Why is my Moonshine cloudy?
Got Cloudy moonshine? We’re here to help!
As most of you know, if your moonshine is made correctly, it should be crystal clear. This is a challenge many moonshiners face when they are learning to distill. In this article we’ll talk discuss what causes cloudy moonshine and how you can stop it from happening.
There are 4 reasons you could have cloudy moonshine including:
- Still puking
- Poor tails cut
- Water source
- Yeast in wash
Solution #1 – Still puking – turn down the heat
In our experience, we’ve come to realize that the majority of the time cloudy moonshine is caused from your still ‘puking’ into the collection pot. This means that liquid in the boiler has foamed up into the column and then is dripping down through the condenser and drip arm. Lucky for us, the first solution is a simple one! If you notice your moonshine coming out cloudy, just turn down the heat.
Temperature control is very important in order for you still to function properly. The best way to determine the necessary heat is simply to monitor the shine output. If it is too high, your shine will be cloudy, if it is too low, runs will take much longer than they should (liquid should come out 2-4 drops per second).
Solution #2 – Better tail cuts
Now, if solution #1 didn’t solve your problem, on to the next! The other possible problem with your moonshine is poor tail cuts. The tails contain fusel oils and if a high enough concentration of these oils makes it into your shine, it will become cloudy (sometimes right away and sometimes over time). To help determine where to make the cuts, collect the heads, hearts, and tails in half pint mason jars and label ( linked to an article discribing this process in depth) number each jar once it’s full. You can taste test them to figure out where to make the cut. You will notice that the tails will not be as smooth as the hearts.
Solution #3 – Use filtered water
Occasionally the tap water you use may be high in minerals, making cloudiness more of a possibility. So when proofing, be sure to use filtered water.
Solution #4 – Let your yeast settle
Once the yeast is done fermenting, it will settle down to the bottom of your fermentation pot. If you do not allow sufficient time for the yeast to naturally settle, some of it may get into the still, causing cloudy shine. To speed up this process you can lower the temperature of the mash assuming you are using a temperature controlled fermentation chamber.
If your more into just watching a video about why your moonshine is cloudy, Jesse does a great job of explaining it in the video below.
If your interested in learning more about distilling moonshine or want to build your own still here’s a few other articles you might want to check out.
- Yeast Selection for Grain, Fruit and Sugar – A great guide for selecting the correct yeast for your fruit or grain mash or sugar wash.
- How to Correct For Temperature When Measuring Proof of Alcohol – This is especially important when diluting alcohol for consumption.
- Still Plans with Gin Basket – If you want to make gin here’s a free set of plans to build your own gin basket and still .
If you’ve got any questions or would like to add something to this article please drop us a comment below. We love it when you guys ask questions we’ll do our best to answer them. Feel free to also join our Facebook group it’s a great place to share ideas and ask questions.
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