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.

Step 1: What You Will Need

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.

Building a Keg Still, Pot still design

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

Building a Keg Still Bokakob Design Reflux Still


Chopping board

Sharp Knife

Large Saucepan

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.

A jug


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.

Amylase, Optional

2kg Sugar, Optional

<p>Is it possible to use instant type dehydrated potatoes ? sounds good in theory.</p>
I dont know if i am honest, i guess if the starch levels were high enough but I would imagine that they would be lower as they would have had most of the starch washed off during the manufacturing process.
<p>Hello, I've been trying to learn about this for a while. But the whole methanol and going blind thing is kinda what I'm paranoid about lol. Now I've seen that this will boil at about 143 degrees so if i have a way to control my temp (stove, hotplate, etc.) could i just leave it at 143 until the condenser stops spitting it out i could discard that and then move the heat up to 173 to get the ethanol, correct? </p>
you will find it very hard to get that level of precision out of your hotplate / burner / element. but the methanol will come out first so all you need to do is discard the first 50 - 100 ml depending on your batch. You can also smell and taste it and you will know when it has gone.<br><br>Also worth noting that the methanol in your wash would be the same amount that is in beer or wine as its not taken out in those processes. the levels are fairly low.<br><br>the methanol going blind rumour is some what true back in the day but also false for todays makers, it goes back to the days of prohibition, the moonshiners would throw away the first portion with the methanol in it and then send the rest to the distributor who would then cut the spirit with methanol so he could make more money. problem was that they would put a hell of a lot in there, way more than the moonshiners where throwing away. Sometimes it would be a 50-50 mix. the really high levels of methanol is what lead to blindness, this is why there is the myth that moonshine/illegal spirits can make you go blind.<br><br>Interestingly modern distillery's use continuous stills so they actually leave the methanol in as they have no method for removing it, its just mixed in with the spirit. But its such low levels its not a danger, as I said before its the same as you would get in beer or wine.
<p>can you please tell me how much enzyme to potato mash ratio plz thank you</p>
I didn't measure it, I think i put in a couple of teaspoons of it as well as the barley malt which has its own enzymes.
<p>Hi! I was wondering if you could clear something up for me.... In the quilting world they are starting to make Bad Girl Spray that is made from vodka don't laugh hehe I have used it and it works great! My question is they are saying to use potato vodka because of the starch.. From what I gathered from your instructions the starch Is fermented out is this right? Would appreciate your input Thanks!</p>
in theory yes it should be converted in to sugars and eventually fermented out. how ever, there may be traces remaining which could come over when its distilled, but it would be trace amounts.<br><br>is there anything else in this spray? they could just be using the vodka to dissolve other substances.<br><br>what is the purpose of this spray?
Can you email me....kcmusicman1970@gmail.com<br>I really loved your post. Im just getting started and would enjoy advice from a pro as yourself.
<p>done, dont send annoying emails, make sure you have read this post and my others about distilling and building stills before you ask questions. also checkout the home distiller website</p>
It is mixed with distilled water at different ratios depending how you like it. It is sort like a sizing more than a clothes starch. Really good for ironing out wrinkles. If you were to do a searh of. Vodka spray starch or. Spray starch made from vodka. They are saying to only use potato starch and not the grain. But with what you said, ut wouldnt matter what the vodka was made from.
<p>You do realize if your in the United States that you committed a felony - Five years in Prison and forfeiture of your assets. Before you say that doesn't apply to personal use or it's legal in your state. No it's not - The fed want's their tax money pure and simple - Please refer to the TTB website.</p>
<p>it is fine to make for personal consumption (no money made whatsoever) because they get their taxes from the ingredients used to make it and if you are to be caught making it (if legal in your state) it is against the law for you to be arrested. It is also good to know how much you can legally own or make at a time.</p>
DanU1, If you know that making it is illegal then why are you looking this stuff up? That's kinda stupid of you to be saying on here.
I'm not in the US, there are other places in the world other than the US where it is legal
<p>I can't imagine doing it the way you've outlined. A 30L brew kettle and fermenter would have saved you loads of time and also saved you having to throw out all that water full of starch. Boil. Blend. Malt. Ferment. Done! 2 vessels. I'd also not really want to put a stick blender into a fermenter, scratches are notoriously hard to clean and can cause infection in subsequent fermentation. I'd love to know what your gravity was from just the potatoes. Unless you have a bunch of spare free potatoes, its probably cheaper to just buy sugar ...rather than potato, barley, and amylase. Not to mention easier. Esp. if you say you don't notice a difference :)</p>
yeah in hindsight I should have kept the water, and yes I could have used a brew kettle but that would require buying specialist stuff for an experiment, and using the stick blend doesnt cause scratches as the shroud stops the blades touching the sides.<br><br>you can make vodka from just sugar, well i use sugar tomato paste and the juice of a lemon.<br><br>it really depends on what you are going to use the vodka for, if you are doing mixers then sugar is easier, if you are drinking it straight then grain or potatoes are better as they taste smoother out of the still than just sugar. again if you want to do a panty dropper recipe then sugar is also fine.<br><br>you could run a sugar wash through an activated carbon filter to help smooth it out but even after a few runs through it still tastes a bit rough.<br><br>this was just an experiment to see what it would be like.
<p>hey bro can i replace barley malt with wheat?i cant find any malt in the supermarkets...i dont have time to go to a farm.thanks</p>
only if its malted, its the malt that turns the starches in to sugars and then those sugars turn to alcohol ;-) try a health food shop, homebrew (beer and wine) shop, or order it from ebay. if you are in the UK they do malt in Wilkinsons in the homebrew section. you may even find it in boots.
<p>ok so i only throw the foreshots and heads of the first run then the first 100 ml of the 2nd and 3rd run are still foreshots or no?</p>
<p>and what do you mean by &quot;covering the element with water&quot; i didn't understand that</p>
the heating element, did you even read the instructable?
dont put the foreshots in AT ALL. on the first run you shouldn't have anything as you haven't made anything.<br><br>knowing about the foreshots on other runs is a matter of experience, you can tell by the smell and taste you cant just assume the first 100ml once you have already taken them out on the previous run.<br><br>I'm not going to answer any more questions on this now as its getting some what annoying that you haven't read what I have done in the instructable correctly. if you have any questions go to the homedistiller.org forum.<br><br>You should do your reading before asking questions, get on the home distiller website and read EVERYTHING, then go through the forums.<br><br>
<p>i have a question...foreshots and heads should go for the second and third run with the heart?wouldn't be better if i throw them away?and another question...when i collect the heart of the first run...should i add some water to them for the third run?or i put the heart only without anything and distill again untill the third time?<br>thank you in advance!</p>
foreshots, throw them away, you could throw the heads away but some of them are useful so might as well put them in the next run.<br><br>so the second run should you add water, it depends if you do a few batches you can just collect them all and run them together in the second run or you can add water to make sure your element is covered. I put enough water in to cover the element then add my run but thats only if I am doing one batch.<br><br>and the third distill I would do only the hearts.
<p>N1cod3mus, why did you toss the water leftover after your potato boiling and not add amylase or barley malt to it as well? When you boil potatoes for mashing or whatever else, the boil water has TONS of starch leftover in it. I routinely set aside my &quot;potato water&quot; from family dinner mash potatoes for making potato dextrose agar media for yeast cell culturing and harvesting. It works great for finding wild yeasts or harvesting yeast from commercial microbrews and homebrews. I'm sure it would work great for making a potato vodka wash as well.</p>
Didn't think about it if i am honest
When you finish boiling the potatoes, just scoop them out of the boil water or pour out the water through a collander into another pot. Then while you're making your potato mash, just leave the boil water simmering on the stove to concentrate it down. Once you're ready to add barley and/or amylase, just use the boil water as your source of heated water if you need more temp to hit 66C for starch conversion. <br><br>I love it when homebrewers help out distillers and vice versa. I'm just now getting into the distillation game, but it's only natural since I've been making beer for almost a decade and it seems I've been barrel aging tons of my batches the past few years already too. Cheers
<p>So you strain off the cooking water before mashing them? Wouldn't it contain useful starch?</p>
it will have some starch in it, but not much, its also got a load of dirt in it and other junk you might not want
<p>How's it taste?</p>
It tastes like normal vodka, smells like vodka, you wouldn't know it was made with potatoes.<br><br>I think people have this idea in their head that its going to taste of potatoes, floury or course. but it doesn't.<br><br>the potatoes are just a source of starch, when you buy vodka off the shelf in the store you don't taste wheat. ;-)
<p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gN0Eue_WKYk" rel="nofollow">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gN0Eue_WKYk</a></p>
<p>there is no sound on that video, also using such a small still makes it very hard to do the cuts correctly</p>

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