Learning how to make homemade vodka can be very time consuming and a little labor intensive but the end results are well worth the effort. If you make your own vodka you will not only be able to benefit from a great tasting spirit, but you’ll also notice the difference in your hip pocket!
Unfortunately, preparing homemade vodka does take patience and you must be careful to follow the recipe precisely.
Vodka that has been poorly prepared can potentially be harmful to your health so it is important that you perhaps attempt making your own homemade beer or homemade wine first to see how your efforts turn out before you learn how to make vodka.
You could also try flavouring commercial vodka, below I infused vodka with chillies and fruits to make a nice gifts.
Let’s Make Some Homemade Vodka!
Step One: Distilling Unit:
Making vodka requires a home still. While it is possible to make your own still from various items around the home, it may be safer to purchase a home still from an online store. Something like one of these alcohol stills will set you back over a hundred dollars, but could be viewed as a nice investment.
Having said that, if you intend to build a home still, you can find the parts you need in a home-brew store or the specialist section in a hardware store.
Your home still should be comprised of four primary parts. You will require a heat source and a boiling chamber as well as water cooling pipes and the collection bottle that will collect your distilled vodka.
For in-depth directions, I would advise that you take a look at this tutorial by diyready on how to build a still or buy this one on Amazon The Secrets of Building an Alcohol Producing Still.
Step Two: Sterilization:
It is vital you sterilize all your equipment prior to beginning your distilling. Any foreign objects or imperfections in your still during this process will change the flavor of your final vodka product to the point that it can become quite bitter.
While bleach and water is sufficient to sanitize your equipment, it’s also fine to use products that will sterilize baby bottles and end up with better results.
Step Three: Create Mash:
Vodka is created from a carbohydrate source. This can be sugar, molasses, potatoes, wheat, or grains. Your object is to turn these carbohydrates or complex sugars into alcohol.
Mashing different carbohydrates requires differing mashing techniques. The option you use will depend heavily on the specific recipe and base ingredient you’ve chosen to make your vodka.
During the mashing process, you will require distilled water to add to the mash and some base ingredients will require varying temperatures to give you the desired end result. It’s important to follow your specific recipe precisely at this point.
Step Four: Distillation:
Pour your mash into your boiling chamber over a heat source. You’ll find that the alcohol in your mash will begin to evaporate. The evaporated portion will collect in the water cooling tubes and drip down into your collection bottle. Your vodka should come through clear and pure but it will take more than one distillation. It’s vital that you sterilize your boiling chamber again prior to putting your vodka through a second distillation.
This part of the distillation needs to be watched carefully, as vodka needs to be distilled more than once. Ideally, you should discard the first 50 milliliters of distillation as it clears the bad methanol in your mix. Allow the remainder of your mash to distil until you reach the last 50 milliliters of mash, which should also be discarded.
Step Five: Filtration:
The final process required during your homemade vodka distillation process is filtration, which reduces the roughness of your final vodka mix. Store bought vodka may go through approximately seven filtration processes through carbon before being bottled which is why it may taste so smooth.
You should filter your homemade vodka through activated carbon. This means pouring your distilled mash through a funnel that has a cotton ball at the bottom to trap sediments.
Your filtration system also needs to have a level of activated carbon at the bottom of the funnel so that your vodka is being filtered properly.
Pour your filtered vodka directly into a bottle. If the result is not clear, then filter a second time until your homemade vodka is a clear liquid.
Step Six: Dilution:
Freshly distilled vodka is amazingly strong so it’s important to dilute your vodka distillate. The usual distillation ratio is 3 parts vodka to 4 parts water, although you may dilute your homemade brew to taste.
Even though it may be tempting to leave your freshly brewed vodka at full distillation alcohol volume levels, it will be undrinkable, so this dilution process is important. Always be sure to use distilled or purified water for this part of the process.
So now you understand how to make your own vodka, let’s jaz it up a little so we can create a nice homemade gift.
Chilli Infused Vodka
Chilli Vodka makes a great gift and it’s so easy to make, this recipe will make two half litre bottles. I’ve used commercial vodka for this gift as I wanted a clearer liquid, but you can make it with homemade vodka as well.
- 4 big red chillies.
- 1-litre bottle of vodka.
- Two clear 1/2 litre (16oz) bottles.
- Remove (or drink) a little of the vodka… Yes, I said a little!
- Dice 2 of the chillies and put them in the litre bottle of vodka.
- Leave for about 8 hours, or longer for stronger.
- Strain your chilli vodka then pour it into the smaller ½ litre bottles.
- Place a whole chilli in each bottle and decorate.
Fruity Infused Vodka
If you want to infuse berries and fruits use about 4 cups to 1 litre of vodka.
- For berries make sure you wash them to remove seeds and other nasty bits and then bruise them a little.
- With fruits, you need to wash & dice everything finely so that it steeps well.
- Allow it to infuse for a few days or longer for stronger, then strain