Zak's Cornflakes Whiskey (CFW)

Zak Griffen. Feb 2014 (AD)


There's a few guys here using this recipe, and more guys asking about it all the time. I have to give credit to Odin, who can be found elsewhere on the net, for giving me the idea. I've modified his recipe a bit to suit what I've got available... my fermenter is 50L, so this recipe makes 40-45ish litres. I never was one to get too exact with this kind of thing, which explains why I'm making bourbon out of breakfast cereal.


Ferment #1
• 2L of crushed Corn Flakes, about 750g.
• a good squeeze of lemon juice. I use 2 medium lemons' worth. Not sure why.
• 7kg of sugar
• 4 or 5 tablespoons of baker's yeast. Or, a measurement I refer to as 'a good sprinkle'
• Water to top up to 40-45L. Make sure to leave enough room in the fermenter for a bit of a cap.


If you make this for the first time, you need to:
• Boil 10L of water
• Crush/blend/chew up and spit out the Corn Flakes, and add them to the boiling water
• Cook them until you've got a big ol' pot of cornflake stew. Something like yellow porridge.
• Throw the hot water with the crushed Corn Flakes into your fermenter;
• Boil another 10L of water, dissolve the 7kg of sugar in it, and add it to the fermenter.
• Add the lemon juice/citric acid
• Top up to 40L with cold water, and let it cool to 25-30 degrees
• Add the yeast, give it a gooood stir, and pop your airlock on.
• You're aiming for a SG of 1060 to 1080

I don't have a designated distilling spot yet, so my fermenters sit outside under the patio/verandah... it ferments out in about a week to a SG of 1000 or less, then I let it clear for a couple of days.

I rack it off into the still through a stocking to catch any chunky bits, and leave most of the yeast/grain bed in the fermenter. Scoop out and discard a litre or so of spent grains, and add 20L of cool water to the fermenter to keep the yeasties happy.

Run it hard and fast through the pot, and collect 7 or 8 litres of low wines down to 20%. Put the low wines aside for later.

After the run, collect 7-8L of backset. I tip it into my mixing pot straight after the run, while it's still hot.

For generation #2, #3, and on and on, you'll need:

• 1L of crushed Corn Flakes - about 300g
• 7 or 8L of backset
• 7kg of sugar
• Water to top up to 40-45L

• Crush the Corn Flakes and add them to the pot of hot backset. Sit on the stove/burner.
• Cook for 5 minutes (or until you've got cornflake porridge) and add it to the fermenter
• Throw the hot water with the crushed Corn Flakes into your fermenter;
• Bring another 10L of water to the boil, and dissolve 7kg of sugar in it. Tip it into the fermenter, and you should be somewhere near your 40-45L... If not, top up with water.
• Check the temp: it should be somewhere between 25 and 30 degrees. Give it a good stir.

All things going well, your yeast bed should still be alive from generation 1... Leave it for a few hours and you should start to see some action in the airlock. If you don't see anything happening after 12 hours (it has happened to me, I threw hot backset straight onto the grains and cooked my little yeasties :sad:)

• Add another good sprinkle of yeast, give it another stir and pop your airlock back on. It should start bubbling away in an hour or so.

Once you strip 4 or 5 generations through the pot, you should have enough low wines collected to water down to 40% and do a nice slow spirit run...

I drank a fair bit of this stuff white, before my oak arrived, and it's definitely drinkable as a mixer. I had a bottle of my white CFW and a bottle of Jim Beam at a BBQ here a while ago and the CFW was gone before anyone had touched the Beam. After 8 weeks on toasted oak, however; Phwoar. Delicious. I'm going to put a charred stick into my next batch to try to get a bit more colour happening.

The jar on the left had 2 toasted dominoes in it for a month, on the right had 2 toasted and charred dominoes... 2 litres of 65% in each jar. I removed one domino from each after a month because I didn't want to overoak it...

The reason I went with CFW as opposed to a UJ/BWKO etc, was purely because of availablity of ingredients... I have no HBS or feed store anywhere local, but I do have an IGA down the road! Obviously there's variations that can and will be made, using different grains/cereals, but I'll leave this one here as the original and we can all work off of it :handgestures-thumbupleft:


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