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Sugar Shine

Sugar Shine

Simple and straight to the point, this sugar shine recipe is proof of the concept of beauty in simplicity. This recipe uses ordinary table sugar to provide nutrients for the yeast instead of using a more complex mash.

This is as simple as it gets in terms of mash, but picking the right yeast type can make all the difference in the final flavor.

We strongly recommend going with a strain that works well with simple sugars, such as bakers yeast like this:




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With a clean and fast fermentation, you should get a nice wash that’s very easy to distill.

But beware, this light and tasty shine will hit you with a vengeance if you? re not careful enough and get a little sip-happy!

5.0 from 2 reviews

Sugar Shine
Sugar Shine: the definition of keeping it simple!
Recipe type: Mash Recipe
Cuisine: cocktail


  1. Pour two gallons of water into a pot and heat it to no more than 120?F.
  2. When the water reaches the desired temperature start adding a few pounds of sugar at a time.
    Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved before adding more.
  3. Keep adding sugar until all is dissolved.
  4. Pour sugar syrup into the fermenter and add three more gallons of water.
  5. Let the temperature drop to room temperature and then add yeast.
  6. Close the fermenter, place the airlock in place and let the mash ferment. Raise temperature to about 70-80?F for faster fermentation and higher liquor yield.
  7. Once the bubbling activity in the airlock stops completely, allow 2-3 more days for complete fermentation then open the fermenter.
  8. Rack the wash off the yeast sediment into the still?s pot using a siphon tube.
  9. Fire up the still and perform the distillation run.

Depending on still type used you may obtain varying proof readings of the final spirit.

If the proof is too low for your liking, collect all the fractions (without the foreshots) and distill again.

It is very important to discard the first 5oz or so (the heads) of the collected runnings as these usually contain methyl and other harmful fusel oils.

Preferably use smaller glass vessels to collect the runnings in order to better manage the resulting fractions.

If necessary, taste the spirit by mixing a small amount with an equal amount of cold water.

Keep in mind , that it?s best to stay sober and focused during the run!

Giving this recipe a go?

Make sure you’ve got the things you need!

Manage your heads, hearts & tails!

A common mistake is not having enough small jars around to collect plenty of cuts throughout the run. We use a variety of them in different sizes, like this:


Make sure you label/number the jars as you take cuts!!!

This is especially important if you’re still learning for two reasons:

  • It will help you familiarize yourself with your skill and gain that shiner’s ‘palate’ so you know when the getting’s good!
  • It will help maximize your output since you’ll be throwing away fewer hearts that you would have otherwise accidentally tossed out as heads.

Wanna spice up this simple sugar shine?

Toss it into a whiskey making kit and let it age a while! We’ve done this a handful of times and it works well. Highly recommend getting some extra oak chips to toss in while it ages too.


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34 thoughts on “Sugar Shine”

  1. Hey Travis! Good catch. We forgot to mention when to drop those in! Usually we add them once the majority of the sugar is dissolved into the water just before we pitch the yeast.

  2. Just curious….
    I have a big pouch of Turbo 48 yeast. Your recipe calls for 2 small packets. If I need to measure it out, how much yeast do I need?
    I plan on making this tonight or tomorrow, so I hope to get a quick response.

    Thank you,

  3. Hi Britt!

    So sorry we couldn’t get to you sooner! The general guidelines are to use 2-4g per gallon of mash. If this is your first run, we recommend starting with 2g/gallon so 10 grams in this case.

    If you use too much yeast, you can get some sulfur compounds to form that are very hard to get rid of.

    Hope everything is going alright! Let us know how it turns out!


  4. I have a 9 gallon still can I “double” this recipe? How much does the 2 small packets of yeast weigh? The yeast you recommend comes in a 1 pound bag.

  5. Hey John,

    With a 9 gallon still we’d recommend you keep to the 5gal mash, since there are other ingredients that will increase the volume some and you want to leave some headspace.

    Standard packets of yeast are typically 1 tablespoon, but yes we recommend to just buy it in bulk. We recommend you start with 10g (2g per gallon) of yeast and see how it goes. You should see the head form within 6-24 hours.

    Let us know how it goes! Cheers

  6. Can you tell me why my product is cloudy ? I?m thinking it?s the mash being wrong but not sure. I?ve tried twice with the same batch. This is my first time trying this.thanks for any help

  7. Hmm, cloudy shine can be caused by a few different factors. Have a read through this article and near the bottom there’s some tips on the common reasons why this might be happening. What kind of still are you using?

  8. Hi Ben . I?m using a stainless still and heat source is a propane burner. Thanks for sending me the link. It sounds like I might need to replace the temp gauge. I might be too hot.

  9. Let us know how it works out! What type of temp gauge are you using and where is it on the still?

  10. Used your recipe when I started last year…not a bad batch..have tried champane yeast and bread yeast with good result…Tried 48turbo..hated the taste…but just changed a batch last month and put it thru…cut the turbo in 3 for 3 20 liter pails. 90 F 4kj sugar per pail..and one cup of rasins put pail super mashed in blender….Way less bad tastes then using full pk in one pail…Why ???? All 3 pails gave great results thru reflux..

  11. When adding the 3 gal. After the sugar is dissolved is that hot water from the stove under 120f or warm tap water? Im planning on running filtered water so would like to know if i need to warm the 3 gal.

  12. Can you use malted rye with this mash if so what would be the break down of the measurements?? Plus I’m doing a 50 gallon mash…. Could you please tell me the measurements on a 50 gal. Mash

  13. I have a 20 gallon still I use 1 bushels of fugue Apple just want to know how much sugar should I use for a 20 gallon mash?

  14. What’s the sg at to start with? I’m using maple sap after running through a reverse osmosis system to get to 11% sugar, then using pure syrup to bring sg up. Just curious

  15. Hi there.

    New to distilling and decided to give your recipe a go but I would just like to find out if it is necessary to do a stripping run? Also how much should I expect to throw out for my foreshots/heads if I made 10 litres?

    Greatly appreciate your feedback.

    Many thanks

  16. Ive done ten or so runs using various recipes. Ill share what helped me. Toss 5 ounces off the beginning. Then just run it. Collect it in pints, number them. And I STRONGLY suggest having a proofing hydrometer. Then youll know exactly where you stop the run. If youre attentive to what youre doing, its my experience that youll learn a little more each time. Continue reading or watching different videos and recipes just to fill in gaps and help you dial in your shine. I used tyrbo yeast on a few runs just as an experiment. They yield a high ethanol count but in my opinion, leaves almost no flavor profile. But theyre good if you want straight hard likker for mixers or something.
    So yeah, start simple, build confidence, and things will become obvious as you learn. Good luck to you!

  17. This question was already answered hence… Anyways, here is same answered we gave in comment section previously – First of all, raisins are optional. Usually we add raisins once the majority of the sugar is dissolved into the water just before we pitch the yeast. Hope this helps.

  18. Hey Ben, great info on all points. Only question I have is, should the mash be stirred daily or just leave it alone? It is really working hard after only 24 hours.

  19. the raisins are a yeast nutrient the sugar alone isn’t always enough to keep the yeast happy for weeks

  20. Hi Ben
    If you use dark brown sugar instead of white sugar , will you get a rum flavour after distilling?

  21. i have an 8 gallon pot i only get about 4-5 quarts of decent alcohol out of a run the rest is so low volume its not drinkable is there anyway to up the output?

  22. The first recipe calls for “sugar syrup”, I can guess, or ask you. Please advise, Mark

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