- 1 Do you boil moonshine mash?
- 2 How hot is too hot for mash?
- 3 What temperature and time for mashing?
- 4 How do you know when moonshine is done?
- 5 How long does it take to cook moonshine?
What temperature do you cook moonshine to?
How to Monitor Temperature – The temperature of your still varies in different spots. There are three key places on your still where you should monitor the temperature – the pot boiler, the top of the column, and the condenser coil. The temperature inside the pot boiler will tell you about the boiling liquid in the mash.
Eep it increasing, maintaining a range of 175 – 195 degrees Fahrenheit for as long as possible. Turn off the heat when it reaches 212 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature at the top of the column will tell you about your alcohol vapor as it begins to condense. Monitor this temperature, watching for an excess of 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
If it becomes overheated, turn down your heat. It is especially important to use a built-in thermometer at the top of the column in a large column still Keep an eye on the touch-temperature of your condenser coil. The coil should be kept cool to the touch, with cold running water or ice packs. If it reaches room temperature, decrease the heat on your still and pack more ice on the coil.
Do you boil moonshine mash?
How to Make Moonshine Mash – How you craft your moonshine mash recipe will have a major impact on the final result in both flavor and quality. Here’s how to make moonshine mash:
- Measure and weigh all ingredients.
- Place the mash pot on the burner and heat.
- Pour 5 gallons of water into the pot and boil it to 165°F.
- Turn off heat and stir in flaked corn maize or chosen sugary grain.
- Stir for about 7 minutes.
- Stir for 30 seconds every 5 minutes until mash cools to 152°F.
- Stir in crushed malted barley.
- Stir for 30 seconds every 20 minutes until mash cools to 70°F.
- Add yeast.
- Aerate mash by transferring between containers for 5 minutes.
- Pour into a fermentation bucket.
How hot is too hot for mash?
Why your mash temp matters – The bad news is that it will likely affect the outcome of your beer. The good news is it’s probably not as bad as you think, and you can mitigate the effects by taking swift action. We’ll get to the swift action in just a moment.
First, know that the normal mashing temperature range is 145 – 158F (63 – 70C). In general, mashing at the higher end of that range produces longer sugars which are harder for the yeast to eat. More sugar will be left over after fermentation resulting in a more full-bodied beer. Mashing at the lower end of the range produces shorter sugars, which the yeast will gobble right up.
This leaves behind a thinner, drier beer. Mash too much lower than that and you’ll end up with poor starch conversion and a really thin, “watery” beer. You’ll also start breaking down precious proteins needed for head retention. On the other hand, if you mash too high (168-170F), you’ll run the risk of permanently killing the conversion process.
What temperature and time for mashing?
So mash low and slow, maybe 148 F for 90 minutes. For a heavier style like a sweet stout, a short hot mash, maybe just 30 minutes at 156-158 F, should be plenty and will contribute to a sweet syrupy body, if that’s what you want.
How do you know when moonshine is done?
Hydrometer Wisdom: Monitoring Fermentation As with all matters of life, there are two ways of monitoring the fermentation of your mash: the easy way and the complicated way. If you’re a K.I.S.S. fan – not the band, but the „Keep It Simple, Stupid” philosophy – you’ll prepare the mash and just let it be.
A day or two after adding the yeast, you’ll see the airlock bubble – and know the stuff’s doing its fermenting business. After 14 days, it should be about done. If it still bubbles, let it sit for another few days, or until you see no bubbling for at least a minute or two. Once there is no activity in the airlock, your mash is ready to run.
CHASING TEMPERATURES ON YOUR STILL
This is a non-scientific method but pretty reliable in judging when fermentation is completed. The scientific method isn’t actually that complicated either, and it will let you know that the mash has completely finished fermentation and determine its potential alcohol.
What you’ll need is a beer or wine hydrometer. The hydrometer indicates the density, or specific gravity – SG – of a liquid, compared to water. As alcohol is thinner than water, the higher the alcohol content, the deeper the float sinks. Pure water has a specific gravity of 1.000 on the hydrometer scale.
Temperature is a key factor when measuring the specific gravity of a liquid – the hydrometer should indicate the temperature it’s calibrated to, and also include an adjustment table. A standard measuring temperature is 20°C or 70 °F. Original Gravity – OG Measure the gravity of your mash before fermentation – and before adding the yeast.
- The reading will be higher than 1.000, because of the sugars present in the mash.
- During fermentation, these sugars will be consumed by yeast causing the density and therefore specific gravity to lower.
- The number will be the lowest at the end of fermentation.
- Fill your hydrometer tube about 2/3 of an inch from the top with the wash/mash you wish to test.
Insert the hydrometer slowly not allowing it to drop. Give the hydrometer a light spin, to remove the air bubbles that may have formed.
- Read where the surface of the liquid cuts the scale of the hydrometer.
- You can also predict the potential alcohol of your mash from the original gravity.
- Original Gravity – Potential Alcohol
- 062 → 7.875%
- 064 → 8.125%
- 066 → 8.375%
- 068 → 8.625
- 070 → 8.875%
- 072 → 9.125%
- 074 → 9.375%
- 076 → 9.75%
- 078 → 10%
- 080 → 10.25%
- 082 → 10.5%
- 084 → 10.75%
- 086 → 11%
- 088 → 11.25%
- 090 → 11.5%
- 092 → 11.75%
- 094 → 12.125%
- 096 → 12.375%
- 098 → 12.75%
- 100 → 13%
- 102 → 13.25%
- 104 → 13.5%
- 106 → 13.875%
- 108 → 14.125%
Final Gravity – FG Measure the specific gravity of the mash after the airlock slows down and you’re not getting much activity. If the reading is at 1.000 or less, it is definitely done. If it’s 1.020 or higher, you may want to wait a day or two and then take another reading. Keep taking readings, if needed, until the gravity stops dropping – which means the fermentation is complete.
- A good rule of thumb: if the gravity hasn’t changed over the course of three days, then the mash is done fermenting.
- Final Gravity – Potential Alcohol
- Using the chart above and some math, you can calculate the alcohol content of your mash after fermentation is complete.
- ABV = (OG – FG) x 131
For instance, if the OG reading is 1.092 and the FG is 0.99, the math goes like this: (1.092-.99) x 131 = 13.36% ABV Remember, this is a rough estimate, as many factors are at play. But the science will at least keep you busy until you’re ready to get your whiskey still running. Posted by Jason Stone on June 01, 2015 : Hydrometer Wisdom: Monitoring Fermentation
How do you know when your moonshine run is done?
This is one of the most exciting moments in the hobby. You have completed your first fermentation, your wash has been cleared, and you are ready to create your masterpiece. Unfortunately, this is also the most nerve wracking moment in the hobby. Fear of messing everything up fills your mind.
- This hobby, which started out sounding so simple, now seems so involved.
- There are so many places to make mistakes.
- What if you don’t get all the methanol out? What if it tastes awful? Relax.
- Take a breath, realize that you have been reading and learning what to do and what not to do, and lastly, remember that in the worst of situations, you can always redistill your spirit, so there is nothing to get worked up about.
So let’s take baby steps, and everything will be fine. Step 1: Ferment and clear your wash. This has been covered well enough already, so it is not necessary to go into great detail again. Simply ferment your wash and allow it to clear naturally or use a clearing agent to do so more quickly.
I highly advise clearing the wash to reduce the risk of scorching material to the bottom of your kettle. Clearing is absolutely required when using internal heating elements to heat your still. Step 2: Transfer the wash to your kettle. While you can use a funnel and simply pour the wash from your fermenter to your kettle, this will also drudge up the sediment and transfer it along with the clear liquid.
It is far better to transfer the wash using a siphon, which makes it much easier to move just the clear liquid, leaving behind all the sediment on the bottom of the fermenter. Never fill your kettle to more than 80 percent of its total capacity! This extra space is needed for expansion and potential foaming that may occur during heating and boiling.
Overfilling your kettle can create issues that will be extremely frustrating. To reduce issues associated with foaming, it can be very helpful to add an anti-foam agent to the wash. Step 3: Complete the assembly of your distiller. Hopefully your distiller came with instructions, but regardless, this part should be rather straightforward.
Drawings are provided in the Resources section for several popular distiller styles, just in case. You will place the pot still column onto the kettle and ensure that it is fully sealed. When vapor starts being produced is not a good time to find out that your distiller is not sealed.
- Step 4: Start heating the still and be patient.
- Depending on the heat source and size of your wash, the heating process can take up to a couple of hours.
- It can be tempting to turn the heat up to the maximum to get the still producing as quickly as possible, but this is not always a wise decision.
- This is especially true when using certain types of propane cookers.
These cookers can be capable of producing a very large amount of heat, and while they can get your wash boiling rather quickly, they can also put out enough heat to damage the bottom of your kettle and scorch any sediment that may have been carried across when transferring the wash.
- Trying to rush any part of the distillation process will usually show in the finished product, while patience will be rewarded.
- Now that you have started heating your wash, you should not leave the still unattended until the distillation process is complete.
- Step 5: Start running your cooling water.
- While you do not necessarily have to start running your cooling water immediately after you begin heating your still, it is imperative that you start running cooling water into your condenser before any vapor starts being produced to avoid an extremely dangerous situation.
Step 6: Remove and discard the foreshots. If you have a thermometer in the still head, you can use the vapor temperature as a guide. Once vapor starts to appear, the temperature will suddenly spike, and a few moments later you will see drops of distillate begin to flow into your collection container.
Continue to watch the temperature until it reached 175° to 176° F (79.5° to 80° C), or until you have collected at least 4 ounces (125ml) of distillate.* Even if the temperature has risen to above 175° F (79.5° C), continue collecting until you have at least 4 ounces (125ml) of foreshots. Do not be afraid to discard a little bit more of the first distillate.
The total cost in doing so is literally pennies, and your finished product will often be improved by doing so. Discard the foreshots. They are poisonous, so there is no reason to keep them. Note: The volume of foreshots is based on a five-gallon wash size.
You must adjust this volume based on the size of your wash to ensure that all the foreshots are removed. Step 7: Start collecting the heads. Change your collection container and begin collecting the heads. If you are watching the temperature, it should now be over 175° F (79.5° C). The speed at which distillate is coming from the condenser will have increased, and will now likely be a medium to fast drip, but should not be a trickle.
Continue to collect the heads in pint-sized glass jars until the temperature rises to 195° to 196° F (90.5° to 91° C). It is helpful to mark each jar with “heads” and number them as you draw them off. Although you will use your nose and taste buds to decide which, if any, of these jars will be included in your finished product, numbering the jars will help you get a good feel for the changes in the distillate as the process progresses.
- It is also a good idea to test the alcohol percentage/proof of the distillate as the process progresses.
- Many distillers use the alcohol percentage as a guide instead of temperature or use both to be more exact in where they want to make their cuts.
- This is where a distiller’s parrot can be a very helpful tool.
A distiller’s parrot is connected between the condenser and collection container so that the distillate flows through it on its way to your container. The parrot holds your alcoholmeter, allowing you to take real-time readings of the alcohol percentage as the distillate is being produced.
- While the readings in a parrot are slightly inaccurate due to constant blending of the distillate, they are generally more than sufficient for deciding on when to make your cuts.
- Because of this blending, and to avoid any contamination from the foreshots, always collect your foreshots in a separate container before attaching your parrot.
Generally, you will find the heads to be over 80%abv (160 proof). Step 8: Collect the hearts. Now it is time to start tasting! Yes, you can use your nose and taste buds with the heads, but especially at the start of the heads you may find this to be less than pleasant.
- Once the temperature hits around 195° to 196° F (90.5° to 91° C) and/or the alcohol percentage drops below 80%abv (160 proof), it is time to start collecting the hearts.
- Change your container to a new container marked “hearts,” and just as you did with the heads, number them.
- The distillate will be coming out more quickly now, as a very fast drip or even a slow trickle.
This can result in a slightly less accurate reading on your alcoholmeter if you are using a distiller’s parrot, as there is a noticeable flow from the bottom of parrot, where the distillate enters, to the top, where it is being drawn off. It is still generally sufficiently accurate to make the cuts between heads, hearts, and tails, as these cuts are not usually extremely precise.
- Continue collecting the hearts until the temperature rises to around 202° F (94.5° C) and/or the percentage alcohol drops below 65 percent (130 proof).
- If you want to ensure that you have a very clean middle run that will not require a second distillation, then do not be afraid to stop collecting the hearts slightly earlier.
This will mean that you have slightly less volume of hearts and a little bit more tails, but the tails can always be added to a subsequent batch to avoid wasting any of the ethanol that they contain. Step 9: Collect the tails. Change your collection container and begin collecting the tails.
- Most of the ethanol has been collected by this point, but there is still a little bit remaining.
- The point of collecting the tails is to avoid wasting this bit of alcohol.
- Continue collecting until the temperature rises to 207° to 208° F (97° to 98° C) or until taste and smell reveal little to no remaining alcohol.
Step 10: Shut down the still. Turn off the heat. DO NOT TURN OFF THE COOLING WATER! Just because you have turned off the heat does not mean that there is no vapor being produced. The liquid remaining in the kettle is still very hot and well above 173° F (78° C)–the boiling point of ethanol.
- That means that if there is any ethanol remaining in the kettle, it will continue to rise and make its way into the condenser.
- Eep the cooling water to the condenser running until you are certain that there is no more vapor being produced, as even a little bit of alcohol vapor in the air can be extremely dangerous.
As soon as you are sure that no more vapor is being produced, you should remove the thermometer from the top of your still head or loosen the still head to allow adequate airflow back into the distiller. Just as expansion takes place when heating the still, when the still is cooling, the vapor inside of it will condense.
Without adequate airflow, the still can literally implode! Once the still is cool enough to handle, you can remove the still head completely and dump the liquid remaining in the kettle (or keep a portion of it for use as backset, if you are running a sour mash recipe). Wash and rinse your distiller as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Step 11: Blending. Depending on how you have made your cuts, you may wish to blend some of the heads with the hearts, or maybe you are pleased with the hearts that you collected and you want to keep all the heads separate. Either is fine, and your decision will depend on the flavor and aroma of each container that you collected.
- If you decide to keep the heads separate, you may either use this part of your distillate as it is, add flavoring to it, or combine it with your tails and redistill.
- Another option is to add the heads and tails to your next run.
- The choice on this is yours.
- Step 12: Aging and cutting.
- Once you have blended your final distillate to your liking you need to decide if you will age the spirit or leave it “raw.” Aging your spirit will allow the harsh bite of the distillate to mellow, and the flavors will become more complex.
However, not everyone prefers this character, so the choice is ultimately yours. If you do decide to age your spirit in oak casks or with alternatives such as oak chips, oak staves, or another type of wood, you will generally want to age your spirit at just over 60%abv (120 proof) and cut the spirit (dilute it) after it has been aged.
Cutting, also known as “proofing down,” is a fancy way of saying that you are diluting your distillate. It is a very simple process of just mixing water with your spirit. There are a couple of reasons to cut your spirit. First, reducing the alcohol percentage makes the product noticeably smoother, reducing the bite and harshness of a 120 proof spirit.
The second reason to cut your spirit is that aroma compounds are more easily released at this lower proof, resulting in a more aromatic spirit.
What temperature do you boil alcohol at?
The boiling point of ethanol or grain alcohol (C 2 H 5 OH) at atmospheric pressure (14.7 psia, 1 bar absolute) is 173.1 F (78.37 C).
How long does it take to cook moonshine?
How Quickly Can You Make Moonshine? – The quickest you can properly make moonshine is about two weeks. However, you really should let mash ferment for at least a week itself, so the best moonshine will usually take closer to a month to complete. Moonshine recipes all have their own timelines, so this may vary depending on what you want to make.