This is high alcoholic wine-making. It is ideal to convert sugarcane juice, tender coconut palm juice, tetra pack fruit juice into an alcoholic beverage in 40-70 hours (2-3 days). It is meant to be consumed fresh. Refer to the FAQ for the recipe and more details of this amazing Indian Traditional Wine. There is hardly any village in India where freshly brewed Toddy made from local and seasonal ingredients is not served.
Seltzer Toddy: Instant Wine Kit
On smell, trust me, if it smells offensive then it is composting and is not edible fermentation. My fermenter sits comfortably on top of my refrigerator which is in the middle of my living room and neither my wife, kids, or my guests ever complained. On the contrary, you get a nice fruity smell similar to one from a ripe fruit orchard.
One of the easiest ways to get your toes wet in this hobby would be the hooch recipe or toddy recipe. They can be practiced with simple ingredients found in one’s kitchen and do not need any investment.
Hooch is a crude American term for any unfinished, freshly fermented wine or alcoholic beverage. It has a negative connotation because the product is often homemade with primitive fermentation techniques and hence equivalent to Desi Daru (देसी दारू) As per excise department, it is also categorized under the same category.
Toddy is the Indian term for Indian country/village wines which are not made from a traditional recipe i.e. not following a European grape wine recipe or a British/American apple cider recipe. This Indian traditional alcoholic beverage has a variety of medical, religious, psychological, and even psychedelic effects. Like the Native American Indian culture, Toddy making is acceptable (or overlooked by authorities) as part of a traditional religious and cultural practices. We tried to map a few on this map of India.
Wine, on the other hand, is a more refined sophisticated beverage that can be bottled and stored. Hooch and Toddy need to be consumed within a day or two or it will become too sour and dry for consumption. They typically take 4-8 weeks to make compared to 2-3 days for toddy. Most wines are aged for 6 months to two years before it is ready for serving while country beer/hooch/toddy is served fresh.
Some people confuse Toddy with Feni (Cashew Fruit Alcohol), Mahua (Mahua Flower/cake Alcohol) and Handia (Rice Alcohol). The sugar and starch source for all these 4 traditional Indian Beverages are different. Today fermentation techniques are made more sophisticated. As a result more and more people are consuming them in beer or wine form rather than distilled spirit. Rice Wine is also hazy white, so it is often sold as Toddy. However distilled spirits from these fruits and flowers are closer to Indian Mezcal or Tequila.
Toddy is a refreshing traditional drink from Indian Villages. It is supposed to be consumed in the afternoon along with lunch (before the siesta) or during religious ceremonies and social parties. It is unfiltered and has the signature white milky color from the suspended yeast.
It is mildly alcoholic (3-5% alcoholic) and has a lot of good probiotic microbes from the lacto-fermentation. It can be made from coconut sap, sugarcane juice, fresh flowers, and herbs. It is supposed to be consumed within 1-2 days and is always served fresh.
Toddy is made from a variety of locally sourced ingredients and with a variety of styles. It is a rustic Indian traditional beverage which can be made from:
- Tender Coconut juice in South India and Coastal parts (link to the Hindi version of the recipe). Remember there are laws against tapping the sap of coconut trees.
- Sugarcane juice – It turns slightly brownish and sour as the sugar gets fermented to alcohol. From North India.
- Tetra pack juices can also make wonderful toddy wine.
- Steamed Rice which is a famous afternoon dish of Odissa.
- Mahua flowers from Central India.
- From mango, other fruits, and flowers as well.
It is usually served fresh and turns sour very quickly. However, Now with the use of proper packaged yeast and refrigeration, it can be bottled for later as well.
In mild quantities, toddy is a healthy refreshing drink. Vedas call Toddy as Sidhu.
Toddy in Ayurveda
जरणीयो विबन्धघ्नः स्वरवर्णविशोधनः । लेखनः शीतरसिको हितः शोफोदरार्शसाम्॥Ca. Su. 27 /185
Apakwa rasa sīdhu (sugarcane wine made without boiling) is a digestive, laxative. It improves swara (voice) and varna (skin color). It does lekhana (weight loss) and is useful in sopha (swelling of joints/ arthritis), udararoga (Abdomen diseases, digestion, and gastric ailments), and arśas (piles or constipation).
तद्वत् पक्वरसः शीधुर्बलवर्णकरः सरः । शोफघ्नो दीपनो हृयो रुच्यः श्लेष्मार्शसां हितः॥(Su. Sū. 45/184)Pakwa rasa sīdhu improves bala and varna. It is sophaghna, agnidīpaka, hrdya, rucikāraka and is useful in kaphaja arsas.
The 9 Health Benefits of Toddy are:
- It eliminates stress and body pains. Nothing better than a pitcher of toddy after a day of hard work in the fields
- It helps fight against cholera and water-borne diseases. fermentation eliminates bad bacteria and purifies the water in the beverage. That is why buttermilk, pakhala, and toddy are safe drinks to have in places where waterborne diseases are rampant.
- It is Diuretics. Which means it improves kidney function. It helps restores the necessary osmotic balance in the body. Also, it flushes your bladder and kidney by promoting urination. Toddy drinkers have pale straw-colored urine.
- Toddy prevents sunstroke by reducing the body’s metabolism rate (thanda food) and hydrating it.
- No preservative, no chemicals, no sugar. That is why it is better than any commercial hard drink and packaged soft drinks
- Toddy helps to preserve and promote Indian Culture & Traditions
- It is probiotic and aids in Digestion. Wild fermentation from the terracotta pots helps restore the good bacteria in the gut. This good bacteria helps eliminate constipation, gas and other gastric
- It is rich in Vitamin B. The yeast of Toddy is the richest source of Vitamin B-12 for a vegetarian.
- It Promotes Weight Loss. Never heard of Toddy Belly? Well, it is one of the lowest-calorie nutritional drinks available in the market. Fermentation takes out the sugar and leaves you with the goodness of fruit juice.
That being said, Arishtam recommends moderate consumption for recreational purposes only. Drinking in excess or for intoxication will damage your liver and general health.
Toddy is supposed to be fermented in terracotta pots and drunk fresh. Usually, in villages, they consume it within 24-48 hours of tapping the palm tree or juicing the sugarcane. If you store in a refrigerator, you can extend it to a week. However, if you want to store longer and serve in bottles or cans here is what you need:
- Read about how to prevent oxidation in your homebrew. How to use an airlock, siphon, and sanitize your equipment. This will dramatically improve your shelf life.
- The white color of toddy comes from suspended yeast. If you plan to store it for long, please filter it.
- You need to improve packaging so that the toddy does not get contaminated. You can also use kegs to make it very bubbly
- On its own, it will become very alcoholic (10-13% Alcohol) please read about how to reduce alcohol.
If prepared like wine and stored properly, toddy can last for months in glass bottles.
Mangrove Jack’s craft brewer’s yeast sold at arishtam.com is in the dry form. Dry yeast is easy to store, transport, and carry. The wet yeast on the other hand needs to be chilled at all times and has a shelf life of a few weeks (as compared to almost 2 years for dry yeast). As a result for a hobby brewer and even microbrewery dry yeast is much more convenient and easy to use.
Although most manufacturers recommend that you use the yeast directly, but rehydrating the yeast is always advisable for the following reasons:
- When hydrated, the yeast forms spores and goes into inactive state. By hydrating it in a sugar/wort plus nutrient solution, you give it adequate time and jumpstart to become fully active again.
- Yeast often dies when expired, mishandled, exposed to humidity or high temperaures during transportation or storage. If you pinch it directly in the wort, it will take 24-48 hours before you can detect yeast inactivity. By hydrating the yeast, you are always 100% sure the yeast is active.
- Hydrated yeast have a jumpstart over any other contaminents or microbial infection. When the wort is cooled, it sometimes picks up infection from the fermenter or air. If the dry brewer’s yeast is hydrated (good yeast count) they are able to fend off infection by the mere fact that they are more in number and faster in activity.
- Take 5-10X of sterlized water (boil the wort or water) (50ml)
- If you are using water then add some priming sugar or table sugar to make a 5% solution (2.5gm or 1/2 teaspoon). DME or wort can be also used instead of sugar.
- (optional) add nutrients 1/4gm per 50ml.
- Boil and cool it to body temperature.
- Once the solution has cooled to 25-35 degrees celsius then add your yeast (5gm)
- Wait for 30 minutes to foaming to start and then add it to your beer wort or wine must.
If the foaming has not happened. Then wait for another 30 minutes. If not then the yeast is probably inactive and it might be best to use a backup sachet.
If you still have a question, write in the comments section and we will get back to you.