With so many watermelons all over the place come ripe season, it?s no wonder that you?d want to make a watermelon moonshine. The good news is that watermelon is full of simple sugars that can be used for fermentation. The not so good news is that you?ll have to work a bit to get those sweet sugars into your mash.
We?ve also added some peaches into the recipe for added complexity and flavor. And the result is so good that you can actually strain and enjoy the fermented wine straight.
But hey, if you’ve got a still of your own, shine on!
Watermelon Moonshine Recipe
- 10 Peaches
- 25 cups of Sugar (granulated)
- 5 gallons of Filtered Water
- 15 Limes
- 1 1/4 Large Watermelon
- 1 Small Packet Yeast (Wine or Distiller's Yeast)
- 1 1/4 Cup of Chopped RaisinsEquipment – See our guide here!
- Boiling Pot
- Fermentation Bucket
- Siphon Tube
- Fine Cheesecloth
- Mixing Spoon
- Moonshine Still
- Extract juice form watermelon and peaches making sure to save pulp.
- In five quarts of water, boil pulp for half an hour.
- Strain and add water to juice.
- Let cool to lukewarm and add water until you have five gallons total.
- Add in all ingredients to primary fermentation vessel omitting only the yeast.
- Cover with cloth and let sit.
- After one day add yeast.
- Let sit for one week making sure to stir daily.
- Strain off raisins.
- Next fit fermentation trap and let sit for four more weeks before bottling.
- Cut the peaches and the watermelon into cubes and run them through the blender.
- Put the resulted blend into the cheesecloth to strain the juice from the pulp. Apply pressure to maximize output.
- Strain the resulting juice into the boiling pot, add raisins and bring the liquid to 160?F for quick pasteurization.
- Mix in sugar until fully dissolved.
- Add water to get 5 gallons of liquid in total then let it cool to room temperature.
- Transfer the mixture to fermentation bucket
- Pitch the yeast into the bucket
- Close the bucket and attach the airlock, ensuring an airtight seal.
- Let it ferment fully until all activity in the airlock stops, then wait for at least 3-4 days more.
- Open the fermenter and use the siphon tube to transfer the wash off the yeast and other sediment into your still's boiler.
- Distill the mash as normal.
- 1 Watermelon Moonshine Recipe
- 2 How to Make High Proof Watermelon Alcohol
- 3 Homemade Watermelon Moonshine
Watermelon Moonshine Recipe
Watermelon Moonshine: Combine the taste of your favorite summertime fruit with the delicious kick of moonshine with this fun cocktail recipe.
Once upon a time, when alcohol production was illegal with no government authorization, many daring brewers were conducting their business under the cover of darkness, by the shining light of the moon, to avoid discovery and legal penalties. Thus, the term “moonshining” stuck.
Nowadays, moonshining has been legalized in many areas of the world and has evolved to become a form of art, with widespread practice and a considerable number of fans around the world.
Moonshine is defined as any kind of home-brewed alcohol, usually whiskey or rum, made from a homemade, noncommercial still by following various do it yourself recipes.
There are many different such recipes, which result in different beverages suited for different tastes. In this article, we will explore a recipe for making moonshine with watermelon instead of the usual corn mash people use for their main ingredient.
Contrary to popular belief, watermelon is an excellent material to use for moonshine making. You just need to do a little bit of homework first.
Check out The Top 5 Fruit Mash Recipes
How do you Make Watermelon Moonshine?
There are quite a few different types of watermelon moonshine recipes out there. Some of these moonshine recipes involve using watermelons in the fermentation and distillation process for making whiskey while others involve including a completed moonshine in a mixture of watermelon for a refreshing beverage.
For this recipe we are going to explore the best way to use moonshine instead of the usual corn for whiskey making. Here is a quick look at the things you will need if you want to try this tasty recipe.
Before you can start making your own moonshine, you will need a moonshine still kit. There are ways to use home cookware such as an airlock, buckets and others but the easiest way to make your own moonshine at home is by using a proper kit.
When you use a proper kit, you can reduce the time needed for moonshining and you have much more control over the end result. With a bit of experience and the right equipment at hand you can produce perfect spirits every single time.
The Best Moonshine Still Kit to Buy
Investing in a quality craft whiskey still will have a huge impact on your final product. At How to Moonshine, we believe that not only should your still be made with quality parts, it should also be easy to use.
This is why we suggest our Copper Top All-in-One Craft Still. This whiskey still does double duty as both a fermentor and a still. It is also is made with a stainless steel body and tower, but features a copper coil to combine the best of both worlds.
Copper is an ideal material for making moonshine because of its superior ability to conduct heat and remove sulfur from your shine. By putting a copper coil in a stainless steel still you have an economical still that offers superior results.
This moonshine still kit is ideal for home brewing because it can be used to make a number of different alcoholic beverages such as whiskey, rum and vodka. The still kit is also made of high quality stainless steel that will never rust or discolor no matter how often you use it.
Another big reason we recommend this still kit is that it can be used on any type of stovetop for the distillation process. It is perfectly compatible with electric, induction and gas stoves.
The moonshine still kit includes a 5-gallon fermentation barrel that can be air-sealed with ease. It has a non-return valve that is designed to release tension or carbon dioxide produced during the fermentation process without letting oxygen back into the barrel.
The still kit also has a distillation tower with stainless steel tubes. This distillation tower is ideal for distilling your spirits once the fermentation process has been completed. The distillation tower is filled with cold water that is supplied via a 120V water pump that is also included with the set.
This is an overall good beginner moonshine making kit because it includes everything you need for making fine tasting spirits from the comfort of your home.
When you have your moonshine kit ready, you can start collecting the right ingredients to make watermelon moonshine.
- 5 large watermelons
- 2lb raisons
- 4lb cane sugar
- 2 packs of bread or wine yeast
*Wine yeast is preferable to bread yeast as bread yeast results in the longest fermentation duration.
Turbo yeast is the ideal yeast type if you want to reduce your fermentation duration dramatically. Turbo yeast by Samual Willard’s brand is an ideal and one of the highest recommended yeasts to use for moonshine making.
- Everything starts with extracting a generous amount of watermelon juice from the watermelons. The best way to go about this is to cut them into small slices, remove the rind and break them down in chunks that can fill your blender.
- When blending, it is important that you not overdo it. Make sure you stop before the pulp comes through the strainer.
- Remove the contents of your blender and dump them through cheesecloth, installed in a straining bucket. Squeeze the cheesecloth bag, to extract as much juice as possible. Then, pour the strained juice into a steel mash-tun.
- Even though watermelon is high in sugar itself, trust us and add your own sugar on top of it. Stir, until the sugar dissolves.
- You can now add raisins to your mixture.
- Heat up the mix to 160F. After it is nice and heated, you can add cold water to reach your desired volume. The mash now needs to be cooled down.
- While it is cooling, using 2 cups of 120F degree water, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 small packs of yeast, make a yeast starter.
- Pour your mash from a bucket to the next, to aerate it and then transfer it to your food grade fermentation barrel.
- Add the yeast starter you created previously to the fermentation barrel. Allow 60 minutes to pass before you seal the barrel. This is the time when most carbon dioxide is released. After 60 minutes add an airlock and start fermenting at 70F until it is finished.
- After a few days, when the fermentation process will be finished and the yeast will have settled to the bottom of the fermentation bucket, you will have to siphon the liquid into a copper still. Make sure you avoid taking raisins, watermelon pulp and any yeast with it as transferring them to your still will affect the flavor of your final moonshine.
How to Make High Proof Watermelon Alcohol
This blog provides information for educational purposes only. Read our complete summary for more info.
Before we get started, a reminder: 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. Please read our complete legal summary for more information on the legalities of distillation.
The internet is filled with tons of generic fuel alcohol recipes, however, this recipe is definitely an outlier. Once we started seeing watermelons in the grocery story and ripe melons in our garden this year, we didn't want to waste our time eating them. Instead, we turned them into something useful – high proof watermelon-derived fuel alcohol.
Below is a detailed procedure for making high proof watermelon alcohol. We actually tried this and it worked.
FYI: We had a federal fuel alcohol permit when we tested this procedure and we were also in compliance with state requrements. We produced, stored, and used this alcohol in accordance with TTB requirements.
We also kept and reported production logs in accordance with TTB fuel alcohol permit requirements.
The first step is to make a sugary liquid with watermelon juice. The following items were needed:
- Cutting board and a sharp knife
- A fine cheesecloth
- A couple of 5 gallon buckets
- Large pot for mashing
- Hot plate
- A large paddle or spoon for stirring
- Wort / immersion chiller (for cooling the mash)
- A hose for siphoning
- A glass carboy or food grade plastic bucket for fermentation
- An airlock
- 5 large watermelons
- 2 pound of raisins
- 4 pounds of cane sugar
- 2 packets bread yeast (or wine yeast)
Mashing, Fermentation, and Distillation Procedure
- First, we extracted the sweet, sweet watermelon juice from 5 large watermelons. We found that the easiest way to do this is to cut the Watermelon in half and then into quarters. Once quartered, we cut into slices and removed the rind. Next, we reduced it to chunks that will fit into a blender.
- Next, we added chunks to the blender and obliterated the watermelon!
- We made sure not to over-blend. We shut down the blender as soon as the fruit had been liquefied. This will be filtered through a cheesecloth later and if the blended watermelon is too fine the pulp will go right through the strainer.
- We dumped our watermelon puree through a cheesecloth installed in a food safe bucket. Nylon paint strainer bags are a good alternative to cheesecloth.
- We removed the cheesecloth containing pulp from the bucket and let some of the juice drip out.
- Once the bag was a manageable size, we squeezed it to extract as much watermelon juice as possible.
- After squeezing, we poured the strained watermelon juice into a large stainless steel mash-tun.
- Add sugar to the juice and stir until it dissolves.
- We heated the strained watermelon juice, raisins, and sugar to 160F. This will kill most of the naturally occurring wild yeast and bacteria found in the watermelon juice.
- After heating, we added cold water to reach a total volume of 5 gallons (if needed).
- We cooled the mash to 70 degrees with a sterilized wort-chiller.
- While the mash is cooling, we made a yeast starter using 2 cups of 120F water, 2 tsp of sugar, and 2 small packages of bread yeast.
- We took a starting gravity reading using a brix refractometer. We loaded the hydrometer by using a small dropper to remove a bit of juice from our mash pot.
- Ideally, the brix reading should be around 1.065, which will produce a starting alcohol of about 8%. If the reading is low add 100% pure cane sugar until the desired starting gravity has been reached.
Homemade Watermelon Moonshine
Despite high sugar content watermelons are considered a bad raw material for moonshine making. Actually, that’s not true. It’s just that you need a personal approach to this berry. If you just mash the fruits and ferment them, the moonshine will end up being bittersharp and smelly. We’ll look over the right technology of making watermelon brew.
You can use overripe and slightly sour watermelons, which are not fit for food, for moonshine. It’s important that they are not tainted or moldy. You should certainly cut out the spoilt parts.
- Watermelon juice – 8 gl/30 liters
- Sugar – 6.6 lbs/3 kg
Dry yeasts – 1.7 oz/50 grams (or 10.5 oz/300 grams of compressed yeasts)
Watermelons contain a lot of liquid, thus you can do without water, which would not help. In 2.2 lbs/1 kilo of fruits there are 1.7-3.4 oz/50-100 grams of sugar. In order to get 0.
3 gl/1 liter of watermelon moonshine with potency of 40 degrees you need at least 22-26 lbs/10-12 kg of raw materials. I recommend increasing the yield by adding 2.2 lbs/1 kg of sugar per 2.5 gl/10 liters of juice.
This facilitates the fermentation and does not harm the quality. Caution! Watermelon pulp is sterile and doesn’t contain yeasts. For normal fermentation I recommend adding dry, freshly compressed or distillers yeast to the brew, otherwise the must will get sour.
In extreme case the organic yeast-free moonshine enthusiasts can make berry or raisins broth, but the fermentation will last few times longer.
Cut the fruits in half. Carefully scrape out the pulp without white parts and peels with a spoon and put it into a large container without spilling any juice. It’s better to fall short on raw products than use unripe pulp, as it spoils the taste significantly.
Grate the pulp using a mesh strainer with holes up to 0.19 inches/0.5 cm in order to get rid of the seeds. Put the mesh strainer in a large cooking pot or a bath and then grate soft watermelon pieces with back and forth motions. Hard seeds will remain on top of the mesh strainer. They should be removed necessarily, otherwise the moonshine will be unpleasantly bitter.
Pour the prepared must into a fermentation container. Add sugar (optional) and yeasts (broth) distilled according to the manual on a label. Stir it up.
Install a water seal or a medical glove with a small hole in one of the fingers on the bottleneck. Leave the must in a dark place with a temperature of 64.4-80.6°F/18-27°C. The fermentation will last for 3-7 days (with natural raisin or berry broth – up to 40 days).
When the water seal stops bobbling (the glove deflates), the watermelon brew becomes brighter and bitter, foam settles, you should pour it from the sediment into a distillatory vessel.
Distill the brew for the first time, drawing off the overhead product, until the potency drops below 30%.
Dilute the obtained moonshine with water up to 18-20% and then distill it once again. . Draw off the first 150-200 ml into a separate container. That harmful distillate called “heads” is dangerous to drink.
Finish the distillation while the potency drops below 40 degrees.
Dilute the watermelon moonshine with water up to 40-45%. Let it mature for 2-3 days in a dark cold place before trying it.