How To Moonshine

Fermenting &
Distilling Basics
Making Equipment
How to Make Moonshine Using Sugar How to Make Moonshine Using Grain Moonshine Recipes

Jugs, Buckets and Spoons

Jugs of MoonshineI find that one of the hardest parts of describing how to make moonshine is suggesting the additional containers, spoons, buckets, tubs, bottles and whatnot that would be moonshiners will need in their moonshine making efforts. The reason for this is that everyone works differently and there is no set way that things should be done. Tasks such as transferring or storing water, stirring mashes, what containers are best to catch the stills output and other duties are things that are very much up to the individual. As long as its done right or effectively its very much up to you as to how you work.

Some things are better than others for a given task and it is with this in mind that I would like to make some suggestions based on what I use and my methods of working. All you need to keep in mind is that any plastics that are exposed to your spirit or other liquids that contain alcohol (like a fermented wash) should be food grade high density plastic or PET plastic as this will not be eaten away by the ethanol. We dont want your whiskey to be a single malt poison after all, do we? Well, maybe for the in-laws perhaps.

For stirring hot mashes and general agitation duties you cant go past a plastic brewers spoon with a long handle. A handle around 50-60cm (say 2 feet or so) will allow you to get right to the bottom of your mash tun and stir up those half mashed grains just nicely. There are also stirrers you can buy from homebrew suppliers that look a little like fly swatters that work really well too!

Buckets, buckets and more buckets. Well maybe not dozens but buckets are really handy things to have and as Im always dabbling in something or other to pickle my liver I find around 5-6 cheap plastic household buckets to be just the ticket. They will do well in many different tasks from transferring and storing water to soaking cracked corn in prior to gelatinization. My local tap water is chlorinated by gas (as opposed to chloromine) and if I sit it for 24 hours or so in buckets the chlorine gas dissipates and I am left with some lovely fresh water ready for use. Theres three buckets in use right there prior to doing a mash.

Glass demijohns like the ones pictured are invaluable. They are easy to clean and are used for storing spirit and also collecting the output of the still. I also use some much cheaper PET plastic demijohns and jugs when aging spirit as they are quite suitable for short to mid term storage of moonshine prior to bottling. PET plastic is not useful for collecting your stills output though as PET does not respond well to heat.

Glass jam, pickle jars and small beer bottles are handy when making cuts to seperate the foreshots, heads and tails. The heart of the run which is mostly ethanol can go straight into a glass demijohn but the stuff that I want to keep seperate and blend in carefully is best kept in small containers. Clear jars are just the ticket.

In closing I might add that a small selection of high density plastic funnels in varying sizes can come in very handy at times. If it can be used for petrol or solvents its suitable for use with your moonshine.