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10 Best Moonshine Recipe Books: Full Guide (2023 Updated)

Last Updated on January 11, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Making moonshine at home without a guide is the same as baking a cake without a recipe.

You must know the right tools and ingredients, as well as the proper steps, to ensure better results. 

Look no further as we list our top moonshine recipe books you need to check out. 

Top 10 Recipe Books Every Moonshine Lovers Must Own 

10. The Compleat Distiller (2nd Edition)

The Compleat Distiller (2nd Edition) Book on a table

Author: Mike McCawa & Mike Nixon 

Average Price: around $23 (Amazon)

Why We Like It: This book will show you how to make pure corn whiskey, like moonshine. It covers the different still designs and their proper operation. 

You’ll find this book helpful, especially if you’re new to the process, as it details the various processes involved in distillation. 

Pros:

  • Includes still design tips 
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Detailed process of distillation 
  • Tackles mechanical and chemical processes
  • Covers all topics in depth 

Cons:

  • Not much about moonshine recipes
  • Outdated information

9. How To Master Moonshine

How To Master Moonshine Book

Author: R.W. Marshall

Average Price: around $6-$12 (Amazon)

Why We Like It: If you want to master the art of making moonshine, this book covers around 80 recipes to recreate your favorite liquor. 

Also, it covers step-by-step and easy-to-follow instructions on making various types of spirits, such as vodka, gin, rum, and whiskey, with useful tips and straightforward explanations.  

Pros:

  • Continuous tips and simple explanations
  • Covers several moonshine recipes 
  • Shares valuable distillation techniques
  • Informative and easy-to-read
  • Teaches about different still types

Cons:

  • Terrible cover design
  • Not as in-depth as other books 

8. Making Fine Spirits 

Making Fine Spirits Book

Author: Zymurgy Bob

Average Price: around $25 (Amazon)

Why We Like It: If you want high-quality spirits using a traditional pot still [1], you can rely on this book by Zymurgy Bob. 

It teaches how to build a small coffee pot still and how to run it. In the later chapters, you’ll learn to make great spirits using a larger pot still. 

Pros:

  • Great introductory book to moonshine-making
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Teaches you to make and run stills
  • Focused on producing high-quality spirits
  • Teaches to ferment washes

Cons:

  • Too basic information
  • Limited info about moonshine 

7. The Joy Of Home Distilling: The Ultimate Guide

The Joy Of Home Distilling The Ultimate Guide Book

Author: Rick Morris 

Average Price: around $13 (Amazon)

Why We Like It: If you want to know more about making home-distilled spirits like moonshine, this book offers everything you need to know about the various aspects of distillation. 

“Doo never actually made moonshine, but he hauled about an ocean of it.”

— Loretta Lynn, American Singer-Songwriter

It covers setting up equipment and yeast styles, as well as post-distillation procedures. You also have access to a wide range of moonshine recipes perfect for different types of drinks.

Pros: 

  • Covers flavoring and aging spirits 
  • Differentiates spirit types
  • Tackles the complete fermentation procedures
  • Discusses common misconceptions about moonshine-making
  • Details legalities about homemade moonshine  

Cons:

  • Odd terminologies
  • Too small font size

6. The Art Of Distilling Whiskey And Other Spirits: An Enthusiast’s Guide To The Artisan Distilling Of Potent Potables

Author: Bill Owens

Average Price: around $14.99 (Amazon)

Why We Like It: This book gives a backstage look at the world of small-scale and home distillation.

Aside from moonshine, it covers vodkas, gins, whiskeys, and more.

It starts talking about how water and grain can be transformed into exquisite and timeless liquors, then shows readers the actual process of spirit distillation.

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly price
  • No technical jargons 
  • Focused on distilling spirits
  • Small-scale production instructions
  • Teaches making and running stills 

Cons:

  • Limited illustrations 
  • Unclear fermentation and aging details 

5. The Alaskan Bootlegger’s Bible

hand holding Book of The Alaskan Bootlegger's Bible

Author: Leon W. Kania

Average Price: around $19.95 (Amazon) 

Why We Like It: This book is easy to understand, combining stories of Alaskan bootleggers’ famous lore and tales, plus practical information about making moonshine. 

We love the numerous illustrations that’ll keep you entertained. Besides, short descriptions of how to make premium spirits are included in the book.

Pros:

  • Contains technical illusions
  • Focused on moonshine-making at home
  • Includes cappers-, kegs-, and scales-making 
  • Narrates interesting Alaskan Bootleggers’ stories 
  • Introducing other alcohol types

Cons:

  • Not completely about making moonshine
  • Some information is outdated

4. The Artisan’s Guide To Crafting Distilled Spirits

The Artisan's Guide To Crafting Distilled Spirits Book on a wooden table

Author: Helge Schmickl & Bettina Malle

Average Price: around $29 (Amazon)

Why We Like It: We recommend this book if you’re interested in making moonshine, fruit brandy, and other specialty drinks. 

It has over ninety recipes, and you’ll find all the necessary information to create your still, with step-by-step instructions on creating mash to fermentation, distillation, and infusion.

Pros:

  • Teaches how to begin distillation
  • Mentions alcohol regulations
  • Guide readers about mash fermentation
  • Details ingredients and equipment required
  • Over 90 recipes included

Cons:

  • Broad view of distilling 
  • Lacks basic information 

3. Making Pure Corn Whiskey: A Professional Guide For Amateur & Micro Distillers Paperback

hand holding  book of  Making Pure Corn Whiskey A Professional Guide For Amateur & Micro Distillers Paperback

Author: Ian Smiley

Average Price: around $29.45 (Amazon)

Why We Like It: This book is a must-read if you’re into whiskey making. The content is very straightforward, making it an excellent guide to learning more about making moonshine.

Besides being thoroughly explained, this features interesting chapters on whiskey-making history.

Pros:

  • Affordably priced
  • Tackles issues in whiskey-making
  • Guides you in building stills
  • Educational material
  • Straightforward details

Cons:

  • Not for beginners 
  • Plenty of technical terms 

2. Moonshine Distiller’s Training Manual

Moonshine Distiller's Training Manual

Author: Christopher G. Yorke, M. ED  

Average Price: around $9-$13 (Amazon)

Why We Like It: This book is designed to guide readers in making high-quality whiskey.

It covers modern and safe techniques–perfect for fanatics with no background in the industry. 

Its clear and concise instructions help you understand every step of the process, with detailed lists of the things you need and illustrations for a more immersive moonshine-making process. 

Pros:

  • Contains concise information about moonshine
  • Lots of good information for beginners
  • Covers entire process of moonshine-making
  • Designed for making quality whiskeys
  • Immersive illustrations

Cons:

  • Unclear mash recipes instructions
  • Unappealing book cover 

1. Designing & Building Automatic Stills

Designing & Building Automatic Stills

Author: Riku Richardson

Average Price: around $35 (Amazon)

Why We Like It: This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn to make their Reflux still– with great illustrations to help you understand the features of the Reflux still design.

Introducing the ARC design, it eliminates the guesswork involved in creating great spirits.

You’ll also get access to the author’s ARC forum, where you can ask questions about the book and other moonshine or spirits-making issues.

Pros:

  • Tackles the new ARC design 
  • Focused on creating great spirits 
  • Access to the ARC forum 
  • Covers reflux still making
  • Advanced learning content about spirits

Cons:

  • Not suitable for beginners
  • Contains technical terms 

FAQs

Do you need a recipe book to make moonshine?

No. You don’t need a recipe book to make moonshine, as all the information you need can be found online. But having a book to refer to is useful for more tips and guidance. 

What states is it legal to make moonshine for personal use?

The states where making moonshine for personal use is legal are Alaska, Missouri, Massachusetts, and Arizona. 

How much moonshine can you make legally?

You can make no more than 50,000 gallons of moonshine per year if you’re a small distillery licensed holder. 

Is it legal to make moonshine for personal use?

Making moonshine for personal use is generally prohibited [2] by Federal Law, the same as other types of spirits. 

Wrapping Up 

With the proper guide, you’re just a step closer to making your favorite moonshine. 

While you have many options, the books mentioned above are the best ones you must consider owning. 

From introducing moonshine and other spirits to making the mash, down to fermentation, distillation, and aging, you’ll find all the answers you need in these books. 

More interestingly, there are great recipes you can try, so why not check them all out? 

References:

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0098135419304259 
  2. https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/01/21/264573592/making-moonshine-at-home-is-on-the-rise-but-its-still-illegal 

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