Reality TV shows are good at making taboo subjects into socially accepted norms. Take for example Discovery channels Moonshiners. This show has taken a more controversial topic in American history and has turned it into a famous tv show. Slowly but surely due to a TV series and traditions being passed down by family members, lately more Americans have become well acquainted with the craft of moonshining. From the back-woods of the Appalachian Mountains to liquor stores in urban areas across the nation, moonshine has become more widely available due to peoples acceptance. From gangsters and hillbillies of the 1920’s to urban businessmen of today the cultural and technical sides of moonshining have evolved drastically. (Change, HAVEN)
Moonshine and its history hasn’t always been accepted, in fact, in franklin county, Virginia the making of moonshine all started a few years before Shay’s rebellion in 1786. Due to the newly formed tax on whiskey, people that were called bootleggers took to the Appalachian Mountains to create a new kind of whiskey. The illegal kind. Back in the day, the transporters of moonshine would ride horseback. They got the name “bootleggers” because they would hide the moonshine in their boots while traveling so that the local law enforcements couldn’t see it. In Franklin County moonshine has been made for many generations and in the past few years there was a huge conspiracy. In 1935, the word of the conspiracy in the county spread like wildfire. It was said that the local law enforcement, including the sheriff, several deputies, a state prohibition officer and an attorney, were involved in the production of the illegal moonshine.
The local law enforcements that were accused of being associated with the production of moonshine would take money on the side to keep their noses out of the bootleggers business. “The conspiracy reportedly began in 1928 when then-Franklin County Sheriff Peter Hodges divided the county into districts and assigned a deputy to each district. The deputy's job was to enlist people to operate stills and then collect protection money -- $25 per still, $10 per load of whiskey and $5 for a filling station”(Moonshining Reputation Built on Long History). With the law enforcements charging this much money for stills, the loading of the whiskey, and filling stations, they were making quite a bit of money on the side.
Society's view on moonshine has changed, but this radical transformation has not come easily. When the United States imposed the prohibition act in the 1920’s it caused many people to produce illegal alcohol by any means necessary. People were creating this illegal alcohol in the dead of the night using whatever they could for ingredients. This sometimes lethal concoction was dubbed Moonshine, mountain dew, or as many call it white lightning.
There are several steps in creating moonshine, making moonshine is not an easy task to overcome. As in any hobby or occupation there are a few major items that are needed to be a successful moonshiner. One major item needed to check off the list is a still. This still is essentially a large copper pot. Most stills are made by hand, this is because most stores do not carry a still you can go purchase off of the shelf. Stills are measured in gallons most standard sized stills are 30 gallons, although they can be as small as 5 gallons. Making a still may require a lot of time and depending on the person’s skill level the amount a person spends on making a still may vary. While at the hardware store searching for what you will need for your still. A torch is required to weld your pieces together, gloves, safety glasses, VOC mask, sealant or flour paste, pliers, a C-clamp, you will need to purchase copper sheets, these sheets are thin and are just made of copper. Steel sheets are also used but the copper sheets remove help remove sulfides from distillate product and are cheaper to purchase. Copious