How to Make Whiskey at Home

January 5th, 2009

Whiskey can be made at home through the process of home distilling. Distilling is essentially the same that process that produces rain, involving evaporating a liquid into a vapor and condensing it back into a liquid. There are two basic distilling methods. One method involves distilling a water, sugar, nutrient and yeast mix into neutral alcohol then flavoring it with essences. The second method is to distill a prepared mash for whiskey. There are three types of stills commonly used for distillation process: pot, reflux, and fractionating.

The ingredients used in the first method are listed above, and the only variations come when determining what essences to flavor the whiskey with. The most common mash recipe to use for the second method is a grain-based mash. Heat four kilograms of crushed malt with 18 liters of water at 145 degrees for about an hour and a half. The malt is needed to convert starch to sugar so the yeast can use it. Next, increase the temperature to 163 degrees, strain off and save the liquid, and rinse the grains with hot water. Finally, cool to below 90 degrees, add the hydrated yeast, and leave to ferment. For additional flavor, one or two kilograms of corn can be boiled and added to the mix.

How to Make Rum at Home

January 3rd, 2009

Making delicious rum at home is an undertaking well worth your time and effort. All you need to begin the process is a gallon of molasses (available at many animal feed stores), a package of dry distillers yeast, clean drinking water, either a pot or column still to distill your spirits, and a vessel to store your great new homemade rum.

Fermentation-Your rum will be distilled from a fermented molasses and water combination known as live wash. Your wash should contain around 15% sugar content. Since most molasses contains about 60% sugar you will need to dilute it to a proper concentration for fermentation. After introducing your yeast culture, the fermentation process will take approximately a day and a half to convert the sugars in the wash to alcohol.

Distillation-The dead wash that results from your fermentation will need to be distilled in order to concentrate the alcohol spirits and produce your rum. Pot still distillation is the traditional method of rum making, but choose the still that fits your budgetary and production needs.

Aging-Aging your rum is not necessary, but traditionally rums are allowed to mature in oak or stainless steel barrels which will mellow your rum if you choose to do so. Since rum is a clear liquor it gains its coloration and many of its nuances during the aging process. Oak barrels that have been charred on the inside are considered the most advantageous but are expensive for the home distiller. Rum should be aged at least one year to allow its flavors to marry.

Blending- Many of the finest spirits are obtained through blending and this is the final step in the journey of rum making. As you perfect your own recipes and techniques different styles and types of your homemade rum can be blended to satisfy your pallet.

Simple Instructions For Making Your Own Rum

December 5th, 2008

If you are experienced in brewing your own beer, then these simple steps can be used to make your own rum:

  1. Fermentation - ferment a mixture of molasses, water and yeast.
  2. Distillation - distill the mixture using either a pot or column still.
  3. Aging - age the rum for approximately one year. This can be done in wooden or stainless steel drums.
  4. Blend - blend the rum to improve quality and flavor.