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Guide to 'Shine
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In 1984, 21 officially became the national drinking age.
"I drink to make other people more interesting." - Ernest Hemingway
"Moonshine" got its name because people secretly brewed at night, under the light of the moon.
The legal limit of blood alcohol content in the U.S. is .08%.
"I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me." - Winston Churchill
Moonshining in Appalachia began when settlers found a new way to make whiskey using corn that grew in the region.
Firing up a still for the first time is considered a rite of passage for moonshiners everywhere.
Straight out of the still, moonshine can be up to 190 proof.
A bootlegger or "runner" brings jugs of moonshine filled at the still site to a stash house.
To get the proof of a spirit, double its percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV).
Stock car racing was inspired by moonshiners' constant need for faster cars to outrun police.
"In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is Freedom, in water there is bacteria." - Benjamin Franklin
Moonshining season runs from June to October, when corn is harvested and forest foliage has the most coverage.
ABC stands for Alcohol Beverage Control.
Fresh moonshine from the still is stored in a "stash house" until it's ready to be transported.
Vapor being captured from the still cap can reach temperatures of up to 175 degrees fahrenheit.
The most vulnerable part of the still is the cap, which needs a groove seal to keep the cook steam from popping it off.
Moonshining is illegal. Those caught moonshining can be sentenced to prison.
"Mash" is the mixture of water, corn, and sugar boiled in a still.
You can't produce moonshine without a "worm", a copper pipe that condenses mash vapor into liquid moonshine.
Rumrunners are similar to moonshiners, but they smuggle goods by sea, using fast ships with hidden cargo holds.
The Mason jar was invented and patented by John L. Mason in 1858.
A true Mason jar has a rubber ring on the lid that creates an airtight seal.
Another name for a Mason jar is a 'Ball' jar, named after the Ball Corporation which still makes the jars to this day.
In 1791, a whiskey tax was levied to pay off the national debt, which caused the Whiskey Rebellion. The tax still exists today.
Moonshining practices date back to the 1700's.
Moonshining is a $100 million tax free industry.
According to Tim, moonshiners make up to $100,000 a year.
The first step in making moonshine is filling 3/4ths of the still with water.
The first few ounces of moonshine produced in a cook are known as the "high end" or the "head".
The head of the moonshine batch contains Methanol, which can cause blindness to drinkers if not disposed of properly.
Popcorn Sutton produced 'shine twice the proof of a bottle of commercial whiskey.
The word bootlegging comes from the early days of moonshining, when 'shiners transported illegal liquor in their boots.
Bootleggers were known to hold fake funerals, filling coffins with illegal alcohol for undetected transportation.
The most innovative still site on record is the 1970's "cemetery still", which hid underground operations with aboveground tombstones.
During Prohibition, a bottle of water was ceremoniously broken across the bow of the USS Washington instead of a bottle of Champagne.
Tim and Tickle have been a 'shining team for 30 years.
Jeff is a 7th generation moonshiner from the mountains of North Carolina.
Mark is a 4th generation moonshiner, mountain man, and expert marksman.
Proof can be guessed by shaking the 'shine and letting expert eyes determine if "beads," "frog eyes," or "mare's tails" rise in the jar.
Jim Tom has been making moonshine since he was twelve.
Spirits cooked in food still have up to 85% of the original alcohol content.
During Prohibition, moonshiners used white sugar instead of corn meal, to produce a cheaper product that was actually rum, not whiskey.
Moonshine comes out of the still as clear as water.
Commercial alcohols have an amber or golden color to them, caused by years of aging in charred oak barrels.
Vodka is the most popular hard alcohol in the United States.
A man survived the Titanic after imbibing alcohol before plunging into the water.
A longer aging process gives alcohol color and mellows the initial harsh taste of the liquor.
You won't find a more delicious cure for your hangover than a bacon sandwich.
By 1830 the average American drank 1.7 bottles of hard liquor per week!
The repeal of prohibition allowed Walgreens to sell whisky and wine, helping them become such a large company!
In America, alcohol commercials cannot show someone actually drinking the alcohol!
Moonshiners are not known for their careful maintenance of sanitary conditions.
To improve potency, some Moonshiners have been known to experiment with adding manure, embalming fluid, bleach, rubbing alcohol, and even paint thinner to batches.
It takes about two to three passes through the still to remove all the impurities from the alcohol.
Moldova consumes about 18.22 liters of alcohol annually per capita. A large portion of which is home-brewed wine and spirits.
Religious restrictions keep consumption low in Afghanistan and Yemen. At 0.02 liters of alcohol per person these countries drink the least.
The U.S. ranks relatively low in total alcohol consumption at 57th amongst developed countries.
On average, guys drink twice as much as girls.
It's estimated that 35% of the nation doesn't drink alcohol.
M.A.D.D. greatly influenced drinking age legislation in the United States.
Jaegermeister was originally used as a cough medicine and digestive.
At one point during the Whiskey Rebellion, President George Washington called for a gathering of 13,000 militiamen to disperse the mob and capture its leaders.
Speakeasies were a name for saloons that illegally sold alcohol during Prohibition.
Moonshiners are rarely arrested or charged with making illegal liquor; they're charged primarily for tax evasion.
Corn is the basis for whiskey production because it's a major farming crop that is native to America.
In the early days, practically every farmer made whiskey.
By 1810, there were at least 2,000 distillers producing almost 2 million gallons of U.S. whiskey.
Historically, whiskey production is a way to turn surplus grains into a valuable commodity.
Moonshine is also known as Rotgut, white lightning, bathtub gin, popskull, panther's breath, and corn liquor.
Rum was first distilled using molasses from sugarcane plantations in the Caribbean.
Prior to the Revolutionary War, it's estimated that each person drank an average of 3.6 gallons of rum per year.
Gin started off as an herbal medicine in the Middle Ages.
The Gin Craze in England began when thousands of gin shops opened during the 18th century.
Bourbon is made from a grain mixture containing at least 51% corn.
American whiskey is exported to over 100 countries worldwide.
Most bourbon is produced in Kentucky or Tennessee.
Distilling in Kentucky is a tradition likely started by Scottish and Irish immigrants in the late 18th century.
Alcoholic fruit juices, including wine and hard ciders, were often exceptions during Prohibition.
Cocktail mixers became popular during Prohibition because they helped mask the smell and taste of bootleg liquor.
The term "moonshine" comes from Britain, where it originally was a verb, "moonshining."
During Prohibition, Coca Cola was advertised as the ideal "temperance drink."
Alcoholic beverages contain 13 minerals.
The winner of the first ever NASCAR race had used the same car to make a bootleg run just a week earlier.
A thump keg can be used to catch any remaining bits of mash and re-evaporates the alcohol to filter it out.
Fruits can be used instead of grains in the moonshining process.
"Lose on the track, and you go home. Lose with a load of whiskey, and you go to jail." -Junior Johnson
"Well, between Scotch and nothin', I suppose I'd take Scotch. It's the nearest thing to good moonshine I can find." -William Faulkner
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