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43346Re: [new_distillers] Quality Spirits

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  • Alex Netherton
    Feb 23, 2013
      Remember that vodka is a "grain" spirit, from some unnamed grain, or even potatoes; moonshine, for the "real thing" (not cola) is made of corn, sometimes with a bit of rye for spice or wheat for smoothness. Most of the s&*t seen on the Discovery Channel "Moonshiners" is "sugar whiskey" or "sugar jack", that is made from sugar, water, and yeast. Vodka can be made this way.

      There is, after all, a tradition that can be kept alive here, or at least revived, the making of "old time Mountain Dew" which was only one of many names. Others were "Sweet Spirits of cats a fightin'", "Panther P___s", "Bust head", "Stump Hole", "Stump Water" and many more. The product of a well run Mountain still was clear as spring water, had a sweet scent of flowers, fresh corn, and maybe smoke, if they dried the malted grain over a fire or in the smokehouse. The taste was smooth for some makers, fiery for others (some liked a "bite", which led some makers to add lighter fluid, methanol, lye and other chemicals, which could get the moonshiner killed if discovered, and could kill customers), and had flavor profiles that varied from sweet corn to smoky, to, some said "flowery", depending on the makeup of the mash - some used honey in it.

      There is a good old book called "Mountain Spirits" that can be found on Amazon that tells a lot about it.
      Alex Netherton
      Blue Ridge Discovery

      On 2/23/2013 3:16 AM, last2blast wrote:

      As a test, I purchased 200 ml of the cheapest vodka from a local liqueur store as a base for my first finish run. Now I have a good idea what not to keep as drinkable spirits. That one small sip gave me a headache, so it has to be heads that was nasty stuff.

      If you are a newbie to distillation like myself, I would suggest that you go out and sample the cheapest spirits you can find as a means of knowing what you don't want to produce from your still.


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