How Much Does It Cost To Make Moonshine

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As with most liquor, the price you’ll pay for moonshine depends on the quality, amount, and where you get it from. “Street” moonshine is more commonly sold by the quart or gallon. You can expect to pay $30 to $100 for a gallon. How much jail time can you get for making moonshine? via


Is it cost effective to make moonshine?

Making moonshine, or any distilled spirits for that matter, is another story. First of all, you can't legally distill spirits for personal use without paying taxes and getting licensed, period. An American-made moonshine still may cost between $12,000 and $50,000, Owens estimates. via

Is selling moonshine profitable?

And, moonshiners can make bank. They can haul in more than $100,000 a year in a legal operation [source: Harvison]. And probably make even more when it's an illegal operation. One moonshine bust in Tennessee netted 1,000 jugs of moonshine thought to have a street value of $50,000 [source: Young]. via

How much should I charge for moonshine?

You should be able to find a 750mL bottle of moonshine for between $20 and $40. As with most liquor, the price you'll pay for moonshine depends on the quality, amount, and where you get it from. “Street” moonshine is more commonly sold by the quart or gallon. You can expect to pay $30 to $100 for a gallon. via

How much moonshine will a 1 gallon still make?

A 1 gallon run will yield 3-6 cups of alcohol. A 5 gallon run will yield 1-2 gallons of alcohol. A 8 gallon run will yield 1.5-3 gallons of alcohol. A 10 gallon run will yield 2-4 gallons of alcohol. via

Can you make moonshine if you don't sell it?

Federal law provides no exemptions for the production of distilled spirits for personal or family use. Under no circumstances should you ever distil or sell alcohol without a permit. via

How do you make money from moonshine?

Buy mash for 50 bucks, make strong unflavored moonshine, make a perfect delivery without breaking any bottles, and you get a hundred bucks. That's a fifty buck profit for doing mostly absolutely nothing as a level 20 moonshiner. via

How much does a gallon of illegal moonshine sell for?

The selling price is around $25 a gallon if sold in bulk, or $40 for retail price. “They can make as much as $10,000 a month,” the task force said. via

What happens if you make moonshine wrong?

Our liver breaks down the methyl alcohol into formaldehyde and formic acid. And it's the formic acid that can affect our eyes. So, yes, when distilled improperly, moonshine with high levels of methanol can cause blindness. via

Does moonshine go bad?

The sealed and packed bottles can be stored in the freezer and last for approximately two years. Once opened, even though stored in the refrigerator, they can safely last for only two months at a time. Storing moonshine in the refrigerator helps in retaining the freshness and vitality of the drink. via

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What happens if you get caught selling moonshine?

How much does it cost to start a craft distillery?

The reality is dependent upon how one defines success. Like beauty, this reality is in the eye of the beholder.

Building up your company as quickly as possible for an exit to a conglomerate (Angel’s Envy) versus distilling some fine ‘shine with some friends on the weekends (insert any 50-gallon DSP here)are completely different goals and thus require completely different amounts of capital.

In our experience, most clients want to know what it takes to diligently and purposefully build a successful brand that can scale. The answer is somewhere between $3 and $5 Million, at a minimum.

While not all of this money is needed all at once, it will be needed in order to turn your start up into a legitimate, competitive business.

The big reason for the wide range depends on if one can sell bottles and/or cocktails onsite, and how long one plans to age their spirits before release. Here is a very simplified breakdown of where all the money goes:


Business and financial plans, packaging design, prototype development, market testing, and legal. A budget of $100K allows for top professional assistance and support.


Assuming the use of a rental property, distillation equipment will be approximately $500K, then another $500K for infrastructure and other ancillary items. Want a nice tasting room and retail? Add another +$200K.


$500K per annum that naturally increases as your sales grow.


This varies certainly on how much you pay yourself, but standard payroll and incentives will be at least $500K if not more.

I know many people will argue with me and show me examples of how they have done it for less. I will in kind ask what they have taken for salaries, if they paid their employees a proper wage or offered health insurance, and what their relationship is like with their wholesaler.

I will then ask how they plan to compete with distillers that have three times the capital, a diverse sales staff, and a still that can produce in one week what they can produce in one year.

Shelf sets are full, and distributors like Southern Glazers and Breakthru Beverage Group have put in place minimum thresholds for representation/expansion that exceed many distiller’s annual capacities. Distributors want brands that can scale and that have the resources to compete.

The good news is that capital is out there, and the industry is not going anywhere. It is critical to take the time to plan and to raise capital from the right investors.

(Just because someone wants to write you a check doesn’t mean you should accept it.) Also, knowing a general number for your capital requirement is important, but knowing how and when to use it is just as important.

At Thoroughbred, we call this a numerical business plan.

Please know that Thoroughbred is on your side and we encourage everyone who wants to join this wonderful industry to do so. However, it takes a lot of capital. There is no way around it. The competition is becoming fiercer and more professional. You owe it to yourself to give your new distillery the best opportunity to find success.


High-proof distilled spirit, generally produced illicitly
“Bootleg liquor” redirects here. For other uses, see Bootleg (disambiguation) and Moonshine (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Moonlight.

MoonshineTypeWhiskyAlcohol by volumeAt least 40%Proof (US)At least 80°ColourClear to off-white depending on ingredientsIngredientsGrain (mashing), sugar (fermented water)Related productsBourbon whiskey, corn whiskey, Scotch whisky, Irish whiskey, rye whiskey, Tennessee whiskey
A modern DIY pot still

Moonshine is high-proof liquor that is usually produced illegally.[1] The name was derived from a tradition of creating the alcohol during the nighttime, thereby avoiding detection.

In recent years, commercial distilleries have begun producing their own novelty versions of moonshine, including many flavored varieties.[2]


Look up hooch in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Not to be confused with Mountain Dew, Hooper's Hooch, or White spirit.

Different languages and countries have their own terms for moonshine (see Moonshine by country).

In English, moonshine is also known as mountain dew, choop, hooch (abbreviation of hoochinoo, name of a specific liquor, from Tlingit), homebrew, mulekick, shine, white lightning, white/corn liquor, white/corn whiskey, pass around, firewater, bootleg.[citation needed]

Fractional crystallization

See also: Fractional crystallization (chemistry)

The ethanol may be concentrated in fermented beverages by means of freezing.

For example, the name applejack derives from the traditional method of producing the drink, jacking, the process of freezing fermented cider and then removing the ice, increasing the alcohol content.

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[3][4] Starting with the fermented juice, with an alcohol content of less than ten percent, the concentrated result can contain 25–40% alcohol.[5]

Moonshine stills

How much does it cost to make a gallon of moonshine?

Ethanol production costs were estimated at $3.48 per gallon using raw sugar as a feedstock and were estimated at $3.97 per gallon using refined sugar. For these feedstocks, feedstock costs accounted for more than 80 percent of the total estimated ethanol production cost.

How much moonshine do you get from 1 gallon of mash?

Standard Yields: Most standard distillation runs will yield about: 3 – 6 cups of alcohol from a 1 gallon copper still. 1/2 – 1 gallon of alcohol from a 2.5 gallon copper still. 1 – 2 gallons of alcohol from a 5 gallon copper still.

How much moonshine will a 20 gallon still make?

We make this 20 gallon heavy copper moonshine still to order. We have been making moonshine stills for generations. We have it perfected! This still is capable of producing over 4 gallons of shine per run.

Can moonshine be 200 proof?

Contrary to what other people think, 200 proof moonshine exists. It’s probably the STRONGEST concentration, the HIGHEST PROOF of moonshine, and the HIGHEST PERCENTAGE of alcohol you’ll find out there. Though it doesn’t take the usual distilling process and simple tools to make this one.

How much moonshine will a 8 gallon still make?

An 8 Gallon will make about a quart of distillate per hour and you’ll end up with about a gallon to a gallon and a half of product when finished. The 13 will work at the same output (a quart an hour) but end up producing around two gallons to two and a half gallons.

Can you drink the heads of moonshine?

Once the distiller makes the first cut, the heads are generally either disposed of or redistilled in able to collect more alcohol from them. After the distiller has decided that the quality of the incoming distillate is good enough to keep for drinking purposes, they will cut to “hearts”.

At what proof do you stop distilling?

When the Distillation Process Ends. Experienced commercial distillers generally run their stills until the alcohol from the wash has reduced to somewhere around 10-20 proof. It is not worth the time and energy to distill further to separate the little remaining alcohol from the water.

Why do you throw away the first bit of moonshine?

Always dispose of the first bit of moonshine, in order to avoid contamination with methanol (which has a lower boiling point than ethanol). Contagion with methanol can be noticed by the bad smell and taste of your moonshine and needs to be avoided, since it is toxic.

How much yeast do you put in 10 gallons of mash?

Use this ratio – 2 to 4 grams of dried yeast for every gallon of mash. The foamy, rocky head of yeast called kraeusen, should form during the first four hours of fermentation. It could lag up to 24 hours which should be fine. You have to pitch in some more yeast if it takes longer than a day to form.

What is the quickest alcohol to make?

Most people will agree that mead is the easiest alcohol to make because it requires very little equipment and ingredients. If you don’t have the items already in your pantry, you can easily procure them from the grocery store. To make mead, you need about 2-3 pounds of honey for 1 gallon/3.78 liter of water.

What state makes the most moonshine?

The story of North Carolina moonshine is mostly centered around Wilkes County, which was called the moonshine capital of the world by federal revenue officers. What is this? Some might debate that title, but you can’t deny that the mountains of North Carolina are steeped in illegal liquor history.

How long can mash sit before distilling?

It depends on what type of wash you have but as a general rule of thumb, it is best to distil within 2-3 days after fermentation is complete. The wash will keep for up to a month so long as the fermenter is airtight. The period can be extended if the wash is racked off into a clean airtight container.

Best 1 Gallon Moonshine Still

Do you want great tasting shine without the large (and expensive) equipment? Get the best 1 gallon moonshine still. 

Making moonshine is a traditional hobby that has been quickly soaring in popularity around the world, best especially in the United States. 

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With the popularity of the Discovery Channel docuseries ‘Moonshiners’ as well as many popular ‘moonshine’ products available for purchase, more and more people want to make their own spirits. 

What is Moonshine? 

  • via GIPHY
  • While the term moonshine has often been linked with a clear grain-based alcohol, but the truth is moonshine is a term that encompasses any spirit that is made illicitly.
  • The term ‘moonshine’ was coined due to the fact that moonshine was often made and run ‘by the light of the moon’ in order to avoid detection. 

Of course moonshine was not always illegal.

In fact, making moonshine was a popular pastime for early American pioneers seeking a profitable way to use their excess grain. In fact, whiskey was even a form of currency at one point. 

Check out: Is Moonshine Illegal? 

However, this all came to a head when rising costs associated with the American revolutionary war were answered with the taxation of spirits in the United States. 

How Much Does 1 Gallon of Moonshine Cost? 


One of the most attractive aspects of making moonshine is its versatility. The first step of making moonshine is to make a mash. The choice of recipe and type of mash will play a large role in not only the cost of your moonshine, but also your final product. 

In general, there are three different types of moonshine mash you can make: sugar, fruit, or grain. 

Sugar Shine


Sugar shine is by far the cheapest (and easiest) mash to make. Sugar shine is nothing more than sugar, water, and yeast. With these simple ingredients in mind, you can produce a gallon of moonshine for only a few dollars. 

How much does it cost to make your own liquor brand?

Bottling ranges in price; it can cost anywhere from a few dollars to nearly $20 per case, though the higher range is often reserved for relationships in which the distillery is also providing the spirits. Some distilleries do provide both the spirits and the bottling services.

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Does the moonshine Shack Bar make money?

Then, what is moonshine shack invite? A moonshine shack is an invite and just that. Come downstairs have a few rounds of drinks, slap and hug friends, and play instruments with the band! It's all in good fun. You may get a posse invite to do missions.


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Does the moonshiner role make gold?

Moreover, how many pounds of sugar do i need to make 5 gallons of mash? How Many Pounds of Sugar to Make 5 Gallons of Mash? A 5-gallon of mash requires 5 pounds of white sugar when using 5 pounds of corn which will yield a 15% finished product of 5 gallons or 3 quarts.

As you can see, the process of fermenting and distilling moonshine is quite time-consuming. In general, you can expect it to take between 1-3 weeks to make moonshine, as the mash must ferment and the distillation process must be continued until the final shine is safe for consumption.

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