Recipe While it's "agin the law" to make illegal moonshine there is no law that prohibits knowing how - so here's how! Take 50 pounds of cracked corn and cook it up with 40 gallons of water for an hour. Let it cool down to 140 degrees and add 15 pounds of ground up malted barley. Let the malt work the corn starch into sugar for an hour. Cool the whole mixture down to 90 degrees and add several ounces of yeast to ferment the sugar into alcohol. Let it sit 3 days until you can taste the alcohol in the corn beer or "mash" as it is traditionally called.
Distillation is based upon the fact that alcohol and water boil at different temperatures. Alcohol vaporizes (boils off) at 176 degrees while water vaporizes (boils) at 212 degrees. Heat the corn beer up to 176 degrees and pure alcohol comes off, leaving the water behind. Capture the vapor in a copper coil immersed in cold water and out will come Moonshine. To make it really strong, run it through the still again for 150 proof white lightning.
Internal Coils and Mixer Paddle in Still
Still Clamped Down for a Run
History West Virginia's distilling history goes back to the first pioneers who crossed the Allegheny mountains in the late 1700's. These settlers brought their distilling traditions and equipment from Scotland and Ireland. Usually six to ten homesteaders would share a still to distill their surplus rye and corn for sale back East in exchange for axes, needles, cloth and other essential finished goods. It was easier to haul a gallon of whiskey back East than the corn it took to make the whiskey.
Using whiskey as a form of currency ended after the Whiskey Rebellion of 1791-94. The excise tax structure created by George Washington and Alexander Hamilton to pay Revolutionary War debts regulated the industry. Many distillers moved their operations to Kentucky where corn grew better and they could continue their trade without government supervision.
West Virginia's distilling tradition continued as a back woods affair, away from the prying eyes of revenue agents. Colorful stories of bootleggers outsmarting and outrunning the law and the prohibition agents that eventually caught them are a part of West Virginia's heritage as well.
We make only legal corn whiskey, licensed, tax paid, hand bottled and our reputations stand behind every drop.