How prison hooch is made

How is prison hooch made

How prison hooch is made - Prison Vodka / Pruno

How is Prison Hooch Made: Unveiling the Ingenious Art of Fermentation Behind Bars

The art of creating alcoholic concoctions within the confines of prison walls, known colloquially as “prison hooch,” is a testament to human resourcefulness and ingenuity. Often hidden under colorful names like “toilet wine” or “buck,” this creative practice involves transforming everyday ingredients into a makeshift form of alcohol. Among its variations, “pruno,” named after its use of prunes as a sugar source, stands out as a prevalent choice.

How is Prison Hooch Made? The ingredients needed and method.

How is prison hooch made and what ingredients are needed. Within the restricted environment of a prison, inmates harness their resourcefulness to concoct this beverage. Fruits such as oranges, apples, plums, and apricots are juiced to kickstart the process. While brewer’s or baker’s yeast may be elusive, a strategic inclusion of bread slices provides a hidden source of yeast, surviving the baking process. Nature lends a hand as well, with natural yeast found on the fruits themselves. Inmates, masters of innovation, further enhance the fermentation with extra sugar, packets of tomato sauce, jelly crystals, and even hard candy – all sugar sources ripe for transformation. Beyond prison walls, the process is simpler: a dose of brewer’s or baker’s yeast, combined with bottled juice, sets the stage for the magic of fermentation.

Most common shopping list for Prison hooch would be a scavenger hunt round the prison to collect and store: 

  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Fruit cocktail
  • Fruit juices
  • Hard candy
  • High fructose syrup
  • Crumbled bread
How is prison hooch made

Prison Hooch: HOW TO: The Fermentation Process: A Creative Alchemy.

The Fermentation Process: A Creative Alchemy

In the prison setting, the artistry unfolds with the pulping of fruits, addition of bread, and sealing within a plastic bag. This bag is then placed in a warm location, often a toilet tank, and left to ferment for a span of 5 to 7 days (subject to the guards’ vigilance). Alternately, whatever receptacle is available – be it buckets or bottles – serves as the vessel for fermentation. In contrast, those outside prison walls are advised to adopt a neater approach. Rather than the plastic bag, bottled juice acts as the medium for fermentation, eliminating spillage and mess.

Taste and Outcome: From Bitter to Bubbly

Pruno, or “prison hooch,” commonly emerges with a slightly bitter or tart flavor profile. This concoction, primarily consumed within prison, leans toward the robust side of the taste spectrum. Beyond the prison context, a touch of ingenuity can balance these flavors – artificial sweeteners or Stevia can transform it into a fruity seltzer or a more palatable cider.

ABV Variability and Safety: A Delicate Balancing Act

Variables like temperature, ingredients, and fermentation duration determine the alcohol by volume (ABV) of pruno, ranging from 2% to as high as 14%. Yet, amidst the creativity lies a crucial principle – maintaining cleanliness. Sanitization through agents such as sodium percarbonate guarantees the brew’s safety. Debunking the myth, homebrew enthusiasts discover that the real danger lies in unhygienic conditions rather than the process itself.

From Prison Cell to Glass: The Craft's Fascinating Tale

Prison hooch transcends its depiction in popular media, showcasing human resourcefulness amidst constraints. While prison walls demand innovative approaches, enthusiasts beyond the bars can opt for streamlined methods. The tale of brewing resonates within both prison and the larger world, exemplifying that resourcefulness knows no bounds. Whether behind bars or under the open sky, the art of crafting brews serves as a testament to the boundless ingenuity of the human spirit.

How do you make Prison hooch step by step?

Creating Homemade Hooch: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step One: Prepare Your Fruits

If the idea of squeezing fruit juice doesn’t appeal to you, there’s an alternative – opt for premade juice. However, ensure you avoid selections containing preservatives, which can stifle yeast activity, disrupting your hooch-making endeavor. Instead, choose fresh, organic fruit juice. Alternatively, if you have a juicer, you can extract liquid from your ingredients. Feel free to experiment by blending different flavors, adding simple syrups or even vegetables for unique hooch variations. For those well-versed in home brewing, the addition of stabilizers can prevent rapid spoilage of the juice. This liquid is referred to as “must.”

Prison Pruno

Step Two: Transfer Your Must to a Fermentation Vessel

While you can take the simpler route of using a plastic bottle topped with a balloon with a small hole, our recommendation leans toward clean and sanitized fermentation vessels equipped with built-in airlocks. This option offers greater stability and superior hooch results. However, the container’s size plays a pivotal role.

A golden rule is to double the size of the container concerning the amount of hooch you intend to produce. If you plan to make half a gallon of hooch, pour it into a one-gallon container. This additional space allows gases to escape without any risk of the bottle rupturing and creating a fermenting mess.

Step Three: Introduce Your Yeast

With the must safely inside the vessel, introduce a portion of brewer’s yeast. Typically, a tablespoon should suffice, but for larger batches, two might be necessary. Stirring the yeast in and aerating the mixture aids in ensuring it receives enough oxygen for the reaction to commence. Given that the must contains sugar, there’s no need to pre-activate the yeast in sugar water.

Step Four: Initiate Fermentation

Creating hooch requires minimal intervention. Once the mixture is sealed inside the vessel, place it in a dark, cool environment for around a week. Ideally, the ambient temperature should range from 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 21 degrees Celsius). Avoid disturbing the hooch during this period, as it can disrupt the yeast reaction. However, it’s important to periodically check the vessel for any signs of cracks or pressure buildup. Excessive pressure could lead to the vessel bursting. If you detect cracks, promptly transfer the liquid to another container.

Step Five: Filter Your Hooch

Once the hooch has fully fermented, it’s time to separate the liquid from any solids present in the must. You can do this by siphoning the liquid into a different container or straining it through a cheesecloth. Opting for the latter method involves squeezing the remaining solids to extract as much liquid as possible. To simplify this step, consider refrigerating the hooch, allowing sediment to settle at the bottom for easier separation.


Prison Hooch