How To Make Vodka
Learning how to make vodka is a relatively difficult process and requires some expensive equipment. Unless you have the patience and the budget to spend a good amount of money on a decent still, consider a more affordable and less complicated adventure, such as making your own beer or wine. Also, be sure to check whether home distilling is legal in your country. For those readers who reside in a country where this process is illegal, this is simply an informational guide on how to make vodka, and not an encouragement of illegal behavior. That said, before you begin this process, you will need to buy a distilling unit. Your still should have four key components: a heat source, a boiling chamber, water cooling pipes and a collection bottle. Now that you know what you need to make homemade vodka, here are the steps:
- Buy a home still. Home stills can be bought at some hardware stores or online, and it's definitely best to go with a trusted brand.
- Sterilize all equipment with water and bleach. Any dirt or dust will affect the taste of your vodka in a bad way.
- The mash used in vodka is comprised of carbohydrates. Look up a recipe that looks good to you, whether it is potatoes, sugar, wheat, grains, molasses or some other ingredient to your liking.
- While making your mash, you will require distilled water. This is a complicated process that requires different temperatures depending on the ingredients you've chosen, so it is very important to follow your recipe exactly.
- Once you've made your mash, pour it into the boiling chamber above a heat source. The distilled alcohol from your mash will begin to evaporate and enter the water cooling pipes, and drip into your collection bottle.
- The resulting vodka should be coming through clear. Vodka always requires more than one distillation, and the first 50 mililiters of vodka should be discarded. Before your second distillation, it is very important to re-sterilize your boiling chamber. Let the rest of your mash distill, but throw away the rest once you have 50 mililiters of mash left.
- The next step is filtration. This is the step that makes vodka smooth, and often store-bought vodka goes through this process seven times before it hits the shelves. You should use carbon in this process, which can be achieved with a funnel and a cotton ball. Pour your vodka through a funnel with a cotton ball at the bottom, which will help to trap sediment. You should also ensure that you use activated carbon at the bottom of the funnel.
- Pour your resulting vodka into a bottle. If the liquid isn't perfectly clear, keep repeating the filtration process outlined in step eight.
- It's important to note that freshly-distilled vodka is too strong, and dangerous, to drink. You should always dilute your vodka with distilled water before drinking. A typical ration is four parts water per three parts vodka, but this can be altered to taste.
So, there you have it! You have now learned how to make vodka. Though the equipment may have hurt the wallet, the quality of vodka that you make yourself is well worth the expense, and your home distillery will quickly pay for itself. Making homemade vodka is definitely an impressive feat, and you have definitely earned some bragging rights. The Russians named it "life water" for a reason!