The life and times of ... distracted_at_work

Where are you and where are you going?
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distracted_at_work
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Re: The life and times of ... distracted_at_work

Post by distracted_at_work » Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:01 pm

Jake9870 wrote:
Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:30 am
How's your Spanish? Do the locals speak English well? Are there a ton of mosquitoes/ aggravating insects? I've heard Nicaragua is a great blend of security / cheap living for Central/South America.
It's good for a Canadian! I choose to study Spanish rather than the government-recommended French and have never regretted that decision. They do not speak English well so it has been invaluable to at least understand everything they say, even if I cannot always reply adequately.

Not many mosquitoes. Just this week I had my first bites. I am here at the end of dry season, however. I'm sure that changes when the rain comes. I've also encountered spiders/scorpions the size of my head while sleeping outside. Perfectly friendly if you do not disturb.

I've traveled a decent amount of the backpacker trail in my short life. I would put Nicaragua as my top destination. Safe, cheap, locals are extremely friendly, good surfing beaches, not touristy beyond other hippy backpackers. Close to North America. This place is about to explode into tourism I reckon so check it out while you can.
SustainableHappiness wrote:
Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:12 pm
Now I just get the occasional work trip to Calgary, but for some reason none of my bosses have every sent me out there during the stampede. Stupid work calendars.
It is the weirdest place to live. High salary, lowest taxes in the country and low cost of living, relatively. Yet, everyone blows money on giant homes, pickup trucks, drugs, snowmobiles, atvs, speedboats... you name the poison. Fantastic place to get ahead if you can ignore the distractions.

Open invitation for anyone to stay with me during Stampede Week! For better or worse, it's a paid week of vacation where you wear cowboy boots, hats, jeans etc and start boozing at 7 AM, if it's a corporate function. I could tell stories for quite a while about my Stampedes. If you do not know what you are doing or do not have a corporation sponsoring it, it is probably the least-ERE event out there. $9 beers, high cover charges, everywhere jacks up rates etc.

Last year I was fortunate enough, through contacts I had made, to get the opportunity to volunteer at the rodeo barns. I served food (steak and lobster) to the rich and famous of Calgary/Canada while taking advantage of a top shelf liqour open bar. Usually, I managed to get invited out to all the after-parties that went till god-know-when in the morning and still made it to work the next day to do it again. That is what stampede is about. Fucking beats smuggling plastic bagged whisky in my cowboy boots through security.
Jason wrote:
Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:35 pm
Well you haven't mentioned loss of limb so that's good. But food poisoning on Good Friday? Damn. Did you check to see if your wrists were bleeding?
I seriously didn't leave bed until Easter Sunday. Trust me the comparisons were made. Other than losing a limb, everything that could have gone wrong this trip kinda has. It's all in one's attitude so I don't really mind. That being said... had someone told me it was all attitude while I was curled up wishing for death on Good Friday, I probably would have tried to kill them.

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Re: The life and times of ... distracted_at_work

Post by distracted_at_work » Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:03 pm

Life is a changing

I'm spending one last night in a lazy hostel in Costa Rica before boarding a plane back into snow. Please excuse the essay that is about to take place but I don't often get so much time to engage the forum.

Moving into the party house

It hath been decided. I'm putting my ERE-money where my mouth is. I haven't worked out all the details but my rent will be going down by at least $150/month. The downside? I'll be living in a double-sized mattress bunk-bed. Should be fine. The lease is up in August so I'll have the option to move again should I desire. The house is an absolute castle compared to the apartment I am in now.

I exaggerate slightly when I say party house. All the guys are engineers and I'm sure are very professional.... wait maybe I'm not exaggerating.

If I stay the winter I will get to learn to snow bike which is exciting! I think I saw Pedal2Pedal using zip-ties on his tires? That's something I will certainly try.

Should I drop everything and be a ski-bum/traveler

I don't think so. The YOLO thread has sorted my head out quite a bit and I'm very grateful for that.
I present a list of pros/cons of dropping it all and leaving for low expenses low income in faraway lands:

Pros:
-Adventurous, exciting.
-Growth as a person in certain ways.
-Time to read.
-Learn about new cultures, languages.
-Sex, drugs, rock and roll

Cons:
-Difficult to cook for myself.
-To spare details, consistently using the washroom due to accidental gluten intake.
-Not contributing to society or community or humanity. Not building something original.
-Lose momentum in career, which has been going quite well not considering that I don't really like the work.
-Risky, financially.
-Often hot.
-Delays Canadian FI. I don't think I could live abroad forever as of right now. Moves "reality" to a later date.
-Need to stop drinking due to budgetary reasons. Can't bring homebrew equipment on road.
-Can still have fun micro-adventures (thanks for the word olaz) such as my ski guide job on winter weekends or long multi-day hikes while working full time.
-Sti's, overdoses and loss of hearing.

If I ever get fired, all bets are off. I'll be taking another hard hard look at alternative lifestyles. Van living or low cost international traveling are the first things that come to mind. Finding a job in the U.S.A is the second.

Should I drop everything and buy a Hostel?

I'm sitting in a hammock last night and a thought enters my mind about this cool hostel I stayed at last year in B.C. Part of the inspiration to write this post came because an unrelated thought had me check the commercial real estate in this town. Lo and behold this hostel is for sale. $700K. Guy had rock solid bookings for $15/night dorms not to mention private rooms. Even made me gluten-free waffles every morning that I stayed there as part of the price. Dam does part of me want to buy it, live in this place and run the hostel. Working in a rain forest paradise every day. Surfing. Meeting people from around the world. Everywhere being in walking/biking distance. Everything about it would be a ton of fun.

It's a dream but a nice dream. I still think I want to build up my NW to ~FI before jumping into a full-time project.

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Re: The life and times of ... distracted_at_work

Post by Cornerman » Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:38 am

I would not go for the hostel option, work will never stop, all year round and not easy to sell on if you want to change again.

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Re: The life and times of ... distracted_at_work

Post by thrifty++ » Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:48 am

Interesting move to stay in a bunk bed. Dont think I could handle living in a shared room while working a professional job. Its ok while bumming around and travelling but when doing intense work I need more privacy to relax. I draw the line at having my own room in a shared flat. Good for you taking things to the next level in true ERE style. Will it result in a huge cost saving?

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Re: The life and times of ... distracted_at_work

Post by Dragline » Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:55 am

Yeah, owning a hostel sounds like an endless life of cleaning, restocking and repairs and no way to really take time off unless you have trusted partners. The people that do best in those situations always seem to be married/partnered with someone with a similar mindset and/or have some family around. Or just pay someone to manage it for them.

You've done a good job at maximizing current optionality. That's probably the best thing right now.

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Re: The life and times of ... distracted_at_work

Post by distracted_at_work » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:32 am

I think the hostel would be a blast with a wife to help run it. However, a value-priced AirBnB would be easier to turn on/off.
I'm going to put that idea on the shelf for now.

@Thrifty++ Sloppy writing on my part. I'm the only one staying in the bunk-bed. That too would be my line drawn while working. I thought it was a bit ridiculous for an adult to be sleeping in a bunk-bed and wanted to share was all :D I'll have to take a picture. It's a bunkbed with a double bed on the bottom, single on top + dresser in this tiny guest bedroom of a large house. Should save ~10% off my current expenses, still need to work out some details with roommates.

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Re: The life and times of ... distracted_at_work

Post by Jason » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:59 am

I'm not sure exactly what a hostel is, but if it's the European equivalent of the American Inn, I have never seen anyone go in and not eventually regret it.

I believe that is why they are now corporately owned now and hire and train inn keepers.

The dream of that lifestyle ultimately reduces to the reality of drudgery and annoying patrons.

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Re: The life and times of ... distracted_at_work

Post by YoungAndWise » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:37 am

Eh as someone who has been to hostels, it probably is not going to be fun managing one.

Too many variables and too much work.

I agree with dragline; continue on your current path.

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Re: The life and times of ... distracted_at_work

Post by CS » Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:42 pm

I'm confused on your Gluten-Free beer recipe. Malt Barley (and Barley) have gluten in them. How can this be gluten free?

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Re: The life and times of ... distracted_at_work

Post by distracted_at_work » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:10 pm

@CS. It's a grey area. Omission uses the same process that I do to remove the gluten. The key is this clarity ferm. I haven't tested the beer using a kit but it has worked out fine on my celiac body. I'm confident it's under 20 ppm. I'll buy a kit and test my next batch if you want.

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Re: The life and times of ... distracted_at_work

Post by jennypenny » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:31 pm

@distracted -- You're lucky you can tolerate malt barley that's been processed. I'm a celiac and can't tolerate any of those types of beers including Omission and Daura. I have to stick with sorghum beers like Redbridge and New Grist.

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Re: The life and times of ... distracted_at_work

Post by distracted_at_work » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:51 pm

@jennypenny I wonder if it's due to having it caught so early on in life? I think I was 10 when I had my endoscope/diagnosis.

I've brewed sorghum beers as well and can post the best recipe I managed if you are interested.

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Re: The life and times of ... distracted_at_work

Post by Jake9870 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:48 am

I also have a dream of owning a hostel. That started back last year when I was bumming around Croatia. I love the idea, but without settling down for awhile it's Not feasible. A good AirBNB would be a great middle ground. That's where I want to be at.

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Re: The life and times of ... distracted_at_work

Post by distracted_at_work » Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:04 am

What is going on

My old boss called and met with me this morning and offered me a job. Details to be worked out but would be increase in base pay of 20K-30K, full benefits, RRSP matching, ........................ can't write a full post on it right now.

Edit (May 2nd):

I have the offer in hand. My base pay would be mildly increased to $82.5K. I took 5 weeks off last year and made $78.5K total, for comparison. I'd join a quarterly bonus pool that my, trusted, old boss assures says puts me into the 100K's annually. The caveat being that our division needs to be doing well. I'd be eligible for RRSP matching following a probationary period. I'd be eligible for benefits immediately as they would wave that probation (I'd get to go to the dentist, yay). 3 weeks paid vacation. Transit allowance. Cell plan. I'd be moving from an hourly wage to a salaried position. This role would be half-sales, half-technical. I'd still be able to get my professional license. They want me to start asap.

The two pathways before me offer wildly, wildly, different careers.

I could stick with what I'm doing which, honestly, isn't much. It's probably a matter of time until someone realizes. The growth in this role would be into a specific type of highly technical work that I've had a taste of and do not like. I'd continue to bill hours and take 5 weeks off a year unpaid. I may get benefits within in the next three months but nothing has been stated concretely. The new company that we merged into reminds me a bit of Dilbert cartoon.

The other role would be sales, marketing (client ski trips woo), presentations and analysis. I'd be working, once again, with a very small team (less than 10 people), including the best manager I've ever worked for. The only reservation would be that I do not see a career as a highly respected engineer with tons of education and letters behind my name in this role. Not something I want, but I think moving now would close that door, if not forever, for a long time. I think the new job would take advantage of my soft skills better than my current.

I'm leaning towards taking the new job and need to decide at the end of the week.

In the meantime, this weekend I moved into the bunkbed and it's actually really nice. No more street noise and I get to sleep in total darkness.
My stuff fits into ~5 carloads, one of those being an SUV load. I think that's a healthy number of possessions.
I'm biking into work again and the morning cardio is glorious.

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Re: The life and times of ... distracted_at_work

Post by James_0011 » Wed May 03, 2017 10:35 am

Five carloads?

May I ask what you own? that seems like a lot to me. Also, I wanted to mention - have you considered buying an online business? It would be a good way to be location independent, without the hassle of starting a business up.

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Re: The life and times of ... distracted_at_work

Post by distracted_at_work » Wed May 03, 2017 12:06 pm

James_0011 wrote:
Wed May 03, 2017 10:35 am
May I ask what you own? that seems like a lot to me. Also, I wanted to mention - have you considered buying an online business? It would be a good way to be location independent, without the hassle of starting a business up.
You may. To save me from listing out every possession, here was what took up the most room.*

-Homebuilt computer and associated boxes I lug around
-The bedspread. Winter is cold and my quilt is large.
-The furniture. Desk. Chair. Filing cabinet.
-Hockey equipment. Skis. Ski boots etc.
-Camping gear.
-Homebrew equipment.
-Enough kitchen supplies for 1-2 people.
-Large quantities (bless Costco) of food.
-Metric fuck ton of clothes; look out goodwill. Working on this.
-Books, textbooks and games (one bin but worth mentioning) and university mementos.
-Edit. Forgot the keyboard.

I had not considered buying one but I like the thought. It'd have to be the right business, of course. I could see myself transitioning into that as I move into ERE mode. Would be a good way to diversify assets and generate income. Have you put any thought/work into one?

Funny you bring that up right now. My new roommates are working on an online software development business themselves. I think they are using evenings to interview for the first new employee this week, in fact. Lots of exciting things going on.

*Important to note, I moved 10 minutes away so I wasn't quite playing Tetris when packing the car.

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Re: The life and times of ... distracted_at_work

Post by distracted_at_work » Wed May 31, 2017 1:40 pm

Trying not to make these posts super personal...

But that's hard.

It's, honestly, boring to write about the financial side. I save over 60% of my income all the time. Some months I save over 70%. Yearly net-worth updates are plenty. I'm trying to have more months where I save over 70% and less where I save over 60%. We've all read the blog and are here for the same reason. This isn't rocket science any more. I'm sticking around to figure out the life side which I think falls into the philosophy part of the ERE tagline.

Go read this post for an idea of how I spend my free time.

Had a fairly different weekend that's just too dam personal to talk about anonymously but I need to throw something out there. It involved people close to me and impending death and what happens when you don't prepare for that. The death of, not only yourself, but those close to you. It has reaffirmed my desire to do something interesting with my life. I cannot have another day where I go sit uselessly at the computer in an office pretending to work. I just can't. Life is too short.

On a cheerier note... I discovered PFJerk on reddit late last night and I have not laughed so hard in ages. You need to occasionally browse the personal finance section of reddit for any of the jokes to make sense.

Other

-So close to six figures nw, so very close.
-I think this is the best time to start a business and I've decided to go down this life path. I'm already committed to spending my twenties working so I may as well double down on it and do something cool. It's most likely going to be a brewery. The numbers make sense, the demand is here, I have access to the capital I need. I can do it. Right now my focus is on finishing the b-plan, interviewing potential partners and getting first-hand commercial brewing experience.
-I have goals for after the brewery. Vandwell ala C40. Live in Spain, or somewhere in S.A, for a number of years to truly become fluent in Spanish. If married, start a family? Start teaching myself trades to build my dream homestead.
-The new job is dope. The team is amazing, the work is interesting. I'm learning again. I'm engaged with the work. Hell ya.

-Should be a great summer.
Last edited by distracted_at_work on Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The life and times of ... distracted_at_work

Post by SustainableHappiness » Thu Jun 01, 2017 7:13 pm

-Booze. New roommates are heavy drinkers and that rubs off on me. ... If married, start a family?
Ya, get a pregnant partner, although you'll then be drinking for two, you have a sober partner to convince you the White Russians at 3am may be a bad idea (from experience). Just kidding...but seriously...

Kudos, focusing on homebrewing as a skill seems like a good idea for the extroverted ERE social drinkers, we've debated testing out some wine. Another useful skill for drinkers and eaters a like, pickling. I've begun it this year for the first time, it's interesting and intriguing to try new recipes (a la homebrew), plus it'll allow me to make some seriously wicked caesars with all the fixins this summer.

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Re: The life and times of ... distracted_at_work

Post by CS » Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:55 am

distracted_at_work wrote:
Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:10 pm
@CS. It's a grey area. Omission uses the same process that I do to remove the gluten. The key is this clarity ferm. I haven't tested the beer using a kit but it has worked out fine on my celiac body. I'm confident it's under 20 ppm. I'll buy a kit and test my next batch if you want.
Oh no, don't test it for my sake. I can't drink Omission (got sick off it). I've actually come to hate the stuff because I'll go into a store and ask for Gluten free. The sales person will proudly show me Omission and I'll have to burst their bubble that it's not gluten free. It pisses me off it is taking the market share from actual good, truly gluten free beers. If you can, try Glutenberg (trendy cans), Greens, or best yet, Groundbreaker from Portland. Groundbreaker is a dedicated gluten free brewery, with a pub on premises. The beer is phenomenal. The food is even better. Nom.

There are also good African (or pretending to be African) beers. Found those in Wisconsin of all places.

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Re: The life and times of ... distracted_at_work

Post by distracted_at_work » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:39 am

CS wrote:
Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:55 am
Oh no, don't test it for my sake. I can't drink Omission (got sick off it). I've actually come to hate the stuff because I'll go into a store and ask for Gluten free. The sales person will proudly show me Omission and I'll have to burst their bubble that it's not gluten free. It pisses me off it is taking the market share from actual good, truly gluten free beers. If you can, try Glutenberg (trendy cans), Greens, or best yet, Groundbreaker from Portland. Groundbreaker is a dedicated gluten free brewery, with a pub on premises. The beer is phenomenal. The food is even better. Nom.

There are also good African (or pretending to be African) beers. Found those in Wisconsin of all places.
I ended up ordering some testing kits to satisfy my own curiosity. I'll post here what I find. Currently have four batches in development, a Lager, a IBA, a Brown and a Kolsch. Will test the darker beers as they have a heavier grain bill. I've all but given up on truly gluten-free beer brewing. Too difficult to source the sorghum/buckwheat not to mention brewing it. Sorry that I'll be contributing to the gluten-reduced beer :(

Glutenberg is one of my favorites. It used to be reasonable as a treat but the price has come up so much lately, I stopped drinking it. Never heard of Groundbreaker. Part of my brewery research has had a couple guys recommend I take a trip out to Portland as that is where most of the beer research and development is taking place. Never tried an African beer before, do you remember the brand?
SustainableHappiness wrote:
Thu Jun 01, 2017 7:13 pm
Kudos, focusing on homebrewing as a skill seems like a good idea for the extroverted ERE social drinkers, we've debated testing out some wine. Another useful skill for drinkers and eaters a like, pickling. I've begun it this year for the first time, it's interesting and intriguing to try new recipes (a la homebrew), plus it'll allow me to make some seriously wicked caesars with all the fixins this summer.
Love a good caesar! A white russian @ 3 AM does indeed seem like a poor choice. After this last weekend, however, I'm not one to comment about poor choices :lol: I highly recommend trying to homebrew! You can make some seriously wicked beer and save a ton of money doing so. Not to mention it's fun and makes you endearing to your friends.

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Re: The life and times of ... distracted_at_work

Post by TheRedHare » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:48 pm

Wow man it sounds like you've been having quite the adventure!
I've been wanting to do a travel abroad trip like that, but I'm a bit too focused on career stuff...maybe sometime next year.
Food poisoning must have been a bitch to go through, ugh, I can't imagine.....another reason why I don't really find the 'travel the world' idea appealing to me.
Congrats on the nearing 6 figures man, that's insane, and at only 24!

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Re: The life and times of ... distracted_at_work

Post by distracted_at_work » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:31 am

@Red. 8-)

Thanks man! Life has been wild ever since I joined this forum :lol:

Food poisoning was scary bad, I must say. Don't let that dissuade you from at least trying a trip abroad. Absolutely worth it. Seeing new cultures, meeting new people from all around the world, speaking different languages, eating new food, waking up and not having any plans ... it really is a ton of fun. I'd recommend you check out Isle de Ometepe, Nicaragua or Railay, Thailand. Those are the two places from my travels that have really stood out plus are cheap cheap cheap.

Congratulations to you on finding renters so quickly, I'll admit I was skeptical. I hope it continues to work out!

As a total aside, I've been dancing like a maniac to the new Arcade Fire song and I thought the forum goers would appreciate it.
Last edited by distracted_at_work on Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The life and times of ... distracted_at_work

Post by TheRedHare » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:44 am

distracted_at_work wrote:
Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:31 am
TheRedHare wrote:
Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:48 pm
Wow man it sounds like you've been having quite the adventure!
I've been wanting to do a travel abroad trip like that, but I'm a bit too focused on career stuff...maybe sometime next year.
Food poisoning must have been a bitch to go through, ugh, I can't imagine.....another reason why I don't really find the 'travel the world' idea appealing to me.
Congrats on the nearing 6 figures man, that's insane, and at only 24!
Thanks man! Life has been wild ever since I joined this forum :lol:

Food poisoning was scary bad, I must say. Don't let that dissuade you from at least trying a trip abroad. Absolutely worth it. Seeing new cultures, meeting new people from all around the world, speaking different languages, eating new food, waking up and not having any plans ... it really is a ton of fun. I'd recommend you check out Isle de Ometepe, Nicaragua or Railay, Thailand. Those are the two places from my travels that have really stood out plus are cheap cheap cheap.

Congratulations to you on finding renters so quickly, I'll admit I was skeptical. I hope it continues to work out!

As a total aside, I've been dancing like a maniac to the new Arcade Fire song and I thought the forum goers would appreciate it.
Just realized I was commenting on an old ass post of your's lol....must have been the booze last night.

The brewery idea sounds cool as hell. I don't know anything about the beer industry, but I have noticed there has been a pretty big beer craze these last couple years. I don't see myself taking it as far as you have, but I would be interested in learning how to make my own beer for cost savings- although I'm a Whiskey/Scotch guy....wonder if there is a way to make my own.

One thing I'm looking into is building my own garden in the backyard, now that I have a yard. My cousin has been working on his for the past couple of years, and now has an automatic irrigation system including a small aquaponic system he built himself. We're actually thinking of spinning it off as a business idea - custom built irrigation systems - we would build the software to monitor all the ph levels, oxygen, etc.

I've never heard of this band, they sound great!

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Re: The life and times of ... distracted_at_work

Post by jacob » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:54 am

TheRedHare wrote:
Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:44 am
I'm a Whiskey/Scotch guy....wonder if there is a way to make my own.
As far as I know, you can't make spirits legally for human consumption unless you get a ton of permits in order first. However, there are kits like this
https://www.amazon.com/Outlaw-Kit-Ameri ... B00HPSVVT4 ... where the alcohol is essentially something like vodka or everclear.

Then you just wait forever (years!). I've tasted some two-year old kit whiskey once. It was good but kinda "vague" compared to the standard 12yo ... and even compared to a cheap 7yo. However, it did have the whiskey taste.

PS: Pleeeeeease don't use the quote function to reply to an entire post. Just use @name ... Quoting is for quoting a limited number of sentences.

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Re: The life and times of ... distracted_at_work

Post by bryan » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:22 pm

https://www.reddit.com/r/firewater
http://homedistiller.org/forum
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zL3UHF5SlEU - Uganda's Moonshine Epidemic
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glQjCKAI4gA -
This is the Last Dam Run of Likker I'll Ever Make (full movie)

I wouldn't worry too much about the legality (for small amounts). Though I suppose it's good to know what to expect ;)

To make whiskey/scotch (or any other aged spirit.. some longer than others) means oak barrel ageing. Some folks resort to some alternative fast-ageing techniques (e.g. pressurized vessel w/ oak chips inside).

I would be more interested in making less known liquors that don't compete directly against 15yo scotch or 10yo bourbons. Best if you have some fruit (or anything that you can ferment and then distil) growing on your property already.

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