The period of sweet cherries ripening is a responsible period for moonshiners when they need to get made as much as possible moonshine from these sweet berries. To those, who are just beginning their journey with fruit distillates, you can follow this two great cherry recipes.
For brew, you can use any variety of sweet cherries, but sweet juicy berries give the best results. The higher the sugar contents of the fruit, the greater the yield of moonshine. Therefore, the wild sweet cherry brew is better to be made following the second recipe, adding sugar and yeast. This will preserve the characteristic aroma.
Sweet Cherry Moonshine without Yeasts and Sugar (First recipe)
You’ll get a natural product without any additives. In order to preserve natural yeast, sweet cherries are picked in a dry sunny weather and not washed. The only flaw of this recipe is a low yield of moonshine due to low sugar contents of the berries.
• Sweet Cherries – 13.2 lbs/6 kg
• Water – 0.53 gl/2 liters
1. Remove stalks and leaves from unwashed sweet cherries.
2. Mash the berries until you get homogenous mass. It’s important to mash each berry.
3. Tie up the bottleneck with gauze and leave it for 2-3 days in a warm place.
4. After the fermentation has started (foaming on the surface, a hissing sound), pour the mass into a fermentation container, add water and stir it up.
5. Install an airlock on the bottleneck and put the container itself in a dark warm place (optimal temperature is 78.8-87.8°F/26-31°C). After 14-20 days the sweet cherry brew will be ready for distillation. It will stop fermenting, get brighter, and become unsweet.
6. Filter the brew through gauze in order to separate pits and pulp from the liquid part, because they might burn during distillation.
7. Distill the purified brew in a moonshine still, separating the distillate into fractions. In order to improve the quality, I recommend doing a second distillation.
The first distillation yield – 700-800 ml of sweet cherry moonshine with 35-37% ABV. After the second distillation, you’ll get 300-350 ml with 53-56% ABV.
By diluting the distillate to 40-45% you’ll get a beverage with unique woody-fruity aroma and a slight almond aftertaste from the pits. If you don’t like the almond aftertaste, you should remove the pits from the brew on the second stage.
Sugar Sweet Cherry Brew with Yeast (Second recipe)
A beverage reminiscent of Kirshwasser – German cherry vodka.
• Sweet Cherries – 22 lbs/10 kg
• Sugar – 5 lbs/2.5 kg
• Water – 3.1 gl/12 liters
• Yeasts – 2 oz/60 grams of dry or 10.5 oz/300 grams of compressed
1. Mash the berries and put the obtained mass into a fermentation container.
2. Dilute yeasts according to manual.
3. Add diluted yeasts to the mashed sweet cherries.
4. Stir it up, install an airlock, and put the container into a dark place with a temperature of 78.8-87.8°F/26-31°C.
5. After 7-12 days when the fermentation has stopped, distill the brew in a moonshine still.
The yield is about 0.8-1 gl/3-4 liters of aromatic sweet cherry moonshine with an almond aftertaste and 40% ABV. Just like in the first recipe in order to get rid of the almond taste you’ll have to make the brew without the pits. It takes time but there’s no other way.