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Hacking Vodka 570

Posted by michael
from the everclear dept.
enrico_suave writes "A group of geeks aimed to find out whether running cheap vodka through a brita water filter would make it drinkable. They claim after several passes through the filter the cheap vodka surpassed the premium Ketel One in drinkability tests. I think they should have done the test 'double blind' although drinking Vladmir Vodka probably could make you go blind anyways... =)"
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Hacking Vodka

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 20, 2004 @01:07AM (#10872542)

    I believe this has actually been known for a long time.

    Here is the canonical list of the top ten things that taste better once filtered through a Brita pitcher six times, in decreasing order of improvement, according to the Brita FAQ [brita.com]:

    • Orange juice
    • Coca Cola
    • Vodka
    • Cooking oil
    • Urine
    • Gasoline
    • Blood
    • Vinegar
    • Water
    • Semen
    Surprisingly, pus did not make the list....
    • Where does vomit rank on this scale? At the bottom under "all of the above"?
      • by JPriest (547211) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @02:39AM (#10872966) Homepage
        Exactly, hacking vodka is actually pretty common practice the next morning.
    • by Rie Beam (632299) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @02:00AM (#10872810) Journal
      Curious - as to who was the first person to say "This semen would taste better run though a Brita water filter"?
    • by H0NGK0NGPH00EY (210370) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @02:42AM (#10872978) Homepage
      I think this would be a good place to post an email exchange that my best friend had with random representative (whoever answers the emails sent to the help address) at PUR.

      > From: Willett, J.R.
      > Sent: Thursday, January 13, 2000 3:16 PM
      > Subject: PUR
      >
      > Hi
      >
      > I received a PUR Water Filtration Pitcher (Plus LX, Platinum Edition) as a
      > Christmas present, and I have a question about what things it can't
      > filter.
      >
      > I have been very satisfied with its performance in removing chlorine from
      > tapwater, however I am wondering what the limits are in its filtering
      > capabilities. Could it, for instance, remove ammonia from an ammonia-water
      > solution? In other words, could I use it in the desert to recycle urine
      > into
      > drinking water? The box says a lot about what it can filter, but not much
      > about what it can't filter. It only says that the water must be sterile,
      > and
      > everyone knows that urine is completely sterile on leaving the body. Upon
      > leaving the urinary tract, it provides an ideal environment for growing
      > bacteria, but it is completely sterile inside you. The reason we don't
      > habitually drink our own urine is because the water in our urine carries
      > bodily poisons with it, including ammonia. If, however, your pitcher can
      > remove these poisons, I can see how my PUR Water Filtration Pitcher could
      > come in handy when water is scarce.
      >
      > Although my roommate has offered to sample my filtered urine, I thought I
      > would ask you people first, before I pee in my PUR pitcher.
      >
      > Thanks,
      >
      > -J.R. Willett
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Beckenbach.Mark [mailto:Beckenbach.Mark@purwater.com]
      Sent: Friday, January 14, 2000 9:38 AM
      To: 'Willett, J.R.'
      Subject: RE: PUR

      Hello J.R.,
      Gee-Whiz, I must admit that I read your e-mail with some skepticism. Upon
      further reflection I came to the conclusion that you could indeed run human
      urine through our filters. If you do this it could very well hasten your
      way to death, but you can filter urine. We don't normally test urine or the
      body's by-products associated with it. Drinking urine is a bit out of the
      main stream, if you'll pardon the pun. The filter may have some effect on
      the potency of the ammonia. If you're in an emergency situation with out
      water, drinking urine will only make your day worse. The ammonia in urine
      isn't what's going to ruin an already pisser of a day, its the salts. By
      constantly reintroducing those salts into your system, you are increasing
      the amount of salt in your system, and decreasing the amount of usable
      fluids. This salt will draw water from other tissues in your body, as will
      your kidneys. Your kidneys need the extra water to flush the salts out.
      It's a viscous circle. As your kidneys are shutting down, the poisons in
      your body will increase; thereby playing havoc with your heart. The lack of
      electrolytes in your in your brain can cause the synapses to misfire
      eventually causing you to get delirious and run screaming into the desert
      waving your hands over your head chasing Elvis.
      All levity aside, I am not a physician. However I do understand our
      products and have a thorough understanding of human physiology. My
      recommendation is not to do it. Carry a bladder of water in your trunk.
      Being prepared is the best way to keep from having to drink pee.
      Mahalo,
      Mark

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Willett, J.R.
      Sent: Friday, January 14, 2000 10:17 AM
      Subject: RE: PUR

      Mark,

      Thankyou for your timely reply in this matter. Not only have you saved us from what could have been a disasterous science experiment, but you have provided a tremendous amount of amusement to several college students with perhaps too much time on their hands to wonder about such things.

      I assume that if the filter cannot rem

      • by wretched22 (231780) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @03:19AM (#10873127)
        Your best friend was the author? Were you by chance the thirsty roommate?

      • by NanoGator (522640) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @03:34AM (#10873177) Homepage Journal
        "I think this would be a good place to post an email exchange that my best friend had with random representative (whoever answers the emails sent to the help address) at PUR"

        You know, in a day and age where companies are way too PC or diplomatic when they respond to emails like these, it's really quite refreshing to read an email like that. Kudos, PUR.

      • by Dr Reducto (665121) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @03:42AM (#10873204) Journal
        Yeah, when I give people classes in basic survival skills, and they see my water purifier, they always ask if I could piss in it and drink it. This happens every time without fail.

        Basically, the guy is spot on. When you are dehydrating, your body gets really stingy with water, and your urine will be only about 5% water. And yes, the other shit in the urine will require more water to process than you get from the processed urine.
        • by jerde (23294) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @05:59AM (#10873558) Journal
          >your urine will be only about 5% water

          Urine is almost entirely water, with a little bit of other substances dissolved in it. I doubt it's ever more than 5% solutes by weight, in 95% water.
          • by Inda (580031) <slash.20.inda@spamgourmet.com> on Saturday November 20, 2004 @09:06AM (#10874055) Journal
            If you wish to survive on urine you must evaporate the water off first.

            Dig a large hole.

            Piss in said hole or in a small container and place that in the hole.

            Place a clean empty contain in the hole. Use this to collect your 'fresh' water.

            Cover the hole with polythene; tranparent is best. Weigh it down at the corners to stop it falling in.

            Place a small stone in the centre of the polythene to form an angle for the condenced water to run down. Your clean empty container should be under this.

            Other green plants can be added to the hole to increase moisure.

            I tried this 20 years during a hot sunny day in the UK - hardly desert conditions, I know. I had almost half a cup of water of drinking water at the end of the day. I was was not brave enough to try it without water purification tablets though.

            It would buy you an extra day or so and better than drinking your own piss without doubt.
          • by base_chakra (230686) * on Saturday November 20, 2004 @09:22AM (#10874109)
            Urine is almost entirely water, with a little bit of other substances dissolved in it. I doubt it's ever more than 5% solutes by weight, in 95% water.

            Close. As one would expect, it's variable, but urine can be up to about 96% water. When you drink an abundance of water, your kidneys are free to pass more diluted urine. When body water is at a premium, the kidneys conserve water by passing concentrated urine, which looks darker and more opaque. Completely transparent urine is sign that you're drinking enough water.
        • by Dogtanian (588974) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @07:36AM (#10873831) Homepage
          the other shit in the urine will require more water to process than you get from the processed urine.

          Dude, if you have shit in your urine, you should see a doctor *pronto*.
      • Props. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Grendel Drago (41496)
        I note that it's dated nearly five years ago. Good luck getting an actual email to someone working at a company. It's one-way communication, folks, a push medium. Damn kids these days and their outdated unidirectional media paradigms.

        Still, props to the company and to the guy working for it for giving an actual response. And a helpful one, at that. Nifty!

        --grendel drago
      • by RedBear (207369) <redbear@r[ ]earnet.com ['edb' in gap]> on Saturday November 20, 2004 @06:18AM (#10873615) Homepage
        Just FYI, in case you ever go ocean trekking, you actually can buy a hand-operated desalination pump for your survival raft to make fresh water from saltwater. It's considerably more difficult than removing particulates, chemicals and bacteria from fresh water. I can't find a link to where you can actually order one, but I wouldn't be surprised if a desalination pump cost several hundred or even a couple grand. Requires some sort of reverse osmosis, I think.

        I work for an organization that does marine safety training, and my boss related to me a story about a couple who survived something like 68 days in a liferaft in the middle of the ocean with nothing but a little food and a hand-operated desalinator. Not sure of the date but it was some years ago, so they've been around for a while.
  • not surprising... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kormoc (122955) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [comrok]> on Saturday November 20, 2004 @01:08AM (#10872548) Homepage
    not surprising considering that vodka is alcohol and water, and the better tasting the water, the better the vodka is, so ya, cleaning out some the impuritys from the water would make it taste better.
  • no no no (Score:3, Funny)

    by nocomment (239368) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @01:08AM (#10872549) Homepage Journal
    drinking Vladmir Vodka probably could make you go blind

    That's Ffud that made all those hillbillies go blind.
    • Re:no no no (Score:5, Informative)

      by cshark (673578) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @01:37AM (#10872702)
      Na' Vodka's kids stuff. If you are really serious about drinking yourself blind, get yourself a nice bottle of ARAK, and drink it in one sitting. A good bottle will be up to and around 70-80% alcohol. It's big in the middle east. They drink it on the weekends, the rest of the time... it's Window cleaner.
      • Re:no no no (Score:3, Interesting)

        by forevermore (582201)
        For those who don't know, Arak is the Israeli (and Lebanese and Syrian) word for the anise liquor known in Greece as Uozo and in Turkey as Raki. There are variations of this drink around the world (from South America to India), and though people may argue that one is better than the other, they're all basically the same idea (I hear that Syrian Arak is the best of the bunch). And I agree, much better than vodka. Especially for the science nerd in all of us as we marvel at the totally clear liquid turning
        • Absinthe (Score:4, Interesting)

          by ScottBob (244972) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @04:48AM (#10873373)
          Especially for the science nerd in all of us as we marvel at the totally clear liquid turning milky white as the water from melting ice mixes with the alcoholic beverage.

          And then there's Suisse La Bleue absinthe, which also turns milky white when mixed with water (the milky effect is called louche). Absinthe remains banned in the U.S. due to the persistent myth that the wormwood in absinthe is poisonous and causes hallucinations. It doesn't, wormwood is not, nor ever was on any DEA controlled substance list. It's banned by the FDA, which prohibits the manufacture, import and resale of any foodstuffs that contain wormwood in the U.S. The FDA hangs on to the myth that one of the chemicals in wormwood, called thujone, is bad, nevermind there is thujone in spices such as sage and tarragon. At least the European Union is forward thinking, because as of this year, absinthe is once again legal all across the European Union, with Switzerland and it's much sought after clear absinthe called Suisse La Bleue (once produced in clandestine labs) being the most recent to re-legalize. For more info, go see La Fee Verte Absinthe House [feeverte.net].

          Here in the U.S., available anise based pastis such as Pernod, Ricard, Herbsaint and Absente all exhibit the same louche effect (albeit green, due to coloring in the liqueur)when mixed with water. The colder the water, the more pronounced the milkiness.
          • Re:Absinthe (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Dogtanian (588974) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @07:43AM (#10873845) Homepage
            absinthe is once again legal all across the European Union

            Off the top of my head (this is Slashdot, I'm damned if I'm going to research my incoherent ramblings- besides which, IIRC I didn't read this online), the absinthes now "legal" in Europe contain only a fraction of the amount of psychoactive substances that the old-school absinthes contained before they were banned.
  • Old Stuff.. (Score:4, Funny)

    by Klar (522420) * <curchin@gma i l . com> on Saturday November 20, 2004 @01:08AM (#10872552) Homepage Journal
    Martin Sargent from Unscrewed did this on his show a while back.. he seemed to enjoy the taste :)
  • by glowimperial (705397) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @01:08AM (#10872555) Homepage
    Finally a great science project that the kids can do at home.
    • by pHatidic (163975) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @01:21AM (#10872624)
      Last year some kids I know 'liberated' a distillation column from the chem labs and took some normal vodka and distilled it into 190 proof "super-vodka". A couple shots of that and I was hallucinating and kept running out of my dorm room every half hour because for some reason I thought my bike was being stolen. I still get that warm tingly feeling in my liver just thinking about it.
      • by caveat (26803) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @01:48AM (#10872764)
        Hells bells, if they were ransacking the chem labs, they should have just taken some anhydrous ethanol. Back when I was in school, we used to order it by the 5-gallon tub ($20.99!), and since it was USP-grade, it was technically safe to drink...nobody ever noticed a liter gone here or there.

        Of course, since alcohol doesn't really want to exist in that 100% pure state, it had a nasty habit of dehydrating your tender tissues on the way down, as well as having the unholiest burn of any drink I've ever had (it actually had sort of an oily texture/mouth feel, instead of the usual watery sensation), but oh man did it ever fux0r one up. Cheers!
        • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 20, 2004 @01:56AM (#10872792)
          Wow, I would highly unrecommend drinking anhydrous alcohol, due to the benzine in it. Distillation alone will not remove all the water from the alcohol, so benzine is typically used to get rid of the rest (don't ask me how, I have no idea what the chemistry behind it is).

          Benzine is an awful toxin and carcinogen...not so much something you want to ingest.

          190 proof grain alcohol is pretty cheap...and you're really not gonna notice a difference, in either taste (they both taste like...burning) or in effect (that last 5% makes almost no difference).

          You might want those taste buds later on in life anyway...
          • by ErikZ (55491)

            Huh. I used the name Benzine for one of my DnD characters. I got it off the soda I was drinking.
          • by caveat (26803) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @10:59AM (#10874459)
            Notice I said it was USP-grade ethanol, meaning the United States Pharmacopeia has certified it to be free of harmful impurities and safe for food or drug usage. Well...technically safe; the safety of consming absolute ethanol is debatable. Incidentally, 95% doesn't have the same weird oily/dessicating characteristics of absolute; it's already got that 5% water it desperately wants so it just burns like hellfire going down.

            If you're interested, the chemistry behind it: the benzene forms an azeotrope with water that boils at a lower point than the 95-5 EtOH-water azeotrope, allowing the last traces of water to be distilled off. USP ethanol is usually dried out in other ways, like running it over drying salts or using molecular sieves to absorb the excess water....no benzene allowed.

        • Everclear.
          190 proof corn ethanol (95%)
          2 shots in an 8 oz glass.
          fill glass with Gateraid.
          drink.
          you will be drunk befor the glass is gone.
          at the end of the glass you've had about 5 shots of regular booze.
          -nB
          • by nofx_3 (40519) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @02:59AM (#10873044)
            Everclear is great becuase it burn easliy which means... VAPOR SHOTS!!! Lite a shotglass of everclear on fire, then turn your palm so it faces the ground and shove the glass up onto your palm. The fire will burn up the oxygen and quickly burn out but the glass will stick to your hand, pretty neat party trick. Then you take the shot, and while the shotglass is still warm stick it back against your plam, wait a few seconds and the remaining alcohol coating the inside of the glass will vaporize, now take the vapor shot, the vapor will go straight to your head and really mess you up good, try it its fun.

            -kaplanfx
            • Everclear is great becuase it burn easliy which means... VAPOR SHOTS!!! Lite a shotglass of everclear on fire, then turn your palm so it faces the ground and shove the glass up onto your palm.

              Here's an alternative that they actually serve at a bar. It's called a Flaming Waterfall.

              Put a shot of Bacardi 151 and a shot of Sambuka into a brandy snifter.

              Light on fire. Pour burning mixture into a pint glass, be sure to raise the snifter high enough so entire bar can see. Place snifter upside-down onto pint
        • by Z4rd0Z (211373)
          My old housemate Sasha from Moscow used to take a little ethanol from the lab every now and then. One time he made me a meal of mushrooms he'd gathered, which I was afraid to eat, and to drink there was ethanol diluted with a little water and flavored with a pinch of salt. "Too bad we don't have some glycerin to make it smooth" he lamented. He then told me about a friend back home who collected various liquids from the lab, and when there was enough he distilled them into a concoction. "The effect was
        • by fejes (799784) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @02:47AM (#10872995)
          Spiked with Methanol,that is, which makes you go blind. One thing I know from working in Chemistry labs is that you should never touch alcohol coming from a lab. (If you don't believe me, squirt a bit into a Gas Chromatography column, and notice that there are two peaks, not one.)
          • Re:is usually spiked (Score:3, Interesting)

            by deglr6328 (150198)
            Anhydrous ethanol used for industrial processes may be "spiked" (denatured) with methanol to discourage consumption but this is never the case with reagent grade "absolute" ethanol. When a chemist needs ethanol [sigmaaldrich.com] for an experiment and ONLY ethanol, that better be all that's in the bottle.
        • by Gunnery Sgt. Hartman (221748) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @02:51AM (#10873010) Homepage
          My chemistry professor said he once had some students break into the lab and distill some ethanol that was sitting on the shelf. The students failed to realize that what they were distilling was not just ethanol, but denatured ethanol. The denaturing agent was methanol--the shit that fucks you up. One student died and the other student went blind from their stupidness.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          why?

          just take ye olde college issue hotplate, one deep bowl, a stainless steel or copper bowl that fist over the top of the bigger one in a tight-ish seal, an even smaller bowl that will fit inside the first one inverted with room to spare between it and the second one, and a cup.

          first bowl goes on the hot plate.

          third one is inverted on the bottom of it.

          buy cheap booze and pour into bottom of first bowl.

          set cup on top of inverted second bowl

          cover with the second bowl and add ice to it.

          turn on heat an
      • by SamSim (630795) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @12:19PM (#10874803) Homepage Journal

        This is only tangetially related but I thought I'd post it anyway. At the start of (well, a week or so into) every new academic year at my college, all of the current mathematicians (such as me) band together, spend a reasonable proportion of the mathematicians' society's annual budget on vodka and assorted other alcoholic drinks, and have an amicable get-together in somebody's room to welcome the newcomers. In 2002 I was among those newcomers. There were about fifteen of us altogether.

        I had the good fortune to retire to my room relatively early that night, because some time later in the evening, I'm told, a second-year called Dom got out a fondue set. The details of what happened after that are a little confused, but basically, somebody else also got out a small lump of greenish cheese which he had bought at the dining hall some weeks previously and never mustered the courage to eat. Alcohol did its sinful work, and the idea arose to melt the cheese. Into half a bottle of vodka.

        Apparently (and understandably), nobody was able to manage more than a few sips of this crime against humanity of a drink without dire ill effects. The vast majority of the cheese vodka went undrunk and the bottle sort of hung around for the rest of the term... and the next term... and the next, gradually being handed from person to person as each one tried to get rid of it without actually drinking any of it or sacreligiously throwing it away.

        That was in October 2002. Towards the end of June 2003, it was decided that enough was enough. The cheese vodka had had its day. It was buried in what I'm told was a rather tearful ceremony in Botolph Court, being a rather grubby area of grass in the middle of some of our student accommodation. Apparently they emptied some tea over the grave; tea being another major interest of a significant number of mathematicians at our college.

        Fast-forward to October 2003 and the next official mathmo drinks. I was now among the second-years welcoming the first-years, and obviously we told them our various anecdotes of years gone by. We got to the cheese vodka story. Alcohol once again did its sinful work, and the idea popped into the collective head to go back to Botolph Court and dig it up again.

        Which we did.

        It was crawling up the side of the bottle to get out.

        It comes pretty close to the all-time Worst Idea In Alcoholic History. Not quite up there with "let's drink Lenin's embalming fluid", but pretty darned close. I think *name removed*, one of the first-years, was the only person who tried any of the one-year-old matured cheese vodka. She managed a record-breaking whole capful. She was alternately paralytic and unpleasantly violent for the rest of the evening. Eventually I was one of the ones who helped carry her back to her room, by which time she was already being seriously considered for that year's Most Drunken Mathmo award, usually given in summer.

        The cheese vodka is now missing, presumed poured down a sink somewhere, but I suspect that in the fullness of time it will resurface like an old supervillain.

  • Fantastic! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 20, 2004 @01:10AM (#10872561)
    Great. Looks like someone's nine years of freshman chemistry hasn't been a complete waste.
  • by physicsphairy (720718) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @01:10AM (#10872563) Homepage
    But it sure doesn't make it taste any better.
  • by TWX (665546) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @01:10AM (#10872567)
    Sounds like a science experiment that I could actually participate in.

    I wonder why they never featured this one on Bill Nye The Science Guy or on Beakman's World. I don't think that Lester, the self-proclaimed, "Man in a Rat Suit" would have been much different, even if he were the hands-on evaluator...
  • by Zephiris (788562) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @01:11AM (#10872571)
    In Soviet Russia, Vodka filters you!
  • Gray Kangaroo (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 20, 2004 @01:12AM (#10872576)
    Hmm.. this sounds quite a bit like the Gray Kangaroo [graykangaroo.com] filtration system that you can buy on the internet.

    They want $41 for it, which is too expensive for me. But in my undergraduate days, I would definitely have considered it. Though you can probably use a Brita filter like these folks have and save a few bucks.
  • by bergeron76 (176351) * on Saturday November 20, 2004 @01:13AM (#10872582)
    Let's see:
    Cheap vodka: $10 (US assumptions)
    Name brand filter: $30
    Total vodka purity: $40
    As compared to: Good vodka - $34.99

    Hrmm, I guess it probably made sense when they did the experiment.

    Seriously though, it's neat to see hacks like this. It should also be noted that the chick in the middle of this picture [dca.net] is kinda cute. But does anyone know what the pills are in the bottom left corner of that picture?
  • beer too? (Score:4, Funny)

    by chocolatetrumpet (73058) <<moc.treblifnahtanoj> <ta> <todhsals>> on Saturday November 20, 2004 @01:14AM (#10872583) Homepage Journal
    What else can be improved using the brita? Beer maybe? Soup even?

    I am so curious now :-)

    Anyone else want to do trials and report the results? My mom would probably get upset.
    • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Saturday November 20, 2004 @01:21AM (#10872622) Homepage Journal
      Anyone else want to do trials and report the results?

      I poured in a Fat Tire and got a Bud Light. The second pass end up like a Corona, and I didn't have the heart to subject it to a third run.

      • Re:beer too? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Pfhor (40220)
        As a resident of PA who can only drink Fat Tire when as close as the far east distribution center of new belgium as St. Louis, I sir crie sacrilage at wasting such a precious natural resource as a Fat Tire!

        or their tripples, or their wheat ales, or just about anything NBB makes.
    • by kimanaw (795600) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @02:03AM (#10872825)
      Please, don't abuse beer in this fashion.

      Beer has been attacked from all sides of late, whether its MADD or Atkins. Need I remind you that it was "liquid bread" that built the pyamids, and that modern democracy was born in the pewter mugs of beer swilling patriots ?

      As a homebrewer, I beg, nay, demand that you love and care for your beer as it is. There are many good homes where your unfiltered beer would be welcomed. If you are either unable or unwilling to support your beer, please, please send it to a good home with someone who will love and cherish your beer without questioning its color or purity. May I suggest the Hospice of St. Arnolds ? [saintarnold.com]

  • by Genevish (93570) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @01:17AM (#10872593) Homepage
    The question is, did they taste it after each pass through the filter? That would explain the result... ("Thish is farckn great!!")
  • by pgpckt (312866) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @01:17AM (#10872594) Homepage Journal
    They should try it with the premium Brita Pur filters, not just the regular Brtia kind. Those are supposed to get out even more bad stuff, and perhaps in less passes? Maybe a three way test: Brita v. Regular Pur v. Super Pur.

    http://www.purwater.com/yourwater/pitchers.shtml

  • by serutan (259622) <snoopdougNO@SPAMgeekazon.com> on Saturday November 20, 2004 @01:22AM (#10872626) Homepage
    If you really want a double blind study mix Vladimir and Pepe Lopez Gold tequila.
  • by Adrilla (830520) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @01:24AM (#10872642) Homepage
    I've just become a home scientist.
    PS: Science makes the room spin.
  • by dantheman82 (765429) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @01:24AM (#10872644) Homepage
    I tried this five times with rubbing alcohol? How many times before I can get it at vodka level of drinkability?
  • I object! (Score:3, Funny)

    by gooman (709147) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @01:37AM (#10872703) Journal
    You kids and your high technology.
    Why back in my day we used our kidneys and liver to filter our alcohol and we liked it!

  • by davidwr (791652) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @01:47AM (#10872759) Homepage Journal
    Drink glass of expensive vokda. Good stuff!
    Drink 1st glasss of cheap vodka. Yuck ptooey!
    Filter 2nd glass of crap. Almost tolera*hic*tolerable.
    Filter 3rd glass of crap. Filter it again. Barely tolerablable.
    Filther 4th glass of the stuff. Filther it again and spill some. Get help to filther it a 3rd time. Drink it. Could be better but gimme some more.
    Ask friend to filter next glass a few times and give it back to me. I don't know how many time, just do it. Hey, not bad.
    Hand glassh to fr*hic*friend and say do it again. This time more fhilther. Fhilther make junk tathe good. *hic*.
    Get glass from friend. Hey, this is great!
    Pass out.
    Wake up the next day and post on Sloshdot.
  • From the article:
    At $11.09 for 1.75 liter...Vladimir is a steal. It is, however, painful to drink, has a repugnant aftertaste, posesses a bouquet reminiscent of rubbing alcohol.
    I was in St. Louis at a conference several months ago; after the closing dinner, a group of us descended on the local blues scene hoping to find some good live music.

    We found it--there was a nice patio and a great band. As the evening wore on, we progressed from beer to shooters. A round of vodka seemed a good idea at one point. It smelled like isopropanol (I'm a chemist, I know my alcohols) and tasted as bad as one would expect. To this day, I have wondered what the hell it was we drank, so that I could avoid ever encountering it again. I fear unfamiliar vodkas in unfamiliar bars.

    Now, I know it was Vladimir. I can rest easy. Thank you Slashdot!

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @02:07AM (#10872838)
    Is it cheaper to do this than buy Finlandia? For those that haven't tried it, Fin is basically tastless. No real taste, no aftertaste. It's probably the best mixing vodka for that reason. It's not as nice to sip as something like Kettle One because the taste of those more expensive Vodkas is one of the reasons to drink them, however it's also not as expensive.

    I suppose it would depend on how well the filter held up. If the single filtration kills it, well then it'll be more expensive. If it works for a few times though it could be a fairly cheap alternative.

    Something that would be interesting to see a real experiement on is the difference in before/after compositions. Find out what, if anything, is actually getting filtered out. Maybe I should try and talk the chemical engineers at work into trying it. :)
    • Is it cheaper to do this than buy Finlandia?

      I can't imagine it is, given the prices they quote for Vladimir Vodka, and knowing as I do how much Brita filters cost (about $7 each, or $15 or so for three). Filtering vodka is basically going to ruin your filter; filter vodka six times and you may as well just throw it out. So basically you're paying $20 for a cheap bottle of vodka that you're trying to get to taste good, whereas where I live a bottle of Finlandia, Stoli, or Absolut is around 18 bucks. No
  • by jcuervo (715139) <cuervo.slashdot@zerokarma.homeunix.org> on Saturday November 20, 2004 @02:30AM (#10872929) Homepage Journal
    Ladies and gentlemen, I give you... Pepsi Green! [datanorth.net]

    I was going to mod down that AC troll, but eh, I figured this was more important. ;-)
  • by rasz (788512) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @02:40AM (#10872968) Homepage Journal
    Have you seen those chicks on the pics ? No wonder they drink vodka.
  • by LS (57954) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @02:49AM (#10873002) Homepage
    A company called gray kangaroo makes alcohol filters that do precisely what is being described here. Take this with a grain of salt, since the source is biased (they are trying to sell filters), but their FAQ [graykangaroo.com] claims the following:


    How is the Gray Kangaroo different than a commercially available water filter?

    GK uses more filter material than a standard personal water filter. It also uses filter material which is optimized for liquor. Water filters use a variety of filter materials, some of them improve liquor while others (which eliminate chlorine, lead and other hazards in tap water) do nothing for liquor and only waste space. Also some filters use plastics which are dissolved by hard liquor and end up making your drink taste like crazy glue. Most importantly the GK is designed to easily filter liquor multiple times and built to be rugged enough to be used by a group of heavy drinkers.


    LS
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 20, 2004 @03:08AM (#10873089)
    While in Vostok Antarctica I had multiple opportunities to sample the Vodka produced by my Russian hosts.

    Initially I was very doubtful of the mixture. It was concentrated from a "vegtable peelings mash" by means of fractional freezing. They concentrated the alcohol by means repeated freezing and thawing. Concentration was done by fractional freezing. Basically they placed the mash outside (where it was -60C or worse) to let the ice freeze, brought it back inside and removed the ice that has formed on the top ... or so I was told.

    They did this because the use of a traditonal boiler/still was "not allowed" by the bureaucratic powers at the base. The bureaucratic powers claimed it was a waste of base fuel.

    BTW: My hosts knew that fractional freezing also cost base fuel, but they got away with it either because the bureaucratic powers didn't understand physics, or because they turned a "blind eye" to whole thing. :-)

    So speaking of blindness, I was initially hesitant to sample their finished product. Someone informed me that to refuse a sample would be an insult. I didn't want to offend our hosts so I finally agreed to have a shot. When I was served, I noticed that they poured the vodka out of a Brita water filter. When I inquired about the reason I was told that it made the finished product "better". Apparently they have been doing vodka water filtration for years "in the land way down under''.

    The Vostok Vodka was excellent. It was a bit hyper concentrated (beyond the normal Vodka proof), but very fine none the less. The next time you find yourself in Vostok Antarctica you should give their vodka a try! :-)

  • by Thai-Pan (414112) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @03:14AM (#10873115) Journal
    What a wacky coincidence. I saw this experiment posted up on a message board and just tried it with some friends this evening. They left not 10 minutes ago.

    Started off with a 750ml bottle of "Medallion Quality". You don't expect much from a bottle that large that costs in the range of $11 Canadian. Needless to say, it was putrid. Bordering undrinkable. You'd have to be drunk to start with to consume the stuff. Smells reminiscent of rubbing alcohol, tastes like turpentine with an aftertaste not unlike a bowling alley shoe. As my buddy described it, "It feels like a clown is raping my mouth."

    We were sure to prime the filter first. It ships with some chemicals in the charcoal, so run a few pitchers of water through.

    After 3 filters of the vodka, the odour was drastically reduced. Flavour was not hugely improved, but the aftertaste was lessened and it didn't burn as much going down.

    6 filters, the odour is down even more. Taste is much improved. Now comparable to a decent cheap vodka, probably a little better than regular Smirnoff. Goes down not too bad, aftertaste still not great.

    10 filters. Odour is near gone. Tastes smooth. Would be undetectable mixed with grapefruit juice.

    20 filters. SMOOTH. Goes down like water. Zero odour. Perfect. Easily as good as an upper end vodka like Canadian Iceberg, but not as delicate as the really pricy brands. Definitely a good taste. Pleasant enough to drink straight without shooting it.

    Of course we kept a control sample. I did not fully appreciate how good the 20-filtered drink was until I tasted the control sample again. It was truly terrible. While I suggest doing this just to try it, I will not again put that stuff in my mouth unfiltered.

    I have heard mixed reports about how well different vodkas turn out. Some are better than others, Medallion had tremendous benefit from the filtering. The taste of the original and final product are not even remotely close.

    Also heard complaints about murky vodka. Our first filter result was slightly murky and blue/greyish from chemicals left in the filter. Repeated filtering made it disappear again. I can't help but wonder if those chemicals were doing me any physical harm, but they could not possibly be doing any worse than the original vodka anyways. It's all in the name of SCIENCE!

    All in all, this experiment was fun and definitely worth trying. It takes long enough that I wouldn't expect it to be a decent timesaving measure. However, it was fun to do and we will probably repeat the experiment again next Friday with that godawful Russian Prince vodka.
  • Having done this (Score:5, Interesting)

    by icebattle (638355) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @03:31AM (#10873168)
    I recently completed my first batch of home distilled vodka and, frankly, it was great. The yield was excellent, and my home made still worked fine. I even have some pics of the rig.

    I ran half of the completed product through a carbon filter, and it seemd to improve the smoothness. Maybe. We had a few merry evenings with the stuff, and no nasty hangovers.

    I'll be kicking off the next batch soon. Long live SuperYeast!

  • by spin2cool (651536) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @03:32AM (#10873170)

    After reading this site last week, myself and a couple of friends decided to take the "Brita Challenge". To my complete amazement it worked better than I ever could have hoped.

    I hate vodka typically, and the 9-dollar "Kamchakta" vodka that we bought burned like a mofo, and smelled like ass. After filtering it several times, it loses all of those impurities (that some might call 'flavor'), and is much more palatable.

    Our findings were that 4 filtrations were plenty, and that it took much less time than the other site claims. We were able to filter a 1.75 L bottle of vodka 6 times in well under an hour.

    We surmise that if you stuck 3 or 4 filters together in one long pipe, you could have one hell of a filtration system, and do it quickly too. With a little bit of advertising on collegehumor.com, you could be a thousandare, easy!!

    To recap:
    1) Filter Cheap Vodka
    2) ????
    3) Profit!!!

  • Whiskey? (Score:4, Informative)

    by petrus4 (213815) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @04:13AM (#10873288) Homepage Journal
    I used to drink Wild Turkey a few years back, but stopped partially due to how harsh it was. (At least the cheapest version of it)

    I found myself wondering if this method would work for that, or if it is better suited for something which is primarily water based, like vodka?
    • Re:Whiskey? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Engineer Andy (761400) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @07:31AM (#10873820) Journal
      I was wondering the same, but for scotch. The lower grade stuff is all but undrinkable (for lower grade, read anything that isn't single malt) to me. If I could run a bottle of johnny walker red through it and get anywhere near single malt taste, going through a cartridge for a bottle would be a cheap investment.
  • by pturing (162145) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @05:02AM (#10873414) Homepage
    From the guy who brought you the AK-47: Kalashnikov Vodka [msn.com]

    a friend of mine recently put up a discussion of vodka on his lj, and it's worth a look
    Vodka 101 [livejournal.com]
    Here's the short version:
    1. Don't drink anything that comes in a plastic bottle
    2. If you must drink domestic Vodka, make it Skyy
    3. Priviet is awesome if you can find it, and not very expensive

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