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The Alaskan Bootlegger's Bible Paperback – June 27, 2000


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The Alaskan Bootlegger's Bible + The Home Distiller's Workbook: Your Guide to Making Moonshine, Whisky, Vodka, Rum and So Much More! Vol. 1 + How To Make Whiskey: A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Whiskey
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 198 pages
  • Publisher: Happy Mountain Publications (June 27, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0967452406
  • ISBN-13: 978-0967452401
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,188 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Never nominated for sainthood, the author has spent his life in the most "gawdawful" places with some of the most interesting people imaginable. "Making your own" often meant using local ingredients and improvising your equipment. This thirst induced ingenuity produced some amazing and sometimes hilarious results. The characters, recipes, plans and instructions in this book are real, only the names have been changed to protect the guilty. The war stories are all true and growing daily.

An ex-Green Beret, Leon came to Alaska in 1973. Assigned to the U.S. Army Northern Warfare Training Center at Ft. Greely where he met his wife Scottie. The crew now includes a son, Leon Jr. studying for a degree in Computer Science and an incorrigible little green bird named Jessie who "punctuated" almost every page of the draft book.

The aim of this book is to explain how to make all types of alcoholic beverages in an easy to understand and entertaining manner. It stresses the arts, not the science, steers you toward using wholesome natural ingredients, rather than chemicals and shows you how to make, rather than buy most of your equipment. It has an Alaskan Bush flavor by virtue of many of its tales and recipes, but the "how-to" information is universal and applies anywhere in the world.


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Customer Reviews

What a great book - easy to read but very informative.
Philadelphia Brewer
I am still seeking an understanding of how modern distillers use reflux distilleries to make burbons.
Cloudwalker Bligh
Just finished Leon Kania's book on home brewing, wine making and distilling.
Robert J. Emmert

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be extremely valuable, both in it's content and well - it's value! The author presents the art of making Wine and Beer in a simple yet entertaining package. This is the book to begin your quest for fine spirits. This book is a teriffic "How To" on a budget. Following the Alaskan Bootlegger's Bible I was able to create my first batch of Wine for under $20.00! I have since read numerous other "acclaimed" books on the subject and find myself returning to this book. Bottom it's money well spent for a lifetime of hobbies
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Justin M. Park on April 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is the first reference I purchased about a year ago when I began thinking about making my own booze and it's been invaluable. I can see down the road wanting something more technical and detailed, but this really captures the heart of making booze out of whatever you can. The processes are explained in a very folksy way that should make sense to anyone, but offers enough instruction to use as a how-to guide when making batches of whatever. This book is for people that just want to make booze, not for people looking for a glorified manual to their high-end brewing or winemaking kit.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Chandler on November 22, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 only because it is slightly disorganized could use another proofreading. These are not large detractors though, as the unpolished aspects of this books works well with how the author humorous, carefree approach to the art of making alcohol. Even if you never intend to make alcohol at home, the entertaining stories and ingenious alcohol-making contraptions described are worth the read.

Chapter 1 is a very basic introduction of basic fermentation process required to make all alcohols. Very light on science, but not glossing over anything important.

Chapter 2 details winemaking. This was my favorite chapter, as the author doesn't just stick with the basics, like grape wine, cider, and mead (honey wine). He details how just about anything that contains sugar/starches can be easily turned into wine, from straight sugar to tomatoes, to carrots, to milk. There is an extensive recipe list, all requiring very little money and equipment to make some very exotic "wines." Intermixed with the instruction is some great stories about milk wine bootlegging priests and what to do when you meet a bear in a blueberry patch. Great stuff!

Chapter 3 is dedicated to home brewing beer. Recipes for cheap, historical prohibition style beers are discussed as well as more conventional, high quality beers. Most of the brewing process is kept very simple and generic. While I liked this section for the prohibition recipes and exotics beers recipes like chicha, I would probably buy a more conventional home brewing book if you plan to get serious with home brewing. The methodology here seems more directed toward college students who want to brew at the lowest cost possible, or isolated people unable to get a conventional home brew kit in the mail.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By P Canine on July 24, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Alaskan Bootlegger's Bible contains lots of helpful information about how to make your own wines, beers, flavored liquers - just about anything involving brewing your own alcoholic beverages. It is loaded with recipes and step-by-step processes that take you from the planning stages through the bottling stage. It also addresses all of your equipment needs for producing various types of beverages, including a section that details how to make a lot of your equipment. It also addresses some practical and safety considerations, which I have not seen in other publications.

I do have one serious complaint about the book. The binding on mine was terrible. The book fell apart the first time I opened it. I'm keeping it, though. I figure I will put it in a binder of some type.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Halley Brown on April 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
I believe this book is the best there is for anyone making their own home made wine and most especially for beginners as I was a few years ago. This is a common sense book, practical, easy to read and understand and will make the average Joe look like a Pro in wine making........

Since I bought this book for help in basics and recipes I have made the following kinds of wine since July of last year:

Yellow plum, beet, grape, peach, sandhill plum, elderberry, carrot, red tomato, apple, persimmon, jalapeno, pear and cranberry.

All of my produce comes from right here on the farm with the exception of the persimmon ( I get those from a neighbor's tree a mile away) and the cranberry that my wife purchased on closeout at Sam's for 48 cents per pound! I made a 5 gallon batch of the cranberry, turned out excellent. My wife is amazed I have not had a bad batch of wine and for a novice quite frankly I'm proud of that. I have right at 80 gallon produced this year. By the way I did buy an hydrometer........have yet to use it! :>)

I tell everyone I talk to about this book, it is the best I have seen anywhere bar none. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT.

Needless to say I have made a lot of friends much happier!

Thanks to this book!
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Jon M Speak on October 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you have ever thought about homebrewing, or do it now, this is the book for you! Mr. Kania shows his true mastery of the subject. He gives simple, precise instructions on setting up your own home-brewery or winery with lots of simple and rudimentry homemade equipment for the beginner on a budget. This guy is the dang McGuyver of homebrewing and winemaking and he shows you how to be one too!! The book also doesn't just bore you with good information, instructions and drawings. It's full of intresting and comical facts about alcohol through the ages like, 'Horse Tird Whiskey' and a jury that was indicted for drinking the evedence in a moonshine trial. The book even has an intresting section on home distillation (illegal in the U.S. but not all countries).
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