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.
The Best Type of Sugar for Making Sugar Shine
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 because it ferments very well and these sugars are very affordable. This type of wash also produces a spirit that is almost pure, odorless and tasteless which makes it perfect to combine with spirit essences.
Molasses Can Also Be Used To Make Sugar Shine
Other types of ingredients that can be used as a substitute for sugar are molasses. Molasses are 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 even though 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 to eliminate some of its strong flavors. Yet, molasses are most recommended in rum making and this can be purchased in many suppliers in rural areas in amounts of 20kg buckets.
Dextrose Can Also Be Used To Make Sugar Shine
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 brewing 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.
Fruits and Vegetables Can Also Contain Lots Of Sugar
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.
Choosing the Right Yeast For Your Sugar Shine
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 find 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.
How to Make Your Own Sugar Shine
In general, there are two ways on how you can prepare for a sugar shine.
The first method is by using processed sugar for making a true sugar wash and the other one involves the use of natural products such as fruits and vegetables.
To make your sugar shine, you will need a fermentation barrel. Fermentation barrels are easier to use than other devices because they are specially designed with a one-way-valve, they can be sealed tight with ease and many have a false bottom that keeps your foods from making contact with the barrel’s base.
If you are looking for a great moonshine still kit that you can use for making moonshine or for fermenting sugar shine then you should consider the 5 Gallon Stainless Steel Stovetop Moonshine Still Kit.
This 5 gallon still kit is ideal for making sugar shine but it can also be used to produce several different types of beverages.
To make sugar shine you only need the fermentation barrel but it is still better to buy the whole kit so you can take your sugar shine recipe through all the way to produce spirits.
The kit comes with a 5-gallon fermentation barrel that has a false bottom which keeps your products off the base to prevent them from settling and burning if heat is applied. A distillation tower is also added to the set along with a water pump that keeps this distillation tower nice and cool with a continuous supply of cold water.
The set is ideal for fermenting foods because it comes with thread seal tape, an airlock and silicone topper that keeps your liquid contained and pressurized during the fermentation process.
The kit is also very compact in design and it can be used on any type of stove including induction stoves which make the set ideal for any home or for anyone who would like to learn to make moonshine.
Main materials – 304 Food grade stainless steel
Size – 32 x 32 x 46cm (75cm assembly height)
Still type – Stovetop still with fermentation barrel and distillation tower
Barrel capacity – 5 gallons
Coil materials – Stainless steel
Suited for – Make moonshine as well as other types of alcoholic beverages
Included – Fermentation barrel with false bottom and distillation tower, water pump, filter bag, two 1.5m silicone tubes, 3-in-1 alcohol meter, thread seal tape, 250ml measuring cylinder, temperature sticker, and airlock and silicone stopper.
- The full kit contains everything you need to start making your own moonshine
- It can be used on all stove types including gas, induction and electric stoves
- The kit is ideal for making 3 – 4 liters of spirits at a time
- A false bottom in the fermentation barrel keeps products off the base
- The set comes with a 120V water pump that continuously add cold water to the distillation tower
- An alcohol meter is also included in the kit
- Quality stainless steel materials won’t fade or discolor over time
- The kit is available at an affordable price
- The distillation tower has stainless steel coils where copper would have been much better
How to Make Sugar Shine from Sugar
To make a sugar shine from sugar, you will need a processed sugar like white sugar, raw sugar, brown sugar, castor sugar, dextrose and molasses. Here is the recipe;
- 25l water
- 8kg raw or white sugar
To make a true wash, mix 25 liters of water with 8kg of raw or white. 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 1kg of any of these sugars and still come up with reliable results.
In the first hour of making your wash, you won’t notice much change in your mixture. But as yeast starts to grow, sugar will slowly grow, emit carbon dioxide and produce ethanol. It is best not to screw the lid on tightly during the first 60 minutes of making your wash. Once this time frame is complete, you can seal the pot for fermentation.
The fermentation process will be complete when you stop seeing a change in the rise or bubbling of your mixture because all sugar will be used up at this point and yeast can no longer continue to process.
How to Make Your Own Sugar Wash Using Fruits or Vegetables
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 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. If you are buying fruit juice, 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.
If you use a good fermentation barrel and use the right type of ingredients, you should now have a good quality sugar shine that you can use to make moonshine. If you feel that your sugar shine doesn’t have a pleasant aroma then you can always experiment with different types of sugars like the ones we mentioned in this guide.
The important thing is to keep trying until you have perfected your skills. Experience plays a huge role in the quality and taste of the products you can produce.
It is also important to keep learning about the best ways to make moonshine. You can do this by checking out some of our other articles where we offer the best advice on good quality moonshine making products to get as well as ‘how to’ guides where you can learn all there is to know about making your own moonshine.