Yeast in Moonshine: a Complete Guide for Moonshiners
When it comes to moonshine ingredients, yeast is one of the most important. However, those new to shining face a lot of confusion of what type to use and even what amount. Check out our complete guide on everything related to using yeast in moonshine.
Yeast is arguably the most important ingredient in your mash. While it only amounts to a tablespoon or two, it does all of the heavy lifting during the fermentation process.
Many people who are new to the craft of moonshine have a lot of questions around yeast. After all, many of the recipes available online gloss around the subject-yet it is of the utmost importance.
One of the reasons that most recipes do not specify the amount of yeast to use is that it will often vary depending on the type used. Of course to someone new to moonshining who is trying to gather their ingredients for their first mash this can be very frustrating.
Knowing how much yeast to buy is only half the battle. There is also the very important question of what type of yeast to buy. Of course, this can come down to personal preference. There are many different types of yeast available that will work-even the bread yeast you probably have in your cupboard!
Types of Yeast to Use in Moonshine
Beer/Champagne Yeast: This type of yeast is usually packaged so that one packet is used for 5 gallons of mash. Unless otherwise written on the directions, use one package for 5 gallons of mash.
Distillers Yeast: If you are using distillers yeast it is important to first refer to the directions on the package. If there are no directions available, use 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons of mash.
Bread Yeast: Bread yeast is readily available, inexpensive and works well. Bread yeast can be purchased in individual packets or in bulk. You can use one tablespoon of yeast per 5 gallons of mash or follow the directions below to make a yeast starter.
How to Make a Yeast Starter
Making a yeast starter is a great idea. It is one small extra step that can make a big difference to your end results.
By making a yeast starter you are adding healthy yeast cells to your mash. It is a great way to ensure an accelerated fermentation and to ward off the growth of wild bacteria which can alter the final taste of your moonshine.
If you have ever baked a loaf of bread you will have an advantage for this step since you have already made a yeast starter. The process is pretty much identical for making a yeast starter for your mash. In fact, you can even use bread yeast!
Yeast Starter Recipe
This is a great way to start your moonshine mash with healthy yeast!
Heat water to 110°F and add to a sterilized jar
Add your sugar to the water and mix thoroughly
Add both packets of yeast
Swirl the jar to mix the ingredients thoroughly.
Place plastic wrap over the top.
Let the jar sit for 20 minutes (or until your yeast has doubled in size.)
Add to your mash and aerate.