Ever watched movies and wondered how they say they make moonshine in their bathtub at home? Well, it’s not like rocket science! It’s actually pretty easy to make shine at home. Making moonshine involves a process called distillation, and the most common way to do this is using something called a pot still.
- How to Make Moonshine: The Process
- Choosing Your Type of Moonshine Mash
- Equipment and Supplies You Will Need
- Additional Moonshine Recipes with Fruit
How do you distill moonshine?
A GUIDE TO MAKING MOONSHINE – Moonshine is one of the most famous spirits in the U.S. and it has a very long history. Moonshine is especially popular with home and craft distillers and, when made properly, it can be one of the smoothest and most potent liquors available.
- Americans have been making moonshine for centuries, and moonshine purists continue to perfect this exceptional drink.
- Moonshine is a variant of whiskey, which is distilled from corn mash.
- When made properly, it is completely clear and very potent.
- Distillation is the only way to make moonshine, and distillation in pot stills is the most popular method.
Distillation occurs when the corn mash—with appropriate amounts of sugar and yeast to cause fermentation—is heated in a large tank or pot. Vapors rise from the heated mixture into the condenser, where they are then cooled into a purified liquid. This liquid is the ethanol, which gives moonshine its powerful trademark zing.
- The corn mash consistency will affect the production of ethanol, so adjusting the yeast, corn and sugar in the mixture will make a difference in the moonshine produced.
- Different times and temperature also make a difference; the first liquid distilled can be toxic and should be discarded.
- To learn more about how to make moonshine and moonshine recipes, see our books, how-tos, videos and other resources online.
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What is mash used in moonshine?
The Super Simple Beginner Corn Mash Recipe
What is Moonshine Mash Made of It? – Moonshine mash is usually made with corn, sugar, yeast, and water and allowed to ferment for 5-10 days. A sugar wash can be made with just water and yeast and no grains to make moonshine or spirits.
Is it safe to drink distilled moonshine?
Consuming Methanol In Moonshine – Upon first sip, the dangerous potential of methanol is undetectable. It will simply get people drunker. However, after it is metabolized, the methanol can have an extremely harmful effect in someone’s body.10 milliliters (ml) of methanol is all it takes to permanently damage the optic nerve and cause partial, if not complete, blindness.30 ml of methanol is lethal.
For reference, and standard shot glass in the United States holds 40 ml. If less than 10 ml of methanol is consumed then the worst someone will experience is a hangover, (albeit, quite possibly the worst hangover of their life). However, if someone consumes 10 ml or more of methanol, even split up among drinks, that can be enough to cause permanent damage or kill them.
While there are processes today to discard the toxic alcohol that is visually indistinguishable from water, some illegal Moonshiners will add methanol back in to provide a stronger potency. Obviously, without regulation, there is no way to know if illicit alcohol contains methanol.
What mash does Jack Daniels use?
Raw ingredients – Mash bill & water – Jack is made from a mash bill consisting 80% corn, 8% rye and 12% malted barley, mostly sourced from contracted farmers in America’s Midwest. The corn comes from south west Kentucky and south Illinois, the rye mostly from Western Canada and Minnesota, and the barley from Montana.
- Unusually, Jack has always been made exclusively from No.1 grade corn.
- Over the past 150 years, production of Jack Daniel’s has only stopped twice – once due to Prohibition and the other during World War II when the American government legislated that No.1 grade corn could only be used for food products.
Rather than compromise quality and move to No.2 grade production was halted. Corn is the predominant grain in the mash bill (80%) so produces a sweet spirit with light corn character. Malted barley is an essential part of the mash bill as it provides the enzyme that allows the yeast to process the rye and corn, and also provides body and a light cereal character to the whiskey.
Rye is a very flavoursome spicy grain and Jack Daniel’s stands out for using a little less rye than is typical in other American whiskies. Jack Daniel’s is therefore less peppery, less spicy and a little sweeter and more oaky in character. (Incidentally, Jack specify No.1 grade plump rye.) The grain is milled using a roller mill and mixed with water from Cave Spring Hollow, a limestone cave spring whose iron-free water runs at a constant temperature of 13°C (56°F).
Iron is detrimental to the distilling process and fortuitously, limestone acts as a natural filter removing iron. This plentiful supply of ideal distilling water is what led Jack to site his distillery here in the first place and while the flow slows slightly in summer, two million gallons a day typically flow from the cave. This is far beyond the production needs of the distillery who barely use a quarter of that, pumping around two gallons per minute to the distillery.
Municipal water is only used for cooling (which incidentally is pumped to top of hill, cooled and recycled). Even the water used to reduce the whiskey to bottling strength comes from the spring, although that is purified, using reverse osmosis. The grain is cooked using a process lasting six days. The corn is fine milled using a hammer mill and mixed with spring water.
This is heated to 100°C (212°F) and then left to cool to 77°C (170°F) at which point the rye is added and then the barley at 64°C (148°F). The three grains are cooked at different temperatures based on what is optimal just to solubilise the starches and so allow the yeast to covert this to alcohol during fermentation.