FEATURES | MUSIC | BOOKS | DRINKS | FORUMS | GAMES | LINKS | ABOUT


advertise on Tiki Central

Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop
  [Edit Profile]  [Edit Preferences]  [Search] [Sign Up]
[Personal Messages]  [Member List]  [Help/FAQ]  [Rules]  [Login]
Tiki Central Forums Ľ Ľ Tiki Drinks and Food Ľ Ľ I want to make okolehao - need ti roots!
Goto page ( Previous Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 Next Page )
I want to make okolehao - need ti roots!
MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7340
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2009-07-22 1:05 pm   Permalink

Quote:
By the Sandwich Islanders, who arrived some years before, the natives had been taught to distill ardent spirits from the saccharine ti root, which they now practised to a great extent, and exhibited, in a proportionate degree, all the demoralizing and debasing influence of drunkenness. The baked ti root, Dracanae terminalis [sic], macerated in water, and already in a state of fermentation, was then put into the hollow stone, and covered with the unwieldy cap. The fire was kindled underneath; a hole was made in the wooden cap of the still, into which a long, small, bamboo cane, placed in a trough of cold water, was inserted at one end, and when the process of distillation was commenced, the spirit from the other flowed into a calabash, cocoanut
shell, or other vessel, placed underneath to receive it (Ellis, 1829, p. 229).



_________________
When you hurry through life, you just get to the end faster.
Pirate Ship Tree House

 View Profile of MadDogMike Send a personal message to MadDogMike  Goto the website of MadDogMike     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Okolehao
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 234
From: Monterey, CA
Posted: 2010-03-13 9:23 pm   Permalink

Almost there! I finally found someone who got some of da roots for me, mon. My contact sent me some photos of them freshly harvested on Oahu from a Ti nursury with 12 year old plants they want to pull out for some new plantings.



Hairy beasts, aren't they? She said they're a bitch to clean because they tangle themselves tightly with the dirt and rocks. They're going to be baked before being sent to me. ummm-ummm good!

_________________

Classic Velvets
by Song Shen


 
View Profile of Okolehao Send a personal message to Okolehao  Goto the website of Okolehao     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Okolehao
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 234
From: Monterey, CA
Posted: 2010-05-09 12:55 pm   Permalink

I did it!!! I made okolehao!!! Hallelujah!
After all this research including working with the University of Hawaii, multiple contacts with everyone from commercial nurseries to craigslist flakes, the Hawaiian and Californian agricultural departments, ti plant clubs as far away as New Zealand, with ebay money and time spent obtaining new and old bottles of oko, getting advise from a master tiki drink mixolgist I won't name, and even buying my own water purifier to 'off label' use as a still, I FINALLY made frikin' okolehao!
Can somebody say 'Amen brother'??? But . . . . . . . . . . . what I've made (*sigh*) tastes pretty bad. Like sake gone bad. The first glass was maybe 180 prof, had no taste, and made my eyes bug out, but as the rest distilled out the flavor came thru and it was a real disappointment. I attribute it to a recipe that may not be right, using the wrong kind of yeast, not having enough experience with brewing, and very definitely not having any aging. I'm learning it's a real art to making any kind of good hooch. But this is not my last attempt so pray for me that I can get something palatable. What a journey.

Okole Maluna!



_________________

Classic Velvets
by Song Shen


 
View Profile of Okolehao Send a personal message to Okolehao  Goto the website of Okolehao     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7340
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2010-05-09 1:42 pm   Permalink

Amen brother!!!

Quote:

On 2007-07-22 22:48, Okolehao wrote:
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?



3 years in the making!!! Sorry it wasn't all you hoped but sounds like you're ready to give it another shot, good luck!


 
View Profile of MadDogMike Send a personal message to MadDogMike  Goto the website of MadDogMike     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5050
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2010-05-10 09:42 am   Permalink

Well, it's sort of the dirty little secret I think. Not of oke, but most all liquor. it all starts exactly the same. You take some sugary stuff and heat it to get the alcohol to distill off. What comes out is 180 proof pure alcohol that is pretty much PGA.

Then to make it into something else, be it rum, scotch, oke or whatever, you do a few things like add flavorings, but mostly you blend it with other stuff and put it in a barrel. After a few years in the right barrel, you have either rum or bourbon or whatever.

My guess is that oke was started with breadfruit or some other mash, then they maybe used the ti root to flavor it when they put it in old bourbon barrels to age. Dunno. It may well have just been old rot gut hooch!
_________________

Announcing Swank Pad and Crazy Al's Molokai Maiden!


 View Profile of Swanky Send a personal message to Swanky  Email Swanky Goto the website of Swanky     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
captnkirk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 06, 2002
Posts: 322
From: Hockessin, Delaware
Posted: 2010-05-11 05:04 am   Permalink

Your problem may be the still. The distillation path in the water purifier maybe so short that your getting to much cooked mash flavor up into your product. If you make it too long your product will taste like vodka. You have to find the perfect balance.

My second suggestion is see what it tastes like after you age it. If a little aging helps, then a long period of aging may drastically improve the flavor.

Then again I didn't taste it. Good luck with your effort.


 
View Profile of captnkirk Send a personal message to captnkirk  Goto the website of captnkirk     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Okolehao
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 234
From: Monterey, CA
Posted: 2010-05-11 09:22 am   Permalink

I've also had a few cooked and pealed sticks of ti root in a bottle of whiskey for about a month and the scent and some of the flavor is definitely coming out. That smoky vanilla smell. I'm becoming more convinced that the oko that was marketed back in the day was made this way. Commercial brewers may have distilled some ti root to call it real okolehao but they probably added more flavor buy steeping the roots after the fact. Maybe they barrel aged it too but I know you can add flavoring to give booze a bourbon taste. I don't know. Do you think a company like Hawaiian Distillers, which sold mostly to tourists, would put that much effort into it all? The real old time moonshiners goal was to get as much alochol out of their mash as possible and good taste, while preferred, was not 1st on their list. What are your your guy's feelings about it.

 
View Profile of Okolehao Send a personal message to Okolehao  Goto the website of Okolehao     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5050
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2010-05-11 10:00 am   Permalink

What I was told by Kimo at Maui Distillers is that what they used to sell as oke to tourists was just brandy or bourbon.

I live in moonshine country and have had various mason jars fo the stuff. Mostly it is clear and is liitle more than a form of PGA. Strong and tasteless. I have had brown moonshine and it is from an aging barrel. Probably discarded Jack barrels.

I think the distilling is not where the taste comes from. And ti root is probably not very sweet is it? So, sugars, which drive distillation are not coming from the ti. So, if it's the Ti taste, it must come afterwards, as you say, steeping. If that is the way, then start with vodka and Ti root and then maybe put it in a barrel too. You can buy small barrels for this on Ebay and elsewhere.

I applaud your efforts!
_________________

Announcing Swank Pad and Crazy Al's Molokai Maiden!


 View Profile of Swanky Send a personal message to Swanky  Email Swanky Goto the website of Swanky     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Okolehao
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 234
From: Monterey, CA
Posted: 2010-06-05 8:43 pm   Permalink

Well I tried another batch using a tubo yeast made expressly for getting a high alcohol content. I made a 2 liter mash using a lot more ti root, brown sugar, rice, and a store bought can of concentrated frozen pineapple/coconut juice. I distilled it and got about a cup of eye watering, very strong white lightening again which trailed off to a couple cups of something more drinkable. It has a green plant sort of taste with a touch of sourness. It still doesnít taste anything like okolehao though. Thereís none of that vanilla taste and smell to it. I can see that if you aged the stuff itíd be a pretty interesting drink. Maybe something like a strange jungle tasting (literally) infused vodka. And maybe thatís what authentic okolehao made by moonshiners was. All the stories about it were that it was nothing like anybody had ever tasted. I've never tasted anything like this!

Iím absolutely convinced now that what was commercially sold had to have been an infusion of the root. The taste is there if you do it that way and it takes a lot less of the root for the process.

I'm going to try a new approach and come up with an infusion recipe of the root with other fruits and herbs. The root itself doesnít have a flavor that seems that complicated. Just sort of vanilla-ish. There has to be more things in what we think of as okolehao. An infusion would also be easier if I use quality liquor as a base rather than me trying to come up with something from scratch. I've heard, read and been told that whiskeys like Makers Mark, Knob Creek, and Rebel Yell (which reviewers say has a medicinal taste to it, like oke)are a good place to start. My mixologist advises also mixing good brandy in with them to get an approximate okolehao taste.

Any suggestions for ingredients besides ti root as part of the infusion?

[ This Message was edited by: Okolehao 2010-06-05 20:45 ]


 
View Profile of Okolehao Send a personal message to Okolehao  Goto the website of Okolehao     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7340
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2010-06-07 12:10 pm   Permalink

I don't know anythiong about Oke but I admire your perserverance
_________________
When you hurry through life, you just get to the end faster.
Pirate Ship Tree House

 View Profile of MadDogMike Send a personal message to MadDogMike  Goto the website of MadDogMike     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Sparkle Mark
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 05, 2004
Posts: 301
From: Porter Ranch, CA
Posted: 2010-06-07 1:53 pm   Permalink

Some vanilla flavors can be added from being aged in charred barrels.
Throwing a vanilla bean into the boozey stuff along with a piece of ti root wouldn't hurt.


 
View Profile of Sparkle Mark Send a personal message to Sparkle Mark  Goto the website of Sparkle Mark     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
mrdistiller
Member

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 4
Posted: 2010-06-13 9:54 pm   Permalink

Been a while since I've been here and I'm glad to see things progressing.
I believe your troubles with obtaining a drinkable okolehao stem from a couple things. Your distilling apparatus is, as you know, far from ideal. What you're using is best suited to making bad vodka. There are plans and operating instructions online for very simple and cheap stills with copper tubing which work very well. Obviously experimenting with your mash recipe will help a bit. But you should be able to obtain very drinkable spirit without aging.
As far as the ti root infusion goes, that is certainly doable, but most certainly not the way any commercial producer would have used. It is far too labor and time intensive. Distilling is actually quite easy, and a commercial distillery which already has all the necessary equipment and technique would rather add flavorings to the distillate rather than mess with maceration/infusion. The flavorings would be extracts, sherry, etc.
This really goes to the heart of what you want: to make a traditional okolehao in a traditional way, or make something that tastes like an old okolehao tastes. On the one hand, keep distilling, on the other hand, experiment with infusions of rum and whiskey. You may try adding some oak sticks to simulate barrel aging. That actually works quite well, but can quickly add too much wood flavor so be careful of the quantity and time. kamau ki`aha

[ This Message was edited by: mrdistiller 2010-06-13 21:57 ]

[ This Message was edited by: mrdistiller 2010-06-13 22:00 ]


 
View Profile of mrdistiller Send a personal message to mrdistiller      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Okolehao
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 234
From: Monterey, CA
Posted: 2010-06-15 08:53 am   Permalink

Ahhh
A real home distiller has shown up! I'm really glad you're here. I'm a lurker on a couple distilling sites. I know the criticism of the still I use. Another T.I. friend has a copper stove top still that we were using but it blew a gasket and has been out of order. I went ahead and got mine so I could try lots of batches quickly.

Actually, I like the liquor I made a lot better now. I put it thru an activated charcoal filter and cleaned up the taste nicely. I'm in the process of getting some medium char french oak sticks to do some aging. I'm told the kind I'm getting imparts a nice vanilla flavor with some fruit overtones. I think it's going to get closer to the taste I'm looking for.

I've got some commercial liquor essences that I may experiment with to add some whiskey and brandy flavoring. I think I'm going to eventually get something pretty good. But I'm wondering what the magic ingredients, other than ti root, went into the commercial oke of old. I'm not convinced they actually distilled the root unless it was only a token amount. It's just too hard to find the stuff to do something like a 25% proportion my recipe calls for. Someone out there must know what the commercial recipes were. I wish I could find them.
_________________

Classic Velvets
by Song Shen


 
View Profile of Okolehao Send a personal message to Okolehao  Goto the website of Okolehao     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5050
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2010-06-15 09:20 am   Permalink

We're all counting on you. Keep us posted!

 
View Profile of Swanky Send a personal message to Swanky  Email Swanky Goto the website of Swanky     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Okolehao
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 234
From: Monterey, CA
Posted: 2010-06-16 08:18 am   Permalink

I pulled this from a recent post by CincyTikiCraig on another Oke thread I started long ago:
Posted: Yesterday; 10:15 pm

"I have read in Da Bum's latest tome that he now recommends Rye Whiskey as a better substitute for Okolehao than Bourbon, which was the go-to sub in his previous book. Any opinions on using Rye??"

My response:
"Holy Mackerel! Rye Whiskey!! Which book? I've got a commercial micro-distiller in my town that does boutique rye. I was going to work with him on bourbon but he already makes an incredible rye. 'Fog's End Monterey Rye'."

Wow - can somebody chime in on this?
_________________

Classic Velvets
by Song Shen


 
View Profile of Okolehao Send a personal message to Okolehao  Goto the website of Okolehao     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Goto page ( Previous Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 Next Page )
U-Moderate:
  
v1.5

[ About Tiki Central | Contact Tiki Central | Advertise on Tiki Central ]
(c) 2000-2014 Tikiroom.com (tm), Tiki Central (tm)

Credits & copyright infomation