Moonshine is very versatile as a survival and shtf commodity, but where it will really shine in your prepretuare is as a barter item. Preppers often talk about stockpiling things that can be used as barter items, but most things we talk about are one-offs after shtf. Things like toilet paper, diapers, ammo, coffee, and cigarettes to name a few. But whiskey can be made again and again if you know how to do it.
This article isn’t meant to be a how-to. It’s meant to just get you thinking about the usefulness of moonshine in your preparedness plan.
You have to have a still if you’re going to make moonshine. The good news is a simple still is easy to make, but you need to make it now because salvaging the things you need after shtf might prove to be difficult.
There are many designs on the internet. The size of the still will determine how much whiskey you get from a single still run. The bigger the still the more whiskey per run will be possible, but the bigger it is the more difficult it becomes to transport. I believe theses two variables should be considered when deciding which design to build.
The Mash Recipe
As a prep Moonshine will be made from whatever you can get your hands on. There won’t be any fancy recipes or consistency unless you’re able to produce the ingredients you need. Traditionally moonshine is made with grains most notable is corn, but it can be made from anything containing sugar or starch.
Even if you can’t produce what you need there will be all kinds of things in the wild that you can use. All the wild edible berries in your area can be used to make moonshine (brandy to be specific). Potatoes, turnip, wild sunchoke, pawpaw, and all the tree fruits can be used.
So, unless you’re just having a hard time finding enough food to eat, there should be plenty use in a batch of mash.
in the modern fermentation process, we use activated yeast and sugar to streamline the process, but you won’t be able to run down to the store to pick these items up. Fermentation will still happen naturally just not as quickly.
In fermentation you have yeast that feeds on the sugars and starches, in turn, the yeast releases alcohol, thus turning sugar into alcohol. This process can be done in 5 to 10 days with activated yeast but will take longer without it. Don’t bother stocking up on activated yeast because it loses its effectiveness rather quickly.
Another plus is that the fruit you find that may have already started to become overripe and mushy is perfect for a batch of mash. That rotten apple at the bottom of a barrel won’t be a problem after all.
The yeast is the easiest ingredient of all. If you pick your fruit outside there will already be natural yeast on the surface of the fruit. Don’t wash it off. This natural yeast will start the fermentation process on it’s own. If you’re really serious about making whiskey as a barter item then you can even propagate your own yeast and have it already activated to speed up the process.
As stated before, this article is meant to promote the advantage of using moonshine as a barter item. I don’t think a discussion is needed about whether whiskey will be a popular commodity or not. add to that the renewable nature of moonshine and it seems to be a great asset to any prep.
The processes involved in making moonshine are more complex than this article allows. If you would like me to do some how-tos about making moonshine with natural sugars and yeast let me know in the comment section at the end of the article.
For really smooth mash recipe click picture below.