The Starting Strength Channel | podcast

Videos & Podcasts


Alcohol | Starting Strength Radio #73

Mark Rippetoe | September 11, 2020

https://youtu.be/xY6gQV9RLM4 transcript powered by Sonix—easily convert your video to text with Sonix.

https://youtu.be/xY6gQV9RLM4 was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best video automated transcription service in 2020. Our automated transcription algorithms works with many of the popular video file formats.

Mark Rippetoe:
This stuff is whiskey.

Mark Wulfe:
From the Aasgaard Company Studios in beautiful Wichita Falls, Texas... From the finest mind in the modern fitness industry... The one true voice in the strength and conditioning profession... The most important podcast on the internet... Ladies and gentlemen! Starting Strength Radio.

Mark Rippetoe:
Good evening and welcome to Tucker Carlson tonight. Oh, wait, wrong show.

Mark Rippetoe:
Welcome back to Starting Strength Radio. It's Friday. So we're drinking. Well, we're not drinking yet, but we do drink. And what we're going to talk about this week is alcohol. Everybody's favorite thing, alcohol.

Mark Rippetoe:
Those of you who don't like alcohol or don't like the idea that other people do like alcohol need to go get fucked. All right, this is the place to come to be told to go get fucked. If you want to control everyone else's behavior, go get fucked. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
Like, if you come up to me and ask me where my mask is, you know what I'll say? Go get fucked. And I'll mean it sincerely.

Mark Rippetoe:
But first... Comments from the Haters!

Mark Rippetoe:
All right, once again it's pretty dry comments week. Here's some guy referring to the recent video that I did with Isaac, our young friend Isaac, over there about low back position, he says: "Show us on this doll where Rippetoe touched you with his huge gorilla hands."

Mark Rippetoe:
I guess that's what they do with little four year olds when Uncle Tommy's been over to the house. Mom and dad suspect, maybe Uncle Tommy was out of line, a little personal. "Where on this doll did Uncle Tommy touch you?" Not did Uncle Tommy touch you, but "where on this doll did Tommy touch you?"

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, shit. All right.

Mark Rippetoe:
"Face it you're bald and FYI, you are fat."

Mark Rippetoe:
No shit, I'm bald? I'm not completely bald. I mean, Nick's completely bald. Come over here, get in the shot. I'm going to show you what "bald" looks like.

Mark Rippetoe:
OK? See? Now compare. Bald, not quite bald. OK, fat, not quite fat. OK.

[off-camera]:
No, you're pretty fat, Rip.

Mark Rippetoe:
I'm fat-ish. But you know what? I'm not near as fat as everybody thinks I am. I'm really not, you know.

Mark Rippetoe:
But, you know, this is the bottom point zero zero zero two nine percent. These are the people that died in Mali of the covid-19 virus. Three of them. And for the third one...

Mark Rippetoe:
"Please don't be an idiot with the death rate. That's not what matters."

Mark Rippetoe:
He's referring to some comment about the virus, I'm sure.

Mark Rippetoe:
"FFS" that means, for fuck's sake, "it's been months and people still talk about death rate as the key number." Because deaths aren't important! People feeling bad about themselves is what's the most important thing.

Mark Rippetoe:
People feeling bad about themselves, feeling bad about other people. People being made to feel inadequate because of their inability to put a mask on and comply with the rules and just do what they're told.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know how bad I feel about that? You know how bad I feel about not wearing a mask all the time? Imagine how I feel. I feel inadequate. I feel unloved. And I feel ashamed. Just imagine that. Imagine how I feel. That's most important thing, not death, no.

Mark Rippetoe:
Cup of doo doo here, right? And that's Comments from the Douche Bags.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right now. This is something that I've been wanting to talk about for a long time, and I just decided the other night, you know, one of those deals where you can't sleep, wake up four o'clock in the morning, mind gets busy.

Mark Rippetoe:
So I said to myself, you know, why don't we go ahead and do the ethanol show on on the podcast? And I got to thinking about it. I thought, well, might as well I don't know how it's going to turn out, you'll see I don't have any notes here.

Mark Rippetoe:
So what I'm going to what I'm going to talk to you about is how to make alcohol where alcohol comes from, the different types of alcoholic beverages and things of this nature. And there's a whole bunch to discuss. And I probably won't get to all of it. But it's it's it's a lot of fun, actually. It's a lot of fun.

Mark Rippetoe:
I started brewing, started making beer back in the late 80s, probably '88. And I moved to my new house in 1999. And my my water supply out there is limited. And home brewing is a very water intensive operation. And I haven't brewed in a while because of because of the unavailability of plenty of water. You've really got to rinse things quite thoroughly, and I just don't have the facilities to do that. So I hadn't brewed in a long time.

Mark Rippetoe:
That plus the fact that when I started brewing back in '88, there was literally in North Texas, no decent beer available. All you could buy was the corporate beer. Coors, Bud, Miller, Michelob, that kind of shit. That's that was available. No beer with any character at all.

Mark Rippetoe:
And since then, you know the beer Disneyland has appeared in just virtually every liquor store on Earth. And you can get decent beer and I don't have to brew it anymore.

Mark Rippetoe:
So, you know, it was an important thing to to do, though, because you learn so much about about beer and you get to apply your freshman chemistry laboratory skills to the to the brewing process. And you get to learn all about hops. You get to go through that phase where hops are real cool and then you outgrow that and hops are not cool anymore.

Mark Rippetoe:
I don't know about you, but I, I'm not interested in, you know, 225 IBU, which we'll explain in a minute.

Mark Rippetoe:
But ethanol itself, just as a basic as a basic introduction to what we're going to talk about today, ethanol is a type of alcohol. It is a it's a an alcohol that is most commonly produced through the action of fermentation by yeast. The yeast in in the genus Saccharomyces.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, ethanol can be produced as an industrial product from petrochemicals, but nobody drinks that because it's stupid. So ethanol comes from yeast, comes from fermentation. And a lot of industrial sized fermentation plants are in existence all over the all over the world, and some of those big plants generate huge, giant volumes of fairly high quality alcohol. And they all are based and rely upon the action of yeast and sugar. OK.

Mark Rippetoe:
Basically, yeast is a little fungus, it's a little fungus. There are thousands and thousands of species of yeast. They're found all over the place. They're fairly ubiquitous. And the types of yeast that we use for fermentation are the friendly types of yeast. They're very closely related to the types of yeast that are involved in the making of bread.

Mark Rippetoe:
And basically what happens with yeast is when yeast is activated in warm water and it starts to reproduce yeast. Keep this in mind. This is the most important thing you'll ever learn... Yeast eats sugar and shits out alcohol and carbon dioxide. That's all there is to it. Yeast eats sugar and shits out carbon dioxide and alcohol.

Mark Rippetoe:
So a simple little project for you to learn about fermentation... This is the simplest little project you can you can do. And if more people knew about this God, I don't know what college would be like anymore. But apple cider is the simplest little thing you can learn to do.

Mark Rippetoe:
You can actually use bread yeast to make hard cider. It's not that sensitive to the type of yeast. So what you do is this. You go to Wal-Mart and you get yourself a gallon jug of apple juice. All right? And then while you're there at Wal-Mart, you get yourself a little bitty jar of Fleischmann's granular dry bread yeast. Works just fine.

Mark Rippetoe:
Other types of yeast, the more more brewing specific yeast are available on the internet. Red Star is a company that makes very good yeast products. You can get Red Star champagne yeast, red wine yeast, mead yeast is available. We'll talk about need in a minute.

Mark Rippetoe:
What you're going to do is you're going to take your giant jug of apple cider home. And when you get home, you're going to open the jug and you're a poor off about that much of the of the apple juice out of the out of the jar to make some head space for what's going to happen next.

Mark Rippetoe:
You pour that off and then you put this gallon jug of apple juice at room temperature on your kitchen cabinet. And then you take about two pinches - just pinch pinch - of the dry bread yeast. And its little tiny granules. It kind of looks like very small malto-meal. Kinda tan colored little bitty grains.

Mark Rippetoe:
And those things will will go down into the into the jar and move across the surface of the apple juice. And what happens is they kind of spread and they'll spread out. And after a couple of minutes a few of them will begin to fall down into the bottom of the bottom of the jar. And then pretty soon all of it is off the surface.

Mark Rippetoe:
And then if you'll watch it closely in about two hours, the apple juice starts to get cloudy. And the process proceeds from there. Because what is happening is that the yeast is beginning to reproduce. It's beginning to eat the sugar out of the apple juice. It's beginning to grow and reproduce, and at the same time as it does that the process by which it utilizes the sugar generates CO2 and alcohol - ethanol - as a byproduct.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, you're going to patiently wait on this to take place, what you're going to do is you're going to take the cap that closed the jar - and listen carefully to what I'm going to say next, because this is bery, very important - you're going to set the cap down on top of the jar, the bottle, the jug of apple juice, but you're not going to tighten it down. Do not tighten. Set it there.

Mark Rippetoe:
The cap's function is to shield the contents of the jug from anything falling in from the outside, but if you tighten it down, bad things will happen very shortly. Because remember: the yeast is excreting alcohol and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is going into solution in the apple juice.

Mark Rippetoe:
And once it gets to a certain point, it wants to outgas. And then pressure will begin to build between the top of the jug and the fluid level inside the thing. Remember, you made a little headspace for this to take place. Now the thing is going to foam also. It's going to foam. And the headspace is to keep the foam from running out onto the cabinet. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
But what is what is going on during this process is very, very important - the yeast, as it secretes carbon dioxide, is putting the carbon dioxide into solution, into the apple juice. And in other words, it's carbonating it. And this kind of carbonation is very, very interesting.

Mark Rippetoe:
When you when you buy a 7-Up at the store, you'll notice that when you open the 7-Up or the Coke or whatever, the bubbles are real big. Right? They're big. They stick to the side, the inside of the jug. And this is because those types of drinks are artificially carbonated. They just apply pressure to up CO2 to the liquid. And when it comes out, it comes out rather robustly.

Mark Rippetoe:
These types of bubbles that are formed during natural fermentation, in apple cider and beer and champagne are tiny, little delicate bubbles that feel so beautiful on your tongue. All right. So you are now in the process of making alcohol and a carbonated beverage.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right, and the longer you leave the cider at room temperature now. It doesn't like to be cold, it won't work when it's cold. So you have to leave it at room temperature. The longer you leave it out the more of the sugar in the apple juice the yeast will eat and turn it into alcohol and CO2. It is possible to make a very high gravity - and by that I mean very high alcohol percentage beverage - out of a jug of apple juice.

Mark Rippetoe:
If you leave that thing out there for about three days and then put it in the icebox, or the refrigerator for those of you from California, you will shut down the fermentation process. It slowly cools off, the yeast goes dormant. All of the things that made the made the mixture cloudy flocculate out and settle on the bottom. And you'll, in about two days, will have a nice, clear, fairly sweet, bubbly, mildly alcoholic beverage, a cider, in the icebox.

Mark Rippetoe:
Once again: don't screw down the lid. Don't do it. Bad things will happen.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, God, yeah, you... Pressures get out of control real easily. God, we made a batch of beer one time. And we were using Grolsch bottles, you know what, those things are the flip top, real heavy glass, green glass, Grolsch bottles. And this beer really got out of hand. It was it was... I put about 20 pounds of malt in the damn thing. And it was I don't know what the hell was going on in there.

Mark Rippetoe:
We had them in a wooden closet. And came over one day to check the things and one of those bottles had exploded in the closet and had put a piece of glass about that far [1.5 inches] down into the board of shrapnel. A piece of shrapnel. It was green glass embedded in the wood lining of that closet.

Mark Rippetoe:
And you had better believe I carefully carried those bottles over to the sink and flipped them up and vented them.

Mark Rippetoe:
So pressure can get out of control real quick. So, again, don't screw down the cap.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, if you want a real highly alcoholic, dry cider, you leave it out longer. And I've left it out for 10 days. And my my estimate, I don't know how to calculate it from...

Mark Rippetoe:
[phone rings] Rogan again.

[off-camera]:
He's letting you know, he's coming to Texas.

Mark Rippetoe:
If you want a sweet cider, you can put it in three days is plenty of time to get a little bit of alcohol and get the thing carbonated. If you want to dry cider where the yeast has eaten essentially all of the sugar out of the apple juice, you will have a very high gravity, high alcoholic percentage product. Some probably gets up toward seven, eight percent and it'll be a lot less yellow. It'll kind of change in color. And that kind of cider is real good.

[off-camera]:
A sweet cider would be, what, three? Five percent?

Mark Rippetoe:
Might be three percent. Yeah, it might be three percent. It's going to be three, three and a half, but not any more than that. But my God, one of these 10-day ciders? Holy God. You can get drunk before you know you are on this stuff.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's it's fairly high, high alcohol by volume percentage. It's it's this is so easy to do. If college kids knew this, I mean, assuming they weren't the lazy little bastards we were, you know, college kids knew this.

[off-camera]:
College kids just drink the worst crap. They don't care.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, but this is free. A gallon of cider is four bucks.

[off-camera]:
Bud Light's almost free.

Mark Rippetoe:
Bud Light's more than that. You can't get a gallon of Bud Light for four dollars, can you?

[off-camera]:
No, you're right.

Mark Rippetoe:
I don't... this stuff's cheap It's cheap. And if you want to get better at this than you invest in a little envelope of Red Star champagne yeast. You know, just use better yeast. And the flavors are a little cleaner. It doesn't quite have the bready kind of a smell that that a bread, that Fleischmann's bread yeast would produce in this. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
And then you've got a gallon of pretty high quality drinking alcohol for not a hell of a lot of money. You can make three or four gallons at a time and have a hell of a party for less than twenty dollars. I mean, a hell of a party for less than twenty dollars. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
But, you know, but you just have to.... Yeah. You have to actually have glasses and stuff. You know, you gotta pour the shit into your glass out of the... a little more work than just opening a can of beer.

[off-camera]:
Would you mind very quickly defining "flocculate"?

Mark Rippetoe:
Flocculate means when things that are in suspension come out of suspension and fall to the bottom of the fluid in which they are suspended. And I'm sure that our fact checkers at Snopes will fix that. I think that's the correct definition of flocculation.

Mark Rippetoe:
So you could cause flocculation to happen. You know, there are substances that will clear fluids out, but if you put this cider in the icebox, it'll clear by itself. And you'll have a layer on the bottom of that yeast and little things that in beer we call trub. That's the stuff on the bottom of the fermentation tank, yeast husks and, you know, crap like that.

Mark Rippetoe:
And it... You know, you could if you get real good at this, you can pour off the vast majority of that gallon of cider into a glass and not have any any cloudiness come off the bottom of the deal. Just takes a little.... That's a hand skill. And you'll work on that. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
So this is just the basic fermentation experiment that you can do. It's apple juice and bread, yeast, and you can get fancy with fancier types of yeast. Now, how does this apply to other alcoholic beverages? All right. Well, let's first talk about beer, OK?

Mark Rippetoe:
Beer is a product that is made from the fermentation of the solution of sugar that comes off of malted grain. All right. Now, malted grain is usually, you know, 99 percent of the time refers to malted barley because barley lends itself better to this process than any of the other grains. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
Malting is an interesting process and you have to understand how this works. So this is a two or three layers of complexity above just fermenting apple juice, right.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, you know what? Let's go back to Mead, because Mead is along the same lines as apple juice. Mead is made from fermented honey. It is perhaps the oldest fermented beverage on Earth. Mead is associated with the Vikings, but it was made in Mesopotamia and all over all over Europe, perhaps as early as nine or ten thousand years ago. It was it's a very old, very old alcoholic beverage.

Mark Rippetoe:
I'm sure it was discovered by accident. Honey coming from bees and yeast, wild yeast, getting in honey. If honey happened to get in a in a container and got some yeast in it and fermented.

Mark Rippetoe:
Lots and lots of people made mead. It was it was widely available. It was the first alcoholic beverage. I haven't heard that cider was fermented that early, but I do know that there are historical records of mead being produced a very, very... Thousands and thousands of years ago.

Mark Rippetoe:
Mead is fermented honey. So to make mead, you take a quantity of honey. Usually measured in tens of pounds. And on the stove you will dissolve that honey in very, very warm water. And the idea on the stove is to put the honey in a big pot, gradually stir it in. Heat it up so that the solution is uniform throughout the water. So you've got a honey solution, honey water solution.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, the times I've made mead, we were always encouraged to not boil the water. And I don't know how much of this is folklore, but it's it's thought that if you boil if you bring the the honey solution up too hot, that you sterilize it. And you don't want to sterilize it because it removes some of the character from the final product. But by the same token, you have to get it hot enough to where all of the crystal structure of the sugar in the honey is broken down and you've actually got a good, thorough solution of water and honey.

Mark Rippetoe:
Then you cool it down and you add some yeast. And most of the time when you're making yeast, you're you're encouraged to use what are called yeast nutrients. And these are some sulfites and things that the yeast beasts need to reproduce that are not available in a pure sugar product like honey. I don't know if that's still a thing or not, but that's what we learned to do.

Mark Rippetoe:
And a good dry mead is a wonderful, wonderful beverage. I've had some excellent mead before, but unfortunately, most of the commercial meads that you can buy are just honey sweet. They're just horrible, you know, probably five percent ABV and they're just there that it's not something I'm interested in. I like a nice dry mead which approaches the quality of a good wine.

Mark Rippetoe:
Most people don't bother with mead anymore. There are, you know, a lot of beekeepers that make mead. Mead's kind of a little niche thing that that you don't really get exposed to in the commercial market. There are meaderies as they are called in Colorado. There's several places where you can buy good mead, but it's not popular like it was 2000 years ago because there are other ways to get your alcohol now.

Mark Rippetoe:
But in in in terms of a step up in complexity from the simplest cider, mead is just represents a step up since the the the honey has to be dealt with and dissolved in water and stuff.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now beer is another step up in complexity. Beer, as I mentioned before, is made out of malted barley. Now, what is malted barley? Malting is a term that is applied to the process by which barley grains are sprouted.

Mark Rippetoe:
Ok, as it turns out, barley is a seed. That's what wheat is. Rye. These are all seeds. And a seed contains the germ, which is the little nucleus of the seed that contains the genetic machinery for the production of enzymes that can convert the stored starch in the seed to sugar.

Mark Rippetoe:
So if you put a barley seed barley grain in the ground and it gets wet, the wetness of the ground will activate the little machinery of the seed, the cell. And then it starts to reproduce, it starts to grow actually at it will it will start to make enzymes that convert its stored starch, the calories that it is going to use for re- for growth into sugar. Because the cell, just like your cell, doesn't use complicated starch. It doesn't use complex starch. It uses simple sugar.

Mark Rippetoe:
So in this case, the malt is a barley grain, and while it is malting, it will grow a little shoot out of the germ end the of the of the grain. Once the thing has produced this little shoot out of the end of it... It's just a little hair like thing that comes growing out of the seed. You all know what I'm talking about if you've seen seeds grow. Once that process is taking place, there are now enzymes present in that grain.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, when we malt barley, we place it in what used to be called -I'm sure there are industrial processes for this now - we place barley on the floor of a building that has been heated with fires underneath the floor. We spread the grain out on the floor. Then we flood the thing with water. And we hold - this is this is what happens and what the facility called a maltings - and the malt sprouts on the floor, in the water, in the warm water. And it's a particular temperature and it's held there for long enough to where the the malt is fully malted ,to where the the the the stuff that the cell is going to use for growth is fully developed. And it's beginning to.... It's got the enzymes in the malt that are necessary to convert the starch to sugar.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, you may be familiar with malt from grape nuts cereal. If you ever had grape nuts, that is what malt tastes like. That's a that's a... Grape Nuts is a very old cereal. It's made out of malted barley. And it was... they bake it into little cakes. And then they grind it up and put it in the box and you put milk on it and eat it. And it's good. Real crunchy and hard. But that's the flavor of malt.

Mark Rippetoe:
And then they figured out that brewing can produce, can be can be facilitated by the by the use of malt. So you take this sprouted malt and once it's all sprouted, you drain the water off of the floor. All right. And then you dry the malt. You dry them all out and you dry it, and it once again looks like a piece of grain, and during the drying process, the little the little sprout is knocked off of it. And you've got you've got malted barley.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, you could take malted barley and put it in your mouth and eat it. And it tastes kind of like grape nuts. Right. But remember, the reason we malted the barley is so that we get the enzymes that can be produced by the germ of the malt seed because the enzymes convert starch to sugar. That's what the enzymes we're after do. They take the starch, the complex stored form of carbohydrate, and break down the bonds so that what comes out at the end is sugar, not starch. All right.

Mark Rippetoe:
So let's say you buy some malted barley, you buy a sack of malted barley, and then you take that sack of malted barley home and you put a bunch of that malt in some water and you heat it up to a hundred and forty three degrees. And you hold it at that temperature for a period of time.

Mark Rippetoe:
What happens then is that the enzymes activate, convert the starch in the malted barley into sugar, the sugar comes out of the grain and soaks into the water that it's being held in. And now you have a substance called mash.

Mark Rippetoe:
And the vessel this takes place in is called a mash ton. And when you are mashing the the malted barley, what you're doing is obtaining a sugar solution from the starch that's in the malt. This is called mashing. So if you ever hear the term mash, that's what this means.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, after a period of time and this is above my pay grade, I've never done brewing from gain, I just used malt extract, the cheap freshman in high school way to do this. But actual brewers will actually go through the process of malting the grain or mashing the grain and making beer out of mash.

Mark Rippetoe:
And after a period of time, you hold the the mash at a certain temperature, then you drain the water off and now this is called sweet liquor. And then the process can start because now you have a sugar solution that you have derived from malted barley. And the character of the sugar solution is obviously going to be different than the character of apple juice, isn't it? Because all of the other stuff that was soluble in the grain is also in the sweet liquor.

Mark Rippetoe:
And then you put yeast in that and hops and you ferment it and you deal with it in ways that brewers know how to do and beer comes out on the other side. OK, and that's how you make beer. You make beer through the fermentation of the product of malted barley.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, this is... It could be a very, very complicated process, and it's real easy to screw this up to. All of your equipment has to be clean because the best way to waste a whole bunch of money in a situation like this is to get all of this infected with some kind of bacterial contamination. You don't want that. All of your equipment has to be clean. Everything has to be in good condition. You've got to use good, sterile laboratory technique. It's not quite as is as complicated as cancer research, but it does involve some kind of laboratory expertise. And you have to be careful with what you're doing.

Mark Rippetoe:
And then at various points, depending on the type of beer you're going to make, you're going to add various types of hops and, you know, we're not going to go into the specifics of homebrewing here, but those of you that are interested in doing this can certainly figure out a way to to look this all up.

Mark Rippetoe:
See, back in the 80s when I was doing this, there wasn't an internet. We just had to look at little cheap books and stuff and fuck things up three or four times and figure out what we did wrong the hard way and do it again and try to do better next time. But I, I made several very, very good batches of beer a long time ago. And it's just not that complicated.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, the way I did it, as I mentioned earlier, was through malt extract. There are companies that will take malt barley and go through the malting process for you, take the sweet liquor and then boil it down into a thick syrup. And this is called malt extract.

Mark Rippetoe:
And they will sell you this this thick malt extract and then you can reconstitute what would be the same thing as the sweet liquor before it was boiled down into the malt extract. And it's just an easier thing to do because it you don't have to have a mash ton. You don't have to do all this other all these other processes.

Mark Rippetoe:
You just put it on the stove, add your big pan water on the stove add however much malt extract you're going to use for that batch of beer and you can make very, very good beer out of malt extract. That's how pretty much everybody starts because of the complexity and all the expensive equipment it takes to actually handle grain. So brewing from malt extract is kind of the intro into into home brewing and and brewing for grain is a step up in complexity.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now so far, we've been dealing with with spirits, with alcoholic beverages, that don't require any distillation. We'll talk about distillation in just a minute, but there's one more one more thing that needs to be discussed, and that is wine. Wine is fermented grape juice. OK, now, wine is much more complicated a process than it sounds like. All right.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yes, it's true that you could go to the grocery store and get some Welch's grape juice and bring it home and put some yeast in it and ferment it and try to drink it. That's a bad idea. OK.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's been my experience and it's probably been your experience if you've got an uncle that thinks he knows how to make wine and he's given you a bottle of this wine that he's all proud of it. You open it. You pour it in your glass and you take a drink of it and you go.

Mark Rippetoe:
"Oh, yeah, Tommy, that's real good.

[off-camera]:
THAT Uncle Tommy.

Mark Rippetoe:
That's Uncle Tommy. He got into wine.

Mark Rippetoe:
And that, you know is, because wine is best left to professionals. OK, look, just buy wine, OK? Just buy wine and here's why. All right wine is fermented with the yeast that comes out of the vineyard on the skins and the stems of the grapes. Wild yeast from the vineyard is what ferments wine. Wine is very much a product of the vineyard, not the laboratory, not your kitchen. All right.

Mark Rippetoe:
Wine is produced in the winemaking areas of the world. It's an extremely delicate product that depends on lots and lots and lots and lots of variables. And, you know, the weather, how much sugar was in the grapes, when the grapes matured, if they're late, if they're early, how much rain there was, what kind of soil they're growing in. All these things are or are are critical for for production of wine.

Mark Rippetoe:
And you buying some grape juice, even if you buy cabernet sauvignon grape juice from some dumb ass in California that wants to sell you five gallons of the stuff, you're not going to make wine. I'm telling you, you're going to make fermented cabernet sauvignon grape juice. It'll be undrinkable shit. All right.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's just... How many of you have had homemade wine? Right? Rusty's had it. Carmen's had it. It's undrinkable shit. You have to try to be gracious, you know.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, you did? You were honest with him. Oh, you know, it depends on who's giving it to you. Oh, my God. But it's just, you know, homemade wine it's just it's like a homemade car, OK? I you know, this is just some things other people do better than you, and wine is one of those things. All right.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now this stuff [holds up glass] is whiskey. All right. Oh...whiskey's good.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, what is whiskey? Well, whiskey is a product of the process called distillation. All right. Distillation is a process by which a solution consisting of different components can be separated from the components of which could be separated from each other by heating. For example, in beer you have water and you have alcohol and water and alcohol can be separated from beer because water and alcohol have different boiling points. The boiling point of ethanol is much lower than the boiling point of water.

Mark Rippetoe:
Let's say you take a batch of beer that doesn't have any hops in it. We'll call that the wort. W-o-r-t that's the wort from which beer will be produced once you put the hops in it.

Mark Rippetoe:
And let's say you decide to that you'd like to get the alcohol out of that out of that wort and leave the water. And you boil it and you've got what's called a piece of equipment called a still. Well, the still gathers the the the vapor as it comes off of the heated liquid.

Mark Rippetoe:
And I'm just pulling these numbers out of my ass - water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit at sea level. And alcohol... That's not out of my ass, that's the actual that's the actual boiling point of water, but boiling point of ethanol would be... Let's say it's one hundred and seventy five. Hundred and seventy three. Excellent. That was close wasn't it?.

Mark Rippetoe:
So what happens then is that when the the the wort gets you up to one hundred and seventy three, the ethanol begins to boil off of this combination of water and ethanol and then the still collects that vapor and condenses it and it runs down into another container. And if you boil that wort until the most of the alcohol is boiled off of this, then you have distilled the alcohol from that solution.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, some of the things that were in with the alcohol also get carried up into the vapor so that the alcohol contains a lot of characteristics of the original liquid that it was distilled from. Ok. This is the basic process by which whiskey is produced.

Mark Rippetoe:
So if you take a malted barley solution and you ferment it and you get as much alcohol in that as you can with your yeast process, and then you boil that and distill it off, then you are obtaining the alcohol out of this malted barley solution.

Mark Rippetoe:
And there might be malted barley in it, there might be wheat in it, there might be corn in it, because remember the enzymes from the malted barley convert starch to sugar and the malted barley enzymes will convert starch from corn or wheat into sugar as well. So this kind of a this kind of a mash is used to generate the alcohol that later becomes whiskey.

Mark Rippetoe:
So we distill off the alcohol and then we might take the alcohol solution in and boil it again and do two or three distillations to purify it. And then we have a product that is called White Dog, which is unaged whiskey.

Mark Rippetoe:
White dog is a term that is refers to bourbon. And bourbon is a type of whiskey that is specified by the by what is called the mash bill: how much of each type of grain is in this. Bourbon contains more than 50 percent corn and can contain either wheat, barley or rye as the s the other grains in the mash.

Mark Rippetoe:
There's going to be some barley in there because of barley used for the fermentation process, so it's all got a little bit of barley in it. But depending on the other grains, you've got different types of whiskeys.

Mark Rippetoe:
Unaged bourbon is called White Dog, and it's there's some pretty good white dog available. I think Buffalo Trace makes... They bottle a little 375 of white dog that is pretty good. I've had excellent white dog, but it's unaged.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now if you take this product and put it in an oak barrel that has been handled in whatever way they're going to handle it. Charred oak barrel generally. Make the barrel. Put a flame in there and caramelize some of the sugar in the oak, and then you stick the whiskey in there for 12 years, then the whiskey that's in the oak barrel will take on the characteristics of the oak in which it has been stored for all this length of time.

Mark Rippetoe:
Age is whisky's friend. And the longer it's in there, the smoother it gets. I'm not exactly sure the chemistry of that of the smoothing process. All right, that's also over my pay grade, but when you buy whiskey, you expect to pay more for the age and because age is the friend.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right, the longer it's in the barrel, the higher the quality the product is going to be. That's why 25 year old MacAllan Scotch whisky is a thousand dollars a bottle. And I know that sounds stupid, but if you're really into Scotch...

Mark Rippetoe:
25? I've heard of 50 year old Macallan, which is five figures.

[off-camera]:
What were they drinking in the Bond movie?

Mark Rippetoe:
That was 50 year old Macallan, that he that he drank out of a shot glass. That's how, you know, that was actually tea. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
So whiskey is the product of distillation. All right. Now, there are several different types of whiskey. I mentioned bourbon.

Mark Rippetoe:
What is Scotch whisky? Scotch whisky is a is is a an interesting product that probably predates the American product called bourbon. Scotch whisky is theoretically 100 percent barley malt. There's no other grain in Scotch whisky.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now there is a product for sale called blended whiskey, which is basically at least 40 percent scotch. And the remaining remainder of it is vodka, basically. And they of the Scottish government allows that to be sold as blended whiskey and, you know, Chivas and Cutty Sark and Black and White and Dewar's and all that shit. That's all blended whiskey. I don't need to be drunk that bad, so I don't drink it.

Mark Rippetoe:
Single malt Scotch whisky is the product of one distillery and the Scotch whisky goes through a different process than than other types of whiskey. When... Let's go back to the malting process. When you have a maltings and you've got the little wet seeds of malted barley laying on the floor and we drain the water off and now we've got this wet malted barley. If we're going to make Scotch out of it, what we're going to do is we're going to dry that malt over a fire made of peat.

Mark Rippetoe:
And peat is the is the stuff that grows in Scotland - and it also grows in Japan, interestingly enough - it is an accumulation of the Sphagnum plant that goes... It lays on the ground and it accumulates in peat bogs. And this stuff is dried, it's cut out of the bogs and dried and used for fuel.

Mark Rippetoe:
But it is... In this particular case, you set a fire underneath the malt and the heat and the smoke from the peat fire dry the malt and therefore flavor the malt.

Mark Rippetoe:
And then the same process is used with malted barley that we previously described. It's mashed. And then the sweet liquor's fermented and distilled. And all of the smoke and all of the peat character, especially if the water you're using is peaty water, which a lot of water in Scotland is. These are the things that add to the character of Scotch whisky that's not found anywhere else.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, I will say that the Japanese are making a very damn good copy of Scotch whisky these days. Japanese malt whiskey is what it would be called. And it's there... That industries come up quite a bit, very high quality products over there. Yamazaki and Hakushu. There are several different types of very good malt whiskey that are that are coming out of Scotland that are essentially... The Japanese are very, very good at copying things. And this is one job they've done very well.

Mark Rippetoe:
In contrast, the Indians don't seem to understand this process. There's a some some Indian whiskey called Amrut. Don't buy it.

Mark Rippetoe:
And you know who else fucks this up? The Canadians. The Canadians do not make beverage alcohol. I'm sorry. There aren't any whiskey people that will agree that there's any beverage alcohol being produced in Canada.

[off-camera]:
Somebody's typing the word whistle pig right now...

Mark Rippetoe:
Whistle pig is not Canadian.

[off-camera]:
It's not Canadian? I thought it was Canadian.

Mark Rippetoe:
No, it's a rye whiskey. It's an overpriced rye whiskey in the United States. But the Canadian all the little girls that tend bar in Canada think that Canadian whiskey is rye whiskey. And it's not. It's the rye whiskey version of there's some rye whiskey in it. But the laws in Canada allow them that. Well, there aren't any laws in Canada. So it's a it's the Wild West in terms of a distilled beverages in Canada.

Mark Rippetoe:
And I I'm sorry. Look, this isn't my fault. You guys want to be taken seriously, start acting seriously, but you're not making a fucking drinking product up there.

Mark Rippetoe:
Hell, I don't even like Moulson's. I think their beer shitty, myself. Do you know of a decent Canadian beer? Labatts? Is that any good? I have had it was like Coors, you know, all of it tastes about the same.

Mark Rippetoe:
But...Oh, my God. Somebody somebody's.. "Crown royal. Oh it's all I drink is Crown royal, only the best for me." What are you, 14? Oh, God. Anyway.

Mark Rippetoe:
So distillation,.. Distillation produces whiskey. We get all these these high alcoholic level products. ABV, alcohol by volume is the is the measurement by which all of this stuff is reckoned.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now forty percent is 80 proof. Proof is basically twice percent. And it's an old measurement that used to be used. I think it has actually something to do with whether the liquid will will light on fire by itself. I'm not exactly sure about that. You ought to look that up. That'd be a good thing for you to do is looked up what proof actually means.

Mark Rippetoe:
But proof right now is... That number is twice the ABV. So you've got at 80 proof whiskey. That is a 40 percent ABV right.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now distillation can be applied to other things than just beer. Essentially, whiskey is distilled beer. All right. Brandy is distilled wine.

Mark Rippetoe:
So if you take wine and put it through the distillation process and you run it through the still three or four times, you will get brandy out of that. And so Brandy is a high gravity, as we say. And gravity. I keep using that term, maybe I ought to explain it...

Mark Rippetoe:
If you... When you make beer. All right. And you look at the specific gravity of the of the wort, the higher the specific gravity, the more sugar is in the wort and the higher the ABV and the resulting product will be. So a lot of people tend to say "high gravity" and they mean back by that they mean high ABV. and it's just a term we use. So when I say high gravity, that's what I mean.

[off-camera]:
I got information on proof if you want.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah, proof.

[off-camera]:
The history of the proof system is about gunpowder.

Mark Rippetoe:
That's what it was.

[off-camera]:
In the old wooden ships of the 18th century to find how strong an alcohol was they mixed it with a little bit of gunpowder. And.

Mark Rippetoe:
In other words, the more the more alcohol in it, the lower the water.

[off-camera]:
Yeah. Soldiers in the British Navy would apply rum to their gunpowder to test its strength. If the weapons still fired, they had proof that the rum was strong enough enough. Also proof that it would burn the ship down if lit.

Mark Rippetoe:
Which it did occasionally do.

[off-camera]:
So if it was 50 percent or more, it was flammable and it fired. So that was 100 proof.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right, 100 proof. 100 proof rum, 50 percent ABV. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, if you see a product called bottled in Bond Whiskey in the United States, you're looking at 100 proof whiskey. And the bottled in bond law came about, oh, probably more than 100 years ago for this same reason. The people were selling, you know, 25 percent ABV and calling it whiskey and stuff. And it just is not the same quality product.

Mark Rippetoe:
So the federal government got involved in it. And if a product is is marked bottled in bond, then that is the same thing as 100 proof or 50 percent ABV.

Mark Rippetoe:
And a whole lot of cheap whiskey is sold at 80 proof. A whole lot of horrible, cheap whiskey. You're getting a little bit better quality product if you can if you can buy it at a higher ABV.

Mark Rippetoe:
And then what you do when it's a higher ABV... Here's the funny thing about a funny thing about whiskey. Your mouth likes whiskey at really at about 80 proof. About 40 percent is what your mouth likes to taste. Now, real high quality whiskey is often sold at 66, I've seen sixty nine point five percent ABV, which would be one hundred and thirty nine proof.

Mark Rippetoe:
You have to understand that this is not a test of manhood, OK? You're not supposed to drink whiskey at 66 percent ABV. That's not what your mouth wants to do. You can't taste anything if you do that because your mouth is a water based system. Your your nose is a water based system. And if you put something in it that is 66 percent ABV, that the mucosa don't react well.

Mark Rippetoe:
But here's a more important piece of chemistry that's involved with this thing. If you've got a whiskey at 66 percent ABV, a lot of the stuff in that whiskey is dissolved in the alcohol fraction of the whiskey. And at 66 percent, that means that only 34 percent is water. But remember, your mouth and your nose like water things, they're aqueous based systems.

Mark Rippetoe:
So if you take a bottle of... Or you take a dram of whiskey at 66 percent, what you should do - and what you'll learn to do before you waste any more money - is to water that down a little at a time down to where you want it to be. And you want it somewhere in the vicinity of 40 percent. 43 percent maybe. But but certainly not 50. You know, the fact that you can drink it doesn't mean that it tastes better there. All right.

Mark Rippetoe:
And there's a there's a there's a thing you can do. You'll take a real, real high quality bourbon that say it's bottled at sixty six percent. I've got a bottle of Thomas H Handy Sazerac at the house that I think, if I remember correctly, that shit's 67 percent. Sixty seven point three or whatever it was ABV.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, what you basically got there, if you'll think about it, you have a bottle and a half a whiskey. You know, you take an ounce of that, put an ounce dram in your glass and then you add water up to about an ounce and a half and now you've got it down to about 40 percent.

Mark Rippetoe:
And what you do is this - it's an interesting experiment - you'll take the water a little bit at a time, put it in the cup. And the cup should be shaped like that. Not like this, but like a snifter.

Mark Rippetoe:
Let me have that real quick, because this is important. Glassware for this kind of thing is very important. All right. If you'll look at this. This this cup is shaped to contain the vapor column over the top of the liquid.

Mark Rippetoe:
And when you drink, what you're going to do is stick your nose down into that and smell it as you drink it. That's how it's done. That's how it's done. Now, if you have a glass like this, this one won't work [points to the straight-walled glass] this glass and you've got high gravity, high ABV whiskey in this thing and you add a little water to it. A little water at a time. Add some water, smell it. Add some more water, smell it.

Mark Rippetoe:
And what you will find is a process that we refer to as opening up. The the the flavor and the the nose opens up as you get more water in there and more of the things that are contained in the alcohol fraction come out of solution and go into the water. That's where they're accessible to your mouth and your nose. All right.

Mark Rippetoe:
This is a... You need to experiment with this because if you're buying extremely expensive whiskey and trying to drink it neat, you're wasting your money. Right. It's that's a stupid thing to do.

Mark Rippetoe:
Once again, this is not a manhood test. The shit is expensive and there's not any point in wasting it. Right. Real, real good, expensive whiskey at high ABV needs some water. It's supposed to have some water. You're supposed to water it, do it carefully. Don't overshoot it. OK.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now I started to talk about brandy. Brandy is distilled wine. Whiskey is distilled beer. Brandy is distilled wine. All right. Cognac is distilled champagne. Armagnac is a distilled -- it's a brandy from the from a specific region in France. Champagne region is a specific region in France. These are all distilled spirits. All right.

Mark Rippetoe:
Vodka is distilled pretty much anything you can get to ferment. You can make vodka out of wheat. You can make it out of rice. Potatoes have been used to make vodkas. Polish vodka's proudly made out of potatoes for some fucked up reason I don't really understand, but... And good vodka doesn't really have much flavor.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's got kind of a sweet ethanol, kind of a kind of a flavor, a lot of people are making vodka these days because it doesn't require any age. There's no such thing aged vodka. It's just ethanol.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's typically produced that at 80 proof, there's several Texas distilleries making pretty good vodka. Tito's is pretty good vodka. Now there's there's some expensive vodka. Have you ever had Shevkoff? That's real good. That's real good vodka. And it's I think that's a Ukrainian product, I believe.

Mark Rippetoe:
Stolichnaya, I don't like that. I don't think Stoli's any, good myself. Shevkoff's a much better product than that. Titos is better than either one of them. Titos makes a damn good product.

[off-camera]:
Do you know what that's made out of?

Mark Rippetoe:
No, I don't have any idea. See if you can look that up. It would be interesting to know that. Where those guys? Are they in Austin? San Antonio. Austin. Austin. It's a that's a that's a damn good vodka. It really is. And I just bought the first bottle I've ever bought, like last month, and I was really impressed with the the the flavor of the stuff.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now the flavor of vodka is an interesting, it really is an interesting concept. It actually does not have flavor in the sense that whiskey has flavor. It's... A good vodka is good because it doesn't have any bad flavor. That's that's the best way to think of a good, clean vodka .

[off-camera]:
Titos is corn.

Mark Rippetoe:
Corn vodka. Interesting.

Mark Rippetoe:
So, you know, you make vodka out of shoes, probably if you got enough of them, you know, just whatever you got laying around. Spagetti vodka. I wonder if they make the Italians make spaghetti vodka. They ought to start.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now gin, what is gin? Gin is flavored vodka, basically. You know, grain alcohol infused with all kinds of things. Now, London dry gin is primarily flavored with juniper berries, and that's about it. But the Scottish people make botanical gins like Hendrik's and and The Botanist.

Mark Rippetoe:
Botanist, is an Islay gin. And I believe the Botanis is made by Lagavulin, that distillery on Islay. I believe it is. Botanist is widely available. That's the best gin you can buy all over the place. Hendrik's and Botanist are excellent products.

Mark Rippetoe:
But a lot of people, a lot of small distilleries around the country are making craft gin now. And the reason they're doing that is because it doesn't require age. Age is expensive. Age is expensive if you've got the resources and you're a big company like Buffalo Trace and you've got the resources to make whiskey and keep it in the cask for 10 years like Eagle Rare and not make any money off of that investment for 10 years, then you're pretty well heeled, aren't you? You got enough money to sit on that investment and let the and let the thing grow.

Mark Rippetoe:
But smaller, smaller producers, smaller distillers don't have the luxury of being able to defer a return on their investment for 10 years. So, you know, there's there's a lot of smaller distillers around the country right now that are selling what is really shitty whiskey, you know, for too much money, because they I understand they've got to try to get their money back out of the thing.

Mark Rippetoe:
But this is one of the reasons that big companies make generally better whiskey than small companies. It's like like.... Back to the example of a car, I, I would not buy a car that Bobby had made for me. As good a mechanic is he is he doesn't have the resources to make a car. So I'll buy a car from a big company and let him work on it.

Mark Rippetoe:
But I'm not going to, I'm not going to buy...pay fifty dollars for a bottle of whiskey from a small producer that I don't know anything about. I've done that enough times and wasted enough money on it to know that it doesn't work very well and it's not what you want to do. OK.

Mark Rippetoe:
Age is - in terms of whiskey - age is quality and age is money. Time is money. So keep all these things in mind.

Mark Rippetoe:
Let's see gin... what else do we need to talk about? [gibberish in background]

Mark Rippetoe:
OK, yeah. Yeah that's that's one of the other Islay distillers Bruichladdich. Which is an excellent single malt scotch. They've got lots and lots of different expressions. You know, 20 years ago their... Bruichladdich sold about two different expressions of their whiskey.

Mark Rippetoe:
When I say the term expression... If Lagavulin makes the standard 16 year old, another expression would be the 10 year old. They sell an eight year old. They sell a no age statement. They didn't used to do that. There was only one Lagavulin that you could get.

Mark Rippetoe:
So the market for all these distilled spirits has just exploded over the past 10 years. Whiskey is has become a serious problem, especially American whiskey. High quality bourbon has become hideously expensive and largely unavailable. Really, really good stuff like Willett that you could use to buy for forty dollars off the shelf is... There's a waiting list for it at three hundred dollars now, and it's just unfortunate.

Mark Rippetoe:
I you know, I don't know how you you can't really fix that problem, you can't really fix that problem. You can't make age happen faster. You know.

Mark Rippetoe:
The use of small barrels, microbarrels, you know, like 10 gallon barrels instead of five hundred and fifty gallon barrel solves some of the problem. But but there's no substitute for letting the shit sit there in the rickhouse and get good over the years. That's why 25 year old MacCallan is so goddamn much money.

Mark Rippetoe:
I've had twenty five, six, seven year old Scotch in my mouth three or four times, and it is it's just an indescribable difference that that much time in the wood makes to the stuff. It's just...

[off-camera]:
Twenty five year old Macallan right now at Denton Total Wine is 2300 dollars.

Mark Rippetoe:
25.

[off-camera]:
25 year old.

Mark Rippetoe:
25 year old. You know, Kirkham had one of his customers give him one of those. He still got it. I think. I think that was bought back when it was eight hundred dollars. Twenty five year old Macallan is what did you say? Twenty five hundred?

[off-camera]:
Twenty three hundred.

Mark Rippetoe:
Twenty three hundred dollars. That's just not something you're...

[off-camera]:
One of your listeners is buying that right now. Just so you that they can say they got it.

Mark Rippetoe:
You think? You think we got those kind of people listening to me? I have a hard time believing that, but oh I would imagine there's a 35 year old Macallan laying around someplace.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, oh, and listen, don't don't you people leave here with the impression that age happens in the glass. When you when you have a 25 year old MacCallan, it was in the barrel for 25 years. Once it's bottled, it stops changing. A real old old bottle of four year old whiskey is still a bottle of four year old whiskey. It doesn't improve in the glass. Nothing chemically happens to it in the glass. Glass is dead. Wood is alive.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, so have we gone over pretty much everything?

[off-camera]:
Hey, you could get a 30 year Macallan in Denton for thirty six hundred dollars.

Mark Rippetoe:
Thirty six hundred dollars. Thirty year old Macallan.

Mark Rippetoe:
What kind of an income would a guy have to have?

[off-camera]:
Your income.

Mark Rippetoe:
Mine?

[off-camera]:
You're a wealthy white old white guy, aren't you?

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, I'm an old white guy. I don't know that I'm wealthy, but I'm certainly not going to spend 36 hundred.... Look, I'm not worth thirty six hundred dollars. Why would anyone waste that on me? You know.

[off-camera]:
Someone's going to ship you one. Watch.

Mark Rippetoe:
No, won't happen. Won't happen, man. Nobody that listens to me is that stupid.

[off-camera]:
Rogan's going to ship you one. That's how he was going to get you on the show.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, I'd go for that. I'd go on there for that.

[off-camera]:
He could afford it. Rogan'll send you one.

Mark Rippetoe:
He's got a lot of money. You know, he if anybody could buy a 30, 35 year old bottle of Macallan, it would be him, right?

Mark Rippetoe:
WEll, you know, I don't know. I'd have to think about it. And even then I'd have to think about it, so.

Mark Rippetoe:
We leaving anything out? Sake? Sake is made out of rice, Saki's made out of rice. Rice is a grain. Therefore Soki really is a beer, isn't it? Yeah, it's a beer. I don't have any sake. Because it tastes like rinsed underwear to me.

[off-camera]:
What do the Koreans drink?

Mark Rippetoe:
Soju, soju.

[off-camera]:
Soju. What's that?

Mark Rippetoe:
I don't you know, I don't remember what the hell that is made out of. It may be rice, too, but soju is good. I kind of like soju.

[off-camera]:
Rice or sweet potatoes.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's we had real good soju in Seoul when we were over there in 2014. It's good. That's excellent stuff.

Mark Rippetoe:
Those crazy bastards will start putting whiskey in their soju, you know. start off with a glass of soju and then they [motions adding whiskey to the glass]. Those guys can drink.

[off-camera]:
Now they can drink and make really good fried chicken.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, best fried chicken I've ever had in Seoul. Oh, it's excellent. I don't know where they picked that up, man. They do fried chicken like...whoos...it's good. Best fried chicken I've ever had. Excellent stuff. Can't say enough about Koreans and their fried chicken.

Mark Rippetoe:
But I don't know, it seems as though it it seems as though the Europeans and the Americans make distilled spirits better than anybody else. And as good a job as the Japs are doing with this...

Mark Rippetoe:
Can I say Japs now?

[off-camera]:
I think so.

Mark Rippetoe:
I say Japs. They don't care. They know who I'm talking about. I didn't call them nips.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yoour call completely.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, let's not pander to the Japanese or they've got an excellent distilling industry and I brag on them. I'm telling you that stuff is excellent. And God, I first bought I bought my first bottle of 12 year old Yamazaki for forty dollars about ten years ago. And they've got that stuff bidded up to like ninety five dollars right now.

Mark Rippetoe:
They sell at eighteen year old Yamazaki that I think - and this is the only time I've ever seen this - the Twelve's better. The two times I've had that side by side, I thought that the 12 was better. I don't know how it's possible, but that's what goes on anyway.

Mark Rippetoe:
But the Yamazaki's excellent. If you can find a bottle of Yamasaki 12 and you can stand it, buy it, because it's it's as good as anything for that same amount of money coming out of Scotland. It really is.

Mark Rippetoe:
I don't think we've left anything out. Aquavit is the Scandinavian carraway schnapps. And schanpps is vodka with flavors that peppermint schnapps has vodka with peppermint in it.

[off-camera]:
You didn't talk about rum at all rum.

Mark Rippetoe:
I didn't talk about rum because I don't drink the shit, but rum... Now, rumis actually a very important product in terms of the history of the world. Rum is made from molasses. It is it is distilled fermented molasses juice. Sugarcane juice basically is what it is. You can make it out of molasses. I think probably the big rum distillers just take sugar cane juice, ferment it, distill that and call that rum. That's probably what Bacardi White is.

Mark Rippetoe:
Rum made for molasses is a different type of rum and rum has played an important part in in the history of the world and people who understand why this is rum is rum is important to the British Navy. And somebody will correct me on this, but sailors were allotted a rum ration every day up until relatively recently.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, if you are on a sailing ship in the age of sail, all of your water is stored on the ship, on the deck of the ship, in giant barrels called water butts. That water was obtained from islands or, you know, rivers coming off of islands or rivers coming off the the shorelines that they were they were nearby. They would go in in boats, fill up the water butts and all of their water was was, you know, meteoric water running across the ground.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, that's filthy. You know, you know, river water. You'll fill up, you've got to get water somewhere. If you've happened to be able to catch rainwater, you shape your sales into rainwater collectors and it would that would work just fine. But if you were... You had to have every time you got an opportunity, you filled up the water butts on the ship.

Mark Rippetoe:
So what sterilised the water? Rum sterilized the water. That's what the rum was for. All right, every time a sailor drank water, all day long, he was drinking a solution, a water in rum, because without that everybody was sick. The alcohol killed everything in the water, which means that everybody was a little bit drunk all the goddamn time.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, if you take rum and water and put some lime juice in it, you have a substance called grog. Grog, you put a little sugar in with this, in with the water, rum and lime, you've got a grog and grog is good. It's an excellent drink, I've had it in fancy bars, order a Navy grog sometime, they'll make that with a with a good brown rum and some...

Mark Rippetoe:
Hell...I ordered that up in New York one time. The girl made that out of Pusser's navy rum, which you can buy it. Brown rum. It's good. And lime juice and some fresh squeezed grapefruit juice. And it was good. Oh, God, that's an excellent drink.

Mark Rippetoe:
Six water grog was reviewed, was regarded as a punishment. Weak grog. I think that the standard would have been four water drug. In other words, four parts water, one part rum.

Mark Rippetoe:
But this is how the British Navy for 200 years navigated the planet.

[off-camera]:
In 1970 is when they stopped doing it.

Mark Rippetoe:
They had rum is a daily ration up till 1970. Isn't that interesting, but it was... Rum is important. People don't understand that... What's amazing to me, you read the Patrick O'Brian novels, and there is an entire very complex technology that we don't we've lost. We've forgotten all of it. Every bit of it's been forgotten.

Mark Rippetoe:
How do you know in the South Pacific, where in the hell you are, all of that navigation? How do you sail almost straight into the wind? Had to do it.

Mark Rippetoe:
If you had a north wind, how do you go north? They knew how. It was you have to do it, you know. You do it like that [wiggles hand] but but that's but how do you do that? How do you know when to do what? It's just it's a terribly amazing thing that we've just forgotten all about.

Mark Rippetoe:
But rum was a big part of that. And rum was a big trade item, all that the West Indies produced, all that rum and all of that, all of that trade. You know, the slave trade was intimately involved in all of this and all of this world history is tied up in this one type of alcoholic beverage. It's amazing.

Mark Rippetoe:
What else did we leave out?

Mark Rippetoe:
I'm glad we didn't leave out rum. That's a very interesting stuff. Try some grog, make yourself some grog. Pusser's navy rum is still available.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh it's good, Pusser's Navy Rum, a little something a little sweet in it and some lime juice and water and, you know, ice. British guys didn't have ice, of course. we've got the luxury of ice.

Mark Rippetoe:
So, yeah, well, you know, we'll probably thinking something when we close up here and, you know...Comments from the haters: "Rip doesn't know anything about alcohol. Stick with what you know."

Mark Rippetoe:
Aren't those wonderful?

Mark Rippetoe:
OK, well, let's wrap it up. [Reaches for glass of whiskey] Exercised remarkable constraint.

Mark Rippetoe:
Later, gator.

Automatically convert your video files to text with Sonix. Sonix is the best online, automated transcription service.

Sonix uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence to convert your xY6gQV9RLM4 files to text.

Transcribing your video files will make them more accessible. Researchers constantly record video footage of their interviews. Accurately transcribe your research interviews with Sonix. Students and teachers constantly need to better transcribe lectures and research notes. Add captions and subtitles to your marketing videos with Sonix, the best video-to-text transcription service. Create and share better video content with Sonix. Better transcribe your legal depositions with Sonix, the most advanced automated transcription service online for legal firms. Sonix has delivered millions of hours of highly accurate transcription services to our customers. Are you a filmmaker? Automatically transcribe your latest video recordings with Sonix.

Sonix uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence to convert your xY6gQV9RLM4 files to text.

Sonix is the best online video transcription software in 2020—it's fast, easy, and affordable.

For your video files, use Sonix to easily convert xY6gQV9RLM4 files to srt for better subtitles. If you are looking for a great way to convert your video to text, try Sonix today.

Mark Rippetoe gives a primer on different types of alcohol, brewing and distillation methods, and their history. 

Episode Resources

Discuss in Forums

Subscribe: YouTube   Audio feeds: RSS | iTunes | Google Podcasts




Starting Strength Weekly Report

Highlights from the StartingStrength Community. Browse archives.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.