Make whiskey at home and you will find yourself making it over and over again because it is convenient, easy and more importantly – cheap! Making whiskey is becoming very popular and most amateurs like to make their own by following the simple instructions. The first thing you should do is make sure that you have the right ingredients and equipment at home.
Ingredients needed to make your first batch are as follows. 7 pounds of rye, 2 pounds of barley, a pound of malt, 3 grams of yeast, 6 gallons of good water, a food mill or processor, a container for the fermentation process that has to be airtight, a still that can either be bought at the store or made at home with the help of a steam kettle, a pressure cooker or rice cooker with a steam valve, a cooking thermometer to monitor the temperatures, plastic hose or tubing, a big meal cooking pot, a pillow case for straining and of course some glass bottles or whiskey bottles.
The first thing you would have to do is to crush the barley and rye into a powder that is coarse. You can do this with the help of the food processor or the food mill. If you want to do this crushing by hand then make sure that you use a clean stone or brick to do it. Next you would have to pour in the 6 gallons of bottled water into the large metal cooking pot and place it on the stove for heating it to a temperature of around 70F. The cooking thermometer can be suspended in the pot to enable you to monitor the temperature.
The next step is to put the crushed mixture of malt and grains into this water and stir the mixture continuously while raising the temperature to around 160F. The stirring of this mixture has to be done for 3 hours while making sure that the temperature is constantly maintained at the said degree. This makes the starch into sugar. After the required time, the container can be taken off the heat so that the mash cools to 70 degrees F. At this juncture, the yeast should be added and stirred thoroughly so that it combines with the mixture.
Fermentation is the next step. The mixture should be poured into the container that is airtight so that fermentation starts. Make very sure that the container is well sealed. This process should take around a week or so. After the week, you can pour out the fermented liquid through the pillowcase so that if there are any solids they are filtered out.
Distillation is next. Either you buy a still from the supplier or make your own at home. All you need to do is take the rice or pressure cooker that has a steam valve or a steam kettle and place a hose or plastic bag over the valve. The liquid will have to be heated so that the steam or vapors will escape through the steam valve into the hose or plastic bag. These vapors will condense and cool and the whiskey will be produced and drained into the bottles. Let the whiskey age for several weeks in order to get a good flavor.