If you have old honey and you don’t feel like eating it, you can use it to make honey moonshine. This time we’ll look over two recipes for honey moonshine: one with sugar and other sugar-free. The resulting honey distillate is of pretty high quality, and it has almost indistinguishable honey fragrance. Whether you choose to add sugar or not it won’t affect the organoleptic properties of your homemade drink.
Keep in mind that honey moonshine has nothing to do with mead. These two alcoholic beverages are made in different ways, they have different flavors and ABV. The classic mead has just 5-12 degrees and its made somewhat like wine, requiring no distillation.
You can make honey moonshine from any type of honey, be it floral, white or buckwheat honey. The quality of the honey used is not that important—even a slightly spoilt, fermented honey is okay. It won’t affect the taste of the final moonshine in any way.
Honey Moonshine without Sugar
Mature honey doesn’t always ferment well on its own. By simply adding yeast and water sometimes you won’t notice it fermenting well. This problem can be solved in two ways: by boiling honey syrup or adding sugar. The first option takes more time, but it’s considered to be a better option since it promotes the production of glucose, which is needed for fermentation. If you don’t want to bother with boiling the syrup, just go straight to the second recipe.
- Honey – 3 liters
- Water – 10 liters
- Baker’s yeast – 200 grams (or 40 grams of dry yeast)
Mix honey and water in a stock pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes, constantly stirring and skimming off the foam. Take the pot off the stove and cool the must to 30°C.
Dilute yeast in some water and add it to the honey syrup, while constantly stirring. Decant the honey wash into a fermentation vessel and leave it in a warm dark place. Install an airlock on the neck of the vessel if possible. During the fermentation period be sure to maintain the temperature in the range of 18-28°C.
After fermentation has stopped (no foam, clear and bitter wash, sediment at the bottom), distill the prepared wash. The full method is described at the bottom of the second recipe.
Honey Moonshine with Sugar
Sugar increases the yield more than twice fold without affecting the fragrance.
- Honey – 3 kilos
- Sugar – 3 kilos
- Water – 25 liters
- Fresh pressed yeast – 300 grams (or 60 grams of dry yeast)
Mix warm water (up to 30°C), honey, and sugar. Add diluted yeast to the must and stir once again. Attach the airlock to the neck of the vessel.
Set the honey-sugar wash in a warm (18-28°C) dark place for fermentation. After 7-12 days distill the fermented wash.
Distilling Honey Moonshine (General Method)
Before distilling the wash, decant it to prevent it from burning in the distillation still. Distill and draw product. Distill and stop drawing product when ABV drops below 30%. Determine the potency of the obtained distillate and calculate the volume of pure alcohol.
Dilute the moonshine with water to 20%. You can clear it with coal or in any other way. Run the second distillation. Gather the first 8-12% of the pure alcohol separately. This harmful fraction is called “heads” and can only be used for technical purposes due to the high content of harmful substances.
Stop drawing the main product when ABV drops below 40%. The next fraction is called “tails,” which has a foul odor.
Water down the honey moonshine to the desired proof (usually 80-90 proof). Before trying the homemade moonshine keep it in a cellar or fridge for 2-3 days. This time is enough for the taste to stabilize and improve.