Gut Rumbles

April 26, 2003

Yard equipment

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.


And I know how to make it.


Selling it is illegal, making it is an art.

Posted by: bob in the hills on April 26, 2003 10:12 AM

Your process sounds similar to my Grandfather's arthritis medicine recipe.

Posted by: Dax Montana on April 26, 2003 11:20 AM

Would sharing be considered illegal?

Ravenwood and I could throw a party in your honor!!

Posted by: Tazteck on April 26, 2003 11:59 AM

The last time I had moonshine, I had only about a teaspoon full......but it was sooooo strong that I thought my head was going to explode and my eyes were going to pop out!
I think they hadn't added the water yet.

Posted by: DogsDon'tPurr on April 26, 2003 01:24 PM

"I think they hadn't added the water yet."

Heh. If selling it weren't illegal, it would have to carry a label that says, "Made From Concentrate."

Posted by: Kevin McGehee on April 26, 2003 01:31 PM

Hi Kevin, Rob:

Back in the late sixties my Pop used to go visit a highschool buddy of his who was the [Sheriff] of [Douglas] County, GA. He always had the very best squeezins on account of he only smashed stills after they had been fully depreciated by the industry. Super uncut stuff.

My buddy's father made such smooth stuff aged in oak barrels that he used to serve it to guests as store-bought and bonded.

Fun stuff.

Posted by: Dan Dickinson on April 26, 2003 01:41 PM

There's an older gentleman I met several years ago, a mandolin player from Kentucky who used to come here every year for the annual bluegrass fest. Every year he'd bring a bunch of homemade shine and just pass it out to anyone that wanted to try it. I tried it on several occasions. It kicked my ass every time too.

Posted by: Marcl on April 26, 2003 02:20 PM

My home State saw fit to allow 180 proof "Everclear". Really cheap, REALLY POTENT firewater. I met my in-laws for the first time after 2/3 of a pint mixed half & half with Orange Crush.

Posted by: Dan Pursel on April 27, 2003 02:20 AM

Ohhhh, yeah. If it's flammable, it HAS to be good!

Posted by: Pat on April 27, 2003 04:04 PM

Try making some with potatoes. In Ireland, we call that poitín (pronounced potcheen).

The best stuff I've ever drank, had honey in it. Went down like water...

Posted by: Jack on April 28, 2003 04:12 AM
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