March 27, 2008
Originally published April 26, 2003
This morning is NOT the right time to even think about it, but I did anyway. I hired a guy at work to make me a still. He's a good welder and fabricator, and when I showed him the drawing of what I wanted, he said that he could do it for $250.
He also said, "Rob, this would make a damned good still." I told him that I was going to cook seafood in it. He said, "How about giving me some of that 'seafood' after you cook it? I haven't tasted good 'shine in a while." I told him that I would and I believe that he reduced his price because of that. He should have it finished by next weekend.
What I designed is a big, 30-quart stainless steel tub with a conical top. I want a 3" hole with a screw-in plug just above the straight edge on the tub. That's where I'll pour in the mash. I also want a 3/4" tube fitting at the very top. That's where I'll attach my worm.
I can make my own condenser, ferment my own brew and take the rest from there.
I believe that what I intend to do is against the law. I've done it before with a modified turkey-fryer and it worked very well until I blew my contraption up and caught everything on fire one day by heating the mash too quickly. I want the right tools for the job this time.
My grandfather taught me how to make moonshine. I don't care what the government thinks about my illegal, garage-sized still. I'm just carrying on a family tradition.
If I treat a 5-gallon batch of mash right, I can distill about one gallon of pure moonshine. I can cut that white lightnin' by 50% with water and end up with two gallons of likker that will be damned near 100 proof. I can make it out of ANYTHING as long as I have some sugar and yeast.
The last time I brewed a successful batch, right before I blew up my still, I took a bunch of charred oak wood and put it in coffee filters. Then, I ran the liquid spitting out of the worm across that home-made cascade of charchol and caught it in one quart Mason jars. I added a small piece of charcol before I twisted the lid tightly on every jar.
Leave that crystal-clear liquid alone for 30 days, and guess what you have? (I'll tell you what you'll have.) You'll have the kind of whiskey that you can't buy in a store. It's the fire-water that goes down smooth, tastes slightly smokey, hits your belly like a nuclear blast, runs down to your toes to make them curl, then rebounds up to make your scalp tingle.
THAT'S REAL MOONSHINE!
And I know how to make it.
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