There are lots of books on beer and whiskey making. Check em out.
Making beer is really difficult - if you move it too much, aerate it too much, etc etc etc it comes out nearly undrinkable. I'm not saying whisky requires no care, but the distillation process is kind of a buffer. The original question being loosely phrased "my mash sucks", the original answer is "Well, what do you think mash is supposed to be like?" It isn't drinkable per se.
So a guy trying to whip out some home brewed lightning better think real heavy about whether or not he has any idea how to distill (assuming he manages a worthwhile mash).
If it's too cold, the yeast becomes inactive, and if it's too hot, the yeast can die.
20 degrees celsius (about 68 degrees fahrenheit) is about right.
There are different strains and varieties of yeast too. Some are ideal for alcohol production, whereas others are more suited to breadmaking, etc.
A local homebrewing beer store might give you some assistance?
I am no expert, so I won't presume to advise you. I will ask some questions though! I have brewed some beer in the past though. It might help if you told us just what you were doing when brewing your mash. Also, have you tasted your mash before distilling it? Can you taste alcohol in it? One book I have says that after brewing the mash should be about 8% alcohol so you should be able to taste it. If you can taste it and aren't getting any out of the still the problem may be in the distilling process rather than the brewing.
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