Friday, March 1, 2024

How To Make Potato Vodka

Potato Vodka / Moonshine

How To Make Potato Vodka

I had a go at making Potato Vodka, I have heard of it being made before in Russia and Poland and there are various recipes out there for it. For this one I picked the most basic recipe I could find out there.

Now this one was a learning curve for me as I have mostly done sugar washes and a couple of All Grain Mashes.

With this one I had a little bit of an accident/mistake which I will go in to later so that you can avoid making the same mistake that I did.

A quick bit on what Vodka is, other than tasty and good in cocktails and Mixers -)

So Vodka is a neutral spirit, it is not suppose to have a flavor, though some do have a little creaminess to them, what this means is that It could be made out of anything near enough, and in Russia and Poland they often did back in the day. Vodka can be made with Potatoes, Molasses, Sugar, Bread, Barley and most commonly wheat.

Majority of Vodkas are made with Wheat these days, though when I was in the supermarket, in the UK, the other day I had a look at the Vodkas and most of them where made from wheat but i found 1 made with molasses and one made with Barley. For those that wish to know Smirnoff is made with wheat.

I will be doing a wheat based vodka at some point soon so if that is what you are interested in then subscribe to me on Instructables and the site will alert you when I release some thing new.

Overview Of How To Make A Vodka

So I figured this is a good time to do a step by step overview of how to make a vodka from start to finish, to give all those people out there, trying to figure this out a bit of a jumpstart.

Transcript: Welcome to still it everyone. This is the channel all about chasing the craft of home distillation and making it a legitimate hobby. So if youre into distilling or craft spirits, have a look around and subscribe.

If it looks like you also have a channel, chances are you can help me out. And I guarantee youll learn something from the other people were hanging around here, too.

Future GC here. I just need to cut in and let you know something Ive been editing this video and it turns its running over 25 minutes. You guys are awesome, but I cant expect you to sit there and watch that. Thats ridiculous.

So, unfortunately, I think Im going to have to split this video into two parts because I cant figure out a way to cut it down and make it manageable. And next week Ill release the video for the cuts. I know for those guys that have been following the channel, thats a bit of a tease and Im really sorry for that, but I just dont want to make people sit through a big ole video.

All right. So I thought it might be a good idea to summarize all of the videos that Ive done in the last few weeks that pertain to this neutral spirit to give a step by step order and tutorial on how to make a neutral spirits.

Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka

Boyd & Blair is made from 100% Pennsylvanian potatoes. The vodka is triple-batch distilled in a 1200-liter copper hybrid still. Pennsylvania Pure Distilleries is a family-owned and operated brand. As a result, everything from the mashing to the bottle labeling is done on-site.

This farm-to-bottle vodka uses 100% potatoes which are grown on the brands family farm just outside Aspen, Colorado. The potatoes, after mashing and fermentation, are distilled in the brands custom Carl stills.

Woody Creek Potato Vodka /Photo Credit: Woody Creek

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The Benefits Of Using Potatoes In Vodka

Vodka made from using potatoes is gluten-free, sugar-free and has a lower count of carbohydrates. It is a popular choice of beverage for many who are on the popular ketogenic or lower carbohydrate diets.

Using potatoes to make vodka also changes the taste profile. Many spirit enthusiasts say that vodka made using grains has less flavor. Vodka made from potatoes has a much more distinct flavor and can be used as a stand-alone beverage. Grain-based vodkas often have much less of a taste and are better off to be used in a cocktail.

How To Make Vodka

Potato Vodka / Moonshine

This article was co-authored by Tom Blake. Tom Blake manages the bartending blog, He has been a bartender since 2012 and has written a book named The Bartender’s Field Manual.There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 18 testimonials and 90% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 2,296,976 times.

Vodka is a neutral spirit that is usually not aged and can be made from grains, potatoes, sugars, and fruits that are fermented to produce alcohol. Home brewers should take extreme caution during the distilling process to discard the methanol, which can be fatal if consumed. Distilling alcohol at home is illegal in some places, like Australia and the U.S. Other countries may require you to register your still or obtain a license to distill alcohol, such as in New Zealand and the Czech Republic.XResearch source Be sure to check your local regulations before beginning this process.

Recommended Reading: How To Make Your Own Vodka Brand

How To Make Bacon

If you struggle to make bacon perfectly, I’ve put together a short tutorial on How to Make Perfect Bacon – 3 Ways. Check it out! My preferred method is baking it in the oven.

And don’t throw away that bacon grease! Bacon is expensive and the grease is great for making Scrambled Eggs, Grilled Cheese, Popcorn and even hash browns. It can keep up to 3 months if properly stored in the refrigerator.

Everyone knows I love to add bacon to everything so if you are a fan of bacon, fold in a cup of cooked & crumbled bacon. For a little more flair, you can add some roasted garlic to taste.

Please keep your guests in mind when serving these mashed potatoes. It does contain alcohol.

Start By Preparing A Yeast Starter You Can Do So By:

  • Heat water to 110°F and pour 4oz into a sanitized mason jar
  • Add 2 tsp of sugar into the water and stir until dissolved
  • Mix in yeast
  • Stir to fully incorporate
  • Let the starter rest for 20 minutes. The mixture should double in volume during this time.
  • Once your yeast starter is prepared it is time to strain the liquid from the mash and put it in the fermentation bucket. You can use a siphon or a cheesecloth to separate the liquid from the solid.
  • Pour the liquid into the fermentation bucket from higher up to aerate the mixture.
  • Add the yeast started to the fermentation bucket.
  • Place the airtight lid on the bucket and store in a cool, dry area for two weeks.
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    Choose The Ingredients You Want To Ferment Into Vodka

    Vodka is commonly made from wheat, rye, barley, corn, or potatoes. Sugar and molasses can also be used alone or added to other ingredients. Whatever you choose, it must have sugars or starches so that alcohol is ultimately produced.

    Feel free to introduce your own ingredients to change and enhance the flavor of your vodka. Yeast eats sugars or starches and spits out alcohol and carbon dioxide.

    • When making vodka from grains and potatoes, a mash must be made that contains active enzymes that break down the starches from the grains or potatoes and makes fermentable sugars.
    • Fruit juice already contains sugars so starch-degrading enzymes are not needed. As with fruit juice, vodka made from store-bought sugars need only be fermented, thus bypassing the need for a mash.
    • When already fermented mediums such as wine are used, the medium can be distilled right away into vodka.

    How To Make Your Own Aged Potato Vodka In A Bucket

    How To Make Homemade Potato Vodka
  • Ingredients for Liquid Starch
  • Distilling your own potato vodka at home may seem like a daunting process but if you are willing to invest the necessary time and follow a few simple directions, you can create your own vodka. Most vodkas currently on the market are made with grain because grain is cheaper than potatoes. However, many vodka enthusiasts prefer drinking potato vodka to grain vodka. Your homemade potato vodka will be a wonderful spirit to offer your family and friends at your next gathering.

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    How Do You Make Homemade Alcohol Fast

    It works like this: Pick a juice with at least 20g of sugar per serving, add a packet of specially designed yeast, plug the bottle with an airlock, and wait 48 hours. Just like the fermentation process used in winemaking, the juices natural sugar is converted into ethanol, with a byproduct of carbon dioxide.

    Heat The Wash In The Still To Begin The Distillation Process

    Depending on the type of still being used, gas burners, wood fires, or electric hot plates are all options. A temperature of about 173° F at sea level is desirable, but the temperature must be kept below the boiling point of water, 212° F at sea level. As the wash becomes heated, alcohol and other substances vaporize and condense in the water-cooled area of the still.

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    How To Make Homemade Vodka Using Potatoes

    This article may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Privacy Policy.

    This article may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Privacy Policy.

    Vodka, comrades. Whether its in a sophisticated Martini, a refreshing Bloody Mary or the all-too-strong Long Island Iced Tea, cocktail hour wouldnt be nearly as much fun without it. If you consider yourself a connoisseur, an expert mixologist or just really, really like vodka, you may want to learn how to make it yourself.

    Of course, you should know off the bat that distilling your own alcohol at home is illegal. Yep, despite the plethora of information, stills, equipment and recipes out there, its a no-go with the Feds. So unless youre a licensed distiller, this very real recipe is for theoretical vodka that you can enjoy in your theoretical Cosmopolitans.

    That being said, were going to take you through the whole process, including making your own mash, fermenting the mash, distilling the vodka and collecting it. Yes, it is a bit of work. But if you have the time and really enjoy an artisanal cocktail, it could be worth your while.

    Lets see how to make vodka from home.

    Best With Food: Boyd And Blair

    A Toast to Potato Vodka  Sun Valley Magazine

    Courtesy of

    Region: Pennsylvania | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Toffee, Caramel, Tropical fruits, Acidity

    This Pennsylvania vodka is made from only the hearts of a copper-pot potato distillate. I call it my vacation vodka because it has hints of mango and pineapple, says Torres-Cooke. Its tropical flavors, abetted by toffee notes, make it great with just a splash of coconut water.

    Abou-Gamin backs her up on the flavor. And its luscious, silky texture, he says, works beautifully with anything salty or pickled. Seymour, too, finds it food friendly. Despite its fruity taste, it has a crisp acidity, he notes, which is nice alongside oysters and other seafood.

    Read Also: How Many Carbs Does Flavored Vodka Have

    Get Ready For Distillation

    Stills heat the fermented, relatively-low alcoholic wash to a temperature that is greater than the boiling point of alcohol, yet less than the boiling point of water. In this way, the alcohol vaporizes while the bulk of the water does not. The vaporized alcohol travel up into the column, pipe or tube of the still. External cooling in the form of cold water is applied to the column, pipe or tubing, causing the vaporized alcohol to cool and condense back into liquid.

    This alcoholic liquid is collected and becomes vodka.

    This Is Very Important: You Should Dispose Of The First 120mls Of Your Mix This Stuff Contains Most Of The Methanol Which Is Dangerous To Drink And Can Make You Go Blind This Is Called The Foreshots

    After this you can monitor your vodka using an alcohol hydrometer to check the ABV of your mix. You might want to throw away some of the mix right after the 120mls as it might not taste so good. You don’t want anything less than 30% ABV as this tastes funny too due to fusel oils, these are found towards the end of the distillation and are called “the Tails”. The liquid in between is called “the Hearts” and is the sweet spot of potato vodka. This tastes the best and is the smoothest, purest part. Why not store 100mls at a time and test each batch to monitor the taste and ABV.

    You also need to make sure there are no leaks whatsoever in your still. This will release alcohol vapor which will fall to the floor. As this builds up it will eventually reach the flame that powers your still – after this, BOOM! Find any leaks by pouring a colored liquid through it first to find any leaks.

    After you have distilled it you will have your foreshots, your Tails, and the Hearts, all the good stuff in the middle. Now take your Hearts and distill it all over again to get double distilled vodka, again for triple distilled. Both times you should dispose of the first 60mls again as some foreshots still remain. Eventually you will get the Hearts which are so pure and so tasty – this is your potato vodka. Check the ABV and water it down to about 40% to get a standard vodka. Enjoy it, but drink responsibly as always!

    Also Check: How Much Sugar Does Vodka Have

    What You Will Need

    First off you will need a still to turn the low level of alcohol in to spirit, traditionally vodka is done in a pot still and is processed multiple times. I have an instructable on building a pot still using a beer keg as a boiler, here is the link.

    with these stills you would have to run it through multiple times to get a pure product but this will be a more traditional way of doing it.

    you can use a more modern reflux still, with this you could get away with running it once. Here is the link to my reflux still instructable using a beer keg as a boiler

    Sharp Knife

    Large Saucepan

    2 x 25L Fermenter or a large Barrel 40L with an air lock, you need to put at least 23L of liquid in there with a lot of room at the top

    Long plastic spoon.

    Stick blender, or blender, or just a potato masher

    Some jars or jugs, you will need a few of these

    A couple of old blankets

    1 x gallon Demi John or carboy

    1 x alcohol hydrometer for spirits

    you can also use a parrot which is optional

    A charcoal filter which is Optional, but this would help to smooth the spirit out, I make one in my instructable on making Jack Daniels, go to step 5,6,7 for the filter, I will separate this out at some point as I feel it would be useful.


    9kg of Potatoes

    1kg Barley Malt

    Yeast, I used an ale yeast but you could use bakers yeast or wine yeast EC-1118 is my fav wine yeast.

    Amylase, Optional

    Nascars Origins In Moonshine

    How To Make Potato Vodka

    It is believed that moonshine is responsible for present-day NASCAR since the original bootleggers began the practice of modifying their vehicles in order to better escape during a police chase.

    After the end of prohibition many drivers kept their skills sharp during organized races which led to the formation of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing . In fact many former runners went on to become well-known NASCAR drivers.

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    Potato Vodka: Creamy Sweet And Full Bodied Sippers

    While there are some folks who think that all vodkas taste the same, vodka connoisseurs know better. The base ingredient can make a huge difference in the taste profile . And while many grain vodka producers are looking for a neutral drinking experience, those making potato vodka are seeking the creamy, sweet and earthy profile that potatoes bring to the glass. They also tend to be full bodied which makes them great for sipping even at room temperature.

    Potato vodka makes up just a small percentage of the worlds vodka, but there are several producers out there making quality stuff from Poland to Portland. In addition to making great sippers, they perform well in a dry Vodka Martini which can show off its great flavor.

    How To Check For Fermentation

    If you are unsure if your mixture is ready for distillation, there is a simple way to check. Simply remove a small amount from the top of your mixture and place a small amount on a white plate. Next add several drops of iodine to the liquids. If the liquid turns blue, it means it is reacting to starches present in the batch and fermentation is not yet complete.

    It is important to discard this test liquid. Do not add it back into your batch.

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    Converting The Starches To Sugars

    Take the blanket off the fermenter and fill it up with a mixture of hot and cold water, you want to aim for a temperature of around 70 degrees C, if it’s hotter it doesn’t matter you will just have to wait for it too cool down, you want to take it up to just over the 23L marker.

    Ok so now is the time to cheat, basically there are 2 schools of thought the purists feel that you should just use the potatoes and not add any sugar, but to increase the yield you could add sugar at this point. just stir in 2kg max of white sugar and make sure its dissolved. there are various recipes out there for potato vodka, some say to use sugar some don’t even some of the really old Russian recipes say to use sugar. basically it’s your call, But I would expect to get a max of around 2L of about 50% vodka from just potatoes on their own when distilled. When I have done sugar washes I get around 1L of 70% alcohol per 1kg of sugar, so 2kg should bump it up nicely.

    We want it to cool to around 66 degrees C, this is the best working temp for the Enzymes in the barley malt, they work between 60 – 70 degrees C. What these Enzymes will do is to convert the starches int he potatoes in to sugars. These sugars can then be used by the yeast later on which will convert them in to alcohol.

    Give the fermenter a good stir and pop the lid on, wrap it in blankets to keep the heat in and leave it over night, don’t forget to cover the top as a lot of heat is lost here.

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