Corn Mash Recipe for Whiskey

Embark on a journey into the heart of whiskey craftsmanship with this homemade corn mash recipe. Corn, the golden grain of the Americas, takes center stage in this alchemical concoction that transforms humble ingredients into the elixir of life. Follow these steps to create your own corn mash, the foundation for a whiskey that captures the essence of tradition and innovation.


  • Corn: 80% of the total grain bill (e.g., 8 lbs for a 10 lbs grain bill)

  • Barley: 10% of the total grain bill (e.g., 1 lb for a 10 lbs grain bill)

  • Rye or Wheat: 10% of the total grain bill (e.g., 1 lb for a 10 lbs grain bill)

  • Water: Quality water, free from impurities, for mashing and dilution

  • Yeast: Select a whiskey yeast strain for fermentation


  • Mash Tun: To combine and heat the grains and water

  • Fermentation Vessel: To allow fermentation to take place


1. Grain Selection:

Select high-quality grains for your mash. Opt for cracked or milled grains for efficient starch conversion during mashing.

2. Mashing:

  1. Heat Water: In the mash tun, heat water to around 165°F (74°C).

  2. Add Grains: Gradually add the grains while stirring to avoid clumps. Aim for a mash temperature around 150-155°F (65-68°C).

  3. Mash Duration: Allow the grains to mash for 60-90 minutes. This time allows enzymes to convert starches into fermentable sugars.

3. Lautering:

  1. Drain Liquid: Drain the liquid (wort) from the mash, separating it from the spent grains.

4. Fermentation:

  1. Cool the Wort: Cool the wort to a temperature suitable for fermentation, typically around 70-80°F (21-27°C).

  2. Pitch Yeast: Add the whiskey yeast to the cooled wort.

  3. Fermentation Duration: Allow fermentation to take place. This can last anywhere from a few days to a week, depending on the desired flavor profile.

5. Distillation:

  1. Prepare Still: Transfer the fermented mash to the still for distillation.

  2. Collect the "Heart" Fraction: During distillation, collect the middle fraction ("heart") for aging. Discard the initial "head" and final "tail" fractions.

6. Aging (Optional):

  1. Choose Barrels: If aging, transfer the distilled spirit into charred oak barrels.

  2. Patience: Allow the whiskey to age in a cool, dark place. The aging process contributes to the final flavor, color, and aroma.

7. Bottling:

  1. Dilute (Optional): If desired, dilute the whiskey to your preferred alcohol by volume (ABV) using distilled water.

  2. Filtration: Filter the whiskey to remove any sediment or impurities.

  3. Bottling: Transfer the finished whiskey into bottles, ensuring a tight seal.

8. Enjoy:

  1. Savor the Journey: Your homemade corn mash whiskey is ready to be savored. Pour a dram, raise your glass, and relish the fruits of your labor.

Tips for Success:

  1. Experiment: Adjust the grain ratios to create a mash that suits your taste preferences.

  2. Sanitation: Maintain cleanliness throughout the process to prevent contamination.

  3. Documentation: Keep detailed notes on each batch to guide future creations.

  4. Patience is a Virtue: Whether aging or enjoying immediately, allow the whiskey to develop and mature.

  5. Share and Enjoy: Whiskey is meant to be shared. Invite friends to taste your creations and celebrate the art of homemade spirits.

Crafting your own corn mash is a celebration of tradition, innovation, and the alchemy of whiskey-making. May your glasses be filled with the rich, golden elixir that reflects the craftsmanship of a true whiskey artisan. Cheers to the art of homemade corn mash whiskey!

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