How to make moonshine from apple juice at home

A great way of apple processing - especially for those who have an orchard in their country house, plot or in a private house - is home brewing. Moonshine from apple juice is quite common, and even, one might say, a democratic drink. After all, fruits of different varieties are found everywhere, and when distilled from them, an excellent fruit drink, or “homemade calvados” comes out.

By the way, some of any moonshine made from apple juice or apples are combined together under this name, which is not entirely correct, since real Calvados implies special aging technology in oak barrels that saturate it with its original and unique aroma and apple flavor with hints of wood.

moonshine made from apple juice

General Provisions

Recipes for the preparation of this drink are not particularly difficult, and most importantly, they practically do not require additional curtsy after a quality distillation: refinement, odor removal. And all this is due to the pleasant and piquant aroma of fruits, which has moonshine from apple juice or apples. And to get the mash, you can recommend apples, and cake from processing, and unclarified juice.

Yes, by the way, it is best if the fruits come from different varieties, in which case a special mixed bouquet and aroma from each of the varieties will be present in the final product.

apple juice moonshine recipe

Moonshine from apple juice. Recipe

Making homemade mash from ready-made juice is much easier than directly from whole fruits. This is probably why those who have an annual abundance in the apple orchard prefer to use these methods. Juices can be used any: both natural, freshly squeezed, and past thermal preservation and cooking. It is noted that from natural juices (especially the so-called blend), the resulting final product will be the most aromatic and with a fully saturated taste. The choice of juice as a raw material is relevant if you have a good-quality juicer, and the harvest volume itself allows you to do a juicer.

moonshine from apple juice cooking recipe

What can be produced at home

From this raw material, you just need to try making home-made calvados. And by the way, you can also prepare the volume of the natural product on juice for future use as a raw material, so that later you can make tinctures out of it, experimenting with the taste range.

The basic method is quite simple: the juice with the pulp is diluted with sugar, yeast is introduced, then the mash is ripened, followed by its distillation. A folk recipe for moonshine from apple juice is also possible, reminiscent of the way Georgian chacha ripens, but in this case the apples should be the sweetest, ripe, juicy. The fruits also need to be peeled from seeds and take the softest, but not rotten.

Those who want to make home-made calvados in the kitchen should buy a barrel of oak, where the subsequent exposure of the drink will take place. A normal and effective replacement for the keg will be the use of oak chips that are ground and loaded into a prepared container with expelled alcohol from the juice. The process of insisting should be more than six months (or better, a year). Of course, not every moonshiner will stand the time, and will definitely want to try. But for these purposes, there is a way to make a faster, but less aromatic drink, which will only remind calvados. For these purposes, spices are taken plus vanilla in a certain amount.

apple juice mash for moonshine

Braga from apple juice for moonshine. Recipe

Braga, of course, is the main and immutable ingredient for making a good drink. The simplest and most popular set of ingredients among the people: for every five liters of juice we take a kilo of sugar and 20 grams of pressed yeast. Then your wort will surely ferment quite quickly and everything will be as it should. But in this case, the taste of the mash will be a little "yeast". If you’re not used to rushing anywhere, if you don’t like the taste of store yeast, then the advice is to use slightly fermented raisins of ordinary grapes instead. They live cultures of natural wine yeast, which are used for making wine. Just before the “leaven” you need to try not to wash the raisins, in particular - do not pour boiling water over it, as some housewives like to do so that, they say, harmful microbes are destroyed. From this procedure, all yeast can die, in mash - it does not ferment at all.

Another recommendation

Granulated sugar is best dissolved in a small amount of heated juice, and then mixed with the bulk of the wort in a fermentation vessel. The processes of making mash in this (yeast-free) case will take longer than in the yeast recipe, and can even last up to a month in its duration. But then the taste will become much thinner.

General Provisions

Braga from apple juice for moonshine is, of course, a fermentation product. So, if there is at least a slight gas separation, the use of hydraulic locks is required. It is an indispensable condition to make moonshine from apple juice. In the process of fermentation, the mass does not require constant mixing, and the final alcoholic drink will not need filtration, clarification, additional efforts to improve the taste. It will be enough to simply separate the fermented juice from the precipitated yeast. And the distillation of home calvados is carried out according to the traditional scheme: separation of heads and tails. It is possible to overtake a second time, for additional purification of the product, but then some taste may be lost.

apple juice mash for moonshine recipe


So, the first thing to cook the right moonshine from apple juice at home, you need to put a water shutter on the container. It is done according to the traditional scheme.

It is necessary to stop the access of oxygen from the surrounding space, as this leads to the fact that the raw materials do not ferment, but become acidic. The water shutter is intended for the release of carbon dioxide, which is formed during fermentation, and prevents the mash from coming into contact with open air. Of course, the necessary device can be bought in a store or ordered on the Internet. But not the fact that it will fit in size to the container selected for brewing. Therefore, many people prefer to make a water shutter with their own hands.

The most popular among the people can confidently be called a device converted from a dropper, bought in a pharmacy. In order to make such a device, you need to cut the plastic tube off the dropper, and the container with the future mash poured into it will be hermetically sealed. In the center of the lid, make a hole corresponding to the diameter of the tube and, having inserted one tip there, insulate it tightly. And bring the other end of the tube, for example, into a glass of water (to limit air access). During fermentation, the system will publish characteristic “bullets” indicating that the process is on schedule. As soon as these signals cease, this tells us that the mash is ready, and it is time to expel the moonshine!

making moonshine from apple juice

From homemade apple wine

Making moonshine from apple juice is not a very time-consuming process. But you can simplify it even more by using the ready-made “mash” - young apple wine . A drink is usually remade into a moonshine in those cases when it “did not work out”, that is, it does not satisfy certain tastes, but it’s a pity to pour such a good. Usually such a wine, due to the improper use of the technology, is already in the first stage of vinegar conversion or has various fungal ailments that make its taste not quite pleasant, to say the least (well, if this is a completely frank swill, it would still be better to pour and not use for distillation). Fruit wine in this case should be considered as a well-refined and clarified mash. In addition, some special requirements for this natural product should not be made, since it is of rather high quality.

In this case, the wine is poured into a hardware container for further actions, and you can already add nothing there. These actions, as already mentioned, can significantly simplify production. Subsequently, distillation into moonshine occurs by the traditional method of heating and subsequent distillation. It should be noted that when a moonshine still has a steam tank or distillation column, one distillation will be sufficient, separating the heads and tails. This is followed by cleaning with a charcoal filter. Otherwise, for distillation of a high-quality final product, we need a double distillation. Some use additional insistence on dried fruits or chopped fresh apples to enhance apple flavoring.

how to make moonshine from apple juice

Homemade Calvados with oak notes

How to make moonshine from apple juice, so that it resembles this world famous drink that gained popularity in certain years thanks to the works of Remarque? The whole secret is that apple moonshine (see the recipes for making mash from juice above) should be insisted in oak barrels for a rather long time (at least six months), such as cognac. Apple brandy then acquires a characteristic flavor that many connoisseurs liked so much. Of course, for these purposes, it is best to purchase a small oak barrel made by the master. But if you don’t have it at hand, do not be discouraged. A specific capacity can be replaced with oak chips. It must be taken from 20 to 60 grams per liter, supposed to be infused. Here the dosage is made empirically, according to personal tastes and preferences, but try not to overdo it, otherwise tannins can clog the main tone - apple!


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