Source of Recipe
Moonshine from David
In making mountain dew or
white lightnin, the first
step is to convert the starch
of the grain into sugar.
Commercial distillers use malt.
This is done by sprouting the corn.
Shelled, whole corn is covered with
warm water in a container with a hole
in the bottom. Place a hot cloth over
Add warm water from time to time as it
Keep in a warm place for about 3 days or
until corn has 2 inch sprouts.
Dry it and grind it into meal.
Make mush (or mash) with boiling water.
Add rye mash that has been made the same
way, if you have it.
Yeast (1/2 lb per 50 gallons of mash) may
be added to speed up the fermentation if
you have it.
Without it, 10 or more days will be required
instead of about 4 days.
In either case, it must be kept warm.
When the mash gets through working or
bubbling up and settles down, it is then
ready to run.
At this stage, the mash has been converted
into carbonic acid and alcohol.
It is called "wash" or beer, and it is SOUR.
The cooker consists of two main parts, mainly
the top and the bottom.
After the mash is put inside, the top is pasted
on with "red dog chop" or some other paste.
This is so that if the fire is too hot and the
pressure builds up, the top will blow off,
preventing an explosion which might wreck
(This consequence does not include a person
or residence that could be destroyed along
Maybe that is one reason why stills are always
shown [in movies] to be a distance from the house.
The other reason might be for concealing from
the U.S. Treasury Dept.)
In the top of the cooker, a copper pipe (or
arm) projects over to one side and tapers down
from a 4 or 5 inch diameter to the same diameter
(one or one and a quarter inch).
To make the "worm," a 20-foot copper pipe
is filled with sand, the ends are stopped
up, and it is wrapped around a fence post.
The sand prevents "kinking" of the pipe.
The spiral or coil, called the "worm,"
is then cleaned and attached firmly to the
end of the arm in such a way that it is down
inside a barrel.
The barrel will be kept full of cold, running
If the water runs in the top and out an opening
at the bottom, it can circulate better.
A fire under the cooker causes the spirit to
rise in vapor along with the steam.
It goes into the arm and then the worm, where
the cold water causes condensation.
This is collected at the end, in a container.
The first run-off, or "singlings," is weak and
impure and must be redistilled to rid it of
water and rank oils.
For the second run-off, or the "doublings," the
cooker is cleaned out and the singlings, along
with some water, is heated and run through again.
The first quart will be far too strong (about 200
proof) and toward the last it will be weak (about
The skill is in the mixing to make it 100 proof.
If a tablespoon of the liquid does not "flash"
or burn when thrown on the fire, there is not
enough alcohol left to bother running any more.
To test for the right proof, a small glass vial
When the small bubbles rise properly after the
vial is tilted, and when they set half above and
half below the top of the liquid, then it is the
The liquor is then filtered through charcoal and
is ready for consumption.
There are many ways of making moonshine.
This is just one way. For other ways, check with
your nearest revenuer.