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Drinking Brake Fluid


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#1 Kerouac

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 08:19 AM

I heard a rumor that russian soldiers would make a drink from brake fluid when they were hard up for booze out on remote patrols.  :beerchug: They say this would leave several vehicles without adequate braking systems and things would be quite a mess. Does anyone know if there is any truth to that? I'd like to hear some stories if you have them. Recipes too.
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#2 peter hayden

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 08:59 AM

 Kerouac, on 14 March 2011 - 08:19 AM, said:

I heard a rumor that russian soldiers would make drink from brake fluid when they were hard up for booze out on remote patrols.  :beerchug: They say this would leave several vehicles without adequate braking systems and things would be quite a mess. Does anyone know if there is any truth to that? I'd like to hear some stories if you have them. Recipes too.

Years ago I read an obviously ghost-written autobiography of a Soviet pilot who defected and flew a then-latest Mig from eastern USSR to Japan. The book discussed life in the Soviet Union.  One of the things he discussed was grain alcohol.  He said it was used as a coolant for electrical components in the the airplanes.  I don't know how that would work.  But he said the ground crews would steal the stockpiles of alcohol - imagine that - and that often the planes were grounded because there was no coolant available.  Kinda similar to your rumor of brake fluid.

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#3 Cold War Trophies

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 11:45 AM

Sounds like something a collegue of mine, Ret. Colonel Art Alphin, described tank crews under his command drinking, probably mixed according to needs/flavor.  Art is a great hunting buddy and A1 camp kidder, so who knows, but something tells me he probably tried some himself or convinced someone to drink it for everyone's amusement  :blink:
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#4 Martyn

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 02:55 PM

 Kerouac, on 14 March 2011 - 08:19 AM, said:

I heard a rumor that russian soldiers would make a drink from brake fluid when they were hard up for booze out on remote patrols.  :beerchug: They say this would leave several vehicles without adequate braking systems and things would be quite a mess. Does anyone know if there is any truth to that? I'd like to hear some stories if you have them. Recipes too.

hello Kerouac,i do know that some unscrupulous wine makers added brake fluid to 'fortify' their wines.one of the downsides is blindness.another one was death-if you liked it and drank too much of the stuff!:feelssogood:
ride safe and free!martyn,aberdare.
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#5 Bilge Keel Dave

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 07:44 PM

It's not just a Russian military thing. American sailors in WWII drank "Torpedo Juice". wich was the alcohol that fuel torpedos of that era. Wikipedia has an interesting article about Torpedo Juice.

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#6 RDN

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 10:55 AM

"Jar a brake fluid, handful of raisins, set out in the sun for a few days to ferment.  Filtered through some old stale bread, pretty good kick"

...taken from the movie "The Beast".  Great movie about Soviet tank crew in Afganistan separated from their column during their stint in the '80's.
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#7 Wildrover

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 04:27 PM

You can,t beat a drink of Bimber....made from hydraulic fluid from aircraft brake lines....

It can make you go blind , and kill you , but a nice drink i am told....

If you are ever in a Russian aircraft , and it runs off the end of the runway....you will know why....!
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#8 Martyn

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 09:28 AM

 RDN, on 06 April 2011 - 10:55 AM, said:

"Jar a brake fluid, handful of raisins, set out in the sun for a few days to ferment.  Filtered through some old stale bread, pretty good kick"

...taken from the movie "The Beast".  Great movie about Soviet tank crew in Afganistan separated from their column during their stint in the '80's.


hello RDN,a loaf of bread is a great filter,not only does it separate the alcohol from stuff such as brasso and perfume,but it also removes the dye from red diesel.just don't eat the bread afterwards!
ride safe and free.martyn,aberdare.:cheers:
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#9 berger

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 10:03 AM

 Martyn, on 14 March 2011 - 02:55 PM, said:


hello Kerouac,i do know that some unscrupulous wine makers added brake fluid to 'fortify' their wines.one of the downsides is blindness.another one was death-if you liked it and drank too much of the stuff!:feelssogood:
ride safe and free!martyn,aberdare.


Was that BF or antifreeze?? Remember, that episode of the Simpon's where Bart goes to France??? :laugh:

The rubbies (term used to describe bums that boiled down shoe polish for the alcohol) used to drink Listerine and 7-Up, when I worked as a student in a City Parking garage.
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#10 Ken Ulrich

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 01:05 AM

The juice in question was grain alcohol, it was used in compasses, because it won't freeze, it was a favorite with ground crews in ww2. a B24 pilot I flew with early in my carreer said a crew chief wrote up in the log books that he had changed the compass fluid seven times, "I think its working OK now....kinda hard to see it"......Ken

#11 Kerouac

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 01:45 PM

I love all the responses on this topic. Maybe we should have a moonshine rally for homemade industrial grade hooch. I'd try it. :beerchug:
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#12 Vishnevsky

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 10:59 PM

I've heard similar stories from some of my Russian friends.  Vadim was a motor pool Sgt in Afghanistan back in the 80's.  They hadn't gotten their vodka ration for a few weeks but heard if you strain brake fluid through black bread you could drink it.  He spent nearly a month in the hospital..."damn near killed me!" he said.  Making a long story short. He was out of the army 3 months later and lives in the US now.  Alcohol was used as anti freeze in their vehicles and it was known to cause toxicity an blindness.  They knew guys who would drink it but they never messed with that stuff.  They would never have enough for their vehicles they said.  Yuri, a BMP driver, said it was pretty wide spread.

#13 Russ Noe

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 06:15 PM

 Kerouac, on 30 September 2011 - 01:45 PM, said:

I love all the responses on this topic. Maybe we should have a moonshine rally for homemade industrial grade hooch. I'd try it. :beerchug:
Interesting thought.
The only places I have ever been offered home brew "white lightnin" was at a Ural Rally, and from several of my medical profession colleagues!
Hmmm...
Mmmm...
~RN

#14 whiterabbit

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 09:11 AM

Lots of homemade hooch made during Desert Storm but no drinking of brake fluid here! The mess Sgt. wondered where all his canned fruit kept going! hehehee.
Bad shine can have battery acid and radiator fluid in it, if I don't know the source I don't drink it.  I know a lil' bit about shine and home made wine. (born n raised in the mountains of east Tn.) :wino:
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#15 harleych

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 05:31 AM

air brake sistem use alcohol in whinter time for drying air in pipes...my Father brought alcohol from his big public bus in 70-80es.
also medecine glue ( in ussr BF-6) contain lot of alc. easy take off glue by drill with cotton on stick and get clean alc.
also bensin-alc mix (for washing electronics components) : add water and get bensine separate,




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