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Sweet Potato vodka

Potato Moonshine

Also known as vodka in many countries, this potato moonshine is a great test of skills for someone who knows their way around the still pretty well.

The mash side of the run requires some effort since you?ll have to free up the starch contained in the potatoes first, and then break it up into fermentable sugars. But besides that extra phase, the run itself shouldn?t pose any problems even for a novice moonshiner.

As for the barley malt, we have been liking Home Brew Ohio’s 2-Row found here:




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Just take the recipe step by step, and you?ll end up enjoying a nice clean potato moonshine which is a great clean base to use for our infusion recipes!

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Potato Moonshine
A great recipe to test out your shinin’ skills to achieve a high proof run!

  • 20 lbs of Potatoes
  • 1 lb of Table Sugar (granulated)
  • 2 lbs of Barley Malt (basic brewers or distillers, non-caramelized)
  • 7 gallons of Filtered Water
  • 1-2 packets of yeast (read our guide on moonshine yeast types)


  • Boiling Pot
  • Potato Masher
  • Fermentation Bucket
  • Mixing Spoon
  • Airlock
  • Siphon Tube
  • Moonshine Still

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut them in small 1-inch cubes.
  2. Put the potatoes in a pot and fill it with water until it covers the potatoes.
  3. Boil the potatoes for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Mash the boiled potatoes (it doesn’t need to be perfect)
  5. Transfer all of the solids and liquids from the pot into the fermentation bucket.
  6. Top it all off with at least 5 gallons of clean drinking water.
  7. Mix in the sugar with a spoon.
  8. Mix in malted barley (preferably pre-milled).
  9. Let the mixture cool to room temperature (or use a homebrew chiller to speed things up).
  10. Pitch the yeast.
  11. Close the fermenter, make sure the lid is airtight, put the airlock in place
  12. Monitor airlock activity, the fermentation should take about 2 weeks, wait until the bubbling in the airlock has stopped for at least 3-4 days.
  13. Open the fermenter, rack off any solids and sediment from the mash with a siphon tube into the still?s boiler.
  14. Fire up your still and run as normal!

Depending on still type you may get varying proof readings and dripping speeds.

To get authentic vodka you will either need a column still for a single run or a pot still with at least two, preferably three distillations back to back. See our guide on moonshine to learn more!

Discard the first 5oz (the heads) of your run.

Use small glass vessels to collect the spirit and divide the cuts.

Taste test the runs if necessary by mixing a small amount with cold water.

If you?re making vodka, the high proof spirit needs to be diluted (cut down) with an equal amount of clean drinking water.

Considering trying your hand at shinin’?

If you’re running this mash to make a good high proof Vodka (usually it’s intended purpose) you should be using a still that’s more capable of reaching higher proofs such as a reflux. The T-500 is our go-to recommendation for this because it’s easy to use:

But, if you’re into a little DIY and can build this kit from Clawhammer you can save a bit of coin at the cost of your time and effort:

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17 thoughts on “Potato Moonshine”

  1. I’ve done this recipe 4 times and I get about a gallon and a half of about 100-120 proof. It depends on how you distill it, proof wise. Also smaller buckets for me seem to ferment quicker, if your worried about turnover time.

  2. Hi Jean-Pierre,

    You absolutely can always substitute using Amylase for malted grains; we’ve used this before:

    Most products recommend 0.1-0.3 tsp per gallon of mash.

    If you’re not getting much reaction, check that the pH of your mash isn’t out of whack. You can get some cheap strips here:

    Let us know how it goes! And give us a follow on Facebook and Pinterest!

  3. no. you need barley or amylase. something has to convert the potato starch to sugar, for the yeast to eat to turn to ethanol.

  4. We made moonshine with corn mash and sugar and yeast no problems, malt barley wasn?t used. It turned out great!

  5. all you fermented was the sugar, the corn was only there for flavor not for alcohol . The malted grain supplies the enzymes to convert the starch to sugar.

  6. I’d keep the skins on, chop em in thirds, boil em, then mash em. Retaining flavours. Most flavours is under the skins 😉

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