Hypothetically..............I may or may not have met one or two people who may or may not have made moonshine and I may or may not have tasted it and enjoyed it.........and of course I would never admit to actually having made any myself or having taken part in any illegal activities......
That said, I just might know a bit of theory about this subject
Now, there is a yeast strain from Sweden of all places designed for this very purpose, but "some people" might prefer to use one from New Zealand called Turbo Yeast.
It comes in about a half pound pack with yeast nutrients added. You get a 5 gallon fermenter and add about 12-16 pounds of dextrose powder, which is basically pure glucose from corn syrup.
Then you add the water and yeast and stand back.
It will bubble in about half an hour, much quicker than beer. If you are not careful ( I would hypothetically reccommend that the fermenter lid is left loose for the first night) it will spew yeasty foam everywhere through the airlock.
In about 2 days it is worked out and gives a sort of beer about 15% alcohol, sometimes even closer to 20%.
This is then run through a reflux still to give alcohol around 90% strength to which you add a teaspoon of activated charcoal per litre, or around 5 spoons a gallon and let sit for aslong as possible but even a day or so is good.
Then mix to proof ( or a little above...
) and enjoy.
Goes down soooooo smooth and leaves NO hangover next morning unless you have been really really silly and drunk loads with no water and get dehydrated.....
Tastes a little like vodka but is actually slightly sweet with a lovely aftertaste and no fire burning at all if done right......
To make this stuff really nice, after it has been on the charcoal but is still uncut high proof stuff, take a bottle of it ( standard size spirit bottle) and drop in a vanilla bean and leave for about 2 months then cut to proof and enjoy. So smooth and silky........
Or you can take a vegetable peeler and stripoff the zest of a lemon, lime, or orange into strips and drop them in.
The peel turns white as teh oils are leached out, and the resulting drink is an unusual sipper or a good mixer.
Now, if you have a pot still........
Take a big box of apples and an electric juicer.
Fill your fermenter half to 3/4 full of juice and pulp, top up with water, and add a couple of packets of brewer's yeast.
ferment it out and you have a pretty unappetising cider.
Strain out the pulp ( squeeze it out good in a cloth or something, you don't want to waste any of that lovely cider!! ) and add to the still.
Run it through into a big jug until it is coming out watery and smelling bad.
throw out what is in the still and clean it out. Nothing but garbage there now.
Put your firewater back in the still, and if it is an electric still add some water too so you don't uncover the element and burn it out..........it's not fun and it makes the moonshine taste horrible and burned......
Probably a good idea to stick a little water in anyhow, say one gallon of water in a 5 gallon still....bit less is ok too though.
Run it more gently and take off the first bit that comes out and use it for deicing the car screen washer bottle or starting a fire or something like that.
DON'T drink it, this is where the methanol will be which gives you big hangovers and makes you sick. For a 5 gallon run which probably started out as 10 gallons of cider before your stripping run, take a good glassful and chuck it.
Then run it out until the strength starts to drop, use an alcoholometer, which is just a hydrometer calibrated for pure alcohol percentage, to check it, or the old time way is to keep tasting it until it tastes watery.
When it gets down to 40% alcohol coming out, stop putting it in your good jar and put it into a tails jar ( label it, you don't want to pour yourself a glass of it later!
Tastes nasty!!) and run it in there until it either smells nasty like rotten yeast and so forth or until it goes below about 10% alcohol.
Then you take the tails jar and add it to your next stripping run and the bit of alcohol in there will be extracted and the nasty stuff left behind.
Clean out the still nice and good.
Take your good stuff, stick about 2 spoons of activated charcoal in each gallon and leave for a week. You have just "aged" it about the same as putting it in barrels for many months. Activated charcoal is wonderful!
Now strain it off the carbon, dilute to proof with good filtered or spring water, and enjoy.
Wonderful appley flavour comes through,slight sweetness, but not too much.
I could drink gallons of it, but be aware that it will not be as pure and methanol free as the reflux stuff made from dextrose as above. It will give you a hangover about the same as good whiskey will if you drink too much of it, maybe a bit less.
If you want ultra superb stuff, after teh second run, mix it 50/50 with water and repeat, keeping the tails as before to put in your next stripper run.
You lose a bit, but it is just that bit nicer........
Above recipe works good for plums too..............
*** The information contained in this post is for academic study and interest only. Distilling of alcohol for human consumption is illegal in many places. Check your local laws before following any of the above advice *****