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In honor of our founding father George Washington’s first distillery these recipes are for the home brewer.

If you are 21 years old try these recipes:

Washington’s Whiskey Recipe

The recipe, or “mash bill,” calls for 65 percent rye, 30 percent corn and 5 percent malted barley.

First, grind the grains into a coarse meal. Then, mix the rye and corn in a wood vessel called a “hog’s head.” Add hot and cold water. Stick your hand in the mash to make sure it isn’t too hot. If it doesn’t burn, the temperature is just right. Add barley and stir.

Cool the mixture down a bit more, and add yeast. Let the mixture ferment for a few days.

Pour the mixture into a copper still, and let it boil. The alcohol will vaporize and condense, flowing out of a tube, also known as a worm.

Collect the liquid and run it through the copper still one more time. Now you have finished whiskey.

Washington barreled his whiskey and sold it immediately. These days, distillers age it for a few years to improve its taste.

Here are a few other recipes:


One quart of corn syrup per 1 1/2 gallons of water and one cup of honey for every ten gallon batch. Starting hydrometer reading of about 60 or 65. Do not exceed 70. Add 1 to 3 oz’s of yeast per 10 gallons of mash.

Heat one fourth of your water to 120 or 130 degrees only hot enough to melt the corn syrup, then stir in your syrup and then the honey last. Pour it into your fermenter and finish filling with cool water to cool it down to 80 degrees.

Take a hydrometer reading and adjust as needed. The add your yeast.

6 to 14 days to ferment.


The ingredients are malt, sugar, yeast and rain water. You can buy the malt from any big supermarket, if they don’t have it they will order it for you. The brand names for the malt and yeast are Blue Ribbon and Red Top. The malt is a liquid and comes in a can, the yeast comes in cakes.

To every can of malt you will add 5 gallons of warm water, dissolve 5 pounds of sugar and add 1 cake of yeast. Mix all this together in a barrel made of plastic, stainless steel, or copper, under no circumstances use aluminum. Keep it covered with cheese cloth to keep the bugs out. Keep it in a warm place till it ferments. Then you can cook it off in your still and you have the smoothest whiskey you have ever tasted.

After you run off the whiskey, it is clear like water. You can color it by taking a piece of dry fruit wood (or maple), burn the fruit wood over a flame till it is blackened real good, then drop the burned fruit-wood in your clear whiskey. In a few days the whiskey will be the color of store bought whiskey.