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Date:12/26/2014 8:28:38 PM
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Pa and Moonshine, Part II
Our good neighbors, Lisa and Tim Rupiper were on a walk west of their property, towards Splinter Crick and they found an old jug. They sent me a photo of it that I used in the making of these blogs. The making of moonshine is simple. All you need is corn meal, sugar, yeast, and water. Alcohol distilled from grains is whiskey, while that which is distilled from fruits is brandy. Cognac, for example, originated from wine being condensed for easier travel by sea in concentrated form. When it was discovered that this "wine concentrate" was highly desirable in and of itself, a whole new form of apertif was born.
Commercial whiskey is tan, or brown, as a result of its aging in charcoal-lined barrels. Moonshine is clear, (hence, "white lightning") as a result of being distributed immediately after distilliation. Pa made white lightning, or "corn liquor." He described the process for me when I was a sophomore in high school and I needed a "how-to" subject for Speech class. Pa talked about making the "mash." Basically it was grinding the corn into meal and then adding sugar and yeast to ferment it. After this, it is then distilled to make white lightning. Pa was about 16 when he started moon-shining. He told me that he used to feed the corn mash to the squirrels that frequented his moonshine shack. The squirrels would then go "squirrely," inebriated from the fermented mash. The subsequently distilled liquor would be diluted to an acceptable level of "proof" and then shipped out. More next Sunday . . . -- Gary
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