How to Make Sugar Shine

Easy Moonshine Recipe

We have all heard the quote, “Fast, good or cheap. Pick two...”

This sugar shine recipe is definitely fast and it is about as cheap to make as it gets. If you believe the quote above you might be inclined to think that this recipe can't be good. To a point, we'd actually agree. However, that isn't to say that this recipe is not useful. It all depends on why and how you're making it.

First, this is an excellent beginners moonshine recipe. If you've never tried your hand at making moonshine before, this is an excellent place to start. Making this mash literally only takes an hour or so from start to finish, it doesn't require any special equipment, and it's also almost impossible to screw up. Additionally, this is actually not a bad recipe at all for making vodka (which should have no flavor) or to make a base for flavored spirits, such as apple pie moonshine. However, if you're making this to drink straight up, or even to age, be aware that you could do much better.

Sugar Shine Ingredients

8 Pounds Sugar

1 Pound Of Raisins

5.5 Gallons Water

2 Packets Wine Yeast

Equipment Needed

6 Gallon Brew Pot

6.5 Gallon Fermenter


Mash Paddle or Spoon 


Mash Making Process

Add 5.5 gallons of water to your sanitized brew pot. Because the mash won't be heated anywhere near pasteurization temperatures, you'll need to make sure that all brewing equipment has been thoroughly cleaned with an oxygen based cleaner (such as PBW or Oxyclean) and sanitized with an acid based sanitizer (such as star-san). You don't absolutely have to do this, but if you don't you risk bacterial infections - which could cause off-flavors and potentially even ruin your batch altogether by killing the yeast. 


Add 8 pounds of sugar to the pot. This should result in a starting gravity of about 1.058, which will produce a wash with a starting alcohol of 7.5% starting alcohol if it ferments all the way down to 1.00. It'd also be a good idea to add a pound of raisins to provide some nutrients for the yeast.


Once the sugar has been added, apply high heat to the pot. You're shooting for a target temperature of 70F. Assuming that your tap water is somewhere in the neighborhood of 55 degrees, this won't take long, so keep a watchful eye on the pot.


While heating, stir the mixture of sugar, raisins, and water with a large brewers paddle or spoon until the sugar has completely dissolved.


After the sugar has completely dissolved and you are waiting for the mixture to reach temperature (70F), re-hydrate your yeast by following the instructions on the back of the yeast package.


Once the temperature reaches 70 Fahrenheit, turn off the heat. Do not over-shoot 70F. because it could take quite a while for the mash to cool back down, depending on the temperature outside. Aerate by dumping back and forth between two buckets a few times and then dump into fermenter.


After aerating the mash and dumping it into your fermentation bucket or carboy, add yeast.


Add a lid and a sanitized airlock to the fermenter. Try to maintain a steady temperature of 70 degrees, with minimal fluctuation during fermentation. For example, a dark closet in a temperature controlled environment is a great place to store. However, if the fermenter is in front of a south facing window and is heated by the sun during the day and cools down at night, the fluxuation in temperature will result in a final product that does not taste or smell as good as it could.


Ferment for a week or until the fermentation is finished. Once finished, complete a stripping run and then a spirit run with cuts.

You may also consider carbon filtering the final product to remove impurities and then clean up the taste. As we mentioned, this product isn't going to have much flavor, and the flavor it does have isn't likely to be good. That's why this recipe is most suitable for making a flavorless vodka or for making a base alcohol for flavored alcohol such as apple pie moonshine.