This basic moonshine recipe is originally from the book Simple Sour Mash to Simple Alcohol Fuel by J.W. Walstad. This technique is inexpensive and is ideal for beginners since it requires little skill and cooking.
To make a five gallon mash, you will need five gallons of filtered water; seven pounds of cracked corn; seven pounds of granulated sugar; a tablespoon of yeast.
Compared to a cooked mash, this basic recipe does not depend on grains to derive starch. Corn is included mainly for flavor while sugar is necessary to be able to derive alcohol. When a mash is uncooked, it will convert starch to sugar less quickly and efficiently. The added sugar will ferment easily and will offer most of the alcohol.
The first distilled run will produce a sweet liquid. The second run will result to your first sour mash batch. However, the consistency and flavor will begin usually in the third and fourth run.
For the first fermentation, place all the ingredients in the fermenter and close it. Expect to see sugar ferment within twelve hours. Usually, it takes approximately 3 to 4 days for the actual ebullition to stop. Siphon the liquid from the fermenter and charge your moonshine still.
The best method is to siphon off the liquid from atop the lees. Remove any suspended solids. Since the still will run for a few hours, do not allow the fermenter to be empty. Put back the water to the fermenter to keep the yeast from dying while you are distilling. This is also a good time to scoop off any corn at the top and replace these with an equal quantity of cracked corn.
Pot distillation basics
The first type of pot distillation requires a conventional pot still which possesses no cooling column or neck. The resulting distillate has low proof compared to those which are distilled through a erflux still with a splitting or fractionating column. This technique is a traditional method and needs numerous runs.
The second type is a reflux still that carries a column which could be cooled during the distillation process. This still is more efficient and could produce a high quality proof spirit in one run.
Your first ever run
Pot distill your entire wash making sure to keep the process running slowly buy surely. If you are a beginner, two to three distillate drops each second is an ideal speed. When collecting, place four to five drops of distillate in a spoon along with the same amount of water and start to sip. Doing so helps you recognize any off-tasting heads quickly. Do not forget to remove the initial 150ml or approximately 5 ounces of liquid collected so as to avoid any build-up of methanol over time and in batches.
All in all, the law states that any spirits which are collected beyond 80% could not be referred to as whiskey since they are “light” or neutral. Essentially, they are high in proof and do not appropriately imbibe the spirit of the mash.