Introduction: 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.

Ingredients:

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.

Step 1: Step 1

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.

Step 2: Step 2

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.

Step 3: Step 3

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.

Step 4: Step 4

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).

Step 5: Step 5

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.

Step 6: Step 6

Distill the brew for the first time, drawing off the overhead product, until the potency drops below 30%.

Step 7: Step 7

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.

Step 8: Step 8

Finish the distillation while the potency drops below 40 degrees.

Step 9: Step 9

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.

Comments

author
ableabe (author)2016-03-30

Thanks for this interesting project.

Let's say I have very sweet watermelon that has 100 g sugar per kilo of
fruit. Thus ten kilos of this fruit will give one kilo of sugar. I
believe a kilo of sugar, when fermented, will make about a half kilo of
alcohol (neglecting mass and volume differences). Thus, my ten kilos of
fruit will give me a half kilo of alcohol, and if I make my moonshine
about 100 proof (50%) alcohol, I'll get about a liter (kilo) of
moonshine. Going through these calculations for fruit having 50 g sugar
per kilo will give me only a half liter moonshine. Does this sound
right to you?

Thus, your suggestion to add a kilo of sugar per ten kilos of fruit will
basically double the amount of sugar if we start with the sweetest
fruit and would, if fermented using plain water (and yeast nutrients)
instead of fruit, give about a liter of moonshine, although not very
good tasting moonshine. I'm just trying to get a better feel for the
input and output.

What do you mean by "degrees"? Thanks.

My other question is that you say that if you just mash the fruit and
ferment, the moonshine will end up being bittersharp and smelly (which I
can verify from experience), and that there's a "right technology" for
making watermelon brew. Where in your method is there a significant
difference from simply fermenting the fruit? Thanks. I'm anxious to
try this, as I haven't been successful with fermenting watermelon (or
Maple syrup). How does the watermelon beer taste? Thanks again.

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