Moonshine is a distilled alcoholic beverage that can be manufactured from any grain or fruit, depending on what is available to the distiller. Corn is used as the fermentable sugar in the traditional recipe.
While it is possible to use other types of alcohol, such as Everclear, in your beverages, where is the fun in that?
The Origins of Moonshine
Firstly, some pretty fascinating information about moonshine before we get started on how to produce your first batch of homemade moonshine will be shared with you.
- The word “moonshine” comes from the fact that it is unlawful to produce and thus must be done at night or under the light (or shine) of the moon.
- Farmers employed this to supplement their income throughout the historical period since low-value maize harvests could be transformed into high-value whiskey. Because of the high level of alcohol taxation in the United States, the government had a hand in this.
- When the Prohibition era began in the United States, all alcoholic beverages were made illegal.
How to Make a Fruit Mash for Moonshine – How to Make Moonshine
- Fermentation may occur in anything that contains sugar; this includes fruit or vegetable juices and other beverages. It doesn’t matter if you have fruit trees on your land or a garden; any discarded fruit or vegetables may be utilized to create interesting and distinctive spirits. Local farmers may also be able to give you with bruised or overripe fruit that they will be disposing of in the near future.
- You must first extract the sugars and juice from the fruits in order to make alcohol from them, such as brandy or apple jack, before you can begin distilling the resulting alcohol. There are a variety of approaches that may be used to accomplish this. I’ve found that utilizing a fruit press or juicer is the most effective technique. When preparing huge quantities of fruit, a fruit press comes in handy. I prefer these classic wood fruit presses, which cost around $130 and are perfect for making smaller amounts of fruit. Additionally, you may create your own fruit press; to get an idea of what this entails, watch the video I’ve included below. On the other hand, if you’re only making tiny amounts of juice at once, a juicer would be ideal.
- It’s also possible to heat up the fruit in the same manner that you would a grain mash in order to extract more sugars and juices from the flesh. Before starting the fermentation process, you will need to filter off any extra pulp. The approach you employ is very dependent on the fruit you are using and what you have on hand at the time of the experiment.
- The sugar amount of your fruit mash is also crucial to consider; a high concentration will result in poor fermentation, while a low concentration will result in poor alcohol yields per volume. Keep the available sugar to water ratio between 0.20 and 0.25 kg/L as close to this as possible. Using a hydrometer, you may determine the specific gravity of the mash, which should be around 1.050. More information on how to use a hydrometer to measure specific gravities may be found in the topic “How to use a hydrometer.” I’ve included a list of some common grains and fruits to give you an idea of how much sugar is in each. In order to change the sugar concentration of your mash, either add water to reduce the concentration or sugar to boost it, depending on what you want the concentration to be for optimal fermentation. (See the section below for information on adding sugar to your mash.)
- I would recommend that you utilize k1v-1116 to ferment your fruit mashes because the yeast selection is very crucial. This is the topic of an essay I authored on: Yeast selection for fermentation of sugar and grain products, as well as fruit wash It discusses how to choose the best yeast for various applications such as fruit, grain mashes, and sugar washes.