There are two kinds of washes that can be used in distilling moonshine, but the most convenient type to use if you are new in the process of making your own alcoholic beverage are sugar washes. This type of wash is easy to prepare and requires minimal effort to come up with good results. It is actually a sugar based wash so it means that is a mixture of plain water and raw or white sugar. Hence, this wash contains sugars that are ready for fermentation without the need for additional processes such as mating and mashing. This type of method is widely used by most home brewers due because it is easy to prepare and takes less time and effort.
Since sugar wash is widely used in distilling moonshine, you have to know the major fermentable sugars that can be used in brewing your own beverage at home. These sugars are glucose, maltose, sucrose and fructose that are accessible and can be fermented readily. The main kinds of sugars that are being used in the process are raw sugar, white sugar, castor sugar, and brown sugar. Among all these, raw sugar and white sugar are the most popular for home distillation due to the fact that it ferments very well aside from the fact that these are very affordable. Also, this type of wash produces a spirit that is almost pure, odorless and tasteless which makes it perfect to combine with spirit essences.
Other types of ingredients that can be used to come up with a sugar wash are molasses. It is actually a derivative of processing grapes, sugar beets or sugar cane into table sugar. This is the main ingredient that is used in making rum, but it is usually mixed with raw sugar despite the fact that it can be used alone in the fermentation process. The rationale behind this is that molasses have a very strong flavor so mixing it with raw sugar can make it suitable for use with essences. This type of wash must be distilled to pure alcohol in order to eliminate some of its strong flavors. Yet, molasses is most recommended in rum making and this can be purchased in many suppliers in rural areas in amounts of 20kg buckets.
Another key ingredient in making sugar wash is dextrose. It is an excellent kind of fermentable sugar that has become so popular over the years. It is widely available and can be bought at home brew suppliers in your locality. The only downside with this ingredient is that it is more expensive compared to other types of sugar such as white and raw sugar. But then, the cost is all worth it because many distillers tell that it is more ideal to use with spirit essences considering its taste and odor after fermentation and distillation.
Surprisingly, even fruits and vegetables [read this article] can be used to come up with a distilled alcoholic beverage. Example of natural food products that can be used are plums, apples, pears, berries, potatoes and many others. This is most perfect if they are in season because you will never have a hard time finding these. These food products contain sugar that is readily fermentable so it is very convenient to use.
Now, how are you going to prepare the sugar wash? In general, there are two ways on how you can prepare for a sugar wash. The first method is my making a true sugar wash and the other one involves the use of natural products such as fruits and vegetables. The first method involves the use of ingredients such as white sugar, raw sugar, brown sugar, castor sugar, dextrose and molasses. Ideally, if you would like to prepare a true wash, mixing 25 liters of water with 8kg of raw or white sugar will do. Once done with the mixture, yeast can be added in order to initiate the fermentation process. Usually, the fermentation process takes a week to complete. If you want to make it in small amounts, you can mix 3 liters of plain water to 1kgof any of these sugars and still come up with reliable results. Yet, it must be noted that good quality turbo or distillers yeast must be used because these types have high alcohol tolerance compared to ordinary varieties. Using excellent yeast variety will let you ferment your sugar wash and come up with the best outcomes such as alcohol strength of about 20%. If you cannot avail these kinds of yeasts in the market, what you can do is to modify your mixture into 4 liters of water to 1 kg of sugar. Also, you can make use of Lalvin or EC-1118 which is a type of winemaking yeast in the absence of turbo yeast. One variety you should avoid is baker’s yeast because it has the weakest alcohol tolerance.
Another way to come up with a sugar wash is to use natural products such as vegetables and fruits. In this method, you will need to use juice extractor; a blender or a cider press in order to extract the juice that has the sugar content. Packed juices can be used as long as it has no preservatives as they may destroy the yeast. So, if you are using this product, you have to make sure that you buy fruit juice and not fruit drink. The alcohol strength that you can obtain from these wash depends on the type of ingredient that you use. If you use apples, it is possible to obtain 5-7% alcohol strength. For better results, you can also add sugars such as white and raw sugar.