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ok so i just miss Popcorn Sutton! Did anybody know him in person?

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#1 mycowarrier


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Posted 26 March 2015 - 10:47 PM

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Edited by mycowarrier, 26 March 2015 - 11:16 PM.

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#2 -=Zeus=-


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Posted 27 March 2015 - 08:59 AM

Popcorn Sutton is one of my role models. His simple ways, common sense, and tenacity are things that I hold in high regard. I would have loved to have sit with him during a run, going through the ritual, hearing the stories, nippin' at the jug, maybe doin' a little bug dancin' after it took effect...

I found this video a few months back and hadn't seen it before. The avatar is a screenshot from it. It was from a picture taken the day before Popcorn's last act of defiance.

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Edited by -=Zeus=-, 27 March 2015 - 09:00 AM.

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#3 TVCasualty


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Posted 27 March 2015 - 02:01 PM

Never had the privilege of meeting him, but I've met a bunch of folks that were just like him.

I did get the honor of sampling some of Popcorn's likker back in the late-1990's (when I was a whitewater guide living in the Appalachians on the North Carolina/Tennessee border). It was phenomenal, as you'd expect (he took care not to "burn" it and discarded the foreshot on its last run through the still, reducing the yield a little bit but greatly boosting the quality). As soon as he became a celebrity known outside of the local area (which happened around 2002) a lot changed -including his likker being available to me, damn it!- and it probably was what led to the raid in '07 that ended his likker-makin' days, and ultimately his life by his own hand (the ATF raid was led by one of the fuckheaded tools involved in Waco, oddly enough; hopefully he feels like total shit about it -not to mention the atrocity he was a part of at Waco- and will for the rest of his pathetic life).

There are "still" (heheheh) a lot of old timers (and plenty of new-timers) making huge amounts of 'shine in them thar hills, and the bulk of what's produced is shipped North. The two main customers of moonshine, at least according to the big-time moonshiners who were still in operation last time I visited the region, are U.S. Congresscritters (esp. Senators) and proprietors of "illegal" underground bars in big cities (esp. New York). So there's a healthy market for it even now.

I'm a fan of home distillation, but I prefer a modern reflux-type still to what Popcorn used and so long as you do three runs through the still and lower the temp each time and take care to toss the foreshot after the last run you'll end up with the cleanest likker you can get. For those who don't know, most of the hangover lurks in the foreshot and commercial liquors only do one "continuous" distillation and don't discard the foreshot (which explains a whole lot, don't it?).

It's got many uses besides drinking, too: I've used it as a parts washer, solvent for crude extractions, as starting fluid to start a generator when the engine was being difficult (and even started my car with it a few times) and it makes a quick hand-warmer for those cold-ass Appalachian Winters when you're sitting in a tree or hiding in the bushes set-hunting for trespassing poachers. Put a roll of toilet paper into an old coffee can, fill with likker, light w/ lighter. The TP is the wick for the alcohol and it provides a constant and stealthy flame (invisible in daytime, barely-visible at night) that doesn't get too hot and doesn't stink (at least until the alcohol runs out and the TP starts to smolder).

Edited by TVCasualty, 27 March 2015 - 02:04 PM.

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#4 happy4nic8r


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Posted 27 March 2015 - 03:13 PM

TV: If you have some experience with shine, I have a question. What is it about the multiple condensations that are necessary to refine the basic "yeast piss" into 95% max.


Is it because it is hard to separate from water with one run through, or is it a refinement of the alcohol itself?


I blew up a still when I was 20, and got pretty badly burned. Haven't played that tune again, but have sampled some really nice "tickle" since.


It's not out of the question, now that I have a lot more smarts, I think?


Don't mean to jump this thread, but it's sort of related.....

#5 Juthro


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Posted 27 March 2015 - 03:25 PM

Happy, if your looking at setting up a still, a good place to look is at Clawhammer Supply.

They have some killer kits, and plenty of instructional videos on how to make them work.

I truly admire Popcorn, and I hope he is happy wherever he is resting.
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