Vodka, a colorless alcohol, is one of the most popular and versatile alcoholic beverages. It can be consumed straight or mixed into cocktails. Vodka, which is distilled water and ethanol, can be made from several fermented substances, including rye, wheat, sugarbeet molasses, and potatoes. You can make your own vodka from potatoes using some simple distillation equipment. Here’s how to make potato vodka:
Ingredients and equipment:
- 2 pounds of potatoes for every liter of vodka desired
- Pressure cooker
- Malt or enzymes (from homebrew store)
- 1 package yeast (from homebrew store)
- Distillation kit
- Sharp knife
- Fine mesh strainer
- Prepare the potatoes. Peel and cube the potatoes into the smallest pieces possible, which will facilitate their cooking.
- Cook the potatoes. Place the potato cubes into the pressure cooker. Then, pour water over them until the potatoes are completely covered, plus about an inch of water. If you have never used a pressure cooker before, read the instructions; this device can be dangerous if not used properly. Cook until the potatoes have completely combined with the water, or the potatoes have nearly liquefied. This should take about an hour. Let the pressure cooker sit, allowing your potatoes to cool.
- Strain the mixture. You will make your potato vodka with the liquid that is in the pressure cooker. To do so, strain the dissolved potatoes to remove any solids. Discard the solids, but keep the liquid.
- Add malt or enzymes. Wait until your potatoes have cooled to about 150 degrees before adding malt or enzymes. The malt converts the starch in potatoes to fermentable sugars.
- Add yeast. Once the mixture has cooled to about 80 degrees Fahrenheit, add the yeast according to the instructions on the package. Let the mixture ferment. You should see bubbles on the top of the potato mixture as it ferments, or turns into alcohol.
- Prepare to distill the vodka. Distilling the potato vodka removes any impurities in the liquid. A distillation kit can be purchased online or at any homebrew and winemaking store.
- Distill the liquid. The distillation process involves the heating of the potato liquid until it turns into steam in a hose. It will then condense back into a liquid, and come out the other end of the tube in a collection container. Distill your potato vodka several times, which will improve the taste. You may want to filter your potato vodka through charcoal, which adds a slightly smoky taste.
- Finish the flavoring. The process for making potato vodka results in a mixture that is about 190 proof, so most people choose to cut it with a weaker alcohol to reduce its overall alcohol content. It is also possible to flavor your finished potato vodka using any number of ingredients, from fruit to herbs to candy.
Vodka is among the easiest spirits to make at home using household ingredients. Still, check to make sure that vodka is legal to make in your area; in some areas it is not legal to distill your own spirits.