close

Books

Books

Moonshine Nation : The Art of creating cornbread in a bottle (excerpt)

img_0420-mark-spivak-author-of-moonshine-nation-l

The following is an excerpt from the book: The Art of Creating Cornbread in a Bottle:

“Like many consumers, I believed that bourbon was the true American spirit. It’s a good story, and distillers in Kentucky are adept at telling it. Bourbon, however, is basically aged corn whiskey, and corn whiskey was made in this country from the earliest days of the colonial settlers: Scots-Irish immigrants who traveled to the New World and brought their distilling skills with them. After the Whiskey Rebellion of 1791–94, those folks went underground and concocted their product in thousands of improvised stills throughout the Appalachian South. Their whiskey—unregulated, untaxed, and illegal—was made by the light of the moon and became known as moonshine.

As I researched the Whiskey Rebellion, I realized it was the source of many of the social and cultural divisions we see in America today. The widespread mistrust of the government throughout the South, as well as the resentment of the moneyed classes on the part of hardworking, rural citizens, is directly traceable to the events of 1791–94. Moonshining in the Appalachian South became both a source of sustenance and a way of life. In addition to being the only way to survive, it also became a symbol of the individual’s resistance against forces beyond his or her control.

Moonshine today is legal in many states, and mason jars filled with corn whiskey populate the shelves of retail stores across the country. Even so, the attitudes of moonshiners haven’t changed much. Many of these men and women are descendants of generations of people who hid stills in remote spots in the backwoods and risked prison time to support their families. They are proud of their heritage and are committed to making sure that their ancestors’ way of life doesn’t disappear.

The first part of this book traces the history of moonshine from the Whiskey Rebellion through the tax wars of the nineteenth century, and onward to Prohibition toward the present day. ”

Excerpt From: Mark Spivak. “Moonshine Nation.”

 

 

Comment

read more
Books

Fermentation Equipment

51isircuswl-_sy344_bo1204203200_

A big part of distilling at home, is understanding what tools you need to for fermenting what will eventually be your final product. The following below is an excerpt from the author Rick Moriss’ The Joy of Home Distilling:

Before you can start to ferment, you first need to gather the equipment necessary to get you all the way through the process. There are many fine “starter kits” available through homebrew and winemaking supply stores that will include all of the basic pieces necessary to complete fermentation and prepare you for the next step. If you do not have a homebrew supply store near you, there are many such stores online that specialize in this type of equipment. Although we are focusing on fermenting for the ultimate production of spirits, and therefore there are pieces in some equipment kits that you will not require, we will discuss the equipment that is used in winemaking and brewing, as well, so you understand what these pieces of equipment are and what they are used for and you can decide which kit would be best for you.

Fermenter: This is a fancy word for a food-grade bucket. Because there are generally two steps in winemaking during fermentation, you may see this called a “primary” or “primary fermenter,” meaning that it is used in the first stage of the fermentation process. They may have a loose-fitting lid or a sealed lid with a hole to allow the gases formed during fermentation to escape. Either is fine, although I am partial to a sealed fermenter, as it helps avoid surrounding air, which contains oxygen and contaminants that can spoil your wash. You will hear people talk about using trash cans or a host of other containers as fermenters, but you want to ensure that you are using a food-grade container if you are making food-grade spirits. If your intention is to make only fuel-grade alcohol, then obviously it is not necessary to use a food-grade fermenter. A proper, food-grade fermenter is an inexpensive piece of equipment, usually under $20, so here is not a place to try to cut costs. You will generally want a primary fermenter that is at least 20 percent larger than your batch size to allow space for the foam that will build at the start of the fermentation process. For certain types of product, such as grains, molasses, or fruit, it may even be necessary to allow more space, as the layer of foam could grow to an inch or two. Using too small of a primary fermenter can lead to one heck of a mess!

For more you can check out the book:


 

Comment

read more