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Anyone distill their own whiskey?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by shot410ga, Dec 17, 2010.

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  1. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    I see there are home distilleries for sale. Like Scotch Pots. I was just wondering if anyone has ever tried one of these methods for manufacturing their own whiskey?
     
  2. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    No but it sounds like a good idea!!!!!!
     
  3. Country Squire

    Country Squire TS Member

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    sorry,but it's against the law even for your own use. That doesn't mean you can't do it though.
     
  4. short shucker

    short shucker TS Member

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    I'm not sure I should be saying this, but one thing you find very seldom in the trash around these parts is a milk jug.

    ss
     
  5. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    My Senior project in Eng. school involved building and operating an ethanol distillery. We came up with a magnificent circuit that produced 5 galllos per hout of 192 proof ethanol. It was supposed to be for fuel but at least a portion of the product may have fueled a few booze hound college guys...I don't recall. Anyway the hardest part of the operation was making enough mash to feed the thing. If there is a trick to making good whiskey it is probably in the preparation of the mash.

    Sounds like fun hobby and probably more profitable than loading your own shotshells.
     
  6. School Teacher

    School Teacher Well-Known Member

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    Here in Kentucky, some old boys been making their own whiskey since the Federals ran the whiskey makers out of upstate New York over 200 years ago.

    The key to making fine bourbon is to have limestone water that contains no iron. That's why most great Bourbon comes from Kentucky. Jack Daniels has good water in Tennessee but he drips his whiskey through charcoal so it is called Tennessee Whiskey.

    In Kentucky, by the time you finish 3rd grade or turn 16, whichever come first, you are expected to know two things. First, how to carry a 100 pound bag of sugar through the woods and leave no tracks and second, how to build a fire that produces no smoke.

    We had some dandy moonshine at the Kentucky State Shoot this year which we sampled after we finished shooting. It was called "apple pie" as it was apple flavored.

    I would be sure to check your local regulations as to how much you can make and what you can do with it.

    Drink Up!

    Ed Ward
     
  7. shannon391

    shannon391 Active Member

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    They seem to find ways in the crowbar hotel to make applejack or pruno, might not be the fine sipping wiskey your looking for.

    I have southern relatives that "get their corn from a jar" and I've drank a fair amount of shine over the years but It's not my choice due to taste, price and risk.

    I have had some quality moonshine but for white booze I prefer Russian vodka.
     
  8. TOOLMAKER 251

    TOOLMAKER 251 Active Member

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    Ed, that wasn't up state New York it was up state Pennsylvania that the feds ran the whiskey makers down south. Whiskey rebellion.
     
  9. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    No, but I spin my own dental floss.

    -Gary
     
  10. School Teacher

    School Teacher Well-Known Member

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    TOOLMAKER 251:

    Thanks for the correction. My understanding is that the Whiskey rebellion was like all out war and that the Congress sent the Army to put down the rebellion. The rebellion started when the US Government wanted to put a tax on whiskey. Imagine that!

    "Double distilled chain lightening" is how Oliver Hardy described his native drink to John Wayne in the movie The Fighting Kentuckians.

    At any rate, I have heard that when the Pennsylvanian whiskey makers arrived in Kentucky and discovered the iron free limestone water, they thought that they had discovered the promised land. They been cooking ever since.

    Anybody planning to make their own whiskey needs to understand that bourbon needs to be aged in a charred freshly made white oak barrel for at least four years. There is a little more to it than making beer or wine.

    Ed Ward
     
  11. TOOLMAKER 251

    TOOLMAKER 251 Active Member

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    Yes Ed, George Washington sent around 13,000 troops to arrest the whiskey makers for refusing to pay a 3 cent a gal. tax on the booze. The tax was to help pay back the loans from the war. There was a story of the troops arresting a whiskey maker late in the day so the troops opted to stay in his house until morning before moving him, but he treated them to all they could drink then he and his family escaped when the troops passed out from being drunk.
     
  12. short shucker

    short shucker TS Member

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    school_teacher,

    I noticed a lot of times when I'm out hunting on those frosty mornings I see a lot of smoke in the air but very little is coming from the chimneys on the homes;) This is really apparent when I'm atop a hill looking down the holler.

    ss
     
  13. School Teacher

    School Teacher Well-Known Member

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    short shucker:

    That smoke could be from boiling the bristles off of a newly slaughtered hog but I doubt it.

    It could also be a base camp for a movie studio making a re-make of Deliverance but I doubt it.

    Another cause for the smoke is burning up a lot of green hickory to produce a caustic ash. The ash is then placed in a vat and water is poured through the ash to leach out caustic lye. After each pouring a sample of the liquid is tested to see if it will float an egg. If not, the pouring is repeated until the egg floats. The liquid lye is then mixed with hog renderings to produce soap. However this also may not be the cause of the smoke.

    If you peek through the underbrush and see a couple of barrels, a large copper container with a pointy top over a fire and a worm like strand of copper tubing, you can bet that this is not a Sunday school class. Proceed with extreme caution and by all means do not carry an ax or wear anything that looks like a badge. The moonshiners still have the National Guard pinned down in a few spots.

    If it were not for the moonshiners, there might not be a NASCAR today.

    Ed Ward
     
  14. blkcloud

    blkcloud Active Member

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    you cant make untaxed whiskey.. period.. the state distillers fee puts it out of reach for a hobbiest.. but you can get a ethanol permit.. when you make the ethanol you have to add something to it to make it not drinkable.. but what they dont know.. well.. you get the drift..
     
  15. ricks1

    ricks1 TS Member

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    I love the ones that say this is smooth and came right from the still that way
    BS
     
  16. LABWILD

    LABWILD Member

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    I don't make my own, but when the wind is right I smell Four Roses making theirs. Four Roses Small Batch is great stuff. Try it!
     
  17. pdq

    pdq Member

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    I make mine by slaving over a hot steering wheel, driving over to the PA State Store. There, you can buy a 1.75 Liter bottle of Sobieski Vodka for about $17.00 when they have it on sale. I've tried Skye Blue, Absolut, Grey Goose and others many times, and the Sobieski is the best and at about 1/2 to 1/3 the cost of the high price brands. It's good enough that I'd pay as much for it as Skye Blue as I prefer it as a product. THe fact that it's half the price, well that's even better!

    Pete
     
  18. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    As I understand or was told, Federal Law allows 200 gallons per year to be produced for home consumption.
     
  19. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    Back when I was 18 ( 50 years ago so 1960?) I went to Mount Ida Arkansas to visit my best friend. He became a Forest ranger and was working there so he knew all the locals. That area was dry ( still is I think) and he took me into the hills and right into a moonshiners camp. It was impressive and yes, we passed several armed guards and everybody in the camp was carrying. Great folks though and the shine was great. Good memories
     
  20. omgb

    omgb Well-Known Member

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    The 200 gallons deal is for beer and wine. Distilled spirits are strictly verboten. That being said, lots of folks have done it. A "guy I know" once bought a couple of condensing rigs from a chemistry supply store. He also bought a large 5 gallon flask and several feet of glass tubing. He cooked up a batch of corn and sugar mash, fermented it and ran it though the first distillation rig. He then ran it through the second rig and what emerged was pretty much straight ethanol. This got mixed with filtered water and produced a pretty good booze. His chemistry teacher had no idea that all of this was going on in the lab after hours. Now for all of that, I go to MT each year and while there, buy several quarts of Everclear. It's legal, pretty cheap and "gets her done" Nothing like taking 80 proof Jack Daniels and restoring it to its old 90 proof version.

    FWIW, it's also the perfect cleaner for briar pipes. It cuts the old tar and gunk, dissolves the old flavorings and is perfectly safe for the mouth piece etc. The bonus is that it leaves no after taste of its own.
     
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