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October 31, 2014
Last updated

Apple Moonshine Mash Recipe

Owner of Clawhammer Supply
"apple moonshine"
Before we get started, a reminder: Distilling alcohol is illegal without a federal fuel alcohol or distilled spirit plant permit as well as relevant state permits. Our distillation equipment is designed for legal uses only and the information in this article is for educational purposes only. Please read our complete legal summary for more information on the legalities of distillation.

Apple "Moonshine" Mash - Easy Version

The easiest apple moonshine mash recipe would be to mix off the shelf, high proof spirits with an apple pie spice mix. We've done the hard part and have created the perfect blend of apple pie moonshine spices for you! 

Apple not your flavor? Check out the rest of our moonshine recipes.

Apple Brandy Advanced Recipe

This advanced recipe we developed involves the distillation of alcohol, for which federal, state, and local permits are needed. We had a fuel alcohol permit when we tested this procedure and we were in compliance with state and federal regulations. We produced, stored, and used this alcohol in accordance with TTB requirements. We also kept and reported production logs in accordance with TTB fuel alcohol permit requirements. Do not try this without the proper permits.

To clarify, distilled fruit wine is typically called "Brandy." However, there are commercial examples of un-aged apple brandy that have been labeled "moonshine." This is the distillers' preference. That said, the first step in the process of making apple "moonshine," or brandy, is to actually make apple wine. After the apple wine has finished fermenting, it can be turned into high proof spirits through the process of distillation.


    • 25 pounds of ripe apples ( 1/2 bushel. We used a mixed variety of apples which worked out really well)
    • 5-10 pounds cane sugar (We found added 1-2 pounds per gallon of mash worked really well)
    • Enough water to reach 5 gallons of total liquid after juicing the apples
    • 2.5 teaspoon yeast nutrient (We just followed the directions on the label. The brand we used required 1/2 tsp per gallon)
    • 1 packet dry wine yeast 

    Mashing Equipment

    • Pleasant Hill MacIntosh Fruit Press 3-5 Gallon
    • Pleasant Hill Maximizer Fruit Grinder
    • 6.5 gallon fermenter with airlock
    • Large pot for mashing
    • Mash paddle or spoon
    • Brewing/Wine hydrometer or refractometer
    • Brewing thermometer

    Target Apple Wine Stats

    • Starting Gravity: 1.065
    • Ending Gravity: 1.000
    • Wash Alcohol By Volume: (ABV) 8.5%
    • Spirit ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
    • Time to Ferment: 7-14 Days (can vary depending on yeast and temp)
    • Fermentation temperature: 70F

    Apple Pie MoonshineIf you're into short cuts, you might want to check out our Apple Pie Moonshine Spice Kit before reading the rest of this recipe. It produces an awesome apple "shine" using a secret mix of spices and off the shelf alcohol!

    Mashing And Fermentation Process

    1. We picked a half bushes of apples. When making apple wine the more acidic and sour varieties of apples are best (Winesap, McIntosh, and Jonathans all work great)

      2. Washed the apples.

        3. Added the apples to the apple grinder and grinded them to a pulp.

          4. Added the mash bag to the apple press.

            5. Added the ground apples to the fruit press.

              6. Pressed the apples.

                7. Collected the apple juice in a sanitized bucket

                  8. Once all of the apples were juiced, we added the juice into the mash pot.

                    9. Added 4 gallons of water (or enough to reach 5.5 gallons total volume).

                      10. Mixed the apple juice and water together.

                        11. We took an original gravity reading.

                          13. Our original gravity was 1.013

                            14. We turned the heat on and started heating the kettle.

                              15. Added 6 pounds of cane sugar while the mixture was heating up to 162F. We found during testing that anywhere between 4-10 pounds of sugar could be needed to reach our starting gravity of 1.065. It all depended on how much sugar the apples contained. 

                                16. We took another gravity reading after adding the 6 pounds of sugar and we were right around the target of 1.065. During testing If the starting gravity was low we would have added more sugar until the starting gravity around 1.065. This wine yielded us 8.5% when it fermented down to 1.000

                                  17. We cooled the mash down to 70 degrees with a wort chiller and then siphoned the mash into a 6.5 gallon fermenter.

                                    18. We then re-hydrated the yeast following the directions on the label.

                                      19. Added the yeast to the fermenter.

                                        20. Added 2.5 teaspoon yeast nutrient. We just followed the directions on the label.

                                          21. We added an airlock to the fermenter and then fermented in a dark room which was between 67-70  degrees. During testing fermentation took anywhere from 7-10 days depending on the yeast the temperature we were fermenting at.

                                            Kyle Brown is the owner of Clawhammer Supply, a small scale distillation and brewing equipment company which he founded in 2009. His passion is teaching people about the many uses of distillation equipment as well as how to make beer at home. When he isn't brewing beer or writing about it, you can find him at his local gym or on the running trail.

                                            • Hi, I have just recently started (First Time) an apple jack mash. I have a small still 10ltre, thumper, condenser coil and water supply pump for cooling. I used 3ltr pure apple juice, about 11/2 kg of apple (diced)1kg brown sugar, 3/4 kg white sugar inhot water to dissolve, cinnamon stick stired altogether, added 21/2 teaspoon of turbo yeast,added to a bucket with airlock bubbler on the lid, 7 days have passed stirring once a day, it has stopped releasing gases and is quite settled. I tasted it and it has a very tangy taste, but doesn’t taste like apples. I wanted to ask (before I put it through the still) if this seems right to you.
                                              I would be very greatfull for your advice and expertise. Hoping to start cooking on Saturday morning. I look forward to your earliest positive reply.
                                              Many Thanks,
                                              Glyn Morgan
                                              United kingdom

                                              Posted by Glyn Morgan on July 18, 2023
                                            • How do you get the Apple flavor to transfer to your finished product during distillation

                                              Posted by Shawn on June 21, 2022
                                            • how long you mash and which temp?
                                              whY don’t you leave skins in the fermenter, to avoid adding yeast?

                                              Posted by echorek on November 13, 2021
                                            • For an apple brandy, I was going to buy apple cyder from a local farmer who makes fresh apple cyder (nothing added). For a 5 gal batch should I get 5 gals? or should I get 1 gal and the rest water.

                                              Posted by Lance on November 13, 2021
                                            • For an apple brandy, I was going to buy apple cyder from a local farmer who makes fresh apple cyder (nothing added). For a 5 gal batch should I get 5 gals? or should I get 1 gal and the rest water.

                                              Posted by Lance on November 13, 2021
                                            • How long does the mash set?

                                              Posted by Matthew on November 13, 2021
                                            • Just reading up on recipes, deciding which direction to go. Going to have a bumper crop of pears this year, so I have the summer to get it together and hopefully know what I’m doing.

                                              Posted by Cara on May 12, 2021
                                            • My Apple pie has been working for 3 weeks now or better it’s a different recipe than I normally do should I just pour it out and yes still sweet tasting

                                              Posted by Diablo on November 30, 2020
                                            • My Apple pie has been working for 3 weeks now or better it’s a different recipe than I normally do should I just pour it out and yes still sweet tasting

                                              Posted by Diablo on November 30, 2020
                                            • NORML has increased taxes through legalization of Marijuana… why not have a group called LHL
                                              Legalize Homebrew Liquor

                                              Posted by Jeff Brown on December 02, 2020
                                            • Hello,
                                              I recently purchased the clawhammer still shown in the above picture. I am going to try and make some cinnamon apple mash and try to make my first batch of moonshine for my own consumption. Any help from your personals would be greatly appreciated. I look forward to using your still and products in the future.

                                              Thanks Henry Eisenhuth

                                              Posted by Henry EIsenhuth on May 18, 2020
                                            • 1 pound of sugar to one gallon of watter and a quarter of your barrel fill with what ever you ferment with .Blue berrys. Apples corn strawberrys or what ever .Make sure u use a 1/4 of your barrel for fermenting .

                                              Posted by John on May 29, 2019
                                            • your recipe for apple moonshine instructs us to start heating the mash but doesn’t say to bring it to a boil … and for how long?

                                              Posted by on November 26, 2018
                                            • Sugar has no place in pure brandy

                                              Posted by Ran on September 26, 2018
                                            • How much moonshine do you actually get from this recipe??

                                              Posted by Caleb on February 22, 2018
                                            • WHERE DO I GET THE GALLON BOWLS FROM

                                              Posted by LARA on January 03, 2018
                                            • I thought you are supposed to throw the heads out I thought it was poisoness

                                              Posted by Rkrs on December 28, 2017
                                            • @doug When you boil the feeder corn and let it cool the starch will make it so thick ya can’t do anything with it.. at what point do you add the malted grain to break it down? Also… What temp does the Levin yeast require?

                                              Posted by Gunny on December 27, 2017
                                            • Fell me in on using apple juice from the grocery store to make my shine.

                                              Posted by Richard on December 22, 2017
                                            • How many pounds of blueberries do I need for a 40 gallon wash and also how much sugar?

                                              Posted by HErbert jOyner on December 22, 2017

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