Purifying Moonshine with Milk: 2 Methods

Experienced moonshiners know that clarifying moonshine with milk is one of the safest, clean, and eco-friendly methods of alcohol purification. But the only way of getting a good result is to use appropriate milk and correct ratios. The following text will inform you on 2 best methods of purification by taking into account all pros and cons.

Theory. Milk protein contains albumin and casein. These substances can bind molecules of toxic impurities and fusel oils contained in moonshine, causing them to precipitate out at the bottom. This sediment layer can be filtered out without a hustle. As a result, you’ll end up with a delicious drink with mild flavor.

But in addition to proteins milk also contains fats which make moonshine cloudy. Fats don’t affect the taste but spoil the looks of the drink. That’s why when filtering without distilling (the first method) you should use skimmed milk. If you plan to run second distillation milk’s fat content plays no role (the second method).

Purification with Milk without Distillation

This is a well-proven method which has been used in Russian villages for many centuries. It’s absolutely safe, it doesn’t require double distillation, it can be combined with other purification methods (activated carbon, manganese crystals, soda). But it has one flaw: sometimes purified moonshine can turn out cloudy.

Method Description:

  1. Add 100-150 ml of skimmed pasteurized milk (low fat) per 10 liters of moonshine with 45-50% ABV. High ABV (below 60%) promotes better protein folding.

You can use dry milk instead of pasteurized. 2-3 hours prior to starting moonshine purification dilute the required amount of milk with warm boiled water. After that, let it cool down and infuse.

  1. Stir the contents of the container with a spoon, seal it and leave for 5-7 days in a dark place with room temperature. Shake the container once a day for 5 days. Right after adding the milk you’ll notice a violent chemical reaction and white sludge flocks at the bottom of the container. That’s toxic impurities precipitating out under the influence of protein.
  2. Decant and filter the moonshine through several layers of cotton wool. You can also put a few pills of activated carbon into the cotton wool.

Using creamy milk resulted in a cloudy moonshine

Purified moonshine is ready for consumption. Depending on the fat content of the milk used beverage might turn out slightly cloudy. In order to get rid of the cloudiness, you should filter the moonshine through activated carbon and cotton wool (filter paper).

After purification with skimmed milk

Purification filter

Moonshine Purification with Milk and Distillation

This method gives a great result and can be used with any high-quality milk. It’s eco-friendly and can be combined with other methods.

Unfortunately, it also requires distillation which takes time.

Method Description:

  1. Add 100 ml of fresh home milk per 1 liter of moonshine with 45-55% ABV.
  2. Stir and seal.
  3. Leave the container for 5-6 days in a dark place with room temperature. Open and stir once a day for 4 days.

Settled moonshine before distillation

  1. Decant the moonshine, dilute up to 20% with water and run another distillation, separating the final product into fractions (heads, middle run, and tails)

Moonshine after distillation

P.S. If you doubt the effectiveness of this purification method, try purifying vodka with milk at home. Sometimes the amount of precipitation can be quite shocking.

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