How To Moonshine

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

Moonshine Recipes - How to Make Vodka

There seems to be some dispute over the history of vodka with both Russia and Poland laying claim to being the origin of this popular and enjoyable spirit. As both Poland and Russia produce many fine vodkas that are without doubt the best in the world we shall avoid the history of the spirit and focus our attention on how to make vodka.

Traditional vodka is produced using little or no filtration with the objective being to create a neutral tasting but not completely flavourless spirit by repeated distillation taking care to remove the foreshots, heads and tails so much of the flavour is reduced and the resulting spirit contains little more than ethanol and water. After being triple distilled the vodka will likely be in the region of 95% ethanol which is undesirable for the consumer and it is usually diluted with water back to around the 40% ABV mark.

Although vodka may be fermented and distilled from any material that contains starch or sugar traditional vodkas are produced from grains such as corn, rye, wheat or sorghum. Vodka made from rye and wheat are usually considered to be the most superior and I must concur as the best vodkas I have made at home have been made from both wheat and rye, with the wheat vodka being more suited to my personal tastes. Some vodkas are also produced from potatoes, sugar beets, rice, grapes, molasses and others. Some countries even used fermented table sugar to produce their vodka.

There seems to be a myth that perpetuates itself that vodka is made from potatoes and only potatoes and I have even seen web pages with high rankings in search engines that claim that making vodka from potatoes is as easy as boiling a few kilos of spuds, pitching the yeast and distilling the resulting wash. This is simply untrue. Potatoes are a fantastic source of starch but like all starches there must be a mashing stage and the starch must be converted to fermentable sugars before fermentation is possible. This can be achieved through the introduction of enzymes or alternately by adding a small amount of sulphuric acid into the gelatinized potato mash.

Learning how to make vodka using grains such as wheat and rye will provide you with a very acceptable finished spirit without having to handle highly corrosive liquids. Although potatoes are cheap and widely available they are not the only source of starch that can be used to make vodka.

Vodka is also a great starting point for those just learning how to make moonshine as it requires no real aging or flavouring to make a clear vodka and the vodka can be consumed as soon as it has been diluted after production. Mash it, ferment it, distill it three times, dilute it to 40% ABV and drink it. Its that simple.