Homemade Charcoal Filter


What it Does

Good whiskey is charcoal filtered. For instance Jack Daniels filters there fine whiskey through sugar maple charcoal as does the finest rye whiskey makers. The flavor from sugar maple is what gives good whiskey that sweet mellow taste that goes down smooth without the stinging in your mouth you get from cheap whiskey or that shine your buddy made and did not get out all the fusels.

Charcoal filtering is going to remove off flavors and some of them nasty alcohols so your hooch is as fine as a Tennessee spring night.

Clear Plastic Fluorescent Light cover

Home Depot has them for about $3.49 . To make it into a homemade charcoal filter to clean up whiskey of off flavors you need to :

  1. Remove one end cap.

2. Cut a piece of coffee filter and push it down to the bottom or just pull the cap and place it in and put cap back on.

3. Pour in a bag of Liquor Quik Distillers Activated Carbon. This is not necessary and might take out a bit of charcoal flavor but I like to use it as it makes it a smoother drink. It also slows down the whiskey pouring through.

4. The cap on the end of the tube has a wide slot I it . this allows too much whiskey to pour through too fast. Wrap the bottom of the tube in  anything you want, I use aluminum foil, Then I tape it around the tube. Poke a couple small holes I the foil so the whiskey can only drip out. The longer it stays in that charcoal the better it is going to be.

$ 9.99 at Adventures in Homebrewing .Liquor Quik Activated Carbon

4. On top of the carbon add crushed sugar maple charcoal to fill up tube to maybe half way or whatever you want. I sell 1 Lb bags of it on eBay. It is 100% pure sugar maple lump charcoal from responsible sources. The same charcoal I use myself.
The charcoal needs to be crushed up so that it packs the tube. This is going to cause some waste as crushing it makes a lot of powder that you need to throw away. The smaller you make the charcoal the better this will work. It should be about the size of a peanut, not the whole nut in it’s shell just one nut or even smaller.


Charcoal Preparation

Make sure you wash the charcoal until water runs clear before adding it to the tube or you will have black booze that you have to run through again to remove the fine charcoal. It would be best to rinse the charcoal in distilled water so all that nasty chlorine and other crap does not get in it. Allow it to dry out real good by setting in hot sun or baking in a oven at 100 degrees or so until dry.

This filter is very effective at removing off flavors and solids.


That was the quick easy method

Now if you want to ramp this up a bit and make it more efficient at filtering and adding in flavor you will need to modify the system. The quick and easy method is what I use but  you might have more time and be more into detail than me.

The whiskey needs to remain in the filter for a while. How long ? Well that is subjective. You are not a distillery so I would say if it drips out a half gallon in an hour you at good. This is of course not the method a distillery uses.

You can go and read How to Charcoal Filter Your Hooch and learn how to do it in a more lengthy way that will make your liquor even better. It will just take more time and a bit more work to make a filter.


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