How Glycerine Is Used To Age Homemade Moonshine


Many home distillers age their moonshine to round out or add flavor to the spirit. Because a home distiller often doesn’t have 5-10 years to age their moonshine in oak barrels it’s often necessary to artificially age the spirit.

When aging a spirit oak chips are often used to add flavor and glucose or glycerine syrups are used as smoothing agents. These natural syrups are also used when making liqueurs such as Strawberry or Blueberry Liqueurs. They are credited for adding smoothness and body to the spirit and are capable of taming the harshness of moonshine.

What is glycerine ?

glycerin for aging moonshineGlycerine is a naturally occurring product that is produced by most living things. It is naturally present in most animal fat’s as well as vegetable fats. It’s classified as an organic alcohol that also goes by the name of glycerol. Glycerine is also a byproduct in the manufacturing of soap.

Glycerine is a clear oily liquid that has a sweet taste. The human body is unable to digest glycerine and thus it is often used as a calorie free food additive.

Adding Glycerine To Moonshine

Adding just a few drops of glycerine to poor quality moonshine will conceal the harshness of it. Glycerine is also know as a “Beading oil” because when added to low proof moonshine it will cause “beads” to form in the same fashion as high proof moonshine when a Shake Test is performed to determine proof.

Should I Add Glycerine To My Moonshine?

You’ll have to make this decision on your own. If you find that your homemade hooch is a little sharp for most peoples taste buds it might be a good idea. Here are some pro’s and con’s to help you decide whether adding glycerine is the way to go:

Pro’s – Smooths out final product, 100% organic, no known side effects and very commonly used in food and beverage industry. Also decreases time needed to age whiskey and rum.

Con’s – can add to much glycerine will notice in the final drink ( small amounts should be added slowly), If added to strong spirits with high proof can turn soapy

glycerin showing up in homemade whiskey on glass

How much Glycerine should I add to my Moonshine?

The amount of glycerine you want to add to your moonshine depends on what your making. Keep in mind 1 tsp is about 5 ml give or take a little. I’d always recommend adding less and test then add more because you can’t take it out afterwords. Below are some examples of how much glycerine to add to different spirits and liqueurs.

glycerine bottleHomemade Whiskey – Add 5ml per 1L

Homemade Rum – Add 5ml – 8ml per 1L

Homemade Sambucca – Add 10 ml tsp per 1 L

Homemade Kahlua – 15 ml per 1L

Home made Butterscotch Schnapps – 8 ml per 1L

Where Can I Buy Glycerine?

 Glycerine is available at your local homebrew store, as it’s used as a finishing agent in wines. You can also find it online at Amazon.com. Your local pharmacy will also stock it and should be available over the counter.

If you’ve got any questions or have experimented with adding glycerine to your moonshine let us know about it. Let us know what you were making and how much you added? What were the end results? We love hearing feedback from our readers simply drop us a line below.

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