The main ingredients in this Bourbon recipe can be found at your local grocery store. It is a good place to start as a Hobby Distiller. Their is plenty of corn flavor, that gives Bourbon its sweetness. In addition, we use pure cane sugar to keep the yeast active and bring even more sweetness to the spirit. The following recipe is ideal for a 5 gallon wash, ideal for use in a hobby still.
Gather your ingredients
Here's what you will need:
4 lbs corn meal - make sure you are getting corn meal, and not corn bread mix. You don't want baking powder in your mash.
3.3 lb can of unhopped malt extract syrup - you can find malt extract at your local homebrew shop. Try experimenting with different malts.
8 lbs of pure cane sugar - make sure it is cane sugar and not beet sugar. It should say "cane" on the label.
1 packet Whisky Yeast - make sure it includes amyloglucosidase, which is important to maximize the alcohol level of your wash
Toasted oak chips - for aging your bourbon and giving it that beautiful golden color.
Prepare your mash
Use the following process for making your mash:
Heat 2 to 3 gallons of water to 200F. More water will make your mash easier to stir. The water should be just below boiling to help break down the enzymes in the corn meal.
Reduce the heat and slowly pour in the corn meal. You will want to stir while pouring to prevent as much clumping of the corn meal as possible.
Continue to cook and stir until corn is fully gelatinized. It should take about 10-15 minutes for the corn to gelatinize.
Add the sugar and the malt syrup, again stirring constantly. Make sure the sugar dissolves and the syrup is thoroughly mixed into the mash.
Turn off the heat and allow the mash to cool to 165F.
Stir in the alpha amylase enzyme. Allow to rest for 1 hour.
Pour the mash into your fermentation vessel. Top off with cold, chlorine freed, aerated water to just over 5 gallons.
Let cool to <85 F. Sprinkle room temperature whiskey yeast across top of mash. Make sure your mash has cooled. Higher temperatures can kill off the yeast before it even begins to do its work of converting starches to sugars.
Wait 15-20 minutes until yeast has rehydrated then stir in gently.
Cover and ferment at 75-80F until fermentation is completed. The fermentation should take 4-7 days. You will know its complete when there is no more activity.
Distill your wash
Now that you have created your mash, you will want to prepare it for your still. Be sure to strain the contents so that only liquid is going into your still boiler. A large straining bag or a clean pillow case can be used to strain your mash. Distill the wash per the instructions provided with your still.
Age your homemade bourbon
To age your whiskey, place distilled strength spirit in a mason jar with toasted oak chips. Shake your jar daily. Age to taste. It will typically take 30 days or more to mellow. Strain off the oak chips and dilute with aerated distilled water to 80 proof. Now its time to enjoy your homemade Bourbon. Cheers!
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