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GI JOES SON View Drop Down
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    Posted: 07 September 2013 at 2:27pm
Been around lurking here and there as i've been able to. So as my awesome deployment gets closer to ending, i've been looking into hobbies i can start up, and i've narrowed it down to two: woodworking and wine/whiskey making (more likely to be wine though). Unfortunately the buddy i'm moving in with isn't into skin hats, so that's out.
 
As for the wood working, I plan on getting some second/third hand tools off craigslist or similar sites. Are there any tools anyone recommends in particular i buy brand new? For now, with novice skills, i figure i can get away with tools from craigslist and give them a new blade and some TLC. I'm not looking to make anything big such as furniture (yet), but i would like to get into some smaller things and add in some wood burning. My first project is likely to be a deck on the house my buddy has.
 
While still on the topic of wood working, does anyone recommend any places to get some decent, cheap wood? I was thinking the same source (craigslist), but another avenue i want to look into is some old, run down barns in the area (North Carolina, around Ft. Bragg). Of course, i would talk to the owners of the property first. No need to get shot AFTER deployment.
 
As for the other venture, something i've just always been interested. I've been leaning toward making wine since most of the people i know prefer wine over whiskey. With that, i was thinking of 2-3 small batches at a time (different kinds) to see if it comes out OK and what i had done differently on each one. The eventual goal (6-10 months time) is to get a 10L cask and make a few of the ones that turned out well on a slightly larger scale. Pretty lost in the sauce except for what i've read online about it, which isn't much.
 
If anyone has any experience with whiskey, however, i would love to pose this question here in hopes that it can be answered or a link can be found which isn't vague as all get out. I have seen the "small batch" home made kits, and it states that due to the smaller cask, 1 month is approximately 1 year due to the proportion of its size. My question is, what is the validity of this, and if anyone has made whiskey, what size cask was it and how long did you let it sit? With what results?
 
Any advice on either topics would be greatly appreciated. I've got about as much time left here to get the ball rolling on some stuff to have shipped to my address in the states so i can hit the ground running when i get back.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ceesman762 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 September 2013 at 9:16pm
Hey! where's is my Taliban fighter you were supposed to bring back for me???
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Warhammer. It will keep you VERY busy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SSOK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 September 2013 at 11:05pm
Whiskey is a SOB to make. You would have to ferment a mash (letting a vat of stuff sit) then distill.

I recommend trying something called Skeeter Pee. Google it, I really liked it. I'm going to try to make a hard cider soon.

For woodworking... There is woodworking and carpentry. Making nice stuff out of wood is woodworking and an art. Building a deck is carpentry. There are a lot of nice little projects you can try. I suggest building yourself a desk or something of the sort.

For tools, buy once cry once. It depends on what tools you are looking for. Some tools can be ancient and still work great, other things such as screwguns you're better off buying new.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote procarbinefreak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 September 2013 at 11:52pm
I have no advice on either.  I've been brewing beer for a while, and I'm tempted to try to get a one gallon brew kit and try doing small batches of all grain.  

I've also been really into cigars and pipes lately.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2013 at 2:30am
There used to be this thing called paintball . . . but I don't know if it's around anymore.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GI JOES SON Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2013 at 6:27am
Ceesman- Still working on it!
 
The Guy- I'll have to dig into that
 
SSOK- it looked like an SOB to make...i found some kits that come with 110 proof whiskey that you pour into a barrel and let sit...more of a "look what i did in a few hours" kind of a thing....the more i read about making wine the more it interests me. For the woodworking/carpentry i suppose it will be a mix of the two, really. I'll certainly keep that in mind about the screwguns.
 
Pro- while here my buddy got me into pipes and cigars as well, its definitely an interesting culture to dive into. A lot of units here have "cigar parties", which are really nothing more than an excuse to get together and smoke. Some of the smoke shacks/bus stops are covered in cigar rings.
 
Mack- I do still have my paintball gear, a well cleaned/oiled 98C and Procarbine. I'm looking for some stuff to do that only involves waking up on the weekend and heading to the garage. I don't doubt there are some good fields down in NC, i just don't have the motivation to drive to them. There is one near Fort Bragg, basically just outside one of the gates, but from the street it looks kind of dumpy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tallen702 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2013 at 7:45am
On whisk(e)y:

The one caveat here is that distilling spirits for consumption without the appropriate paperwork being approved by the TTB and BATFE is illegal. That said, there are a lot of people who do it for a hobby and the government pretty much turns a blind eye because (as of right now) they are only concerning themselves with individuals who are producing and selling, or producing enough to be on the industrial/commercial small batch scale.

Hobby distilling currently sits right about the same place that home brewing and home wine making did in the 1970's. It's technically illegal, but if you aren't robbing money from Uncle Sam, they tend to have other fish to fry. Most people in the hobby distilling world are under the impression that hobby distillation will be legalize in the US in the next 10-20 years at most. The issue isn't safety. The issue has never actually been safety. The same as beer and wine were, it's about the government getting tax revenue.

Making a mash is easy. If you can make beer or wine, you can make a mash. Essentially whiskey mash is beer minus the hops and using a different yeast. Most distillers use some combination of malted barley, corn, rye, and or wheat. The malted barley is a must as the amylase enzymes created by the malting process are necessary to convert starch to sugar for the yeast to feed on. Most hobby distillers us between 80-90% corn with the remaining portion of the grain bill being malted barley. Then you select a yeast (dry active distiller's yeast or DADY is common) steep your grains, cool to 72*F and pitch the yeast. Cover it and let it run for 1-2 weeks depending on your potential alcohol levels.

With that, the easy part is out of the way. Next, you rack off your beer (fermented mash that is yet to be distilled is called "beer") and distill it. For that, you get into some more complicated stuff that'd take too long to explain here, but isn't so complicated that you can't do it (and do it fairly easily). The biggest part of the distillation step is the cost of building or buying a still. You can legally purchase a still online or at your local homebrew store (dependent on local ordinances and laws or course). The legality issue comes when you put alcohol containing liquids in it and extract that alcohol for consumption. You CAN get a free ethanol tax stamp from the TTB/BATFE which would allow you to bypass most scrutiny, but that is for producing ethanol for fuel. The moment you consume it, you're breaking the law.

www.homedistiller.org is a great beginner's resource. The forums contain a ton of info though most forum members are pretty uptight and snooty.
I suggest Matthew Rowley's book "Moonshine" as a good resource for beginners as well. It contains all the method in easy-to-understand terms. Covers safety very well, and even has recipes and plans.

Saw you mentioned Bragg. You in Fayettenam?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SSOK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2013 at 9:19am
You could make a still fairly easily for under $50. Then you can age it in Mason jars with a bit of charred oak in it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GI JOES SON Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2013 at 9:35am
Tallen, thanks for the info! I was and will be back in Fayettenam after I redeploy...for the time being I'm sitting in Afghanistan contemplating what to do with my time when i get home...besides shooting, of course.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tallen702 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2013 at 11:21am
Yeah, if you DO take up the hobby distillation thing, DO NOT let it be commonly known you are doing so since you'd be in NC. VA and NC are the two states that really don't take kindly to any amount of illicit alcohol being distilled.

Also, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I'd rather stay in Afghanistan than live in Fayettenam! FIL was civi Psy-Ops with JSOC. Wiafu was born and raised there. If it weren't for the fact that her folks still live there (they're trying to sell their house) she'd like to see it wiped off the face of the planet with extreme prejudice.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GI JOES SON Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2013 at 2:55pm
Good to note. I'm not planning on doing anything larger than a garage job for now. The girly isn't too into me making much besides wine, so i figure i'll start with that, and slowly expand into beer and other things. It's all about the foothold...
 
Yeah, from what i hear the towns cleaned up in the last ten years or so, but i can't speak from experience. All i know is that i wouldn't walk around parts of it in broad daylight with my .45 open carry. Downtown isn't too bad, but it definitely gets worse the closer you are to the base, as it tends to be in military towns, i suppose. My buddy bought a place in southern pines though, so i'm hoping to dodge all of that mayhem again (pre-deployment i was staying a little north of Bragg in Spring Lake...less crime, but it was slowly finding its way up there). Other than that, it wouldn't break my heart to see it wiped off the face of the planet...plenty of other drop zones around the world!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote usafpilot07 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2013 at 3:27pm
Originally posted by GI JOES SON GI JOES SON wrote:

Good to note. I'm not planning on doing anything larger than a garage job for now. The girly isn't too into me making much besides wine, so i figure i'll start with that, and slowly expand into beer and other things. It's all about the foothold...
 
Yeah, from what i hear the towns cleaned up in the last ten years or so, but i can't speak from experience. All i know is that i wouldn't walk around parts of it in broad daylight with my .45 open carry. Downtown isn't too bad, but it definitely gets worse the closer you are to the base, as it tends to be in military towns, i suppose. My buddy bought a place in southern pines though, so i'm hoping to dodge all of that mayhem again (pre-deployment i was staying a little north of Bragg in Spring Lake...less crime, but it was slowly finding its way up there). Other than that, it wouldn't break my heart to see it wiped off the face of the planet...plenty of other drop zones around the world!


I would NOT live in Spring Lake. Dear God, no. 

I'm working in a nearby county, where a lot of military guys live, so if you start looking, and want some opinions on different areas, or even streets if you move that way, feel free to drop me a PM. 



And Tallen is correct, we do have pretty strict standards and whatnot concerning alcohol enforcement. However, ALE just took another budget cut, and I don't think they even have enough agents to have one per county anymore.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GI JOES SON Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2013 at 3:37pm
USAF, what county are you in? I wasn't too far into Spring Lake, just up off of 210, about a mile past the walmart in an apt. complex. Fortunately my buddy is letting me stay at his place (perks being a yard, and no laws telling me where i can and can't gril...) until i kill enough time to ETS.
 
You ever go to Range 37 up near Lillington?
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote usafpilot07 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2013 at 3:41pm
Originally posted by GI JOES SON GI JOES SON wrote:

USAF, what county are you in? I wasn't too far into Spring Lake, just up off of 210, about a mile past the walmart in an apt. complex. Fortunately my buddy is letting me stay at his place (perks being a yard, and no laws telling me where i can and can't gril...) until i kill enough time to ETS.
 
You ever go to Range 37 up near Lillington?
 
 

I'm in Harnett. I'm actually working the Spring Lake portion of the county, right now, coincidentally. Though it's Spring Lake City proper, in Cumberland, that I would particularly avoid.  

I haven't been to 37, but I've been meaning to. I heard they keep a pretty good selection of rifles in stock. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GI JOES SON Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2013 at 4:39pm
They do, they also let you rent some rifles and pistols, last i went there anyway. They have a pretty decent range set up too. Standard lanes 25-100 yards, plus a "tactical bay" where you can do just about anything your heart desires, so longs you don't kill yourself and those around you. There's also a shoot house, but i think they require their supervision on that one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tallen702 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 September 2013 at 12:39pm
IF you're going to be in Fayettenam for a bit, and decide to settle down. I know a really nice house for sale at a reasonable price in a good neighborhood with good school and very motivated sellers.

Downtown HAS cleaned up, but it's still not great at night. Hay street in particular still has more than its fair share of street walkers, fights, and druggies.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote usafpilot07 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 September 2013 at 10:11pm
Originally posted by tallen702 tallen702 wrote:

IF you're going to be in Fayettenam for a bit, and decide to settle down. I know a really nice house for sale at a reasonable price in a good neighborhood with good school and very motivated sellers.

Downtown HAS cleaned up, but it's still not great at night. Hay street in particular still has more than its fair share of street walkers, fights, and druggies.


Murchison is practically a DMZ between normal city problems and a war zone.
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