In 1985, Malcom Forbes payed $160,000 for a bottle of 1787 Chateau Lafite wine that once belonged to Thomas Jefferson, and hired journalists to brag about it in his eponymous magazine. We at Dumpster Aficionado would like to salute Mr. Forbes for his shrewd decision making — it is leaders such as him that make the political economics of capitalism the most rational and efficient of all possible manners of social organization. But those of us who are still waiting for our hard work and sound financial decisions to give way to some Horatio Alger-esque payoff and subsequent class ascension have not yet earned the right to sip such fine wine (though, granted, it is technically inedible now). In the meantime, if you’ll review your wine menu, might I suggest the…
Fruit wine is so easy to make it’s almost embarrassing. I don’t even use brewer’s yeast — the skin of fruit such as grapes and plums already contain the microorganisms necessary for fermentation naturally. We acquired the plums used for the wine we served last night (pictured above in our awesome Dr. Jekyll pitcher, also dumpstered, along with some cheese we found behind a nearby bakery) in the dumpster run I documented on the 5th, but we’ve also made grape wines since then. Wash the grimy fruit, but leave most of them unwashed, especially if you only have antibacterial soap — we WANT bacteria, remember? Mash up the grapes, either with your handy dandy food processor or Ethel-and-Lucy-style, and allow the brew to sit overnight and separate — you can scoop the pulp off of the top in the morning. We live in toasty Southern California, so that’s all we need to do, but if you live in chillier climes, you might want to add a bit of sugar. You don’t want to cap off the brew because CO2 needs to escape from the mix, but you can’t let air get in either, so it’s important to make a system where air can leave your container without allowing other air in. You can find special airlocks for pretty cheap online, but I prefer condoms or balloons in part because they’ll fit on a wider variety of mouth containers. Simply let the pressure out of the condom once a day, and it’ll be ready within the week. You’ll have to drink it pretty soon unless you take further preservation measures, but that’ll rarely be necessary; the fruit that you freegan on Saturday night should be ready to filter and serve by your party the following Friday night.
Stay classy, detritivores! Don’t drink and bike!