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10 Awesome Things You Should Know About Moonshine

Posted in Stories
at 2015.08.07
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Ok, I know this really isn’t about wine, tshirts or even wine making… But if your one of those closet winemakers you might just able to relate. So when you think of moonshine, it brings to mind pictures of rednecks tramping through the Appalachian backwoods, making white lightning in copper stills that are illegal. During the gloomy years of American prohibition, millions of gallons of hooch were sold, the demand significantly outstripping the supply. The moonshine trade plummeted when alcohol became legal again in 1933. Now, “hooch” has once again become popular, inspiring TV shows and liquor stores peddling mason jars full of shine.



Now’s NASCAR races are scientific matters, with precision-engineered automobiles that cost over $100,000 to construct. They are helped along by billion-dollar patrons. But the greatest spectator sport in America came from modest sources. NASCAR got its beginning in the days of Prohibition -up cars to evade authorities. In 1933, when Prohibition was repealed, the moonshiners continued their dangerous manners, this time

A lot of the first names in the sport were former bootleggers, for instance, well-known Junior Johnson. Johnson had spent in prison when he made the transition to NASCAR in 1955 for running an illegal. He’d go on to win 50 races, retiring in 1966.

9 Moonshine vs. Whiskey


Moonshine for all intents and purposes, starts in exactly the same manner as the whiskey you can purchase in the shop. The important distinction is the fact that whiskey is aged, occasionally for a long time, in oak barrels which are charred on the interior. While moonshine usually tastes like a blast of pure alcohol, whiskey has components that are subtle to its flavor. There are an enormous variety of variants of whiskeys in the flavor, determined by various components, for example, amount of aging, the grains used in its creation, and much more. A number of the various facets of the flavor of a certain whiskey may contain vanilla, fruit, caramel, butter, and cocoa.

8 A Simple History Of Moonshine


In the aftermath of the Revolutionary War, the fledgling American country found itself saddled with debt. To help pay off the duties of the state, a national tax on liquor was created. Given that much of the stage of fighting with the revolution in the first place was to escape the imperialist taxes the citizens were angry, and most folks continued without giving the government its reduction to distill their particular whiskey.

In response, tax collectors were sent out. These guys regularly received warm welcomes: Many of them were defeated, tarred, and feathered. Within three years, there was a riot. Furious farmers destroyed the house of a tax inspector in July 1974, finally resulting in the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania. A militia force headed by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton and Virginia Governor Henry Lee (the dad of Confederate leader Robert E. Lee) was compelled to stamp out the rebel movement.

Secretary of triumphed on the surface, but actually just served to drive whiskey distillers further underground. Thomas Jefferson would afterwards repeal the despised whiskey excise tax, and people were free to create their own for another 60 years or so. Subsequently, in a classic instance of history repeating itself, the huge cost of the Civil War brought the liquor taxes back. Since that time, there is been a rich history of moonshiners, many going back generations.

7 Distillation

old-moonshine-still BG

Distilling moonshine is a easy procedure, needing four primary ingredients: sugar, corn, yeast, and water. Corn could be replaced with various fixings, including barley, rye, or fruit, but corn is usually used because it’s simple and inexpensive to get. Some moonshiners use hog feed, without arousing feeling, which is often purchased in substantial numbers. Without going into prohibited detail, water, sugar, and the corn are mixed with the yeast, as well as the sugars are processed by the yeast, creating booze. The resulting mash is heated almost to boiling, which discharges booze steam and hastens the fermentation. The steam is carefully filtered to eliminate any solid fixings, subsequently redirected into a device called a “worm.” The worm is a coiled copper conduit which causes the booze steam to condense into moonshine.

6 Toxin


The first cup or so of moonshine in a mountain is the point where the impurities (like the toxic methanol alcohol) pile up. This will be tossed by accountable distillers away, ensuring a comparatively safe product for their customers. Nevertheless, there are many unscrupulous people within the company who cut corners and use ingredients that are dangerous. Previously, there was a leading concern moonshiners. The condensers were usually soldered together with lead, which is poisonous in trace quantities. The radiators included left over antifreeze a lethal toxin made more dangerous by the truth that it tastes sweet.

Some moonshiners are understood to contain weird ingredients to add to the potency of their product, including manure and embalming fluid. To make things worse, the material is generally made at the center of the woods in significantly less than sterile circumstances, the sweet mash and rodents.

5 Why Is Moonshine Prohibited?


In America, it is legal to brew your own beer at home in all 50 states (provided it’s for private use), but distilling one’s own liquor is only against the law. There are various laws distillers might break, including possession of moonshine, possession of prohibited alcohol containers (gallon jugs or those would be your mason jars) concealing drinks, and conspiracy. Yet, in the vein of Al Capone, most moonshiners are in fact charged with money laundering or tax evasion.

This is because straightforward. The government may be slightly concerned with the well-being of individuals have bootleg liquor, however they’re a lot more concerned with their checkbook. Spirits are taxed greatly. In a few states, these taxes are in excess of $20 per gallon as well as a tremendous government monkey-manufacturing company. Based on The Economist, the state of Virginia alone loses $20 million in yearly revenue.

4 “XXX”


Before it became synonymous with adult entertainment, the “XXX” symbol had a noticeably distinct significance. Most commonly seen painted on the side of a large clay jug, “XXX” stood for moonshine–more particularly, for moonshine that had been triple-distilled. In the previous times, the gear for making moonshine was rather primitive. After one pass through the distilling procedure, the liquor usually was not likely and all that powerful full of impurities. Following the 3rd run, the last “X” was added, as well as the guarantee the jug included some serious material.

3 Transportation

Today, the news abounds with intelligent tricks used by those involved in the narcotics trade to try to traffic their merchandise; anything to subs from drug mules. These ploys aren’t without precedent: In years past, those who’d smuggle booze used various systems. Even the term “bootlegging” is derived from smuggling–selling booze which has been secreted in a boot. Apart from rapid automobiles, boats were fairly popular. It was hopeless for the police as well as the Coast Guard to safeguard every river, lake, and coast against the so called “rum runners.” During Prohibition, their merchandise frequently transferred in coffins in the guise of a fake funeral, as it’d have been impossible for authorities to request to examine a corpse.

2 Popcorn Sutton


Moonshiners by their very nature are a form that is cagey, residing below the radar. A noteworthy exception to the rule was Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton. The nickname came from an episode in his youth when a popcorn machine was destroyed by the notoriously short tempered Sutton using a pool cue. Popcorn Sutton was possibly the most well-known moonshiner, running stills in Maggie Valley, North Caronlina of the world. While his youth generally remained one step ahead of the law, he had been caught several times during his decades-long career and did stints of probation. Popcorn appeared on several television shows, including Discovery Channel’s Moonshiners, and released an autobiography called “Me and My Likker.”

A raid by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms on his property in 2009 netted him an 18-month prison sentence. The request was refused, although popcorn, who’d been diagnosed with cancer, pleaded to be given house arrest rather. He committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning soon before he was to start his term. The following year, Sutton’s doubtful heritage was observed when country star Hank Williams Jr. teamed up with his widow to bring “Popcorn Sutton’s Tennessee White Whiskey” into distribution.

1 Moonshine Around The World


Clearly the US is not the only state where moonshine is made. Virtually every nation on the planet has some kind of home made booze, some forms more attractive than many others. In South Africa, there is unaged grape brandy called “witblits.” The Congo has “lotoko,” a whiskey made out of corn or cassava. In Russia, “samogon,” which could be cheaply made, is fast overtaking vodka’s location as the favorite liquor, despite risks of poisoning.

Alcohol is prohibited by people who conform to the Muslim religion, and lots of nations in the Middle East ban the selling of booze, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and areas of India. In such countries, a subterranean liquor called “arrack” is made using various fixings, frequently anise or fruit. India in particular has become the site of mass departures as poor mountains of arrack have been laced with methanol.

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