Bourbon Essences or Moonshine

Homebrew shop essences talk.

Bourbon Essences or Moonshine

Postby Grey Elf » Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:18 pm

I wanted to start a thread of Bourbon Essences or Moonshine recipes that have been stored on charred oak aged in a demijohn.
I have had a crack at all grain and had disappointing results. Might be the corn available to me or my equipment or methods.
This thread is for those to state results and compare essences and / or moonshine.
Moonshine can be any sugar wash or sour mash that uses corn or cornflakes etc.
Please refrain from bagging all essences or peoples attempts here or moonshine sugar recipes.
Bagging or praising something you have tried is totally why I have created this thread.

So I have tried
ESB pappy 23 = was ok but a bit sweet. The charred oak really helped balance flavours.
Still Spirits Tennessee = Again too sweet...but charred oak helped balance flavours.

Doing a ESB gentleman jack now...will report in 3 weeks.
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Re: Bourbon Essences or Moonshine

Postby bluc » Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:27 pm

Angel yeast burbon 70/20/10 corn /barley malt/ rye malt. Tasty drop am up to about gen 10 with backset and is starting to get some complexity.
Heavy char american "new" oak. I get better results with new more like store bought burbon.

Traditional mashed unmalted corn/ barley/ wheat. Aged 12 months sweet mash in an ex rum barrel. Had lots vanilla and was very tasty but not "burbon".

I am also partial to the unoaked angel yeast brew..at 40%
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Re: Bourbon Essences or Moonshine

Postby BigRig » Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:38 pm

When i first got in to distilling i used a boka still to punch out neutral for adding essences to. The best i came up with was Terry O'Briens Gentleman James on WBAB neutral, it was the closest flavour to the real thing. didn't need oaking.

We started off on TPW but it was a little sweet, the dryness of wbab was good.

worth a look if you are wanting an essence to try. 50ml bottle made 3.5L spirit
Last edited by BigRig on Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bourbon Essences or Moonshine

Postby Grey Elf » Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:40 pm

I had some good results with Still Spirits Tennessee Bourbon....my friends loved it...Bit like JD
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Re: Bourbon Essences or Moonshine

Postby BigRig » Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:44 pm

Grey Elf wrote:I had some good results with Still Spirits Tennessee Bourbon....my friends loved it...Bit like JD


I never tried it but my father is a bit of a JD snob and he didn't like the SS Tennessee bourbon compared to the Terry O'briens.

A good essence but not bourbon worth trying is Heritage Rum & ginger.
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Re: Bourbon Essences or Moonshine

Postby Grey Elf » Wed Apr 14, 2021 6:21 pm

Thanks bluc definitely going to look at that angel yeast again.
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Re: Bourbon Essences or Moonshine

Postby Grey Elf » Wed Apr 14, 2021 6:46 pm

bluc wrote:Angel yeast burbon 70/20/10 corn /barley malt/ rye malt. Tasty drop am up to about gen 10 with backset and is starting to get some complexity.
Heavy char american "new" oak. I get better results with new more like store bought burbon.

Traditional mashed unmalted corn/ barley/ wheat. Aged 12 months sweet mash in an ex rum barrel. Had lots vanilla and was very tasty but not "burbon".

I am also partial to the unoaked angel yeast brew..at 40%


Thankyou for the reply. I am looking up the Angel yeast and the “still it video” on angel yeast. I read the thread previously but have not tried it.
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Re: Bourbon Essences or Moonshine

Postby Grey Elf » Wed Apr 14, 2021 6:58 pm

BigRig wrote:When i first got in to distilling i used a boka still to punch out neutral for adding essences to. The best i came up with was Terry O'Briens Gentleman James on WBAB neutral, it was the closest flavour to the real thing. didn't need oaking.

We started off on TPW but it was a little sweet, the dryness of wbab was good.

worth a look if you are wanting an essence to try. 50ml bottle made 3.5L spirit


I do a wash made with the back set from scotch or bourbon...about 5 litres...invert the sugar with citric acid and the other stuff from a TFFV..add the oyster shells to balance ph. Use bakers and wine yeast so I can up the OG. Run it through a T500. Cut to required strength and carbon filter. ....similar to your WBAB.
Have not come across Terry Obriens essence yet but will look into it.
Thankyou for the reply.
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Re: Bourbon Essences or Moonshine

Postby Grey Elf » Thu Apr 15, 2021 12:19 pm

bluc wrote:Angel yeast burbon 70/20/10 corn /barley malt/ rye malt. Tasty drop am up to about gen 10 with backset and is starting to get some complexity.
Heavy char american "new" oak. I get better results with new more like store bought burbon.

Traditional mashed unmalted corn/ barley/ wheat. Aged 12 months sweet mash in an ex rum barrel. Had lots vanilla and was very tasty but not "burbon".

I am also partial to the unoaked angel yeast brew..at 40%


Where do you get the angel yeast from? Ebay or a home brew distributor?
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Re: Bourbon Essences or Moonshine

Postby Sam. » Thu Apr 15, 2021 1:11 pm

Grey Elf wrote:
Where do you get the angel yeast from? Ebay or a home brew distributor?


No need to ask the same question in two threads mate ;-)
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Re: Bourbon Essences or Moonshine

Postby Grey Elf » Thu Apr 15, 2021 7:03 pm

Sam. wrote:
Grey Elf wrote:
Where do you get the angel yeast from? Ebay or a home brew distributor?


No need to ask the same question in two threads mate ;-)


Sorry for that. Found a link and got some on the way through ebay. Hope it arrives.
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Re: Bourbon Essences or Moonshine

Postby Amberale » Thu Apr 15, 2021 10:04 pm

This is a cut and paste from a motorbike forum I am on that came up recently.
The quoted gentleman lives in South Carolina and this is his take on what “Moonshine” is.

“What part of SC? The best roads are in western NC and eastern TN so you want to be in the NW corner of SC (the "upstate"). Shine is just cheap unaged whiskey. Some of it they proof down and flavor with peaches, etc. to make it drinkable but the only real excuse for shine was prohibition and that ended 88 years ago. A lot of the "craft" distillers sell shine (and gin & vodka) because it generates sales right away but any distiller worth his corn is putting up charred barrels full of whiskey to get some age. At least 50% of the flavor comes from the barrel.”
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Re: Bourbon Essences or Moonshine

Postby Grey Elf » Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:13 pm

Ok had a few guys tasting the following mixin a 5 Litre Demijohn. All loved it and we had it neat.
Vodka from TFFV,
ESB Pappy 23,
Still Spirits Tennessee
and I charred 2 bourbon staves andhand full of american oak chips under the grill.
Let itsit for 3 weeks....Delicious.
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Re: Bourbon Essences or Moonshine

Postby Whitedogcatcher » Tue Apr 20, 2021 11:55 pm

ESB Pappy 23 with charred Oak gave it nice depth my fav so far.
SSTennessee was close with american Oak chips charred would love to try aged in barrel but whose got time for that when you a newbie :think:
unoaked AngelYeast Bourbon sounds delish need to give that a burl
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Re: Bourbon Essences or Moonshine

Postby OldPoss » Sun Apr 25, 2021 10:46 am

I used the ESB pappy 23 bourbon staves for 4 weeks and couldn't drink it. It was too sweet and had no oak flavour. Although i used a TPW recipe which probably didnt help.

The SS Tennessee whisky and oak was ok after a few weeks on staves chips. I was going to try mixing the SsTennesse with SS classic bourbon and let sit for 3 months.
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Re: Bourbon Essences or Moonshine

Postby Grey Elf » Fri Apr 30, 2021 1:21 am

Tried the ESB Gentleman Jack with a mix of charred american oak and bourbon staves...was better neat than with coke. Even better with soda. But the Pappy 23 and SS Tenessee with charred oak is still my favourite.
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Re: Bourbon Essences or Moonshine

Postby Grey Elf » Fri Apr 30, 2021 1:25 am

OldPoss wrote:I used the ESB pappy 23 bourbon staves for 4 weeks and couldn't drink it. It was too sweet and had no oak flavour. Although i used a TPW recipe which probably didnt help.

The SS Tennessee whisky and oak was ok after a few weeks on staves chips. I was going to try mixing the SsTennesse with SS classic bourbon and let sit for 3 months.

I use TFFV and reflux still and also invert the sugar. Also a mix of wine yeast and bakers...so it attenuates more...then cut and fliter through carbon before aging. Hope that helps....the charred oak balances the sweetness
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Re: Bourbon Essences or Moonshine

Postby Grey Elf » Fri Apr 30, 2021 1:27 am

OldPoss wrote:I used the ESB pappy 23 bourbon staves for 4 weeks and couldn't drink it. It was too sweet and had no oak flavour. Although i used a TPW recipe which probably didnt help.

The SS Tennessee whisky and oak was ok after a few weeks on staves chips. I was going to try mixing the SsTennesse with SS classic bourbon and let sit for 3 months.

Idea 2 sounds interesting...please post feed back
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