5 gallon bourbon mash recipe

5 Gallon Bourbon Mash Recipe: A Classic Southern Spirit to Make at Home

This complete guide provides detailed instructions on how to make a 5 gallon bourbon mash recipe, including a list of essential equipment, ingredients, and step-by-step instructions. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced home distiller, this guide will help you make the perfect bourbon mash every time.

A Complete Guide to Making a 5 Gallon Bourbon Mash Recipe

5 gallon bourbon mash recipe


To start, you’ll need a large pot, thermometer, and a fermentation vessel. The pot should be large enough to hold at least 5 gallons of liquid and made of a non-reactive material such as stainless steel. The thermometer should be able to accurately measure temperatures up to 200°F. For the fermentation vessel, a food-grade plastic bucket with a lid and airlock will do the job perfectly.


  • 10 lbs of cornmeal
  • 2 lbs of malted barley
  • 1 lb of rye
  • 5 gallons of water


  • In a large pot, bring 5 gallons (18.9 liters) of water to a boil.
  • Gradually add in 8 pounds (3.6 kg) of cornmeal while stirring constantly to prevent clumps from forming. After bringing the 5 gallons of water to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle simmer and allow the mixture to cook for an hour to ensure proper hydration and gelatinization of the cornmeal.
  • Add 2 pounds (0.9 kg) of malted barley and 1 pound (0.5 kg) of rye to the pot and stir well.
  • Allow the mixture to cool to 150°F (65.5°C) before transferring it to your fermentation vessel.
  • Once the mash has cooled, add yeast according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Seal the fermentation vessel with the lid and airlock.
  • Place the vessel in a warm and dark location and let it ferment for 5-7 days, or until the bubbling has slowed down significantly.
  • Strain the mash through a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer to remove any solids.

Nutrition Facts

A 12 oz serving of bourbon contains approximately 120 calories and 0 carbs. The alcohol content of the mash will depend on the yeast used and the length of fermentation time. On average, a 5 gallon batch of bourbon mash can yield around 4-5 bottles of bourbon, with an alcohol content ranging from 40-60%.

Variations to Consider for Your 5 Gallon Bourbon Mash Recipe

5 gallon bourbon mash recipe

To add a twist to the traditional recipe, consider using different types of wood for smoking, or try adding fruit during fermentation. For a sweet and fruity flavor, try apple or cherry wood, while oak wood is ideal for a more classic smoky taste. Adding fruits like raspberries or blackberries lends a subtle sweetness and a touch of acidity that perfectly complements the spicy flavors of bourbon.

When it comes to ingredient substitutions, don’t be afraid to get creative. Wheat instead of corn in the recipe will produce a softer and more rounded taste, while oats bring a nutty flavor and creamy texture to the mash. Yeast selection also has a significant impact on the final product, with different strains offering unique flavors and aromas.

The mash bill, which refers to the combination of grains and their ratios, can have a significant effect on the flavor profile and alcohol content of your bourbon. Using a high corn mash bill can create a sweeter bourbon, while a high rye mash bill produces a spicier and more complex flavor. Adding barley to the mash can create a more malty and earthy taste.

5 Gallon Bourbon Mash Recipe: How to Make It Perfectly Every Time

Maintaining proper sanitation and hygiene is paramount throughout the process. Ensure that all equipment is clean and sanitized before use and that you thoroughly wash your hands before handling any ingredients. Monitoring the temperature and pH level of the mash is also crucial to prevent fermentation issues.

To ensure the best possible flavor, proper storage techniques are crucial during the fermentation and aging process. During the fermentation stage, it is best to store the mash in a cool and dark place, away from direct sunlight and high temperatures. When aging the bourbon in barrels, choose high-quality barrels that have been charred to the appropriate level.

When it comes to bottling your bourbon, be sure to taste it regularly to ensure it has reached the desired flavor profile. Depending on your preference, you may want to add water to dilute the alcohol content or let it age for an extended period to achieve a stronger flavor. Proper storage of the finished product is also critical to prevent contamination and maintain the quality of the product.


Making your own 5 gallon bourbon mash recipe is a rewarding and enjoyable experience that requires patience and attention to detail. By following the instructions in this guide and experimenting with different variations, you can create a unique and delicious bourbon that rivals even the best commercial brands. And if you’re ever in New York City, don’t forget to try the famous shawarmas at El Genio del Shawarma!

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