Mash is a starchy mixture from which grain alcohol is distilled. It is made from a mixture of corn or other grains, yeast, sugar, and water. Mash is the intermediate mixture on your way to making grain alcohol from corn or other grains. Once the mash is made, you'll need a still to distill it into alcohol. Keep in mind that you may need a permit to complete the process of using mash.
Ingredients and supplies:
- 25lb shelled hole corn or other grain (for example, rye)
- 100lb sugar
- 6 ounces yeast
- Large container
- Large stockpot
- 100 gallons water
- Glass jars
Sprout the corn. First, you need to convert the cornstarch in the corn to sugar. Place the corn in a large container, cover it with warm water, and drape a cloth over the container. Add warm water from time to time if the liquid levels drop. It should take about 3 days or so for the corn to sprout about 2 inches. Allow the corn to dry. Because of the amounts of each ingredient used to make mash, you may want to make half a batch, or use several containers.
Grind the corn. Once the sprouted corn is dry, grind it into meal. You can also prepare other grains, such as rye, in the same way.
Make the mash. Add boiling water to the ground corn. Once the water is no longer boiling, keep it warmed and add yeast (6 ounces per 25 pounds of corn). Fermentation should take about 3 days. Without the yeast, it will take much longer, up to 2 weeks. Once the mixture stops bubbling, it has finished fermenting and your mash is ready. The corn has been turned into carbonic acid and alcohol, and is now called "sour mash".
Distill the mash. Now place the mash in the distiller, and cook to a temperature of 173 degrees, at which temperature the ethanol in the mash will vaporize, rise to the top of the cooker, and then condense in the copper tubing. Collect this brown liquid in glass jars. The proof will depend on whether the liquid was collected early or late in the process of distillation, as well as other factors. It could be as high as 190 proof. You should discard the first bit of liquid to come out of the cooker; it will be toxic due to oils and other leftovers of the distillation process.
While you can buy grain alcohol in the store, making your own is a very old hobby. If you make beer or wine, next time experiment by making mash for grain alcohol.