One of the universal things binding us humans together is making alcohol. Every culture has done it since it was discovered that you can get giddy on the stuff. Sometimes you have advanced scientific surroundings & colleagues that have all the technical know how, but just not the kit - so you improvise.
I think I'd have to be stuck at sea a while to try this though. I think that's the point though. They are.
Thanks for the link Aidan.