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The process of preparing the sugar wash is an essential aspect to learn to be able to make moonshine with desirable outcome. Basically, you will need to have a sugar wash that can be mixed straight into the fermenter so the first thing that you have to ensure is the sterility of your equipments such as the water containers, mixing spoon, airlock, fermenter’s lid and the fermenter itself. This can be accomplished by soaking all of these in a regular bleach preferably unscented mixed water in a rate of 1 cup per 60 liters of water. This should last for about 30 minutes. But if you are using a sterilizing compound bought from a home brewer supplier, following the dilution instruction on its packaging will be most helpful. Also, it will greatly contribute if you will take a wash as well in order to get rid of impurities in your body that may cause a negative outcome on your spirit.
In essence, appropriate hygiene is essential when creating moonshine because sanitation is very crucial in the fermentation process. This is due to the fact that this is the stage where your wash becomes attractive to bacteria and yeasts. Thus, contaminating your wash with impurities can create fee food that harmful organisms simply cannot ignore. With this, infection can result and this affects the taste of your final product. In some cases, the infection results to lower alcohol yield.
Fortunately, sugar wash is convenient to prepare because it can be prepared straight in the fermenter which is a plus point. So, once all your apparatus has been soaked in the sterilizing compound for a given period of time, you must wash if thoroughly with flowing water and let it dry for a few minutes. You must be mindful with these equipments and avoid putting it down in dirty and unsterilized areas because it can be easily infected. As much as possible, you can also sterilize a bucket or a small container where you can put small items such as airlocks, mixing spoons and fermentar taps so that you can protect it from dirty surfaces.
In order to save time, you can start preparing your wash while the rest of your tools are draining. You can boil at least 2 liters of water so that you can make the mixing of sugar into the water easier and more manageable. In essence, any amount that your kettle can accommodate is enough to create the mixture unless your water supply is so cold or it is winter season. Adding too much hot water can somewhat affect the temperature of your wash. It must be noted that the wash temperature must not exceed 25 degrees Celsius and if so, you need to have it cooled into acceptable temperature before adding the yeast. However, it is also important not to put in the yeast in the cold mixture. If the water is colder than 18 degrees Celsius, you should add hot water into the mixture in order to adjust the temperature closest to 25 degrees.
One good example of a very affordable sugar wash us the mixture of 8 kilograms raw or white sugar and 25 liters of plain water. The yeast should be of good quality such as turbo yeast which has a very high tolerance to alcohol. Good brands of turbo yeast include Still Spirits and Samuel Willards. In the absence of turbo yeast, all you have to do is to reduce the quantity of sugar you used in your wash. This will help you end up with a sugar wash that has 20% alcohol strength once all the sugars have undergone the fermentation process.
Once you are done with the measurements, all you have to do is to add the 2 liters of boiling water directly to the fermenter and then pour additional 2 liters tap water. After which, you can place your bags of sugar into the mixture and stir it after putting each bag. You may use 4 bags of 2kg raw sugar or ingredient of your choice. If you follow this recipe, you will observe that the wash will be a little bit thick once you have poured in the last bag of sugar. What you have to do nest is to fill the fermenter with water until it reached the 25 liter mark. You also have to stir it for 15 seconds just to make sure that everything is even.
If you want to experiment with this technique using different ingredients, you may also try molasses or brown sugar. These ingredients can be used to prepare sugar wash the same fashion with white or raw sugar. In some writings, boiling molasses is suggested in order to eradicate the wild yeast that may be present in the substance. Although the yeast is not active, this practice is highly recommended in order to avoid competition between the wild yeast and the turbo yeast. Also, diluting the mixture properly can help in eliminating the wild yeast so you have to make sure to dilute your molasses into hot water before pouring it in the mixture. Once all mixed up and the fermenter has been filled up to the 25 liter mark, you can now proceed with the fermentation process.