While grapes may be famous for making delicious wine, it is not their only flavor of spirit. Grape brandy and grape moonshine are two delicious ways to enjoy the flavor of grapes in your favorite spirits.
When you think of a grape spirit, you likely are not thinking about moonshine. However, many do not realize that brandy is little more than distilled wine. In fact, many seasoned shiners will buy cheap wine to make delicious brandy at a fraction of the cost.
While this is a fairly simple way to make delicious brandy at home, it is also possible to make brandy with little more than grape juice, sugar and yeast. In fact, it just may become your next favorite spirit that you can make in the comforts of your own home.
How Do I Make Brandy?
There are several ways to make brandy. The first, which is also the simplest, is to simply distill a bottle of wine into a craft still.
The act of distilling wine means that you will pour it into a still to be heated up and the alcohol will be separated from the water content. This will increase the ABV (alcohol by volume) of your spirit and make it stronger.
This is a popular option for those who want the option to buy a cheap bottle of wine and turn it into a nice bottle of brandy.
The second option to make brandy is to skip the wine and instead create a mash from juice, water, sugar and yeast. This mash is then fermented for a period of about two weeks and then distilled in the same way as the first method.
What Type of Grapes do you Need to Make Brandy?
We suggest using grape juice to make brandy if you are making a mash. We like Welch’s Grape juice because it tastes great and is good quality. It is also pure grape juice and not blended with another fruit, like apple.
Like our AppleJack recipe, this recipe uses juice rather than fresh or frozen fruit to make the mash.
What equipment do you need to Make Brandy?
If you are making brandy with wine, you will only need a still to distill your spirit from a wine to a brandy. However, if you are making brandy from a mash you will also need a fermentor.
For making brandy we suggest the Copper Top All-in-One Stovetop Still. This complete kit comes with everything you need to make brandy, whether you are starting with wine or a mash.
The reason that we suggest this still is because not only is it both a still and a fermentor, but it also includes a copper coil. Copper is an important element when making moonshine because it is able to neutralize any sulfer in your mash. This is an important step to get better tasting shine.
In addition to its copper coil, this still can also be used as a fermentor which means less for you to buy and store. It is both an economical choice and one that produces delicious moonshine.
Delicous Grape Brandy and Grape Moonshine
This recipe has both a beginner and intermediate option. Check at the bottom for the simple but tasty Jolly Rancher version!
10 cans of Welches 11.5 oz pure grape frozen concentrate
7 lbs of white granulated sugar
5 gallons of filtered water
1 packet of wine or distillers yeast
Bring ONE gallon of water to boil in a LARGE pot
Add sugar and stir until completely dissolved.
Remove pot from heat and add the frozen grape concentrate.
Top the mixutre off with water until it reaches 5 gallons in volume.
Allow the mash to cool until it reaches 70°F.
Once your mash is room temperature, transfer it into a fermentor.
Add the yeast and agitate well either by pouring the mixture between the cooking pot and the fermentor or adding an airtight lid and shaking well.
Add an airtight lid and an airlock to your fermentor and allow to ferment for about 14 days or until there has been no activity in your airlock for about 1-2 days.
Once the fermentation process is complete strain your mash well and then siphon into your distiller.
Distill and be sure to fractionate discarding the first 5% of your run.
If you prefer an easier method for grape moonshine, try ourJolly Rancher moonshine recipe and substitute grape Jolly Ranchers.