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Moonshine Is Made From What Crop? (Solved)

  • Classic moonshine is usually made from corn. Brandy is made from nearly any kind of fruit whereas rum is made from fermented sugar cane and vodka can be produced from potatoes or just a mixture of sugar water and yeast. How is moonshine made? Making moonshine or any other distilled alcohol consists of two processes: fermentation and distillation.


What is moonshine made out of?

Moonshine is made from any grain or fruit. Traditionally, whatever grain or fruit that is easily accessible in a given place at a given time would be the base ingredient of choice. However, the moonshine that we know today typically uses corn as the main source of fermentable sugar.

Where does the moonshine come from?

Moonshine historically referred to “clear, unaged whiskey”, once made with barley in Scotland and Ireland or corn mash in the United States, though sugar became just as common in illicit liquor during the last century.

What is the best moonshine made from?

There are several types of mash we can choose from when getting ready to produce a batch of moonshine. For the purists, a corn whiskey mash is the route to a true-to-history, smooth, full-flavor moonshine. Clever corn farmers caught on to the fact that they could distill their own crop to increase profits.

How is moonshine made?

How is Moonshine Made?

  1. The corn is ground into meal.
  2. The corn meal is soaked in hot water in the still.
  3. The stone furnace beneath the still is brought up to about 172 degrees Fahrenheit (78 C).
  4. The alcohol evaporates.
  5. Some moonshiners use a thump keg, which is simply a heated barrel into which the steam is forced.

What type of alcohol is moonshine?

Moonshine purists define the spirit as a homemade, unaged whiskey, marked by its clear color, corn base and high alcohol content—sometimes peaking as high as 190 proof. Traditionally, it was produced in a homemade still and bottled in a mason jar.

What is the moonshine capital of the world?

Local History: Franklin County, Virginia – The Moonshine Capital of the World.

What is real moonshine?

“Moonshine, by definition, is any high proof spirit that’s illegally distilled,” says Nicole Pearlman of Ole Smoky Distillery in Gatlinburg, Tennessee — the first legal moonshine distillery in a state known for its history of moonshine production. When you break it down, moonshine is really just a high-proof spirit.

Where is the most moonshine made?

Today, moonshine is generally used as a catchall term for unaged white whiskeys, many of which are made in Tennessee and North Carolina.

Why was moonshine made illegal?

So why is moonshine still illegal? Because the liquor is worth more to the government than beer or wine. Uncle Sam takes an excise tax of $2.14 for each 750-milliliter bottle of 80-proof spirits, compared with 21 cents for a bottle of wine (of 14 percent alcohol or less) and 5 cents for a can of beer.

What is moonshine good for?

Due to its strength, this powerful alcohol should be consumed in very moderate amounts to experience the potential health benefits of reduced stress and anxiety, without suffering from the negative side effects of a serious hangover.

Why is moonshine so popular?

A Taste of Rebellion. Bootleggers, secret operations, gun fights—there’s no doubt that moonshine’s popularity has a lot to do with its unlawful past. It’s been illegal for so long, and people seem to be drawn to illicit behaviors. They just love the idea of tasting the forbidden fruit.

Is moonshine fermented?

Making moonshine or any other distilled alcohol consists of two processes: fermentation and distillation. Alcoholic fermentation is a metabolic natural process by which sugar is converted into acids, gases and alcohol, using yeast in the absence of oxygen.

Where was moonshine first made?

While moonshine is deeply rooted in Southern culture and heritage, its origins, in fact, can be traced to Pennsylvania. Farmer-distillers in the western part of the state protested when the federal government passed the distilled-spirits tax in 1791. They tarred and feathered tax collectors and fired upon their homes.

How is Moonshine Made?

What exactly is moonshine? Moonshine is any type of alcoholic beverage that is produced in secret in order to escape excessive taxes or prohibitions on alcoholic beverages. The phrase “moonshine” comes from the British verb “moonshining,” which referred to any activity that was carried out late at night by the light of the moon. The name “moonshine” is derived from the term “moonshining.” The ingredients for moonshine are rather straightforward, and generally include corn meal, yeast, sugar, and water.

Whiskey that you buy at your local liquor shop is usually matured in charred oak barrels for several months or years before being released into the market to get its darker color and mild flavor.

The formula for whiskey, brandy, or rum is almost identical to the one for moonshine in most cases.

Whiskey is historically created from a blend of grains.

  • Moonshine traditionally manufactured from maize is known as classic moonshine.
  • What is the process of making moonshine?
  • When yeast is used in the absence of oxygen, alcoholic fermentation is a metabolic natural process by which sugar is transformed into acids, gases, and alcohol in the absence of oxygen.
  • The theory of alcoholic distillation is based on the fact that alcohol and water have significantly different boiling points.
  • The alcohol vapor is subsequently cooled and condensed within the condenser, resulting in the formation of a liquid.
  • The following is the sequence of events that occurs during the distillation process: As many different mash preparation procedures as there are moonshiners, but the fundamentals are pretty much the same for everyone.

This is, nevertheless, the basic procedure, step by step, in most cases. Consider the following as a description of “old school” moonshine production utilizing “old school” moonshine equipment, not as a description of current distillation equipment.

  1. In a good fermentation vessel, begin by adding ground corn meal, cracked corn, or even commercial hog feed (which is primarily composed of ground corn and other grains) to the jar and mixing thoroughly. Others prefer to boil the corn combination and stir in particular enzymes to convert the starches to sugars before transferring it to the fermentation vessel
  2. More sugar and water are then added to the corn mixture before moving it to the fermentation vessel. In the following step, yeast (either bread yeast or specialist “turbo yeast”) is added to the mixture. The fermentation process begins at this point, when the yeast begins to absorb the sugars and convert them to alcohol. According on the combination of yeast and enzymes employed, as well as where the fermentation vessel is maintained, this process can take anywhere from three days to several weeks. The absence of bubbling in the mixture will be a solid indication that the fermentation process has come to an end. Due to the fact that alcohol is less buoyant than water, much of what was originally floating on top of the mixture will have gone to the bottom
  3. The mash is now ready for distillation. Pour the mash into the still and make sure it is securely closed and sealed. Raise the temperature of the furnace beneath the still to approximately 172 degrees Fahrenheit (78 C). Wood, coal, or even steam can be used to heat the still, depending on the kind of still, although propane is the most commonly utilized nowadays. As the alcohol evaporates, the pressure in the still develops, and the alcohol is extracted. The alcohol steam is driven through a pipe that emerges from the top of the still
  4. Alternatively, a thump keg may be used, which is essentially a heated barrel into which the steam is forced. This device, which was given its name because the thumping sound the chunks of mash make when they drop into the barrel, re-evaporates the alcohol while filtering out the mash since some solid material from the mash is generally carried along with the steam in this device’s operation. It’s possible to “charge” the thump keg by adding undistilled mash or a few liters of alcohol to it before filling it with steam, which allows the steam to suck up additional alcohol-vapor on its way into the worm box
  5. But, this will make your moonshine less strong. The steam is channeled into the worm, which is a coiled piece of pipe that snakes its way down the inside of the worm box to the bottom. In the worm box, cold water is channeled into the top of the crate or barrel and then back out the bottom. This keeps the worm immersed in cold water that is continually moving, which helps to condense the alcohol vapour into liquid. A tap or hose connects the end of the worm to a bucket, which is then passed through one last filter
  6. The result is a clear liquid known as moonshine.

How to Make Moonshine: A Distillers Guide Corn Moonshine

This book is a distillers’ guide to making moonshine. Moonshine made with corn

How to Make Moonshine:A Distillers Guide For Corn Moonshine

The most recent update was made on October 25, 2021.

Getting Started: Picking Your Type of Moonshine Mash

When preparing to make a batch of moonshine, we have a number of different mashes from which to pick. For purists, a corn whiskey mash is the only way to make moonshine that is faithful to tradition, smooth, and full of taste. Ingenious corn farmers realized that they might boost their income by distilling their own crop, and they took advantage of the opportunity. This insight paved the way for the development of our beloved booze. Following that is the “Sugar Shine” method, which is becoming increasingly popular, particularly among novices.

  1. As a result, flavored moonshine has risen in popularity, and it is becoming increasingly widespread.
  2. With the same amount of maize, you may increase your mash yield by a factor of two.
  3. In this lesson, we’ll take you through the process of making a classic Corn Whiskey Mash.
  4. Check out our apple pie moonshine recipe for a step-by-step instruction on how to make apple pie moonshine.

How to Make Moonshine: Corn Mash Recipe

  • A five-gallon bucket of water, 8.5 pounds of flaked corn maize, 1.5 pounds of crushed malted barley, yeast, a mash pot, a fermenting bucket, a heat source, a thermometer, and a long spoon.


  1. Start by placing your mash pot on a heat source and filling it with 5 liters of water
  2. Heat the water to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. After reaching 165 degrees Fahrenheit, turn off the fire and quickly whisk in 8.5 pounds of flaked corn maize. Continue to stir the mixture constantly for 7 minutes. Check the temperature every 5 minutes and stir the mixture for 30 seconds each time until the temperature reaches 152 °F. When the liquid has cooled to 152 degrees Fahrenheit, add 1.5 pounds of Crushed Malted Barley and stir well. Check the temperature every 20 minutes and whisk for 30 seconds until the mixture has cooled to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It takes many hours for this process to complete on its own, however the addition of an immersion chiller can dramatically shorten this timeframe. When the liquid has cooled to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, add the yeast. Allow for 5 minutes of aeration by pouring the mixture back and forth between two different containers. Fill the fermentation bucket halfway with the mixture. We provide entire kits for them as well as the supplies you’ll need to make them yourself. It is critical to have the bucket, cap, and air-lock on hand at all times. The use of a spigot also makes pouring more convenient.

George Duncan over at Barley and Hops Brewing also has a great video onHow To Make a Great Moonshine Mash.Check it out below!


  • PH Meter (Advanced)
  • Siphon
  • Cheese Cloth
  • Citric Acid
  • And other supplies.


Store the mash at room temperature for 1-2 weeks to let it to ferment. The temperature is critical because if the temperature drops too low, the fermentation will halt since the yeast will become dormant. Make use of a hydrometer and verify the specific gravity at the beginning of fermentation and at the end of fermentation to confirm that all sugars have been used. This will tell you how much ABV (alcohol by volume) was created throughout your fermentation. Make a note of the specific gravity readings taken at the commencement of fermentation and at the conclusion of the fermentation process.

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Watch this video to learn how to operate a hydrometer.


To correct pH, carefully siphon mash water out of the mixture, making sure to leave behind all solid material and sediment. Pour the mash water into a container and set it aside. It is advised that you strain the mashed potatoes through a cheesecloth at this point. The presence of solid debris in your mash water might result in headaches that you’d want to avoid. (Advanced) This is the stage at which some distillers may add 2 teaspoons of gypsum to their mash water. After that, they do a pH test on their mash water.

Use citric acid to lower the pH of the water, then calcium carbonate to raise it again.

How To Make Moonshine: Distilling

  • Moonshine Still (also known as a moonshine still) Mash Water that has been fermented and strained Products for cleaning
  • Column packing is a technique used to pack rows of text into columns of text.

You did an excellent job! You’ve finished the hard work of producing mash water for your moonshine! Congratulations! Finally, distillation and separation of all of the alcohol content into a refined form are required. Distilling, like mash preparation, is both an art and a science. The most effective way to become a good distiller is to put in the time and effort. We encourage that you take notes during the procedure so that you can improve with each subsequent run.

Everything from the traditionalcopper still to steel reflux units to the newGrainfatherBrewing System is available from us if you’re looking for it. We also carry high-quality supplies, such as high-quality grains and a new carbon filter, among other things.

Prepping Your Still

Maintaining a consistent level of preparation for your still is essential. However, even if you cleaned and let your still to sit for a bit after your last run, it is still advised that you clean it before transferring your mash water. This is especially true for copper stills that have a salt deposit on their surfaces. If you want to include packing in your column, now is the time. Fill your column with the amount of copper packing that is appropriate for your particular arrangement and use it as a filter.

Last but not least, it’s time to fill the still with your mash water.

The goal here is to reduce the amount of sediment in your mash water to as near to zero as you possibly can.

Running Your Still

Now comes the exciting part! Distillation is a fantastic procedure that takes a long time. Those of you who are unfamiliar with the science may get the fast and dirty version by clicking on the link below. When distinct compounds are separated using distillation, it is done so by taking advantage of the differences in evaporation temperatures of the substances. Rather of producing alcohol, this procedure separates it from the rest of the components present in your mash water. During the fermentation process, you produced all of the alcohol (well, the yeast did).

If your arrangement includes a condenser, switch on the condensing water whenever the temperature reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

Keep track of how fast your drips are increasing in pace until you reach 3 to 5 drips per second.

How To Make Moonshine: Collecting Your Distillate

Congratulations, you have progressed from researching How to Make Moonshine to actually creating your own moonshine! Make certain that you are pouring your distillate into a glass container as you are generating it. Never use plastic containers since they can contaminate your product with BPA, among other things, and cause additional problems.

Collecting Foreshots

In terms of percentage of your total productivity, the foreshots will account for around 5 percent. These are the alcohols that evaporate the earliest in your mash water and should never be consumed. Foreshots may contain methanol, and they should never be taken in any form. Methanol, among other things, has the potential to cause blindness. Gather the foreshots and place them in a separate container before throwing them away.

Collecting Heads

It is estimated that the heads account for around 30 percent of your total production. The heads, like the foreshots, contain volatile alcohols as well as other compounds. However, rather than causing blindness, the consequences are more mild – akin to having a bad hangover for many days.

Because to the presence of alcohols such as acetone, the heads will have a characteristic “solvent” scent to them. Similarly to the foreshots, place your heads in their own containers and discard the rest of them.

Collecting Hearts

This is the good stuff, which is primarily composed of ethanol. The following approximately 30 percent of your total production is comprised of the hearts. You should be able to smell the harsh, solvent-like scent that was present during the heads at this stage. The flavor of corn mash moonshine should now be smooth and sweet, as it should have been previously. This is the level at which ability and experience are most important. It takes a certain amount of skill to keep your hearts well-isolated while simultaneously increasing their output.

Collecting Tails

When you reach the conclusion of the ethanol process and enter the final step of your manufacturing process, you reach the tails. It is estimated that the tails will account for around 35% of your total production. The tails will have a completely different flavor than the hearts. You’ll notice a significant decrease in sweetness, and you may even see an oily top-layer on your product at this point. The substance will start to feel slick between your fingertips at this point. This is because to the presence of water, carbs, and proteins.


Congratulations for completing the task. We hope you were able to produce a fantastic batch. The only thing left to do is thoroughly clean your whole equipment. Allow for complete drying before storing in a cold, dry location. Learning how to create moonshine requires you to take on the roles of both a scientific and an artist at the same time. There’s a delicate balance to be struck here, and it can take years to master. We urge that you keep meticulous records of your moonshine production at all times.

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  • If you enjoyed this advice on how to produce moonshine, you might also be interested in our instructions on how to make rum and how to make vodka.
  • The most recent update was made on October 25, 2021.

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Tim Smith Moonshine – History of Shine

Moonshine is a general term that refers to any type of alcoholic beverage that is produced in secret in order to evade excessive taxes or prohibitions on alcoholic beverages. The word “moonshine” was coined in the United Kingdom. When it was first coined, the term “moonshining” referred to any action that was carried out in the dark of the night by the light of the moon. Moonshine is made from a few simple ingredients: maize meal, sugar, yeast, and water. The formula for whiskey is quite similar to that of rum.

When you buy a bottle of whiskey off the shelf at your local liquor shop, it has been matured for years in charred oak barrels, which gives it its amber color and mellow flavor profile.

Due to the fact that it is bottled and sold directly from the still, it is clear and has a stronger kick.

You may have seen moonshine that has been blended with fruit, such as cherries or strawberries, at some of your local liquor stores. This moonshine will have a tinted look as a result of the fruit that has been used in its preparation.

Moonshiners, Bootleggers, and Rumrunners

Operators of illicit whiskey stills performed their operations at night in order to evade discovery by law enforcement agencies; as a result, they were dubbed “Moonshiners” by the public. Bootleggers were the individuals that Moonshiners used to convey their illicit alcoholic beverages to their customers. The word “bootlegger” stems from colonial times when smugglers traveled on horseback with their alcoholic beverages disguised in their tall riding boots, thus the name. During the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, bootleggers exchanged their horses for automobiles.

NASCAR was created as a result of this fascination with automobiles and speed.

Rumrunners are essentially the same as bootleggers, with the exception that they transport their contraband via the water, employing swift vessels with disguised cargo hold compartments.

How is Moonshine Made?

Fermentation and distillation are the two processes that are used in the production of alcohol. Yeast fermentation is a chemical event that takes place when sugar is broken down by the yeast. One of the byproducts of this process is alcohol. Evaporating the alcohol at 172 degrees Celsius and collecting the steam before condensing it back into liquid form is the process of distillation. The Distillation Process for Moonshine: Step-by-Step Instructions:

  • Corn meal is made by grinding it up. Most commercial hog feed is composed of maize, and it is inexpensive and easy to obtain without drawing too much notice. Corn meal is steeped in hot water in the still before being infused with other ingredients to make whiskey. Sugar is occasionally added, although traditional moonshiners use malt to convert the starch in the maize meal into sugar, which is a process that takes time. It is next necessary to add the yeast, which kick-starts the fermentation process. This combination, known as mash, is well churned before being cooked in the still for a certain period of time. When making bourbon, copper is often used for the still and all metal piping since it transmits heat effectively and does not contaminate the alcohol. A heat source is utilized to get the mash temperature up to around 172 degrees Fahrenheit. Stills have been heated using wood, coal, and even steam in the past, but today’s stills are generally heated with propane gas
  • At this point, the alcohol is completely evaporated. As the pressure in the still develops, the alcohol steam is driven via the cap arm, which is a pipe that comes out of the top of the still
  • The steam then travels into the thump keg, which is just a barrel into which the steam is forced to the bottom as the pressure in the still builds. In honor of the thumping sound generated by the steam being driven under the level of alcohol in the barrel, the thump keg was given this name. At this stage, the proof of the alcohol steam is doubled
  • The steam continues into the worm, which is a coiled piece of pipe that spirals along the interior of the worm box
  • And the steam continues into the worm. Water is poured into the top of the worm box from a nearby water source and then expelled through the bottom of the crate or barrel, which is known as a worm chamber. This keeps the worm immersed in cold water that is continually moving, which helps to condense the alcohol vapour into liquid. When the worm’s end is reached, the alcohol drains into a pail or container. A proving barrel is then used to equalize the quantity of alcohol in the moonshine and mix it to get the correct proof. The clear liquid that results from this process is ready to be packaged or jarred and sold.

How to Make Moonshine: An Easy to Follow Guide from a Master-Shiner

When you watch movies, have you ever been curious about how they claim to manufacture moonshine in their bathtub at home? It’s not like it’s rocket science, after all! It’s actually quite simple to make at your own convenience. Make sure to read this article on moonshine, which includes some fascinating facts about the drink! How to Make Your Own Moonshine

What Is Moonshine?

Moonshine is a distilled alcoholic beverage that can be manufactured from any grain or fruit, depending on what is available to the distiller. Corn is used as the fermentable sugar in the traditional recipe. While it is possible to use other types of alcohol, such as Everclear, in your beverages, where is the fun in that?

History of Moonshine

Firstly, some pretty fascinating information about moonshine before we get started on how to produce your first batch of homemade moonshine will be shared with you. The word “moonshine” comes from the fact that it is unlawful to produce and thus must be done at night or under the light (or shine) of the moon. Farmers employed this to supplement their income throughout the historical period since low-value maize harvests could be transformed into high-value whiskey. Because of the high level of alcohol taxation in the United States, the government had a hand in this.

Illegal alcoholic beverages, such as moonshine, were transformed overnight into one of the most successful enterprises in the country.

When alcohol became once again legal, the good times came to an end. But, whenever you take a sip of this alcoholic beverage, keep in mind that you are drinking something that has played a significant role in American history!

Choosing Your Type of Moonshine Mash

Moonshine may be prepared from a variety of mashes that contain a variety of different components. There are also a variety of recipes you can experiment with, depending on the flavor you want to emphasize the most. In this article, we’ll show you how to make the most fundamental recipe so that you may build on it in the future.

The Classic: Corn Whiskey

Consequently, purists recommend using a corn whiskey mash, which produces the characteristic smooth and full-flavored moonshine that everyone knows and loves. Specifically, this is the recipe that we will be looking at in this article. However, you should experiment to find out what you enjoy the most!

The Sugar Shine

Nowadays, many individuals like to use sugar to enhance the appearance of their food. This is the most popular choice for novices and people who want to truly play with the tastes of their shine because it does not require any mash and yet produces the same alcohol content. Moonshiners can manufacture anything they want with the right stilling kit, including apple pie and chocolate-flavored moonshine. It all depends on the recipe you choose to follow or develop on your own. The fundamental procedure is dissolving sugar in water and pasteurizing it (if desired), after which you add the yeast nutrient and yeast to the good stuff to ferment.

The Hybrid

This concoction is simply a mashup of the two that came before it. There are a lot of individuals who utilize this method since it is a more easy and cost-effective way to make moonshine that comes quite close to the original taste of moonshine. It allows you to double your yield while utilizing the same amount of corn by substituting table sugar for a portion of the corn.

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How to Make Moonshine: What You Will Need

  1. The following ingredients: 5 gallons of water
  2. 8.5 lb. of flaked corn maize
  3. 1.5 lb. of crushed malted barley
  4. Bread yeast
  5. Optional sugar

Some recipes ask for a one-to-one substitution. For example, you will need 1 gallon of water for every 1 pound of sugar and 1 pound of corn meal you want to use for baking. Feel free to try different things and find what works best for you!


  1. Mashpot, fermentation bucket, heat source with temperature control, thermometer, long spoon, weighing scale, and two different containers

Make sure your bucket has a lid and an air-lock before you start.

For the Fermentation Process

  1. Water meter
  2. PH meter (optional
  3. For advanced students)
  4. Siphon
  5. Cheesecloth
  6. Citric acid

For Distilling

  1. Moonshine still
  2. Mash water that has been fermented and filtered
  3. Cleaning supplies
  4. Column packing
  5. Mason jars
  6. And other items.

How to Make Moonshine: The Process

The first item you’ll need for brewing moonshine is a mash, which is a mixture of grains. What you use for this step will be determined on the flavor you desire.

  1. Prepare all of your components by weighing and measuring them. Installing the mash pot on top of the heat source and turning it on Pour in 5 gallons of water and bring it to a boil until it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the temperature hits 165 degrees Fahrenheit, switch off the heat source. In a separate bowl, combine your measured amount of offlaked corn maize. During the next 7 minutes, continually stir the mixture. Make sure the temperature is correct and continue stirring numerous times. This should be done for 30 seconds every 5 minutes until the product cools down to 152 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the beer has cooled to 152 degrees Fahrenheit, add the calculated amount of crushed malted barley. Check the temperature one more time. Stir for 30 seconds every 20 minutes until the liquid has cooled to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, then stop stirring. While this can take hours, you can expedite the process by using an immersion chiller
  2. Nevertheless, this is not recommended. Once the mixture has been allowed to cool to the right temperature, addyeast
  3. Transfer the mixture back and forth between different containers for 5 minutes to aerate it. Fill the fermentation bucket halfway with the mixture.

Please keep in mind that the components we listed above will vary depending on the formula you use if you are preparing something other than the conventional corn-barley-yeast moonshine.

Step2: Fermenting Your Mash

Now that you have your mash, set it aside to ferment for 1 to 2 weeks at room temperature before using it. Keep in mind that the temperature plays a crucial role in your achievement. Because the yeast will fall dormant if the temperature drops too low, the fermentation process may come to a halt. Keep in mind that yeast prefers a warm and wet environment. The yeast is responsible for consuming all of the sugar content and converting it to alcohol. The greatest results are obtained by using a hydrometer to measure the specific gravity of your mixture both before it begins fermenting and after it has finished fermenting to guarantee that your combination has completely used all of its sugar.

By doing so, you will be able to utilize a formula to determine how much ABV (alcohol by volume) was created throughout your fermentation. Record the specific gravity readings at the start of the fermentation process and at the conclusion of the fermentation process.


After the fermentation period has ended, remove the mash water from the combination using a siphon. By straining everything through a cheesecloth, you can ensure that all of the solid debris and sediment is left behind. Fill a jar halfway with the filtered mash water and set aside. Step 2 (Advanced): (Optional) Some distillers choose to add 2 teaspoons of gypsum to the mash water at this point in the process. After that, they conduct a pH test on the mash water. The pH level should be between 5.8 and 6.0 under ideal conditions.

Step3: Distilling

You’ve completed the most difficult phase in the process of creating mash water for your moonshine: boiling the water. Simply distill your mash water to remove all of the alcohol content and separate it into a pure form is all that remains. Keep in mind that, like the mash preparation process, the distillation process is both a science and an art form. Keep in mind that it will take a lot of practice and trial and error before you become proficient in this area, so be patient with yourself. Note-taking is strongly recommended throughout the distillation and moonshine-making processes so that you may identify areas for improvement when you start a new batch of moonshine.

Prepping Your Still

In order to maintain cleanliness, you must keep your equipment clean even when it is not in use. Though you leave it empty for a long period of time, even if you cleaned it after the last time you used it, you will need to wash it again since it has become dirty. This is crucial, especially if you are utilizing copper stills that have already begun to show signs of salt accumulation. Consequently, before to transferring your mash water, make certain that your still has been well cleaned and washed.

It should be packed with the appropriate amount of packing material for your particular arrangement.

After all of your preparation work, it’s finally time to fill the still with your mash water.

You should keep in mind that you want to limit the quantity of sediment in your corn mash water to the greatest extent feasible.

Running Your Still

It is the process of separating distinct compounds from one another by taking use of the differences in evaporation temperatures between the substances that is referred to as distilling. This method does not result in the production of alcohol, as the yeast has already done so for you throughout the fermentation phase. This is most likely one of the most critical phases in the production of your alcoholic beverage.

It merely serves to separate the alcohol from the other constituents of your mash water, not to purify it. Make certain that your still is positioned such that the drips from it fall into a clear glass container. Consequently, here’s what you must do:

  1. Slowly raise the temperature to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. You should switch on the condensing water if your arrangement has a condenser after you reach this point. Increase the heat to its highest setting until the still begins to leak. Maintain a temperature between the boiling point of water and the boiling point of alcohol (173°F and 212°F)
  2. Timing the drips as they increase in pace until you reach 3 to 5 drips per second is recommended
  3. Once you have reached this drip rate, reduce the heat to keep it constant. You may generally achieve this by turning the volume down to a medium level.

Keep your moonshine from dripping into a plastic container since this might contaminate your drink with BPA and cause other problems. PRO TIP:

Step4: Collecting Your Distillate

You’ve successfully completed the process of manufacturing moonshine! All that is required is that you collect it together with the remainder of your distillation’s yield.

Collecting Foreshots

These are the initial 5 percent of the liquid separated by your distillation process, which is referred to as the foreshots. The foreshots have the highest concentration of alcohols that evaporate the earliest in your corn mash water. It is important to remember that this should never be consumed. Methanol may be included in foreshots, and ingesting it can be quite harmful. Methanol has the potential to make you blind as well as create other health concerns. If you’re going to do it, you might as well use rocket fuel to get it done.

Collecting Heads

The heads, like the foreshots, contain volatile alcohols, which you should aim to avoid eating as much as possible. While this will not cause you to go blind, it will cause you to suffer from a severe hangover, which is not really pleasant. After you have deleted the foreshots from your goods, the heads account for the remaining 30% of the total. This “solvent” fragrance is caused by the alcohols in them, particularly the acetone that is found in the heads. Once again, gather the heads in a separate container and dispose of them properly.

Collecting Hearts

The remaining 30 percent, which is produced by your distillation process, is primarily composed of ethanol. This is the type of material you should be collecting and preserving. By now, the unpleasant, solvent smell that you detected in the heads should have vanished from your product. This is the time when the flavor of your moonshine, or whatever flavor you desire from your recipes, should emerge. Your product should have a smooth and pleasant flavor to it. It is at this point that your abilities and experience will be put to use.

Collecting Tails

With your product approaching the end of its lifespan, you will reach the conclusion of its ethanol lifecycle and go on to its last stage: the tails.. Tails account for around 35 percent of your total production. They will also have a distinct flavor due to the use of the hearts. You’ll notice that the sweetness from the sugar has been much reduced in comparison to before. Even the top layer of your alcohol will have an oily appearance. Because of the water, carbs, and proteins in it, it will also feel slick when you rub your fingers between your fingers.

Step5: Proper Storage


You’ve had a successful run, completed the full process, and are now the proud owner of your very own moonshine! Remember to clean up your entire setup, allow it to dry completely, and then store it in a cold, dry environment.

Final Words

As a word of caution, make sure you are aware of the regulations in your nation regarding the production of alcoholic beverages at home. While possessing a still for the purpose of manufacturing essential oils or distilling water is acceptable, things become more complicated when it comes to distilling spirits. Now, go ahead and test it out for yourself! Wishing you the best of success on your moonshine run! Karl S. is a marketing leader, brewer, father, and spouse. Basically, he’s an all-around great person.


Simply put, “moonshine” is a type of untaxed whiskey that is manufactured clandestinely, frequently by the light of the moon, or at the very least out of the immediate reach and scrutiny of law enforcement authorities. The average moonshine is clear in color and strong, frequently nearing 100 proof, or 50 percent alcohol by volume, and is known by a variety of nicknames, including “corn likker,” “white lightning,” “white mule,” “mountain dew,” and countless other regional names. The steps involved in the production of moonshine include fermentation, distillation, and condensation.

  1. The mash of fermented grain is carefully cooked in the beginning.
  2. Despite the fact that the method appears to be straightforward, only those who have been well taught and possess exceptional skills are capable of producing pure whiskey under such typically basic surroundings.
  3. Prior to the American Revolution, manufacturing was restricted, with rum serving as the favored ardent spirit among the upper classes.
  4. Despite the failure of the uprising, it demonstrated that some Americans, whether they were nineteenth-century moonshine producers or twentieth-century marijuana farmers, are willing to offer a product for an underground market provided the price is right and the risks of punishment are low.
  5. In the period between 1817, when the excise duty was abolished, and 1862, when it was reinstated, small local distilleries thrived alongside bigger, established corporations.
  6. The United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Tennessee v.
  7. Many farmers turned to distilling as an employment or avocation since maize was their principal crop, particularly among semisubsistence farmers in the Appalachian wilderness.

Syndicates associated with organized crime figures such as Al Capone exploded in activity as a result of Prohibition.

There are several sites in Tennessee, including Cades Cove and the counties of Blount, Carter, Fentress, Hancock, Henry, Polk, and Scott that have dominated the history of moonshining in the state, including Blount and Carter Counties and Blount and Carter Counties.

Examples include Mollie Miller, who oversaw the moonshiners in Polk County and has been blamed for the deaths of numerous revenuers and informants in the county.

The myths and traditions surrounding moonshiners and revenuers have become an indelible part of the history of the American South.

In their attempts to avoid prosecution, they gained valuable experience in high-speed driving, and several of them went on to compete in the early stock car circuit.

The moonshine trade, which has been responsible for several well-known and countless lesser-known crimes of passion as well as moments of joy, is arguably best summarized by the following words from an ancient mountain folksong: If you want to see the jugs filling by the light of the moon, all you have to do is lay by the juniper / When the moon is brilliant / And lay there by the juniper.” (1)

What Is Moonshine

Is distilling something you are passionate about, and do you wish to sell your products in a variety of markets? You could only want to learn the basics of home distillation if that’s all you want to do. In any scenario, it’s critical to understand the legality of moonshine as well as its alcohol by volume (ABV). The percentage of a drink’s volume that is pure alcohol is referred to as its alcohol by volume, orABV. This number represents the amount of alcohol in a drink and is used in part for the preparation of popular cocktails as well as the comparison of different types of alcohol.

What’s Moonshine?

Moonshine is a high-proof liquor that is manufactured illegally and without the permission of the government. According to tradition, it has been illegally distilled during the night in order to escape being found by law enforcement officials. Moonshine is distinguished by its extremely high alcohol concentration and the fact that it is distilled in a variety of handcrafted, ramshackle stills that are typically located in the forests or mountains. During the Prohibition era, moonshine became extremely popular, and both organized and disorganized criminals were involved in its production.

What Is Moonshine Made From?

Moonshine may be created from any grain or fruit, although maize is the most widely used grain in the production of moonshine. In fact, because the vast majority of individuals who distill their own spirits are farmers or live in rural regions, they tend to use whatever crops they have in excess to produce the spirits that they distill into moonshine. Due to its availability and the fact that it is a strong source of fermentable sugar, corn is frequently used as a grain for baking.

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Moonshine Alcohol Percentage | Moonshine Proof

Moonshine typically has an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 40 percent, although it can sometimes have an ABV of 60 percent to 80 percent. The percentage of alcohol in a drink may be converted to proof by multiplying it by two. As a result, 40% ABV is equal to 80 proof. The distillation process is critical in determining the amount of alcohol present in a spirit. Due to the fact that moonshine is frequently produced by unskilled hands, the alcohol concentration can fluctuate widely and possibly come out at an unhealthy level.

For those that distill, we strongly advise investing in a hydrometer, which may be used to calculate the alcohol by volume (ABV) of your spirit.

Moonshine Flavors

Because moonshine may be made from practically any grain or fruit, the flavors can be as diverse as the ingredients used to make it. Here are some of the most popular flavors of moonshine to try:

  • Blackberry. Blackberry is a popular moonshine flavor that lends just the right amount of sweetness to the normally severe burn of moonshine whiskey. When it comes to flavor, it’s neither too strong nor too weak to get the job done well. Whether you’re making spring drinks or summer cocktails with moonshine, peppermint is a flavor that you should explore. Peppermint moonshine is a refreshing addition to your favorite winter beverage, and it is a terrific choice for winter drinks. Known for its crisp and invigorating flavor that puts eggnog to shame, peppermint moonshine is a popular choice
  • Cherry moonshine is another popular choice. Cherry is a fruit that is sometimes ignored, but it is an excellent choice for moonshine because the acidity of the fruit is a good compliment to the alcoholic bite. Continue to store the cherries in their container for the extra enjoyment of eating laced cherries later on. Apple is the epitome of a win-win situation. Apple moonshine is one of the most popular varieties of moonshine because it elevates apple cider to a whole new level. Even better, because there are so many distinct apple varieties available on the market, you can purchase a range of flavors ranging from sweet to sour. Vanilla is also a fantastic mixer for fall drinks, as well as a refreshing drink for your spooky Halloween gatherings. Vanilla is the last flavor of moonshine that we urge you check out. Consider this to be similar to a dessert wine due to the fact that the beverage can be fairly sweet. However, because of this, it is an excellent choice for gatherings and for mixing with a homemade mixer. Indeed, it is a very adaptable alternative.

Is Moonshine Legal | Why Is Moonshine Illegal

It is prohibited in the United States to manufacture moonshine (or any other spirit) without obtaining a licence or license. There are, however, a few distillers who have turned to producing legal “moonshine” with the authorization of the government in recent years.

In reality, the majority of people believe that they are only using the word “moonshine” as a brand or restaurant marketing tactic to enhance sales because what they are truly distilling is a clear alcoholic beverage. Moonshine is a term that refers to a spirit that has been unlawfully distilled.

Is Making Moonshine Illegal?

Yes, if you create moonshine without the right permits, you are committing a criminal offense. According to the information provided above, you can get permissions and licenses in order to distill and sell your own clear alcohol. Just make certain that you follow all of the procedures and have all of the necessary papers before beginning the process. Don’t launch an internet liquor company just to have it shut down by the authorities because you didn’t follow the rules.

Frequently Asked Questions About Moonshine

Over the course of thousands of years, people have been distilling their own alcohol, and moonshine holds a particular position in American popular culture. However, this also means that there are a lot of misunderstandings about moonshine, which leads to a lot of people having questions about the beverage. The following information is for anyone who still has questions about moonshine or is interested in learning more about it for the first time. We did the research for you and found the answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding moonshine.

What Type of Alcohol Is Moonshine?

The majority of specialists agree that moonshine is a type of homebrew whiskey that has not been matured. Because of the clear hue, this may come as a surprise, but the distillation method and the components utilized are clear indications that it is whiskey.

Is Moonshine 100 Percent Alcohol?

No, moonshine does not contain 100 percent ethanol. In general, the alcohol level of moonshine ranges between 40 and 80 percent by volume, although the length of time spent distilling it and the procedure utilized will have an influence on the amount of alcohol present. It’s crucial to remember that consuming alcohol with a high alcohol content can have serious consequences for the human body, and that consuming 100 percent alcohol is quite risky.

Can You Buy Moonshine?

Yes, there are certain commercial moonshines that may be purchased for a price. Moonshine purists, on the other hand, do not regard these beverages to be “authentic” moonshine because the alcohol concentration is lower and they are not always produced in the same manner as traditional moonshine.

Moonshine Bright Like A Diamond

Moonshine is a traditional American beverage that is shrouded in mystery. A vast range of alternatives are available to you, whether you’re distilling your own or purchasing moonshine on the open market. We propose that you put in place an inventory management system such as BinWise Pro to help you manage your inventory. A comprehensive inventory management system that helps you manage your wine program more efficiently and successfully, BinWise Pro is a must-have for every wine enthusiast. It maintains track of the expiration dates and shelf life of each individual bottle.

Please get in touch with us to learn more about BinWise Pro and how it might benefit your establishment. The information contained in this post is intended solely for educational reasons, and BinWise does not advocate supporting the unlawful distillation of moonshine or any other alcoholic drinks.

Moonshine & Moonshiner Lore – Hi Proof Products

It’s a quintessential American beverage that’s cloaked in secrecy and legend. A vast range of alternatives are available to you, whether you’re making your own moonshine or purchasing it. We propose that you put in place an inventory management system such as BinWise Pro to help you manage your inventory effectively. A comprehensive inventory management system that helps you manage your wine program more efficiently and successfully, BinWise Pro is a must-have for every wine professional. It maintains track of the expiration dates and shelf life of each individual bottle in the collection.” The system will send you an alert when a bottle is ready to expire, ensuring that you never waste any of your inventory.

Only instructional reasons are served by this article, and BinWise does not advocate supporting the unlawful distillation of moonshine or any other alcoholic drinks by any means.

How Commercial Moonshine Mash is Made

Firstly, a quick reminder that distilling alcohol is unlawful unless you have an approved federal fuel alcohol or distilled spirit plant authorization in addition to the appropriate state permissions. Our distillation apparatus is intended solely for legal reasons, and the information contained in this paper is intended solely for educational purposes. We encourage you to read our comprehensive legal statement for further information on the legality of distillation. Moonshine mashes can be made in three different methods, according on the experience of a commercial distiller.

The third approach is inexpensive and simple (and is a suitable starting point for new commercial distillers), but it is not advised for anyone who is serious about producing a high-quality product of consistent quality.

Beginning with the third recipe on this page, a rookie commercial distiller or a distillery that specializes on producing rapid, inexpensive liquor for the purpose of flavoring would be well advised (sugar shine).

The “thin mash” recipe might serve as a good middle ground.

1- Corn Whiskey

Corn sold for a few dollars at market could readily generate several hundred dollars after being mashed, fermented, and distilled, according to early American farmers. Corn also produces a higher output of sugar than other grain crops. In this way, crushing maize and converting it into alcohol became the traditional technique of alcohol production on the early American frontier, giving rise to the term “corn whiskey.” When it comes to crafting a craft spirit, a commercial distiller who wants to produce a high-quality finished product would assume that pure, all-grain whiskey is the way to go.

In addition to being naturally sweet and smooth, corn whiskey has a long history of use in the United States. Listed below is a straightforward method for creating a corn whiskey mash, with some extra alternatives available for the more experienced distiller:

  • The following ingredients: 5 litres of water
  • 8.5 lbs of flaked maize
  • 1.5 lbs of crushed malted barley
  • Yeast- Read this article to find out how much yeast a professional distiller would need in their process.


Bring 5 gallons of mash water to a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. When the desired temperature is attained, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the 8.5 pounds of corn. The temperature should decrease to 152F after 5 minutes of constant stirring. After that, stir for a few seconds every five minutes until the temperature reduces to that level. Once the desired temperature has been reached, add in the malted barley. Cook for 90 minutes, uncovering only to stir every 15 minutes or so, until the vegetables are tender.

Allow it to sit for a few hours, or use an immersion chiller to cool the mash to 70 degrees Fahrenheit in minutes.

Fermentation will be completed in a week or two at most.

Siphon the stillness out of the room.

Tips for Advanced Distillers

Advanced distillers might consider adding 2 teaspoons of gypsum (CaSO4) to the mash water and altering the pH of the mash water to a range between 5.8 and 6.0 before adding any other additives to the mash water. Following the addition of gypsum, the pH of the mash water should be adjusted lower using citric or tartaric acid. Calcium carbonate should be used if the pH has to be raised (CaCO3). Using tincture of iodine to evaluate if all starches have been entirely transformed into sugar is a second tip for expert distillers who want to improve their skills.

Drop a drop or two of the tincture of iodine onto the sample on the plate and allow it to dry.

Rest it for a longer period of time.

2 – Thin Mash Whiskey

Cooking a thin mash is a simple method for doubling the amount of mash produced while maintaining part of the natural grain taste of corn whiskey produced. Making it involves beginning with a puree, such as the one seen above, and then adding additional water and granular sugar to enhance the amount of wash produced.


  • The following ingredients: 10 gallons of water (5 gal to begin with, then 5 more)
  • 8.5 pounds of flaked maize
  • 1.5 pounds of crushed malted barley
  • 6-8 pounds of sugar

Yeast-Read this page to learn about the proper processes for pitching yeast.


The process of making a thin mash is completed in two parts. To begin, prepare the normal corn whiskey mash as instructed previously. After the last resting period, however, add 5 gallons of cold water and 6-8 pounds of sugar to the pot.

The mash is ready for aeration and fermentation when the temperature has dropped to 96 degrees Fahrenheit, as indicated in the Corn Whiskey recipe above. Advanced distillers should aim for a specific gravity of roughly 1.08 in their final product. If the concentration is too high, dilute with water.

3- Sugar Shine

Genuine maize whiskey is becoming increasingly difficult to get these days. Modern moonshine is almost always little more than plain sugar with a dash of flavoring added in for good measure. Although it is not as smooth as maize whiskey, what it lacks in flavor and smoothness is more than compensated for by the ease with which it may be consumed. In addition, some people are not fond of the flavor of maize. They would choose apple pie, peaches, or other fruit tastes over anything else. This recipe is perfect for making that particular concoction.


2 gallons of water (no hotter than 120 degrees) should be heated before adding sugar a few pounds at a time. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved, then add additional sugar. Continue to add sugar until all of the sugar has been added and dissolved. Pour this mixture into a fermenter and top it over with 3 more gallons of water. To get a final temperature of 96 degrees, increase the heat of the extra water by a small amount. Once the final liquid temperature reaches 70 degrees, add the yeast.

In order to get the quickest fermentation period and the best alcohol output, aim for a steady fermentation temperature of 70 degrees.

Allow it to rest for one week to ferment and another week to settle before serving.

Is Making Moonshine Legal:

Keep in mind that this information is provided solely for educational purposes. The process of making beer is lawful since it is substantially the same as making beer, which is now permitted in all 50 states, however distilling alcohol is illegal unless an individual obtains a fuel alcohol plant permission or a distilled spirit plant permit, respectively.

A Brief History of Moonshine:

The Great Depression, Prohibition, and limited access to the mountainous region of Appalachia all contributed to the creation of moonshine, a beverage that is now almost forgotten but has a legendary reputation. The phrase “Moonshine” used to be used to refer to any type of homemade whiskey. In part, the word came up as a result of the fact that early “bootleggers” frequently brewed their whiskey in the middle of the night, under the light of a full moon, in order to keep their activities hidden from neighbors and the authorities.

In the case of moonshine, there is no conventional formula; it can be produced using any mix of grains in any style of still. Moonshine produced in the highlands of Appalachia, on the other hand, was originally manufactured from unaged corn whiskey and was produced in copper pot stills.

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