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Homemade Homestead DRINKS & BREWS & REFRESHMENTS

There are a surprising number of natural things to drink on a remote homestead, and they of course vary based on the natural plants & trees native to the area you are in.



1. Teas - are generally any edible plant material that is steeped in water, and can be drank hot or cold.

Trees commonly used for refreshing drinks include, but are not  limited to:
                      
a. PINE - Needles made into a tea makes a drink high in Vitamin C and        helps fight scurvy.
b. BIRCH - Sweet drinkable sap, can be made into syrup, sugar, sweet tea, and beer.
c. SASSAFRAS ROOT - Makes a sasparilla sassafras tea
d. MAPLE - Sweet drinkable sap, can be made into syrup or sugar or sweet tea
e. STAGHORN SUMAC - the red spire seed pods are steeped into a lemonade drink

Plants commonly used for drinks include, but not limited to:
a. MINT - Found in moist areas
b. JUNIPER BERRIES - give drinks a "gin" flavor
c. RASPBERRY LEAVES - This tea helps with female menstrual cramps
d. ROSEHIPS - Are steeped into a tea also high in vitamin C





2. Coffees - are generally made from roasting things in combination to make custom coffee flavors.

Grains, nuts, seeds, roots are usually roasted in an oven or over a fire and then ground and then brewed.

Things commonly used for coffee include but are not limited to:
a. CHICKORY ROOTS
b. CEREAL GRAINS - wheat, oats, barely
c. BEECH NUTS
d. PINE NUTS
e. DANDELION ROOTS


3. Juices - are generally made from locally available fruits. In the north, these include but are not limited to:
a. CRANBERRIES
b. GRAPES
c. BLACKBERRIES
d. RED RASPBERRIES
e. BLUEBERRIES
f.  APPLES
g. MULBERRIES
h. STRAWBERRIES
             I boil fruit with a bit of sugar to taste into a concentrate, I filter the juice through a t-shirt to remove the pulp and then I "can" it into jars. Later I use these concentrates mixed with water when I serve them as glasses of juice. They make wonderful cocktail juices.


4. Wines - are made by fermenting the fruit juice with yeast. A balloon can be fastened over a jug and about 1 teaspoon of bread yeast or wine yeast (old-timers used a bit of sour dough starter, which does produce wine albeit a bit cloudy) in 1 to 5 gallons of juice. Fasten the large heavy duty balloon on top of jug secure with string, tape or zip strip . When the balloon deflates in about 2 to 4 weeks your wine is done. It must be bottled quickly without alot of air exposure or it could turn to vinegar. (Which is not a total loss as the vinegar can be used for cleaning or cooking, pickling etc.) The alcohol content in homemade wine is usually 9-12%




5. Beers - this is easily made Alaska bush style by buying hops flavored malt in a large can and mixing with water to make 5 gallons.Heat, then cool, Add the yeast at about 105 degrees f and an airlock or a balloon as above and wait for fermentation to stop and the balloon to deflate or the airlock to stop bubbling. Beer is temperature sensitive and ferments best around 45 degrees fahrenheit so makes a good springtime endeavor for those who do not have thermostat heat. 

Attention:
****As with any food related suggestion make sure you use proper identification methods for identifying plants, please be aware of possible food allergies, and risks involved in canning, preserving, and brewing. Local laws could prohibit some of these activities in your local, so please check your ordinances.****

             

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