Cracked Corn Moonshine Recipe: A Beginner’s Guide to Homemade Spirits

by Karl S | Updated: June 10, 2023

Hey, everybody. Today, I’m going to be doing a 10-gallon batch of the super simple beginner mash recipe. This recipe is specifically designed for beginners, hence the name, and it is really simple. It is almost foolproof, hard to mess up, and it has a great flavor.

In my opinion, it is the perfect recipe for the first-timer. If you’re just getting into home distilling, this is the recipe to try first.

If you have been listening to the Still in the Clear podcast, you’ve heard me talk about it before. In fact, episode 3 of the podcast is all about that recipe, so you can go there and listen to it. Also, I’m going to be doing this batch today using the super simple beginner mash recipe kit that we offer on

You can find the ingredients locally. The all-stock is a little bit hard to find because you can’t use all-stock with pellets, which is what most everybody sells. But either way, you can use the kit or you can locally source the ingredients yourself. So without any further ado, let’s get rolling.

Okay, so during this video, my generator was running, and so I’ve decided just to mute the video and narrate what’s going on. The first thing you want to do is get your water heating up because it takes a while.

So step one is to get your pot ready, put your water in it, turn the fire on, and I’ve got between four and five gallons of water to put in this pot that I’m going to heat up first. You know, I don’t measure that part exactly.

You certainly can if you want to. While the water is heating up, I get my supplies ready. So you can see I got the sugar. That’s eight pounds of sugar for this recipe….

And then I’ve also got my mixing paddle because there’s going to be a lot of stirring. If you’re interested in that mixing paddle, there’s a video for it. I’ll put a card up for it on the YouTube channel.

So in the kit, you’ve got three pounds of sweet feed, and that’s all-stock sweet feed, no pellets. It’s really important that it doesn’t have any pellets. That’s what that first bag was. And then this is a six-pound bag of cracked corn. And then two tablespoons of yeast is required for this recipe, and that’s what I’ve got there.

That is a dry activated distiller’s yeast. It’s a very durable yeast. It’s my favorite to use. So I’m getting all that out and ready. Here, I’m checking the temperature, and this is when the temperature finally got up to 160 degrees, which is where you want to add the grain.

So the water is ready. For some reason, my camera was off, I don’t know why, while I was dumping the grain in, but no big deal. I put all the grain in the kit into the mash at the same time. The corn and the all-stock sweet feed both go in at the same time at 160 degrees. And now we’re going to stir this for 45 minutes.

You’ve got to constantly stir it because the grains are sitting on the bottom. The heat will scorch the grain if you don’t stir it, and that’s going to give you a bad flavor. So you just have to sit there and stir it. What we’re doing is we’re just kind of breaking down the grain a little bit so that the flavor is released.

Because we’re not converting starches in this recipe, we don’t have to fully gelatinize these grains. In fact, it’s better if it’s not completely gelatinized. You just want to release the flavor. If you completely gelatinize the grains, it gets really thick, and it’s just part of the process when you’re mashing. But for a sugar wash, it’s not really necessary.

Here, I’m adding the eight pounds of sugar. This is probably a good point to say that eight pounds is the minimum amount of sugar. You can add more sugar to this to get a higher yield. The more sugar you add, the higher the risk is that you stall the fermenting process. That’s why I use eight pounds in this recipe because eight pounds of sugar in this 10-gallon batch is not going to stall the mash. So for the beginner, that’s just the easiest way to go.

I’m also adding at this point, my 45 minutes is up, the heat is off, and I’m just adding the sugar into the hot water because it dissolves more easily in hot water. So I’m just stirring in that sugar, making sure it all gets dissolved before I put it into my buckets. I’m going to be fermenting this batch in five-gallon bucket fermenters. We’ve got a video on how to make one of those if you want to check it out. I’ll put a card up for it.

They’re really seriously easy to make, and they cost about six bucks when it’s all said and done. I’m doing a 10-gallon batch, so it’s going to take two buckets. Now, I’m going to use three buckets for this process, and you’ll see why because I use a three-bucket system just to mix everything up real good.

So I’ll dump all of my mash into these buckets, and then I’ll add the rest of the water, cold water, and that helps bring the temperature down. Remember, I only added four or five, I only heated up four or five gallons of water, and so this is a 10-gallon batch. I’ll need to add another five gallons of water.

I’ll add cold water. We’ve got to get the temperature down now from where it is, probably around 155 right now. We’ve got to get it down to 90 degrees before we can pitch the yeast. So it’s got to completely cool down.

This, I’m just dumping all of the grain out, and then I will start mixing. Now the first batch of cold water, I’ll put inside of my pot, and what that does is get the rest of that little grain. There’s Nana checking the mash for me. Thank you, girl. Then, there we go, getting the rest of that, the last little bit of grain out.

Now I’ll start mixing by just moving buckets. Pour half into a bucket, take the full bucket, finish both buckets up. Then I’ll pour half into that bucket and get the full bucket and finish those off. It’s just a way to mix up all that cold water and so that the temperature is all uniform.

Then, here in a little bit, I check the temperature, and I realize that the temperature is not going to go down where I need it, so I’m going to let it set overnight, which is what I do. You’ll see there I am checking the temperature, and that’s when I realized, okay, this isn’t going to happen today. Now,

if you have a wort chiller, you can cool it down with a wort chiller. I’m going to be doing a video on a wort chiller soon. But for the way I’m doing it right now, I just have to let it sit overnight.

So this is me coming back in the morning. The temperature is down to where I can add the yeast. What’s interesting is you can see that it already started fermenting overnight. I’m not sure what caused that. My guess is there was just some wild yeast in the air that got in there and started fermenting. But I’m going ahead and I’m adding this yeast, and then I’m going to mix these buckets up again just like I did when I added the cold water.

You can’t really tell in this video, but one of those buckets is shorter than the other two and doesn’t hold as much. So I’ve got two buckets there that are big enough to hold all of the mash. But I’ll just keep stirring here and get it all in there. Now all I’ve got to do is put the lids on, let them sit, and let them do their thing. That’s really it. That’s all there is to it. It’s a really simple recipe.

Again, we do offer the kit for this exact recipe on I’ll leave a link, I’ll put a card up, and you can go check it out if you’re interested. You can also get this cracked corn at Tractor Supply.

The sweet feed, you’ll have to look for. It may be available in your area, and it may not. It’s hard to find without the pellets. In fact, a lot of times when you ask them, “Does it have pellets in it?” they’ll say no, and then you buy it, you get it home, you open it, and it’s got pellets in it.

So be sure and ask them if you can see it right there in the store before you buy it because a lot of times the clerks, the people working in the store, they don’t even know for sure.

But that’s about it. You can see this is about 12 hours later. I had forgotten to check my original gravity, so this is the next day, and it’s at I think 1.04 or just under 1.04. It probably started around 0.045, maybe 0.50. So anyway, it’s a medium yield recipe.

It works great. Give it a shot. I think you’ll really enjoy it. And that is the super simple beginner recipe. I’ll also do a second video where I distill this batch.