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What did they say?
 


" I can't believe it. I can make my own stuff fast and cheap!!!"

George J. - Los Angeles, CA

 

"I've been drinking bottled water delivered to my doorstep for something like 25 years and I purchased this unit as a cost savings measure against the cost of bottled water and also to stop drinking water stored in plastic bottles. I've been using this little unit for just over a month, distill about 5 gallons a week, sometimes two or three gallons back to back and it just chugs away. It is a little noisy so it's best to turn it on as you walk out the door to go to work or turn it on at night and put it in a room where you won't hear it. Overall, it produces a nice clean tasting water. I live where the water is hard. Even after filling the unit with filtered water, I'm amazed at how much gunk is left after distilling the water. After a month of use, my body really does feel the difference."

Samantha J - New York, NY

"I bought this product in 2002 and distill about three gallons per week. I really love it. I remember having one start-up issue, but the manufacturer quickly resolved the problem w/some over-the-phone instruction. For me, this has been a highly dependable product with no adverse issues. I love the convenience of the counter-top model and, because I no longer buy water from the store, I have saved money and heavy transport hassles over the years. I have the white, non-steel version of the same product. Highly recommend!"

Timothy U. -  Dallas, TX

"For the long story...I read all the reviews for the white color version and decided this was worth a try. I placed my order by noon Friday and received the distiller just last night (Tuesday). I was anxious to test this distiller for myself because it might save me quite a bit of money if I could stop buying bottled water. The only negative reviews I'd read seemed to focus on the plastic or metallic flavor of the distilled water. The manufacturer suggests it can happen when new bottles smell like plastic. As soon as I opened the box, I searched for the plastic bottle to smell it. There was no distinct plastic smell that I could detect. One of the reviewers pointed out that your geographical location affects the mineral content in the water and thus can strongly affect its flavor. Living north of Philadelphia, water has a fairly neutral flavor and there's no high mineral content that I know about. Still, I filled the bottle with water filtered through a regular Brita filter I have connected to my faucet. Filling the bottle to the very top is exactly the amount of water required to fill the distiller container right to the fill line. Followed the simple instructions and started the distiller. It wasn't as noisy as I expected, however it's loud enough that you might not want to run it during a dinner party. (Makes good white noise if you need it.) It's supposed to take 4-6 hrs to distil one gallon of water. Warm water may shorten the process. Since I ran it overnight, with cold water, I have no idea of how long it took. That will be an experiment for the weekend. Come morning, the distiller was done and the water was surprisingly fresh and good tasting.

For those concerned about whether distilled water draws minerals from your body, therefore raising acidity levels, read about the benefits of adding pH Drops before drinking. Cheers!

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November 27, 2006 Update:
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I use this distiller almost daily and I'm still very happy with my purchase and very glad I got it. Water tastes perfect, whether I pre-filtered it or not. I was surprised another reviewer had problems with leaks, since I've none whatsoever. The unit makes a very useful white noise, which is better for reading than for conversation though it doesn't bother me (I usually run the unit at night). I have not noticed much difference in distilling time, whether I use hot or cold water. I do get a lot of mineral deposits left over. However, I can remove them easily with a sponge or with the solvent that was provided."

Bobby R. -  Springfield, MO

 

"There are many different distillers on the market and most are very expensive, so I did a lot of homework before making this purchase.

So how well does it work? I see a lot of comments regarding water flavor. This may depend on the water you are starting with, although in theory it should all turn out the same. For me personally, the water comes out crystal clear, and tastes like snow melt when cold. In my book, that's about as good as it gets. Perhaps a better indicator of how well it works can be seen in the bottom of the pot at the end of a cycle. In addition to all the mineral salts left behind, I am left with about a tablespoon/gallon of nasty tan liquid.

It's a pity more people are not aware of the direct impact water quality has on their health. You don't have to be a 'wacko anti-fluoridation conspiracy theorist' to appreciate home distilled water. Buy a distiller and I bet you will effect a positive health change in a friend simply by doing two things;

1) give them a cold glass of distiller water you have made
2) show them the sludge left behind in the distiller from only 1 gallon of public drinking water

If cost is the issue, consider that everyone in your family should be drinking a pint of water for every 2lbs of body weight. That's 1 gallon per day for a 175 adult, which is easy to do once you get into the habit. And don 't forget the ice cubes! Unless you/your family drink a lot of milk, soda, or fruit juices, this distiller will pay for itself in just a few months."

 Rose P. - New Castle, PA

"Since Sears quit selling a nearly identical item that I have run for over a decade, i found it's clone here. I bought this for my new Grand Daughter, as I am always amazed at the left over waste from city water in these units. I still use my Kenmore at home for my well water. My Son has already distilled over 20 gallons (since Christmas) with this unit in Vancouver WA. He is very happy, and his wife is now a believer in not using city water to make formula and other essentials.

The Company was outstanding! When Amazon refused to show me how to contact the company regarding speeding up my shipping, I did my own leg work and they were a PLEASURE to deal with!

My advise, buy the product and skip the middleman!"

Kathleen A - San Diego, CA

"This product, for the money, is absolutely wonderful. The water produced is clear and CLEAN. No additional additives or residue. I never knew that pure water could have such a silky quality - goes to show you how much we all have been duped over the years. The water produced feels so nice to drink.

And, it is so much easier to maintain than I had imagined. Although the residue from each session is evident in the bottom of the container, a bit of vinegar and about 10 minutes makes the stainless steel sparkle again. Would I buy this item again or recommend it to others? Yes, Yes, Yes."

Susan T. - Westbury, NY

 

"I have been using this daily.

The unit it well designed, the water tasted perfect.

Takes about 4 hours for one gallon.

No leaks, no escaping steam.

I use the water for everything from baby food mixing, to coffee.

Stainless steal carafe is very easy to clean."

Thomas A. - Whitesville, KY

 

 

General Information and Recipes

Moonshine (meaning illicit distillation, also called white lightning, mountain dew, hooch, "Tennessee white whiskey", and many other names) is a very high proof, often 190 proof or so (95% alcohol) distilled spirit. The word is believed to derive from early English smugglers and illegal Appalachian distillers who clandestinely (i.e., by the light of the moon) produced and distributed whiskey.

Moonshine is any distilled spirit made in an unlicensed still. As with all distilled spirits, yeast or naturally occurring bacteria (such as Zymomonas mobilis) ferments a sugar source to produce alcohol; the alcohol is then extracted through the process of distillation.

Because of its illegal nature in many countries , moonshine is rarely aged in barrels like proper whiskey, and it sometimes contains impurities and off flavors. The off flavors may come from improper mashing, fermentation or distillation, and unsuitable storage containers. In popular culture, moonshine is usually presented as being extremely strong and in North America is commonly associated with Appalachia and Atlantic Canada.

Moon-shining is usually done using small-scale stills. Typically, the still is built by the moonshine producer, thus avoiding the legal ramifications of obtaining a still commercially. The pot still is made of copper or stainless steel, and a water filled barrel with a copper tubing coil for a condenser, is the traditional type of still, being popular with early moonshine producers due to its simplicity and ease of construction. More efficient Reflux stills are available to the modern moonshiner, either self-built, assembled from a kit, or purchased fully assembled.

"Moonshine" and "Still Making Moonshine" are two documentaries that depict the life of a modern Appalachian moonshiner: the making of a three-stage still from sheets of copper, putting up corn mash, and running whiskey.[3]

Varieties of moonshine are produced throughout the world.

Usually, illicit distillation is associated with the making of ethanol for drinking however, it is also practiced for creating biofuel.

Poorly produced moonshine can be contaminated, mainly from materials used in construction of the still. Stills employing used automotive radiators as a condenser are particularly dangerous; in some cases, glycol products from antifreeze used in the radiator can appear as well. Radiators used as condensers also may contain lead at the connections to the plumbing. Both glycol and lead are poisonous and potentially deadly.

Although methanol is not produced in toxic amounts by fermentation of sugars from grain starches, contamination is still possible by unscrupulous distillers using cheap methanol to increase the apparent strength of the product. Moonshine can be made both more palatable and less damaging by discarding the "foreshot"the first few ounces of alcohol that drip from the condenser. The foreshot contains most of the methanol, if any, from the mash. Methanol may be present because it vaporizes at a lower temperature than ethanol. The foreshot also typically contains small amounts of other undesirable compounds such as acetone and various aldehydes.

West Bengal has a thriving moonshine industry, and a methanol-tainted batch killed 143 people in December 2011. You must check with your authorities if distillation is legal in your country if you decide to use any of our products for such a use.

Alcohol concentrations above about 50% alcohol by volume are flammable and therefore dangerous to handle. This is especially true during the distilling process in which vaporized alcohol can accumulate in the air if there is not enough ventilation.

Mixtures

Moonshine has sometimes been mixed with an adulterant (e.g. methanol, lye) with the intent of increasing its apparent alcohol content. Moonshine that has been adulterated in this way will form bubbles on its surface. Large bubbles with a short duration would indicate a higher alcohol content. This practice has sometimes resulted in a toxic mixture that can cause blindness or death. Although poisoning incidents are rare, particularly in developed nations, they are a cause for concern about the safety of moonshine.

Moonshine may be flavored with fruit or bark. The mash may be cooked with birch bark to achieve a mint-like flavor. Fruit flavoring may be added to the product before bottling.

Tests

A common folk test for the quality of moonshine was to pour a small quantity of it into a spoon and set it on fire. The theory was that a safe distillate burns with a blue flame, but a tainted distillate burns with a yellow flame. Practitioners of this simple test also held that if a radiator coil had been used as a condenser, then there would be lead in the distillate, which would give a reddish flame. This led to the mnemonic, "Lead burns red and makes you dead." Although the flame test will show the presence of lead and fusel oils, it will not reveal the presence of methanol, which burns with an invisible flame.

The traditional test used by British sailors involved gunpowder to "prove" that their brandy was not watered down (contained at least 57% ABV.)

A pot still is a type of still used in distilling spirits such as whisky or brandy. Heat is applied directly to the pot containing the wash (e.g. for whisky) or wine (for brandy). This is called a < batch distillation (as opposed to a continuous distillation).

At sea level, water boils at 100 degrees Celsius (212 F) but alcohol boils at 78 degrees Celsius (172 F). During distillation, the vapour is richer in alcohol than the liquid. When this vapour is condensed, the resulting liquid contains a higher concentration of alcohol. In the pot still, the alcohol and water vapour, combined with vapours of the multitude of aroma components such as esters, alcohols that give the mash or wine its aroma, evaporate and flow from the still through the condensing coil. There they condense to the first distillation liquid, the so-called 'low wines', with a strength of about 25-35% alcohol by volume, which then flows into a second still below. It is then distilled a second time to produce the colourless spirit, collected at about 70% alcohol by volume. Maturation in an oak aging barrel typically causes the brown color to develop over time.

The modern pot still is a descendant of the alembic, an earlier distillation device.

The largest pot still in the world "> Midleton Distillery constructed in 1825, County Cork Ireland. It had a capacity of 31,618 gallons (approximately 140,000 litres) and is no longer in use.

 

Some recipes:

BLACK BEARDS RUM

Two pounds of brown sugar per one gallon of water and one cup of honey for every ten gallon batch. Starting hydrometer reading of about 90. Do not exceed 100. Add 1 to 3 ozs of yeast per 10 gallons of mash.

Heat one fourth of your water to 120 or 130 degrees only hot enough to melt the sugar, then stir in your sugar and then the honey last. Pour it into your fermenter and finish filling with cool water to cool it down to 80 degrees. Take a hydrometer reading and adjust as needed. The add your yeast. 6 to 14 days to ferment.
 
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STONEWALLS SOUTHERN WHISKEY

One quart of corn syrup per 1 1/2 gallons of water and one cup of honey for every ten gallon batch. Starting hydrometer reading of about 60 or 65. Do not exceed 70. Add 1 to 3 oz's of yeast per 10 gallons of mash.
Heat one fourth of your water to 120 or 130 degrees only hot enough to melt the corn syrup, then stir in your syrup and then the honey last. Pour it into your fermenter and finish filling with cool water to cool it down to 80 degrees. Take a hydrometer reading and adjust as needed. The add your yeast. 6 to 14 days to ferment.

 
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Stonewalls Agave
 One 23.5 oz bottle of agave nectar (from the sugar isle at Walmart), to every 3  quarts of water. One 4 oz packet of Turbo yeast for every ten gallon mix. Ferments for 7 to 14 days and distill.
 
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Stonewalls Honey Shine
One quart of honey per 1 1/2 gallons of water. One 4 oz Package of Turbo yeast per 10 gallons of mash. Ferments for 7 to 14 days and then distill.
 
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Whiskey
INGREDIENTS:
10 lbs. Whole kernel corn, untreated
5 Gallons Water
1 Cup Yeast, champagne yeast starter

DIRECTIONS:
Put corn in a burlap bag and wet with warm water. Place bag in a warm dark
place and keep moist for about ten days. When the sprouts are about a 1/4" long
the corn is ready for the next step. Wash the corn in a tub of water, rubbing
the sprouts and roots off.. Throw the sprouts and roots away and transfer the
corn into your primary fermenter. With a pole or another hard object mash the
corn, make sure all kernels are cracked. Next add 5 gallons of boiling water
and when the mash cools add yeast. Seal fermenter and vent with a water sealed
vent. Fermentation will take 7-10 days. When fermentation is done, pour into
still filtering through a pillow case to remove all solids.


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RYE WHISKEY

INGREDIENTS:
7 Lbs. Rye
2 Lbs. Barley
1 Lbs. Malt
6 gallons of water
1 oz Yeast

DIRECTIONS:
Heat water to 70 degrees and then mix in malt and grain. While stirring the
mixture slowly heat to 160 degrees (raise temperature 5 degrees every 2
minutes). Keep mixture at 160 degrees stirring constantly for 2-3 hours to
convert starch into fermentable sugar and dextrin. Filter off liquid and place
into fermentation device and allow to cool to 70- 80 degrees. Immediately pitch
with 3 grams of yeast. To avoid secondary fermentation and contamination add 1
gram of ammonium-fluoride. Stir liquid for 1 minute then cover and seal with a
airlock.Mash will take 5-7 days to ferment. After fermentation is complete pour
into, still filtering through a pillow case to remove all solids.



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WATERMELON-PEACH MOONSHINE BRANDY for five gallons

1 1/4 large watermelon
10 peaches
1 1/4 cup chopped golden raisins
15 limes (juice only)
25 cups sugar
water to make 5 gallon
wine or distillers yeast

Extract the juice from watermelon and peaches, saving pulp. Boil pulp in five quarts of water for 1/2 hour then strain and add water to extracted juice. Allow to cool to lukewarm then add water to make five gallons total and all other ingredients except yeast to primary fermentation vessel. Cover well with cloth and add yeast after 24 hours. Stir daily for 1 week and strain off raisins. Fit fermentation trap, and set aside for 4 weeks.
 

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GOOD WHISKEY

The ingredients are malt, sugar, yeast and rain water. You can buy the malt from any big supermarket, if they don't have it they will order it for you. The brand names for the malt and yeast I always used was Blue Ribbon, and Red Top. The malt is a liquid and comes in a can, the yeast comes in cakes.

To every can of malt you will add 5 gallons of warm water, dissolve 5 pounds of sugar and add 1 cake of yeast. Mix all this together in a barrel made of plastic, stainless steel, or copper, under no circumstances use aluminum. Keep it covered with cheese cloth to keep the bugs out. Keep it in a warm place till it ferments. Then you can cook it off in your still and you have the smoothest whiskey you have ever tasted.

After you run off the whiskey, it is clear like water. You can color it by taking a piece of dry fruit wood (or maple), burn the fruit wood over a flame till it is blackened real good, then drop the burned fruit-wood in your clear whiskey. In a few days the whiskey will be the color of store bought whiskey.

I hope you find this recipe to be to your satisfaction.


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JD's Black Label Recipe
It consists of 80% corn, 12% rye, 8% malt (a high enzyme 6-row variety will be needed). Steep your ingredients in 140 to 150 degree water for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Wait until it has cooled to 68 degrees before adding your yeast. After fermentation, it is distilled once in a pot still with a thumper, then filtered through a 10 foot layer of maple charcoal (this takes about 4 days). It then is placed in new, charred American oak barrels where it ages for 5 years, 6 months before it is bottled. But instead of aging in oak barrels, you can fish out a piece of half burned white oak from the fire place, crush it up and place this in the container with your product. Shake it up once a day for about 3 months and then filter it through a coffee filter for a beautiful amber color. Cut it back to 80 or 90 proof for a smooth taste.

The premium brand called Gentlemen J is aged in the same way, with the same grain bill, but it is filtered through maple charcoal again after aging.

Sweetened with a dash of REAL maple syrup (the kind that has a slight smokey flavor)- this will taste JUST like the store bought spirit- but will be a LOT smoother. The spirit should be aged at less than 65%abv, to prevent vanillins from clouding up the smokey sweetness from the maple syrup.
 

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WATERMELON-ELDERBERRY MOONSHINE BRANDY

32 Lb watermelon
1 1/4 Lb dried elder-berries
water to 5 gallon
juice and zest of 10 lemons
36 cups granulated sugar
wine or distillers yeast

Cut the rind off of melon, cut melon into one-inch cubes, remove loose seeds, and put melon and any free juice in primary (crock, plastic pail, etc.). Grate the yellow thinly off ten lemons, then juice the lemons and add the juice and zest (gratings) to primary. Add dried elderberries. Add water to make up 5 gallons. Stir in sugar and stir well to dissolve. Cover primary with cloth, wait 12 hours and add yeast. Cover and ferment 3 days, stirring daily. Strain juice into secondary (demijohn) and fit airlock. Ferment 30 days.

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MOUNTAIN DEW RECIPE

In making "Mountain Dew" or "White Lightning'" the first step is to convert the starch of the grain into sugar. (Commercial distillers use malt.) This is done by "sprouting" the corn. Shelled, whole corn is covered with warm water in a container with a hole in the bottom. Place a hot cloth over it. Add warm water from time to time as it drains. Keep in a warm place for about 3 days or until corn has 2 inch sprouts. Dry it and grind it into meal. Make mush (or mash) with boiling water. Add rye mash that has been made the same way, if you have it. Yeast (1/2 pound per 50 gallons of mash) may be added to speed up the fermentation if you have it. Without it, 10 or more days will be required instead of about 4. In either case, it must be kept warm. When the mash gets through "working" or bubbling up and settles down, it is then ready to run. At this stage, the mash has been converted into carbonic acid and alcohol. It is called "wash" or beer and it is sour..
 

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SWEET FEED MOONSHINE # 5 gallon bucket of sweet feed (Sweet feed has several different grains and molasses making it a great tasting whiskey.) one package of yeast (using distillers yeast will increase quality and quantity) # 5 pounds sugar # water Put enough feed to cover bottom of 5 gallon bucket a good 4 inches deep Add 5 pounds of sugar. Fill 1/2 full with boiling water. Mix until sugar is dissolved. Let it set for 90 minutes and then finish filling with cool water. Add the yeast after it has cooled to the recommended temperature on the yeast label. Cover with lid--our lid has a little cap that screws on, leave it loose to breathe. 4-5 days later it's ready to run! This is an old-timer recipe and works quite well. My liquor is always 150-180 proof. I don't recommend this for pot stills unless you filter it by pouring it through a pillow case into a 5 gallon bucket after it has finished fermenting. Otherwise the meal will settle and burn in the bottom of your still. Some folks leave the solids in the pillow case and tie it off where it will not touch the bottom of the still.
 

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WATERMELON-GRAPE MOONSHINE BRANDY

30 Lb watermelon
7-1/2 Lb fresh table red or green grapes
water to 5 gallon
juice and zest of 10 lemons
24 cups granulated sugar
wine or distillers yeast

Cut the rind off of melon, cut melon into one-inch cubes, remove loose seeds, and put melon and any free juice in primary (crock, plastic pail, etc.). Thinly grate the yellow off ten lemons, juice the lemons, and add the juice and zest (gratings) to primary. Separately, wash, destem, and crush the grapes well in a bowl. Add grapes and grape juice. Add water to make up 5 gallon. Add sugar and stir well to dissolve. Cover primary with cloth, wait 24 hours. Add yeast. Cover and ferment 5 days, stirring dairy. Strain juice into secondary (demijohn) and fit airlock. Ferment 30 days.


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INDIAN HEAD CORN MEAL WHISKEY

Ingredients: 3 Lbs of Indian-Head corn meal
1 1/2- lbs dry malt preferably dark (available at most home-brew shops)
1- sachet of 48 turbo yeast
4- gallons of spring water

After cleaning the equipment to prep it for use, put 3 1/2 gallons of water into the carboy
and then slowly add the cornmeal allowing it to wet as it falls to the bottom and thus avoids caking as much as possible.
Carefully lift the carboy and shake it side-to-side to ensure a good mix.
Next add the dry malt like you did the cornmeal,slow and steady and then lift the carboy up and shake it again to get a good mix
Warm the 1/2 gallon of leftover water on the stove until it's just hot to the touch.
Turn off the oven and stir in the yeast until it is completely dissolved.
Now add this to the carboy and shake well.
After 3 to 7 days, it's now ready to run off in the still.

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WHEAT GERM RECIPE

you need

1 jar 20oz. of wheat germ this can be found by the oatmeal in most grocery
stores
2oz. of an acid blend witch has citric acid, malic acid and another this can
be found in any liqour stores that sell home brewing stuff
5 lbs sugar the cheep stuff works just as good as the name brand
and 5 gallons of water
1oz of bear yeast

All you need to do is steep in water at 180 degrees all of the ingredients except for the yeast for about 30 min while that is steeping put the packet of yeast in a glass of room temperature water as instructed on the packet of yeast after the mix cools filter it into a 6 1/2 gallon glass jar to remove the wheat germ and add the yeast the mix must be no hotter than 80 degrees F and no cooler than 65 F degrees or the yeast will die. Check the yeast package for proper temperature. Place a bubbler in the top of the jar when it stops bubbling the mix is ready to distill or is a very good wine that taste like pears. This is the easiest recipe I have found. It's a moon-shiners dream.
 

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WELCHES FROZEN GRAPE JUICE MOONSHINE BRANDY

10 cans (11.5 oz) Welches 100% frozen grape concentrate
7 Lbs granulated sugar
water to make 5 gallons
wine or distillers yeast

Bring 5 quarts of water to boil and dissolve the sugar in the water. Remove from heat and add frozen concentrate. Add additional water to make five gallons and pour into secondary. Add remaining ingredients except yeast. Cover with cloth fastened with rubber band and set aside 12 hours. after cooling to proper yeast temperature, add activated yeast and recover with cloth. Ferment 30 days..

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TANGLE-FOOT MOONSHINE
Fermenter - barrel (55 gals)
Option 1
1/2 bushel (30 lb) Corn Meal
3 & 1/2 lbs malted corn
2 handfuls raw rye to form cap on fermenting mash
Optional - sugar, 40 lbs in 2 lots - 10 lb then 30 lb
1 cup of Yeast.

Option 2
1 bushel corn meal
1 & 1/2 gal malted corn
Yield -
Pure Corn 1.5 gal/bushel (28 lb)
Corn & Sugar 6 gal/bushel (28 lb)
1 cup of yeast
 

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 KILL ME QUICK

10 gallons of water

5 Lbs of sugar

3 Lbs of cracked corn

3 Lbs of rye

1 Lb of raisins 

1 keg of yeast

Mix ingredients together and ferment for  7 to 10 days or until the yeast quits working. Strain and distill.

 

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APPLE PIE BRANDY.

Heat one gallon of apple juice. Do not exceed 150 degrees.

Add one cup of honey, 2 tsp of cinnamon oil and 2 tsp of nutmeg.

Stir until disolved.

Let this mixture cool down to room temperature and add one fifth of either rum, vodka of shine. Rum is best.

Put into jars and let set for two weeks. 

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