Making a sugar based wash

This is the easiest way of making alcohol. Probably also the most expensive as sugar is a relatively costly ingredient.

If you intend using a reflux still, it's no point using anything other than a thin sugar/water wash, because the reflux will strip out all the flavors.

By using clean sugar as a basis for fermentation, you will get a clean alcohol without many flavors. You can even polish the alcohol with carbon after distillation. Bear in mind that the alcohol content should be max. 50%, otherwise the carbon does not work. The neutral alcohol is most commonly used in vodka and liqueurs.

The sugar you need to use should obviously be a fermentable sugar (dextrose) such as:
  • Corn sugar (USA)
  • Cane sugar (Latin America)
  • Beet sugar (Europe)

A basic recipe can be found at: The six steps to your first moonshine

Create the optimal fermentation environment

- Maximum sugar concentration:

Only a certain quantity of sugar in the wash can be fermented. If you add more sugar, it will seriously harm the yeast. The maximum quantity of sugar can be calculated very easily:

General guideline: 1% liter of alcohol requires 17 grams of sugar.

In other words,
if you want to make 18 Liter of a 14% alcohol wash, you need 17 x 18 x 14 = 4760g = 4.28 kg of sugar.

- Yeast Nutrients

Healthy yeast, which has access to sufficient minerals etc. speeds up the fermentation process and reduces the amount of fermentation by-products.

It is not required, but advisable to add yeast nutrients at the rate of 3 grams per liter of wash.

- Optimum PH for the mash

The optimum pH for sugar mash is between 4.0 and 4.5 to keep the yeast happy, and to retard the growth of lactic acid micro-organisms. The PH level can be influenced by adding alkaline (gypsum) or acid (citric acid, even lemon juize will do). PH level can be measured with PH test paper.