I'm having trouble

by Bryon
(Colorado)

I've tried making moonshine three times, all the same results.

I've let the mash ferment two week to one day, I've used cake yeast to beer yeast. It all looks the same has that stale beer smell. I've distilled it and the checked it with the hygrometer, the hygrometer says o% Alcohol.

I'm using 5 lb of sugar and I've used a pound of corn meal to a cup to nothing.

I've read some people are distilling their mash twice. I'm not sure that will work. SOMEONE PLEASE HELP!!!!

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You have the right ingredients for making shine, but there is no mention of whether you added any malt to your recipe. This is an important ingredient for making moonshine.

The traditional way of making malt for shine was to use sprouting corn. For full instructions you can see the article entitled A Complete Guide to Moonshine.

You need to have the right ratio of sugar to cornmeal. For every pound of cornmeal, use 2 pounds of sugar.

Make sure that your yeast is fresh, otherwise you will not get the fermentation process working properly.

All the best!

Regards
Kathryn
Countryfarm Lifestyles

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Oct 11, 2015
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using sugar ==> malting is not needed
by: Franklin

Yeast can directly convert the sugar so you don't need to malt. The cornmeal is frankly only there for flavor at that point.

Sugar + Water + oxygen + yeast = yeast culture grows, no alcohol created. This is step 1. You need your water to have oxygen so the yeast can quickly overcome everything else and produce a good culture. If you pour your water and stir in the sugar at a decent temp you should be fine here. Should bubble/foam/burp like CRAZY. Keep it around 75-85 degrees F (26-27 c).

Sugar + Water + yeast - oxygen = alcohol. This process takes more time. Should ferment like this for about 5-15 days depending on the yeast. Should bubble/foam/etc but not as aggressively. done when it's not bubbling much at all. Keep it around 75-85 degrees F (26-27 c).

Try starting with a pure sugar wash should be 10 lbs sugar for every 5 gallons water. I would start by using this mix (boil 2 gallons, add sugar and dissolve and add in your flavorings (corn meal - next time you make it we'll teach you how to convert the corn meal but this time k.i.s.s.), add 3-4 gallons water (by pouring it from a height so it splashes around and adds oxygen) and check your Specific Gravity (s.g.) which should be above 1.05 and temperature (about 80 degrees f) then toss in your yeast. Cover for a day, but be careful, it will boil over! Use a 6.5 or 8 gallon bucket. Check it and make sure the yeast is doing good, as long as it's strong leave it alone but if it's weak you may need to draw some off and pour it in to get the oxygen mixed in. Only do that once though! about 1 week later it should have a s.g. of < 1.025 depending on your yeast.

Distill when you're happy with your s.g. better flavors (imo) will be at higher s.g. but more alcohol will be at lower s.g.

Oct 12, 2013
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Amylase in moonshine
by: Anonymous

I convert the grain starch to sugar using something call amylase. It's a (cheap) enzyme that breaks down the complex starches into fermentable sugars.

Oct 11, 2013
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NO mention of yeast or malt
by: Anonymous

Remember to heat the water to 150 degrees as this is when the switch from starch to sugar takes place, one gallon of water to each # of sugar.

Too much sugar will "stick you fermentation. The malt becomes the yeast. Three times, please learn more and remember to throw out the first 10ml per gallon of water added.

DO NOT DRINK THIS!!!!! Put it in your camp lantern or BBQ. :-)

Apr 20, 2013
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Just a suggestion
by: Anonymous

Could it be that during the distillation process the alcohol vapour isn't being condensed? Your worm (copper coil) needs to be sat in really cold water you could even try adding ice

Mar 20, 2013
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I think you are using the hydrometer wrongly
by: Daddy d

Sounds like you are using the hydrometer wrongly.

You get a gravity reading at the START. It will be a big number.

AFTER it ferments you take a second reading and subtract it from the first.

I think you are making booze but don't know how to measure it.

Feb 21, 2013
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This might work for your moonshine
by: Anonymous

Are you heating your water before you add to corn meal?

It needs to be 150 to 175 degrees. Mix it well. The corn meal needs to cook before you add the sugar. After you cook your meal then add sugar. 1 lbs of sugar per gallon of mixture. Let cool to 110 to 115 degrees.

The yeast won't activate if it's too cold. If the water is too hot you will kill it. The whole mixture needs to be around 110 to 115 degrees when you add your yeast. This will activate the yeast.

Yeast is the key ingredient for the fermentation. You WILL NOT produce alcohol if this is done wrong.

Let it ferment in a warm place for 7 days. This is why it's done outside in the summer, it's warm. Plus the smell is pretty bad. Ratio: 5 lbs sugar 3 lbs cornmeal 4 to 5 gallons distilled water, 2 packs highly active bakers yeast.

Some say you need to create a vacuum seal others don't, I would. As the mash ferments you need to let the gasses escape. You can buy an air lock that does this. It's around $3.00 at specially home brew shops. There are plenty online.

When distilling separate the water from the mix, don't mix and don't use the meal that has settled on the bottom. It could scorch and make a bad batch.

Cook around 180 degrees with your coil condenser. The first stuff that comes out of the coil is BAD BAD stuff. IT CAN KILL.

Depending on how much you're distilling at the time will depend on how much of the first stuff you throw away. Some say you need to throw the tail away as well. The tail is the last of the alcohol you produce. Once again it will depend on how much you are distilling.

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