Although the word “mash” might make you think of mashed potatoes, when it comes to brewing and distilling mash is quite different.
Mash is a starchy mixture from which certain types of alcohol. (like whiskey or scotch for example), are distilled. This yummy mixture is made from corn or other grains along with sugar, yeast, and water. The process of mixing all of these ingredients together is known as mashing. During this process, the enzymes break down the starch into sugar. When it’s all said and done what you’ll have left is a mash.
To make a mash you’ll need:
- shelled hole corn or other grain like rye
- yeast for fermentation
- large container
- large stock pot
- gallons water
- glass jars
After you gather everything, you’ll need to sprout the corn. Place the corn in a large container, cover it with water, add yeast and drape a cloth over the top. Add warm water from time to time if the amount of liquid looks too low. It should take 2 or 3 days for the corn to sprout so you shouldn’t have to wait too long. It’s like waiting for a date to call. Once the corn has sprouted, (it’s not as gross as it sounds), and the mixture has stopped bubbling, allow the corn to dry.
Next grind that corn like you’ve never ground before. It will turn into a meal; not quite cornmeal but something like that. Then you have to distill the mash in your pot still and drop it like it’s hot. In other words, cook it at a temperature of 78 C. Here’s where it gets all chemistry class. The ethanol in the mash will vaporize, rise to the top, and then condense in tubing. Collect the liquid et voila! You have a distilled spirit.