How to lower mash prices in RDR2
Moonshining in red dead redemption 2 can be a surprisingly profitable business. There are ways to increase revenue and reduce costs (to lower mash prices and even save on supplies). Some up-start investment may be required.
But before I give you a couple of tips, if you're on the fence on whether to start moonshining in Red Dead Redemption 2, let me start by saying that it is a rather fun profession to explore. There are plenty of missions to do and they feel quite varied. Playing with friends also seems to increase the number of available bootlegger missions.
Becoming a moonshiner in RDR2 will also allow you to purchase some fancy clothes and items. However, it is the money aspect that most players are after.
Okay, so how do I lower mash prices in RDR2?
Straight to the point: in order to lower mash prices, all you have to do is to accept Bootlegger missions from Maggie. Talk to her and hold the R key.
Be aware that there's a 15-minute timer between missions, during which you're unable to do another one.
Sometimes Maggie isn't there, or she's stuck in an animation sequence – in which case you should go out of the moonshine shack, give it some time and then go back in again. If this becomes a repeating issue, try using my new tool that helps you optimize CPU performance. Its called RDR2 Launch Argument Composer Tool
By doing Bootlegger missions, you will eventually be able to lower the cost of producing alcohol significantly. As an example, you will be able to lower the 30$ mash cost down to 10$.
This is most noticeable when you upgrade your distillery to be able to produce stronger moonshine. Stronger moonshine requires more time and mash to produce. Instead of paying 30$ per mash dosage, you'll be paying 50$. The upside is that stronger moonshine sells for a LOT more money. Depending on the quality of the ingredients you're using, you could sell a batch of booze for up to 247$ per trip. Doing Bootlegger missions also earns you plenty of collectibles, since you'll be fighting Revenue agents and rival moonshiners that have plenty of expensive items and ammo to loot.
One may argue that the time it takes to do the Bootlegger mission isn't worth the 20$ discount on mash prices. However, the loot you get from all those revenue agent bodies is worth it in the long run. It earns you special bullets, antique liqueurs, and gold watches, which makes it all much more profitable.
Making the most of your Moonshiner role means optimizing your business in the long run. I highly recommend you check out my additional suggestions on how to make the most of the Moonshiner role:
–Oh, and if you would like a detailed overview of the Moonshiner role, Bootlegger mission tips, as well as some other ideas on how to make the best use of this new content, make sure you check out my other post – A Guide to Moonshining in RDR2 (my most popular post EVER!).
The best Moonshine Shack Location
Location, location, location
Start by considering where you'll be placing your Moonshiner shack.
Keep in mind that if you've already bought the Moonshine shack, you can talk to Maggie to move it somewhere else for 250$.
It may, at first glance, seem irrelevant or hard to figure out the pros and cons of each location. Here are your options:
- Bayou Nwa (Lemoyne)
- Grizzlies (Ambarino)
- Hennigan's Stead (New Austin)
- The Heartlands (New Hanover)
- Tall Trees (West Elizabeth)
So let me give you some perspective: Some locations are easier to access. Some are safer or quicker to traverse. It all pays (literally) in the long run.
I've seen a lot of players debating this topic, but none seem to ever have mentioned what I consider to be crucial when picking a location. RDR2 will have other businesses coming out in the near future. Making sure that all your businesses are close together is key to maximizing profits over time by reducing trip lengths.
We may not know exactly what other businesses are coming, but we may have an idea of where rockstar is going with their updates and try to guess their new business locations.
Upcoming specialist roles in RDR2?
Rockstar has confirmed that they are interested in seeing more roles arriving in RDR2. They are also considering expanding the playable map, which allows new roles to become feasible.
Grand Theft Auto V Online has always surprised players with their extensive expansions. There are lots of new varied businesses, each with their own missions, upgrades, and perks. But all of them required a physical location to use them.
Rockstar did that again with the Trader and Moonshiner roles in Red Dead Redemption 2. Bounty Hunter and Collector roles don't require a player-controlled HQ or shack, but they do rely on the Sheriff's office's Bounty Board and Madam Nazar's traveling wagon to operate.
Rockstar seems to be extremely creative when coming up with stuff to do. Let's see what the community comes up with – here are some community-suggested roles and activities:
- Horse Tamer/Breeder
- Miner / Hauler
- Bank robbing
- Monster hunting
- Chariot robbing
- Train robbing
Here are my 6 additions:
- Gold miner (panning on a river)
- Miner (in the mines)
- Funerary services
- River trader (transporting goods on a ship)
- Army Mercenary
These ideas are not that wild. Most use gameplay mechanics already in place or easy to add to the game. If Rockstar decides to add any of these roles, they will likely either require a large plot of land, being close to a town, or a brand new map expansion.
Where will the new roles appear?
They will try to pepper the map with new interactive locations, but the far reaches of the map or the most rugged terrain areas tend to become less populated (like the snowy Ambarino regions up north and the Grizzlies to the East). Most of the coastal regions have towns that tend to be crowded and hard to navigate in. The far West towns (Armadillo, Tumbleweed), even though they do feature some mines, are way too barren to be expected that they grow with many new industries.
This leaves us the center core of the map as a prime region for placing role buildings. from the Tall Trees region to the west, most of the New Hannover area, and the non-swampy parts of Scarlett Meadows.
Being at the center also provides you with more options for expansion as every new location option should be close enough.
Van Horn, Annesburg, Tumbleweed, Armadillo, Strawberry, Valentine, and Rodes, all lack either a butcher or a tailor. Both very important requirements for a very practical town.
This is the reason why Blackwater is my favorite town.
Blackwater has most of the stores that you may ever require. It's small enough that it's easy to navigate in. It is also very easy to reach via the Great Plains (an amazing hunting ground). Blackwater is also a coastal town with two rivers nearby and it features a Fast Travel post and a bounty board at a convenient location. It doesn't have a railway line, but it is close to a military fort. No tricky swamps or cliffs to fall and lose your cargo.
All things considered, when choosing a Moonshine shack location, these two would be my ordered best picks:
- Tall Trees (West Elizabeth)
- The Heartlands (New Hanover)
The Tall Trees region is beautiful and brimming with wildlife. It is easy to transport goods across the Great Plains and to avoid enemies, players and roads entirely. It is also near other areas of potential future interest such as MacFarlane's ranch, or Thieve's Landing.
To make the most of it, set your trader camp in the Tall Trees or Great Plains region and supply Cripps while waiting for the booze to be ready for delivery.
How to increase profit when making Moonshine
There are two ways to increase profit.
Improve your distillery to make stronger moonshine and improve the quality of your recipe.
Add power to your booze!
I highly recommend upgrading your distillery as soon as you may, as it increases profit and the distillation takes longer which allows you to do other stuff meanwhile.
- Condenser: 2 Role Tokens + 825$ + Moonshiner Rank 5
- Polished Copper: 3 Role Tokens + 875$ + Moonshiner Rank 10
The best booze recipe!
Booze recipes come in 3 types:
- 1 Star: Weak Moonshine
- 2 Stars: Average Moonshine
- 3 Stars: Strong Moonshine
To make stronger moonshine, all you have to do is to have the right ingredients when you're picking your flavor. Keep in mind that some recipes are unlocked by progressing in the Moonshiner role. Buyers change every two hours or so – so you're best going for different recipes each time.
Here's the full list of recipes available
★ Tropical Punch Moonshine
- Canned Pineapples
- Vanilla Flower
★ Wild Cider Moonshine
★ Berry Mint Moonshine
- Canned Berries
★★ Evergreen Moonshine
- Evergreen Huckleberry
- Wintergreen Berry
★★ Apple Berry Crumb Moonshine (Bootlegger Story Progress)
- Vanilla Flower
★★ Berry Cobbler Moonshine (Requires Rank 2)
- Red Raspberry
- Canned Peaches
★★★ Wild Creek Moonshine (Requires Rank 6)
- Wild Mint
- Vanilla Flower
- Creek Plum
★★★ Spiced Island Moonshine (Requires Rank 12)
- Caribbean Rum
- Golden Currant
- Canned Apricots
★★★ Agarita Sunrise (Complete Bootlegger story)
- Canned Strawberries
- Evergreen Huckleberries
There's also the secretive but very profitable Poison Poppy recipe, for which you will find in-depth info on how to get it here.
Some of these ingredients are available by picking herbs in the game world. However, others are canned or liqueurs and harder to get.
So here's my tip: many recipe ingredients are actually buyable via the Wheeler Rawson Catalogue. They're not that expensive and they will allow you to make higher quality moonshine that sells for a LOT more money.
Always keep a healthy supply of fruits, herbs, and liqueurs with you at all times. You should guarantee enough fruits and herbs to fulfill two or three 2-star or 3-star recipes. I usually buy batches of up to 30 cans and fetch them from the post office whenever I need them.
That being said, you should aim for the most valuable drinks. Namely the Wild Creek Moonshine, Spiced Island Moonshine, and the Agarita Sunrise whenever possible.
- Wild Creek Moonshine: Wild Mint, Vanilla Flower, Creek Plum
- Spiced Island Moonshine: Caribbean Rum, Golden Currant, Canned Apricots
- Agarita Sunrise: Agarita, Canned Strawberries, Evergreen Huckleberries
Again, keep in mind that some items are buyable via the Wheeler Rawson Catalogue. I highly recommend you use the Catalogue's Online version, as it allows you to quickly find your ingredients by using the search functionality.
In the Wheeler Rawson Catalogue you'll be able to find:
- Canned Apricots (0.75$)
- Canned Strawberries (1.20$)
- Canned Peaches (1.00$)
- Orchard Apples (0.40$)
- Canned Berries (1.20$)
- Canned Pineapples (1.50$)
- Bartlett Pears (0.65$).
From Madam Nazar's shop you'll also be able to buy:
- Caribbean Rum (via collector map)
Other ingredients are rather easy to find:
- Golden Currant – West of Van Horn, near Kamassa River
- Red Raspberry – South East of Stillwater Creek
- Vanilla Flower – South East of Lake Lagras
- Wild Mint – South West of Valentine, near the river
- Wintergreen Berry – North of Brandywine Drop
How to minimize losses
Once your booze is ready you will have to deliver your batch to a local buyer. When delivering your moonshine, make sure you stick to the road at a medium-fast pace.
Going off-road will guaranteedly break your bottles and your profit will take a toll. I highly recommend using the cinematic camera (V) and then control the vehicle's speed using Shift or Ctrl.
I don't usually stop at the Revenue Agent's roadblocks. There are a couple of reasons why I don't do that:
Sometimes they won't stop you at all. If you stop, there's a very low chance that they let you pass unharmed. Their shots damage your cargo but only slightly. It is much more dangerous to the integrity of your cargo to go off-road.
If you're being chased, you're best served by slowing down your vehicle, kill them and then proceed with your trip. Going too fast will likely send you off-track. Stopping will consume time and their bullets will start to hit you.
I've seen players kill the revenue agents before they reach the roadblock. But the truth is that you'll be fighting a lot more agents than you really need to – and in this business, time is money. Just go past them as fast as you can without going off-road or breaking your bottles. You may also want to experiment with the Toxic Moonshine bottles thrown at the roadblock Revenue agents, although I think it might be too expensive to do so every time they show up.
Moonshining is a fun specialist role to experience. It certainly earns you quite a bit of money – and you're able to go hunt or do other stuff while you wait for your next batch of booze to be ready. However, some argue that the bootlegger missions are pointless, as the 20$ savings don't justify the time cost of doing them. On the other hand, revenue agents tend to carry pretty good loot and collectibles. Thus, in order to justify your time, make sure to always go for their loot!
Keep this page and its useful hints at hand!
If you're new to this business I highly recommend you check out my other in-detail post called A Guide to Moonshining in Red Dead Redemption 2 in which I share a bunch of other useful tips.
Oh and check out my new tool that allows you to optimize your game – RDR2 Launch Argument Composer tool.
If this article helped you, let me know in the comments section below!
Which other specialist roles would you like to see?
Stay WANTED for life!
– Rui Sampaio AKA ViLa4480
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