How to Make Moonshine

Moonshine is a colloquial word for distilled, homemade alcohol made popular during the Prohibition. While moonshine production is still considered illegal in the United States, for informative purposes only, read the steps given below to make moonshine.

Collect the ingredients necessary for making moonshine. You will need 25 pounds of cornmeal, 100 pounds of sugar, 100 gallons of water and 6 ounces of yeast. You'll also need charcoal for the final filter stage.

Gather the necessary equipment. You will need a few large pots, a large pressure cooker and a coiled copper pipe.

Boil water on the stove until it reaches a rolling boil.

Add this water to cornmeal. This mixture is known as the mash.

Cool down the mash until it is warm to the touch.

Add sugar and yeast to the warm mash.

Set the mash aside and allow it to ferment for 4 to 5 days. The mash is ready when it stops bubbling. At this stage, the mash is known as sour mash or beer.

Put the sour mash into the pressure cooker and carefully bring it up 173 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature at which the alcohol content of the mixture rises to the surface.

Use a coiled copper pipe, passed through cold water, to trap vaporized alcohol in a separate vessel. As the vapors pass through the cold copper tubing, they condense into a liquid called moonshine.

Filter the moonshine through charcoal to make it fit for consumption.


Store the mash after extracting your first batch of moonshine. Add all the ingredients again and repeat the procedure. You can reuse your mash up to 8 times. When cooking sour mash to vaporize alcohol, seal the pressure cooker lid so the seal blows off if the internal pressure increases too much. The copper coil should be 1 to 1-1/4 inch in diameter.


Follow these steps carefully, because improper distillation leads to collection of moonshine that can make you sick.

Things You'll Need

  • Charcoal
  • Sugar
  • Vessel to collect moonshine
  • Copper tube
  • Cornmeal
  • Pressure cooker
  • Yeast
  • Water
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