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Homemade distilled alcohol is more commonly known as moonshine. This type of alcohol is also known as ethanol and is used as an alternative fuel. Moonshine is quite simple to make because the ingredients are readily available and inexpensive. The two main ingredients are sugar and yeast. It is illegal to manufacture distilled alcohol in the United States. The instructions given are not intended to be used for producing moonshine and are only for educational purposes.

Boil the water. This will require several large pots. The water should boil for five minutes. Remove the pots from the stove.

Add the cornmeal to the boiling water and stir. This mixture is called mash. Allow the mash to cool. It should be warm to the touch. Do not ingest this mixture.

Dissolve the sugar in warm water. Mix in the yeast. Do not add yeast to boiling water. It will kill the yeast and the mixture will not ferment. You can use brewer’s or baker’s yeast, but brewer’s yeast will ferment longer, and yield a stronger alcohol content.

Add the sugar and yeast solution to the warm mash and stir. Mix thoroughly.

Store the mash in a cool, dark place to ferment for five to seven days. Do not move the mash until it stops bubbling. The mash mixture is now referred to as sour mash.

Heat the sour mash to 173 degrees F in a pressure cooker. The alcohol will rise to the surface of the sour mash mixture.

Place the copper pipe over the vent on the top of the pressure cooker. Place a large pot at the other end of the copper pipe.

Run cold water over the pipe. The vapor from the sour mash mixture will run through the copper pipe and will form a liquid as it passes through the cold copper pipe. The liquid will collect in the pot.

Use several pieces of charcoal to filter the liquid. Pour the liquid through the charcoal three or four times to remove dirt and impurities. The liquid is now distilled alcohol.

Store the distilled alcohol in glass jars or bottles.


Store and save the mash mixture remaining in the pressure cooker. It can be reused up to eight times. Use copper pipe that is 1 to 1 ¼ inches in diameter.

About the Author

Amy Kingston

Amy Kingston has been a professional writer since 2001. She has written articles for various publications, including "Health" magazine, "Jackson Parenting" magazine, the "Bolivar Bulletin" newspaper and "A Musician's Pursuit." Kingston was also published in "Voices of Bipolar Disorder."