Not all moonshiners have the opportunity to buy or store the oak barrel for aging spirits. This problem is solved by the infusion of distillate on pharmacy oak bark or specially made chips that simulates the soaking and roasting of the barrel. We will consider both options.
To draw any grain, fruit or sugar moonshine. Tannins contained in the bark and wood, when in contact with ethanol are transformed into organic substances, which change the color, taste and smell, even the regular brew. Depending on the characteristics of the tree and the time of exposure in the drink there are notes of fruit, vanilla, flowers, chocolate.
Brew oak bark
Simple and fast way to Refine the distillate, does not require a large time and material costs. It turns out soft extract with a characteristic odor of cognac.
- moonshine (45-50%) to 3 liters;
- oak bark – 3 tablespoons;
- honey – 1 tablespoon;
- clove – 5 buds;
- allspice – 10 peas;
- St. John’s wort – 1 table spoon;
- oregano – 1 tablespoon;
- vanilla and coriander on the tip of a knife.
Can be infused moonshine only on oak (bark), without adding other ingredients. But then the taste will be sharp, but the smell is too strong. The bark and other herbs suggest to buy at the pharmacy, there quality somehow controlled.
1. Spices and oak bark to put in a glass bowl, pour vodka, mix well and cover tightly.
2. To insist 14-16 days in a dark place at room temperature, shaking every 3-4 days.
3. Filter the tincture through cheesecloth and cotton filter. For full transparency, you may need 3-4 filtering. Then pour into storage bottle, tightly close the tubes.
4. Before drinking moonshine oak ready to withstand 10-12 days, then the taste will improve considerably.
Tincture of bark of oak
Moonshine oak wood (chips)
A better simulation of the aging of the distillate in barrels than the first method but requires careful preparation and a long infusion. First, the wood should be freed from the excess of tannins, spoiling the taste. This is done by maceration with subsequent temperature treatment.
Technology of preparation of wood chips:
1. Dry wood without bark chop on the pegs 2×2 cm and length up to 10 cm (sizes are approximate).
2. Received the chips soak in cold water for a day, every 8 hours changing the water.
3. Soaked the oak pegs to fill in an aqueous solution of soda (1 tablespoon soda to 5 litres of water) and leave for 6 hours.
4. Drain the solution, chips rinse well under running water.
5. To put the pieces in a pot, cover with water, bring to the boil and boil on low heat for 45-50 minutes.
6. Drain the water and again rinse the wood with cold water.
7. Dry the chips in the air (preferably in the attic) until dry (minimum of two nights).
8. Put the pieces on a baking sheet and put in preheated oven (140-160°C) for 2 hours until a slight blush.
9. Finished chips be stored in a dry warm place (must not dry).
Oak wood can be replaced with Apple or cherry. The method of obtaining chips is not changed.
1. Fry the previously prepared wood chips on the grill of the oven or microwave. The degree of roasting depends on the notes of smell and taste. Light roasting (at the time of the appearance of the first haze) gives the drink a subtle hint of vanilla, fruits and flowers. The average firing (smoke and smell) brings the aroma of coconut, caramel, almond, spices. Strong firing (wood start to change color) saturate moonshine smoky flavor with chocolate undertones (like Scotch whiskey).
In the process of roasting the main thing is not to burn chips. The first time I recommend to train on a small number of, not to spoil all the wood.
2. Add oak chips to the brew (45-50%) at the rate of 20-30 grams per liter, and cover tightly. Insist in a cool dark place for 3-6 months (on average). Gradually the color will change. Every week a sample, controlling the organoleptic properties of the drink. The duration of exposure depends on the properties of the selected wood and your preference in flavor and aroma, sometimes even enough for 15 days.
3. Infused with oak brew to drain into another container. If necessary filtered through cheesecloth. Before use, wait 3-5 days in a cool dark place to stabilize the taste.
Moonshine 9 months of aging
P. S. many online stores sell ready oak chips with different degrees of roasting, which eliminates the need to get wood and make chips at home.