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Using grain as the main ingredient in distilling moonshine can be a lot more complicated and trickier compared to using sugar as the base for the wash due to the additional steps needed in order to complete fermentation. This is due to the fact that grains contain great amount of starches that should be converted to sugars that are ready for fermentation. This process is referred to as saccharification and this is very essential before you subject your wash to the fermentation process that must be observed with outmost care or else you will not be able to achieve a wash that was able to yield a significant amount of alcohol. The entire process of converting the starch into fermentable sugars can be found in the Fermenting and Distilling Basics if this website that tackles on Preparing a Grain Wash page. Reading this section will help you understand the basics of preparing a grain wash by focusing on the importance of mashing and how it should be done.
The area of Distilling Moonshine can direct you to the step by step process on how to ferment, mass as well as distill bourbon. With this, it is highly important to take note of the initial step which is gelatinizing the grains like rye, barley, wheat as well as corn which has a high gelatinization temperature. Yet, this step is optional and need to be done only if it is required. One instance where gelatinization is not needed is when you are creating a malted barley whiskey. This is because the enzymes that are present in malted barley can be deactivated by high temperatures. If this happens, your whiskey will be a big flop because the enzyme needed to convert the starch to sugar will become inactive. If you will take a look at the moonshine recipes section, you will be able to see which grains are required to undergo the gelatinization process before it can be mashed. But as a general rule, you must never add the malted seeds to the mash in case the mash temperature is over 67 degrees Celsius or 143 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a classic bourbon recipe, the ingredients are readily available and can be easily purchased in any store. Or just in case, you can go to home brewer shop and expect to find all of the essential ingredients in making bourbon. In order to create this spirit, you will need the following:
· 4 kilograms cracked corn
· 2 kilograms cracked and malted barley
· 1 kilogram cracked rye (malted or not malted )
· 20 liters plain water
Basically, rye and barley can be bought easily and these are very affordable. For one stop shopping, you can visit your home brew supplier and see what grains are available for you to purchase. But most likely, you will find everything that you need here. In making beer, barley is a requirement while rye is sometimes required in some kinds of beer. If you are in need of cracked corn, you can go ahead and check at pet food stores suppliers. But then, you have to ascertain that the cracked corn you are buying has not been exposed to anti-fungal agents because this can have negative effects on the flavor of your bourbon. Aside from that, it can become contaminated and not fit for human consumption.
More than that, your water should also be clean and safe for drinking and as much as possible free from chemicals like fluoride and chlorine. In fact, you may also run the water that you will use through the stills in order to make it pure as possible. You also have the choice to purchase bottled mineral water from any local store for more convenience. You must know that the taste of the spirit greatly depends on the type of ingredients that you are using. For instance, scotch can contain a distinct flavor due to the spring water as well as the peat malted barley that are imported from Scotland being used to make this product. But then, this can be quite impossible if you are not from Scotland or you are located far away from this land so why not create your own unique blend?
Learning how to make spirits from grain washes can be a little bit difficult than using sugar washes which is why you need to learn each step very carefully before you get started. You have to take note of all the equipments and processes needed and make sure to step back in case that you forgot something. Also, it is recommended to try preparing sugar wash before proceeding to using grain washes so that it can be easier. If you do not succeed at first trial, you do not have to despair because not all gets it perfectly the first time around. It takes a lot of time and practice in order to learn this step completely.