Clearing Moonshine and Getting Rid of Bad Smell

Most newcomers face a problem of a bad smelling moonshine. Craftsmen have come up with a few simple methods which allow solving this problem in a quick and effective way without wasting too much time and efforts. These are the most effective tested methods.

Six methods of getting rid of the unpleasant smell:

  1. Pour 2-3 grams of potassium permanganate powder per 3 liters of the finished product. Wait for the precipitate to settle. To speed up the process, just close the jar, shake it several times, and put it for 10-15 minutes in a heated bath at a temperature of 50-70°C.
  2. Add 8-10 grams of baking soda per 1 liter of moonshine, stir, and infuse for 20-30 minutes. Then stir again and leave for 10-12 hours. After this, drain the top liquid layer and remove the sediment at the bottom. Soda is good for getting rid of fusel oils that cause an unpleasant smell.
  3. Infuse your moonshine with orris root for 12 days (100 grams of ground root per 3 liters of moonshine). This old recipe is of little use to urban dwellers, since finding orris violets in stores is nearly impossible. However, this method is very effective.
  4. Freeze the moonshine in a metallic keg or glass container. Water will freeze near the edges of the container along with harmful substances. After the water turns into ice, pour the liquid moonshine into another container. If necessary, repeat the process several times. This method is simple and cheap, as the only thing you need is a refrigerator.
  5. Re-distillation. Dilute the moonshine with water to 15-20% and run another distillation, separating the finished product into fractions. This method is laborious and time-consuming. These blemishes notwithstanding, it’s also the most effective.
  6. Clearing with activated carbon. For this method, you’ll need birch charcoal (BAU-A and BAU-LV). Technology: grind the charcoal and roll it in several layers of cheesecloth. Filter the moonshine through the obtained filter.

Clearing with Carbon

Still, activated carbon remains the most simple and environmentally-friendly method of clearing moonshine. It removes unpleasant smells and harmful substances. Let’s find out how you can clear your moonshine with carbon at home.

Thanks to its pores, carbon absorbs molecules of a certain size, so it’s very important to choose the right type of coal. For example, animal bone coal consists of micropores and can only absorb small molecules. Fusel oils and other harmful substances are composed of large molecules—that’s why this type of coal is not suitable in our case.

Note: In order to clear the moonshine you’ll need activated carbon obtained by wood pyrolysis (decomposition brought about by high temperatures). Most activated carbon tablets sold in pharmacies are made from animal bones with the use of binding additives (starch). Its ability to absorb harmful impurities is extremely low.

Alternatively, there is a commercial product that I now use for clearing most of my Moonshine, which is the Still Spirits – EZ Filter System. This is the simplest method of clearing Moonshine, the kit comes with everything you need, including purpose-built filtering containers, all you need to purchase ongoing is purpose-made carbon cartridges & washers, both of which are very cost-effective and save a lot of time in filtering your Moonshine. 


Where to get Charcoal for Moonshine

It can be purhcased from homebrewing shops. The most suitable are BAU-A and BAU-LV activated birch charcoal, and also KAU-A activated coconut coal, designed specifically for the liquor industry.

Due to the presence of impurities, coal found in gas masks and other industrial devices should NOT be used!

You can find carbon with large pores in many water filters. As long as it has no impurities—ionites and other substances which start to dissolve in moonshine during the chemical reaction.

From my experience, birch charcoal is a good one to use to clear moonshine. It’s not hard to find as it’s used in hookahs and grills. When choosing charcoal to be wary of any impurities in its list of contents.

Birch charcoal is the best one

Clearing Moonshine with carbon

It’s pretty straightforward from here on: crush the carbon in a saucepan, then add to the moonshine (40-55%), 50 grams per liter. After this, infuse the mixture for a week in a sealed container. Shake it 1-2 times a day. Then decant it and filter through a layer of cotton wool. By the way, even vodka can be cleared in the same way.

As you can see, this clearing method is very simple. You just need to pick the right activated carbon.


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