How to make your own aged potato vodka in a bucket

Written by eliza herring
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How to make your own aged potato vodka in a bucket
The potato vodka you make at home will be a great spirit to share with friends at your next party. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Distilling your own potato vodka at home may seem like a daunting process but if you are willing to invest the necessary time and follow a few simple directions, you can create your own vodka. Most vodkas currently on the market are made with grain because grain is cheaper than potatoes. However, many vodka enthusiasts prefer drinking potato vodka to grain vodka. Your homemade potato vodka will be a wonderful spirit to offer your family and friends at your next gathering.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 9.07kg. of potatoes
  • Large pot
  • Food processor
  • 0.907kg. of crushed malted barley or wheat
  • Food thermometer
  • Strainer
  • 7.5 gallon food-grade bucket
  • Yeast
  • Still
  • Bottles
  • Corks

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    Make the Mash

  1. 1

    Boil the potatoes. Wash the potatoes, but do not take the time to skin them. Boil the 9.07kg. of potatoes in a large pot for 1 hour.

  2. 2

    Mash the potatoes. Discard the water that the potatoes boiled in. Then, mash the potatoes in a food processor. If you do not have a food processor, you can mash the potatoes manually.

  3. 3

    Put the mashed potatoes back in the pot. Add 5 to 6 gallons of water to the mix. Then heat the potato and water mixture to 65.6 degrees Celsius.

  4. 4

    Add 0.907kg. of crushed barley or wheat. After adding the wheat or barley, stir the contents of the pot thoroughly. Allow the mixture to cook for two hours.

  5. 5

    Let the mixture sit in the pot overnight. Try to keep the temperature in the pot at about 26.7 degrees Celsius. Allowing the mixture to sit overnight lets the barley or wheat breakdown the starch.

    Fermenting Your Vodka

  1. 1

    Strain the mash into a sterilised bucket. For 5 gallons of liquid you will produce you will need a sanitised 7.5 gallon bucket to contain the mixture as it ferments.

  2. 2

    Add yeast to the mixture. Cover the bucket with its lid, but do not seal the container completely. If the container is completely sealed, it may explode -- the gases produced by fermentation cause the container to expand.

  3. 3

    Allow the mixture 2 weeks to ferment. Keep the mixture in an area where the temperature will stay about 26.7 degrees Celsius for the duration of the fermenting process.

    Distil and Bottle Your Vodka

  1. 1

    Collect the fermented liquid from the bucket. The yeast must be left in the bucket.

  2. 2

    Heat the liquid in a still. The liquid must not be heated above 78.3 degrees Celsius.

  3. 3

    Discard the methanol. Discarding the harmful substance will mean discarding about 56.7gr. for every 5 gallons of fermented liquid.

  4. 4

    Collect the vodka. After the first distillation and removal of the methanol, you are left with the vodka. All of the liquid in the still is viable except the last 50ml., which should be discarded.

  5. 5

    Bottle the vodka after it cools. You can bottle in glass containers and seal with corks, or store spirit in any other airtight container.

Tips and warnings

  • You may want to purchase an alcohol meter to assess the alcohol content of the vodka. If it is higher than 40 to 50% you may want to dilute your vodka with distilled water.

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