South African Skeptics

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Offline brianvds

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We should tap into our vast floral heritage. Surely there must be some herb lurking in one of our biomes that will show some promising recreational value. So the moment we are set free, I move that the smokers systematically work their way through, say, Petersen's Fynbos of the Western Cape. With that groundwork laid, we may be better off when Corona II locks us away again. Pro-activity, my good peeps.

Perhaps this is worth looking into:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotiana_africana

There is some or other weed that is fairly closely related to tobacco, and can probably be smoked, but now I can't for the life of me remember its name. I have seen it around here. I would be reluctant to mess around with it, because as I recall it is poisonous, and who knows how strong or carcinogenic a smoke it might make? I'll go dig around a bit and see what I can find...


Offline Rigil Kent

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There is some or other weed that is fairly closely related to tobacco, and can probably be smoked, but now I can't for the life of me remember its name.
The one that leads to short term memory loss? :P

Incidentally, is there anything to the notion that pot helps creativity? I know have heard that ideas that one recon are quite brilliant whilst stoned turn out  somewhat inane once sober.

« Last Edit: April 21, 2020, 15:10:54 pm by Rigil Kent »
You know it's cold outside when you go outside and it's cold.


Offline brianvds

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Offline brianvds

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And this is the one I have been thinking of:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotiana_glauca

I often see it growing around here on the side of the road etc. According to the Wiki article, it can be smoked too.


Offline Rigil Kent

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Was aware of the first one, the Wilde dagga. It's a welcome garden plant, and makes good hedges.
You know it's cold outside when you go outside and it's cold.


Offline Faerie

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At least I would be able to go pick myself some smokes out of a back room somewhere whilst everybody else gets raptured.
Bwhaa-haa. Ag shym Faerie ... is dit maar taai tye vir die rookers?  :o :/
Ah I found some, twas quite the adventure to be honest. Rumour says the ban on ciggies will be lifted this eve. Someone, somewhere realised they are losing R35m per day on revenue from 7 million smokers in the country.



Offline BoogieMonster

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Either way, Thank freck I quit.
"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline BoogieMonster

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[....] because as I recall it is poisonous, and who knows how strong or carcinogenic a smoke it might make? I'll go dig around a bit and see what I can find...

So, it's exactly like Nicotine? :P
"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline brianvds

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There is some or other weed that is fairly closely related to tobacco, and can probably be smoked, but now I can't for the life of me remember its name.
The one that leads to short term memory loss? :P

Incidentally, is there anything to the notion that pot helps creativity? I know have heard that ideas that one recon are quite brilliant whilst stoned turn out  somewhat inane once sober.

That was my experience on the few occasions where I made a point of writing down my brilliant insights while stoned. Takes bloody forever to write them down in the first place, and they turn out inane. :-)


Offline brianvds

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[....] because as I recall it is poisonous, and who knows how strong or carcinogenic a smoke it might make? I'll go dig around a bit and see what I can find...

So, it's exactly like Nicotine? :P

See my reply #228 above - dem Injuns smoked it like tobacco, and I get the impression it is pretty much the same thing from the perspective of a smoker of primitive pipeweed.

I have long been curious about it, and about smoking the way they did it in the old days. There is a whole interesting history which I read in a book on the subject some years ago.

Initially, the American colonists smoked tobacco like the Indians did: as something of a special occasion. You light a pipe in the evening next to the fireplace, to relax after a day's work. You can't really light it anywhere else, because matches hadn't been invented yet. Then they discovered roasting tobacco, sort of by accident, which made it nicer and more addictive, but of course you still went through the whole ritual of filling your pipe, and cleaning it and so on, which reduced use. Then they invented matches, so now you could smoke during the day as well, though all the pipe filling still kept use under control. And then they invented cigarettes, so now you could smoke any time, anywhere, dirt-cheap, non-stop, and they did everything they could to make it as addictive as possible.

Like Robin Williams quoted a fictitious Indian in one of his comedy sketches: "For us it is a sacred herb. For you, it will be an addictive carcinogen."

Solution? Don't quit. Just make a rule: you only smoke raw tobacco that you grew and/or harvested yourself. In a pipe or cigar form, and you have to roll your own cigars. That sort of automatically puts a limit on consumption.

I'm seriously thinking of taking a vow never to drink any alcohol again except what I brewed myself. It will depend on whether the batch of hooch I'm fermenting at the moment comes out half drinkable. :D


Offline Rigil Kent

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.. the batch of hooch I'm fermenting at the moment
And not a second too soon.

I too fancy the idea of becoming a bit  self-reliant. How joyous, for instance, to bake bread that resulted from your own starter. Or harvest a crop of home grown tomatoes, even if they sprouted spontaneously from the compost heap. 

But I draw the line at writing my own novels to read. :-X
You know it's cold outside when you go outside and it's cold.


Offline brianvds

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.. the batch of hooch I'm fermenting at the moment
And not a second too soon.

I too fancy the idea of becoming a bit  self-reliant. How joyous, for instance, to bake bread that resulted from your own starter. Or harvest a crop of home grown tomatoes, even if they sprouted spontaneously from the compost heap. 

But I draw the line at writing my own novels to read. :-X

Whether the withdrawal of brewer's yeast will matter much remains to be seen. I get conflicting reports on whether one can brew up significant alcohol with baker's yeast. Some say you can, some say you can't. I'll learn from experience soon enough, because the yeast I am using is baker's yeast.

But it won't matter anyway, because the web is overflowing with instructions on how to work up your own yeast starters. Yeast floats around in the atmosphere, and the government cannot prohibit atmospheric circulation.

On YouTube I saw a video from a guy who makes his own ginger beer from scratch, using, instead of commercial yeast, a "ginger bug" which he makes from ginger. Basically he just uses the natural yeasts found on ginger. It is not clear whether these are alcohol-resistant enough to work well for brewing relatively high-alcohol beer. But if you use his methods and use grapes instead of ginger, you ought to get good yeasts; after all, grape yeast is what they use to make wine.

Basically he just chops up his ginger, adds sugar and a bit of water and leaves it until it bubbles, after which he adds a bit more sugar and so on, for a few days. He ends up with a bubbly goo; add it to sugar water, and it ferments it like crazy. Now do the same with grapes, and you'll probably have a good alcohol resistant yeast mix. In fact, I suspect that if you even just drop a few grapes into sugar water, you'll end up with alcohol. Perhaps next thing they'll ban grapes. But of course, all you really need to do is save some of your brew before fermentation ends, because there will be plenty yeast in there for the next batch.

The real magic ingredient is sugar; without it, it becomes quite a mission to brew alcohol. So perhaps that'll be on their target list next, or they'll slap a massive tax on it (higher than what is already on it) to discourage purchase. At which point people will make yet another new plan. It's easy enough to malt your own grain, for example.

In short: good luck trying to ban something which people have known how to make at home for thousands of years.


Offline Rigil Kent

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I'll be very surprised if your instant yeast ferment doesn't work. I've used it successfully in the past, and also during this lockdown. However I distill the ferment to a flavourless 85% abv solvent for making green dragon (I can't stand smoking).

Using wild yeasts for brewing is an interesting idea. I have been nursing a sourdough starter for a few months now. It was started from scratch and  consists of yeasts that presumably came with the flour, and some Lactobacilli which it picked up along the way, and which lend awesome flavour to any loaf. So it makes sense that a natural alcoholic ferment can be initiated just as readily.

ETA. In His master class Youtube channel, Jesus demonstrates making the best wine without commercial yeast or, indeed, grapes. But he insists that water is indispensable.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2020, 19:27:17 pm by Rigil Kent »
You know it's cold outside when you go outside and it's cold.


Offline brianvds

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I'll be very surprised if your instant yeast ferment doesn't work. I've used it successfully in the past, and also during this lockdown. However I distill the ferment to a flavourless 85% abv solvent for making green dragon (I can't stand smoking).

Well, by late afternoon yesterday fermentation in my first batch basically came to an end. It tasted pleasantly sweet-sour, so there must be some alcohol in there, but I don't think more than 2% or 3%.

Quote
ETA. In His master class Youtube channel, Jesus demonstrates making the best wine without commercial yeast or, indeed, grapes. But he insists that water is indispensable.


Perhaps He can resurrect my dead yeasts. :-)


Offline brianvds

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A guy on the web assures me he gets 10% with common old baker's yeast. Well, maybe I did something wrong. In the meantime I see this

Homemade YEAST for WINE, BEER and BREAD - How to make YEAST from scratch

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mYKC7CjvdE

I haven't watched the whole thing, but he uses grapes, among other things.