How To Make Whiskey At Home
Have you ever wondered how you can make your own alcohol at home? It’s possible, its fun, and it’s easy. This isn’t bathtub gin we’re talking about here; click to check out how to make whiskey at home, from getting the right equipment to following tried and true recipes.
Attention all whiskey drinkers!
Have you ever wondered how you can make your own whiskey at home?
While the thought of homemade whiskey may seem daunting at first, we’re here to tell you that it’s possible, it’s fun and it’s actually pretty easy. And, hey, you might even find that you save some money! With a few key instruments and ingredients on hand, you can become the next DIY whiskey maker.
If you’re interested in learning how to make whiskey in just four simple steps, you’re going to want to keep reading.
First things first, we’re going to list the instruments and ingredients needed for homemade whiskey:
- 4.5 kg of whole untreated kernel corn
- 5 gallons of water
- Approximately 1 cup of champagne yeast
- 1 large burlap sack
- 1 pillowcase
- Pot still
- Condensing tube
- Large container
- Proof and tralle hydrometer
Now that you have your ingredients on hand, let’s move onto the fun stuff!
1. Sprouting the Corn
The first part of the process involves soaking the corn in warm water.
Simply place the 4.5 kg portion of corn in the burlap sack. Next, place the burlap sack into a large container and soak the sack with warm water.
Ensure the corn is totally saturated with water. This process is called “sprouting the corn” and eliminates the necessity to add sugar to the mixture.
The next step is where your patience just might be put to the test. Allow the corn to sprout for eight to ten days.
For storage, keep the bag in a warm, dark environment such as a basement. During this process, the temperature of the corn should be between 62 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
From here, simply remove the sprouted ends from the corn and rinse the corn in a bucket of water. Discard the sprouts and remove the corn.
Next, you’re going to need to crush the kernels. This can be done with a muddler or a rolling pin. Continue doing so until all of the kernels have been broken apart. Lastly, add 5 gallons of boiling hot water to the corn mash.
2. The Process of Fermentation
We’re now beginning the process of fermentation!
To begin this next step, the mash needs to cool down to a temperature of 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Achieving this temperature is significant, so be sure to use a thermometer to reach this exact degree.
Slowly but surely, add the yeast at an angle to the mash and close the lid on the fermenter.
Next, it’s essential to vent the fermenter with an airlock. This is an essential tool in the fermentation process and is inexpensive to purchase. It ensures that no air is entering the mash and therefore not affecting the yeast.
The next fermentation process is likely to take anywhere from five to ten days. Be sure the fermentation is taking place in a somewhat warm environment. For example, if the weather is cold and your garage is not heated, you should do this somewhere else. Instead, consider a basement.
Use a hydrometer to dictate when this fermentation is finished. This is usually signified by a reading on the hydrometer that’s the same number for two or three consecutive days.
Once this mash has completed the fermenting stage, it’s time to strain the mash into a still. A clean pillowcase can be used for the straining.
3. Let The Distillation Begin
Now we’re moving onto distillation!
This is where your pot still comes into play. Begin by heating the mash in the still slowly until reaching a boil.
This is best achieved slowly, so don’t rush to the boiling point. A mash that’s heated too quickly might burn and all of your hard work could be lost.
Turn on your condensing tube once the mash reaches 120-140 degrees Fahrenheit. Soon you’ll begin to notice that the condensing tube is spitting out a liquid.
To begin, you’re going to be dealing with a condensed liquid referred to as “heads.” These heads are a mixture of compounds that evaporate from the mash and are not safe for consumption. That being said, prepare to discard the first 50 to 100ml of the liquid.
Once the heads are collected, you can move on the collecting the goods! And, once the thermometer on the condensing tube reaches 175 degrees Fahrenheit, this is when the real prize starts to pour out.
Continue collecting until the temperature reaches 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Once you reach this temperature, stop collecting the liquid. Turn off the heat and allow the pot and the distilled liquid to cool.
4. Diluting and Aging
In our humble opinion, this is the most fun part of the entire process!
Start by using a proof and tralle hydrometer to test the alcohol by volume. At this point, the product is technically considered a moonshine. Keep in mind the reading of the proof will always be two times the amount of the tralle.
Now comes aging the whiskey. Whiskey is best aged in a barrel, as it gives it a smooth and distinctive taste. Different barrels offer different tastes and it can be a fun process to decide which type of barrel you’d like to age your whiskey in. Learn more about the different barrel options and overall process here!
Once the whiskey is aged, be sure to dilute it before bottling and consumption. At this point, the alcohol volume is so strong (potentially nearing 80%) and needs to be diluted to around 40%.
This will allow for a much more enjoyable drinking experience!
And, at last, it’s time to bottle and enjoy your long-awaited homemade whiskey! Time to give yourself a much-deserved pat on the back and label the date in which you completed the whiskey process.
Remember to enjoy responsibly!
How to Make Whiskey? No Problem!
Are you ready to become a true craftsman of high-quality spirits? With our simplified guide, there’s nothing standing between you and your first batch of whiskey!
While the process may seem intimidating at first, our four steps outlining how to make whiskey make the process simple from start to finish.
Making your own whiskey is not just a fun project, but a DIY you can actually be proud of and share with friends and family privately for years to come.
If you’ve finished your first homemade whiskey project and are looking for your next DIY, don’t forget to visit our blog for more fun ideas!