10 Gallon Moonshine Mash Recipe

10 Gallon Moonshine Mash Recipe

If you are gonna do it, you might as well do it all the way. So if you want to make moonshine, you might as well make enough for everyone to have a sip. Check out our 10 gallon moonshine mash recipe. 


What is Moonshine? 

 

what is moonshine?

 

 

Many know moonshine as a strong grain alcohol with a strong kick and burn. However, they may also think of moonshine as poor tasting, dangerous and illicit. 


Today’s moonshine is none of those things. Modern moonshiners are dedicated to using only the best quality craft stills with high standards for cleanliness and quality. 


Moonshining is also a learned skill where there are steps to take to keep this hobby as safe as possible. By adhering to a few simple guidelines you can make running a still much safer and easier. 


Check out Is it Safe to Make Moonshine? For more information. 


Finally, the legality of moonshine is still largely dependent on where you live. In the United States, it is not illegal to own a still if it is only being used to distill water or make essential oils. In addition, many states offer a fuel alcohol permit to allow you to produce alcohol in your still in order to run a gas powered lawn mower. 


Of course, there are also many areas in the world where distilling is completely legal. Keep in mind, making your own beer or wine used to also be illegal in the United States; so change could be on the horizon. 


Check out Is Moonshine Illegal? For more information. 


How Much Moonshine Will I Get for 10 Gallons of Mash? 

 

10 gallon moonshine mash

 

Of course, making a large mash is only worth it if you get a large return right? So it makes sense to know what to expect out of a run before you start. 


The amount of alcohol to expect from a run will depend on the starting alcohol and the final proof. The amount of starting alcohol will depend on the amount of fermentable sugar in the mash, or the amount of added sugar, and the yeast. 


The starting alcohol is commonly known as the alcohol by volume or ABV. This is simply a measurement of the amount of alcohol in your mash. If your starting alcohol was 10% you could expect 1 gallon of alcohol from a 10 gallon run. Of course, this is far from ideal, so we take steps to ensure our runs are well worth our effort. 


Fermentable Sugar

 

fermentable sugar

 

Fermentable sugar is the sugar available in your mash to be converted into alcohol by the yeast. Too little sugar and you won’t get a good result. The amount of sugar necessary for your mash will depend on the recipe used and the amounts of the ingredients. Using the right type of yeast for your recipe is also important. 


How Much Sugar do you Put into One Gallon of Mash


The amount of sugar used in moonshine mash will vary from recipe to recipe. This is because it also depends on the amount of natural sugars and starches present in your recipe. 


If you are making a sugar shine, a one gallon recipe will use 5 cups of sugar and 13 cups of water. 


Can You Use Bread Yeast for Moonshine? 

 

fermentable yeast

 

In many cases simple bread yeast is a fine option as an ingredient in moonshine. However, it often will only produce a starting alcohol of 10%. This is often because distillers yeast has been bred to survive in higher concentrations of ambient alcohol. So while bread yeast may die off, distiller’s yeast will continue to thrive. This can result in a starting alcohol of up to 20%. 


While using distillers yeast may seem like a no-brainer, there are some drawbacks. Distillers yeast can come with added nutritional ingredients included. While these may be helpful to your yeast, many complain that they ruin the taste of the final result. 

 


In fact, many traditional moonshiners do not use commercial yeast at all. After all, commercially made yeast was not available when many started moonshining generations ago. Purists like to make their moonshine without yeast in order to keep the taste pure. 



How Much Moonshine Do You Throw Away?

 

 

So you are making a 10 gallon moonshine mash recipe so you should get up to 4 gallons of moonshine right? Well, not exactly. 


When you are fermenting a grain alcohol, you need to separate the ‘good stuff’ which is ethanol, from the ‘bad stuff’ which can include yucky stuff like acetone and methanol. 


To remove the yucky stuff from your final product, you need to do what is known as cuts and fractions. This is a method of separating what comes out of your still based on temperature (and for more seasoned shiners smell and taste). 

 

 

In order to collect these fractions we recommend using different glass vessels. Mason jars work well. 



 Your run can be broken down into the following fractions:

 

  • Foreshots 
  • Heads
  • Hearts 
  • Tails

 

Temperature plays an important role in fractioning as different elements vaporize at different temperatures. Naturally, keeping a steady temperature and monitoring temperature closely is essential in fractionating.

 

Output 

Temperature 

Fraction

Keep or Toss?

Acetone

134°F or 56.5°C

Foreshots

TOSS

Methanol

147°F or 64°C

Heads

TOSS

Ethyl Acetate 

171°F or 77.1°C

Heads

Keep for a second distillation or toss

Ethanol

172°F or 78°C

HEARTS

KEEP

2-Propanol

207°F or 82°C

Tails

Keep for a second distillation or toss

1-Propanol 

207°F or 97°C

Tails

Keep for a second distillation or toss

Water

212°F or 100°C

Tails

Keep for a second distillation or toss

Butanol 

241°F 116°C

Tails

Keep for a second distillation or toss

Amyl alcohol

280°F or 137.8°F

Tails

Keep for a second distillation or toss

Furfural

322°F or 161°C

Tails

Keep for a second distillation or toss

 

Moonshine Cheat Sheet

 

moonshine

 

While there are many factors that will affect your final outcome, in general, here is what to expect in return for your runs. 


  • A 1 gallon run will yield 3-6 cups of alcohol
  • A 5 gallon run will yield 1-2 gallons of alcohol
  • A 8 gallon run will yield 1.5-3 gallons of alcohol
  • A 10 gallon run will yield 2-4 gallons of alcohol

Can moonshine mash ferment too long? 

 

 

Generally speaking, you can allow moonshine to ferment for a while and you don’t have to worry as long as it is in an airtight container. However, if you are fermenting a fruit mash, you can run into the risk of your mash turning into vinegar. 

In most cases, fermentation only takes about two weeks. You will know when fermentation is complete when you see no activity in your airlock for about two days.

 

 

Using a Hydrometer to Check for Fermentation

 

 hydrometer

 

You can also check if fermentation is complete using a Hydrometer. Using a hydrometer is simple and it can tell you exactly what you need to know to get started with the distillation process. 

 

HOW TO USE YOUR HYDROMETER

 Using a hydrometer may seem intimidating but it is actually pretty straightforward. 

  1. Fill the hydrometer ⅔ of the way full. 
  2. Gently add your hydrometer and roll the hydrometer slowly in your hands to remove any bubbles. 
  3. When the hydrometer falls, take the reading. If your reading is 1.000 your mash is ready to distill. 
  4. If the reading is 1.020 or above, you still need to ferment for a day or two. If your reading is above 1.020 but has not changed in the last three days, your fermentation is complete.
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