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Corn Liquor

From: Archie Edwards

Eleanor Ellie passed along this recipe. Archie learned to make this from his father. When he and He brothers helped out, they each got a few bottles for themselves which they would sell, and that was how they got some spending money.

Set up your still in a secluded spot near a creek or stream. It should be a place with a lot of trees so the smoke wont show too much.

Ingredients per batch of mash:

  • at least 4 bushels of dried corn ground to meal
  • 8 to 10 gallons of fresh water
  • a couple pounds of malt
  • a couple sticks of yeast
  • 1/2 bushel of barley
  • 2 gallons of hops

Mix ingredients well and let the mash ferment for five or six days. Put this in the copper kettle part of the still. The kettle needs to be large enough to hold 400 to 500 pounds of mash. Heat the kettle and catch the liquid at the end of the condensing coils in a large (15- to 20-gallon) tin tub. The first liquid will be clear. This is called "high shots" and is about 110 proof. When the liquor starts to turn gray, collect it in a different tub. This is called "low wines" and is not as strong.

Once all the corn liquor is collected, you have to proof it down. Put some of the, clear liquor into a bottle and start adding the gray liquor until beads form in the middle of the bottle. (Hit the bottom of the bottle occasionally to settle the beads.) If beads are near the bottom, the mixture is too weak. Beads at the top of the bottle means the liquor is too strong. To test any homemade liquor for purity, put a little in a spoon or ashtray and set it on fire. It should bum with a blue flame. If it burns yellow, dont drink it.*

The first time you go through this process, don't use any sugar. If you use the mash again, add 50 pounds of sugar The third batch of liquor from the mash will require 100 pounds of sugar and the next batch will need 150 pounds of Sugar.

*Editors note: The ashtray TEST does not test the strength of the alcohol, it tests what kind of alcohol you have- methanol or ethanol. Methanol, also called wood alcohol, is a poison. It makes good anti-freeze, though. We don't know if this test is foolproof, however, proceed at your own risk.

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