Distilling Alcohol

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Distilling Alcohol can be one of the most vital bits of knowledge a person can have. The process is pretty simple and only takes about 3 to 10 days to turn a raw bit of supplies; sugar, water, corn, and yeast, into some decent alcohol. Understand that alcohol can your best friend in a tough situation. Alcohol is a fuel source, a disinfectant, and of course a nice drink.

geoff_pot_still

To start you are going to need to create your still. You will need a boiling pot, a cooler pot, a piece of of condensing coil, a fire source. The best metal to use for each piece is copper.

In order to seal the pot you should use a rubber o-ring this will allow you to move the still and open it without compromising the airtight quality of the still. Basically the bottom of the pot is like any other pot, however the top of the pot seals it completely with only one point allowing the gas inside the pot to escape. This tube is called the condensing coil. The condensing coil should be a copper tube that wraps around and down into the the condensing tank. The condensing tank is nothing more than a bucket of cold water that helps the evaporated alcohol condense back into liquid. Then the last piece of the still is the spout.

It is a pretty easy setup. Boiler, condenser, and spout.

Now in order to make alcohol, you are going to need to gather your supplies. I prefer to use corn, however most starches can be made into alcohol. Regardless of which starch you choose, once you have gathered your starch you need to create your mash. Your mash is where you will begin to create your alcohol. Because I use corn “because I am a good ol’ southerner”, then you will need to sprout your corn.

To sprout corn you are going to place your corn into a pot and pour warm water into it. Wait 3 to 4 days while the corn begins to sprout. You need about 2 inches of sprout before beginning.

After your corn has sprouted it then needs to be dried. Once dry grind the sprouted corn into cornmeal.

Moonshine still1
Now it is time to make your mash. Take your cornmeal and add it to your boiling pot. Then add boiling water to the cornmeal. If you have yeast add it. A good rule of thumb for yeast is for every 6 pounds of mash you need 1 ounce of yeast. Also add sugar depending on your recipe. The fermentation process takes about 3 days.

Once the fermentation process is completed the mash becomes “sour mash”. Once you have sour mash you are ready to distill. A clue that your mash has become “sour mash” is to look at the mash and see if it is bubbling. If it is not then the fermentation process is completed.

The next step is to place your “Sour Mash” into the boiling pot and seal off the pot. Run the condenser coil through your cooling tank, and connect your spout. Alcohol vaporizes at 173 degrees F. Once your sour mash reaches this temperature then the alcohol will begin to evaporate from the mash enter the condensing coil and finally exit the spout.

A serious concern to note is that you cannot drink the first bit of distilled alcohol. The first bit known as the “Hot Water” is full of containment and is nearly 100 percent alcohol. This will probably kill you if you drink it, if not, you will definitely wish you were.

After you collect the first jar, you should be ok. However if you are going to be distilling alcohol then you need to have a alcohol proofer. A simple device that lets you know what the proof is. If you don’t have one then simply cut the alcohol with water to make it safe.

Understand that the very first bit of alcohol should be cast out, and that the very last should be discarded. Like all personal skills however you should not attempt this process unless you are properly trained.

Just a few last notes to have before you go off and create tons of alcohol know that selling alcohol without a license is a federal offense, however you are allowed to distill a certain amount each year for personal use.
Understand that you can damage yourself very easily by drinking distilled alcohol that you are unsure of the proof.
Also note that in order to make whiskey you need to age the alcohol in an Oak barrel for about 7 years.

Finally in order to create the best alcohol you need to clean your still extremely well. The cleaner the still the better the alcohol.

As Always Folks, Prepare and Survive
-Todd Out

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