Recipe – Georgia

10 lbs. Whole kernel corn, untreated
5 Gallons Water
1 Cup Yeast, champagne yeast starter

Put corn in a burlap bag and wet with warm water. Place bag in a warm dark
place and keep moist for about ten days. When the sprouts are about a 1/4″ long
the corn is ready for the next step. Wash the corn in a tub of water, rubbing
the sprouts and roots off. Throw the sprouts and roots away and transfer the
corn into your primary fermenter. With a pole or another hard object mash the
corn, make sure all kernels are cracked. Next add 5 gallons of boiling water
and when the mash cools add yeast. Seal fermenter and vent with a water sealed
vent. Fermentation will take 7-10 days. When fermentation is done, pour into
still filtering through a pillow case to remove all solids.

This is a recipe for moonshine whiskey that my neighbor in Georgia makes for special occasions.  He likes to make it for everyone on Christmas and Easter, etc because he’s convinced you can never have enough moonshine.  He actually uses his bathtub to ferment it in, but didn’t want to throw that part into the recipe.

Stephanie later added that the recipe had been passed down to her neighbor from his ancestors.  The most logical conclusion is that his ancestors were moonshiners.  Moonshine has always been illegal, and still is today, but her neighbor felt the need to risk getting caught in order to keep up the tradition of his family.  He also created a new tradition by giving moonshine to all of his friends on holidays.  Like Stephanie said, her neighbor made the moonshine in his bath tub, which is very authentic to the original moonshining days when stills were created and hidden in all sorts of places.

Her neighbor was originally from the south, but she did not know where his family was from.  The reason that is relevant is because the tradition of moonshine is opposite of most folklore.  Most folklore spreads over time.  Moonshine, however, was present all over the country during the days of the prohibition, but now it is mainly in the south.  It has become a part of the identity of the south, including there is a southern beer called Shiner.

Another thing I found interesting about moonshine today versus in the past, is when it is made and distributed.  Moonshine got its name from that fact that people would make it and distribute it at night in order to hide from the light of day. Now, people like Stephanie’s neighbor, make it in their house during the light of day, and distribute it to friends openly in the day time.  This is even more interesting considering the fact that the law is much more difficult to avoid today than it was back then.

Annotation: The Dukes of Hazzard. August 2005.

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