In terms of love and prevalence among Russians, this alcohol is the undisputed leader. There are many recipes for Braga from sugar and distillation methods, but not all methods give a good result. So that beginners do not waste precious raw materials, I will tell you how to properly brew moonshine at home. If you follow the technology, the drink will turn out better than most store-bought vodkas. We will take a detailed look at all the nuances of the process.
First, I advise you to take care of the cleanliness of the containers used. The container should be washed with hot water and wiped dry with a clean cloth. The cleaner the bottles and pans, the higher the quality. Many novice moonshiners make the mistake of neglecting sterility, and then complain about a third-party smell or taste.
As an example, I will give the exact number of ingredients that are needed to prepare a little more than 5 liters of forty-degree moonshine according to classical technology:
sugar – 6 kg;
water – 24 liters;
dry yeast – 120 grams (or 600 grams pressed);
citric acid-25 grams.
Recipe for sugar Braga
- The calculation of proportions
First, we will determine the amount of moonshine that is needed at the output. At home, 1 kg of sugar produces 1.1-1.2 liters of moonshine with a strength of 40 degrees. But when calculating, I advise you to increase the amount of ingredients by 10-15%, since due to various reasons (temperature, quality of raw materials, incorrect distillation), the real yield is always less than the theoretical one by this amount.
For 1 kg of sugar, add: 4 liters of water (plus another 0.5 liters, if inverting is done) and 100 grams of pressed yeast or 20 grams of dry yeast.
- Invert sugar
A very complex name refers to the preparation of ordinary sugar syrup with citric acid. The fact is that during fermentation, yeast first breaks down sugar into simple monosaccharides – glucose with fructose, and only then processes these substances into alcohol. Heating also kills pathogens on the surface of the sugar, which are waiting for more favorable conditions for reproduction (temperature and humidity). Activation of harmful microbes in Braga is undesirable, as it can negatively affect the smell.
Moonshine made from inverted sugar ferments faster and tastes better. Although the inverting step is considered optional, and most recipes suggest only dissolving sugar in warm water, I advise you to still cook the syrup.
To invert the sugar for Braga, you need to do the following:
Heat 3 liters of water to 70-80°C in a large saucepan.
Add sugar (6 kg) and mix slowly until smooth.
Bring the syrup to a boil, boil for 10 minutes, removing the foam from the surface.
Very slowly (there will be a lot of foam) pour citric acid (25 grams), reduce the heat on the stove to a minimum.
Cover the pan and cook for 60 minutes.
homemade inverted sugar
- Preparation of water
A very important stage, during which the taste of the finished product is largely formed. Water for the mash should correspond to hygiene standards, not to have no color, no taste, no smell.
Before preparing sugar moonshine, I recommend 1-2 days to defend tap water. This reduces the stiffness, and harmful impurities settle on the bottom. After settling, drain the water from the sediment through a thin tube.
Attention! Water for moonshine can not be boiled or distilled, as this will lead to the loss of oxygen needed for fermentation yeast.
Pour the syrup prepared at the 2nd stage into a fermentation tank, add cold water (24 liters). If not inverted sugar is used, dissolve it in warm water, stirring intensively. In both cases, the optimal temperature of the finished mixture is 27-30°C.
The container must not be filled with more than three-quarters of the volume, otherwise during active foaming, the mash may overflow over the edges and you will have to collect the product with a specific smell on the floor.
- Introduction of yeast
Pressed yeast can be added directly to the container, after kneading with clean hands. But it is still better to first dissolve the briquette in a small amount of prepared wort (water and sugar), cover with a lid and wait until the foam appears. Usually everything takes 5-10 minutes.
Before being added to the wort, dry yeast needs to be pre-activated. To do this, it is enough to clearly follow the instructions on the bag. In most cases, boiled water is cooled to 32-36°C, the right amount of dry yeast is poured in, covered with a lid, and the container itself is wrapped in a thick cloth or put in a warm place to maintain a stable temperature. After 20-40 minutes, a uniform foam cap will appear on the surface. This means that diluted dry yeast can be added to the wort.
When using baking yeast, sometimes active foaming begins, which goes beyond the capacity. As a defoamer for Braga, I recommend using a crumbled half of dry store-bought cookies or 10-20 ml of vegetable oil. Adding these products will not affect the quality of moonshine.
Install a water seal on the bottle of Braga and move it to a room with a stable temperature of 26-31 °C (very important for the normal development of yeast). Braga on inverted sugar has a pleasant caramel smell that does not spoil the air.
To maintain the temperature regime, cover the container with blankets or fur coats, insulate it with building thermal insulation materials, or install aquarium heaters with a thermoregulation system. Fermentation lasts from 3 to 10 days (usually 4-7). Every 12-16 hours, I recommend shaking the Braga for 45-60 seconds, without removing the water seal. Due to the agitation, excess carbon dioxide will evaporate, which interfere with the normal operation of the yeast.
Signs of readiness of sugar Braga for distillation:
bitter taste (all sugar is processed by yeast into alcohol);
the release of carbon dioxide has stopped (the hydraulic seal does not gurgle); the
upper layers of the Braga have lightened, and a sediment has appeared on the bottom;
the hissing stopped;
you can smell alcohol;
the match held to the Braga continues to burn.
Use the signs in a complex way, you need at least 2-3 to appear at the same time, otherwise it is easy to make a mistake. For example, an overabundance of sugar leads to the fact that yeast dies before they have time to process everything. Most yeast fungi “fall asleep” at an alcohol concentration above 12%, so even the finished Braga will remain sweet.
- Degassing and clarification
Making the right moonshine is unthinkable without this stage. It’s time to remove the sugar Braga from the yeast sediment, pour it into a large saucepan through a tube, then heat it to 50°C. High temperature kills yeast residues and promotes the release of carbon dioxide from the liquid.
Degassed Braga pour back into the bottle and lighten with bentonite (preferably) – natural white clay, which is sold in bags and as part of the cat filler. Verified brands (at the time of publication): “Pi-Pi-Bent”, “WC Closet Cat”.
bentonite for clarification of sugar Braga
Attention! When choosing white clay, make sure that there are no aromatic additives in the composition, which will irrevocably spoil the home-made moonshine. Also, before clarification, fermentation must completely end, otherwise the method will not work.
To lighten 20 liters of Braga, 2-3 tablespoons of bentonite should be ground in a coffee grinder and dissolved in 250 ml of warm water. Then mix and wait until the clay turns into a thick mass, resembling fat sour cream. This takes 10-15 minutes.
Add bentonite to the Braga, close the container tightly and shake vigorously for a few minutes. Then leave the Braga alone for 15-30 hours, after which you can start distilling.
The sediment can not be poured into the sewer, there may appear cement plugs, which are then difficult to eliminate.
The use of bentonite removes third-party impurities that did not precipitate during fermentation. As a result, the unpleasant yeast smell disappears from the Braga, and the expelled moonshine is much easier to clean, since the clay removes most harmful substances.
How to drive moonshine
- The first distillation
The clarified bentonite Braga is drained from the sediment into an alembic. the Purpose of the first distillation is to separate the alcohol from other substances. Many beginners and lazy moonshiners stop at this, never having tasted the taste of real home-made moonshine, made according to all the rules.
Distillation is performed over low heat. I suggest that you immediately divide the output into fractions: “heads”, “body” and”tails”. The first 50 ml per 1 kg of sugar should be collected in a separate container. According to our proportions, this is 300 ml of “Pervak” – the head fraction, which can only be used for technical needs, because of harmful impurities, this distillate is dangerous to health.
Then select the “body” – a useful medium fraction, called raw alcohol. The selection should be stopped when the distillate strength (in the jet) drops below 40 degrees. It is better to determine the strength of the alcohol meter (necessarily at a temperature of 20°C), but you can use the folk method-while the distillate burns in a spoon, continue the selection.
The last to collect in a separate container “tails” – the third fraction containing a lot of fusel oils. This distillate can be poured into the next brew (after removal from the sediment) to increase the strength or not to collect at all, turning off the moonshine machine after collecting the “body”.
Before the second distillation, the average fraction (raw alcohol) needs additional cleaning from harmful impurities. There is no single universally recognized method, you can use any one.
Natural and environmentally friendly is the cleaning of sugar moonshine with coal. The main thing before cleaning is to dilute the distillate with water to 15-20 degrees, so that the molecular bonds become weaker.
- The second distillation
Dilute (necessarily for fire safety purposes) raw alcohol pour into an alembic, start distillation on a minimum fire. As in the first time, especially if you cook moonshine for yourself, cut off the “heads” – the first 50 ml for each kilogram of added sugar.
Immediately after the selection of the first (head) fraction, it is desirable to replace the suhoparnik, if the module is provided by the design of the moonshine machine. Then, until the strength in the jet falls below 40 degrees, select the main product.
- Dilution and settling
At the last stage, dilute the homemade moonshine with water to the desired strength (usually 40-45%). To make the taste of the drink more soft and balanced, pour the finished product into bottles, close the stoppers, let it brew for 3-4 days in a cool dark place. This time is sufficient for the end of chemical reactions that occur when mixing liquids.