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This is part 2 of our "how to make peach 'moonshine'" article. In case you missed it, here's How to Make Peach "Moonshine": Part 1, where we juiced, mashed, and fermented the peaches. Just a reminder: This info is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Do not try this at home. It's a bad idea (and illegal) to distill alcohol without either a federal fuel alcohol or distilled spirits permit, plus the proper state permits.
Peach "Moonshine" Alcohol Recipe Continued...
Once the peaches have finished fermenting, peach pulp would get filtered from the fermented peach juice. This is easy to do with the right equipment. An autosiphon (with 1/2" hose, preferably), a 5 gallon bucket, and a fine mesh cheesecloth (nylon paint strainers work great and are available at most hardware stores) are very handy. The idea is to siphon the peach juice into the strainer bucket, leaving behind as much of the compacted peach pulp and yeast sediment as possible.
- Next, the strainer bag would get pulled out of the bucket that the juice was siphoned into and any remaining peach juice would drain out of the nylon bag and into the bucket. Squeezing the bag to get every last bit of the juice out of it will maximize efficiency. Carefully siphoning the peach juice into the bucket and leaving as much of the peach solids behind in the fermenter as possible, will allow filtering to take less than 10 minutes.
- Once the peach juice has been filtered and all of the solids have been discarded, the peach wash would be poured into a copper still and and the heat would be turned on. For light commercial brandy applications, or to use this recipe for making fuel alcohol, a Clawhammer 10 gallon still would work well.
- While the still is heating up, equipment should be secured. Attach hoses to the inline condenser, etc. On the Clawhammer stills, the cooling water input is attached to the lower port and the drain is attached to the upper port.
- Once the column is installed and hoses have been attached to the condenser, a rye paste seal would be applied to the seam between the two parts of the still. Pre-mixing rye paste and storing it in mason jars makes things easy. Storing in an air-tight container is key to make sure the paste doesn't dry out.
- To be safe, water must be supplied to the condenser by the time the still hits 120 degrees or so. This will prevent alcohol vapor from escaping from the drip tube without being condensed. Additionally, distillation equipment should always be used in a well ventilated space. Un-condensed alcohol vapor in a confined space = bad. It's explosive! If you haven't yet read our article on the top 10 safety tips for moonshiners, we highly recommend you take a look. When using stills around the farm for fuel applications it's not a bad idea to run the output from the condenser to the house garden. Because of its efficient design, the inline condenser doesn't use much water, but it's good to try to get as much mileage as possible by using the spent water to water plants.
- Commercial distillers always discard the foreshots. They taste bad and are potentialy poisonous. On a 5 gallon batch at least the first 150 milliliters would be tossed. This portion of the run could contain methanol, which is poisonous. It's the stuff that could make you go blind and you don't want to drink it. As the run progresses, commercial distillers would make sure to make tight heads, hearts, and tails cuts.
*These pictures are fictitious and are for educational / demonstration purposes only. We use water and store bought grain alcohol to simulate "moonshine." It is illegal to distill alcohol without federal and state distillers or fuel alcohol permits.