Peas are usually boiled or sauteed, other methods of processing are very rare. But for homemade alcohol, this bean culture is interesting firstly because of its affordability and great fermentation value. Here’s a simple pea moonshine recipe which has been used by moonshiners for quite some time.

This recipe outlines a classic pea wash making technology which preserves the taste and smell of the initial raw material.


Warning! The method of moonshine preparation proposed in this recipe presupposes the production of alcohol mainly through the processing of sugar with peas giving the distillate the taste and smell. To get alcohol directly from beans, saccharification is required, which is the conversion of starch into sugars under the influence of enzymes in peas. You can saccharify the peas with malt: prepare pease pudding (4-5 liters of water per 1 kg of raw material), cool it to 63-65°C, add ground malt (200 grams per kilogram of peas), mix to a uniform consistency, cover with a lid, leave for 2 hours, maintaining the temperature. Stir the must once every 15-20 minutes of the first hour. Then dilute the wash with water to liquefy it, cool the wort to 18-28°C, add yeast and wait for the fermentation to finish.

Pea Wash Recipe

  1. Pour the peas with 1-2 liters of water (it should cover the beans by at least 5-6 cm) and leave them for 4 hours. After that pour off the water. Pre-soaked peas ferment much better.
  2. Mix 3 liters of water and 2 kilos of sugar in a cooking pot. Bring this mixture to a boil and then cook it on low heat for 5-6 minutes, skimming off the white foam. The obtained syrup should be cooled down below 30°C. You can simply dissolve sugar in water without boiling it, but in this case, the wash will take longer to prepare.
  3. Dissolve the chosen type of yeast following the instructions on a label.
  4. Mix the pre-soaked peas, syrup, dissolved yeast and remaining water (7 liters) in a container .

A large amount of foam will form during fermentation, that’s why I suggest filling up the vessel up to 75% of its volume.

  1. Install an airlock on the neck of the fermentation container in order to let out carbon dioxide. Transfer the vessel to a dark place with a temperature of 18-27°C.

Pea wash under an airlock

  1. In 4-10 days the airlock will stop bobbling. The pea wash will become lighter and bitter. There also will be a layer of sediment at the bottom. Once this happens you can proceed to the distillation phase.

Pea Moonshine Recipe

  1. Decant the wash, filter it through cheesecloth, and pour it into a distillation still.

You can make another 3 batches of moonshine using the leftover peas by adding the same amount of water and sugar used the first time (no need in yeast this time around).

  1. Distill the wash using the moonshine still of any design. During the first distillation do not separate the product into fractions. Finish collecting the main product when ABV goes below 35%.
    Measure ABV of the distillate. Calculate the volume of pure alcohol: ABV percentage times the volume in liters divided by 100.
  2. Dilute the moonshine with water to 20% ABV. Run second distillation and gather separately the first 12-15% of the pure alcohol calculated at the previous step. This harmful fraction is called “foreshots”, and it shouldn’t be consumed.

Gather the middle run (“hearts”) until ABV goes below 40%. After that finish the distillation process and gather the last fraction called “tails” separately. The remaining cloudy distillate can be added to the next wash batch in order to increase its strength (before starting distillation).

  1. Dilute the obtained pea moonshine (middle run) with water to get the required 40-45% ABV. Bottle and hermetically seal it. To improve the taste of the moonshine, let it settle for 2-3 days to stabilize organoleptic properties.

Eventually, you’ll end up with a drink that will have a light pea smell and aftertaste. It’s easily drinkable and doesn’t cause flatulence.

Moonshiner making ingredients