Build-it-Yourself Moonshine Still Plans

Moonshine Still Recipes

The roots of making moonshine are entailed in the art that has stretched back thousands of years into our history. The overall process of making moonshine is relatively simple. However, once you begin the process of trial and error you will learn the nuances that can make make the distilling process quite challenging at time.

American Moonshine Distillers typically use corn to make their moonshine. This is largely due to the fact that corn is one of the most common and inexpensive grains available. Scotch and Irish Whiskeys tend to use barley.

Starting off the process with the proper moonshine ingredients will make all the difference in the quality of the you are looking to create. A quick and simple overview of the process of making moonshine is listed below, but keep in mind, there is a lot more to it when it comes to quality creative distilling.

Moonshine Mashing Equipment

Making corn whiskey mash is pretty simple. You could get by with less, but having the following basic equipment will make this a lot easier.

  • You'll want a large pot for mashing
  • a wort chiller for cooling liquid
  • a brewers thermometer
  • cheesecloth
  • a plastic funnel
  • a spare plastic bucket for aeration

Moonshine Distilling Proceedure

  • Gather Your Materials and Moonshine Ingredients
  • Mix Your Chosen Type of Mash
  • Ferment Your Mash
  • Prepare Your Still
  • Transfer Fermented Mash to Your Still
  • Run Your Still
  • Separate Foreshots, Heads, Hearts, and Tails
    • Foreshots are the first vapors to boil off during distillation
    • Heads come off the still directly after the foreshots, they taste and smell bad
    • Hearts come off the still after the heads, they are the sweet spot, the good stuff
    • Tails following the hearts after lower boiling point alcohols have evaporated. Tails contain fusel oil and other alcohols
      • Fusel oil is a mixture of several alcohols (chiefly amyl alcohol) produced as a byproduct of alcoholic fermentation
  • Clean Your Still, it’s important for safety and purity of products that copper stills be cleaned properly. An important vinegar run should be done before the first use. You should disassemble your still for cleaning after every use. You want to make sure no buildup collects that could contaminate your alcohol.

The practice of distilling can include the production of liquor, wine, beer, liqueurs, alcoholic beverages, and yes, even ethanol.

Do-It-Yourself Moonshine Recipes


  • So for a 5 gallon mash:
  • 5 gallons of water
  • 5 pounds of corn meal
  • 5 pounds of sugar

Heat the water to around 90-100 degrees, turn off the heat to the burner, add the corn meal to the water and stir very well, add the sugar and mix until completely dissolved. Add yeast once the mash has cooled to the high 70’s


  • 8.5 lbs. of crushed corn (sometimes called flaked maize)
  • 2 lbs. of crushed malted barley*
  • 6.5 gallons of water
  • 1 package of bread yeast

Note, barley MUST be malted, otherwise recipe will not work


  • 1 Gallon of Honey
  • 4 Gallons of Water
  • 5 Tsp. Yeast Nutrient
  • 2 Packets Bread Yeast

Add 4 gallons of water and 1 pound of honey to a pot. Heat liquid to 160 degrees to dissolve the honey and “soft pasteurize” the mash. Cool to 70 degrees using an immersion chiller. Aerate by dumping back and forth between 2 bucks. Transfer liquid to fermenter and add yeast. Cap with an air-lock. Allow to ferment for 2 weeks, maintaining an ambient temperature of 70 degrees.


  • 7 lbs Rye, 2 lbs Barley
  • 1 lb malt
  • 6 gallons of water
  • 1 oz yeast

Heat water to 70 degrees and mix in malt and grain. While stirring the mixture, heat to 160 degrees. Keep mixture at 160 degrees for 2-3 hours, stirring, to convert starch to fermentable sugars. Strain the mash and place into your fermenter and allow to cool to 70 - 80 degrees. Pitch yeast. To avoid secondary fermentation and contamination, add 1 gram of ammonium fluoride. Stir for one minute, then cover and seal with an airlock. Mash will take 5-7 days to ferment. After fermentation is complete, pour into the still through a pillow case to remove all solids.


  • 1.5 lbs pounds malted Barley for every gallon
  • 1/3 pound of cain sugar for every gallon
  • Add gypum depending on size of fermentation

After your mash has cooled down to 70 degrees you can pitch your Prestige distillers yeast.


  • 8 Pounds Sugar
  • 1 Pound Of Raisins
  • 4 Gallons Water
  • 2 Packets Champagne Yeast

Add 4 gallons of water, 8 pounds of sugar, and 1 pound of raisins to the pot. Heat to 100 degrees to dissolve the sugar. Cool to 70 degrees. Aerate by dumping back and forth between 2 bucks. Transfer liquid to fermenter and add yeast. Cap with an air-lock. Allow to ferment for 2 weeks, maintaining an ambient temperature of 70 degrees.