Not legal adviceTIME recently reported on the popularity of moonshine, and the fact that it is now legal in Tennessee. Even Walmart is jumping on the bandwagon by stocking "legal" moonshine in 49 states under the brand Ole Smoky Moonshine. Please check your local authorities for advice on producing moonshine in your area.
Classically, moonshine was made by farmers who wanted to extract a higher profit from their crops. They would roast corn, barley, or other grains and then ferment them with sugar and water to generate an alcoholic mash. The mash would then be heated in a distillation chamber, yielding a beverage with a very high alcohol content and a rough, raw flavor. When it's summer and corn is cheap and plentiful this is the more favored ingredient for making shine. However, in the winter, the corn is scarce and so fruit is used to make a brandy instead.
Making moonshine in your home is generally not recommended at this time as legal and safety issues are often present. However, for the sake of discussion, the following recipe from Food.com will give you a general overview of how moonshine is made:
Yield: 6 gallons
- 25 lbs cornmeal
100 lbs sugar
100 gallons water
6 ounces yeast
- Pressure Cooker
Vessel (to collect moonshine)
1) Go to the market and buy 25 pounds of cornmeal, 100 pounds of sugar, 100 gallons of water and 6 ounces of yeast.
2) Next, you will be required to collect the necessary equipments, like a few large pots, a large pressure cooker and a coiled copper pipe.
3) Put water in the pot and place it on stove. Keep on boiling it until it reaches a rolling boil.
4) Add cornmeal to the water. The resultant mixture will be known as mash.
5) Keep aside the mash and let it cool down, till it is warm to the touch.
6) Now, add sugar and yeast to the warm mash.
7) Again, keep it aside and let it ferment for 4 to 5 days.
8) Keep on checking the mash and when it stops bubbling, it means that it is ready. At this stage, the mash is known as sour mash or beer.
9) Put the sour mash into the pressure cooker and keep it on fire, till it goes up to 173 degrees Fahrenheit.
10) At this temperature, the alcohol content of the mixture will start rising to the surface.
11) With the help of a coiled copper pipe, passed through cold water, trap vaporized alcohol in a separate vessel.
12) As the vapors from the cooker pass through the cold copper tubing, they will slowly condense into the liquid called moonshine.
13) Finally, filter the moonshine through charcoal, making it absolutely fit for consumption.