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(pilsen - imagine, to fantasize, to have a vision, kraut - plant, shrub)

[Experiment with utmost care - tropanes can be deadly when used wrong.]
On making the real pilsen, as told by Christian Ratsch
Transcribed from tape by N. Ipo

Henbane has been used for several purposes. The ancient greeks used it for divination in Delfoi, the english have used it for hunting chicken (hence the henbane). The celts used it to kill old people unable to travel with the tribe. Germans used to it to make pilsener, beer. 'What?' you ask, 'I thought they used hops in making beer.' True, but this was before the Czecks invented new brewing technique in 19th century, using a special yeast and lots of hops producing beer with yellow color and bitter taste known today as pilsener. The original pilsener was brewed with henbane instead of hops, hallucinogenic plant instead of an sedative. It quite easy to brew henbane-beer - pilsen.


20 liters of water
1 liter of malt (Use readymade malt)
1/2 liter honey
40 grams of dried henbane leaves
yeast for beer (amount depends on the product)

Find container thats big enough. Cook the henbane in water for 5 to 10 minutes. Dissolve the malt in couple of liters of water, dissolve the honey, add henbane leaf-water. Add yeast. It might be useful to add a little bit more yeast than recommended because the tropane-alkaloids affect the yeast. Don't close the container, it may explode [because of the pressure, I suppose --N. Ipo]. According to Ratsch, 40 grams of dried henbane leaves is enough to kill a person, so don't drink all the 20 liters all by yourself. =)

Brew should start fermenting after 1 and 1/2 days and the fermentation should be finished after 4 or 5 days. Red pilsener beer is now ready. You can also bottle it, add a few drops of honey to each bottle and let ferment for another week or two. Serve on easter, eclipses and solistices, preferably chilled. Store as normal beer.

Do not use belladonna as an substitute, it contains atropine, which, according to Ratsch is, "no fun". Henbane contains mainly scopolamine, especially if it is dried. Scopolamine might work nicely for you, or it might not - one just has to find out if one is a 'scopolamine-person'.

Christian Ratsch lectures about the pilsener: "Well, I have to tell you some of the effects, too - [snickers, laughs] - when we drink it we usually gather with some friend, 6-8 people, and, er, then we have these big horns, you know, real drinking horns, and... er.. Its the best thing to drink from because the drinking horn, its, its like I have one like this size, very, very nice... You touch it and it feels like an erotic body or somethin very [mutter]... So you drink from this, and then you pass it around. This was actually what our ancestors did for their rituals, they had these horns ,drinking it , giving-, saying something, a greeting of a god or greeting to the ancestors... ...And they drink so much, and it is said, in the sources, "until the gods are among them." So, what does it mean? Its an entheogenic experience. Well, we did the same thing, and it turned out, that, well, the gods weren't there, but we were elevating to them. So, er, the effect er is like, it starts to loose up your body and you feel like really smooth and really relaxed and then you have nice body sensations and nice sensations on your skin and you think and this could be nice for some erotic adventures and you close your eyes and suddenly and suddenly you stay in your red mist and you feel your body elevated. Its really beautiful, intresting feeling, and what is very amazing: you dont get alcoholic effects from it, and this beer has about 4 to 5 percent alcohol... ...I drink about 2.5-3 liters of henbane beer to get the full effect. You can drink more of course, but you may start to hallucinate badly. The hallucinations caused by nightshade plants are very unpleasant most of the time. Because - this is what I call the 'true hallucinations' - you see something which is just not there, you're not aware about you're hallucinating it. So you start to hallucinate scenes from real life. I observed an doctor under the influence of scopolamine, and he was just sitting there for four hours writing recepies and I observed a teacher and he was sitting at his table for hours and, and doing some corrections and test - but there was nothing [laughters] He was just totally... Just total hallucination. And thats a typical sign of over-dosage - you dont wanna do that. I found the beer the best, er, the easiest way to control the amount of tropane alkaloids you want to ingest..."

[About Henbane]
"Its very easy to grow and its beautiful plant and its very unique how it looks like with its long buds and flowers. Its -if you see the plant you will know its a magic one. Its really amazing."

[About brewing]
"Q:When youre cooking the henbane does it matter if you boil it? [?] Ratsch: Well I boil it for acouple of minutes, well, the tropane alkaloids will stay, they are very stable, strong molecyles. Q: [Mumble, mumble mumble] Ratsch: No, I, er um when I figured out how to the henbane beer I started to brew mandrake beer. And, er, [laughs] thats very interesting too. You can use the same recipe and insteads of fourty grams of dried leaves of henbane you use about fourty grams of the dried root of mandrake the same way. And er thats pretty strong and interesting. I found the effect different from henbane. And the chemistry of mandrake is er quite different from other nightshade plants. There has been very little experimentation done with mandrake... ...I just recently did some reseach, literature search for personal experience with mandrake - doesn't exist. Its really amazing..."