Get Started on Your Moonshine Journey with the Perfect Sugar Wash

Sugar shine is one of the most popular recipes for first-time shiners. The reason for this is simple: you can make moonshine without a large investment in ingredients. 




Of course, sugar shine will not yield the same results as its grain-based counterparts. The reason is simple. Regular sugar cannot hold a candle to converted grain. 

Do I need a Sugar Wash Calculator?

Making sugar wash may not be an expensive endeavor, but it is one that involves a great deal of time. If you are planning to invest a week or more into fermenting your shine, you should at least make sure that you have the right ratios. 



Learning how to moonshine properly and with great results doesn’t just happen. It takes time and skill. Fortunately, those who want great results with less effort, we have created a cheat sheet. 



Making sugar shine is simple and fun when you have someone else do all the complicated calculations for you. There is no shame in letting someone else doing the heavy lifting for you when you can use our simple sugar wash calculator. 

How Does it Work?

Simply input the unit of measurement you want to use and your desired first gravity and we will let you know how much water and sugar are needed to get your desired results. 

How to Distill Moonshine at Home

While getting the right recipe is a great first start, there is more to making moonshine than simply having the right amount of ingredients. 

One of the reasons that so many people start with a sugar shine is the fact that it essentially skips a step in the moonshine process. 

Grain-based moonshine recipes require you to convert the grain from a starch into a fermentable sugar. This is done by heating up the grain at a certain temperature for a certain period of time. 

With this step, it is important to ensure that your grains have been converted. There are several ways to do this, however, the simplest one is through an iodine test. 



Of course, by making sugar shine you get to skip this entire step. Instead of cooking and converting grains to prepare your mash, all you need to do is dissolve your sugar. In comparison to making a grain based mash, a sugar shine mash is simple and quick. 

Our sugar shine calculator is not the only tool we offer to help you in your moonshine journey. We have a wide array of tools to help make the process as simple as possible. 

Get a FREE Ebook!


At How to Moonshine, we want to make the process of making your own spirits as simple and fun as possible. That is why we offer a free How to Make Moonshine Ebook. 

Our Ebook will take you through the moonshine process step by step. From making your first mash, fermenting, and doing your first run. 

In addition, the ebook also includes many easy to follow recipes that are perfect for those new to moonshining. 

Why Make Sugar Shine?

While making a sugar shine may be the simplest mash recipe, it also yields a much lower ABV.

Moonshine is known for its high alcohol content, but sugar shine is much more comparable to a regular spirit that you would buy in a store. 

So you may wonder why anyone would ever bother to make sugar shine. Well, by producing a neutral spirit using nothing more than sugar, water and yeast you can get a very inexpensive replacement for many of the contents in your liquor cabinets. 

The reason for this is because neutral spirits, like sugar shine, are very easy to flavor. We have a wide array of flavored sugar shine recipes that can turn sugar, water and yeast to a great replacement for almost everything in your liquor cabinet. 



Making Your First Mash



Making your first mash doesn’t require a lot of heavy lifting. If you have ever made a simple syrup you are already half-way there. 

The most important thing to remember when making your first sugar shine mash is to ensure that you are using healthy yeast. One of the best ways to do that and give your yeast a ‘head start’ is to make a yeast starter. 


The second thing that is important to remember is that you need to wait until your mash has cooled before you add the yeast or yeast starter. It is important to wait until your mash is room temperature or 70°F before you add your yeast. 

Fermenting the Right Way

Fermentation is the second step and arguably the easiest. That is because this step is almost entirely hands-off. 

Instead of the many steps associated with making a mash and running your still, fermentation is nothing more than a whole lot of time. 

So while you are doing nothing but wait, a lot is going on in the fermentation bucket. During fermentation molecules are broken down without requiring oxygen. During moonshine fermentation, one glucose molecule is broken down to two ethanol molecules and three carbon dioxide molecules. 

In simple terms, your mash is being turned into a mixture of ethanol and water. When you distill your mash, you are removing the water from the ethanol. 

How Do I Know When Fermentation is Complete?

As fermentation takes place in an airtight vessel one would imagine it would be difficult to know how the process is going and especially, when the process is complete. 

That is just one of the reasons that your fermentation vessel needs to have an airlock. The primary reason for an airlock is to allow carbon dioxide to escape so there is not a potentially dangerous build-up. 

The secondary reason is to allow you a glimpse into what is going on in your still. When there are bubbles moving through your air still you know that fermentation is occurring. When the bubbles stop, you are likely ready to distill.