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How to make Bourbon from Maize

How to make Bourbon from Maize

Are you new to distilling? Check out our Bourbon Distillery Kit. It has all the equipment and ingredients you need to make the below recipe.

You can also get all the ingredients for this recipe (minus the grain) with our Bourbon Distiller's Yeast Pack. We recommend using the Alembic Pot Still with the Grainfather to make this whiskey.

Using 23 L (6.1 US Gal) 9.4% ABV 51% Unmalted Corn

What you will need:


  1. We recommend using the Grainfather system. Fill the boiler with 24 L (6.3 US Gal) of water and input a temperature of 65°C (149°F).

  2. When the water reaches 65°C (149°F), slowly add the Rye Malt, Distiller's Malt and Maize, stirring slowly as you do to avoid dry clumps. Set up the mash as per the Grainfather instructions and add your OPTIONAL Distiller’s Enzyme Alpha-Amylase to the mash. Mash for 60 minutes.

  3. After 60 minutes ramp the temperature up to 75°C (167°F) for the mash out. Continue to recirculate the wort at 75°C (167°F) for 10 minutes.

  4. Sparge with 9.7 L (2.6 US Gal) of water. This water must be at 75°C (167°F).

  5. Set the Grainfather to boil. Once it reaches 100°C (212°F), boil for 30 minutes. Ensure to pat down the proteins at the start of the boil to avoid foaming over.

  6. Once the temperature of the wort drops below 65°C (149°F), add the Still Spirits Distiller’s Enzyme Glucoamylase and hold at 50-60°C (122-140°F) for 60 minutes for the enzyme to saccharify the starch. (Alternatively you can cool the wort to 30-32°C (86-90°F), adding your enzyme directly to the fermenter along with the yeast , fermenting at an optimum ambient air temperature of 30-35°C (86-95°F) for simultaneous scarification and fermentation)

  7. Give the wort a good stir and then cool it using the counter flow wort chiller as per the Grainfather instructions. As the cool wort collects in your fermenter pitch the Still Spirits Whiskey Distiller's Yeast.

  8. Ferment at 20-35°C (68-95°F) ambient air temperature for optimum performance and quality.

  9. Once the airlock stops bubbling and the specific gravity have been stable for two consecutive days, this indicates fermentation is complete. You should now leave your wash to stand for 1-2 days for any remaining solids and yeast to settle out. Still Spirits Turbo Clear can used here to speed up the clarification process.

  10. You are now ready to distil your wash to make bourbon style whiskey. The wash should be siphoned into your still to leave behind the sediment. Please refer to the instruction manual of your distillation unit for detailed instructions on distilling your spirit. We recommend using the Alembic Pot Still and attaching this to the Grainfather.

  11. After distilling you will be left with a richly flavoured but white coloured spirit. For best results you should age your bourbon style whiskey on oak, either by filling into a 6-8 litre medium toast oak barrel (new, or used previously for whiskey), or by using the American Charred Oak Carboy Spiral for a faster infusion. During ageing, you should taste your bourbon style whiskey regularly until your desired level of oak flavour is achieved.

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