I need to know the equipments and the step by step process, cause i already try do it, but it didnt work

I already watch several videos, but its not the same to talk to someone that really loves , and know how to do it. I dont know anybody that knows how to brew anything xD

  • You don't brew moonshine, you distill moonshine from vodka, or other spirits. Depending on where you are, this could be very illegal. – tuskiomi Aug 13 at 16:29
  • SE Homebrewing usually does not accept questions about distilling. Unless it has changed... – Philippe Aug 13 at 17:22
  • oh ok then, by bad, thanks for letting me know – Pedro Varela Aug 14 at 7:09
  • Perhaps, ask your question here: alcohol.stackexchange.com – Philippe Aug 15 at 17:21
  • Apparently, alcohol.stackexchange.com is not about producing alcohol, but for questions about all kinds of alcoholic drinks. – chthon 2 hours ago

Moonshine is the name for illegally made spirits of non-specific ingredients. So I will answer your question as if you asked something like: "How do I make spirits".

Caveat: Currently, as far as I know, New Zealand is the only country where home distilling is legal.

Drinking-grade spirits are made by taking a fermented liquid, distilling it, discarding the poisonous methanol and other undesirable parts.

Any water-based liquids that have a high sugar content can be used for the fermentation, e.g.:

  • Sugar
  • Honey
  • malt extract
  • Molasses
  • Fruit Juices (etc.)

Or starchy foods that can be modified to become sugary (typically done with amylase enzymes):

  • malted barley (self-modifying at the correct temperature)
  • rice
  • potatoes (etc.)

This liquid is typically called a "must" for wine making, "wash" for spirits, or "wort" in beer making.

Once a sugary-liquid is created, yeast is added. The yeast consumes the sugar in the liquid as part of a fermentation process, producing (mostly) ethanol and carbon-dioxide. Apart from barley-malt-water (wort), most of these ferments are difficult for yeast, as they do not include nutrients for optimal yeast health. So use more yeast, or add the necessary yeast-nutrients (or both). Generally most yeast can ferment up to about 14-20% AbV without doing anything special.

If we were making wine or beer, the process is just about complete at the end of fermentation. However when producing spirits a final distillation step is used to concentrate the alcohol. Note: it is possible to freeze-distill, but as this concentrates methanol (as well as ethanol) with no removal step, I feel it's not something a complete-beginner should attempt.

The key point to remember is that alcohols evaporate at a lower temperature than water. So if an aqueous alcohol solution is heated to a temperature less than the boiling point of water, the alcohol can be separated as vapour. This process is "distillation". The distillation of "moonshine" is a simplified fractional distillation. The fermented wash is heated to a specific temperature (e.g.: 55-65°C) such that mostly only the alcohols are evaporated from the ferment. A condenser-part at the top of the distillation apparatus cools the alcohol vapour back into liquid, where it is collected. As the temperature of the wash rises, water becomes a larger part of the output. Water is evaporating all the time, it doesn't only evaporate at 100°C.

Depending on the type of distillation equipment used, the spirits may then be re-distilled again. But in all cases, the first part of the distillate is removed as it contains harmful by-products like methanol.

Once the spirit is distilled, it is diluted to a known alcohol level, and then sometimes aged with the addition of wood (e.g.: stored in oak barrels), which changes the colour & flavour.

Depending on the laws of your country, it may be possible to purchase off-the-shelf distillation equipment. Simple searches like "reflux still" or "alembic pot still" will find both instructional-HOWTOs and products for purchase.

  • Amazing answer, thank you! – Pedro Varela Aug 16 at 7:01
  • @PedroVarela: if you find this answer satisfying, please mark it so. – chthon 2 hours ago
  • I already did mate, since the beginning. but cause im new, my vote doesn't appear – Pedro Varela 2 hours ago

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