If you have some old or fermented preserve don’t be too fast to get rid of it. You can give a second life to this product by making moonshine from preserve following this simple recipe. You’ll be able to make a perfect wash, which then can be distilled to make fragrant moonshine with a fruity aroma. Even beginners can handle this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Water – 30 liters
  • Preserve – 6 liters
  • Pressed yeast – 10 oz/300 grams (or 1.7 oz/50 grams of dry yeast)
  • Sugar – 6.6 lbs/3 kilos (optional)

Any type of preserves will do: apple, raspberry, strawberry, cherry, currant, etc. Some brewers when using fermented preserve don’t add yeast but rely strictly on wild strains. Still, I recommend adding artificial yeast. Otherwise, fermentation lasts too long and the yield of final product can be an unpleasant surprise.

Should you add sugar? That depends on the initial sugar content of the preserve you’re using, which can vary. From 2.2 lbs/1 kilo of total sugar (contained in berries, added to the preserve during cooking and added before the setting of wash) you can get about 1.1 liters of 40% ABV moonshine. It’s also important to maintain the 1:4 ratio—1 part of sugar to 4 parts of water. You can adjust this ratio if need be.

Making Wash From Preserve

  1. Heat up water to 50-60°C.
  2. Add preserve, stir the mixture until you get a homogenous mass. Then cool it down to 30°C (this is essential—otherwise yeast will die due to high temperature).
  3. Break up the yeast following the instructions on a label and then add it to the container with the wash.
  4. Add sugar and stir it well (this step is optional).
  5. Install an air lock on the fermentation container (a medical glove with a hole in one of the fingers) and set it for 5-9 days in a dark warm place (18-25°C). The wash is considered prepared when it becomes brighter (setting of sediment), somewhat bitter, and the air lock is no longer bubbling.

Making Moonshine From Preserve

  1. Decant the fermented wash and filter it through cheesecloth in order to get rid of solid particles which might burn during heating.
  2. During distillation keep separating moonshine until ABV falls below 30%. Distillate might get foggy—that’s okay.
  3. Measure the general ABV and calculate the amount of pure ethanol.
  4. Dilute the moonshine with water until 20% ABV, then distill it again. First 8-15% of pure ethanol should be gathered in a separate container. That harmful fraction is called “foreshots.” It’s dangerous to drink.
  5. Stop separating the main product when the ABV drops to (42-45%).
  6. The obtained preserve moonshine should be diluted with water till you get the desirable ABV (40-45%). Then put it aside in a dark cool place for 2-3 days to let it set. The beverage can be consumed even without additional cleaning.