The taste of distilled ethanol can be enhanced by infusing it with specially prepared oak chips. As a result, you will get homemade whiskey, which most people won’t be able to distinguish from the real deal. In this recipe will go over the wood procurement technology and infusion technique.
Note. Real whiskey is made with malt distillate. The following recipe allows making a drink which only successfully imitates the taste of whiskey. To make a drink which resembles the original more closely, using alpha alcohol is preferable because it’s made from barley, wheat or rye and not some starch-containing material.
- Ethanol (45-50%) – 2 liters
- Oak pegs/chips – 100-150 grams
- Glucose (40%) – 20 ml or 2 tbsp of sugar
- Baking soda – 1 tbsp
- Water (to prepare the oak) – 10-14 liters
Ethanol that has more than 50% ABV should be diluted with water. The reason is strong spirits don’t absorb wood substances. But don’t dilute it below 45% as this will result in a lower ABV-level after infusion.
You can prepare oak pegs/chips yourself or buy them at any store. The older the wood, the better. Glucose is required to soften the harsh taste of ethanol. It can be replaced with sugar or skipped altogether. Soga and water are used to steep tannins.
Homemade Whiskey with Ethanol Recipe
Preparing the wood. This is the most complex process, but the final product mostly depends on it. Some recipes skip oak steeping and go right to the sixth stage. But in this case, there’s a great chance of ending up with a drink that has a strong unpleasant taste. It’s better to adhere to the following technique:
- Axe dry oak into small pieces 2×2 cm each and 8-10 cm in length.
- Steep the oak pieces in cold water for a day, changing the water every 6-8 hours.
- Cover the wood with a soda solution (1 tbsp of baking soda per 5 liters of water) and let it soak for 6 hours.
- Discard the solution and rinse the pieces thoroughly with tap water. Then put them into a cooking pot and cover with water once again (the pieces should be 5-6 cm deep in the water). Simmer for 45 minutes. Add the vaporized water if necessary.
- Drain the decoction and rinse the wood with cold water.
- Let the pieces dry in the sun for one day and then wrap them in thick foil (in several layers if possible) and put them on a baking sheet. Bake in an oven for 2 hours at 150-160°C.
- Take the wood pieces out of the oven, unfold foil once it’s cooled down, and then slightly char them from every side with a gas torch. Cool them to room temperature. The obtained chips can be used to imitate not only aged whiskey but also other drinks including brandy.
Prepared oak chips
- Put the prepared pieces in a glass container, add glucose (sugar), fill it alcohol to the brim, and seal.
- Infuse in a cold dark place for as long as needed, depending on the features of the oak and your taste preferences.
- After infusing for a week, sample your whiskey once every 3-4 days, controlling the smell and the taste. Once you get the desired result (which usually takes 2-7 months), pour the drink into a glass container and seal.