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Sour Mash Whiskey Recipe

As you already know, I'm really interested in home distilling so if you have any recipes you want to share please send me an email at  Here is a Sour Mash recipe I just received. Looking forward to give it a try. 

7 lb cracked corn

10 lb cane sugar (only for first batch)

2 lb malted brewer’s barley

1 lb rye

5 gal water

Turbo yeast

Mix cracked corn and sugar with water and bring to 150°F for about 2-3 hours. Stir regularly; I use an apple butter paddle made from white oak and protected with walnut oil. The corn will swell and take up a lot of the water, so add more if needed to prevent scorching. Crack malted barley and rye. Stop the heat and add the mix to the mash. Stir in real well. The malted barley will convert the starch in the corn to sugar and the rye cuts the harsh aftertaste of the finished product. The cane sugar is only to help boost the alcohol content and keep the results consistent from the very beginning.

Once the temperature has dropped from 150°F to about 120°F, transfer to a 6 gallon fermenting bucket. Add enough water to bring the level up to the full mark and stir well.

Once the temperature has dropped below 100°F, you can pitch the turbo yeast. Your SG should be about 1.10. Don’t worry, it will actually climb as the malt does its job. Let the fermenting begin. Keep the fermentation about 70°F or better to move things along and it should take about 10-14 days to finish.

Once it has finished, take your FG. You should see about 0.98 which gives you about (1.10 – 0.98) x 129 = 15% ABV or about three quarts of product for your first run. Remove the wort and put it into your fermentation vessel.

Remove half the grain and replace it with fresh new 7:2:1 ratio. Do not heat it! Cover just to the top with fresh water, and mix together well, cover, and set to the side.

Distill your first batch and set to the side. Have you ever noticed there are three “Xs” on the old moonshine jugs? That is because they have been triple distilled for purity and proof.  

Preserve the leftover wort. Let it cool to under 100°F and add back to your fermenting bucket until you are back to the full mark. You do not need to add sugar or yeast, everything should be fine.

Keep up this process of fermenting, replacing half of the mash with fresh, and using the spent wort to refill the fermenter. Your wort will develop into the perfect pH to suit your yeast, it will even smell kind of like sourdough bread, and you will get more consistent results with finer product.

Give it a try, I think you will like it.

Posted by Jason Stone on

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  • I’m not sure why you wouldn’t add at least 7 lbs of sugar to your subsequent mashes to keep up the volume of alcohol. Uncle Jesse’s Simple Sour Mash does and I plan to treat this mash the same way. I made it yesterday and today it’s percolating very well. Can’t wait to see how it does.

    Karl on

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