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High proof alcohol can be made using any fruit that has a high sugar content. Peaches are fairly sweet and actually work great for this. However, did you know that there are numerous ways that one can make peach moonshine? In this article we'll describe the entire process, step by step, for making 3 types of alcohol using peaches.
If you'd rather watch a video tutorial on how to make peach moonshine, we have you covered! Here's peach moonshine recipe we made using our peach pie moonshine ingredients kit.
What is Peach Moonshine?
Before we describe how to make peach moonshine, let's begin by defining what peach moonshine actually is and what types of ingredients are used to make it. As we see it, there are 3 types of peach moonshine, each varying in complexity (and also in quality). Here's each type, as well as a brief description and an ingredients list:
Easy Peach Moonshine
Simple peach moonshine is a flavored moonshine that's made with a very simple ingredients list: high proof grain alcohol and either whole peaches or peach slices added to it. This type of peach moonshine is the easiest to make but it takes a while to age and is the least tasty. An example of this would be Moonshine Peaches by Ole Smoky.
Peach Pie Moonshine / Peach Cobbler Moonshine
Peach pie moonshine and peach cobbler moonshine are just two different names for the same thing. This type of flavored moonshine is made with a more extensive ingredients list and often includes cinnamon, ginger, orange, cloves, vanilla and more, in addition to peaches and grain alcohol.
In our opinion, peach pie and peach cobbler moonshine are the best tasting types of flavored moonshine that are still reasonably easy to make. An example of this would be the type of peach moonshine you could make using our peach pie moonshine spice kit.
Authentic Peach Brandy Moonshine
This method of making peach moonshine is by far the most complex and actually involves making a peach moonshine mash (from peaches), fermenting the mash, and then distilling it. If you've ever heard of "clear peach moonshine," and wondered what it was, this is it. It's literally alcohol that was made almost solely from sugar and other flavor compounds found in raw peaches.
In its most simple form, authentic peach moonshine is made with 4 ingredients: water, peaches, and yeast. However, a bit of granulated sugar is often added to increase proof. an example of this would be the peach moonshine brandy made by our buddy and master distiller, Jesse over at Still It.
Bonus: The Ultimate Peach Moonshine
This is something that very few people ever get to experience. Partially because it's extremely time consuming to make. And mostly because it's also illegal, depending on where you live! The ultimate peach moonshine is a peach brandy made from peach moonshine mash that's distilled and then is flavored with fresh peaches as well as peach pie and cobbler spices. Now tell me that doesn't sound enticing!
Peach Moonshine Recipes
As we mentioned above, there are 3 types of peach moonshine. Below we've included a tutorial on how to make peach moonshine for each type. Click on the one you're most interested in to skip ahead.
Easy Peach Moonshine Recipe
When making shine with fresh peaches, not just any peach will do, and the kind of peaches you'll need aren't likely to be found at the grocery store. The best kind of peach for making peach shine is the Indian Peach. This specific type of peach is most commonly used for pickling, canning, or baking. Indian Peaches are a beautiful blood-red color on the inside and have a sweet but "tart" taste.
Easy Peach Moonshine Ingredients
- 9 Blood Peaches (also called Indian Peaches)
- 100 proof moonshine (Ole smokey's White Lightnin' is perfect for this)
Indian peaches generally only appear for a week or two each summer at local farmers markets, peach stands, etc... They can occasionally be found at supermarkets too (but are probably shipped from the west coast, and won't be as good).
If you want to get your hands on these Indian Peaches, the best thing to do is to go down to the local peach stand (if you're lucky enough to have one of those nearby) and ask them if they have any. If they do, you'll need to ask them when they expect them to be ripe and you'll probably need to check back every now and again to make sure you don't miss em!
Easy Peach Moonshine Process
The process for making peach moonshine is, uh..., pretty easy! the first option is to simply cut peaches up into slices and add to a jar of high proof grain alcohol. Though the way we prefer to do it is to use whole Indian Peaches, as mentioned above, and cut slices in them before adding to a jar of 100 proof moonshine. Store bought, of course. The trick with making moonshine this way is being patient. This stuff is best when it has been aged about 9 months (seriously)!
Peach Pie Moonshine / Peach Cobbler Moonshine Recipe
The easiest way to make the best tasting peach moonshine is to use (peach pie) spices and peach juice concentrate. Frozen, concentrated peach juice makes the absolute best peach shine because it packs the most peach flavor while diluting the alcohol the least amount.
Peach Pie Moonshine and Peach Cobbler Moonshine ingredients
You'll need to pull together some spices, peaches, and high proof alcohol to pull this recipe off. Of course, you also just buy our pre-made peach pie moonshine spice kit.
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ginger
- 1/8 tsp orange
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 1/2" dried vanilla bean
- 1/4 tsp pink peppercorn
- 1tbs toasted white oak chips
- 6 dried peaches
- 3 cans (thawed) white grape peach concentrate
- 6 cups 100 proof moonshine (Ole Smokey, Sugarlands, etc.)
Peach Pie Moonshine Recipe Steps
Put all ingredients except the dried peaches in a muslin bag. Cut peaches into 1/2 inch chunks. Add muslin bag and peaches to 6 cups of 100 proof moonshine. Allow to steep for 24-48 hours. Remove muslin bag, leaving peaches. Split alcohol and peaches between 3 quart jars. Top off each quart jar with white grape, peach concentrate.
Authentic Peach Moonshine Recipe
The process for making authentic peach moonshine from scratch entails using only peaches (and maybe a bit of sugar) to make the alcohol. This method entails pitting peaches, then juicing the peaches, eliminating natural bacterial, fermenting the peach juice, and finally, distilling it.
However, please note, the following tutorial on how to make authentic peach moonshine is for educational purposes only. Making peach moonshine or peach brandy from scratch, even just for personal consumption, is not legal in the United States unless you're a licensed distiller. One could also undertake this process if they have a fuel alcohol permit, but the product would need to be used in an engine and could not be consumed. That said, here's the recipe.
Oh, and if you're not the reading type, you could also watch the following video made by master distiller, Jesse from Still it. He made peach brandy which is also exactly how authentic peach moonshine is made. FYI, Jesse lives in New Zealand where distilling alcohol at home is legal.
Authentic Peach Moonshine Benchmarks
- 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)
Brewing and Distilling Equipment Needed
- 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)
- Carboy or food grade plastic bucket for fermentation
- An 8 gallon stainless steel still
Authentic Peach Moonshine Ingredients
- 1/2 bushel of peaches
- 6 pounds of cane sugar
- 2 packets bread yeast (or any dry yeast)
Peach Moonshine Mash
The first we did was extract the peach juice from the peaches. We had two good options and one really bad one: 1. Cut and blend. 2. Press. 3. Make a huge mess.
Option 1: Cut and Blend
To cut and blend we would have cut the peaches into quarters, removed the pit, and and then stuck them in a blender. After that we would have fermented the blended peach juice, pulp and all. Though, we would have strained the pulp out of the mixture before distilling.
Option 2: Press
Another option is to press the juice from the fruit using a fruit press. In this case, we would still need to quarter the peaches and remove the pit. But after that, instead of blending, the peaches would be smashed using a fruit press, extracting the juice but leaving most of the pulp behind.
Option 3: Make a huge mess
Because this was our first time using a press for this, we quartered and blended and then tried to press. We thought it would yield max results, but it did not work at all! We processed the peaches too much and all of the pulp just squirted out of the mesh bag in 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.
Here are some pictures of the process we used.
We washed the peaches.
We cut the peaches into quarters removing the pit.
We added the peaches to a food processor.
We add a mesh strainer bag to the fruit press.
We dumped our peach puree into the press.
We pressed the peaches to extract the peach juice, turning the handle on the fruit press with a good amount of force.
This is how we had the fruit press set up. As you can see, we have a hot plate underneath our collection vessel and are heating it.
Pasteurizing Peach Moonshine Mash
After we juiced our peaches, we pasteurized the liquid. This is the process of killing the natural bacteria found on fruit, which is now definitely also in the juice. If this step is skipped, natural bacteria will almost certainly begin to grown and ferment this juice, making a truly "wild" but likely unpalatable wine.
Wine and brandy makers will kill bacteria using one of two methods: 1. Chemical processing. or 2. Heat processing.
The most popular way to kill naturally occurring bacteria in fruit juice for the purpose of making wine is to use campden tablets (potassium metabisulfite). Amateur winemakers swear by this chemical, so we assume that this is the method of choice used by commercial winemakers too. This is a sulfur based method of treatment which creates an environment inhospitable to wild yeast and bacteria.
We didn't have any campden on hand so we heat treated instead using a process called pasteurization. Basically, we heated the liquid up to 170F for about 10 minutes. This should be enough to kill all the bacteria needed for a healthy fermentation.
Once the juice temperature reached 170F and remained there for 10 minutes, we carefully dumped it into a 6.5 gallon fermentation bucket.
We took a gravity reading with a refractometer to determine how much sugar was in our liquid.
Because our ultimate plan was to make fuel alcohol with this (more on this below) we added 4 pounds of sugar and mixed well with a mash paddle, making sure the sugar fully dissolved.
We then added cold water to top off the fermenter at a total volume of 5.5 gallons. This also reduced the temperature of the liquid.
We stirred again to make sure the sugar is completely dissolved.
We took yet another gravity reading and added more sugar until a gravity of 1.060 was reached.
Fermenting Peach Moonshine
The next step in the process is fermenting the peach moonshine mash.
- We then added a sterilized wort chiller to the fermenter.
We cooled the liquid down to around 70 degrees.
At this point we added dry yeast, applied the lid, and aerated by shaking the bucket for a couple of minutes.
- After this we added an airlock to the fermenter and fermented in a dark location at or around 70 degrees for 7-14 days or until it was finished fermenting.
Distilling Peach "Moonshine"
We actually distilled this peach moonshine at a time when we possessed a federal fuel alcohol permit. Also, the state we were located in deferred to federal law and didn't require additional permits for distilling fuel alcohol. Finally, it's important to note that the product seen here was used as fuel alcohol and was not consumed.
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. Only licensed distillers should use our equipment to make moonshine or any other types of spirits. Please read our complete legal summary for more information on the legalities of distillation.
- Once the peach wash was ready, we filtered the peach pulp from the fermented peach juice. This was easy to do with the right equipment. An autosiphon (with 1/2" hose), a 5 gallon bucket, and paint strainer bag. We siphoned the peach liquid into the strainer bag, leaving behind as much of the compacted peach pulp and yeast sediment as possible.
- We squeezed the bag in order to get every last bit of alcohol out of the pulp. We then carefully siphoned the peach alcohol into the bucket leaving as much of the peach solids behind in the fermenter as possible, it took us less than 10 minutes to filter.
- Once the peach alcohol had been filtered and the solids had been discarded, the peach wash was poured into a copper still and and we turned the heat on.
- While the still was heating up, we secured the equipment. We attached the cooling hoses to the inline condenser. The cooling water input is attached to the lower port and the drain is attached to the upper port.
- Once the column was installed and the hoses were attached to the condenser, flour paste was used to seal the connection between the cap skirt and vapor cone collar.
- Once the still was at 130F we turned on the cooling water.
- We then distilled adjusting the heat as necessary.