What drove moonshine in the USSR


Из чего гнали самогон в СССР

The Soviet authorities for many years stubbornly fought moonshining, but to eradicate this phenomenon and could not. Many residents of villages and towns prepared alcoholic products in the home, both for personal use and for sale. Moonshiners stigmatized, ridiculed in movies and on the pages of Newspapers, but the demand for cheap and spirits remained high. For their production used different raw materials, mainly the available. So what drove moonshine Soviet citizens?


In the song “Police Protocol” famous Soviet poet, actor and singer-songwriter Vladimir Vysotsky (1938-1980), has these words: “And if b does not drive the vodka made from sawdust, what we were used with five bottles?»
Of course, rumors about the production of alcohol from wood chips did not come out of nowhere. Probably the author of the song hints at the fact that fans of the drink of the Soviet times was purchased and “left” of products. The more that the bootleggers already have mastered the technology of production of alcohol from sawdust and other waste wood processing industry. A clear advantage of this material was its availability. Wood shavings could get for free in any amount to virtually any production. Mountains of sawdust lying near the construction sites and other objects of national economy. But there were disadvantages. And chief among them is the low quality of the alcohol.
Brew from sawdust to quite simple, but to drink it without thorough cleaning is hazardous to health: can be blind, a cripple or even die if you do not know the measures. Typically, the purification process of this low-quality, cheap liquor consisted of two stages. First turbid liquid was filtered through activated charcoal, then it was added potassium permanganate and waited a few hours until the harmful substances will not settle to the bottom as a result of chemical reactions.

Cow dung

An ordinary phrase that the brew can be prepared from almost anything, confirms the fact that in the Soviet era, some enterprising dealers drove their products from manure. In General, if we ignore the disgust, any shit (in the literal sense of the word) can become the raw material for the production of alcohol beverages. But mostly bootleggers used “cow cakes” because they were the most affordable and, of course, free. Though trucks are exported from the farm.
Usually to accelerate the fermentation process in the manure added yeast. And after all this manure will ferment, it began to distill. The main problem with this drink was its characteristic odor. But experienced brewing know how to deliver their products from the stench.
In the far North instead of cow used a deer manure. It all depended on how many animals are bred in a particular region.
Of course, few people will be chasing this stuff for personal use, but for sale: why not? It’s profitable, but money does not smell.

Chicken manure

The production of moonshine from chicken manure also was not uncommon. Interestingly, many specialists use litter as a raw material, but as a cleanup tool, the future of the beverage. Simply put, they insisted on it moonshine.
Such alcohol drinking themselves and treated guests. The manufacturers claimed that by absorption is obtained a pure product free from all harmful impurities and fusel oils. And that doesn’t smell good, so this is not a perfume. Therefore, the Soviet citizens hold their noses and gulp swallow this brew. Usually he was so strong that 100 grams without snacks could literally “cut” grown man for a few hours.


Another available raw material, to find that it is possible is the cane. It grows along the shores of almost all lakes, rivers and streams of our country. For the manufacture of moonshine in the Soviet era mainly took the roots of this plant. Collected reeds are usually in spring and autumn, when 100 grams of the plant contains about 40 grams of sugar and 32 grams of starch.

Grass rhizomes

A resourceful and inquisitive bootleggers looking for a free raw materials for its products collected plants, the rhizomes of which contain many nutrients, mainly sugar and starch. The most popular among professionals of handicraft production in the Soviet era used the roots of burdock felt (a popular name agrimony), Susak umbrella and marsh cattail, and arrowhead tubers of the forest. One drawback of raw materials — seasonality.

Moss moss

According to research chemists in 100 grams of lichen, which the inhabitants of the far North to feed his reindeer are almost 45 grams of starch is a very high indicator. So moss was another raw material for brewing in the Soviet era. In the Northern latitudes of our country lichen abound. Furthermore, the moss can gather all year round. It is also often used for cleansing products, since moss is an excellent means for the absorption of harmful substances contained in Braga.

Caramels and toffee

Sticky wad of expired chocolates, too, could serve as raw materials for Hooch. Sometimes in the Soviet stores were written off such illiquid goods, but these caramels and toffee nobody ever threw away. Out drink with a unique taste and smell. Due to the high sugar content of candy gave a good result. From one kilogram of caramel you can make more than a liter of strong vodka. You simply add yeast and water. The fermentation process takes about a week. The taste of the drink depends on the toppings of candy. But there is also a minus. In this type of brew so much sugar that it is harmful for health.
The people of the USSR had a boundless imagination and enterprise, they are literally out of nothing could produce alcohol that is used themselves, and which have been treated to friends and relatives, selling the excess to neighbors. Some people made moonshine from a home hobby in the underground business, risking their reputation and freedom. Is it any wonder that the raw material for their products could be anything. Acorns, chestnuts, watermelons, tomatoes, buckwheat, birch juice, jam is not a complete list of products that the craftsmen were turned into spirits.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here