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Sunday, May 1, 2016


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

When the strong smell of fermentation flowed over the swimming pool area at the apartment complex where I lived in Frankfort, Kentucky, you knew that the local distiller was making corn whiskey. The nose smelled the yeasty and bakery-like odor of fermentation and you knew the Kentucky folks were happy.

Likewise, Missouri had its Ozarks where moonshine was made from the pure Missouri water without the iron and an ideal mineral balance. What a place to enjoy one's work and stay on the run.

I got lost a little on this idea. This is now legal in Missouri. How about doing it legal and make moonshine, rum, or whiskey or even wine and of course for flavoring for your cooking. Oh! If whiskey ages for two years in a charred white oak barrel, it becomes bourbon. You even can get the oak barrels from Missouri. Thought you might want to know.

In the good times a sack of corn equaled a gallon jug, and it was easy to trade and easy to transport. It would be like digging gold out of the backyard. Corn was their gold. But to carry water up a hill and pour it on the coils to condense the fumes for eight hours in a day seems to me hard work.

Here are a few words and their meanings in the lore of making moonshine to get the older folks here a smile:

ALKY, 1. n. Term for cheap liquor used by bootlegger. 2. n. Prohibition term for inferior moonshine.

BACKINGS, n. Left over, low-proof liquor usually collected in the thump keg.

BOILER, n. Any thing to make steam for the still from an old oil drum to a custom built professional boiler.

BOX, 1. n. The vat holding the mash. Sometimes collected in "sets." 2. v. To sift scalded meal through a screen for re-mashing.

BULL DOG, v. To heat used barrels to sweat out the liquor they have absorbed.

CHARGE, n. A single filling of the still.

COIL, n. The copper pipe wound into loops and used as a condenser. Also called the worm or snake. In Moonshine lore, the heads, heart, and tails of the snake, meaning what comes out of the coil first, second, and third, has different strengths and properties.

CORN LIQUOR, n. Spirits made from corn.

FIRST SHOTS, n. The head of the snake. The first harsh strong drips from the coil.

MASHING IN, 1. v. To put ingredients together for the mash. 2. v. To start the whiskey making process.

PUNK, v. To cause the still to boil over and foul its connections, as in "Don't do that, you'll puke the still.

PULL OUT, v. To end operations quickly, taking only the still and copper as in, "We don't pull out tonight, those revenuers be all over us by morning."

RUN IT OUT, v. To end operations and move as in, "We gots to run it out and drag her up the crick a piece."

SINGLINGS, n. Condensation and tails of production with low alcohol content.

TEMPING BOTTLE, n. A sample bottle for checking the strength of spirits.

THUMPER, n. A stream keg, also known as a doubler that increased production while making a low thumping-thumping sound like far-off thunder.

WATER MASH, n. First mash of the operation.

WEED MONKEY, N. Sometimes "Weed Mule," this old car or truck was used to haul supplies. Definitely not up to runnin' from the law.

These words definitions were taken from the Copper Run Distillery, 1901 Day Road, Walnut Shade, Missouri. Stop by for a visit.

Have a Happy!

Larry Eiker
Eiker's Burgoo of Food Ideas