How to Make Vodka DIY Step by Step Instructions
Vodka is a colorless, neutral and mainly tasteless spirit with a worldwide reach, in terms of both production and consumption.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to make vodka at home. Knowing how to make vodka at home requires a great deal of care and some level of experience if you want to end up with a quality product.
The production of vodka without proper permits is illegal. Remember to check your state laws when distilling any alcohols.
But before you get into the steps of how to make vodka, you need to keep in mind that distilling spirits at home maybe illegal. Before starting this process, make sure are you’re operating in accordance with your local laws.
So let’s get started.
Choosing the Ingredients is the key on how to make Vodka
These days, most infused vodka is made from a variety of ingredients, including wheat, barley, rye or corn. However, it’s not a must to use grains, as you can also use potatoes, grapes, molasses or sugar beets to make your homemade vodka.
The most important thing is that your ingredients are high in starch and sugars.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to make potato vodka. So, here we go.
Making Vodka Mash Process
What You Need
- Water (7 gallons)
- Potatoes (25 pounds)
- Crushed malted barley (5 pounds)
- Mash pot
- Long spoon
- Heat source
- Clean potatoes by using a produce brush
- Slice the potatoes into 1-inch cubes
- Boil the potatoes in your boiling chamber for around 15 to 20 minutes
- Mash the potatoes by using a potato masher or by hand.
- Transfer mashed potatoes into a mash pot or mash bag to reach the seven gallons of overall volume.
- Increase the heat from the boiling point of water to around 140 °F while stirring the mixture consistently until you reach the expected temperature.
- Add the crushed malted barley while stirring continuously.
- Hold your mash at around 140 °F for about 20 minutes.
- Increase the temperature of your mash to around 150 °F while stirring.
- Use the hydrometer to check the gravity reading. If the initial reading is below 1.065, add some fermenting sugar solution until the reading settles at 1.065.
- Cool the mash with a wort chiller to around 70 to 75 °F. You can also cool overnight to allow the barley enzymes to break down starch of the potato.
Vodka Fermentation Instructions
What You Need
- Fermentation Vessel or Bucket
- Cheese cloth
- Distillers Yeast
- Citric acid
- PH meter
This is a vital step in the process of making quality vodka. This process normally lasts about four to five days, and the area and tools used should be kept clean to avoid contamination.
- Create an airlock system to ensure carbon dioxide escapes and oxygen does not penetrate from outside.
- If possible, try to ferment 15 liters of mash, in 30-liter fermentation buckets. Seal the vessel to ensure it is properly covered, without making them airtight since the carbon dioxide released can create a lot of pressure.
- Strain any liquid from the potato mash. Keep this at a reasonable distance to ensure the yeast is properly aerated and receives sufficient oxygen for proper fermentation.
- Hydrate the yeast and mix it with this liquid. Meanwhile, keep stirring to equally separate the yeast.
- Keep this at a temperature of 80° F. Collect the resultant liquid in clean vessels. Meanwhile, leave the yeast residue to remain behind.
Vodka Distillation Process
What You Need
- Fermented mash liquid (wash)
- Column packing
- Cleaning products
- Bottle filler or funnel
Vodka Making Procedure
- Siphon the wash into a still or distiller.
- Filter any residue at the bottom of the fermenter using a fine cloth into a separate vessel. This will remove the remaining liquor from the solids.
- Insert sanitized copper packing material into the still column.
- Connect the still column to the boiler.
- Attach the cooling hoses and ensure they are properly connected.
- Let the still heat the fermented alcohol liquid / wash to start the distillation process.
- Let the temperature reach around 173° F. As the wash is heated, the vaporized alcohol and collects in the water-cooled part of the pot still.
- Discard the first distilled substances (called the ‘heads’). You must discard the first 100 ml since this will be full of methanol, which is dangerous and can be fatal.
- Now, collect the body (hearts). Once you have finished discarding the heads, the condensed distillated will be the desired vodka (ethanol), along with water and other substances. You can adjust the gallons of water flow if you’re using a column still to regulate the output and purity of the distillate. Try to get two to three teaspoons of distillate per minute. Otherwise, increased distillate production leads to reduced purity.
- Discard the tails. Near the end of the process, other nasty substances are produced. These are known as tails. You should discard these tails since they contain butanol and propanol, which are not fit for consumption.
Distilling Vodka Still
- Verify the alcohol content and overall purity of your distillate. Use an alcoholmeter to determine the alcohol content of your distillate.
- Dilute your vodka to the desired strength: You can dilute it to get the desired alcohol content. The distillate might be too dilute to act as satisfactory vodka (less than 40% alcohol) or might be more concentrated than expected (probably more than 50% alcohol).
- Filter your vodka using carbon.
- Bottle your vodka.
- Store in a dry and safe place.
There you have it! Our guide to distill alcohol and how to make vodka with our home distillation process. Hopefully, everything has worked fine for you and that you had fun distilling vodka of great quality. Cheers!
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