How to Make Moonshine
75 lb. plain white corn meal
300 lb. sugar
1 lb. yeast
300 gallons of water
This recipe should yield 48 gallons of "white lightning" or so-called "bald face" whiskey, were it not a crime to do so under the laws of the State of Arkansas and the United States of America. Some connoisseurs prefer a mixture with more corn meal and less sugar
- Furnace surrounds the Core to retain heat
- Burner Tank holds pressurized air to fan fire
- Core with Burner Arm supplies the flame
- Still where the "mash" ferments and is heated to above 170° (hot enough to evaporate the alcohol, but not boil water)
- Cap is removed to add the mash and placed on during cooking to funnel the steam.
- Horse's Head carries the steam out of the Cap to the Thump Keg
- Thump Keg runs the steam through water to remove impurities
- Worm Connection carries the steam to the Worm
- Worm is made of copper coils where steam is further cooled by water
- Cold Water Source
- Flakestand containing cold water to cool the Worm and condense the steam
- Catch Can where whiskey collects. One-gallon Mason jars are preferred.
There are a few drawbacks and benefts in Moonshine:
One drawback - it's illegal. Another is that discovering a still in the woods while hunting can be risky. The story below was sent to me and will illustrate my point:
This is neat! When I was a youngster and living on the farm in West Tenn., my dad told me that if I ever ran across something that looked like this in the "bottom land," to just keep on moving as my best friend and I should not hang around. We might get shot!..Sure enough, when I was about 13, (1953) my friend Alan and I were squirrel hunting in the "bottom land," in deep woods and lo indeed! we ran into such a contraption much like the diagram you show. Needless to say we did not heed my dad's advise but browsed around with one eye over our shoulder. My dad's oldest brother, Robert spent some time in the poky for making and running that good ol' Tenn. Moonshine!
Yes, making White Lightening was a good profession while I was growing up in Lawrence County, Tenn. during the Great Depression.
Of course, it was illegal to make and sell, but if it was made during the dark hours with only the moonlight, there was a good chance that the maker would be safe from the law enforcement officers. I remember that the selling price was $2 per gallon and a little of it would go a long way. I used some of it to run my car when I ran out of gas so I could get home. It's a true story! The car was a Ford Model A. That car had no fuel pump - it went into the engine with gravity from the above gas tank. The moonshine was 180 proof or more. I liked the taste of it. For a half pint, it sold for 25 cents.
Bootleg: Whiskey illegally distilled from a corn mash.
Synonyms: Corn Liquor, Moonshine, aka White Lighting!