People sure do love their whiskey, so one of the most common questions I get is, “Do you have a good whiskey recipe?”
Well, yes and no. I almost never make the same whiskey recipe twice, as I am always varying and tweaking the grain bill based on the last batch(es) that I made. However, there are several processes that I use repeatedly.
One of these is a process that I use with almost every moonshine mash recipe is one that keeps the corn mashing mess to a minimum. The biggest challenge of mashing corn is getting a complete gelatinization of the starches so that they can be broken down into sugars. As this starts to happen, the entire mixture thickens to a porridge consistency making it very hard to stir, yet stirring is necessary to keep it from burning to the bottom of your mash pot.
The bourbon mash recipe below will walk you through the process I use to keep the corn mash as thin as possible. The idea is to start breaking those starches down as soon as possible so that the mash stays as thin. If you have any questions of comments, please leave a comment for us below!
- Boil 2 gallons of backset from your previous wash.
- Add it to the 9 lbs corn in a bucket.
- Once the mixture cools to less than 150 F, add half a teaspoon of alpha amylase formula and mix in well by stirring.
- Let the mixture sit for 48 hours.
- Add 5 gallons of water to your brew pot and bring to a boil.
- Add the backset/grain mixture and bring up to 200 F, stirring to prevent scorching while the heat source is on.
- Maintain the temperature at over 200 F for about 2 hours by turning the heat source back on when the temperatures drop to low.
- Turn off the heat source, cover your brew pot, and let the mash cool to 155 F.
- Add to your sanitized fermentation vessel (should be larger than a standard 6.5 gallon bucket due to the additional volume the grain takes up) and mix in all the malted grains and remaining alpha amylase formula.
- Cover the fermentation vessel as the mash cools.
- Once the mash has cooled to around 80 F or less, add your preferred whiskey yeast.
- Mix the yeast in and cover.
- Make sure you have a stainless steel brew pot large enough to hold at least 5 gallons.
- A floating thermometer is very handy when you are trying to maintain the mash temperature.
- When the mash is done fermenting, I find it easiest to strain the solids out through a nylon mesh bag.
- You can vary recipe to your personal taste by changing the ratio of corn to barley and/or adding grains like rye, wheat, oats, or spelt. If you add a significant proportion of grains that will not convert themselves, you should use 6 row pale malt instead since it has a higher diastatic power.
- The type of yeast you use is up to you, but you may need to reduce the grain to water ratio if you are using a standard beer yeast (they have trouble fermenting up to 9% abv).