and some small tubing. Once you get the mix right and the temperature right, it'll all be good and you can scale up.

Kelly said he had called up Roy at Hawaiian Distillers and talked about their oke making a long while. That was maybe a year ago and they were still in the process. You might do the same and see where they are and maybe see if he can point you to some sort of recipe. Not likely he'll give you his, but, he can help.

I have had some vintage oke. I still have a few ounces in reserve. Its like Cognac. Some of the best liquor I ever had. There is no substitute. Nothing in my liquor cabinet comes close.
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Okolehao
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Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 234
From: Monterey, CA
Posted: 2007-07-26 07:37 am   Permalink

I put the question up on Yahoo Ansewers, "Where can I get Ti root to make okolehao?" and got a good respone from a Liz Rich.

"If you don't live in Hawaii, where you can get it almost anywhere, the you will have to buy it. You can get Cordyline terminalis from most nurseries, as this plant is grown as a tropical plant. Do not substitue any kind of dracaena, whic looks similar, but contains toxins that are harmful to humans. Once hou have a plant, you can propagate it by rooting a section of the trunk."

Then there was a link to this old new article that mentions a mash rescipe of 25% Ti root, 45% rice, and 55% cane sugar. I'm sure there is more to it than that, but it's a good foundation for someone to experiment with.

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2003/Jun/01/ln/ln05a.html



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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 4964
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2007-07-26 09:06 am   Permalink

That sounds good. Ti also grows in South Florida, but even in Zone 10 it fails. Very tropical plant. Sugar is a primary source for the mash to make alcohol. I'd find more recipes for mash itself and compare and see if there isn't a basic recipe and you change out one ingredient for the Ti. Sour mash, corn mash, the barley and stuff they use in bourbon corn mash. I'd also not use refined sugar. May make no difference really, but, there is a difference.

Once you have it right, I am still guessing you will have something that is about 150+ proof and more or less odorless and tasteless like PGA. You will have to dilute it to drink with water. The aging will change the character and that barrel link is likely the place to go. Instead of PGA or 151 Vodka as base, you use your distilled alcohol. Two years in a barrel is a minimum.

In my high school experiments, we found that at the correct temperature, the alcohol would just pour out. At a degree or two above or below, it made a drop an hour. In a larger container, that is likely less important as from top to bottom, it hits all the temperatures and some portion is alway "right" and producing, and it will self mix due to boiling.
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Okolehao
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Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 234
From: Monterey, CA
Posted: 2007-07-26 10:49 am   Permalink

Wow! You know your stuff. Sounds like you've been doing some of your old high school experiments over again, or you know someone who has been.

I think you're right about the sugar. Rum isn't made with refind sugar. I even wonder if infusing rum with something liked baked Ti root(to get carmelization)would be a good approximation.

Damn, now I've really got to get some of that Ti plant! Someone in Florida, send me your Ti roots!!!


 
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Okolehao
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Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 234
From: Monterey, CA
Posted: 2007-07-28 11:29 pm   Permalink

O.K. So now I've got the moonshine bug. This damn internet has gotten me into so many weird projects. You can find information on anything - especially in regards to home brewing and distilling.

I've got a test mash I made today bubbling away in my garage. All I did was buy a bucket & lid, put in 3 gallons of warm water, 3 cups of raw sugar, 2 cups of mashed sweet potato, and a packet of instant yeast. The sweet potato is my substitute for Ti root. I have no idea how it's going to come out, but even before I put the lid on (with a home made fermentation lock) the stuff smelled and tasted pretty good. I'll give it about a month. Wish me luck.

So who's got my Ti root???

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Rum Hunter
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Joined: Nov 15, 2006
Posts: 26
From: Gold River, CA
Posted: 2007-07-29 12:58 pm   Permalink

It shouldn't take a month to ferment in your garage. Wait until the the airlock stops bubbling then distill it. if you let it sit at room temp. for a month, you may get off-flavors

 
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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 4964
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2007-07-30 06:49 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-07-29 12:58, Rum Hunter wrote:
It shouldn't take a month to ferment in your garage. Wait until the the airlock stops bubbling then distill it. if you let it sit at room temp. for a month, you may get off-flavors


Yeah, what he said. Very little fermentation time is needed. The heat speeds that process up.
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Okolehao
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Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 234
From: Monterey, CA
Posted: 2007-07-30 08:00 am   Permalink

Yeah, I'm only going to give it about a week. I don't know where I came up with a month.

The brew is bubbling away as we speak. You can hear it inside the bucket. I can't wait to see how this stuff turns out.
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Chrisc
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Joined: Dec 01, 2004
Posts: 65
From: UK
Posted: 2007-07-31 02:55 am   Permalink

I think I'll take the 'herbal tincture' route....
Swanky reports that original Okleahao is 'like cognac', and one or two of the Beachbum's recipes suggest substituting brandy, so I think it might be a good idea to use brandy as the base.
Cordyline terminalis is readily available in England as an indoor plant, so I'll buy some (carefully avoiding Dracaena spp., of course), lightly bake it, then steep it in Brandy for some months. How does this sound? Does anyone have suggestions for improvements to this method?

Chris


 
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