Moonshine mash is a popular way to make an alcoholic beverage using a few basic ingredients. Start by mixing the cornmeal, sugar, water, and yeast together. Then, ferment the mash so it becomes alcoholic and distill it so it tastes great as a drink. You can then sip moonshine mash on its own or add it to cocktails or other drinks for a little kick.
- ground cornmeal
- white granulated sugar
- of water (distilled if possible)
- active dry yeast, preferably Turbo
- 1-2 bags dried fruit (optional)
EditMixing the Ingredients
- Boil of water in a stainless steel pot. Allow the water to reach boiling temperature, with large bubbles on the surface of the water.
- Use a pot that has been sterilized and cleaned. Do not use a pot that appears dirty or stained.
- Stir in of cornmeal and boil for 5-7 minutes. Once the water comes to a boil, pour in the cornmeal and use a wooden spoon to mix it in. Continue to stir it until it becomes thick.
- Reduce the heat to . Turn down the heat so the cornmeal stays warm but is no longer boiling. Use a thermometer in the cornmeal to ensure it stays at the right temperature.
- Cooling down the cornmeal will ensure it interacts properly with the yeast when it is added.
- Add of sugar and of yeast. Pour the sugar and yeast into the cornmeal. Use a wooden spoon to combine. Stir it for 5-10 minutes. The mixture should become soupy and thin.
- Remove the mash from the heat once the sugar and yeast have been mixed in.
- Put in dried fruit mash if you’d like more flavor. If you’d like to give the mash a more fruity flavor, soak 1-2 bags of dried fruit in of water. Then, mash the dried fruit up in the water so it becomes more of a juice. Pour the dried fruit mash into the cornmeal mixture and mix it in with a spoon.
- Try a fruit mash with bananas, apricots, and pineapple to add flavor. A dried fruit mash with blue berries, cherries, and strawberries can also give the mixture a nice fruity taste.
EditFermenting the Mash
- Cover the mash and place it in a cool, dark place. You can leave the mash in the pot and place a lid on it or lay a cloth over it. Put the mash in a basement, cellar, or in the back of a closet so it can ferment. The temperature of or lower is ideal.
- You can also pour the mash in an empty cooler and put the lid on it so it can ferment.
- Allow it to ferment for 4-5 days. Moonshine mash made with Turbo yeast will ferment within 4-5 days. If you use bread yeast, it may take up to 1 week for the mash to ferment.
- Check the mash for large bubbles on the surface. After 4-5 days, check the mash to see if there are large bubbles that are moving very slowly or sitting on the surface. This is usually a sign the mash is ready to be distilled.
- If the mash still has a lot of smaller bubbles on the surface, it may not be ready to distill and need more time to ferment.
EditDistilling and Filtering the Mash
- Distill the mash in a copper still if you have one available. Rent a copper still from your local brewing supply store or buy one. Look for a copper still made for homebrewing, as they will be smaller and more compact. Then, pour the mash in the still and distill it, following the directions attached to the copper still.
- You may want to invest in a copper still if you plan to make moonshine mash, and other home alcoholic beverages, often.
- A copper still can range in price from $900-$1,300 USD.
- Use a pressure cooker and a copper pipe as a makeshift still. Bring the mash to in the pressure cooker. Attach a coiled copper pipe to the vent of the pressure cooker with electrical tape. Run the copper coil through a bucket of cold water and put the end in a clean container. As the mash cooks, the vapors from the pressure cooker vent will run through the copper pipe and condense into moonshine. The moonshine will then move through the pipe into the clean container.
- This is a homemade approach to a copper still, so you may need to monitor it to ensure it works correctly. Check that the mash stays at a constant temperature so it can condense into moonshine.
- Allow the mash to cool. Once you have distilled the mash, let it come to room temperature. The mash should look like a clear liquid with impurities still floating in it.
- Filter the mash using cheesecloth and a strainer. Place a large plastic strainer over a large soup pot. Then, drape the cheesecloth over the strainer. Put a smaller strainer over the cheesecloth, holding it over the cheesecloth with your non-dominant hand. Hold a spoon with your dominant hand and scoop the mash into the smaller strainer. Lift the smaller strainer up to remove larger impurities, such as large pieces of cornmeal or fruit.
- You can then squeeze the cheesecloth to remove any smaller impurities from the mash. The cheesecloth should get rid of the stuff sitting on the surface of the mash, or the head, so the mash runs clear.
- Repeat this process until you have strained out all the mash. It should appear clear and clean in the soup pot.
- Throw away the impurities once you have strained them out of the mash.
- Store the moonshine mash in airtight glass jars. Make sure the glass jars are sterile and clean. Keep them in a cool, dark place, sealed tight. You can then sip moonshine mash on its own or add it to cocktails and other drinks.
- Moonshine mash should last for at least 6 months-1 year, if stored properly.
- Making moonshine with a home still can put you at risk of bacterial contamination and alcohol poisoning. Proceed at your own risk.
- Producing mash for alcoholic spirits or moonshine, either for private consumption or sale, is illegal in the United States and many other countries without proper licensing and permits.
EditThings You’ll Need
- stainless steel pot
- Stove top or outdoor stove
- Liquid thermometer
- Long-handled wooden or metal spoon
- A pressure cooker
- A coiled copper pipe
- Electrical tape
- A copper still