How to make watermelon moonshine?
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 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.
How to 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
Don’t have a moonshine still kit just yet? We recommend you have a look at the 5-Gallon Stainless Steel Stove Top Moonshine Still Kit.
Main materials – 304 Food grade stainless steel
Size – 32 x 32 x 46cm (75cm assembly height)
Still type – Stovetop still with fermentation barrel and distillation tower
Barrel capacity – 5 gallons
Coil materials – Stainless steel
Suited for – Make moonshine as well as other types of alcoholic beverages
Included – Fermentation barrel with false bottom and distillation tower, water pump, filter bag, two 1.5m silicone tubes, 3-in-1 alcohol meter, thread seal tape, 250ml measuring cylinder, temperature sticker, and airlock and silicone stopper.
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.
- After the distillation process has finished, your moonshine is done and ready – and you can add any touches you like to give it a bit of a personal tone.
Should Watermelon Whiskey Be Aged?
Moonshine can be consumed right on the spot as soon as it leaves the distiller. Most moonshiners do however prefer to age their product for at least one month. Aging moonshine can enhance the flavor or taste of the moonshine a great deal.
Moonshine cannot expire. If properly stored, it can last on your shelf for many years to come. Many even believe that quality moonshine can be stored indefinitely without it going off.
Ways to Enhance the Flavor Of Your Moonshine
There are quite a few strategies you can use to make your watermelon moonshine even tastier. Aging moonshine for a minimum of 1 month is one of the best ways to enhance the taste of your spirits. Here are a few other techniques to try if you want to boost taste of your watermelon moonshine;
Age using wood chips
Adding oak wood chips to your moonshine during aging can make a huge difference in the taste. It is recommended to allow your spirits to age in 15 grams fresh wood chips for about 15 days. In this time, you can also test your spirits to see when it reached a preferable taste.
Add sweet bourbon essence
Some moonshiners love to add a bit of sweet bourbon essence to their moonshine before bottling it up. If you haven’t tried this method before then it is best to do a test run with just a little bit of moonshine.
Add sugar to your moonshine
For a sweeter sip-ready moonshine you can also add 5 teaspoons of caramelized or white sugar per liter of whiskey.
There are of course other ways to go about making watermelon based moonshine. If the aforementioned process and recipe seems daunting to you, and too complicated for your liking, we suggest you give this watermelon brew recipe a look. We found it relatively simple and much easier to follow.
That being said, if you are looking to make totally outstanding watermelon moonshine, then our initial proposed method is the way to go.
We encourage you to experiment a little and give the recipe a try. True greatness comes from actively going out of your comfort zone. And with a watermelon recipe, you are definitely going to do that, whether you are fresh to moonshining or a seasoned veteran of the game.