I had a go at making Potato Vodka, I have heard of it being made before in Russia and Poland and there are various recipes out there for it. For this one I picked the most basic recipe I could find out there.
Now this one was a learning curve for me as I have mostly done sugar washes and a couple of All Grain Mashes.
With this one I had a little bit of an accident/mistake which I will go in to later so that you can avoid making the same mistake that I did.
A quick bit on what Vodka is, other than tasty and good in cocktails and Mixers ;-)
So Vodka is a neutral spirit, it is not suppose to have a flavor, though some do have a little creaminess to them, what this means is that It could be made out of anything near enough, and in Russia and Poland they often did back in the day. Vodka can be made with Potatoes, Molasses, Sugar, Bread, Barley and most commonly wheat.
Majority of Vodkas are made with Wheat these days, though when I was in the supermarket, in the UK, the other day I had a look at the Vodkas and most of them where made from wheat but i found 1 made with molasses and one made with Barley. For those that wish to know Smirnoff is made with wheat.
I will be doing a wheat based vodka at some point soon so if that is what you are interested in then subscribe to me on Instructables and the site will alert you when I release some thing new.
First off you will need a still to turn the low level of alcohol in to spirit, traditionally vodka is done in a pot still and is processed multiple times. I have an instructable on building a pot still using a beer keg as a boiler, here is the link.
with these stills you would have to run it through multiple times to get a pure product but this will be a more traditional way of doing it.
you can use a more modern reflux still, with this you could get away with running it once. Here is the link to my reflux still instructable using a beer keg as a boiler
2 x 25L Fermenter or a large Barrel 40L with an air lock, you need to put at least 23L of liquid in there with a lot of room at the top
Long plastic spoon.
Stick blender, or blender, or just a potato masher
Some jars or jugs, you will need a few of these
A couple of old blankets
1 x gallon Demi John or carboy
1 x alcohol hydrometer for spirits
you can also use a parrot which is optional ( here is my instructable on Making a parrot )
A charcoal filter which is Optional, but this would help to smooth the spirit out, I make one in my instructable on making Jack Daniels, go to step 5,6,7 for the filter, I will separate this out at some point as I feel it would be useful.
9kg of Potatoes
1kg Barley Malt
Yeast, I used an ale yeast but you could use bakers yeast or wine yeast EC-1118 is my fav wine yeast.
2kg Sugar, Optional