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Tony's Steps to Making Homemade Alcohol

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  1. Check that its legal to distil in your country (it probably ain't).
  2. Make sure you clearly understand what you're doing.
  3. Make or buy a decent still. Only use a POT still if you intend on making whiskey/schnapps etc (ie flavoured by the mash). Use a REFLUX or FRACTIONATING still to make neutral (tasteless) alcohol to flavour up later.
  4. To prepare 18-20 L of wash for use ....
    • Whiskey : Heat 4 kg cracked or crushed malt with 18 L of water to 63-65oC, and hold there for 1-1.5 hours. Heat to 73-75oC, then strain off and keep liquid, using 250 mL of hot water to rinse the grains (should have an initial specific gravity of 1.050).
    • Vodka : dissolve 5 kg of sugar & 60 g of nutrients in 20 L of water
    • Rum : as per vodka, but use some brown sugar or mollasses, to give an initial specific gravity (SG) of around 1.06 - 1.07.
  5. Cool the wash to below 30oC, then add hydrated yeast.
  6. Ferment the wash at a constant 25oC until airlock stops bubbling.
  7. Let settle for a day, then syphon carefully into the still.
  8. Bring up to boiling temperature (start the cooling water through the condensors once you get to about 50-60oC), then once it has started distilling;
    • Discard the first 50 mL's (this may contain some methanol),
    • Collect the next 2-3L of distillate.
    • Segregate the distillate into 500 mL containers as you collect it.
    • Stop distilling once the temperature gets to 96oC (else the flavours get nasty).
    • Set aside any distillate which smells of tails/fusels. This can be added to the wash of the next run, and cleaned up then.
  9. Turn off the power, then the cooling water. Open the lid, so that it doesn't create a vacuum inside the still & crush it. Wash up the still, dry it well, and then store/hide the pieces.
  10. If you've made a neutral spirit, dilute it down to 30-50 % purity, then soak it with carbon for a week or two to help clean up any flavours still present.
  11. Dilute it down to drinking strength (20-40%), then age and flavour the spirit, using either commercial essences, oak chips, fruits.
  12. Find a comfortable spot to sit, put on your music of choice, then sip & enjoy with the ones you love.
  13. If you have any questions, ask them on the Homedistiller Forums. This is a very active group of people, and questions are answered rapidly.


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