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March 27, 2013 posted in Recipes

How to Make Honey "Moonshine" - AKA: "Honeyshine"

How to Make Honey "Moonshine"

Here is one of our favorite recipes of all time: Honeyshine. It's basically a no frills distilled mead, but it packs a powerful punch and tastes great. We've grown accustomed to using wildflower honey because it has more complexity than clover honey. However, clover honey will lend its own unique taste to the final product and may taste even better than wildfower. Giver er a try and tell us what you think.

We purchase honey from a local producer and get it for roughly $75 per gallon. This makes honey whiskey about the most expensive home distillation project one can undertake, but its darn good and is definitely worth the cost and the effort.

Honey Moonshine Whiskey

Honey Whiskey Recipe


  • 1 gallon of wildflower honey
  • 5 gallons of water
  • Super Start distillers yeast


  • Heat 2.5 gallons of water to 120° F and stir in 1 gallon of honey until completely dissolved.
  • Add an additional 2.5 gallons of room temperature to the honey solution.
  • Cool to 70F using an immersion chiller.
  • Aerate by pouring mash back and forth between two buckets.
  • Add 2 tablespoons yeast. 
  • Transfer to a glass carboy, install air lock, and allow to ferment for at least 2 weeks (maintaining a 70 degree F liquid temp.)
  • After fermentation allow to settle for 5-7 days.
  • Siphon (do not pour) into a 5 or 10 gallon copper moonshine still. Do not fill vapor cone with liquid.
  • Distill, making sure to toss foreshots, heads, and tails.
    • Make extremely tight heads and tails cut if you plan on drinking un-aged.
    • Be tight with heads cut but more liberal with tails cuts if you are planning on following aging instructions below.


  • Age for 2-3 weeks using lightly toasted american oak chips
  • Add a tiny bit of honey to the finished product
    • Note, this will make final product slightly cloudy. Lightly filter to remove haze (only if you absolutely must).

      • While my product is fermenting in carboy, am I supposed to stir or just let set?

        Posted by Drc on February 04, 2016
      • what and how much are head and tail cuts

        Posted by ross on February 01, 2016
      • The slow people should go back to school and learn how to spell.

        Posted by Ray on January 11, 2016
      • P
        some people must be a little slow
        1st. Total revipe is on this page
        2nd 2 Tbls yeast a
        lso lidted in recipe

        Posted by dave on December 13, 2015
      • If you use 48 turbo yeast and your fermenting in a bucket with an airlock and the turbo yeast says to not use an airlock how do you tell if your wash is done? And also when it ferments is all the mash and yeast suppose to be at the top of your bucket?

        Posted by Bryan on July 03, 2015
      • If

        Posted by Bryan on July 03, 2015
      • one part of your article says heat till 160 and one says heat till 120…which one is it? thanks

        Posted by JD on June 28, 2015
      • We make a commercial version of this kind of product that we call prairie sunshine™. We do it as a single distillation on a 4-plate pot still. we use wildflower honeys, which seem to work much better than clover, which gets a bit of an anise and gasoline flavor. but just as important as the honey is the choice of yeast. flavor can transform using one type over another. try different wine yeasts. we have also tried rum yeasts. but avoid so-called turboyeasts.

        Posted by Derrick mancini on May 20, 2015
      • Need instructions on how to make moonshine from honey

        Posted by Michael. Finley on April 25, 2015
      • cant get capital lock off email is all lowercase….
        im going to try this honey shine but am confused by comments … how long does this need to ferment please some say 19 days to 6 weeks

        Posted by ross on April 07, 2015
      • as a mead maker, I have found that Safale US-05 yeast to be the cleanest of all. Ferments fairly quick (4 weeks). Mead is always an exercise in patience. To the question above: I have never had to out gas a mead using US-05. Also, yeast nutrient and a little bit of lemon juice helps in the fermentation. Make sure and aerate well. I have ran this twice, and I agree, it’s wonderful. And I also agree it’s the most expensive product I have ever made. For more ideas and recipes- got is a good place to start.

        Posted by Tinman on March 21, 2015
      • A few people have asked some questions down below that i may have enough information on to assist. I have been working on a mead to distill and it is not done yet but here is how it is going so far.
        I started with ~2 gallons of water heated to 150F, added 15lbs of clover honey. This lends to a SG of around 1.135, when put in a 5 gallon bucket and topped with cool water. Once it cooled to 75f i added yeast nutrient, mixed, aerated, pitched yeast (should have made a starter), and sealed with airlock.
        I did this twice so i have 10 gallons with 28lbs (second batch i used a touch less honey)
        I am at ~5 weeks fermenting slowly and have not opened it once (i dont know current or ending SG yet). At around 6 weeks I will rack, and distill a few days later in a 20Gallon all copper pot still.
        Hope that helps with the rather unclear instructions, but then again mine is not finished yet.

        Posted by Zach` on March 16, 2015
      • Tony- Are you taking a reading before fermentation? If not, that’s your problem. To get an accurate read, you’ll compare the before and after readings to estimate ABV. If you’re reading 0% ABV after distillation, you’re either doing something wrong or your hydrometer is busted. I’d suggest reading the instructions that came with it, or looking up some instructions for your hydrometer online.

        Posted by Ben on March 16, 2015
      • Can you explain to me the terms tight head and tails I am a complete novice at this

        Posted by Raymond on February 22, 2015
      • Tony – it sounds like you are not using the hydrometer correctly.

        Posted by StillDaddy on February 06, 2015
      • I’ve made lots of shine, however I followed the recipe to the t. It’s been bubbling for 19 days I took a hydrometer reading and it registered zero. Am I to assume there’s no liquor in there at all or is it just one of the side effects of this recipe?
        Posted by Tony on February 06, 2015
      • Bernie- iN REGARDS DO YOUR COMMENT “Could you please send me a full recipe, from beginning to end.” – tHE RECIPE IS ON THE PAGE ABOVE YOU….

        Posted by StillDaddy on February 05, 2015
      • Could you please send me a full recipe, from beginning to end. Thanks

        Posted by Bernie on February 04, 2015
      • I am fairly new to all of this and would like a more thorough recipe and more info on the distilling cuts if possible. Thanks for your time

        Posted by CHarles LYnch on February 02, 2015
      • I don’t know if your website is purposely vague or just not very thorough. For instance, how much total product does your recipe above for honeyshine make; how much yeast is to be used; and I clicked on your stills to check them out and they’re not there. What gives?

        Posted by rick on January 14, 2015

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