Hack a Day
Fresh hacks every day
Here is a little something for your Memorial Day. My mouth began to water when this link first showed up. I clicked it and then
I can confirm that the vodka thing works. Although you can do a few 1.75L bottles with each filter, I needed a less involved method. I don’t feel like running 1.75L through a filter 7 times.
I got one of those large fountain drink containers (3 Gallons or so) on a plastic stand with the spout on the front to hold the liquor in. Brita filters are filled with activated carbon. You can buy ALOT of it for cheap at a pet supply store (used for fish tanks). I filled a 5 foot long, 1″ diameter plastic tube with the activated carbon. It was coiled to fit in the container. The vodka will pass through this long tube and be filtered.
Next, I took a small water pump used for little fountains and such and suctioned it to the bottom of the container. Connected it to one end of the activated carbon pipe. Cut the lid of the container a bit to elegantly run the power cable out to an outlet.
Fill with vodka, plug in the pump, set it AND FORGET IT!
If I have 3L in there, running it for 4-5 hours does the trick. Rebottle and stick in the freezer for later use :]
I thru out a dozen cases of Opencola last month. I shoulda made Opencolasicles instead :(
Food hacks? Funny. These guys are really broadening their horizons.
Where is the Guinness ‘hack’? No real link, only to Photobucket’s root sign in page.
Can we get the same effect by pouring the guiness into an aluminum cup before freezing? nice hack :)
The vodka-brita-filter thing is so bogus. Sure, it will change the taste, but if you think it’s becoming more pure, you’re just being silly.
who care’s if it’s more pure… it tastes better, and anything that makes cheep taste better without a big investment is cool with me. We used to do this at college for a lark.
I used to want to get into home distillation (thought better about it when I considered the risks of blowing up my apartment), the brita filter should do a bit.
If I remember right, carbon filtering helps take out the flavoring from the “heads” and “tails” of the distillation process.
But there is something to be said for that special taste that reminds me “I’m drinking a 4 dollar bottle of vodka.”
Now I can stomach the dismembering of a commodore or game console, but defiling a perfectly good Guinness like that….
Pictures not coming up. Could Hack-A-Day start making use of Coral Cache? http://www.coralcdn.org/
another food hack:
Jack Daniel’s is charcol filtered. It’s not a new concept.
PS – Are the pics still broken??
um…food hacks=food preparation=cooking?
I’d like to clear a few things up. My credentials on this subject come from the fact that I am a homebrewer of beer and a home distiller of whiskey (yes, it’s illegal)
Filtering vodka will make it more pure. Some esters and fusel oils created as a fermentation byproduct end up in the final product. Cheaper vodka is cheaper because they don’t take the care to leave these out. They will get filtered out in activated charcoal.
All whiskey is “filtered” with activated charcoal because the barrels they are aged in are charred and then steamed before filling, therefore, they have a layer of activated charcoal.
Guiness is, in fact, lighter in body than most craft beers (not Dudweiser or Swiller Lite). If you’ve ever had a Black and Tan, you know that the Guiness floats on top of the pale ale because its lighter.
“Image hosted by photobucket.com” still…
It just seemed odd to me so many people are amazed charcol filtering of “cheap” vodka makes it smoother. Just means cheap vodka skips a step of the process many other distillates follow religiously. Hence “cheap vodka”.
PS – Jack Daniel’s is charcol filtered before barreling. Gentleman Jack before and after. Charring of the barrel is really meant to create a carmel layer which gives the whiskey its color… Or so the tour guides told us…
I did this last night – I filtered $7/750mL “Prestige” vodka, and compared blind against Skyy vodka at $14/750mL. I also compared blind against unfiltered Prestige vodka. The cheap stuff was run through the Brita one time only.
The goal was, between myself and another taste tester, to just give comments on the 3 vodkas, and sort them in the order we A) like them and B) what we guessed they were of the 3 possibilities.
Collected Data: We both sorted the filtred cheap vodka as the smoothest and best. I was able to distinguish the two unfiltered vodkas, and the other gentelman was not. I placed the Skyy as the worst, and the Prestige as the 2nd worst.
Conclusion: The filter definitely changes the taste of the vodka to be less vodka-ey. It still remains unknown if the Brita filter reduces the amount of alcohol – if someone knows how to test this, please do it.
You could use a hydrometer to measure the amount of alcohol left in the vodka… you can get them at most winemaking shops. It’s basically a big glass tube with lead at the bottom that measures the density. If it takes a while to go through the brita filter you might want to get a wine thief as well so that you don’t need to filter as much.
I’d do this myself, but I’m underage
I’m not sure how it could lessen the amount of alcohol. Where would it go?
I suppose if you ran 151 through a filter a number of times, you could tell if it reduced the amount of alcohol by attempting to light it on fire afterwards. Perhaps slash could test how long it takes the filter to run in order to reduce the alcohol level. Or would it have the opposite effect of increasing the level of alcohol?
Another note, how many times can you use the filter before it goes bad and you need to replace it?
to determine alcohol content:
Try try measuring the specifig gravity with hydrometer – Available at any home-brewing supply store… should be less than $20.
For those interested in this.
To get the proof you could just do it the old fashion way. Set it on fire and compare what’s left with what you had originally. This is how it was done back in the day I’m told.
my dad makes his own wine. I will test this by using the alcohol measuring device he uses. being a vodka drinker, i am curious as to see how the cheap and good stuff is after filtering.
Bleh, my retraction didn’t post. I didn’t realise that the link i was posting was the original link. Ignore me.
I distill quite a large amount of alcohol, (check out http://homedistiller.org/ to see how its done) A pretty cheap and easy valved refulx still can be made for less than $60 and make a whollatta hooch. Anyway, my point is that in distillers lingo, charcoal filtering is called “carbon polishing” a process that removes most any of the fusal oils, benzines, esters etc. (read: flavors – good or bad)
I presume that eventually, if you carbon polish vodka enough, that you will end up with only ethanol and water.
There is a great ebook -
(pdf, sheeshe I know…) that goes into details about carbon… loads of information on polishing in general here:
if im not mistaken, brita filters are activated carbon. if you want 200 proof you take 190 proof (the highest possible from distillation, give or take a bit) and run it thru activated carbon. that gets rid of the last bit of water. so, if anything the proof would go up not down, if brita filterss are infact activated carbon. itis also dependent on how saturated the carbon is. it can only absorb so much water.
works! definately… the less fusel oils in my alcohol the better… less fusel oils, less hangover.
the only alcohol loss will be via evaporation.
The filter will definitely NOT take out any alcohol. As stated previously, the filters are carbon. Note that one standard brita filter can only do about 3 to 5 gallons of vodka before its time to change.
I’ve been doing this for a couple of years while in college. Buy a half-gallon of cheap liquor for $12. Filter it 5 times and you’ve got smooth vodka. It’s great. If you’re feeling innovative you can use some PVC pipe and connect five filters together in series and get all the filtration done in one shot, just don’t forget to run water through the filters beforehand.
I’ve heard that it increasses the alchohol content, not decrease. And while I don’t drink and don’t know anyone who has done it, I have heard that it was an easy way to make cheap stuff into good expencive stuff.
mooga, conservation of matter tells us that if the alcohol content of the vodka in question were to increase through active carbon filtering, then it must come from an external source. that is, unless, you were making a statement describing the relative increase in alcohol with respect to the hypothetical increase of total ethanol/filtered substance as the volume displacement of the filtered impurities are accounted. This increase would be infinitesimal…making you an idiot. on a side note, if alcohol (ethanol) is said to have a freezing point of -114.1 C
filtering vodka will improve the taste but cannot increase the alcohol it just takes out foreshots (fussel oils) to make any cheap wine vodka or anything to high powered shit try this
1- put a short wide glass in the center of a deep pot
2- pour the cheap stuff around the center glass
3- fill a wok with ice and place it on top of your pot for a tight fit
4- heat the mixture on low heat for 20 miniutes
remove the wok and enjoy the glass of pure stuff
this method does not add anything just takes out the water and reduces the whole bottle to 1 glass
YOU CAN MAKE SOME GOOD STUFF IN ABOUT 10 DAYS EASY
POUR 1 QT BOTTLE OF CORN SYRUP IN A GALLON WATER/MILK JUG FILL 7/8 FULL OF WARM WATER
START A PACK OF DRY YEAST IN A CUP OF WATER WITH 2 TSP OF SUGAR -WHEN THE YEAST GETS STARTED BUBBLING AND GROWING POUR IT IN THE MILK JUG CAP THE JUG AND USING A NAIL POKE A FEW HOLES IN THE LID STORE FOR 7DAYS IN A WARM AREA 75-90 DEGREES THEN PUT THIS IN THE ABOVE WOK METHOD AND DONT SMOKE AFTER DRINKING THIS
The process you described wouldn’t work, nate. The water would evaporate as well and as soon as the vapor hits the chilled wok, it too would condense and run down and drip into the cup. This sort of thing distills water, not alcohol.
sure it will work. you just have to take off the heat before the water starts to evaporate en masse.
as long as there’s still a decent quantity of ethanol in the pot, the liquid in the pot will stay at 78
Better yet, just Prestige vodka by the gallon, and don’t look at the label
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