This blog provides information for educational purposes only. All copper "moonshine" distillers featured on the site are non-functional props. All recipes and "how to's" are theoretical. All scenarios are fictitious. No laws were broken during production of the material found on this site. Products sold are intended to be used in accordance with the proper licensing or permitting procedure of the respective jurisdiction of the user. Read our complete legal summary for more info.
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. We'd probably agree. However, that isn't to say that this recipe is not useful. It all depends on what you're going to do with it.
First, this is an excellent beginners fuel alcohol recipe. It's also the same way you'd make "moonshine" if that's what you were aiming for (which we assume you aren't). If you've never tried your hand at distilling 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.
Believe it or not, this is probably exactly how commercial vodka is made. Though, vodka is distilled several times to a very high proof remove as much aroma and taste as possible from the original mash. They do that because distilling this recipe just once probably wouldn't produce something that tasted or smelled very good.
***Remember, distilling alcohol without a permit is illegal. Don't do it!***
8 Pounds Sugar
1 Pound Of Raisins
5.5 Gallons Water
1 Packets Wine Yeast
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, siphon into your 5 gallon Clawhammer still, making sure to leave sediment and yeast behind. Be careful to not overfill your still. Do not fill the vapor cone with liquid. Complete a stripping run and then a spirit run with cuts.
*These pictures are fictitious and are for educational / demonstration purposes only. We use water and store bought grain alcohol to simulate "moonshine." It is illegal to distill alcohol without federal and state distillers or fuel alcohol permits.
As we mentioned, this is more or less exactly how commercial vodka is made. The final product from this recipe wouldn't 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, which would definitely get filtered. The final product from something like this would best be used in a lawnmower or as a base for making flavored alcohol such as apple pie moonshine. However, don't do that unless you're a licensed distiller.