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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

Ingredients:

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

 Procedure:

  • 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.

Finishing: 

  • 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).

      • I am able to hold my mash temp at 80-90 by just placing a blanket around one side of my buckets and only leaving a opening big enough to put a heat lamp with a 150w light in it. This seams to hold the temp. I do this in my shed with no other heat even when temps get down into the 30s

        Posted by ryan on February 06, 2013
      • Trash can that your carboy (fermentation container) just fits into with a fishtank heater with a blanket wrapped around it. Fill container with water and let ’er rip. The airlock can be easy to find. Brew stores for under $2. Or simply use a cork and attach a hose and put a loop in it, fill the bottom of the loop with water, kind of like a sink drain. This will allow the gas out but no air in.

        Posted by Andrew J on February 05, 2013
      • I too am concerned about the 90 degree fermentaion temp. I have a small bathroom that I can put a ceramic heater in, but it would run constantly. Does it have to be 90 degrees? How about 70-75? Would that work?

        Posted by tony on February 01, 2013
      • An airlock is something you can get for fairly cheap that allows CO2 to escape the container without allowing oxygen into the container. if too much oxygen is allowed during fermentation, you’ll end up making vinegar instead. =P

        Posted by jacob on January 31, 2013
      • Is it alright if the honey settles to the bottom?

        Posted by Roy on January 31, 2013
      • Do you have to.maintain a 90 degree temp whild fementing honey shine

        Thanks jim

        Posted by jim on January 29, 2013
      • On the honey moonshine your recipe how much moonshine will it produce ? And what do you mean install a airlock

        Posted by Terry on January 28, 2013
      • I’m right there with Mitch… surely 90 degrees isn’t right for a mash temp… who the heck can afford to heat a mash at 90 degrees for two weeks?

        Posted by jesse on January 28, 2013
      • If you having trouble holding a fermenting vessel at a set tempature you can invest some money into a storage bin and a adjustable fish tank heater. Put your carboy in the storage bin fill bin with water and set your tank heater to desired temp and walk away. It will be done in a week or so with no stalled fermenting problems. Cheers

        Posted by Eric on January 24, 2013
      • Do you need to add nutrients? What proof should the end result be?

        Posted by Josh on January 23, 2013
      • how to keep mash temp at 90 degrees for 2 weeks

        Posted by bibster on January 19, 2013
      • Debi: boil a batch of apple juice, apple cider, brown sugar (or white sugar, gives a different flavor), and cinnamon sticks. Let it cool, and use it to cut your ’shine to the desired strength. Age the jars for a few weeks if desired, or enjoy immediately!

        Posted by Manny on January 19, 2013
      • We do this as well and we talked about it on my “family sustainability blog”, where you were shamelessly mentioned and profusely linked. :)

        http://wp.me/ptAW8-14f

        Posted by ItsMrLexx2You on January 18, 2013
      • Can anyone offer tips on fermenting at 90 degrees? What’s the best way to maintain this temp for 2 weeks??

        Posted by B Russell on January 18, 2013
      • Still researching this moonshine thing and curious on how you keep the temp 90 degrees when my house is 70? Is 90 degrees critical?

        Posted by Mitch on January 17, 2013
      • Um… No. Don’t do it! While it’s yummier than you can possibly imagine. it’ll attract all sorts. Beyond your “friends” (and I use the term loosely) drinking your beehives dry, your “other theologies” practitioners will quickly determine that since it’s not based on GRAIN, it’s not taboo. Your precious nectar won’t be safe from ANYONE… :)

        Posted by Renaissance Ronin on January 16, 2013
      • hoe do u make apple pie moonshine?

        Posted by Debi on January 16, 2013
      • excellent information

        Posted by jess w marti n on January 15, 2013


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