When the night takes over, and the moon shines through the dark. When no one is around, silence takes over. It is the time to benefit from the moonshine still and create the homemade mash whiskey called “moonshine.” The drink of all the night owls helps them cherish the moments of joy.
Have you ever wondered why it is called moonshine? And what makes it so unique? Keep reading as we dig deep into the history of the moonshine still and discuss everything you need to know about it.
The History of Moonshine
Moonshine has been around for the most extended period, some call it the pop skull, and some call it plain old shine. But everyone only considers it real if it is made in the dark. The popular drink has changed forms but has always held a position in the heart of every American.
The term moonshine was around the 15th century; however, it was until the 18th century that clear-aged whiskey was termed in England as something illegal. It gained popularity because of its way of production.
Introduction to Moonshine
Moonshine is considered transparent, uncaged, homemade mash whiskey still made in the serenity of night. It has a corn base with high alcohol content and is considered illegal for the most part. People of cultures only consider the drink valid if it is made in the darkness of night, under the moon’s light. Hence, it has got the name Moonshine.
However, it is not made under the moon just for aesthetic reasons. Moonshiners – the people who make moonshine produce it at night because of its illegal status. And to prevent detection from authorities, the practice of nighttime has been around for a while. Remember, it is legal in the US to own moonshine still, whereas making uncaged whiskey without permission is illegal. What is moonshine still, you ask? Let’s get into that.
Definition of Moonshine Still
A moonshine still is an apparatus that helps make the homemade beloved mash whiskey called “moonshine”. The name has been given as the process usually happens under a full moon.
Besides being hard to catch at night, they had another reason to choose nighttime. Night’s cool air helps distillation, as vapors are converted to liquid form.
The still comes in various variations to perform the process smoothly. However, the most commonly used is a large copper still pot sealed with a tight lid and narrow conical vent at the top. The vent acts as a leader for the vapors to move into the container through copper tubing.
How Does it Work
Making wine at home is still illegal, so the most common spot for this process has become the mountainous region. Fewer people in those regions result in lower chances of getting caught. Afterward, it is smuggled and transported to different areas and sold.
The setup is usually near a flowing creek; it serves as the primitive cooler for the copper tubing. Firstly, the moonshiner will mix a slurry of corn meal, water, sugar, and yeast in a large container. Afterward, transfer the mixture into the device.
After some days of fermentation and waiting, the corn mash will acquire a distinctive odor. It is strong and might alert people. Hence, the process is preferred to happen in an isolated location.
Is Moonshine Still Legal?
As far as owning a moonshine still kit apparatus in the US, it is legal. Whereas the production and selling of alcohol without proper licensing are illegal. Consumers primarily use this apparatus and process for their consumption of alcohol.
We advise paying attention to local laws before investing money into a home distilling kit.
In addition, there are some states in which the distillation of spirits is legal. But, since the federal law is suspended, having home distilling equipment needs to be clarified. The moonshiners are rarely caught as they are hidden or work on a small scale. However, if caught, one can get around ten years in jail.
Wrapping it Up
Crafting your beer or wine might be easy, but distilling alcohol is divine and precise. It is likely to make mistakes and create harmful products if you are a beginner. Furthermore, the government wants to ensure that any liquid produced is safe. Thus, all the remaining moonshine distillers either have alcohol for their own needs. Or sell it to others at a small scale without any permit.