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October 2, 2014 posted in Recipes

How To Make Peach "Moonshine": Part 1

"peach moonshine"

Peach "Moonshine" Recipe

Before we get started, a little reminder: This info is for education only. Don't try it at home. Also, distilling alcohol is illegal unless you have a fuel alcohol or a distilled spirit plant permit.

It is now the perfect time to pick up some peaches and make some peach "moonshine." That's what we thought at least. :)  Here's how one would do it (if they had the proper permits): buy about a half of a bushel of peaches from a local farmers market, make some peach wine, then distill it. It's that easy. 

We put together some photos to illustrate the what the process might look like.

Just a note, we actually made some peach wine for this "how to" and today was the first time we've ever used a fruit press. As a result we made a few mistakes and had to make some adjustments on the fly. Despite this, the wine turned out amazing. We made note of what we would do differently the next time and included it in this write-up. 

Stats

  • Starting Gravity: 1.060
  • Ending Gravity: 1.002
  • Wash Alcohol By Volume: (ABV) 8%
  • Spirit ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Time to Ferment: 6 Days (can vary depending on yeast and temp)
  • Fermentation temperature: 72F (average)

Mashing Equipment

  • Making peach wine is pretty simple. You'll want to have the following handy to make this mash:
  • Cutting board and a decent knife
  • Cheesecloth or mash bag
  • 5 gallon bucket
  • Large pot for mashing
  • Hot plate or turkey fryer (to heat the mash)
  • Large paddle or spoon (for stirring the mash)
  • Wort / immersion chiller (for cooling the mash)
  • Thermometer
  • Carboy or food grade plastic bucket for fermentation
  • Airlock
  • Sanitizer

Ingredients

  • 1/2 bushel of peaches
  • 6 pounds of cane sugar
  • 2 packets bread yeast (or any dry yeast)

Mashing, Fermentation, and Distillation Procedure

The first thing you'll need to do is extract the peach juice from the peaches. You have two options: The simplest way to do this is to cut the peaches into quarters, remove the pit, and stick them in a blender. Ferment the blended peach juice, pulp and all. Though, keep in mind that you'll need to strain the pulp out of the mixture before distillation. If you have a fruit press, quarter the peaches, remove the pit, and throw the slices into a press. Press out the juice, and ferment. Note: We quartered and blended and then tried to press. This did not work!  We processed the peaches too much and all of the pulp just squirted out of the press and ran into our collection bucket with the juice. We ended up having to dump everything into the fermenter which defeated the purpose of the press entirely. If you have a fruit press DO NOT food process the peaches!! **Next time we won't process the peaches. We will just quarter them and then add them to the fruit press.

  1. Wash the peaches (you want to remove natural yeast and any chemical spray residue).

  2. Cut the peaches into quarters removing the pit.

  3. Add to food processor (this works great if you don't have a fruit press.) If you do have a fruit press skip this step!!

  4. Add the mesh strainer bag to the fruit press.

  5. After all of the peaches have been quartered add them to the fruit press. If you don't have a fruit press skip to step 7.1.

  6. Press the peaches to extract the peach juice, turning the handle on the fruit press with a good amount of force.

  7. In our case we dumped the juice, skins and everything else into the mash tun, as we had over-processed our peaches.

  8. Heat the mash to 160 degrees (this will help kill any bacteria / wild yeast).

  9. Once the mash is at 160 carefully dump the hot mash into a 6.5 gallon fermentation bucket.

  10. Take a gravity reading with a refractometer (you can use a hydrometer but it is difficult with chunks in the mash).

  11. Add 4 pounds of sugar and mix well with a mash paddle making sure the sugar fully dissolves.

  12. Add cold water and top off fermenter to 5.5 gallons of water.

  13. Stir the mash (Mix the peaches, water, and sugar making sure the sugar is completely dissolved).

  14. Take another gravity reading- add sugar until you reach 1.060.

  15. Add a sterilized wort chiller to the fermenter.

  16. Cool the mash until it cools down to around 70 degrees.

  17. Aerate the mash and add yeast to the fermentation vessel (we used a dry yeast which did not require re-hydration).

  18. Add an airlock to the fermenter and ferment in a dark location at or around 70 degrees for 7-14 days or until it is finished fermenting.

  19. Distill. Click here for How to Make Peach Moonshine: Part 2


    • Thank you !!!!

      Posted by schroeder2010@comcast.net on September 22, 2016
    • One bushel is 50 lbs. 3 medium peaches = 1 lb

      Posted by reagan on April 11, 2016
    • My grandpa was a distiller FROM Tennessee and a world war I vet. He did not like being called a moonshiner. He considered himself a farmer craft maker of distilled flavors. Amongst he recipes was apple and peach brandy which were highly sought after by the locals and lawman alike in the upper middle Tennessee region. He passed away in 1956. I was a chicago born yankee from a southern belle mother who moved me to Florida and raised me there. All I know of my grandpa is what she told me. I long wondered gow he made peach brandy. Now I know. Thank you very much.

      Posted by David on February 25, 2016
    • I was wondering the same thing, how many peaches is a half bushel for that matter how many peaches for a full bushel as well.

      Posted by mary on August 29, 2015
    • I’m new at doing this but I was wondering if the watermelon,strawberry and peach recipe are smooth and i have a 5 gallon still how much shine would that produce I would appreciate any advise and info on this hobby

      Posted by mark on February 28, 2015
    • How many peaches is a half bushel?

      Posted by Brian on February 09, 2015

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