Apple moonshine is a hit amongst home distillers and for good reason. It’s potent, multidimensionally flavored, and reminds us of freshly baked apple pie.
While the common version comprises steeping fresh apples and spices in neutral (Everclear), we believe the remarkable taste lies in distilling an apple wash to create a more refined taste. To this, we add spices and a couple of ingredients to enhance the mellow taste of apples.
In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about apple pie moonshine, including recipe variations and tips to make your own unique spirit.
Table of Contents
What Is Apple Moonshine?
Apple moonshine is a traditional American spirit made by infusing or distilling apples and spices. The result is a warm fruity medley, with a kick.
What Does Apple Moonshine Taste Like?
Apple pie moonshine is sweet and apple-forward with a hint of warmth from the spices. The distilled version is typically smooth with a mellow apple finish.
Apple Pie Moonshine Variations
You can create apple moonshine via infusion or distillation. Both taste divine but have a different mouthfeel and dimension to them. Here’s a look at these variations.
Option1. Easy apple pie moonshine (infused)
If you prefer simplicity and want to avoid the complexities of distilling, the infused method is perfect. This recipe involves macerating apples and spices in a high-proof grain alcohol (Everclear), allowing the flavors to marry over time.
Option 2. Authentic Apple Pie Moonshine (Distilled)
If you’re looking for an authentic moonshine experience and have the equipment for distillation, this method is for you. The process involves fermenting a mixture of apples, sugar, water, and yeast before distilling it. The result? Higher alcohol content and a smoother, more refined flavor profile.
Infused Vs Distilled–Which Is Best?
The choice between infused and distilled apple pie moonshine depends on your preferences and available resources. Infused moonshine is relatively easier to make and retains fresh apple flavors, while distilled moonshine provides a more refined taste and a higher alcohol content.
How Long Does Apple Pie Moonshine Last?
Properly stored apple pie moonshine can last for several months to a year, thanks to its high alcohol content.
Our distilled recipe will last much longer than the infused recipe. In fact, the distilled recipe only gets better with age if you oak it. Whereas the infused recipe contains fresh apple particles which, (though reserved in the alcohol) will eventually go off after time.
How To Make Easy Apple Pie Moonshine (No Distillation)
Skipping the distillation process means you get to enjoy your drink in a matter of days. Here’s an easy apple pie moonshine you can conjure right away!
- 6 cups Everclear
- 4 12 oz/355 ml apple juice concentrate
- 2 fresh apples, quartered
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 2 slices bruised ginger
- 2 cloves
- ½ vanilla bean
- 1 full cinnamon stick
- 1 cup rum (optional)
- Sterilized glass jars
- Wooden spoon
It’ll take 30 minutes to an hour to prepare the moonshine. From here, let it sit for 7 days before consuming it.
- Add the alcohol into a pot.
- Stir in the apple concentrate and add the spices.
- Let it sit overnight.
- Strain into clean glass jars and top with fresh apples, cinnamon stick, and rum (if using).
- Let it sit for 7 days.
- Once complete, strain into a clean glass jar.
How To Make Authentic Distilled Apple Pie Moonshine
- 5 gallons/ 19 L preservative-free apple juice
- ½ tsp yeast nutrient
- 1 packet yeast
- 1 quart/ 950 ml inverted sugar (if you don’t have any at hand, check out this post to have yours ready in 20 minutes)
- ¼ citric acid
It takes about 30 minutes to prepare the wash. From here, allow the wash to ferment for at least 7 days.
- Add the juice and citric acid into a fermenter. Stir well.
- Take a gravity reading. If necessary, add the inverted sugar to bring the reading to 1.065.
- Pitch the yeast and add the yeast nutrient.
- Let the mixture ferment for 7 days at 70°F (21°C).
- Run your still. First, perform a stripping run.
- Perform a spirit run and make cuts.
- To this, you can add apple juice concentrate and spices like cloves, cinnamon, and vanilla bean to create a complex and spicy apple pie moonshine.
Tips And Tricks
- Use crisp apples to enhance the flavor.
- Use good quality yeast.
- Allow the moonshine to age for a few weeks to allow the flavors to meld and mellow.
- Experiment with various spices to create your unique twist. Cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, and cloves are common choices, but get creative and add allspice or cardamom.
Apple pie moonshine is a delightful treat that captures the essence of a homemade apple pie in a boozy form. Whether you choose the infused or distilled method, the result is a delicious, warming spirit you can enjoy with friends and family over the holiday season. We suggest you experiment with different ingredients to truly make it your own and enjoy the process of creating something special.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is apple moonshine made from?
Apple pie moonshine is typically made with a combination of apples, sugar, and spices–cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg–infused in neutral (Everclear).
Q. What are the ingredients in moonshine?
Moonshine can be made from various ingredients, like corn or fruit.
Q. Can you make moonshine out of apples?
Absolutely! Apples are commonly used to make apple moonshine. The natural sweetness and flavors of the apples contribute to the pronounced taste of the spirit. Technically speaking, apple moonshine made from fermenting apples would be called an apple brandy or schnapps.
Q. How can you tell if homemade apple moonshine is bad?
Let me answer this in two parts;
1. If the moonshine has gone off or expired: If your homemade moonshine has an off smell, strange coloration, or tastes unpleasantly sour or rancid, it could be an indication that it has gone bad or is contaminated. In such cases, we suggest you discard it. This could be due to many reasons, like not leaving it sealed, not leaving it in a cool dark place or in sunlight. Or it could be because the ABV of your moonshine is too low to kill off all the bugs.
2. If the moonshine itself is bad: By this we mean its poorly made moonshine with too much heads or tails – which make you very sick, blind, or even kill you. The key to avoiding this is making good cuts. You can learn more about how to avoid methanol when distilling here.
Q. How can you tell if homemade moonshine is good?
Good homemade moonshine should have a pleasant aroma, a smooth taste with well-balanced flavors, and a clear appearance (if distilled). It should be enjoyable to sip and should not have any off-putting or harsh characteristics. It shouldn’t create a prickly burnt in the through or sting the eyes. It should definitely be enjoyable to drink!!