Hello, Good News! If you are looking for a way to enjoy the sweet and tart flavor of blackberries in a homemade alcoholic drink, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will show you how to make blackberry moonshine, a high-proof liquor that is traditionally made and sold illegally. But don’t worry, we will also tell you how to do it legally and safely, so you can enjoy your own batch of this tasty and potent beverage.
Blackberry moonshine is a type of fruit-infused moonshine, which is made by adding fresh or frozen blackberries to a base of corn whiskey or neutral spirit. The blackberries give the moonshine a rich color, aroma, and flavor, as well as some health benefits from their antioxidants and vitamins. Blackberry moonshine can be enjoyed on its own, mixed with soda or lemonade, or used in cocktails. It is also a great gift idea for your friends and family who appreciate homemade drinks.
What You Need to Know Before Making Blackberry Moonshine
The Legal Status of Moonshine
Before we get into the recipe, let’s talk about the legal status of moonshine in the United States. Moonshine is defined as any liquor that is made and sold without a license or tax. It is illegal under federal law to distill alcohol for personal consumption or commercial purposes without a permit from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). The penalties for violating this law can include fines, imprisonment, and seizure of property.
However, some states have more lenient laws regarding home distilling. For example, Alaska, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Rhode Island allow home distilling for personal use only, as long as the federal law is changed. Other states may allow home distilling for fuel alcohol or vinegar production only. You should check your state laws before attempting to make moonshine at home.
The Safety Risks of Moonshine
Making moonshine also involves some safety risks that you should be aware of. First of all, distilling alcohol involves heating flammable liquids and vapors, which can cause fires or explosions if not handled properly. You should always use a well-ventilated area, away from any sources of ignition or heat. You should also use a thermometer and a hydrometer to monitor the temperature and alcohol content of your product.
Secondly, moonshine can contain harmful substances that can affect your health. These include methanol, which is a toxic byproduct of fermentation that can cause blindness or death; lead, which can leach from old or poorly made stills and cause poisoning; and other contaminants, such as bacteria or mold, that can spoil your product or cause infections. You should always use clean and sanitized equipment, discard the first and last portions of your distillate (called the heads and tails), and filter your product before bottling.
How to Make Blackberry Moonshine: The Ingredients and Equipment
To make blackberry moonshine, you will need the following ingredients:
- 5 gallons of water
- 8.5 pounds of flaked corn maize
- 1.5 pounds of crushed malted barley
- Bread yeast
- Sugar (optional)
- 2 cups of fresh or frozen blackberries per quart of moonshine
The water should be filtered or distilled to avoid any impurities that can affect the fermentation or distillation process. The flaked corn maize and the crushed malted barley are the main sources of fermentable sugars that will be converted into alcohol by the yeast. The bread yeast is a common type of yeast that can be found in any grocery store. You can add some sugar to increase the alcohol content of your mash, but this is optional.
The blackberries are the flavoring agents that will infuse your moonshine with their delicious taste and color. You can use fresh or frozen blackberries, depending on their availability and price. You will need about 2 cups of blackberries per quart of moonshine that you want to make.
To make blackberry moonshine, you will need the following equipment:
- A large pot or kettle with a lid (at least 10 gallons)
- A fermentation bucket with an airlock (at least 6 gallons)
- A heat source (such as a stove or a propane burner)
- A thermometer
- A long spoon
- A weighing scale
- Two separate containers (such as buckets or jugs)
- A siphon
- A cheesecloth
- A still (such as a pot still or a column still)
- A condenser (such as a worm or a coil)
- A collection vessel (such as a jar or a bottle)
- A hydrometer
- A funnel
- A filter (such as a coffee filter or a carbon filter)
The pot or kettle is where you will cook your corn mash, which is the mixture of water, corn, barley, and yeast that will ferment into alcohol. The fermentation bucket is where you will transfer your mash after it cools down and add the yeast. The airlock is a device that allows carbon dioxide to escape from the bucket while preventing oxygen and contaminants from entering.
The heat source is what you will use to boil your water and your mash. The thermometer is what you will use to measure the temperature of your water and your mash. The long spoon is what you will use to stir your mash. The weighing scale is what you will use to measure your ingredients. The two separate containers are what you will use to aerate your mash before adding the yeast.
The siphon is what you will use to transfer your mash from the fermentation bucket to the still. The cheesecloth is what you will use to strain your mash and remove any solids. The still is what you will use to distill your mash into moonshine. The condenser is what you will use to cool down the alcohol vapors and turn them back into liquid. The collection vessel is what you will use to collect your moonshine.
The hydrometer is what you will use to measure the alcohol content of your moonshine. The funnel is what you will use to pour your moonshine into the jars or bottles. The filter is what you will use to remove any impurities or unwanted flavors from your moonshine.
How to Make Blackberry Moonshine: The Steps
Step 1: Making the Corn Mash
The first step in making blackberry moonshine is making the corn mash, which is the base of your moonshine. Here are the steps:
- Place your pot or kettle on your heat source and pour in 5 gallons of water. Heat the water to 165°F (74°C). You can use a thermometer to check the temperature.
- When the water reaches 165°F (74°C), turn off the heat source and immediately stir in 8.5 pounds of flaked corn maize. Stir the mixture continuously for 7 minutes.
- Check the temperature of the mixture and keep stirring it several times. Do this for 30 seconds every 5 minutes until the mixture cools down to 152°F (67°C).
- When the mixture cools down to 152°F (67°C), stir in 1.5 pounds of crushed malted barley. This will help convert the starches in the corn into sugars that can be fermented by the yeast.
- Check the temperature of the mixture again and stir it for 30 seconds every 20 minutes until it cools down to 70°F (21°C). This can take several hours, depending on the ambient temperature. You can also use an immersion cooler to speed up the cooling process.
- When the mixture cools down to 70°F (21°C), add some bread yeast. You can follow the instructions on the yeast package for the amount and method of adding it. Alternatively, you can use about one packet of yeast per gallon of mash.
- Aerate the mixture by transferring it back and forth between two separate containers for 5 minutes. This will help oxygenate the yeast and improve its performance.
- Pour the mixture into your fermentation bucket and seal it with an airlock. This will allow carbon dioxide to escape while preventing oxygen and contaminants from entering.
Step 2: Fermenting the Corn Mash
The second step in making blackberry moonshine is fermenting the corn mash, which is when the yeast converts the sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Here are the steps:
- Place your fermentation bucket in a dark and cool place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. The ideal temperature range for fermentation is between 65°F (18°C) and 75°F (24°C).
- Let your mash ferment for about two weeks, or until it stops bubbling. You can check on it occasionally, but do not open or disturb it too much.
- When your mash stops bubbling, it means that most of the sugars have been converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide, and that fermentation is complete. You can usea hydrometer to measure the alcohol content of your mash. The alcohol content should be between 10% and 20%.
- When your mash is ready, siphon it into another container and strain it through a cheesecloth to remove any solids. This will make your mash clearer and easier to distill.
Step 3: Distilling the Corn Mash
The third step in making blackberry moonshine is distilling the corn mash, which is when you separate the alcohol from the water and other substances in the mash. Here are the steps:
- Set up your still according to its instructions and connect it to your condenser and collection vessel. Make sure everything is clean and secure.
- Pour your strained mash into your still and heat it to boiling point. The alcohol will vaporize first, followed by the water and other substances.
- Monitor the temperature and alcohol content of your distillate using a thermometer and a hydrometer. The first portion of your distillate, called the heads, will contain mostly methanol and other harmful substances. You should discard this portion or save it for cleaning purposes. The heads will have a temperature above 175°F (80°C) and an alcohol content above 80%.
- The next portion of your distillate, called the hearts, will contain mostly ethanol and some water. This is the good stuff that you want to keep. The hearts will have a temperature between 175°F (80°C) and 205°F (96°C) and an alcohol content between 80% and 50%. You should collect this portion in your collection vessel.
- The last portion of your distillate, called the tails, will contain mostly water and some fusel oils and other impurities. You should discard this portion or save it for future distillation. The tails will have a temperature above 205°F (96°C) and an alcohol content below 50%.
- When you have collected enough hearts, turn off the heat source and let the still cool down. You should have about one gallon of moonshine for every five gallons of mash.
Step 4: Infusing the Moonshine with Blackberries
The fourth step in making blackberry moonshine is infusing the moonshine with blackberries, which is when you add flavor and color to your moonshine. Here are the steps:
- Wash and dry your blackberries and remove any stems or leaves.
- Place your blackberries in a large glass jar or bottle and lightly crush them with a wooden spoon or a masher. This will help release their juices and flavors.
- Pour your moonshine over the blackberries until they are completely submerged. You can add some sugar if you want to sweeten your moonshine, but this is optional.
- Seal the jar or bottle tightly and shake it well to mix everything together.
- Store the jar or bottle in a dark and cool place for at least two weeks, shaking it once a day. This will allow the blackberries to infuse their flavor and color into the moonshine.
- After two weeks, strain the moonshine through a cheesecloth or a coffee filter into another jar or bottle. Discard the blackberries or use them for other purposes.
A Detailed Table Breakdown Related to Blackberry Moonshine
To help you understand more about blackberry moonshine, here is a detailed table breakdown that shows some of its characteristics, benefits, and drawbacks:
| Characteristic | Description | Benefit | Drawback |
| ————– | ———– | ——- | ——– |
| Flavor | Blackberry moonshine has a sweet and tart flavor that comes from the fresh or frozen blackberries that are infused into it. | It is delicious and refreshing, especially when mixed with soda or lemonade. It can also be used in cocktails that require fruity flavors. | It may not appeal to people who prefer plain or spicy flavors. It may also lose some of its flavor over time if not stored properly. |
| Color | Blackberry moonshine has a rich purple color that comes from the anthocyanins in the blackberries that are infused into it. | It is visually appealing and attractive, especially when served in clear glasses or bottles. It can also be used as a natural food coloring agent. | It may stain clothes or surfaces if spilled or splashed. It may also fade or change color over time if exposed to light or heat. |
| Alcohol Content | Blackberry moonshine has a high alcohol content that ranges from 50% to 80%, depending on how it is distilled and infused. | It is potent and effective, especially for people who want to get drunk quickly or enjoy a strong buzz. It can also be diluted with water or other liquids to adjust its strength. | It is dangerous and harmful, especially for people who drink too much or have low tolerance. It can cause intoxication, dehydration, hangover, or poisoning. |
| Health Benefits | Blackberry moonshine has some health benefits that come from the blackberries that are infused into it. | It contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber that can help prevent or treat various diseases and conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, inflammation, infection, or constipation. | It also contains alcohol, sugar, and calories that can cause or worsen various diseases and conditions, such as obesity, liver damage, heart disease, or diabetes. |
| Legal Status | Blackberry moonshine has a questionable legal status that depends on how it is made and sold. | It can be made and sold legally if it follows the federal and state laws regarding home distilling, licensing, taxation, and labeling. It can also be enjoyed legally if it is consumed responsibly and moderately. | It can be made and sold illegally if it violates the federal and state laws regarding home distilling, licensing, taxation, and labeling. It can also cause legal trouble if it is consumed irresponsibly or excessively. |
FAQs About Blackberry Moonshine
How long does blackberry moonshine last?
Blackberry moonshine can last for several months or even years if stored properly. You should keep it in a dark and cool place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. You should also seal it tightly to prevent evaporation and oxidation. You can check the quality of your blackberry moonshine by smelling and tasting it. If it smells or tastes bad, you should discard it.
How do you drink blackberry moonshine?
Blackberry moonshine can be drunk in different ways depending on your preference and occasion. You can drink it neat or on the rocks if you want to enjoy its pure flavor and potency. You can mix it with soda or lemonade if you want to make it more refreshing and fizzy. You can use it in cocktails if you want to create more complex and interesting flavors. You can also sip it slowly or shoot it quickly if you want to control your intake and effect.
How do you make blackberry moonshine stronger?
Blackberry moonshine can be made stronger by increasing the alcohol content of your mash or your distillate. You can increase the alcohol content of your mash by adding more sugar or yeast to your corn mash before fermenting it. You can increase the alcohol content of your distillate by distilling your mash more than once or by discarding more heads and tails during distillation.
How do you make blackberry moonshine sweeter?
Blackberry moonshine can be made sweeter by adding more sugar or honey to your blackberry infusion before sealing it. You can also add some simple syrup or agave nectar to your blackberry moonshine before drinking it.
How do you make blackberry moonshine smoother?
Blackberry moonshine can be made smoother by filtering or aging it after distillation. You can filter your blackberry moonshine through a coffee filter or a carbon filter to remove any impurities or unwanted flavors from it. You can age your blackberry moonshine in oak barrels or glass jars to enhance its flavor and aroma.
How do you make blackberry moonshine more flavorful?
Blackberry moonshine can be made more flavorful by adding more blackberries or other fruits to your infusion after distillation. You can also add some spices or herbs to your infusion to create more depth and complexity in your flavor.
How do you make blackberry moonshine less harsh?
Blackberry moonshine can be made less harsh by diluting it with water or other liquids before drinking it. You can also chill your blackberry moonshine in the freezer or refrigerator to reduce its burn and bite.
How do you make blackberry moonshine safer?
Blackberry moonshine can be made safer by following the proper procedures and precautions during the making process. You should always use clean and sanitized equipment, discard the first and last portions of your distillate, and filter your product before bottling. You should also check your state laws before attempting to make moonshine at home.
How do you make blackberry moonshine cheaper?
Blackberry moonshine can be made cheaper by using cheaper ingredients and equipment during the making process. You can use tap water instead of filtered or distilled water, bread yeast instead of specialized yeast, sugar instead of malted barley, frozen blackberries instead of fresh ones, etc. You can also use homemadeor stills instead of buying them, etc. You can also make larger batches of moonshine to reduce the cost per unit.
How do you make blackberry moonshine better?
Blackberry moonshine can be made better by experimenting with different ingredients, equipment, and methods during the making process. You can try different types of corn, barley, yeast, sugar, blackberries, etc. You can also try different types of stills, condensers, filters, barrels, jars, etc. You can also try different temperatures, times, ratios, measurements, etc. The best way to make blackberry moonshine better is to have fun and learn from your mistakes.
Blackberry moonshine is a delicious and easy recipe that you can make at home with some basic ingredients and equipment. It is a type of fruit-infused moonshine that has a sweet and tart flavor and a rich purple color. It is also a high-proof liquor that has some health benefits and some legal risks. You can enjoy it on its own or mix it with other drinks. You can also customize it to your liking by adjusting its strength, sweetness, smoothness, flavor, etc.
We hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new about blackberry moonshine. If you want to learn more about moonshine or other homemade drinks, you can check out our other articles on our website. Thank you for reading and happy moonshining!