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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!
captnkirk
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Joined: Nov 06, 2002
Posts: 322
From: Hockessin, Delaware
Posted: 2009-04-06 12:02 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-03-24 22:10, Okolehao wrote:
He said if he was to try making a batch he wants to be able to taste some of the real stuff that's still around, but I told him that's like asking people to part with their gold. But then again, I imagine there are a few of you who have a stash they'd let a pro sample if in return a fresh batch could be made by the gallon.



I have some vintage Okolehao and I will part with some of it.
When you are ready, send me a private message with the mailing address. I will send a sealed vial with about 1.5 oz (a shot) so you can taste or analyze the real stuff and get your recipe as accurate as possible.

You are on the right track to use the same method as brandy distillers use. The color and flavor are very reminiscent of brandy.

Good luck on the project.


 
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Unga Bunga
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Joined: Jun 06, 2003
Posts: 5824
From: CaliTikifornia
Posted: 2009-04-06 2:35 pm   Permalink

I was thinking about buying one of these,.
I think it might be perfect to make okolehao with it.
Only $200 with lifetime guarantee.
The Missisipi Distiller.





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Kilauearift
Member

Joined: Jun 22, 2009
Posts: 1
From: Puna and Seattle
Posted: 2009-06-22 12:47 pm   Permalink

It’s too bad ‘Okolehao hasn’t been picked back up by a Hawaiian distillery.
Does anyone here perhaps know what caused the closure of the 9 Isles distillery and their effort to resurrect ‘Okolehao?

I’m in the process of moving back to the Big Island and have been looking for something to do on the side and resurrecting legal ‘Okolehao might be just the thing (but not too sure yet). I just returned from a survey trip on our newest land purchase in lower Puna. Pleased to say; we’ve hundreds of green Ti leaf plants and whole heck of lot of weed Guava , mango and possible breadfruit trees amongst countless other things. In any case, we’ve lots of farms in the area and also up along the Hamakua coast for the basic ingredient sources. I see wild Ti growing all over the place and I’m not sure why finding a source seems to be a problem as I’ve seen a small Ti leaf farm right off hwy 130. There might not be large scale farms but certainly there’s plenty of it to be found about the north and east sides of the Big Island.

I’ve been doing some research into the topic of licensing a Distillated Spirits Plant (beverage) and not really sure why so many folks avoid the licensing aspects. Apart from a modest bond through the TTB, I don’t see any insurmountable costs involved in starting up an experimental facility that may be later upgraded to a full DSP (beverage). Is there anyone here who has credible knowledge as to the full scope of beginning a small legal operation? If so… feel free to pm me about the ins and outs of the topic.
Is there any reason why the last effort (9 Isles) seemed to be so grand in scale? Why can’t a small distillery be started serving only direct sales to local Hawaiian bars/etc and for point of production public sales? Why the immediate need to incorporate internet sales and contracting with distributors export? Seems to me that Oke has been so long out of circulation that it needs to be slowly reintroduced, its reputation should have no problem producing immediate sales on its own home turf. From that point, the rest is merely a matter of time as the word is spread on island time.


 
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tayloroke
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Joined: Jul 06, 2009
Posts: 1
Posted: 2009-07-06 01:06 am   Permalink

So great to see activity in this thread! I saw it about a year ago when I first started flirting with the idea of brewing up some oke. I'm happy to report I have 7 gallons of the stuff boiling up on my stove right now.

A good friend of mine recently did some restoration work on Kaho`olawe and talked to some old timers over there... between what he learned and a very helpful
journal paper I managed to find with a bit of googling, we were able to piece together something that, with a little luck, may resemble the real deal.

Our trial run consists of a giant ancient ti root dug up from my friend's yard (the thing was roughly 50 pounds... four feet long and a foot and a half in width), a few stalks of freshly-pilfered sugar cane (from a recent burn out here on Kauai's West side), a pineapple from Big Save and smidge of ginger root. We didn't use all of the ti root of course, just a few pounds of it. I'm about to pitch the yeast, so expect a trip report in a couple weeks here...


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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5065
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2009-07-06 09:28 am   Permalink

I would agree. Most of what is still out there today are the airplane bottles of Oke sold as souvenirs. I have been collecting them for years. I am sure that would be the way to start selling it again. And plenty will want a full bottle. But in the mainland, who is going to order a few cases to their distributor? It would be a hard sell. Make it there and people will mule it home for friends, etc.

 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7417
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2009-07-06 3:28 pm   Permalink

Very interesting joural paper. I didn't know, for instance, that there is no volcanic rock in Tonga. I especially like this quote "...the natives had been taught to distill ardent spirits from the saccharine ti root, which they now practice to a great extent, and exhibited, in a proportionate degree, all the demoralizing and debasing influence of drunkenness."

So Tayloroke, did you roast your Ti root prior to fermentation?
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mrdistiller
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Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 4
Posted: 2009-07-19 06:27 am   Permalink

OK now, new poster here, but I had to clear up some seeming misconceptions. The okolehao, oke, that you folks seem to be talking about is not the traditional, i.e. "real" okolehao. The brandy style drink last made several years ago is a bastardization of the traditional Hawaiian moonshine okolehao. Ti root, bread fruit, sugar, fermented and distilled, is okolehao. The breadfruit may be optional. Remember, this was an illegally produced moonshine product, produced by many different individuals. Therefore, just like moonshiners elsewhere, recipes and thus taste, differed. What's it supposed to taste like? Who knows? Probably nobody alive. What's the recipe? Well, just mash some ti root, perhaps some breadfruit, add to dissolved sugar in water, add some yeast, and ferment. It would be helpful to measure the sugar content with a brix meter, shoot for 20-25%; this will let you judge how much sugar to add. After that you'll distill it in a pot still and see if it tastes good; big help if you know how to run a pot still. Experimenting with the quantities and preparation of ingredients will give you a flavor you can enjoy. There's no way to say if it will be like the old style, because as I stated, no one knows what that tasted like. But it most definitely was not the flavored brandy you've got in your old bottles.



 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7417
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2009-07-19 12:52 pm   Permalink

Mrdistiller, they are trying to re-create the bastardized Oke of the 40s & 50s to make the cocktails of the 40s & 50s.
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captnkirk
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Joined: Nov 06, 2002
Posts: 322
From: Hockessin, Delaware
Posted: 2009-07-21 03:51 am   Permalink

Can someone explain to me why Oke was considered "illegal moonshine" long before US mainland liquor laws were imposed on the islands? I understand why you can't distill under the US tax laws.

Was it illegal to make your own Oke before US statehood?


 
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pablus
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Joined: Jul 23, 2003
Posts: 2155
From: www.crazedmugs.com
Posted: 2009-07-21 07:12 am   Permalink


The man who actually wrote the book on Ti plants lives in Florida on the east coast and has a huge garden of all kinds of it.

I've got a couple of Hawaiian plants I grew from cuttings that are doing well.

It grows easily here, but like ginger - some strains are useful and some are merely ornamental.


 
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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5065
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2009-07-21 09:26 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-07-21 03:51, captnkirk wrote:
Can someone explain to me why Oke was considered "illegal moonshine" long before US mainland liquor laws were imposed on the islands? I understand why you can't distill under the US tax laws.

Was it illegal to make your own Oke before US statehood?


I think the truth is oke is not that old. It's been made mostly recently, and so, under states rules either actual or implied.


 
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mrdistiller
Member

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 4
Posted: 2009-07-22 02:58 am   Permalink

Swanky you are incorrect, oke is very old.

Captnkirk, King Kamehameha banned alcohol distillation in the 1800s; the U.S. Federal government banned it in 1918. It was indeed illegal to make your own oke before statehood; remember, Hawaii was a U.S. territory before statehood, subject to U.S. laws imposed by the Federal government.

[ This Message was edited by: mrdistiller 2009-07-22 03:01 ]


 
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MadDogMike
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Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7417
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2009-07-22 08:49 am   Permalink

According to Tayloroke's journal paper (above), the natives of the Sandwich Islands had taught the natives of Tahiti how to distill Okolehao before 1829, I'm sure Hawaii was in the mix there sometime about the same time.
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Chip and Andy
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Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2217
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 2009-07-22 09:04 am   Permalink

Fermented drinks have been around a very, very long time. As to the age of Oke.... how long have people been around Ti plants? Oke has been around just slightly less longer.

And a little fact to keep in mind when discussing humans and alcohol: Beer was invented a bit more than 5,000 years before soap. That speaks to where the priorities are for our species. Happy is better than clean.
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captnkirk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 06, 2002
Posts: 322
From: Hockessin, Delaware
Posted: 2009-07-22 11:49 am   Permalink

Don't confuse fermentation with distillation.

Fermentation is how we make beer and wine. It has been around at least 10000 years and will happen naturally to almost any liquid with sugars in sitting around.

Distillation is how we make oke, rum, vodka, etc. It was invented by Muslim chemists around the 8th century.

P.S. In a sad footnote to history the nations where alcohol was invented now consume less of it than any other place on earth.

[ This Message was edited by: captnkirk 2009-07-22 11:49 ]


 
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