How to make Whiskey at home
I do apologise for putting such a large picture of this still on this page, but I thought the picture was such a good one that it was worth doing it.
The following is my guide on how to make Whiskey at home.
- Check that its legal to distil in your country (it is often not!)
- Make sure you clearly understand what you're doing
- Make or buy a decent still. Only use a POT still if you intend on making whiskey/schnapps etc (ie flavoured by the mash). Use a REFLUX or FRACTIONATING still to make neutral (tasteless) alcohol to flavour up later
- To prepare 18-20 L of wash for use ....
: Heat 4 kg cracked or crushed malt with 18 L of water to 63-65oC, and hold there for 1-1.5 hours. Heat to 73-75oC, then strain off and keep liquid, using 250 mL of hot water to rinse the grains (should have an initial specific gravity of 1.050).
- Cool the wash to below 30oC, then add hydrated yeast.
- Ferment the wash at a constant 25oC until airlock stops bubbling.
- Let settle for a day, then syphon carefully into the still.
I think that if you really want to investigate and learn more about how to make Whiskey at home the following page is well worth a visit and acts as a valuable resource.
My suggestion is keep reading as much as you can. The more preperation and planning you do, the more likely you are to finally produce a top quality spirit.
- Bring up to boiling temperature (start the cooling water through the condensors once you get to about 50-60oC), then once it has started distilling;
Turn off the power, then the cooling water. Open the lid, so that it doesn't create a vacuum inside the still & crush it. Wash up the still, dry it well, and then store/hide the pieces. If you've made a neutral spirit, dilute it down to 30-50 % purity, then soak it with carbon for a week or two to help clean up any flavours still present. Dilute it down to drinking strength (20-40%), then age and flavour the spirit, using either commercial essences, oak chips, fruits.
- Discard the first 50 mL's (this may contain some methanol),
- Collect the next 2-3L of distillate.
- Segregate the distillate into 500 mL containers as you collect it.
- Stop distilling once the temperature gets to 96oC (else the flavours get nasty).
- Set aside any distillate which smells of tails/fusels. This can be added to the wash of the next run, and cleaned up then.
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How to make Whiskey at home research
An introduction to Whiskey making
Make whiskey at home
Make a moonshine still at home
All about Whiskey stills
Whiskey barrells - Its the wood that gives it the character
Glossary of Whiskey terms