3. Amount of time wood is left to soak in the moonshine ? – When moonshine is aged on oak that has been charred and toasted it is transformed from a harsh, burning distillate into a smooth often sweet whiskey. The amount of time required will depend on if your using chips, cubes or staves.
- Oak Chips – 20-30 grams per quart 2- 4 months
- Cubes – 1/2″ cubes 8 cubes per quart 3-6 months
- Staves – 6″ long by 1″ thick 3-12 months
You may find the oak chips will quickly add color and flavor but this does not mean your whiskey is ready to drink. It takes time for the harsh, burning flavor of the alcohol to be absorbed by the wood. Over oaking is possible with wood chips so it’s best to take a small sample every week or so to test the flavor.
You may also want to split your moonshine up into several jars and vary the amount of oak cubes or chips you put in each one, this will allow you to experiment and see what you prefer. If you just can’t wait 3-12 months you can use a smoothing agent like glycerin to mellow the harshness of your moonshine,
It’s cheating but I’ve had some good results with it. Moonshine aging on medium toasted oak
Does moonshine make whiskey?
What’s the Difference Between Whiskey and Moonshine? Those who know a little bit about alcohol eventually ask the question “What’s the difference between whiskey and moonshine?” The short answer? Absolutely nothing. Both whiskey and moonshine have the same production process – give or take a few variables.
“Moonshine” came to be distinguished from whiskey for its illegal nature rather than it being a different type of alcohol – moonshine is just whiskey that hasn’t been taxed. The practice of making moonshine began early on in American history when the newly-established US government established a tax on liquor and spirits to help pay for the costs of the Revolution.
Feisty colonial whiskey fans, many of whom were farmers who supported their families in bad harvest years with their alcoholic product, refused to pay for the tax, leading to an underground whiskey trade. Moonshine making continued from then on up until Prohibition went into effect in 1920, when its popularity exploded.
- Suddenly, because there was no legal whiskey available anywhere, moonshine was in high demand, and the distillers who were used to evading the law already began to make a fortune.
- The practice of using sugar as a base for moonshine became more common as distillers tried to stretch their profits further.
After Prohibition, moonshine’s popularity naturally fell until it became more or less known as a backwoods country phenomenon. Historically, the taste of moonshine was closer to vodka than it is to a dark-colored whiskey. That’s because moonshine was rarely if ever aged – the process of acquiring and storing oak barrels for aging would have been very difficult undercover.
- The taste could vary, though, since there were no legal standards.
- That’s part of what made moonshine somewhat dangerous – not only for the distiller, who could get caught and thrown in jail, but also for the drinker, who could go blind if the distiller was careless or greedy and did not remove the methanol naturally generated by the distillation process.
Of course, Grand River Spirits is a legal distillery – so our “moonshine” labeling is simply a fun homage to American history and our roots in Southern Illinois. It also means we follow all industry best practices and our spirits are perfectly safe to drink (in moderation, of course).
How do you make moonshine taste like bourbon?
Aging Moonshine with Wood Chips Can Improve Its Taste – In case you, letting it age will make your product more scotch like. To create excellent bourbon you can let your neutral spirit age in oak chips for about 15 days using 15 grams of oak chips in one liter of spirit. If you worry about acquiring the taste of wood in your finished product, you can taste a sample of your spirit aged at 10 days and see how it tastes and just do the same thing in an interval or 1-2 days.
By doing this, you will find that the taste of your bourbon is just perfect on day 15 or 16. Just in case that you would like to come up with, you can modify the technique mentioned above by soaking your spirit in oak chips at 10 grams per liter of spirit for a period of 15 to 20 days. You should wait for at least 10 days before you can take out a sample using a shot glass so that you can avoid consuming it all.
This will help you gauge the flavor earlier in time. You must be aware that leaving it for a long time can cause a woody flavor so you have to make a wise judgment. Once you are satisfied with the flavors that the oak chips have given your drink, you can now remove the wood chips and start filtering your spirit to eliminate splinters.
How long does it take to make moonshine whiskey?
Rye Whiskey Recipe –
- Heat six gallons of water to 70ºF (21.1ºC), When the water has reached the desired temperature, add seven pounds of rye grain, two pounds of barley, and one pound of malt. Stir all of the ingredients together.
- Raise the temperature while you stir. You will have to constantly stir the mixture. While stirring, increase the temperature of the mash by five degrees every two minutes. When the temperature reaches 160 ºF (71.1ºC), do not raise the temperature anymore.
- Stir the mixture for two to three hours. You will need to keep the temperature at 160ºF (71.1ºC) so that the starch turns into fermentable sugar and dextrin. This can only be achieved by continuing to stir for two to three hours.
- Filter off the water and then place your mash into your fermenter. Let your mash cool down to 70ºF (21.1ºC). Add three grams of yeast and stir the mixture well.
- 1 Transfer your mash to a fermenter. You can use a funnel to pour your mash into the fermenter of your choice. Many home brewers use glass carboys, which are essentially large glass bottles. You can often buy them with an air lock (which you will definitely need).
- You can also make your own air lock. To do this, drill a hole in your carboy cork or lid that exactly the size of surgical tubing (which you will also need for this method to work). Once you have drilled the hole, run the surgical tubing into the hole, letting the other end of the tubing hang down into a glass or jar of water.
- 2 Seal your fermenter. Once you have added all of the mash and yeast, you will need to seal your fermenter with an airlock so that absolutely no air can get in or out of your fermentation device. The process of fermentation involves the sugars in your mash, like glucose or fructose, getting converted into ethanol and carbon dioxide.
- 3 Let your mash ferment. The length of time you should let your mash ferment will depend on the recipe you used. It could anywhere from a couple of days to longer than a week. For the corn whiskey recipe listed above, let your mash ferment for seven to ten days. For the rye whiskey recipe, let the mash ferment for five to seven days.
- 4 Know how to tell when your mash is done fermenting. There are several ways to tell you can safely take your whiskey out of your fermenter. The best and most accurate way to tell if the fermentation process has ended is by using a hydrometer, though you can also do a visual inspection.
- Using a Hydrometer: Hydrometers measure the density of a liquid compared to the density of water. When the mash is done fermenting, the number reading on the hydrometer should stay the same. You should take a reading one time each day, for three days around the time when your recipe says your mash should be done fermenting. A good way to use the hydrometer is to take a sample of your mash by using a wine thief or turkey baster. Put this small sample into a graduated cylinder. Lower the hydrometer into the cylinder and gently swirl it around to release any bubbles. Take a reading right at the level of the liquid. This reading should be the same for three days in a row.
- 5 Try a visual inspection. It is recommended that you use a hydrometer to determine whether or not your mash is done fermenting, however if you really don’t want to buy one, you can try to do a visual inspection of your fermenter. Inspect the top outer edge of the fermenter. Are there any bubbles being formed? The day that you notice there are no bubbles forming, give your mash one more day to ferment and then move on to the distillation process.
- 1 Know what it means to distill your whiskey. The process of distillation focuses on separating the ethanol (alcohol) created in the fermentation process from the wort (or used mash). The goal is to get 80% ethanol and 20% flavors and water from the mash.
- 2 Buy or build your still. For safety reasons, it is generally in your best interest to buy a copper or stainless steel still from a still making company. There are plenty of websites that have quality stills for purchase. If, however, you would prefer to take on the project of building your own still, you can learn how to do so
- 3 Transfer your fermented wort to your still. Fermented wort is referred to as ‘wash’. To transfer your wash, you will need to strain or siphon your wash through a cheesecloth and then into your still. The cheesecloth is necessary because you want to allow as few of the larger chunks of mash into the still as possible. If you choose to siphon your wash rather than strain in, try to leave as much of the solid chunks in the bottom of the fermenter.
- If you do end up with some of the larger chunks in your still, its not the end of the world. You can leave them in there.
- 4 Assemble the rest of your still and heat your wash. You will have to assemble the rest of the still according the instructions that came with it. Again, if you have made your own still and want to refer back to the wikiHow instructions, click Once the rest of the still is assembled, slowly heat your wash. If you heat your wash too quickly, you may burn it. Over the course of 30 to 60 minutes, bring your wash to a boil.
- 5 Read the thermometer near the cooling condenser. On your still, there should be a thermometer placed right before the cooling condenser. As the wash boils, keep on an eye on this thermometer. When it reads 120º F- 140º F (50º C-60º C), start the cooling water for the condenser tube. Doing this will begin your distillation process.
- 6 Throw the ‘head’ out. Once you have added the cooling water, the condenser will begin to drip. For a wash that is five gallons in size, you will want to throw out the first 50 milliliters (1.7 fl oz) (¼ cup) that comes out of the condenser. This first bit is called the ‘head’ and is the methanol boiling out of the wash. The head has a nasty flavor that you will not want mixing with the rest of your whiskey.
- 7 Move on to the ‘body’. Once you have thrown out the head, read the thermometer again. It should read 175º F-185º F (80º C-85º C). At this time, the distillate coming out of the distiller is the ethanol boiling off, or the “body”. This is the liquid gold you’ve been waiting for. You will want to collect the body in 500 milliliters (16.9 fl oz) containers so that you can keep track of your product.
- 8 Throw out the ‘tails’. When the temperature has reached roughly 205º F (96º C), you will want to stop collecting the distillate. The liquid now coming out of the distiller is call the ‘tails’. This will also give your whiskey a bad flavor, so keep it separate from the body.
- 9 Let your still cool and then clean it thoroughly. After you have collected all of your distillate, you will need to let each part of the still cool (be careful-it is very hot). Once it has cooled, clean it well.
- 1 Select your aging process. Most whiskeys are aged in oak barrels. However, if you don’t have any oak barrels on hand, you can also add oak chips to your whiskey while it ages in another jar or container. Allowing the whiskey to age will give it that beautiful whiskey flavor that we all love. You can buy both charred oak barrels and oak chips online.
- If you choose to age your whiskey in a jar or other closed container, you will need to regularly open the jar to let the alcohol vapors escape as they would do if being aged in a wooden barrel (this escaped vapor is called the “angels share”). Let your jars breath once a week at a minimum.
- If you choose to use a barrel, fill your barrel with warm water first. Doing this will cause the wood to swell, effectively sealing off any cracks the wood might have. This is important to do or else your whiskey might leak out of your barrel.
- 2 Let your whiskey age. When making whiskey at home, the aging process takes a lot less time than commercial distillers take, as you are no doubt making a much smaller batch of whiskey. Because of this, your whiskey is more exposed to the wood of the barrel or chips, because there is less liquid vying for a spot up against the wood. Your whiskey will be aged in a matter of months.
- 3 Sample your whiskey every few weeks. When aging whiskey at home, there is a chance that you might ‘over oak’ your liquor. To avoid this, sample your whiskey once every three or so weeks.
- 4 Determine your whiskey’s alcohol content and dilute as necessary. To determine your whiskey’s alcohol content (ABV) you can use your distiller’s hydrometer. Keep in mind that a whiskey with 75 to 80% alcohol is going to be a relatively unpleasant thing to drink. In general, whiskey gets diluted to 80 proof, or 40% alcohol. To dilute, add water.
- 5 Bottle your whiskey immediately after you dilute it. Once your whiskey has reached the taste and color you prefer, its time to bottle it. Store your bottled whiskey or enjoy it immediately, the choice is yours. Enjoy!
- Question Can I add sugar to the mash? Yes, but the recipe is a bit different from what you read above. For 5 gallons of mash, try using 7 lbs. of granulated cane sugar, 5.5 lbs. of cracked corn, and 1.5 lbs. of rye. Add water to get to the 5 total gallons of volume, and stir vigorously for a couple of minutes. Put the mixture into your fermenter, and pitch the yeast. You don’t need to heat this recipe until the distillation steps-the sugar is the source of fuel for the yeast. The corn and rye are really just for flavoring. This is technically called a sugar-headed corn whiskey.
- Question Can I use regular copper tubing and brass fittings from the hardware store? Yes, as these materials are generally used for drinking water. Copper tubing is also used for hot water delivery.
- Question To redistill, do I only put the first distillate in the still? Is it okay to have such a small volume of liquid in the still? To redistill, you generally distill several mashes and collect these runs. These are called low wines. When you have enough low wines to fill your boiler you can do the spirit run. This is the money run and must be performed “low and slow.” Collect the spirit run in small glasses. After a days airing time you smell and taste each glass to determine your “cuts.” First glasses will be “foreshots and heads” and the last glasses will be “tails.” It’s the “hearts” in between that you want to keep.
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- 10 lbs. Whole kernel corn, untreated
- 5 gallons (18.9 L) Water
- 1 Cup Yeast, champagne yeast starter
- Burlap sack
- Bucket and water
- 7 Lbs. Rye
- 2 Lbs. Barley
- 1 Lbs. Malt
- 6 gallons (22.7 L) of water
- 1 oz Yeast
- Fermenter, such as a glass carboy
- Still (copper or stainless steel) with a cooling condenser
- 500 ml containers
- Oak barrels or charred oak chips
- Bottles and labels
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“I heard about making Dandy wine. Never looked into it before. It was very easy and fun to make. It’s always good to learn something new.”,”
: How to Make Quick and Tasty Moonshine Whiskey (with Pictures)
Is whiskey really aged for 12 years?
Scotch whisky must be matured for a minimum of three years. If a bottle of Scotch whisky shows an age statement, e.g. ’12 Years Old’ means that the youngest whisky in the bottle is at least 12 years old. Scotch is bottled at a variety of ages, from 3 years to 50 years.
Can moonshine be turned into bourbon?
Corn Whiskey vs. Bourbon – Bourbon starts out as a corn-based whisky which can be consumed soon after the distillation process is complete. However, it must go through an important final step in order to become bourbon. To be considered a true ‘bourbon’ the spirit must be matured for two years in an oak barrel.
- While this means delayed gratification; good things truly come to those who wait.
- While a good bourbon can set you back a pretty penny, many savvy people are taking up a new and creative hobby that yields fun results-making their own.
- While moonshining is quickly growing in popularity, many are unaware that they can make other spirits-including bourbon.
Making bourbon only requires one extra step further than traditional corn whisky. In fact, all you really need to get started is a quality still kit, We love this all-in-one kit. The Appalachian stove top still kit includes everything you need to make quality spirits at home. It has a built in thermometer, fermentor pot with an airtight lid, air lock and even a connected copper cooling pot! It has everything you need to get started making quality moonshine at home!
Is moonshine closer to vodka or whiskey?
Moonshine vs Vodka is a choice between two clear liquors. At a glance, they look exactly the same but dig a little deeper and some differences quickly appear. Just by looking at them, we know that the fictional character Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation isn’t a fan.
What alcohol is made with moonshine?
What Type of Alcohol Is Moonshine? – Most experts agree that moonshine is a homemade, unaged whiskey. This may be surprising due to the clear color, but the distilling process and ingredients used are clear signs that it is a whiskey.