START with 15 pounds of sugar, five pounds of cornmeal, one pound of corn sugar, five to six gallons of distilled water and four to six ounces of distiller’s yeast. Purchase a 15- to 20-gallon food-grade plastic container online or at an industrial-supply feed store and clean it thoroughly. Then clean it again. It can’t be too clean.
COMBINE sugar, cornmeal, corn sugar and distilled water in the plastic container. The water should be at or just below 104 degrees. Anything above that will kill the yeast. Stir for one minute and sprinkle in the package of distiller’s yeast, which can be found online or at any home-brewing store.
TEST ALCOHOL CONTENT When you start the mash it should register anywhere from 14 to 20 percent ABV (alcohol by volume) on a hydrometer. Cover the container and let the mash ferment for three to seven days, depending on air or room temperature. It’s done when it stops foaming. Check the mash with your hydrometer again. It should read between zero and four percent ABV.
STRAIN the mash to remove clumps of corn and pour it into your still, leaving at least six inches from the top. Heat the bottom of the still until the mash reaches about 172 degrees. Alcohol evaporates at 172 degrees and water at 212. It’s crucial the mash not approach 212 degrees, or your moonshine will become watered down. Alcohol vapors will gather in the cone, elbow and worm. Add cold water to the cooling barrel so it cools the moonshine as it flows through the worm.
PREPARE an entire package of oatmeal as directed. Let it cool and add one to two cups of rye flour to make a paste. If leaks appear on the still, cover with the paste. It will harden as it heats, forming an airtight seal. Place a clean container under the spout coming out of your cooling barrel to collect the moonshine. Continue collecting until it no longer pours out, about 15 hours. Transfer the moonshine to clean mason jars. But you already knew that.