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January 7, 2016
Last updated

How to Make Vodka

Owner of Clawhammer Supply

Russian Potato Vodka - How to

We have not tried this particular "potato vodka" recipe. However, the process used for turning potatoes are turned into vodka is an interesting concept to think about. So, we pulled information some of the best sources online create the best possible tutorial on how to make vodka.

FYI: anyone can make a potato vodka mash. To the best of our knowledge, this is legal everywhere in the US. However, only individuals with a federal fuel alcohol or a distilled spirits plant permit (as well as state and local permits) can distill alcohol. Our distillation equipment is designed for legal uses only and the information in this article is for educational purposes only.

Potato Vodka Recipe

Potato Vodka Ingredients

5 Pounds 2 row malted barley
25 Pounds potatoes
7 gallons of water
2 packets of bread yeast (or yeast of choice)


OG = 1.065 (We would add sugar if needed to reach a desired gravity)
FG = 1.010 or below
ABV = 7.2%

Potato vodka Mash Procedure

This is the process we would follow if we were to make this recipe.

  1. Clean the potatoes with a produce brush.
  2. Cut the potatoes into small 1 inch cubes and cover them with two inches of water in a stock pot on the stove.
  3. Turn the heat to high and boil the potatoes for 15 minutes.
  4. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or an electric immersion blender.
  5. Transfer the mashed potatoes and any liquid from the stock pot into a large mash pot. We would transferring the potato mash to a mash bag. We recommend using the mash in a bag method for this recipe. 
  6. Add water to reach 7 gallons total volume. While adding water keep an eye on the temperature of the mash. The temperature after adding the water should be around 140 degrees.
  7. Add 5 pounds of crushed malted barley to the mash bag while stirring well.
  8. Add heat if needed and hold the mash at 140 degrees for 20 minutes.
  9. Raise the temperature of the mash to 150 while stirring.
  10. Mash at 150 for one hour. Add heat to the mash while stirring as needed during the mash.
  11. Take a gravity reading with a refractometer or hydrometer.
  12. If the starting gravity is below 1.065 add sugar until 1.065 is reached
  13. Use a wort chiller to cool mash to 70-75 degrees.

Potato Vodka Fermentation Process

  1. Create a yeast starter. Let the yeast starter propagate for 15-20 minutes before adding it to the fermenter.
  2. Once the mash has been cooled transfer only the liquid to a sanitized carboy/bucket
  3. Add the yeast starter to the fermenter.
  4. Add airlock and ferment between 65-75 degrees for 2 weeks or until fermentation is complete.

    Remember, it is illegal to distill alcohol without the proper permits.

    Kyle Brown is the owner of Clawhammer Supply, a small scale distillation and brewing equipment company which he founded in 2009. His passion is teaching people about the many uses of distillation equipment as well as how to make beer at home. When he isn't brewing beer or writing about it, you can find him at his local gym or on the running trail.

    • I’m very much interested in making potato latke so I could use all the good information that I can get first of all what kind of potato bag are we talking about cheesecloth or is there a certain bag that is needed for the potatoes to let the starch out secondly how long do I let the barley soup before I can use it since Siri desperate distiller

      Posted by Jim on December 27, 2016
    • Can this method produce methanol

      Posted by kato paul on November 13, 2016
    • Thank you so much for recipe, am planning to make my first vodka,hope it will be a great start.


      Posted by Morgan on November 06, 2016
    • Hey guys, I just recently made a still that hold about 13 gallons of mash. I’ve used you recipe for rum several times. My first run was ok. The 2nd run was great. Got 70 percent. The 3rd run we incerased the sugar content. Got 80 percent the next couple of runs we increased the sugar again. We got it up to 85 percen on the rum. I’m planning on making vodka for my next run. Any advice or anything that I may need to know not mentioned in your vodka recipe.

      Thanks skip

      Posted by Skip on June 08, 2016
    • Question: can you substitute enzyme for the barley?

      Posted by Thaddeus on June 02, 2016
    • How does using roasted barley affect the vodka?

      Posted by max on February 29, 2016
    • I didn’t exactly go step-by-step but used the recipe and followed the directions, makes a great vodka! I would suggest that anyone making this recipe be experienced in distilling lol, I’ve read some comments on other posts from people who really should be buying their alcohol, not making it! Lmao haha. Thanks for the recipe!

      Posted by Adam on February 07, 2016
    • Made 15 gal of mash and I’m glade I had bags it’s a mess but man it came out great. Thanks for information

      Posted by BMs on February 01, 2016
    • I attempted this recipe without the using the mash bag method and boy was it a mess! Since only carboy available was a 3 gallon, changed recipe a bit. Used approximately 10 lbs of red potato, 2.2 lbs of pale ale barley malt, approximately 4.5 cups of white sugar, and half a package of champagne yeast ec-1118. Slow action but we’ll see what happens. Thanks for the recipe!

      Posted by DLC on January 30, 2016

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