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Alaskan Bootlegger's Bible

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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. 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.


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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

regarding moonshining:

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 -

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.

Tim Dellinger

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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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