How to Make Homemade Alcohol? - We Answer

Do you have any questions about distilling spirits at home and how schnapps is made? This forum is all about distilling spirits by yourself. Please observe our forum rules (see Helpful tips for use).

June 2018:

It has now been an unbelievable 16 years (!) since the last major change to the website and forums. When you think that two to three years are an eternity for the Internet sector, that is really something. In any case, there has been so much going on in terms of technology that it has become urgently necessary to completely redesign not only the forums, but also the entire website, from scratch and bring the programming up to date. Naturally, along with this we also introduced various new features; for example it was high time we allowed pictures to be uploaded with a forum post too or enabled users to subscribe to the forums via RSS feeds. And of course we have subsequently included pictures that are saved on external websites and were then integrated here using an img tag, so that no valuable information is lost. In any case, we hope you continue to have fun swapping experiences and trying things out.

Juni 2002:

At this point, we would first like to extend a big thank-you to all the users of our specialist questions for their lively involvement. Without you, we could never have developed such an informative and high-quality reference guide in such a short time (the first post dates from April 8, 1999). The large number of posts and high numbers of visitors made it necessary for us to develop the specialist questions ourselves using PHP and MySQL (at last no more annoying advertising banners!). During the course of this, we have hopefully introduced several improvements.


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Helpful tips on use:

Below are a few rules so we can maintain the high quality in the future as well.
  • This is a moderated forum. This means that anyone can write whatever they want, and the post will also be saved, but the content will only be published once it has been reviewed by our editorial staff, or deleted if necessary. Therefore, there is no point in posting the same contribution multiple times simply because it doesn’t appear immediately.
  • If you would like to see the most recent posts (irrespective of the topic), click Show the latest posts.
  • The forum is very comprehensive, and many topics have already been dealt with extensively. Therefore we recommend using the search function or alternatively the advanced search function before you add a new post in order to avoid having posts with the same content.
  • After you add or answer a post, you then have a chance to change the text you have written. So read through your text again carefully after saving it and click on “Change post” if necessary.
  • If you ask a question, then also expect an answer. Think about this as well when you are wording your question. Hardly anyone will answer vague questions such as “How do I distil schnapps?”, “No oil comes out; what am I doing wrong?” or “The vinegar isn’t fermenting, why?”.
  • The three topic areas, i.e. distilling spirits, distilling essential oils/hydrosols and making vinegar, are divided into three different websites. Each website contains the two forums “Recipes” for all the topics concerning fruit and recipes, and “Discussion” for all the other topics related to distilling spirits, essential oils/hydrosols or making vinegar. If we find posts that are unintentionally in the wrong forum, we will move them to the right forum. These posts have not been deleted, just moved.
  • ANY TYPE OF ADVERTISING WILL BE DELETED WITHOUT EXCEPTION! This also means seemingly “innocent” posts such as “I have a question about...” or alternatively “Does anyone have experience with...” followed by links or pictures to any external shops.
  • The same applies to bizarre posts which most likely come from drunks or don’t have the remotest thing to do with the topic area, e.g. football or “Where can you burn CDs here?” They will be deleted without exception.
  • All forums are STRICTLY ANONYMOUS; so never give any real names or addresses.
  • Any attempt to make personal contact will be deleted immediately.  There are now numerous social networks for this purpose.
  • The authors’ IP addresses are NOT saved!
  • E-mail addresses are not passed on to third parties or used by us in any other way.  You enter your email completely voluntarily and it functions more or less as your ID. In contrast to most other forums, we don’t require any registration or any type of login to be able to participate. Therefore it might happen that a pseudonym is unintentionally used by two people, so there has not been a mix-up in the entries.
So, that’s it. We hope you have a lot of fun swapping experiences, reading, posting and naturally also trying things out afterwards. Dr Malle & Dr Schmickl Dr. Malle & Dr. Schmickl
There are currently 44 entries in the forum.
  • Question 22

    Robert | Medetirian, 17.01.2024 16:32:30
    What are the ingredient of Digestif drinks that affect the stomach? How and why these ingredient affect the stomach whereas other liquors and alcoholic drinks such as apéritifs affect the throat? How these specific ingredients work specifically on the throat?
    ad 1) Herbs in a positive way, undesired fermentation by-products in a negative way, e.g., nausea is induced by ethylacetate, among other substances, and after having consumed too much alcohol.
    ad 2) Herbs ingredients are healthy, good for your stomach, whereas pungent smelling drinks affect the throat, caused by acetaldehyde.

    ad 3) To avoid this issue, just don't drink alcoholic beverages with a pungent smell.

  • Question 21

    Amateur backyardigan | Arkansas, 30.06.2023 03:38:51

    Made a mash of 50% cracked corn 50% sweet grain. Checked at 5 days and hydrometer showed .990 so I decided to run 5 gal of mash. Discarded 250 ml head and next jar tastes horrible and only proofs at 90. Suggestions?


    It seems the alcohol content is rather low, so not much alcohol has formed by fermentation. Maybe the starch wasn't properly turned into sugar and / or the alcoholic fermentation didn't perform well. Check the ratio of starch - sugar with iodine tincture, analyze the alcohol content of your mash.

  • Question 20

    mario | italy, 27.02.2023 11:28:30

    I bought 1kg of dry roots on the link you gave me, for now I will try to make gentian-apple brandy, next year I will try to

    make pure root gentian brandy, I tried to ask here in Italy for the sale of roots fresh from those who make them, but they told me that for a large one they must be ordered first… I just wanted to ask you: do the dried roots I bought have to be finely chopped before they are added to the mash? or can I leave them as they are?

    They are already chopped, so they're ready to use.

  • Question 19

    Darryl Parker | canberra, Australia, 10.12.2021 20:32:37

    When I attempted to test for the starting Alc% of my spirit following distilling, the hydrometer would not even float and sank immediately to bottom of testing tube. I checked the hydrometer and it floated correctly with tap water.


    In this case the alcohol content is to high for liquid level. In other words: the higher the alcohol content of the measured liquid, the deeper the hydrometer will sink in this liquid. Thus, the liquid level must be high enough to ensure the hydrometer can float without touching the bottom of the testing tube. Or rather: take a taller testing tube...

  • Question 18

    Swallow | Brandon, 09.12.2021 19:57:34

    Hi, do you use liquid carbon in fermenting sugar wash? Some people do and

    some do not.


    No, we don't, it doesn't have any advantage. To remove unwanted taste, it's better to treat the distillate with activated carbon and thereafter distill a second time.

  • Question 17

    Rum guy  | Uk, 26.08.2021 07:39:19

    If I have 10lt of spirit at 37.5% how much spirit at 70%do I need to add to bring it up to 40% ?


    Just use our "mixing"-calculation-tool see the following link. I have entered your figures already, so there you'll see the result and you can, if necessary, also change them to calculate other concentrations.

  • Question 16

    Azar  | sweden, 11.02.2021 09:24:45

    1. Do you have a fermentation container?

    2. Can I infuse anis with 12 percent dry white wine?

    3. How do you make clear Arak when you are infusing the anis? Will, it not turn to another color during the infusion?


    ad 1: Yes, but only for our own use. You can take an oval bucket right (available at hardware stores), drill a hole in the lid to plug in the fermentation lock.

    ad 2: Infusion: No, too less percent, better use 43 % at least high-quality Spirit: yes, the percentage shouldn't be higher.

    ad 3: yes, this is true, for this reason the infusion should be distilled, or rather make a spirit, this results in a better quality. As already said with tasteless 12 % alc. put the anis in the steamer basket.

  • Question 15

    Glen | New Zealand, 16.11.2020 01:08:31


    What can I use the top of the distillation (higher alcohol ) for after taking it off..Im using the middle for a smoother finish..can the top still be drunk ?




    Since the heads (I suppose you mention this fraction) contain poisonous components, you can't drink it. Even don't use it in the course of your next distillation. This fraction can only used externally, to clean windows or the like.

  • Question 14

    Jos | Brasil, 14.08.2020 13:51:22

    How can i bring the distil to 96% instead of 92%?

    since 96 %vol is the azeotrope of ethanol and water, it’s very difficult, not to say impossible, to reach 96 %vol with the gear of home distillers. If you distill under vacuum conditions, it’s even worse.
  • Question 13

    Leon | United States, 13.08.2020 05:40:30

    I need 150 proof grain alcohol to wash my vape coils. How much 190 proof alcohol do I need to mix with 1 litre of 80 proof to come as close as possible to the desired 150 proof required?

    First convert the unit US proof into %vol (ABV, alcohol by volume):
    190 US proof = 95 %vol (ABV)
    150 US proof = 75 %vol (ABV)
    80 US proof = 40 %vol (ABV)

    Now use our calculator "Mixing", I have done this for you, the link with your values is:

    1.00 liters with 40.00 %vol
    mixed with
    1.75 liters with 95.00 %vol
    2.75 liters with 75.00 %vol

There are currently 22 entries in the forum.

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