Theory – Unlike a cooked mash, a simple mash does not rely on grains for starch. The corn is included for a bit of alcohol, but mainly for flavor while the sugar provides the alcohol. The conversion of starches to sugars is a natural process, accelerated by cooking.
- An uncooked mash will convert starches to sugars but much more slowly and less efficiently.
- Your added sugar will ferment rather easily and will provide most of the alcohol in your beer.
- Your first distillation run will be a “sweet” run since you will not have any backset to use for sour mashing.
- I recommend using the spirits you collect in your first run as feints for the next run.
Yes, all of them. Your second run will produce your first batch of sour mash, which will be good, but in truth the flavor and consistency will not start to reach their peak until the third or fourth run in my experience. Distillery equipment is different in its own way Practice, practice, practice!
- 1 Why do moonshiners use sugar?
- 2 Why does bourbon use corn?
- 3 Does moonshine taste like corn?
Why do moonshiners use corn?
High Sugar Content – Moonshine is made by converting sugars into alcohol with the help of yeast. The grains are added and cooked to a certain temperature before the yeast is added. Once the yeast settles down into the mash, they begin to convert sugars into alcohol through the process of fermentation.
Does moonshine have to be made with corn?
What Is Moonshine Made Of? – The recipe for classic moonshine is simple:
- Cracked corn
- Malted barley
While alcohol can actually be distilled from almost any kind of grain — the earliest American moonshiners used rye or barley – much of the moonshine made in the United States for the last 150 years has been made with corn. So, what makes moonshine different from the whiskey you find on the shelf at a liquor store? Aside from the obvious differences between something made in a sanitized production facility and something made at night in the woods, the primary difference is aging,
When whisky comes out of the still, it’s so clear it looks like water. Moonshiners bottle it and sell it just like that. Commercial alcohols have an amber or golden color to them because they are aged for several years in oak barrels that are sometimes charred. The aging process gives them color and mellows the harsh taste.
There’s no such mellowing with moonshine, which is why it has such a kick.
Why do moonshiners use sugar?
How is Moonshine Made? – The traditional ingredients for moonshine are corn and sugar, and during fermentation, the sugar produces ethanol, which makes hooch or moonshine. During distillation, alcohol separates from the mash. Unlike other liquors such as whiskey or bourbon, moonshine is unaged, which produces a distilled spirit with high alcohol content.
- The stereotype of moonshiners centers around how “country folk” distill and transport their potables in jugs marked “XXX” during the night to avoid being detected.
- But having access to commercially produced all-copper moonshine stills on the internet has made moonshine distillation less risky in the modern era.
But for a great drink, here is the recipe:
Do you need sugar for moonshine?
Even if you’re new to the ‘shiners club, you might have already figured out just how essential sugar is for making moonshine and all other distilled spirits. Basically, all you need, aside from your trusted copper pot still, is water, sugar and yeast as alcohol is obtained through the fermentation of natural sugars, with the help of yeast.
- In fact, sugar is so indispensable that you can either obtain it through fermentation from fruit or cereal mashes or you can just use it as a sole ingredient, in what is called a sugar wash,
- Sugar washes are easy for learning to make your own moonshine as they’re fairly easy to prepare but can still yield a nice amount of clear, neutral moonshine, perfect for mixing and flavoring.
Types of sugar Knowing the different types of fermentable sugars will help you distinguish variations in your final distillate. There are simple sugars, such as glucose and fructose, and compound sugars, such as sucrose and maltose. Glucose is usually found in fruit and plant juice; fructose is the sweetest of sugars and can also be found in fruit, vegetables, sugar cane and honey.
Sucrose is actually formed through the combination of a molecule of glucose with a molecule of fructose and is found in sugar cane stems or sugar beet roots, while maltose is the least sweet of sugars and is formed through the germination of grains, the most important being barley, which is converted into malt (For more information on malting read: http://www.whiskeystill.net/blogs/whiskey-still-co-blog/12638473-malt-whiskey ) You can either base your moonshine on a fruit or grain mash, from which natural sugars will be extracted through fermentation, or you can use already processed commercial sugar.
The main forms you can find this in are white sugar, brown and raw sugar. Among these, raw and white sugars are used most for home distillation: they ferment easily and are affordable. Molasses, a sugar byproduct, is also used in distillation, most often in the process of making rum ( http://www.whiskeystill.net/blogs/whiskey-still-co-blog/12175097-how-to-make-homemade-rum ).
White sugar is a processed sugar obtained generally from sugar cane. It comes in many different forms and levels of crystallizing, from the standard granulated sugar, to coarse and sanding larger crystal sugars, to superfine and powdered sugar. Brown sugar is a sucrose sugar with a distinctive brown color due to the presence of molasses, which is between 3.5%, for light brown sugar, to 6.5% for dark brown sugar.
Natural brown sugar, or raw sugar, is obtained from the first crystallization of sugar cane and can be found as unrefined or partially refined. Unrefined brown sugar contains molasses syrup, which is higher in mineral content. Turbinado and demerara are partially processed sugars, obtained through crystallizing raw sugar cane, then removing water and impurities through the use of a centrifuge.
Demerara has less molasses than light brown sugar, while turbinado has a golden color and a mild brown sugar flavor. Muscovado is an unrefined, dark brown sugar with a stronger molasses flavor and a sticky texture. Sugar wash A sugar wash is easily obtained through mixing your chosen type of sugar with water and yeast.
First add the sugar to some hot water and mix, then once it’s dissolved, add colder water. You can decide proportions depending on recipe, ingredients or the equipment you have but as a general rule, you can use about 3 liters of water for 1kg of sugar.
- Add your yeast and let it ferment for 4-8 days.
- Once that’s done fire up your moonshine still and get to the next stage: distillation.
- A typical yield from sugar wash is somewhere between 40-50%, meaning you should get about 550 ml of pure ethanol per kg of sugar.
- So, for 5kg of sugar, you should get some 2.75 liters of alcohol.
If you run your pot still at 40%, you can get up to 7 liters of distillate from 5 kg of sugar. So, whatever you decide to make your homemade moonshine from, sugar is your best friend. Although it might not come out as rich and tasty as a distillate obtained from malt or fruit mashes, a sugar wash is easy and cheap to make.
Does corn mash produce methanol?
How is Methanol Produced in Moonshine? – via GIPHY Methanol is a by-product produced during the fermentation process of making moonshine. During fermentation the enzymes in the yeast are responsible for converting the fermentable sugars into energy for the cell.
Does distilling remove sugar?
What is Rum Made From? – Rum is made from fermenting a sugary liquid, and so is every other distilled spirit. Surprised? Read on. Whisk(e)y begins with grain – barley, wheat, corn, When barley cooks the starches convert to sugars via enzymes. The resulting liquid (“wort”) is high in sugars.
- The wort then ferments with yeast to turn the sugar into alcohol.
- The distillation process then concentrates the alcohol.
- Tequila (as well as mezcal) starts with agave, which is full of compounds known as fructans.
- When heated (as when cooking the agave), the fructans turn into sugar.
- Fermentation turns these sugar into alcohol.
Distillation concentrates that alcohol. Olé! Vodka can be made from just about anything, include grains, fruits, potatoes, etc. It really doesn’t matter what’s used for most vodkas, as the end result is distilled to such high proof that it’s essentially pure ethanol.
Regardless, the alcohol in vodka always come from existing or induced sugar content, similar to the other spirit types above. Rum always starts from a sugar-cane source. Some rums are made from cane juice, a particularly common practice with French-influenced producers like those on Martinique (Rhum Agricole).
Other rums are made from a molasses base. Molasses is essentially reduced cane juice, with much of the sucrose removed. However, other sugars remain. (Disclaimer: I’ve slightly simplified the above for clarity. See this story for a drill down on the topic.) Finally, some rums are made from sugar cane syrup, which is simply cane juice with much of the water removed. With the above background in mind, here’s the essential point to understand : A proper fermentation process converts most of the sugars into alcohols or other non-sugar substances. Furthermore, a properly executed distillation process yields a distillate that has essentially zero sugar content. What’s in the distillate coming off the still?
Ethanol? Yes Water? Yes Flavor compounds (esters, etc.)? Yes Sugar? No
Regardless of whether a distiller makes whiskey, brandy, tequila, rum or vodka, what comes off the still is not sweet.
There is no sugar in freshly distilled tequila. There is no sugar in freshly distilled vodka. There is no sugar in freshly distilled rum.
How is corn used for alcohol?
Starch- and Sugar-Based Ethanol Production – Most ethanol in the United States is produced from starch-based crops by dry- or wet-mill processing. Nearly 90% of ethanol plants are dry mills due to lower capital costs. Dry-milling is a process that grinds corn into flour and ferments it into ethanol with co-products of distillers grains and carbon dioxide.
Why does bourbon use corn?
Bourbon is made with at least 51% corn – What makes bourbon distinct from other whiskeys is the way it is manufactured and aged. All whiskey is spirit made from fermented grain and then aged in barrels. But the kind of grain and the kind of barrels determines the variety of whiskey.
Does moonshine taste like corn?
What’s the Taste Like? – The bottles of moonshine somehow taste like 151 rum. If you’ve tasted this drink, you’ll get a burning sensation and a kick, which is similar to the taste of moonshine. Also, some explain that bottles of moonshine taste kind of earthy.
- Aside from the rubbing alcohol taste, you should taste the slight sweetness and hints of corn flavor.
- Some testers report that bottles of moonshine taste like good grappa and have a flavor strictly of their own.
- Others claim to discern vanilla notes in the good moonshine.
- However, this is not a true moonshine flavor and was most likely added to make it more appealing to the modern palate.
Also Read: Moonshine vs Whiskey