In order to make vodka mixing alcohol with water is not enough. The obtained mixture will only vaguely resemble good store-bought analogues. Making of vodka requires a whole technological cycle to be carried out, which consists of a few stages either of which is important in its way and requires consideration.
First, I recommend purchasing at least the simplest alcoholmeter – a device which indicates the alcoholic strength of liquor liquids. Without alcoholmeter, it’ll be hard to make vodka with the desired volume level of alcohol because the declared potency of spirit doesn’t always correspond to the actual one. Thus adding ingredients intuitively will not make exactly what you want.
Homemade Vodka Making Technology
1. Choosing Alcohol. First, you have to buy or obtain ethanol. The taste and harmlessness of vodka depend on its quality. If the reliability of the supplier is questionable, check the alcohol for methyl in several ways. Methyl alcohol is lethal but it tastes the same and has the same color and smell.
According to GOST during the production of alcohol beverages further varieties of spirits are used: purest spirit, basis, lux, and alpha. Alpha spirits has the highest quality. It’s made from wheat, rust or their mixture. The basis, lux, and extra varieties are made from mixture of crops and potatoes in different proportions (the less potatoes, the better). Their quality is slightly worse. In order to make purest spirit any starch-containing materials are used (beetroot, molasses, potatoes, etc.). They serve as the basis for the cheapest vodka.
Theoretically, you can take even strong moonshine of double distillation but that would violate the traditional technology. That’s why you should use moonshine only in extreme cases.
2. Choosing Water. Water is exactly what influences the taste, purity, and softness of vodka. Tap or mineral water is a bad choice. To dilute alcohol you need water enriched with salts and minerals but you shouldn’t boil or distill it or it won’t mix with alcohol.
You should buy bottled water. While making your choice pay attention to the amounts of salts and minerals. Their content should be minimal. Reclaimed water sold in infant food departments is best for making vodka.
3. Preparing other ingredients. Diluted alcohol still has strong taste drying the tip of the tongue. To remove this effect vodka is made softer by adding by choice: glycerin (up to 5 mg per 0.3 gl/1 liter of vodka), pharmaceutical glucose (10-20 ml per 0.3 gl/1 liter) or sugar (one tablespoon per 0.3 gl/1 liter). Glucose is used for the most expensive vodkas; that’s the best way.
Additionally you can aromatize and soften vodka with lemon juice. 30 ml of fresh juice per 0.3 gl/1 liter of beverage is enough; that’s one average sized lemon.
4. Mixing. In Russia the strength of vodka should be around 40-56%, in the EU minimal strength is 37.5%. You should keep these figures in mind when calculating the proportions of diluting. I personally enjoy vodkas containing 45% ABV, but you might have other preferences. You can use various online calculators of moonshiners in order to calculate the right amount of water.
Mixing order: fill the prepared container with the right amount of water, add taste softeners (glucose, sugar, glycerin, lemon juice), and stir it up. Pour alcohol with a thin jet into water (not the other way around). Close with a lid and mix the solution for 1-2 minutes by shaking. Leave the container for 2-3 hours.
5. Filtering. This stage is optional. During this stage, harmful admixtures are removed from vodka. At home the simplest way to perform purification is by pouring the beverage 1-2 times through a new water filter.
Alternatively, you can fill the watering pot with cotton wool, put birch coal or a few pills of absorbent carbon on top. This filter is not very effective, but if alcohol and water are of high quality, it’s quite enough.
6. Maturing and bottling. In order to improve the taste before drinking homemade vodka should be matured for 3-10 days in a fridge. Then it should be bottled and hermetically sealed. After this, the preparation process is finished.