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Put down that Britta filter! Behold the power of high voltage to speed age cheap hooch into something smooth and drinkable. NovySan writes in –

Starting the night my drinking buddies and I took over my wife’s Craft night to solve the problem of aging brandy before the “End of Ages” comes in 2012, we came across this single sentence in an old book from the 1930’s. “The treatment with pure oxygen gas with or without an electric burrent”. We discussed at long length what a burrent was and where we could get one, then decided it was a typo and they ment current. Fortunately I just happened to have a luminous transformer in my basement, fortunately for my house we were fresh out of oxygen (can you think of a more flammable cocktail)? A couple of clothespins, wire and a glass full of bitter brandy and we were ready. Not much could be seen as we pumped 15,000 volts into the brandy, but much to our surprise, once removed, the taste had smoothed considerably. We had drank to much at that point to finish the job, but settled on the name VOLT/AGED for our new process.

This will be at Maker Faire :)

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.



  1. Jony Quimbaum says:

    Excellent! I’ll give it a try. But is it the electricity or the copper causing the drink to “age”? There’s been some discussion of “aging” red wine by simply dipping a copper penny into it for a couple seconds. As a control, I’d be curious to see what happens if you put the brandy in the volt/age apparatus for the usual time period, but without electricity (just the copper electrodes in the drink). Nevertheless, I’m going to make one of these, it is fantastic.

  2. NovySan says:

    Just to be clear, I am in no way associated with VOLT/AGED, other than being a HUGE fan of Jon Sarriugarte and his crew. Now where’s that Jameson?

  3. BigD145 says:

    Nitrogen is supposed to be the better gas to use for aging alcohol. It’s what I heard from a wine chemist in Carmel Valley less than ten years ago.

  4. The Oracle says:

    When you pass electric current through an electrolyte like this, you have metal ions from the electrode flowing into the liquid (it’s also how electroplating works).

    metal ions range from fairly toxic to extremely toxic depending on the metal being used.

    I would suggest people who want to this do a lot of homework before drinking wine treated as an electrolyte way.

  5. Eric Soyke says:

    I would wager the talent pool for taste-testing whiskey is ridiculously large. Talk about everyone wanting to doing something for the betterment of Science.

  6. Adam says:

    To avoid dumping too much crud into the drink, carbon electrodes might be the thing.

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