Friday, 7 November 2008

American Moonshine 'Brandy'

Anerican Moonshine 'Brandy'Rakia or the process of making rakia is very much a worldwide phenomenon, America is no exception, the difference is of course making it at home is illegal there. Of course America has its own history of moonshine (which is basically rakia). The base ingredients are essentially a variety of fruits with addition of extra sugar for that extra alcohol content.

Here is a bit of background the the American Mooonshine:

Moonshine, an old English term for smuggled liquor, indicating its customary transportation by night, evolved into "moonshiners" in the nineteenth century to describe illicit distillers in southern Appalachia. Because moonshiners' stills were located among thickets or rocks, their products were known locally as "brush whiskey" and "blockade"; few described the liquor itself as "moon-shine." "Blockaders," as moonshiners were also known, viewed whiskey production as a natural right and as the only way to obtain a fair monetary return on mountain corn crops. Despite intensified campaigns against moon-shining after 1877 involving armed patrols of revenue officers, frequent killings, and pitched battles, the business was never quite eliminated. During Prohibition, the term "moonshine" came to be popularly applied to liquor illicitly made anywhere, even in the home.

I have found an American recipe for moonshine brandy although in this particular process there is no reference to distilling therefore you can legally make this in the USA. Looking at the composition of the recipe it is basically melon and peach based wine. My guess is that this would be around the 20-25 % proof as this is the maximum you can get with fermentation for alcohol.

The finished wine (or brandy as it is called) would need to be distilled to give justice to the title brandy, which is defined is a spirit. As it stands you will have very strong wine and not forgetting, five gallons of the stuff.

American Moonshine 'Brandy'Another interesting point is the addition of distillers yeast. This was something I used to think was essential with most wine processing and is included in this particular recipe. I think it would work without it as Bulgarians never add yeast and get good results.

Anyway here is the original American recipe:

  • 1 1/4 large watermelon
  • 10 peaches
  • 1 1/4 cup chopped golden raisins
  • 15 limes (juice only)
  • 25 cups sugar
  • water to make 5 gallon
  • wine or distillers yeast

American Moonshine 'Brandy'Extract the juice from watermelon and peaches, saving pulp. Boil pulp in five quarts of water for 1/2 hour then strain and add water to extracted juice. Allow to cool to lukewarm then add water to make five gallons total and all other ingredients except yeast to primary fermentation vessel. Cover well with cloth and add yeast after 24 hours. Stir daily for 1 week and strain off raisins. Fit fermentation trap, and set aside for 4 weeks.

Taken from
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