How to Make Moonshine
Grocery list: what you’ll need for a 10 gallon recipe
This recipe is completely scalable. If you want to make 5 or 20 gallons, simply half or double the recipe.
- 1 Can (12oz) Tomato Paste, (not sauce)
- 1 Lemon (large, or three small)
- 2.5lbs Potatoes (any kind will work, just grab a cheap 5# bag and use half)
- 20lbs White sugar
- 2 Tablespoons of baker’s yeast (Fleischmann’s or Red Star, buy the 4oz bottle instead of the packets to save money. Also, choose highly active if you have a choice)
- 10gal Fermenter, this is what will hold your mash for 1-2 weeks while it ferments. There are several options available here. One: Brute trashcans are made of food-grade plastic and make great fermenters. Two: Local donut shops typically give away or sell their old filling buckets; these are also food grade and extremely cheap, try to get them in 5 gallon sizes. Three: Buy new 5 gallon plastic paint buckets from a local hardware store for $5-$6. *Note:* when making a 10 gallon mash, mixing is much easier in a container that can hold all 10 gallons, however, lifting and moving it becomes a monumental task. Two 5 gallon buckets are much easier to move alone, but a bit harder to mix.
Making the mash:
- Boil approximately 2.5lbs of potatoes, then mash completely. Making them runny is preferred because they will mix easier.
- Fill the fermenter half way with hot water, any water you can drink is fine for this recipe, including tap.
- Mix 20lbs sugar into hot water. Stir until completely dissolved.
- Mix mashed potatoes in. Stir until completely dissolved.
- Mix 12oz tomato paste in. Stir until completely dissolved.
- Juice one large lemon, add juice to fermenter mix.
- Top up to 9 gallons with water. Alternate between hot and cold to reach a target temperature of 27°C (80°F) (70-90°F is fine, but do not go over 95°F or you may kill your yeast)
- Once at target temperature add 1oz (2 tablespoons) of yeast. Stir until completely dissolved.
- Place lid loosely on fermenter. You want to allow carbon dioxide gas to easily escape, but keep bugs from getting in.
- Set out of direct sunlight and maintain temperature between 21-27°C (70-80°F)
- Mash should begin to fizz or bubble within the first 24-48 hours.
- Check daily until either all activity in the mash stops or the mash has been fermenting for two full weeks.
- Distill promptly (within 3 days).