Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What do you know about Moonshine?

(Photo courtesy of American Born Moonshine)

Harry's is now serving American Born Moonshine! It comes in three flavors: Apple Pie, Original White Lightning, and Dixie Sweet Tea!  Moonshine has a long history in America! 

American Born Moonshine offers an interesting tail of the history on their website called THE SMOOTH SIDE OF A ROUGH HISTORY™ (a trademark of American Born Moonshine).  Click here to learn more about their product and fascinating history and product!

Here's a little trivia question:  What Does the XXX on Moonshine Jugs Mean?

Not sure?  This article by Moonshine Heritage will tell you all you need to know about the infamous XXXs!


What Does the XXX on Moonshine Jugs Mean?
(Article courtesy of Moonshine Heritage)

The XXX on moonshine jugs is a classic symbol. It has been caricatured and cartooned many times in modern portrayals of the moonshiner. Everyone instinctively knows that “XXX” written on a jug indicates that it contains moonshine, but what does that symbol mean and why did moonshiners scrawl that on their jugs?

The “XXX” signifies how many times the moonshine batch had been run through the still. Three X’s indicated that it had been run through three times and that the shine was pure alcohol.

In the old days, before the invention of more modern distilling techniques like thump kegs and reflux stills, moonshiners used a basic pot still – the simplest of all types of stills. It’s made up of two components: a boiler to cook the mash and a condenser to collect and cool the alcohol vapor back to a liquid.

While it is an effective device, you don’t get pure alcohol when you run a batch through the first time. The fermented mash, which is very similar to beer, starts out at about 5-10% alcohol by volume (ABV). When you run the mash through a pot still, the product coming out of the other end contains about 30-40% alcohol, the rest being mostly water. This is called “singlings.” (While the first run produces liquor at about 60-80 proof and is drinkable, you wouldn't want to drink it since it still has quite a bit of off flavors carried over through the water from the mash.) To raise the alcohol content, you have to save up all the results of your first runs, and then run all of that through the still a second time. The second run raises it up to the 60-70% ABV range. Moonshine that had been run through the still three times was very close to being pure alcohol, above 80% ABV. The three XXX’s scrawled on the front of a moonshine jug indicated that it had been run through the still three times and that it had high, almost pure, alcohol content.



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