On this board we get inquiries pretty regularly about home distillation. With some frequency I receive email inquiries about this too. I just came across this book and, while I haven't read it, the description and table of contents look intriguing. It is The Alaskan Bootlegger's Bible. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0967452406/charlekcowder) It covers fermented beverages as well. It includes instructions for making a still from items commonly found around the home which, as it helpfully notes in the introduction, is highly illegal in the United States. I guess it says something about the kind of books I buy that Amazon's automatic recommendation software spotlighted this.
Well, it seems that whoever wrote the Alaskan Bootlegger's Bible
has done a very good job of making it very prominent on amazon.com...
it seems that it's almost always being suggested whenever you search
for anything remotely connected with whiskey.
Here's a list of books and resources that people can consult
Alaskan Bootlegger's Bible:
an amusingly written, somewhat simple,
practical, hands-on how-to book. In classic bootlegger's fashion,
the entire thing was basically stolen from the web and packaged in
book form! Recommended as a fun intro, but lacks
a lot about the hows and whys.
The Complete Distiller (Nixon & McCaw)
- an in-depth discussion of
home distillation. Highly recommended for the serious hobbyist,
but might be too much for the casual dabbler who just wants an
amusing read or a project that lasts two weeks. Recommended for
anyone who wants to learn more about fermenting and distilling.
Contains detailed instructions and recipes.
Making Pure Corn Whiksey (Smiley)
- a readable how-to. Highly
recommended for all. Covers all aspects to a nice depth. I
would say that this book compliments the Nixon book really well.
Both books concentrate a little more on column distillation than
pot-still distillation, so they're a bit modern in that aspect.
Again, good for those who want to learn about fermenting and
distilling. Should probably be on the shelf of any serious
bourbon library, along with the Nixon book. Contains detailed
instructions and recipes.
The Foxfire Book (a.k.a. "Foxfire 1")
- contains a great chapter
all about what I'll call "classical, traditional" moonshining.
Doesn't contain step-by-step recipes, but provides a good
overview, and has a bit of local color. A very comprehensitve
explaination of traditional moonshining. Pretty much a must-have
for anyone interested in the traditional methods.
www.homedistiller.org (http://www.homedistiller.org) -
a free website that has more than you could
ever possibly want to know about home distillation. It will take
you hours and hours to read this. Can overwhelm the casual
dappbler, but an absolute must-read for the enthusiastic hobbyist.
Whisky: Technology, Production, and Marketing (Russell)
a VERY technical book for those who really want to get into
the science and engineering of whiskies. Mostly about Scotch
whisky, but has sections about American whiskies, and written to
be somewhat universal. Readable with lots of practical stuff.
Really great for the hard-core moonshiner.
The Science and Technology of Whiskies (Piggott, Sharp, et al.)
Out of print, but a nice review of the technical literature
concerning whiskies. Like the Russell book, it's a bit slanted
towards Scotch, but is very applicatble to American whiskies, too.
Both this and the Russell book are great for anyone with an
engineering streak in them who wants to learn way too much
about making whiskies.
I'm grateful for this list, Tim, because I do get inquiries about this subject, although perhaps not as many as I did in the past now that there are more online resources. For a long time the Foxfire book was the only one I knew about. That and a few survivalist pamphlets.
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