Monday, January 24, 2011
Plain Not Knowing
I was explaining to my old landlord Otto how to build a Tibetan still. It's a way to distill wine into slightly stronger wine using a Crockpot, an open yard, and an extension cord. I doubt that the Tibetans actually distill liquor this way, but this is how I learned to do it. Otto suggested rather strongly that I not engage in building a Tibetan still, and I said something to the effect that, sure, there would be a lot of evaporated alcohol fumes and heat, but that's why you kept it at a safe distance with an extension cord. It was then that I learned Otto has a stake in a few Slovakian distilleries. Turns out that you can only drink a certain part of the alcohol once distillation has begun, otherwise you run the risk of going blind or dying. I always thought that people went blind from drinking moonshine distilled through PVC pipes instead of copper. In the loosely quoted words of a former politician I didn't like, "It's not what you know or what you know you don't know, it's what you don't know that you don't know that can really hurt you."