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Moonshine Recipie for Australia

Rich Morgan

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We operate in Australia, and the recent US documentary 'Moonshiners' has just gone to air here. In the last 4 weeks since it commenced we have had dozens of calls regarding moonshine. We going to give a small batch a go, to see how its accepted. I know the basics, corn & sugar mash, can anyone give me some basic ratios, cook times etc. My biggest concern is the type and grade of corn used, Australia is not a major grower of corn, and what we do grow is for the table, which I understand is a different species to feed corn?

Any help appreciated.

(and yes we will be doing it legally :-)

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B) Amusing..........Be aware that the show was a setup 'documentary'. Postings on the web have law enforcement beeing more than a little upset that it portrays they allowed folks to be filmed and traffic in moonshine without hunting them down, especially the harley rider with a trailer load transporting across 6 states.

We all laughed a lot about that one. :lol:

If you want something real for your library track down the original uncut version of Popcorn's movie. I finally found it online from someone who converted the original VHS to digital. The tv documentary version was an hour, with commercials, etc. The original unedited version for sale by Popcorn himself is an hour and 45min long, no commercials and lots of 'spicey' words from the man himself.

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Sherman (pintoshine) is the master of corn whiskey. Do your research on his forum and read his posts and you'll have a head start at making a fine corn and/or sugarhead likker. He's offering a weekend crash course on his method in the states, it's listed right here on ADIForums.







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Don't worry about any specifics to make it able to be called "Moonshine", as term is only for illegal production, not any specific recipe. "Legal Moonshine" is a technical contradiction, even though it is starting to gain some traction in practice. That said, corn and sugar are the most commonly used ingreedients, probably a higher concentration of sugar due to cost.

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I was enthralled by the title of your post and saddened to see the content of it. When reading the title, I thought that maybe some Aussie was going to tell us in the north how moonshine is made down under.

Why try to duplicate what has already been done (and done, and done)...

Here's the moonshine recipe that EVERYONE uses (strangely enough, it is the same recipe that all distilled spirits made all over the world have traditionally used)

Step one: Find the cheapest local ingredient that can be converted into ethanol

Step two: convert it into ethanol

Step three: distill it!

And you're done. You just made distilled spirits, or moonshine, or hooch, or whatever the hell you want to call it, the same way that those people in France did with their trash grapes that couldn't be made into wine, those people in the US did with their trash corn that wasn't even good enough to eat, and those people in the UK did with their trash malt that wasn't suitable for beer. I could go on and on, about cane, agave, etc, but I think you get the idea.

What's your trash down under?


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I certainly did not mean to condescend, and I apologize if I came off as condescending. I was simply trying to make the point that a shiner in Virginia isn't going to make booze out of agave any more than a shiner in Chihuahua is going to make booze out of corn. After spending a day in the hot desert sun picking cactus blossoms for our gin, I felt like encouraging a fellow distiller to look around and see the bounty outside his back door. I'd be surprised if the best "moonshine" that Rich could make would be from feed corn imported from the US.

I was trying to encourage Rich to come up with his own recipe for "shine" using the same cheap, local ingredients that would be used by local shiners. but perhaps the marketability of a knock-off of what they make on this TV show is more appealing to his customers. I'm just making suggestions as to what I would personally find more interesting.

But I'm glad to see that you enjoyed the post, Dave. You never fail to disappoint with your vague and meaningless quips. It's nice to see that you're learning some multisyllabic words, too.


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I do like the idea you are proposing as the best one for our friend down under. After all it's an unaged whiskey they are after. I'm thinking Sugar beets for where I am headed.

I must add though, your really intelligent points are tainted by your insults. I am still swimming in the memory of that 18 year old Scotch at the Brown. Thanks again. That was awesome.


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That's a very good point. Sometimes I don't realize that I'm being as a dick, and sometimes I fully intend to be a dick. I need to work on the former, and quit the latter.


Remind me I owe you a nice scotch next time you see me. No hard feelings I hope.


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The Aussie folks simply want to capitalize on the marketing aspects of a silly (to us that distill) T.V. show. And Bravo to you! Your market would like to taste what they watching on the tube. Do it and make some money.

Here ya' go-

Per 50 gal drum-

25lbs corn cooked in a steam kettle till gooopy, mixing often with mixer on a power drill.

25 lbs of sugar, sugar dissolved in hot water.

Pour into 55 gal fermenter, mix well adding cool water till it gets to about 80 F,

Pitch your yeast, wait 3 to 5 days

And make a run.

Filter, bottle, sell for $25+ per 750 ml.

Personally I don't care what anyone thinks about this recipie, it works for me.

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In this country, most legal producers who make a product they call moonshine are making either vodka or corn whiskey, neither of which is what real moonshiners make. Real moonshiners, and a few of their legal imitators, make sugar jack, which is just dissolved sugar and bread yeast, fermented in the same pot in which it will be distilled. Some people here call it 'sugar shine.' Some moonshiners will throw in a can or two of creamed corn for flavor. Some will even open the cans. That's about all you need to know. If you've ever made rum, just follow the specs for that but use white table sugar instead of molasses.

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mmm, creamed corn.

Nick, I owe you a nice bowl of creamed corn when I see you.

Perhaps cowdery is referring to most modern moonshiners...? Moonshine in Hawaii has a long history also, historically with ti root, and also rice and pineapple. Sugar cane too, after that started growing here, but usually the juice.

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corn cooked in a steam kettle till gooopy... sugar dissolved in hot water....

Personally I don't care what anyone thinks about this recipie, it works for me.

I've heard of this recipe being used many times by shiners (and tasted some delectible results) but I've never understood the theory behind it. My training would lead me to believe that, due to a lack of enzymes, the corn portion of the recipe would ultimately end up being unfermentable. Perhaps the shiners are depending on a resident S. diastaticus infection in their equipment to break down the starches in the corn? Perhaps the corn is only meant to contribute flavor and not fermentable sugar? Perhaps the beano was left out of the recipe?

I can attest to the delicious results of this style of making shine, but I was wondering if any theoretically minded distillers out there have an explaination for me of what happens to the starch in the corn? Anyone ever gotten sound data on spirit yield per gallon of sugar and corn in such a recipe?


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It's a shortcut. It's a way to give soulless white sugarjack ferments a corn note to imitate a true corn fermentation. It doesn't ferment, so you can think of it like dropping juniper berries into your still when distilling gin. Some of the corn (notice it's creamed corn not whole corn, and is therefore processed) aroma and flavor will carry over. Not much, but likely enough to fool customers into thinking it's something it's not.

Edit. to add: I thought you were referring to Cowdery's recipe, not Mash's.

But the same thing goes for Mash's recipe in the sense that your yield will be horrible unless you add a whole lot of malt dust or enzymes of some sort. Most of the corn flavor in the whiskey will come from distilling that unfermented corn mash, and all of the alcohol will come from the cane sugar.

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Thank-you all for the input, although 90% of the thread was off topic :-) have several recipes we are going to trial, still having a major challenge obtaining feed corn, so its likely to be more a sugar-jack style.

Personally I think the appeal is about being over-proof, poorly rectified, the name, and packaging it in mason jars.

Agreed with all about the moonshiner's program, a complete waste of time.

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"Perhaps the corn is only meant to contribute flavor and not fermentable sugar?"

If the subsequent posts didn't make it clear, yes, bingo, that's the reason. I've heard of several 'legal moonshiners' who intend to follow the recipe using ground dried corn, but the creamed corn probably works just as well. Not only won't the starch be converted to sugar, most of it won't even dissolve.

It strikes me as an awful lot of phoniness from people who want to tout their authenticity.

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1. 80% sugar - 20% corn (uncooked or raw) uncracked corn has no sugar.

2. ferment sugar- corn mix

3. Distill mash in a pot still, (most southern shine will use a thumper)


4. make cuts and bring up to 140 proof cut back to 100-120 proof

For apple jack cut to 90% proof with apple juice & cinnamon sticks

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Here's a quick moonshine recipe that doesn't use corn! I sourced it from this website http://www.whiskeystill.net/pages/moonshine-recipe

Grocery list: what you’ll need for a 10 gallon recipe

This recipe is completely scalable. If you want to make 5 or 20 gallons, simply half or double the recipe.

1 Can (12oz) Tomato Paste, (not sauce)

1 Lemon (large, or three small)

2.5lbs Potatoes (any kind will work, just grab a cheap 5# bag and use half)

20lbs White sugar

2 Tablespoons of baker’s yeast (Fleischmann’s or Red Star, buy the 4oz bottle instead of the packets to save money. Also, choose highly active if you have a choice)

10gal Fermenter, this is what will hold your mash for 1-2 weeks while it ferments. There are several options available here. One: Brute trashcans are made of food-grade plastic and make great fermenters. Two: Local donut shops typically give away or sell their old filling buckets; these are also food grade and extremely cheap, try to get them in 5 gallon sizes. Three: Buy new 5 gallon plastic paint buckets from a local hardware store for $5-$6. *Note:* when making a 10 gallon mash, mixing is much easier in a container that can hold all 10 gallons, however, lifting and moving it becomes a monumental task. Two 5 gallon buckets are much easier to move alone, but a bit harder to mix.

Making the mash:

Boil approximately 2.5lbs of potatoes, then mash completely. Making them runny is preferred because they will mix easier.

Fill the fermenter half way with hot water, any water you can drink is fine for this recipe, including tap.

Mix 20lbs sugar into hot water. Stir until completely dissolved.

Mix mashed potatoes in. Stir until completely dissolved.

Mix 12oz tomato paste in. Stir until completely dissolved.

Juice one large lemon, add juice to fermenter mix.

Top up to 9 gallons with water. Alternate between hot and cold to reach a target temperature of 80°F (70-90°F is fine, but do not go over 95°F or you may kill your yeast)

Once at target temperature add 1oz (2 tablespoons) of yeast. Stir until completely dissolved.

Place lid loosely on fermenter. You want to allow carbon dioxide gas to easily escape, but keep bugs from getting in.

Set out of direct sunlight and maintain temperature between 70-80°F

Mash should begin to fizz or bubble within the first 24-48 hours.

Check daily until either all activity in the mash stops or the mash has been fermenting for two full weeks.

Distill promptly (within 3 days).

Hope this helps! :rolleyes:

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Moonshine in Hawaii has a long history also, historically with ti root, and also rice and pineapple. Sugar cane too, after that started growing here, but usually the juice.

Sugar cane was growing in Hawaii long before pineapple or rice :)

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