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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 or honey of choice
  • 5 gallons of water
  • Super Start distillers yeast or yeast of choice


  • Heat 2.5 gallons of water to 160° F and stir in 1 gallon of honey until completely dissolved.
  • Add an additional 2.5 gallons of room temperature water to the honey solution.
  • Cool to 70F using an immersion chiller.
  • Aerate by pouring mash back and forth between two buckets.
  • Add yeast of choice
  • Add 2.5 teaspoons of yeast nutrient (Follow the directions on the label)
  • Transfer to a glass carboy, install air lock, and allow to ferment around 70 F for at least 2 weeks or until it is finished fermenting.  Check out 'Making Moonshine - How to Know when Fermentation is Finished: Part 2'  for information on fermentation.
  • After fermentation is finished allow to settle for 10-14 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 cuts 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).

      • 4 year brewer
        question about about the whole honey acid dissolving metal, leaving a metal taste in the honey. I have run into this making a mash in a metal pot, leaving a metal like taste. when you did the distillation how was the after taste?

        Posted by connor on December 04, 2018
      • What is the proper amount to discard with heads and tails?

        Posted by Ronert on February 22, 2018
      • Honey

        Posted by Steven on November 22, 2017
      • just started my first batch of mead using bakers yeast. It is the opposite of slow. Did a start in warm water and molasses. I think this may be the key to getting honey to ferment quickly because it was bubbling from the moment I put the airlock on the carboy. It smells like it’s probably already 2% ABV after just 24 hours. I expect to start bottle conditioning in 2 weeks and drinking in 3.
        You have to overcome the antimicrobial properties of the honey and if the yeast isn’t going strong when you put it in, it never will.
        I believe that active dry bakers yeast is the best yeast to use to ferment honey based on what I have seen with people using beer or wine yeast on youtube. I suspect it has greater resistance to the antimicrobial nature of honey. It has an alcohol tolerance of 14% which is plenty whether you are distilling it or not. Nevertheless, you can screw up with any yeast if you don’t handle it right.

        Posted by Finkelroy on May 28, 2017
      • Hello
        Excuse my ignorance for I am new to disrilling. I have an 8 gallon stainless pot connected to a 40 inch tall 3 inch copper column stuffed with copper pads. I have made a few simple recipes that I think turned out well. Of course I don’t have anything to compare it to. Finally my question. If I were to also suspend copper plates into my mash when cooking off the alcohol would that simulate a copper pot and would it matter since I have a copper column with pads.
        Thanks in advance.
        Dave B.

        Posted by Dave B on May 24, 2017
      • Thank you

        Posted by JIm LUndie on February 19, 2017
      • I will be ordering a 5 gAl still in the next. Couple days. I’m building it for a friend and master of distillery old school maker who is teaching me. He wants a worm on his still this is possible with your still is it not ???

        Posted by TEx on February 12, 2017
      • I’m using “fleischmans active dry yeast”, how much should I add?all recipes say “a packet”, I bought a 4 oz. bottle. Also will be adding yeast nutrients, how much of the nutrient? Thank you in advance.

        Posted by SMall BAtch on January 13, 2017
      • do you have any special pricing for veterans.

        Posted by david oesch on December 15, 2016
      • I know what the Heads and Tails are, but what is the foreshots?

        Posted by David oesch on December 15, 2016
      • Started 2 batches of honey shine and 1 does not appear to be fermenting. Have air lock on it and there is no bubbles coming through. The other is bubbling good. Any idea what is going on. The one not bubbling I used distillers yeast on, the one that is working good I used Baker’s yeast on.

        Posted by Erik on September 25, 2016
      • Can you reuse the wash off of honey shine and run it again if so what do you do. I don’t see how inless you are putting more honey in it.

        Posted by ROnnie on September 16, 2016
      • Honey is a very slow fermenter, I know because I make a lot of mead. 2 weeks may not be nearly long enough for it to complete fermentation. Two months would be better.

        Posted by Rila on March 11, 2016
      • Great recipe! What would be the proof of the finished product? Thx.

        Posted by IrisRose on March 09, 2016
      • When using honey, do you use raw honey or pasturiezed honey. I have access to both.

        Thank you for your help in advance

        Posted by Joe on March 07, 2016
      • 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

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