Hudson Valley Distillers switches production to sanitizer

Emily De Vito and WNYT Staff
Updated: April 03, 2020 06:17 PM
Created: April 03, 2020 08:34 AM

CLERMONT- At Hudson Valley Distillers, they’ve completely stopped the production of products such as vodka, gin and whiskey. Now they’re just producing gallons and gallons of hand sanitizer.   

Chris Moyer and his wife Jen own Hudson Valley Distillers in Clermont.      


When the coronavirus pandemic hit – they thought they'd be shutting their doors like many businesses. Then -- they realized they could make a product in high demand -- hand sanitizer.

"It presented an opportunity to one keep our doors open, continue to pay our employees, be able to pay our bills and at the same time do something for the local community," said Moyer.      

They first got approval from the Food and Drug Administration.     

So how exactly is it made? First -- they buy corn from a local farm and mill it into a fine flour

"We cook that up, same reason you boil corn on the cobb, you are converting starches into sugar. Once we have that, we introduce yeast. The yeast eats the sugar and it creates alcohol," he added.

It then takes about five days to ferment.     

The next step is to distill it.

 “We actually use this still to distill to a very high proof, same requirement we have for vodka which is 190 proof. We bring that down with distilled water and glycerin and a little bit of hydrogen peroxide,” said Moyer.       

The end result -- is about 80 percent alcohol. They then bottle it up.       

They've been making about 60 gallons every three days.  They're donating some to local police departments -- but also have a lot of orders.

"The first couple batches we're sending out to those larger organizations,” he said.   

Besides being able to stay open, Coyer says another positive is that his two teenage sons are now able to help out, making the family business run even stronger.

More information can be found by clicking here.

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