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The Foxfire Book: The Original How To Make Moonshine Guide

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The Foxfire Book - The original how to make moonshine guideBefore the Internet, if you were a city boy and you wanted to learn how to make moonshine, you went down to the library and checked out The Foxfire Book. In the late 60’s, in the mountains of North Georgia, a high school English teacher and his students produced a magazine as a class project. They interviewed their relatives about the old mountain ways of living. Attempting to preserve the mountain culture that was quickly disappearing, they wrote about topics such as log cabin building, curing meat, planting by the signs, and soapmaking. They called the magazine Foxfire for a luminescent plant that grew in the mountains of Georgia. In 1972, the articles were compiled into a book and over the years many books were written. While the original Foxfire stands on it’s own as a great book, there’s one chapter that we’re interested in: Moonshining as a Fine Art.

I got my hands on this book when I was in high school. With the knowledge in the book, a friend and I built a small pot still. It was literally a pot we converted into a still that we had set up in his bedroom on a hot plate. We had a couple of buckets of fermenting mash in his closet. The finished product was quite horrible, but very strong. One day his mom walked into the room while we were running a batch. She asked what we were doing, and without missing a beat, my friend told her “it was our science fair project.”

It was July.

Somehow she believed him. Over the next couple of weeks we went on to make about a gallon total of moonshine (like I said it was a small operation.) Our moonshine was the hit of many parties – mainly because of its mystique – and I still get asked about it today by old high school friends.

Up until recently The Foxfire Book was the how to manual on making moonshine. Today there’s quite a bit of information that can be found on the internet, but 20 years ago this was it. The book is still a great storehouse of knowledge. The students that wrote this book interviewed over 100 people for the chapter. It’s amazing, but they got most of it right. The chapter is packed with 44 pages of information on moonshine history, multiple moonshine still plans, a step by step process of how to make moonshine, and an authentic mash recipe. The book is worth the price just for that recipe.

The one problem with the chapter, and it’s a minor one, is that it was written by non-moonshiners. Don’t get me wrong, the kids did an amazing job of collecting information and putting together a moonshiner’s guide book. It’s probably the single greatest first hand account of how to make moonshine that’s ever been written. However there are a few small problems with it. They mess up a few terms and there are a few sections where they should have explained things in more detail. Some parts are a little confusing.

Even with these few problems, the book is still a great starting place if you want to learn how to make moonshine. I know quite a few people that have used the information in the book to build their first moonshine stills. The picture above is my friend’s copy of the book – the same one he used 30 years ago to build his still. You can take this book and start moonshining right away. This book belongs in every moonshiner’s library.

If you’d like to purchase The Foxfire Book, you can pick it up on Amazon.

Moonshine Books

11 Comments to “The Foxfire Book: The Original How To Make Moonshine Guide”

  1. I would like to buy the complete Foxfire Book Collection.
    please send quote!

    • The Foxfire Museum shop has all of the books, magazines and anything else related to fox fire for sale there.

      You can also buy them online used, or nearby at a used book store near you.


  2. […] sides and even had rocks across the top. It looked very much like the still furnace diagram in the Foxfire Book. When I looked at it closer though, I noticed water trickling out of the bottom of it. It was […]

  3. I would like a price on the book Im trying 2 tell my children about our family history from my father, grandpa,& my great grandfather so Im telling them what my fore fathers tought me except I would rather them read about it and learn instead of showing them how 2 do it when my father got caught he made me promise to do things the right way & not get in trouble for making runs like he did. So if u could email me a price on the book I think it would be very educational 2 my 4 kids about there heirtige. Thankyou

  4. Please send me more info on your books and if you have a catalog can you please send them to
    Chuck beliunas
    Po box 25433
    Eugene or 97402

  5. I also grew up with the Foxfire books, I have all of them. I also purchased used copies at various places. These books are a tribute to some of the best people on earth. I would like to see a new series started called “The Foxfire Book – The next Generation”. We now have so many items that the people in the older days didn’t have that could be re-used for something else other than what it was intended for.

  6. […] types of stills and make moonshine. I was always fascinated with this book when I was a teenager.http://www.moonshineheritage.com/blog/the-foxfire-book-the-original-how-to-make-moonshine-guide/ google_ad_client = "ca-pub-6333675645708644"; google_ad_slot = "9959502207"; […]

  7. your weblo was very interesting for us. I will say thanks u a lot for sharing this awesome information.

  8. How do I find out about my grandfather being in one of foxfire books I’m almost positive he was Roy Thomson Clayton GA. Moonshine n log cabins he died 1980.could you find out which book and let me know please

  9. Thanks for the details. Im sitting the Dec. 08 exam and was really worried of the process. This post really helps ease the uncertainty of “Whats going to happen?

  10. Nice article. Like Henri Poincaré once said “It is by intuition that we discover and by logic we prove.”

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