Procedure: – Heat 5 gallons of mash water up to 165F. Turn off heat when target temperature is reached and stir in the 8.5 pounds of corn. Stir the mash continuously for about 5 minutes then stir for a few seconds every five minutes until the temperature drops to 152F.
- Once the target temp is met, stir in the malted barley.
- Cover and leave it be for about 90 minutes, uncovering only to stir every 15 minutes or so.
- At this point all of the starches should be converted into sugar.
- Leave it sit for a few hours or use an immersion chiller to cool the mash to 70 degrees.
- At 70 degrees, add yeast, aerate (by dumping back and forth between two containers), cap, and add an air lock.
In a week or two fermentation will be complete. Leave it settle for another week and it will be ready to distill. Siphon into still. Make sure to leave yeast and other sediment behind.
- 1 Are you supposed to eat the fruit in moonshine?
- 2 Should you stir mash while fermenting?
- 3 How clear should mash be before distilling?
How long to leave mash for moonshine?
How Do You Make Moonshine? – The moonshine distilling process is fairly straightforward, even if it is a bit time-consuming. Before we start, remember, distilling your own alcohol whether for sale or personal consumption is illegal in the U.S. without the proper permits. This information is for educational purposes only. With that in mind, here is how you make moonshine:
- Create moonshine mash. We’ll go over a full recipe below, but you’ll need to create a mash consisting of yeast, your sugary grain, and any flavorings. This step is the quickest and easiest, but also has the greatest impact on the end result. Do your research and pick the right ingredients to end up with the flavor you want.
- Ferment the mash. Like other types of alcohol, moonshine requires a long fermentation process to maximize the flavor and alcohol production. Your mash needs to be stored at room temperature for at least one or two weeks to ensure the final product comes out properly. We strongly recommend buying a hydrometer for this step, so you can start distilling at the best time.
- Distill. Possibly the simplest step in the process, you now take your fermented mash and heat it up. The distillation process will separate the alcohol and the solid mash into two separate containers through steam and tubing. The key is to get the drip rate to around 2-5 drips per second.
- Collect the distillate. You now need to separate the liquids that came out of the distillation. The first 5% is called the foreshots and must be disposed of because they may contain methanol. The next 30%, called heads, is also likely too alcoholic and not consumable. Now you come to the hearts, which is what you’re looking for as it’s the good stuff worth drinking.
- Store your moonshine. Moonshine needs to be stored properly to avoid running into issues with leakage or going bad. Buy different liquor bottle sizes to suit your needs and store them in a cool, dry place. Now you’ve got delicious and usable moonshine!
What is the mash ratio for moonshine?
First Fermentation – Put your ingredients into the fermenter in the order listed and close it. You should start to see fermentation of the sugar within 12 hours. It should take 3 or 4 days for the ebullition to end. Siphon your beer out of the fermenter with a racking cane and charge your still.
- Siphoning is the best method because it allows you to pull the beer off the top of your lees, leaving them undisturbed.
- You do not want suspended solids in your still and this method works quite well in keeping the lees at the bottom of your fermenter.
- At this point you need to make your first decision.
How much backset will you use in your subsequent mashes? The legal minimum for a sour mash is 25%. I do not like to go above 50% in my experience. For the sake of simplicity, let’s say you will start with 25% backset. This means that for a 5 gallon mash you will use 1-1/4 gallons of backset and 3-3/4 gallons of water.
- Since you will be running your still for hours, you do not want to leave the fermenter empty.
- Put your 3-3/4 gallons of water back into the fermenter so your yeast won’t die while you distill.
- While you’re at it, this is a perfect time to scoop the spent corn off the top and replace with an equal volume of newly cracked corn.
Later we’ll add the 1-1/4 gallons of backset and 7 more pounds of granulated sugar.
Are you supposed to eat the fruit in moonshine?
Even though Johnson family hooch isn’t made in copper stills out in the woods any more, the recipe lives on in the (now legally distributed) Midnight Moon. The family took a huge risk bootlegging corn alcohol before, during, and after prohibition, and the decades of hard work and fast driving paid off in the form of one of the most recognizable moonshine brands in the country.
- Related: Spirit Education at Moonshine University Junior Johnson’s legacy extends far beyond crafting some of the finest corn whiskey around, though.
- A big part of distilling moonshine is transporting and selling it, or bootlegging, a role that Junior took over for his family when he was 14.
- Junior was never caught while driving, and only spent 11 months of a two-year sentence in prison when he was caught lighting a still the police had staked out in May of 1956.
Bootleg drivers in the ’40s became the pioneers of professional racing, and Junior Johnson was well known in the early NASCAR movement. A creative and daring racer, Junior is also credited with creating the bootleg turn, a sharp 180-degree turn designed to lose police cars in a chase.
Despite his car driving 22 miles per hour slower than the fastest cars in the race, Junior won the 1960 Daytona 500, one of the first documented uses of drafting in racing. Despite multiple distilleries making offers on the Johnson family recipe, Junior partnered with Piedmont Distillers in 2007 to bring his historic moonshine to life once again — this time legally.
Midnight Moon is now distilled in small batches in North Carolina, where Junior Johnson can still get involved from time to time. Midnight Moon is available in its classic clear form, or in one of six infused flavors: blackberry, blueberry, cherry, cranberry, and strawberry, all of which are made with the real fruit included in the jar. The apple pie flavor, for instance, is made with real apple juice and includes a stick of cinnamon inside for an added kick. The strawberry infused Midnight Moon has a quiet sweetness to it, but it doesn’t distract from the huge taste of real fruit. The vibrant red and pink spirit goes down deceptively smooth, considering that the infused varieties are bottled at 100 proof.
Serving it chilled brings out the fruit flavors and corn sweetness even more, but it’s great in a glass of lemonade, too. By the time the jar hits the shelves, the blueberry infused Midnight Moon has turned the clear liquid a deep, opaque purple. The mass of blueberries at the bottom of the jar can only be seen by tilting the glass so their dark lines can be seen moving around.
The result is a drink that’s smooth and just a little tart, with the corn alcohol coming a bit more to the front than in the strawberry and apple pie infusions. The apple pie flavor is a bit different than the other infused flavors. Rather than dropping a pile of fruit into the bottom, the classic Midnight Moon is mixed with real apple juice and cinnamon. The result is a cocktail in a jar, and while Midnight Moon offers up a number of simple recipes to go along with each flavor, the apple pie is sweet, warm, and tastes great on the rocks or with a splash of ginger ale.
Does moonshine mash need air?
Making moonshine, a strong homemade distilled alcohol, can be a complex process. A great-tasting moonshine depends on storing and processing the mash correctly. One step to consider is whether moonshine mash must be stored in an airtight container. Moonshine mash can be stored in an airtight container.
- The container should be able to expel carbon dioxide to reduce pressure build-up.
- If the container is not airtight, try to prevent oxygen from entering it, as this can impact the moonshine’s taste.
- Read this article to understand more about the kind of containers in which moonshine mash should be stored.
I’ll also explore the process of making moonshine mash, focusing on the types of containers to use.
Should you stir mash while fermenting?
Final Thoughts – Stirring the mash after adding the yeast is not a good idea. You risk disrupting the fermentation process that turns sugar into alcohol. Instead, make sure your mash has the optimal conditions for the yeast to thrive. : Do You Stir Mash After Adding Yeast? 4 Things To Know
How do you know when mash is ready?
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.
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
Can you mash with too much water?
DronG/Shutterstock Some people like their mashed potatoes smooth and creamy, others prefer theirs with lumps and mix-ins. But there’s one thing we can all agree on — that gluey mashed potatoes are hard to enjoy. If the consistency of your mashed potatoes is turning out stickier than you intended, it’s likely because there was too much remaining water.
According to TODAY, the best way to avoid this is to thoroughly drain the potatoes after they’re done cooking. Once all the excess water has been removed, return the potatoes to the same pot and mash it while it’s still hot. This will prevent the starches from turning gummy. If you’ve drained your potatoes well but still ended up with gluey mashed potatoes, it means the potatoes are waterlogged, The Kitchn explains.
This occurs when you cut your potatoes too small. Even though smaller chunks of potato do cook a lot faster, they also absorb water more readily. Then when you drain them, they’ll be dry on the surface, but filled with water on the inside, ultimately giving you gluey mashed potatoes.
How clear should mash be before distilling?
Article: Clearing the wash
- Clearing the wash
- When fermentation is complete
- Turbo clear should always be used to clear wash before distillation, there are three reasons for this;
- To remove the yeast – there are many billions of yeast cells (70 billion/ml) by the end of the fermentation – if not removed they will break open during boiling releasing volatiles giving off-flavours and aromas into the distillation process and reducing distillate quality.
- To remove semi-soluble compounds – Turbo clear contains strongly negative and positive charging and will take out unwanted compounds that even filtration will not remove.
- T o remove adsorbents – the majority of turbo yeasts contain absorbent materials such as activated carbons, clays and other compounds which trap unwanted metabolites within pore microstructures.
If turbo clear is not used, these metabolites will be released during boiling. Turbo Clear has been reformulated to give increased performance and works faster than ever. Each turbo pack comes with part A and part B. It is important to remove dissolved gas from the wash by vigorous stirring of the wash first – then add part A.
One hour later stir very gently and Part B should be added. Then leave the wash for at least 24 hours before decanting and distilling. Within 24 hours Turbo Clear removes over 95% of the yeast cells, solids and other unwanted compounds from the wash – at this point it is acceptable for distilling. For ultimate quality – leave for 48 hours to remove up to 99% of the solids.
How to Make a Basic Mash for Moonshine
It can sometimes take several days for the wash to become completely clear because alcohol yeasts are poor flocculators, but removing every last cell is not important. : Article: Clearing the wash