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What Is The Difference Betwee Moonshine And Normal Liquor? (Solved)

Moonshine is made from a mash that is also used to make whiskey usually it is primarily corn and other grains. Vodka on the other hand must be made from Grain Neutral (wheat, potatoes, grapes and the like). Moonshine like Vodka is not aged but bottled directly from the still and is usually bottled at around 125 proof.

What’s the difference between a whiskey and a moonshine?

  • Both whiskey and moonshine have the same production process – give or take a few variables. “Moonshine” came to be distinguished from whiskey for its illegal nature rather than it being a different type of alcohol – moonshine is just whiskey that hasn’t been taxed.


Is moonshine the same as liquor?

Both are unaged neutral spirits, usually cut with water to increase volume and produce a more drinkable product. The difference is mostly geographic. Moonshine, at least commercial varieties, can easily be called American Vodka, much like Poitin could be called Irish vodka.

Is moonshine stronger than other alcohol?

What’s the Difference Between Moonshine and Grain Alcohol? It is way stronger than many other alcoholic beverages, such as whiskey, vodka, and beer as the grain is usually allowed to get to high ethanol content before it is being distilled. Moonshine is a neutral spirit made from corn and malted barley.

Is moonshine just unaged whiskey?

They are raw, unaged whiskeys made from a primarily corn mash — at least 80% — and distilled to a maximum of 160 proof. So technically speaking, any product that is labeled moonshine could also be called white whiskey, but moonshine draws its name due to its illegal origin.

What kind of liquor 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.

Is moonshine a vodka?

Commercial liquor labeled as moonshine is typically one of two things: neutral grain spirits or unaged whiskey. White whiskey, in other words, is different from vodka, but some of what gets sold as “moonshine” is legally vodka.

Does moonshine taste like whiskey?

Moonshine simply means unaged whiskey, which is bottled right off the still. Traditional moonshine used a corn base with a significant content of alcohol –as high as 190 proof. Thus, some people even compare the taste of moonshine to 151 rum. Most traditional moonshines may have an earthy flavor.

What percent alcohol is moonshine?

Moonshine is usually distilled to 40% ABV, and seldom above 66% based on 48 samples. For example a conventional pot stills commonly produce 40% ABV, and top out between 60-80% ABV after multiple distillations. However, ethanol can be dried to 95% ABV by heating 3A molecular sieves such as 3A zeolite.

Is moonshine bad for?

Illegal moonshine remains dangerous because it is mostly brewed in makeshift stills. It can be dangerous on two levels, both during the distilling process and when consuming it.

How do you drink moonshine?

How should you drink moonshine? “We always drink it straight from the jar, but encourage you to get creative by mixin’ your own recipe. A Southern classic is our Front Porch Peach Tea, which is 2 parts Ole Smoky Peach Moonshine, 1 part sweet tea and 1 part Lemonade, with peach and mint for garnish.”

What is the difference between moonshine and white whiskey?

Corn whiskey and white whiskey are basically the same thing. The aging process that takes place in a wooden barrel is what gives whiskey its color and flavoring. So technically speaking, any product that is labeled moonshine could also be called white whiskey, but moonshine draws its name due to its illegal origin.

Is store bought moonshine real moonshine?

“It’s a term that’s generally applied to any alcohol that was made illegally. When you break it down, moonshine is really just a high-proof spirit. No real moonshiner accepts store-bought as the real thing.”

Why is illegal whiskey called moonshine?

The term “moonshine” comes from the fact that illegal spirits were made under the light of the moon. In every part of America, early moonshiners worked their stills at night to avoid detection from authorities. Taxing liquors and spirits was an effective way to generate revenue for the government.

Is moonshine the strongest alcohol?

What Is The Highest Proof Moonshine. The highest proof moonshine you can make using distillation will be 191 proof (95.5% ABV). That’s because alcohol begins to attract moisture from the air at concentrations higher than 96% ABV, immediately diluting your moonshine.

What is the 3 types of alcohol?

In chemistry, an alcohol exists when a hydroxyl group, a pair of oxygen and hydrogen atoms, replaces the hydrogen atom in a hydrocarbon. Alcohols bind with other atoms to create secondary alcohols. These secondary alcohols are the three types of alcohol that humans use every day: methanol, isopropanol, and ethanol.

Is moonshine illegal in America?

The production of moonshine — or really any spirit — without a license is prohibited by the U.S. government and is very much illegal. Clear whiskey in the style of moonshine might be for sale, but technically speaking, moonshine is moonshine because it’s produced illicitly.

What’s the difference between Vodka and Moonshine?

1. Boil the sugar and a couple of blackberries in a pot of water until the sugar is completely dissolved, then cool and divide evenly between two mason jars. 2. Distribute the remaining blackberries, a slice of lemon and lime zest, and the Everclear or moonshine equally among the jars. 3. To get the most out of the infusion, leave it out for several days, stirring it every now and again. Pour the blackberries into a serving bowl and serve immediately. Now that you’ve learned how to brew flavored moonshine, you’ll be the talk of the town at your next dinner party, summer BBQ, or other gathering.

Rory Constantine is a fictional character created by the author Rory Constantine in the year 2000.

However, when on a business trip abroad, he was persuaded to pay a visit to a British distillery that provided samples.

Is Commercial Moonshine Really Moonshine?

A flood of new-make spirits called “moonshine,” “white dog,” or “white lightning” has accompanied the growth in craft spirits over the last 15 years, with flavors ranging from apple pie to jalapeo and pumpkin spice among the most popular. But, exactly, what is this substance? Is it only a marketing ploy? Now, let’s take a step back and define some vocabulary. To begin with, the term “moonshine” is a misnomer for any commercial product since, by definition, moonshine is illegally produced liquor, which is not the case with any other commercial product.

  1. Whatever distillers can get their hands on and are interested in experimenting with is fair game for them.
  2. But what exactly is the distinction here?
  3. In order to be classified as neutral spirits, of which vodka is a subset, the spirit must have at least 95 percent alcohol when it is distilled, whereas whiskey must contain less than 95 percent alcohol when it is produced.
  4. These distinctions are significant because the lower the proof at distillation, the greater the amount of tasty congeners that transfer from the grain to the final spirit.
  5. Pay attention to the tiny print: if the label states “neutral spirits,” it isn’t actually whiskey.
  6. To a significant extent, this is due to the fact that whiskey, like other aged spirits, is a costly and time-consuming product to make.
  7. That left them with two options: either purchase and bottle whiskey from a reputable source, or create clear spirits that can be sold immediately.
  8. A number of prominent distilleries, like Buffalo Trace, have since gotten on board with their own new-make bottlings of bourbon whiskey.
  9. For starters, it may be a fantastic mixer, providing as a more flavored option for vodka in some recipes.

It may also be intriguing to experience different varieties of whiskey in its new-make state, and if you have the room and time, you can even tryaging whiskey at home provided you have the right equipment.

What’s the Difference Between Whiskey and Moonshine?

Those who have even a passing knowledge of alcohol soon pose the question… The distinction between whiskey and moonshine is explained in this video. The quick answer is: it depends. There is absolutely nothing. Generally speaking, the production procedure for both whiskey and moonshine is the same – with a few minor variations. “Moonshine” became distinguishable from whiskey due to its unlawful status rather than because it is a different form of alcoholic beverage — moonshine is just whiskey that has not been subjected to taxation.

  1. Patriotic colonial whiskey enthusiasts, many of whom were farmers who relied on their alcoholic product to sustain their family during bad crop years, refused to pay the tax, resulting in the development of an underground whiskey trade.
  2. Because there was no legal whiskey available anywhere, moonshine became extremely popular, and the distillers who were accustomed to avoiding the law began to earn a fortune right away.
  3. Following Prohibition, the popularity of moonshine naturally declined until it became more or less regarded as a phenomena of the backwoods of America.
  4. This is due to the fact that moonshine was seldom, if ever, matured – the procedure of procuring and storing oak barrels for aging would have been extremely difficult to accomplish while remaining hidden.
  5. Moonshine was considered dangerous because of the methanol naturally produced during the distillation process.
  6. Because Grand River Spirits is a legal distillery, our “moonshine” labeling is only a playful nod to American history and our ties to the region that inspired us.
  7. However, this does not imply that our souls are any less enthralling!

Vodka, White Whiskey, and Whatever-The-F**k “Moonshine” Is — New Scotland Spirits

Patrick: After our phone talk last night, I spent so much time studying “moonshine” that I decided to share what I learned on this blog.

I hope you enjoy it. So, here’s my attempt to answer a few fundamental questions as we prepare to launch a new line of spirits:

  1. What is the difference between vodka and “white” whiskey? What’s the real difference between them if they’re both clear and unaged? What is the difference between vodka and white whiskey and “moonshine”? And what exactly is “moonshine” in the first place? Does it taste like vodka, whiskey, or something else different?

When comparing vodka with whiskey, what is the difference between the two? What is the true difference between them when they are both clear and unaged? When compared to “moonshine,” how do vodka and white whiskey differ? And, more importantly, what exactly is “moonshine?” Does it taste like vodka, whiskey, or something else different;

  • Just a brief digression, Patrick… It’s important to note that the “oak barrel” requirement is a phenomena that is only found in American and Scottish law, respectively. Besides the United States, other nations use the word whiskey to refer to spirits that have been matured in barrels made of other types of wood, such as maple or hickory. Specifically, according to this source, “Canadian whisky, Irish whisky, and Japanese whisky simply need the use of wood barrels, but they do not stipulate that oak is the sole allowed variety.”
  • But I’m getting ahead of myself.
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The fact that whiskey does not have to be aged in an oak barrel for a certain amount of time before it can be designated a whiskey is noteworthy. Pouring the distilled alcohol from the still into a barrel, breathing deeply, and then instantly pouring it straight back out again is all it takes to create white (clear) whiskies, which are subsequently bottled and distributed across the world as a result of this process. PROOF Finally, there is one additional characteristic that identifies a spirit as vodka as opposed to a whiskey: proof.

  1. That two-part assessment is what distinguishes a liquor as vodka from other spirits.
  2. However, much like with vodka, as long as the spirit is then reduced with water during the bottling process such that the alcohol content remains over 40% ABV when the bottle is opened, it is considered whiskey.
  3. As a matter of fact, the same identical maize “vodka” could be termed whiskey if it was distilled to 95 percent ABV and then aged in oak barrels for many months.
  4. If we understand the distinction between vodka and white whiskey, then what the fuck is “moonshine”?

The bottom line is as follows: As defined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Moonshine” is liquor (typically whiskey or rum) produced in secret (a) without obtaining the necessary state and federal licenses, (b) without paying the necessary taxes, and (c) without adhering to any of the legal (and safety!) standards governing the production of spirits.

Alternatively, as this website puts it more succinctly:Moonshine is any alcoholic beverage that is produced illegally. If it is available for purchase at a store, it is not moonshine… It’s essentially simply a really terrible Vodka, incredibly horrible.

  • The fact that whiskey does not have to be aged in an oak barrel for a certain amount of time before it can be designated a whiskey is notable. Pouring the distilled alcohol from the still into a barrel, breathing deeply, and then instantly pouring it straight back out again is all it takes to create white (clear) whiskies, which are subsequently bottled and distributed across the world as a result of the process. PROOF Finally, there is one more characteristic that identifies a spirit as vodka as opposed to a whiskey: proof. If the spirit coming off the still is at or above 95 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), and if it is subsequently cut with water to a concentration of no less than 40 percent ABV when bottled, you’ve got yourself a good vodka. A spirit is classified as a vodka when it meets both of these requirements. The alcohol by volume (ABV) of the spirit must be less than 95 percent in the case of whiskey. However, much like with vodka, as long as the spirit is then reduced with water during the bottling process such that the alcohol content remains over 40% ABV when the bottle is opened, it is considered a whiskey by law. (According to my study, if you dilute a spirit by less than 40%, you are considered a “little’ bitch,” according to the legal categorization.) NOTE: When it comes to proof, the spirit must surpass 95 percent ABV during distillation in order to be classified as vodka, however it does not need to exceed 95 percent ABV during distillation in order to be classified as whiskey. Be a matter of fact, the same identical maize “vodka” might be referred to as whiskey if it was distilled to 95 percent ABV and then aged in oak barrels. The odds are in your favor if you place a wager on this game. If we can tell the difference between vodka and white whiskey, then what the fuck is “moonshine” exactly is. As it turns out, the mistake originates from the fact that many distillers and liquor businesses nowadays have chosen to use the phrase “moonshine” wrongly as a marketing gimmick. To summarize, here’s what happened. As defined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Moonshine” is liquor (typically whiskey or rum) produced in secret (a) without obtaining the necessary state and federal licenses, (b) without paying the requisite taxes, and (c) without complying with any of the legal (and safety!) standards governing the production of spirits. To put it another way, moonshine is any alcoholic beverage that has been produced illegally, as stated on this website: Moonshine is not something that can be purchased at a store… Really terrible Vodka is what it comes down to.

Moonshine purists characterize the spirit as a handmade, unaged whiskey that is distinguished by its clear color, corn basis, and high alcohol content—which may reach as high as 190 proof in certain cases. Moonshine is manufactured from molasses, maize, and other grains. Tradition dictated that it be manufactured in a home-made still and then packaged in a mason jar. In addition, there isn’t much of a distinction between unaged whiskey and moonshine; they are both made using essentially the same manufacturing procedure.

  1. According to this definition, “moonshine” is just whiskey that has not been subjected to taxation…
  2. Is it necessary for moonshine to be distilled into whiskey?
  3. It is possible to make actualmoonshine from any fermentable substrate, ranging from sugar to grain to stone fruit, and sell it on the underground market if you don’t want to pay taxes on the alcohol you consume.
  4. Moonshine is a type of commercial liquor that is often one of two things: neutral grain spirits (of which vodka is a subtype) or unaged whiskey (sometimes known as rye whiskey).
  • Remember that neutral spirits must have at least 95 percent alcohol when they are produced, whereas whiskey cannot contain less than 95 percent ABV when distilled. Keep in mind that the lower the proof during distillation, the more flavored congeners transfer from the grain to the finished spirit.

Consider if the “moonshine” label on a commercially available product proclaims a whiskey or a vodka when purchasing from a commercial supplier. If the label states “neutral spirits,” it isn’t whiskey; it is something else. Is the dead horse adequately trampled under foot? For good measure, let’s decapitate it as well. How does one go about making moonshine? Answer:illegally. The recipe is straightforward— Corn meal, sugar, yeast, and water Other ingredients are sometimes used to enhance the taste or kick of the dish.

  1. When whiskey is poured from the still, it is so transparent that it seems to be water, and moonshiners bottle it in the same manner.
  2. Moonshine, on the other hand, does not go through this process, which is why it has such a strong “kick.” In the first place, what is it about distilling alcohol at home that makes it illegal?” The government claims a variety of justifications for keeping distillation prohibited.
  3. When distilleries combine two potentially explosive components – alcohol vapor and heat sources – they have the potential to produce catastrophic explosions if not handled properly.
  4. Other factors include federal excise taxes, which might be viewed as cynical.
  5. (A tax on spirits was the very first tax ever assessed in the United States, and it was enacted in 1791.) It goes without saying that the government is not in the least bit interested in giving up its part of the money generated by an alcohol-dependent population….

(Please take note of the prepositional placement in that final phrase, which is grammatically flawless.) • • • • • • • • • • • • • • For the avoidance of doubt, New Scotch Spirits will never, ever lawfully sell any brand of alcohol with the label “moonshine.” However, if you find us in the woods under the cover of a new moon, we might be able to offer you some New Scotch “Select” whiskey.

Shhhhh……. I hope that this essay has answered any and all questions that we could have in the future about such a ridiculous issue. A drink is required, and it makes little difference if the beverage is a vodka, a whiskey, or a moonshine masquerading as both. —Jesse

Moonshine Vs. Vodka: What Is The Difference? (Explained!)

Consider if the “moonshine” label on a commercially sold product proclaims a whiskey or a vodka when purchasing from a commercial vendor. The whiskey on the label is not whiskey if the label states “neutral spirits.” The dead horse has received ample beating, but how much more can it take? For good measure, let’s decapitate it. Just how is moonshine produced? Answer:illegally. Simply follow the instructions below. The following ingredients are required: corn meal, sugar, yeast, and water. Other ingredients are sometimes included to enhance the flavor or to give the dish a little more zip.

  • Whiskey that has just come out of the still is so transparent that it seems to be water, which is why moonshiners bottle it in the same manner.
  • This is why moonshine has such a strong “kick,” because it does not go through the same process of maturation.
  • Several factors are cited by the government as justifications for keeping distillation prohibited.
  • Distilleries combine two potentially explosive chemicals into close contact – alcohol vapor and heat sources – which, if not handled properly, can result in catastrophic explosions..
  • Then there’s the matter of federal excise taxes, which is cynical to say: Brewery and wine are taxed at lower rates than spirits, which are taxed at the highest rate of any type of alcoholic beverage.
  • Consequently, it criminalizes any liquor manufacturing that does not generate enough cash for it to get its grimy little fingers into it.
  • • • • • • • • • • • • • • For the avoidance of doubt, New Scotch Spirits will never sell any brand of alcohol under the term “moonshine” under any circumstances.

Shhhhh……. As far as I’m concerned, this post addresses any and all questions we could have in the future about such a ridiculous topic. There is something I want to drink, and it doesn’t matter if it is vodka, whiskey, or moonshine that is a mix of the two! —Jesse

What Is Vodka?

Let’s take a look at each of them individually to have a better understanding of the distinctions between them. Let’s start with a shot of vodka. Vodka is a huge and diversified beverage with a wide range of applications. It is not the same as the other spirits available on the market since, from a legal standpoint, there are no restrictions or legalities in place to prevent the product from being manufactured. It is thought that vodka was initially produced in Russia. It is well-known for being a grain spirit that is bland in flavor.

  • Rye, wheat, corn, and any other grain that the maker likes to use can all be used as the grains for the product.
  • In several other locations where potatoes are abundantly grown, they are also being used as ingredients in recipes that use potatoes.
  • Vodka is believed to be various due to the fact that it may be produced from virtually any substance.
  • Vodka is also referred to as a rectified spirit in some circles.
  • The number, on the other hand, will fluctuate.
  • As a result, the vodka maker is required to disclose to the public how many times their product has been distilled.
  • However, this is correct.
  • It is then necessary to filter the vodka using charcoal after the distillation process has been completed.
  • It may be consumed immediately.

What Is Moonshine?

Moonshine is defined as a spirit that is created at home. It is a transparent whiskey with a clear tint and a maize basis that is not aged. It also contains a significant amount of alcohol. The amount of alcohol in the drink might go as high as one hundred ninety proof. A handmade still is used to generate the moonshine, which is then packaged in a mason jar, following the traditional method of creating moonshine. In the eighteenth century, moonshine was introduced to the United States of America.

The popularity of moonshine grew over time.

The whiskey industry was then subjected to a levy on its output.

One hundred fifty one rum is often used to compare moonshine, according to certain people.

People who tasted moonshine for the first time said that their lips and throats were burning. The moonshine is made from a maize base that contains a high concentration of alcohol. Every drink of traditional moonshine may also have an earthy flavor to it, depending on how it is made.

What Is The Difference Between Moonshine And Vodka?

Consider the following comparison between moonshine and vodka to have a better understanding of the differences between the two spirits:

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1. Alcohol Content

The alcohol content of the moonshine and the vodka is significantly different. When compared to vodka, the alcohol content in moonshine is quite high. Moonshine may have an alcohol content of up to one hundred ninety proof, which is quite high. Vodka, on the other hand, has just forty percent, or eighty proof, alcohol. Because the difference in alcohol content might be significant, if you wish to drink with a lower alcohol content, choose vodka instead of moonshine. If the situation is reversed, moonshine might provide you with a high amount of alcohol consumption.

2. What They Are Made Of

A mash is used in the production of moonshine. This mash is also utilized in the production of whiskey. It is frequently made with con and other grains. Vodka, on the other hand, is made from grains that are completely neutral. Potatoes, wheat, grapes, and other crops are examples of what is available.

3. Level Of Proof While Bottled

In order to make moonshine, you must first mash the grain of choice. Besides being used to make whiskey, this mash has other applications. In most cases, con and other grains are used in this process. vodka, on the other hand, is made from grain that is not contaminated with any other substances. There are many different types of crops that may be used.

4. Legalities

The legality of moonshine and vodka are distinct from one another. Most nations in the world allow the consumption of vodka. With regard to moonshine, however, we cannot make the same claim. Some countries do not recognize moonshine as a legal beverage. They are embroiled in a scandal over the manner in which they are created and distributed.

Does Moonshine Taste Like Vodka?

It is dependent on the situation. The flavors of moonshine and vodka are quite different. However, because there are so many different moonshine flavors and so many different formulas, you may easily discover one that tastes like vodka. A classic moonshine is created from a maize base, and some people have compared the flavor to that of rum in the past. The burning feeling in your throat and mouth as a result will be experienced as a result. Vodka, on the other hand, is well recognized as being colorless, odorless, and tasteless.

You may also be interested in:What Does Moonshine Taste Like?

Is Moonshine Stronger Than Vodka?

In terms of alcohol concentration, you might consider moonshine to be more potent than other types of liquor. This is due to the fact that moonshine may contain alcohol concentrations of up to one hundred ninety proof, but vodka only contains eighty proof. Additionally, when you consume moonshine, you will get a burning feeling in your mouth and also down your throat.


In conclusion, there are certain parallels between moonshine and vodka.

However, there are some distinctions between them. The amount of alcohol consumed varies. Moonshine has far more alcohol than vodka. Moonshine, on the other hand, is not as freely available and legal as vodka.


Canva is responsible for the image. What Exactly Is Vodka? Moonshine is a topic covered in Wikipedia. And, of course, there are my trusty taste buds.

Moonshine vs. Vodka: What’s the Difference?

Canva is to thank for the image. What Is Vodka and How Does It Function? on the Wikipedia page for moonshine Along with my trusted taste buds, as is usually the case

Moonshine vs. Vodka

Moonshine is a phrase that refers to clear, unaged whiskey in the United States, but it is also used to designate illicitly made spirits all over the world. Between those two extremes, vodka is a liquor that originated in Russia and achieved widespread appeal following World War II. Although both appear to be clear spirits at first appearance, their flavors and aromas are vastly different. Moonshine has a flavor and scent that are similar to rubbing alcohol, but normal Vodka is practically tasteless and odorless.

On the other hand, a typical bottle of vodka will cost you roughly $13 and up to get a good deal.

Can Vodka Be Mixed With Moonshine?

Yes, technically speaking, it is possible to combine Vodka with Moonshine. There is no significant variation in their physical characteristics and tastes. It is important to remember, however, that you will be blending two highly proofed spirits, which will result in a cocktail that is quite powerful.

Is Vodka Better Than Moonshine?

When it comes to safety, vodka outperforms moonshine hands down. This is due to the fact that most moonshine is manufactured without the approval of the government, increasing the likelihood that it will be of inferior quality. When this occurs, it is possible that the beverage has been polluted and you will become ill. Furthermore, research have demonstrated a relationship between elevated risks for renal illness and the use of Moonshine. Methanol poisoning can occur as a result of ingesting tainted moonshine.

Distilling Vodka To Make Moonshine

Making Moonshine at home is possible through the distillation of Vodka. Take aware, however, that this may be against the law depending on where you reside. Hypothetically speaking, if you plan to distill Vodka at home, the first step is to select on the ingredients that will be used to make your vodka mash. Select from among the following ingredients: molasses; potato; corn; wheat; or rye. After that is completed, the mash will be fermented and distilled to complete the process. You will need to gather your vodka distillate for the last stage.

The Final Verdict

Even in their own right, moonshine and vodka are outstanding alcoholic beverages. However, you are more likely to discover more legal and safer Vodka alternatives than you are to locate Moonshine options. Do you also believe that Vodka is superior to Moonshine in terms of taste and quality? Please share your thoughts in the comments area.

Difference between Moonshine and Whiskey

The phrase “moonshine” is an ancient term that was prominent during the American Revolution but is now only used in a few chosen locations around the United States. Moonshine is a term that refers to any alcoholic beverage that is produced illegally. Whiskey is a distilled alcoholic beverage that is derived from fermented grain mash and is produced in the United States. Moonshine is often prepared from whiskey or rum; however, the processes by which they are produced are different. In the United States, moonshine has a long history dating back to the American Revolution, when the government sought to regulate the alcohol trade in the country.

  1. The Revolution was becoming increasingly expensive for the government, and after exhausted all available income sources, they began levying federal taxes on alcoholic beverages and spirits in order to raise extra cash.
  2. Many Americans continued to manufacture alcoholic beverages (most notably whiskey) in secret.
  3. Moonshine has been outdated in recent years as a result of the enormous number of distilleries that are now supplying alcohol at low costs.
  4. The most widely available types of moonshine were whiskey and rum, which were the most widely dispersed.
  5. However, alternative grains such as barley, rye, or any other type of grain mash might be used in lieu of the corn meal if desired.
  6. Following that, distillation would take place, during which the mash would be cooked in order to evaporate the alcohol present in the combination.
  7. Afterwards, the vaporized alcohol is forced into a thump keg, which may also contain some mash at this point.

Moonshines are often made with high-proof alcohol and are noted for having a ‘kick’ to their flavor profile.

Whiskey, often known as whiskey, is a sort of distilled alcoholic beverage manufactured from fermented grain mash or any other form of fermented grain mash.

They are frequently matured in barrels that have been burned.

Distilleries have been in existence since roughly the third century AD, when the Greeks settled in Alexandria.

The distillation technique was passed down through the years until it reached Italy in the 13th century AD, where the first distillation process of alcohol took place, and alcohol was distilled from wine for the first time in history.

Whiskey initially gained popularity as a beverage in Scotland, and then expanded to other nearby nations as a result of its popularity.

Malt whiskey and grain whisky are the two most common varieties of whisky.

Malting is the process of putting grain through the process of germination and sprouting.

In order for the barley to germinate, it must be submerged in water for a specified period of time and rotated regularly to guarantee optimal soaking. Whiskies can be further subdivided into the following categories:

  • Single malt whiskey is whisky that comes from a single distillery and is prepared from a mash that contains only one type of malted grain
  • It is also known as single malt scotch whisky. Blended malt whiskey is a combination of several malt whiskies from different distilleries
  • It is also known as blended scotch whisky. Blended whiskies are whiskeys that are manufactured from a combination of malt and grain whiskies, as well as neutral spirits, caramel, and flavorings
  • They are also known as blended scotches. Bottled directly from the barrel, cask strength whiskies are either undiluted or just slightly diluted from their cask-aged counterparts. These are extremely uncommon whiskies. Single cask: Each bottle of single barrel whiskey is derived from a single cask, with the cask number labeled on the bottle
  • Single barrel whiskey is distilled in small batches.

Whiskeys must be matured in a barrel in order to be considered strong. They do not grow in the bottle, thus even if a person retains a whiskey bottle for a lengthy period of time, the flavor or alcohol content will not become any stronger. The amount of alcohol and mash in the beer varies based on the requirements in the particular geographic location. For the maturing process, the whiskies require a charred oak barrel, which gives them the golden brown and amber coloration that distinguishes them from other spirits.

  1. Moonshine and whiskey are distinguished from one another by their look, taste, proof, flavor, and cleanliness.
  2. In addition, when compared to whiskey, which has been fixed to a specific proof by authorities, moonshine had a greater proof and a higher alcoholic content.
  3. It has the potential to make alcohol harmful to one’s health.
  4. It is said on the Howstuffworks website that, in order to distinguish moonshine from other beverages while still maintaining the ‘kick,’ many moonshiners added potentially dangerous chemicals such as manure, embalming fluid, bleach, rubbing alcohol, and even paint thinner to their products.
  5. In recent years, the cost of alcohol has decreased dramatically as a result of large-scale purchase and manufacture, causing moonshine to gradually become obsolete in many areas.

Moonshine’s Gone Legit But It Still Is Dangerous

Photograph by Scott Olson / Getty Images Home-distilled moonshine, formerly a closely guarded secret of Appalachian backwoods, is still in existence to this day. In fact, it is now officially legal. “White lightning,” as it is referred as, was originally considered an illegal and dangerous chemical by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, but it is now approved for sale and controlled by the federal government in select states in the United States. Several other states, including Alabama, Georgia, and Kentucky, have followed suit.

Many believe that over a million illegal moonshine stills are currently operating throughout the United States, making the manufacture of clear, high-potency drink more ubiquitous and pervasive than at any other time in history.

Furthermore, due to the materials, byproducts, and flammability of the result, it is potentially exceedingly dangerous to create at home.

What Is Moonshine?

When you make moonshine, you’re fermenting a sugar source to generate ethanol, which is also called as “hooch” or “homebrew.” The traditional method of making moonshine is to boil maize and sugar together. A distillation procedure is used to remove the alcohol from the mash after it has been fermented. One significant distinction between moonshine and other alcoholic beverages such as whiskey or bourbon is that moonshine is not matured. It is the end product of this process that creates an alcoholic beverage with a high proportion of alcohol, often several times larger than 100 proof (50 percent), such as white whiskey.

That is, the ability to purchase commercially made, all-copper moonshine stills on the internet has removed a significant amount of the danger associated with the moonshine distillation process.

Plenty of moonshine is still being produced in stills constructed from vehicle radiator components and other potentially hazardous items.

Impact of Moonshine

When you make moonshine, you’re fermenting a sugar source to generate ethanol, which is known as “hooch” or “homebrew.” According to tradition, maize and sugar are used to make moonshine. A distillation technique is used to remove the alcohol from the mash. In comparison to other alcoholic beverages such as whiskey or bourbon, moonshine does not have an ageing process. It is the end result of this process that produces white whiskey, which includes a high amount of alcohol that is several times more than 100 proof (50 percent).

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That is, the ability to purchase commercially made, all-copper moonshine stills on the internet has removed a significant amount of the danger associated with the moonshine distillation procedure.

In stills built from vehicle radiator components and other potentially hazardous materials, a large amount of moonshine is still being produced.

Potential Dangers

Because illegal moonshine is manufactured in improvised stills, it remains a potentially lethal substance. It has the potential to be hazardous on two levels: during the distillation process and when it is consumed.

Distilling Process

The distillation process itself generates flammable alcohol vapors, which are released during the operation. The presence of flammable vapors is one of the primary reasons that moonshine stills are nearly always situated outside, despite the fact that this makes them more visible to law authorities.

The danger of vaporous explosions is too large to be contained within the building. When it comes to eating the liquid, if the end result has a proof more than 100, the moonshine itself is incredibly flammable and may be quite hazardous.


However, while the flammability of the distilling process and the product itself is a concern, more people have died from drinking moonshine than have perished in still explosions owing to the poisons in the brew, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Despite the fact that the majority of stills in use today are of the all-copper form, there are still a significant number of old-fashioned handcrafted stills extant. Traditionally, antique stills have used automobile radiators in the distillation process, and they are more likely to contain lead soldering, which can contaminate the moonshine.

  1. Methanol tainting may develop in bigger quantities of distilled moonshine, and it is especially common in older batches.
  2. The greater the batch size, the greater the amount of methanol.
  3. Methanol is extremely dangerous and can result in blindness or even death if inhaled.
  4. Christopher Holstege, a physician affiliated with the University of Virginia Health System, conducted a research in 2004 in which he examined 48 samples of moonshine acquired by law enforcement from various stills.

How to Test for Purity

According to folklore, one method of determining the purity of moonshine is to pour some onto a metal spoon and light it on fire. Although lead is not harmful when burned with a blue flame, it is harmful when burned with a yellow or red flame, leading the ancient adage, “Lead burns red and makes you dead.” The spoon burning approach, on the other hand, is not fully dependable. Other poisons that may be present in the brew, such as methanol, which burns with a bright blue flame that is difficult to notice, are not detected by this method.

Public health experts are afraid that moonshine poisoning in unwell people may go unnoticed since most healthcare practitioners regard it to be an outmoded practice from years ago.

History of Moonshine

As far as historians can tell, the practice of manufacturing alcohol has been present since the dawn of civilization. Moonshine, in particular, is said to have been brought into the United States by Scotch-Irish immigrants in the late 1700s, notably in the southern Appalachian region. According to Appalachian anthropologists, the Scotch-Irish immigrants who relocated to the region in the late 1700s and early 1800s carried with them their practice of home brewing as well as their formula for high-potency hooch, which was popular during the time period.

As a result, it may be kept concealed from prying eyes such as the police or hungry neighbors “Jason Sumich, Department of Anthropology, Appalachian State University, believes this is correct.

The side of the antique clay jars was frequently marked with the letters “XXX.” Supposedly, each “X” reflected the number of times the drink had gone through the distillation process before it was bottled.

Difference Between Moonshine and Whiskey

Whisky is the second most popular alcoholic beverage in the world, behind beer, according to some estimates. It is produced by the fermentation of grains, followed by distillation and aging in oak casks or barrels. Whisky must be matured by being stored in these barrels for an extended length of time before it can be consumed. There is one type of whisky known as white whiskey or simply moonshine that is a cause of confusion among many people, especially those who are not familiar with the intricacies of alcoholic drinks, and it is a source of confusion among many people.

It is the goal of this post to examine more closely at this alcoholic beverage in order to discover the solution.

What is Whiskey?

Whiskey is an alcoholic beverage that is made by distilling barley and other grains such as corn and wheat after they have been fermented into alcohol. There are many different versions of the whiskey production process, but no matter where in the globe it is made, the process of creating whisky includes fermentation, distillation, and aging or storage in oak barrels, among other steps. If you want your beverage to be termed whiskey, it has to be matured in oak barrels for several years straight.

In reality, whiskey produced in Scotland is referred to as “Scotch whisky” or “Scotch.” Whiskey is derived from an old Irish phrase that literally translates as “drink of life.”

What is Moonshine?

Moonshine is the name given to an alcoholic beverage that is created illegally in order to circumvent the legal requirement of whiskey maturing as well as to save money on the production process. It is a whiskey that has not been aged. In different regions of the world, moonshine is referred to as ashooch, tharra, arrack, white lightning, white whiskey, and other names. According to some sources, the term moonshine was derived from the term moonrakers, which was formerly used to refer to those involved in smuggling and other illegal acts.

Many Americans were alarmed by this and began making alcoholic beverages in secret.

What is the difference between Whiskey and Moonshine?

Moonshine is a kind of whiskey or rum that is illegally produced. Whiskey is an alcoholic beverage that must be aged in wooden barrels for an extended length of time before it can be named whiskey, whereas moonshine does not have to be aged in wooden barrels. Moonshine is referred to by a variety of names in different parts of the world. It is produced by the fermentation of grain mash, primarily barley, though other grains like as corn and wheat are sometimes used in the production of whisky.

Moonshine is derived from the term “moonshiners,” which refers to those who conduct their business at night or in a secretive way. Whiskey is mellow and pleasant, whereas moonshine is raw and unadulterated in flavor. Read on for more information:

  1. The distinctions between brandy and whiskey
  2. The distinctions between bourbon and whiskey
  3. The distinctions between cognac and whiskey
  4. What is the difference between rum and whisky?

Moonshine 101

Richard Thomas contributed to this article. The Barrel House is now serving new moonshine. (Photo courtesy of Joana Thomas) The rising popularity of moonshine initially came to the attention of the media some years ago, when hipsters began drinking moonshine and even distilling it for their own usage. Following a few years, reality television centered on white lightning began to emerge, with shows like The Discovery Channel’s Moonshiners. Moonshine is becoming a major player in the micro-distilling industry, and it is advancing in lockstep with white whiskey as part of a new trend in unaged spirits that is becoming increasingly popular.

  • Moonshine, like clear whiskeys in general, appears to cause perplexity in the ordinary drinker, an ambiguity that is not associated with other clear, “white” spirits such as vodka or rum (gin, rum, vodka, etc.) What Exactly Is Moonshine, and How Does It Work?
  • Not only is the official definition of moonshine inconsistent on the issue of legality, but it also nearly never mentions a specific sort of liquor as being included in the definition.
  • Unless one is a stickler for the rules, in which case it can refer to anything that is produced in violation of the United States government.
  • (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons) This lack of specificity is mirrored in the items that fall under the umbrella term “moonshine,” whether they are legal or not.
  • As a matter of fact, the latter isn’t actually whiskey at all, as whiskey is defined as being created from fermented grain.
  • There are two more forms of alcoholic beverages that are commonly referred to as moonshine.
  • The other is plain old corn whiskey, which is an unaged whiskey made using a mashbill that contains at least 80% maize.
  • The majority of legal moonshines available today are either corn whiskey or corn whiskey with sugar added, with pure sugar-shine being extremely difficult to come across on retail shelves.
  • When it comes to moonshine, the type and quality of grain are even more important than when it comes to matured whiskey, because there is no wood-aging to impart flavor later on.
  • Spencer Balentine’s legal moonshine is a hit on the streets of New York City (Credit: S.D.

Several illegal shiners purchase feed corn from a farm shop, according to Spencer, who claims that “no one recognizes that this type of corn is for animal food exclusively and that it is packed with all sorts of chemicals for weed control that boil right into the flavor of the distilled product.” Like a metallic nasty aftertaste,” says the author.

  1. Stainless steel is a poor replacement for copper in the distillation of moonshine, just as it is in the distillation of old whiskey.
  2. The white spirit must be carefully manufactured, according to Troy Ball of Troy and Sons, since “we always meant to bottle our white spirit rather than age it,” he explains.
  3. The presence of fiery bite in inferior moonshines is most likely what contributes to their terrible reputation.
  4. While Jim IrvinatFirefly Distilling in South Carolina stresses smoothness and a pleasing scent, Ball believes that “fruit forward” is the best way to describe his moonshine.

Balentine described how his grandpa taught him how to drink shine by saying, “Take a regular sip, then shut your lips and allow it to ease down.” Open your lips gently after it’s all the way down and, if it’s excellent, you’ll notice a fresh corn flavor rising at the sides of your throat with no aftertaste.” In order to be considered good moonshine, it should possess two key characteristics: taste clarity and smoothness, with the latter being the more important.

In order to be called moonshine, it should be as silvery and smooth as the moonlight for which it was named. If your white lightning sparks, stings, or burns you, it’s not going to be very effective.

Moonshine or White Whiskey?

What exactly is the difference between moonshine, maize whiskey, and white whiskey? “Clear whiskey” has taken the liquor industry by storm over the past five years, and there is a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to the variations between these spirits, so we’re here to put the record straight on the differences between these spirits. Do they have any distinctions in terms of what they are and what they are not? These are some of the questions we’ve received, and we’ll try to answer them as clearly as we can.

The whiskeys in this category are raw, unaged, and created predominantly from corn mash (at least 80 percent corn) and distilled to a maximum strength of 160 proof.

Because it is unaged and transparent, white whiskey is fundamentally the same as moonshine in terms of flavor.

So, theoretically speaking, any product that is labeled moonshine might also be referred to as white whiskey, but the term “moonshine” is derived from the fact that it is produced illegally.

Many distillers opt to preserve the moniker moonshine despite the fact that the manufacturing of moonshine is now legal and taxes are being collected, owing to the long and illustrious history of their recipes.

Moonshiners all around the country employed a variety of ingredients to manufacture their’shine, including rye, maize, and sugar, among others.

Whatever you choose to call it, whether it’s moonshine or white whiskey, one thing is certain: it’s here to stay.

Moonshine and white whiskey are incredibly popular, whether they’re mixed or consumed straight up in small glasses.

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