Pomegranate moonshine is one of the most challenging beverages in terms of the at-home preparation of wash, as raw materials are quite peculiar. Following this method will let you obtain distillate with a characteristic aroma and mild flavor—there’s no such thing available on the market. Undamaged ripe and overripe pomegranates work fine (with dark red seeds). It’s better to avoid pomegranates with pink seeds because they are too sour.
Theory. Pomegranates consist of up to 10-14% of sugar. This means that in theory, 10 liters of juice can yield up to 1.2-1.68 liters of 40% ABV moonshine. In practice, the yield is lower by 10-15%. To increase the amount of beverage you yield, you can add beet sugar—one additional kilo yields 1.1-1.2 liters (40%), but it neutralizes part of the taste and pomegranate aroma, so I don’t recommend adding a lot of sugar. The maximum recommended values are shown in the proportions of the recipe. If you have enough raw materials you should make sugar-free pomegranate moonshine.
Seeds suitable for moonshine preparation
Seeds have no “wild” yeast on their surface, and that’s why you have to prepare a ferment from raisins or add artificial yeast. Wild and store-bought wine yeast ferment for a long time (30-60 days), but in return, they don’t spoil the organoleptic properties of the beverage. You can set pomegranate wash on baker’s or distiller’s yeast. It will stop fermenting in 3-10 days, but this might spoil the taste as it will end up having noticeable alcohol flavor. If possible it’s advisable to set the wash with store-bought wine yeast or homemade ferment.
- Pomegranates – 5 kilos
- Sugar – up to 100 grams per 1 liter of juice (optional)
- Water – 200 ml per 1 liter of juice and 4 liters per each kilo of added sugar
- Soda – 1 flat tablespoon per 5 liters of pure pomegranate juice
- Yeast – wine according to the instructions per 5 liters of must, 10 grams of dry baker’s yeast or 50 grams of pressed yeast or wild yeast ferment
Water and soda are required to lower the excessive acidity of the must, which prevents fermentation and might spoil the taste.
Pomegranate Wash Recipe
- Peel pomegranates and remove the white membrane, leaving only ripe red seeds for your moonshine.
- Using a meat grinder, press or in any other way juice the pomegranate seeds without damaging little stones inside of them.
The white membrane and stones contain substances which make moonshine bitter. Removing them is necessary.
- Water down the juice and stir it. Leave it in a warm room for 8-12 hours. It’s recommended to stir the mixture every 2-3 hours.
- Decant the juice (don’t stir it in the last 3 hours), add water and sugar (optional). Then add the ferment or yeast and stir.
- Pour the wash into a fermentation vessel (fill up to 75% of volume). Install an air lock or a medical glove with a hole in one of the fingers.
It’s important to install the glove securely
Leave the vessel in a dark room (or cover it) with a temperature of 20-28°C till the fermentation process stops. Depending on the chosen yeast pomegranate wash ferments for 30-60 days.
How to Make Pomegranate Moonshine
- After the air lock stops emitting gas (or the glove deflates), there’s a layer of sediment at the bottom, and the wash itself becomes a bit bitter without any sweetness, filter the wash through several layers of cheesecloth to remove solid particles that might burn during the heating. After that, you pour the wash into a distillation still.
- Run the first distillation without separating into fractions. Finish collecting the main product when ABV goes below 20%.
- Measure ABV of the distillate. Calculate the volume of pure alcohol: ABV percentage times volume in liters divided by 100.
- Dilute the moonshine with water up to 18-20%. Run the second distillation. Gather separately the first 12-15% of the pure alcohol calculated at the previous step. This harmful part is called “heads” and can only be used for technical purposes. Gather the middle run (“hearts”) until ABV goes below 45%. After that finish the distillation process and gather the last fraction called “tails” separately.
- Dilute the obtained pomegranate moonshine with water to get the required ABV (usually about 40-45%). Bottle and hermetically seal it. To improve the taste of the moonshine, leave it in a cold place for at least 2-5 days to let the chemical reactions complete.