Vodka is one of the most commonly used ingredient in various cocktails. Because it has relatively low alcohol content, it has been favored more by the women drinkers. However, nowadays, its popularity has skyrocketed in both men and women. Vodka is essentially a liquor composed of water and ethanol, along with traces of flavorings and impurities. It is believed to have originated in Russia, but is also a traditional drink in Scandinavia and East European countries. In recent years, vodka has enjoyed enormous popularity, but not many people know that it can be easily prepared athome aswell.Homemade alcoholic drinks are still a novelty and it will surely boost your esteem if you can treat your guests to some homemade vodka. Though the drink can be made from a number of ingredients, to make it at home, potatoes are the best option. In order to know how to make potato vodka at home, read the instructions that follow.
Homemade Potato Vodka Recipe
Vodka is distilled in a column still, butsometimesa pot still can also be used.Column stills are more sophisticated thanpotstills. You can purchase a column still, depending on the design you want. You can make one at home as well, using readily available materials. Pot stills are similar to pressure cookers, but with attached piping or tubing. They can also be constructed very easily.
Medium To Be Fermented
Vodka is made from many ingredients, likewheat,rye, barley, corn, and potatoes. These are also enhanced with sugar and molasses. The potatoes must be fermented with yeast to produce alcohol. The potatoes must also be mashed and mixed with active enzymes, to break down the starches and make fermentable sugars.
The potatoes are mashed, so that the starch in them is broken down to sugars by the enzymesand converted to alcohol by yeast fermentation. The starch degrading enzymes must be at a temperature of 150 deg F. Temperatures higher than this willdestroy the enzymes. You can also add refined sugar and molasses as an additional fermentable material. Add malted whole grains like barley and wheat, as they are rich in natural enzymes. You can also buy enzyme powder from any store.
Making The Mash
Wash and clean 20 pounds of potatoes and boil them in a large kettle,without peeling. Boil for about 1 hour, until gelatinized. Now, discard the water and mash the potatoes in a food processor. Take the mashed potatoes back into the kettle again and mix them with 5 to 6 gallons of tap water. Blend thoroughly and heat it, till the temperature is 150 deg F. Add two pounds of crushed malted barley or wheat and stir properly. Cover the kettle and let it heat for 2 hours, with occasional stirring. Leave it overnight to cool, to about 80 deg F. Cooling for a long period gives the barley enzymesmore time to break down the starch.
Preparing The Fermentable Medium
Sterilizethevessels. 5 gallon stained mash will require 7.5-gallon food grade bucket. Attach the bucket with lids,butdo not seal it completely, as carbon dioxide production can lead to an explosive pressure. Attach an air lock so that the carbon dioxide can be released without letting in the air. In case of open vessels, cover them with cheesecloth, which would prevent bugs from entering them. Strain the mash with a strainer and take the liquid in a sanitized fermentation vessel. The liquid should be splashed and poured from a height, so that it is well aerated. For fermentation, the yeast needs oxygen to grow and start the fermentation process.
Adding The Yeast
Add the yeast to the liquid and stir it with a sanitized spoon, to distribute the yeast evenly. Regulate the temperature so that it stays about 80 deg F. In coldareas, you can use a heating belt. The liquidmustbeallowedto sitfor two weeks.
Collecting The Wash
The fermented alcoholic liquidis calledthewash. The wash must be siphoned into a distillation apparatus. The yeast sediment must be left behind inthe fermentation vessel.
Distilling The Wash
The wash has to be distilled in a still. Itwillheat the fermented, alcoholic wash to a higher temperature than the boiling point of alcohol. In this way, the alcohol will be separated from water. The vaporized alcohol will condense inside a column. This column needs to be cooled, using cold water, which will make the vaporized alcohol turn back to liquid. The liquidthatis collectedwillbeknownasthevodka.
The Distillation Process
The distillation process will begin by heating thewash in the still. The heat will be providedbygas burners, wood fires, or electric plates. The temperature must be kept below the boiling point of water, that is, it should not exceed more than 173 deg F. During heating, the alcohol and other substances will vaporize and condense into the cooled chamber of the still. The first distillation called the ‘head’ will be the harmful methanol and it must be discarded. Discard about two ounces for five gallons of wash. After the fi