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Moonshine What Temp To Add Barley?

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.


What temperature do you add barley to?

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the barley into a 1 1/2-quart ceramic or glass baking dish (with a lid) and add the butter, salt and boiling water. Stir to combine.

What temperature do you add barley to mash?

Most all-grain homebrewers use a single-step infusion mash. Hot water is mixed with crushed malt to achieve a specific temperature, usually between 148°F and 158°F (64°C and 70°C). The mash is held at this temperature for an hour or so (longer for lower temperatures) and immediately sparged.

What temperature is best for moonshine mash?

The higher the temperature, the faster the rate of fermentation, but the lower the alcoholic yield. The optimum temperature is 78º F. Never exceed 90º F.

What temperature should you run your moonshine?

Keep it increasing, maintaining a range of 175 – 195 degrees Fahrenheit for as long as possible. Turn off the heat when it reaches 212 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature at the top of the column will tell you about your alcohol vapor as it begins to condense.

How is barley turned into alcohol?

To make beer, barley grains are steeped in water just until they germinate. The process is arrested by drying the grains, which are then cracked to expose the germinated seed. Germinated, dried barley is what’s known to beermakers as malt.

What kind of barley do you use for moonshine?

The most common enzymes used in brewing/distilling come from malted barley. Malted barley is the most commonly used malted grain in commercial distilling as it has a high diastatic power.

What happens if you mash at higher temperature?

Why your mash temp matters First, know that the normal mashing temperature range is 145 – 158F (63 – 70C). In general, mashing at the higher end of that range produces longer sugars which are harder for the yeast to eat. More sugar will be left over after fermentation resulting in a more full-bodied beer.

Whats the lowest temp you can mash at?

By mashing low will give you more fermentable sugars, leaving the beer thin and dry. Leave the mash temp too low ( below 140 °F ) for too long, then you run the risk of ending up with a “watery” beer that does not taste good.

Can you make alcohol with just water sugar and yeast?

The key ingredient, sugar, is converted into alcohol by the process of fermentation by the second ingredient, yeast. Homemade liquor can be made easily if you have sugar, water (to form a sugar solution) and baking yeast.

Should I stir my moonshine mash?

Stir the Mash Stirring helps even out the temperature in a mash and mixes the liquids and solids more thoroughly. If you can manage it, you should always stir your mash at least a few times during the saccharification rest.

Should you stir during fermentation?

You should not stir your homebrew during fermentation, in most cases, as it can contaminate the beer with outside bacteria, wild yeast, and oxygen which leads to off-flavors or spoilage. Stirring can have disastrous potential to ruin your beer in a variety of ways.

What is the ratio of yeast to sugar?

Add 2 teaspoons of sugar to the water and mix thoroughly. Add 2 packets of yeast (14 grams or 1 tablespoon if using bulk yeast). Swirl the glass to mix in the yeast with the sugar water. Let the glass sit for 20 minutes and it will double in size.

What temperature do you distill water at?

Distilled water usually has some of the mineral impurities removed and so you would expect it to boil at exactly 100 degrees C.

How do you test homemade alcohol for methanol?

Add 25 drops of iodine solution to each alcohol. Add 10 drops of sodium hydroxide solution to each alcohol. Gently swirl the test tubes a few times. The dark colour of the iodine should start to fade.

Can you drink the heads of moonshine?

These contain the most volatile alcohols and should not be ingested, as they contain methanol and other undesirables. Commercial distillers always discard the foreshots and never consume them.

Pearl Barley Moonshine recipe

Pearl barley is manufactured by polishing barley to a high shine. Occasionally, the polishing procedure is repeated six times. Polishing allows grains to unfurl more quickly and efficiently as a result of the process. Pearl barley is often used to make porridge or soups, but it is also a fantastic raw material for manufacturing powerful distillates due to its high alcohol content. Pearl barley moonshine’s scent and flavor can be comparable to those of barley moonshine if it is produced properly.


This is referred to as the conversion process.

It’s critical that it hasn’t been fermented; you may find unfermented malt at specialist stores or make it yourself.

  • Pearl barley will not ferment if it does not receive assistance from malt.
  • In fact, however, the yield will be 5-20 percent lower since grains never contain the full amount of starch feasible and because some distillate is lost during the distillation process.
  • As a result, I do not propose adding sugar to grain distillates as an additive.
  • Warning!
  • For conversion, a thermal inaccuracy of 2-3 degrees Celsius is acceptable.
  • The following ingredients are required: pearl barley (5 kilograms), malt (not fermented white or green), water (27-30 liters), sugar (optional), and yeast (not fermented green or white). Yeast

Recipe for Pearl Barley Wash

  1. Grouts should be placed in a big cooking vessel—an enamel cooking pot or a bucket would suffice. Warm 20 liters of water to 50 degrees Celsius in a separate pot (4 liters of water for every 1 kg of pearl barley)
  2. Splash boiling water into the groats while swirling constantly to prevent lumps from forming
  3. Cook for 15 minutes at 55-60°C before raising the temperature to 62-64°C and continuing to cook for another 15 minutes. Bring the mush to a boil and then reduce the heat to low for 90 minutes. To keep it from burning, stir it occasionally while it’s cooking. Before adding the malt, make sure that the mixture is completely homogeneous. Reduce the temperature of the mixture to 65°C. While the mash is cooling, grind the malt and place it in another pot with 3 liters of 26-28°C water, then pour the mixture into the first vessel (3 liters per 1 kilo of malt). Continue to stir until the mixture is homogeneous. Trickle the malted milk into the pearl barley, which has been chilled to 65°C, while continually swirling the liquid to incorporate the malt. Cover the pot with a cover and heat it until it reaches 63 degrees Celsius. Maintain the temperature between 55 and 65 degrees Celsius for the next 2 hours, stirring the mash every 20 minutes.

Pearl barley should have developed a sweet flavor by the time it has finished cooking. If this is the case, the conversion was successful, since starch was turned into simple saccharides, which may subsequently be converted by yeast to provide energy.

  1. Pearl barley should have developed a sweet flavor by the time it has finished cooking. Assuming this is true (and it is), the conversion occurred successfully—starch was turned into simple saccharides, which may subsequently be converted by yeast.

Instead of using an airlock, a glove was employed.

  1. A) Place the pearl barley wash in a dark room (or cover it with a thick piece of fabric) at a constant temperature between 18 and 27 degrees Celsius

Fermentation can take anywhere from 4 to 12 days, depending on the yeast used and the temperature. Once the airlock has stopped bubbling (and the glove deflates), the wash becomes a bit bitter and brighter in color, it has no sweetness to it, and there is a layer of sediment at the bottom of its container. If all of this is clear to you, you may move on to the next phase, which is distillation. Making Pearl Barley Moonshine is a simple process.

  1. It is necessary to strain the fermented wash through a few layers of cheesecloth to avoid the burning of any remaining groats during the cooking process, which might ruin the flavor of the dish. Owners of steam generators are exempt from this step. Combine all of the ingredients in a moonshine still and proceed with the first distillation without fractioning. When the ABV falls below 25 percent, it is time to finish collecting the primary product. It’s normal for the distillate to seem foggy
  2. This is normal. Calculate the alcohol by volume (ABV) of the distillate. Calculate the volume of pure alcohol using the following formula: 100 divided by the percentage of ABV times the volume in liters
  3. Dilute the moonshine with water until it is 18-20 percent alcohol by volume. There are many different ways to clarify
  4. Charcoal is one option. While the foul smell is still there, do a second distillation and separate the first 8-14 percent of the pure alcohol estimated at the previous stage from the rest. It is referred to as “heads,” and it is not recommended that you ingest it. As long as the ABV is less than 45 percent, gather the middle run (“hearts”). Once this is completed, finish the distillation process and separate the final fraction, known as “tails.” Adjust the ABV of the middle run achieved with water to achieve the desired result. Fill a bottle with it and hermetically seal it. Leave the moonshine in a cool area for at least 2-3 days to allow the chemical processes to settle, and this will improve the flavor of the whiskey. If you want to make pearl barley whiskey, just put the distillate into barrels or infuse it with oak chips for many months.

Barley Corn Moonshine 2021

This barley corn moonshine recipe transports you back to the good old days of moonshine production, when you could just dump anything you had on hand into the fermenter and wait to see what happened. You can certainly accomplish it today as well, as there is no one standing in your way. The strategy is really straightforward, and it does not rely on complicated ways to accomplish its goals. Simply ensure that it is sufficiently fermented and that the cuts are managed properly during the distillation process.

If you do it correctly, you’ll have a wonderful old-school moonshine that will make a wonderful drink on a chilly winter night, or just whenever you feel like sipping on it! Moonshine made from barley and corn

  1. This barley corn moonshine recipe transports you back to the good old days of moonshine production, when you could just put anything you had on hand into the fermenter and wait to see how things turned out for yourself. No one is preventing you from doing so at this time, so go ahead and try it. The strategy is really straightforward, and it does not rely on complex methodologies to accomplish its objectives. Simply ensure that it is sufficiently fermented and that the cuts are managed properly during the distillation procedure. If you do it well, you’ll have a wonderful old-school moonshine that will make a wonderful drink on a chilly winter night, or just whenever you feel like sipping on it! Moonshine made from barley and corn

We recommend the use of amylase enzyme to achieve adequate starch conversion in a mash that has a high proportion of grains. In order to do this, you must add 1 teaspoon of enzyme to the mash immediately after transferring it to the fermenter and allow it to sit for around an hour before pitching the yeast. It is possible to swap malted barley for plain barley in order to improve efficiency and obviate the need for amylase enzyme in the first place. In the end, the type of still you choose to distill the moonshine will determine the ultimate flavor and proof of the finished product.

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

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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.

  • As a result, flavored moonshine has risen in popularity, and it is becoming increasingly widespread.
  • With the same amount of maize, you may increase your mash yield by a factor of two.
  • In this lesson, we’ll take you through the process of making a classic Corn Whiskey Mash.
  • 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.

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. The pH ranges from 5.8 to 6.0, which is good. Use citric acid to lower the pH of the water, then calcium carbonate to raise it again.

How To Make Moonshine: Distilling

  • Fermented and strained mash water, cleaning products, and column packing are all used in the production of whiskey.

You did an excellent job! You’ve finished the hard work of making mash water for your moonshine! Congratulations! Finally, distillation and separation of all of the alcohol content into a refined form are required. Similarly to the process of creating mash, distillation is both an art and a science. Exercising your distilling skills is the most effective method to improve. We encourage that you take notes during the procedure so that you can improve with each subsequent run. In the event that you are in need of equipment or supplies, we can help you out.

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 distinct flavor from 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.

Thank you for stopping by.

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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.

Please let us know what you think of this tutorial by leaving a comment or giving it a star rating in the section provided below. The most recent update was made on October 25, 2021.

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How to Make the Smoothest Mash Recipe for Moonshine

I’ve been producing moonshine for more than two decades and have experimented with a variety of formulas and measuring techniques. In spite of the fact that I have tried with every sort of ingredient possible, the smoothest mash I have ever prepared is so basic that it will take your breath away. The following dish is also suitable for those who are new to cooking. This recipe does not rely on complicated components to break down starch chains into sugars, as is the case with many others. This dish is quite easy to make.

The key weapon is sweet feed, as you may have guessed.


Why is the mash recipe so important?

When it comes to the flavor of the whiskey, the mash is by far the most crucial thing to consider. Consider the following scenario: you go on a whiskey run and the whiskey turns out to be 110 proof. This indicates that it contains 55 percent alcohol. As a result, the remaining 45 percent is made up of the water that came from the mash. As a result, the final product is significantly influenced by the mash. The entire amount of the mash produced by this recipe, including the grains, is 30 gallons.

Smoothest Mash Recipe Ingredients

  • Sugar, yeast, and water are used in the preparation of sweet feed (unpelletized). Are you looking for more mashed potatoes recipes? Obtain 20 free moonshine recipes delivered directly to your inbox! Take advantage of 20 tried-and-true recipes that are simple, tasty, and time-saving. After you’ve gathered your supplies, you’ll need to figure out how many gallons you’ll need to make your batch. Using varied size recipes for mash batches, I’ve constructed the chart below, which is measured in gallons. The batch size may be changed easily by simply inserting different values from the chart into the following instructions:

Moonshine Batch Sizing Table

Gallons Grains (gallons) Yeast (Tbsp) Sugar (lbs)
30 5 6 25
20 3.5 4 16
10 2 2 8
5 1 1 4
2.5 .5 .5 2

Step-By-Step Guide To Making Moonshine

When you crack the grains, you are softening them and allowing the flavor to come through. To make the stock, fill a big pot with five gallons of water (an outside turkey fryer pot works well). Bring this water to a temperature of 160 degrees. I make use of a gas stove that I keep outside. The mash will be cooked in a large saucepan. In particular, I recommend the Bayou Classics propane burner since it is quite sturdy and features an adjustable regulator for temperature control. It’s the only one I use at the moment.

  • Wait for the water to reach its proper temperature before mixing one part sweet feed to two parts corn in a 5 gallon bucket until it is completely full.
  • Using the above example, a 5 gallon bucket of grains would contain 66 percent maize (3.3 gallons) and 33 percent sweet feed (1.66 gallons).
  • I use a one-gallon scoop to make the process go more quickly.
  • Now is the time to add the grains and lower the heat to maintain 160 degrees for 45 minutes.
  • 1 part sweet feed to 2 parts chopped corn is an excellent ratio.
  • Throughout this eBook, I will guide you step-by-step through the whole process, from selecting equipment to sipping your very own homebrewed whiskey.

I’ve included my time-tested, beginner-friendly corn whiskey recipe, which I devised to be exceedingly easy and very smooth, and it’s included as well. This eBook is now available for purchase.

Step Two: Mix the Mash

Using a cracking technique, the grains are softened and allowed to flaver freely. Pour five gallons of water into a big saucepan; an outside turkey fryer pot works well for this. Obtain a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit for this water. The propane stove I use is outside. Cooking the mash in a large saucepan In particular, I recommend the Bayou Classics propane burner since it is quite sturdy and features an adjustable regulator that allows you to manage the heat. My sole method of communication is through this channel.

  1. Meanwhile, fill a 5 gallon bucket with one part sweet feed and two parts corn until it is completely full while waiting for the water to reach the proper temperature.
  2. Using the example above, a 5 gallon bucket of grains would contain 66 percent maize (3.3 gallons) and 33 percent sweet feed (1.66 gallons).
  3. This is because I use a one-gallon scoop, which reduces the amount of time required.
  4. Cook for 45 minutes at 160 degrees Fahrenheit once you have added the grains.
  5. To 2 parts chopped corn, add 1 part sweet feed.
  6. In this eBook, I will guide you through the process step by step, from purchasing equipment to enjoying your own home-brewed whiskey, and everything in between.
  7. Right now, you can purchase this eBook for $10.00.

Step Three: Add the Yeast

When the temperature of the mash has cooled to the temperature advised by the yeast manufacturer, you can proceed to add the yeast to it. I’ve discovered that 1 tablespoon of yeast per 5 gallons of mash produces satisfactory results. The greatest results will be obtained with distiller’s yeast. I’ve discovered that the Red Star brand works really well and is extremely reasonably priced. Red Star Yeast is difficult to come by in your area, but you can order it from Amazonhere.

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Step Four: Let the Mash Ferment

All that remains is for you to wait. Allow for approximately a week for the mash to do its thing. It is finished until you can no longer see the bubbling that is created by the yeast as it releases carbon dioxide from the mash. Once the fermentation process is complete, filter the liquid to remove the spent particles and transfer the liquid to your still for further processing. The wash is the name given to the last liquid. The only thing you want to do is put the wash into the still. That’s all there is to it!

In case you’re interested in making your own DIY project on a budget, I’ve created a two-part video lesson that you can watch: A prefabricated still kit for home usage, like as this one from Vanell, is also available on Amazon.

Get your mash going, place your order for the still, and by the time your mash is finished, your still will be delivered to your home!


I hope you have liked this post and that you will find the recipe to be simple and enjoyable to prepare! You will thoroughly love the exceptionally smooth whiskey that is produced by this mash. Just keep in mind that moonshine production is both an art and a science, and your first batch will almost certainly not be flawless, and your second batch will almost certainly not be either. Nonetheless, if you persist with it and master the intricacies of your still, you will soon become an expert in the art of moonshining production!

Good luck with your stilling!

Introduction to Grain Mashing for the Home Distiller – Learn to Moonshine

It is an old art that dates back thousands of years to transform grain into a fermentable wort, which is known as mashing. It is thought that the verb ‘to mash’ derives from the Old Englishmscan, which means ‘to mix with hot water’ in English. Even the Egyptians and the Babylonians were aware of this procedure, as recorded in a song to Ninkasi, the Babylonian goddess of beer, who employed a special, lightly-baked ‘beer bread’ for producing alcoholic drinks, according to ancient texts. We might infer that the sweet taste that results from allowing barley to partially germinate served as the initial push for the development of malted grains; the discovery that barley could ferment and produce alcohol was almost certainly discovered shortly after that point.

What are the steps to Making a Grain Mash?

There are three steps to correctly preparing a grain mash, and they are as follows: We’ll go over each of these procedures in detail later in this article, and by the conclusion of it, you’ll have a thorough grasp of the methods required to manufacture your own grain mash, which can then be fermented and distilled into alcohol.

Step 1: The Malting Process Explained

Only recently have we come to understand the mechanics of how this process takes place: In the first few days after a grain begins to germinate (see Fig. 1b), the embryonic plant develops diastatic enzymes, which break down the starches in the seed to make simple sugars. Milling grains is the process of soaking, sprouting, and then drying (Fig. 1) cereal grains at the moment in their life cycle when they contain the largest quantities of these enzymes. It is therefore possible to employ this “malt” to convert starch into simple sugars, which may subsequently be converted into alcohol by the yeast cells.

  • Figure 1b is a diagram of a tetrahedron.
  • This results in the production of diastatic enzymes, which are responsible for the breakdown of the seed’s starches into simple sugars.
  • Individual glucose molecules are removed from chain ends by the latter, whilst the former slices starch into shorter segments (dextrins), allowing the beta to access more chain ends and perform its function.
  • However, it should be emphasized that all unmalted starch sources must be boiled until they gelatinize before using.
  • This ‘unravels’ the interwoven starch chains, making it possible for the enzymes to go to work.
  • 2: A diagram of the relationship between the two figures.
  • Dextrins, glucose chains that are shorter than starch molecules but are still not entirely disassembled into single sugars, give body to beer but are damaging to distillation because they interfere with the distillation process.
  • Once the yeast has absorbed all of the free glucose during the initial strong fermentation, the organism grudgingly shifts its attention to breaking down the dextrins, resulting in a slower fermentation and a greater concentration of the acetone flavor we associate with heads.

Ideally, this phase should be avoided by ensuring that the mashing process is complete and by stopping the fermentation process as it begins to slow down.

Step 2: The Gristing Process Explained

First, split or crush the grain until all of the starch chains are exposed and can be dissolved when cooking begins in the mashing stage. The second step is to knead the grain until it is smooth and silky. The fineness with which you grind your grain will be determined by whether you wish to lauter (filter) your wort before fermenting or if you intend to ferment on-grain (on the grain). Lautering necessitates a reasonably coarse grind in order to avoid an unduly compact grainbed that prevents the passage of wort and sparge (rinse) water through the grain.

  1. Alternatively, a roller mill can be used to achieve the similar result of crushing the grain but leaving the hulls intact.
  2. You’ll need a finer grind if you’re planning to ferment with the grain still in the mash, and a roller mill will likely provide a finer grind than what you’ll get from a grain mill.
  3. Gristmills are available at brew shops in a variety of configurations, including the aforementioned roller mills as well as mills with wheels that act like little millstones to crush the grain.
  4. You can buy hand-cranked devices that look similar to the sausage-maker that my mother used to use, as well as motorized units that save time and effort.
  5. If you plan to prepare more than ten pounds of grain at a time, a motorized machine is probably worth considering.
  6. Everything about the improvement in flavor is nothing short of astonishing.

Even though it takes a little more time and effort because of the sugary, sticky mash that gets all over everything, the two-hour runoff times, heating water for sparging, and the possibility of a stuck runoff every now and then, the vast improvement in flavor that results makes this step not only worthwhile, but virtually mandatory.

Step 3: The Mashing Process Explained

Figure 3 depicts the author’s mashup configuration: A stainless-steel pot and a form-fitting insulated box constructed of cardboard, Styrofoam, and a couple of cans of expanding polyurethane foam were used to create the structure. A temperature of 65° or less will be maintained for at least 90 minutes with this method. It is the process of boiling grains and malted grains in water that is known as mashing. The heat helps the enzymes in the process of converting starches to sugars, which then dissolve in the water to form a brew known as wort.

  • 2, 3).
  • The mash temperature can be adjusted to 65° by adding 1.5 liters of water at 72-74° (depending on the grain temperature) to 1kg of grain and stirring well.
  • A pH paper and some lactic or citric acid will be required by the home distiller in order to bring the pH of his mash water down to 5.2-5.5, the range where the enzymes are most active.
  • Add a tablespoon of gypsum (calcium sulfate) to your 20-gallon mash if your tap water isn’t sufficiently hard, or use deionized water if your tap water isn’t enough hard.

If the water in your area includes iron, you’ll need to find a different water source to drink. An explanation of the mashing process for grains may be found in this video from Barley and Hops Brewing:

Choosing The Correct Barley Malt

It should be noted that not all malts have strong diastatic action. The ‘base’ malts, such as pale malt and, in particular, Pilsner (‘lager’) malt, are the most active. Other malts, which are designed to be used as beer components, may have lesser or perhaps no activity at all. Diastatic activity is measured using the Lintner scale, and commercial malts will frequently have this number, expressed in degrees Lintner, written on the box. A six-row Pilsner malt from the United States can have a Lintner temperature of up to 160°, but a pale malt will have a Lintner temperature of approximately 140°.

  • The quantity of diastatic activity present in a mash is critical in deciding the amount of unmalted adjunct that may be added to it.
  • Consider the following: you wish to mash 3 kilograms of 6-row Pilsner, 3 kg of flaked corn (maize), and 1 kg of malted rye.
  • For example, whereas the rule of thumb in brewing beer is that adjuncts should be maintained to less than 20% of the grain bill, amateur distillers often use up to 40% adjunct, not to mention the legal definitions of bourbon and rye whiskey, which need at least 51% unmalted corn or rye.
  • Beer frequently contains high levels of kilned and roasted malts with little or no diastatic activity, whereas distillers prefer malts with a high Lintner content, which is capable of converting greater quantities of adjunct.
  • Because malted corn is difficult to come by in commercial quantities, it is nearly typically used as an unmalted ingredient in recipes.
  • There is, however, an amylase available for purchase in brew shops that can withstand temperatures higher than 70° -in fact, the suggested method of use is to simmer at boiling temperatures for 30-60 minutes-, indicating that it cannot be generated from malted barley.
  • While this enzyme has the potential to be utilized to make a product that is 100 percent corn-based in theory, postings on Internet forums indicate that it is unsuccessful in practice.
  • In fact, some backwoods distillers don’t even mash in the traditional sense, preferring instead to boil a combination of sugar and cornmeal to convert starch into alcohol.

When distilled, this generates the characteristic corn-liquor flavor, however it is mostly the sugar that is responsible for the production of the alcohol, not the maize.

How To Select Ingredients

In addition to ensuring starch conversion, we pick our components largely for their ability to impart a certain flavor. Corn, the primary component in bourbon, contributes sweet, fruity aromas; rye lends a drier, pepperier flavor; and barley imparts more nutty, roasted, and malty notes than either rye or barley. The highly sought-after vanilla, woody, and caramel scents, on the other hand, are predominantly derived from the charred oak cooperage, rather than from the grains themselves. While barley malt burned over peat fires provides Scotch whiskey (or ‘whisky,’ as the Scots like to phrase it) its distinct phenolic flavor, this flavor is acquired over time by drinking it.

My personal favorite recipe calls for barley malt, malted rye, and flaked corn in equal parts, which appears to strike a decent balance between sweetness and spiciness, according to my taste.

One thing I’ve learned over the course of my years as a home brewer is that mashing is really forgiving.

Making mash for distillation is similar: barring catastrophic accidents, the finished product may be little less than intended in quantity or taste slightly different from what was expected, but it will still be a fine liquor.

  • Home Distillers Group of America is a private Facebook group where you can ask questions and share your expertise with others
  • It is a fantastic place to ask questions and share your knowledge with others. Instagram– Follow us on Instagram to stay up to date with our latest news. Become a fan of Learntomoonshine’s Facebook page to ensure that you don’t miss any of the articles or recipes that we post

Any queries concerning the process of preparing grain mash may be asked in the comments area below. Thank you for reading.

How to Make Moonshine the Old-Fashioned Way in 6 Easy Steps

If you purchase an item after clicking on one of the links on this page, we may receive a commission. Commissions have no impact on the content of our editorial pages. See the full disclosure for more information. Have you ever seen the television program ” Moonshiners”? It’s one of my guilty pleasures, to be honest with you. I really enjoy the sense of humour that the characters finds in one another and in the woods. However, I admire their ability to produce a beverage and to carry on a history that was instilled in them from an early age by their parents and grandparents.

Keep in mind that while it is lawful to own a moonshine still, it is completely prohibited to distill any alcoholic beverages without a license.

Following my viewing of the show, I became intrigued by the moonshine production process and began doing some investigation.

Following your education in the distillation process, you should have a greater appreciation for the companies that produce the legal alcoholic beverages you consume, as well as for the original moonshiners who figured out how to do it with little knowledge of science, and in the middle of the woods no less.

The following is the procedure for producing traditional corn whiskey:

It Requires:

  • A total of 5 litres of water
  • 8.5 lbs of cracked or flaked maize
  • 1.5 lbs of crushed malted barley

1. Make the Mash

The method begins with the heating of 5 liters of water to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. As soon as the temperature reaches this stage, turn off the heat and carefully add the entire can of corn to the boiling water. It is critical to continually stir the corn for the entire 5 minutes. Continue to stir the corn every 30 seconds to a minute after the 5 minutes has gone, until the temperature has reduced to 152°F. After reaching a temperature of 152°F, it’s time to incorporate the malted barley into the mixture.

  1. During this time, however, make sure to uncover the mixture every 15 minutes and whisk it thoroughly.
  2. The ultimate objective of this stage of the process is to successfully convert all of the starches into sugar as quickly as possible.
  3. Allow the mixture to remain for another 2-3 hours after the hour and a half is up to ensure that it has completely cooled.
  4. As soon as the temperature hits 70 degrees Fahrenheit, sprinkle yeast evenly over the mixture.
  5. There is no fermentation if the yeast is not present.
  6. This is, without a doubt, a vital first step.
  7. Continue to pour the mixture back and forth between the two containers until you are certain that everything has been well combined and aerated.
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2. Allow the Mash to Ferment

Fermentation is the period of time during which yeast does its miracle and converts maize mash into alcohol. It’s critical that the mash is let to rest for roughly 2 weeks before using. After the two-week waiting time has expired, wait another week to confirm that everything is breaking down as it should have. After three weeks, remove the container’s lid and discard the contents. The mash should have a strong alcohol scent to it, and it should be frothy in appearance. This is a notification that the corn and barley have begun to ferment.

You should strain everything through a big sieve or cheesecloth to eliminate any larger bits of mash or debris from the final product.

When you are certain that you have removed all of the silt and big fragments of grain from the fermented liquid, pour the liquid into the still and proceed with the rest of the distillation procedure as directed.

3. Ready the Still

If you’re distilling moonshine, I’m going to presume you’re also a legitimate distributor of the product. As a result, you most likely make use of your still on a frequent basis. Regardless of whether you use your still on a regular basis or not, it is crucial to keep it clean. Getting dust particles or debris into the moonshine you’ve worked so hard to create is something you don’t want to happen. Different stills operate in a variety of ways and contain a variety of components. There are also several ways for operating stills that may be used.

Some individuals opt to load their column because it produces a greater alcohol proof, which they find appealing.

Additionally, if your still includes a condenser, now is an excellent time to bring water to the still for both water intake and outflow. Once the still has been set up and the mash has been strained and added, you’ll be ready to proceed with the distillation process..

4. Start the Distilling Process

You’ll start by turning on the heat to the lowest setting on the still. The ideal temperature is 150 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important to switch on the water at this stage in the procedure if your system still has a condenser. Using a heat source, gradually increase the temperature of your still until you begin to observe alcohol being created. It’s important to time the alcohol drops as they come out. When the alcohol is pouring at a rate of 3-5 drips per second, it is time to reduce the heat.

  1. This isn’t the case, however.
  2. This procedure allows for the separation of alcohol from the other chemical components present in the still.
  3. By the interaction between the mash and the yeast, the alcohol was produced as part of the fermentation process in the first place.
  4. This is what distinguishes the many distillers involved in this procedure.

5. The Different Parts of the Moonshine

Moonshine production is an art form. In order to improve, you must practice as much as possible (legally!). What, on the other hand, is the difference between one person’s moonshine and another’s? This is directly related to being familiar with the many components of the product you’re manufacturing. While studying and recognizing the many components of moonshine helps to generate better products, it also helps to assure the safety of such products. The foreshots are the first 5 percent of the moonshine that comes out of your still, and they are the most expensive.

  1. It has been linked to the development of blindness and should not be ingested.
  2. The heads still contain methanol, although in lower concentrations, and they have a strong fragrance that reminds me of nail paint remover.
  3. Despite the fact that it does not cause blindness, it might leave you feeling groggy in the morning in the majority of situations.
  4. The hearts are the remaining 30% of the product generated by the still after the heads are removed.
  5. The delicious perfume it emits will alert you that you have successfully reached the hearts.
  6. You’ll notice that this area doesn’t smell as pleasant and that it has a slick feel to it when you touch it.

Additionally, you may discover that you’ve reached the tails of the run because an oily layer will begin to form on the surface of the product, indicating that you’ve reached the tails.

6. Knowing the Difference

I’ve gone over how to prepare a moonshine mash, the fermentation process, and the distillation process in detail. The many components of the moonshine product have also been discussed. Still, what is it that distinguishes the flavors of two distinct distilleries? Well, the formula might be significantly altered, resulting in a product with a somewhat distinct flavor. Yet, the capacity to separate the moonshine between two distinct moonshiners is the most important factor in determining the quality of the moonshine produced by each.

  • Because the more moonshine you create, the easier it becomes to separate the product from the rest with more precision.
  • Developing your ability to distinguish the difference between the point where the heads stop and the heart begins will allow you to generate superior taste as your confidence grows.
  • Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a mentor.
  • However, I must emphasize that you should only seek the advice of a legal mentor.
  • So, you’ve learned how to make moonshine and, hopefully, gained a better knowledge of the skill set necessary to become a better moonshiner throughout the course of your career.

Aside from that, after investigating this method, I have a far higher respect for the ‘original moonshiners.’ In the hope that you would share our reverence for the wisdom they were able to acquire and pass down without the aid of modern technology or (in many cases) formal schooling, we have created this website.

Was this article helpful?

I’ve gone through how to prepare a moonshine mash, how to ferment it, and how to distill it in my previous articles. The many components of the moonshine product have also been addressed. But what is the difference in flavor between two distinct distilleries? As a result, the flavor of the finished product may differ somewhat from the original recipe. Yet, the capacity to separate the moonshine is the most important factor in determining the grade of moonshine produced by two distinct moonshiners.

  • It’s true that the more moonshine you create, the easier it becomes to separate out the product with more precision.
  • Developing your ability to distinguish the difference between the point where the heads end and the heart begins will allow you to generate superior taste as your confidence in your ability to distinguish between them grows.
  • In addition, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a trusted adult.
  • Only a legal mentor should be sought, however, as I must stress again.
  • So, you’ve learned how to make moonshine and, hopefully, gained a better knowledge of the skill set necessary to become a better moonshiner throughout the course of your life.

Aside from that, after investigating this method, I have a far higher regard for the ‘original moonshiners.’ In the hope that you would share our reverence for the wisdom they were able to acquire and pass down without the assistance of modern technology or (in many cases) formal schooling, we have created this website.

General Considerations

When it comes to choosing your grains, barley is the grain that is most commonly used in the production of alcoholic beverages. As a result, barley is used in the production of the 2-row and 6-row malts, as well as the distiller’s malts. Wheat has a milder flavor than barley, whereas barley has a stronger flavor than wheat. Whisky, bourbon, and gin are all made from a blend of barley and other grains, such as wheat or rye, and are all considered to be alcoholic beverages. However, despite the fact that vodka is a neutral spirit that can be manufactured from virtually anything, it is most commonly made from some form of wheat.

Maize or barley may also be used in the production of vodka, and many of the low-quality vodkas now on the market are made from corn.

And, of course, moonshine, sometimes known as corn whiskey, is created from the grain of corn.

Grains and Adjuncts

You’ll note that our grains are either malted or flaked, depending on the variety. It is oversimplified to say that malted barley is made up of barley kernels that have been wetted in order for them to sprout and then dried, resulting in a product that is high in enzymes as well as carbs and proteins. Malted barley already includes alpha amylase, which is a highly essential enzyme that breaks down starches into shorter pieces that are more fermentable, allowing you to increase the amount of alcohol in your beer while decreasing the amount of sugar in your beer.

  • Crushing the malted grains allows moisture to seep through and extract all of the enzymes and starches from the malted grains.
  • When distilling, sparging will limit your fermentable sugars, therefore you’ll want a finer crush to avoid this problem.
  • Flaked grains are distinct from malted grains in that they are not malted.
  • However, because the enzymes have been destroyed by the hot rollers used in the flaking process, you may need to add alpha amylase or another form of enzyme as an ingredient if the enzymes are not being provided by another source in your recipe.

In a nutshell, flaked grains are mostly used for taste and as an additive, adding sugar to the dish that aids in the fermentation process.

Using Enzymes or Additives

Alpha amylase is extremely crucial when it comes to fermentation, but it’s important to understand that it only acts at a certain temperature range: 152-168 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature falls below the range, the enzymes will become inactive; however, if the temperature is raised back to normal, the enzymes will reactivate and become active. However, if the temperature increases over that range, the enzymes will be completely destroyed, which is not a good thing. Depending on the enzyme you use and the temperature at which you are fermenting, you can also regulate how much body the beer has in terms of flavor and body.

It is possible to make a more full-bodied beer by mashing with alpha amylase at the higher end of the temperature range since it does not completely break down all of the carbs in the grain.

2-Row Pale Malt

The name “2-Row” refers to the fact that the “head” or “ear” of the barley has two rows of seeds. Because it has less enzymatic activity than 6-Row malt, you will need to use a greater amount of 2-Row malt if you are utilizing adjuncts such as maize, rye, or other grains. Metcalfe and Copeland malting barley varietals are used in this recipe. Malted in the United States Recipes for all beer kinds, as well as American-style bourbons, whiskies, and gin, call for the use of this ingredient. Do not boil the vegetables since you will destroy the enzymes.

6-Row Pale Malt

The name “6-Row” refers to the fact that the “ear” or “head” of the barley includes six rows of seeds. When compared to a 2-Row, it contains slightly more protein and somewhat less starch. Because it has more enzymatic activity than the 2-Row, you may utilize more adjuncts such as rye, maize, and other grains than you would with a 2-row system. Norway, Finland, and Sweden are among the nations that are home to this species. Malted in the United States It is used in the production of adjunct-based American lager and wheat beers, as well as American-style bourbons, whiskies, and gins, among other things.

Distiller’s Malt

The name “6-Row” refers to the fact that the barley’s “ear” or “head” includes six rows of seeds on each side. When compared to a 2-Row, this one contains slightly more protein and less starch. With more enzymatic activity than the 2-Row, you may utilize more adjuncts such as rye, maize and other grains than you would if using the 2-Row alone. Norway, Finland, and Sweden are among the Scandinavian nations that are home to this plant. American malted barley American lager and wheat beer recipes, as well as recipes for American-style bourbons, whiskies, and gin are all examples of where this ingredient is used.

White Winter Wheat Malt

The name “6-Row” comes from the fact that the “ear” or “head” of the barley has six rows of seeds. When compared to a 2-Row, it contains slightly more protein and less starch. Because it has more enzymatic activity than the 2-Row, you may utilize more adjuncts such as rye, maize, and other grains with it than you would with a 2-row. Scandinavian nations such as Norway, Finland, and Sweden are home to this species.

Malted in the United States of America It is used in the production of adjunct-based American lager and wheat beers, as well as American-style bourbons, whiskies, and gin recipes. Do not boil since you will destroy the enzymes.

Flaked Maize

Yellow corn that has been degermed Pre-cooked brewers’ adjuncts with strong extraction qualities are becoming increasingly popular. This ingredient is commonly included in recipes for lighter beers or pilsners, traditional moonshine, and American-style bourbons, among other things. Do not boil or smash the fruit.

Flaked Rye

Used in the production of rye beer types, American-style bourbons, whiskies, and gin, among other things. Rather of serving as a malt substitute, it is used to enhance taste. It has a dry, crisp quality as well as a distinct rye flavor. Do not boil or smash the fruit.

Flaked Wheat

Used in recipes for wheat beer types and vodkas, among other things. Because it has not been malted, it is basically raw wheat, which means that it lacks the enzymes that aid in the conversion of starch to sugars, an effect that happens when malting is performed. Do not boil or smash the fruit.

Other Considerations

In addition to Peated Malt (peated malted barley), Peated Rye is another type of grain that brewers and distillers would utilize since the presence of peat moss contributes to more complex taste profiles. We used to sell these things, but we haven’t in recent years due to a lack of customer demand. Hopefully, this has thrown some light on the many types of grain that we have available to you. If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us by phone at 817-750-2739 or via our online form.

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