Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Making Brandy at Home

Have you ever tried homemade liqueur or liquor?

Lemoncello is easy enough to make and I might post a recipe tomorrow.  Today we're making Brandy!

I found this 8 simple steps to making Brandy at and it's "oh so simple."  The only problem I have with the recipe is there is no specific amount of yeast.  I have NO idea how much yeast to use.

1.  Choose a fruit such as peaches, pears, grapes or nectarine. Grapes or wine is the default choice.
2.  Sterilize your receptacles (fermenting container, boiling pot). You want them to be as clean as possible. Do the same with your fruit.
3.  Remove all stems and leaves. Fill your fermenting container with over %51 percent fruit.
4.  Add %25 percent water. Your fermenting container or boiling pot should be only %75 full for safety reasons.
5.  Mash with something similar to a manual potato masher.
6.  Boil resulting concoction for five minutes stirring frequently.
7.  Return to fermenting container and add the correct amount of yeast.
8.  Cover, use an airlock, or leave uncovered, for a week or more.
After that you have %9-%15 A.B.V. wine. True brandy is made with grapes and/or other fruit with no added sugar. Brandy is the resulting liquid from distilling this wine.

Things you’ll need:
Fruit, such as peaches or blackberries
Something to ferment the brandy in (crock pots or large glass bowls with lids are best)
Plastic wrap

And now to solve the yeast issue!  I found another recipe at and I've added it below.  It's a much bigger recipe so you'll have to figure out how much brandy you'd like to make.

Making your own homemade brandy at home is easy, inexpensive, and an all natural choice when considering home distilling your own alcoholic beverages. All you need is a 5 gallon container, 4 quarts of berries or fruits, 10 pounds of sugar, 2 boxes of white raisins, 2 oranges, a block a baking yeast (found in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores), and 4 gallons of water.

I prefer using a 5 gallon glass water bottle with a cork top that has a vent. This prevents any bugs from entering your mixture. Many use a crock and cover it with cheese cloth though.

Directions: To activate the yeast and melt the sugar, you must add warm water. Slowly stir in sugar to your water and yeast mixture. Add 4 quarts of cleaned berries or fruits. Add2 boxes of white raisins. Slice oranges into quarter and add them whole including the rhine. Stir vigorously until mixed well.

Let stand covered and stir once a day for seven days.

Let stand for 21 days, and the brandy is ready to serve.

Because brandy is a distilled product, some might debate the fact that the results from this recipe would produce wine. In fact, it does, but it is a very potent and sweet wine that will stimulate any discriminating taste bud.

If you use champagne yeast, it will result in a greater alcohol content, but it will need require unnatural ingredients added to the mixture in order to slow the process. If you do not use the additive, you end up with a disturbing type of grain alcohol that tastes horrible.

I got this recipe a few years ago, and I've made many types of brandy with it. My favorite is strawberry, but you can use blueberries, black berries, rasberries, or any type of berry that is edible even elderberries to make this delicious concoction.

It is best served cold and shared with friends. This comes with a warning though. I live in a small remote village, and when I first started making this I developed more friends. The problem was, I was responsible for keeping all my friends drunk. They loved my brandy so much that they would show up at my house all the time, and ask continually for to-go bottles.

Moderation is the key. If your friends are like many of mine, they do not know the meaning of the word, and you might stop making this recipe, and if you do make it, you will not tell anyone but your closest friends or relatives.

If you intend to make this tasty recipe, start saving empty glass bottles to store your creation. Plastic bottle explode upon opening. I do not recommend using plastic storage bottles.


Laura @ Laura Williams Musings said...

Thank you for linking this up at the Carnival of Home Preserving!

Nutrition Articles said...

this is just a fantastic tip !!

mary_smith said...

Thank you! I'm really enjoying the link-up parties. I've found so many great recipes.

Julie Marling said...

New GFC follower from Take it Tuesday. My family used to make wine when I was growing up.

Love for you to follow back when you get a chance ;)

mary_smith said...

Welcome Julie! I've "met" so many new bloggers from so many link parties. Sadly, the brandy recipe didn't make into the cookbook but I did include an easy Lemoncello recipe.

Betsy @ Romance on a Dime said...

This is very cool - thanks for sharing these recipes.

I'm so glad you linked up at Romance on a dime. I'm now following you. I hope to see you next Tuesday!!

mary_smith said...

Thank you Betsy! I'm now following you! Thanx again for your comments on Mary's Real Food Cookbook. I'm so excited about the response so far.

Feral Turtle said...

Thanks for visiting me! We make wine from our raspberries. We have also made chocolate raspberry port last year which is incredible and a raspberry mead (melomel) which we haven't tried. Hubby now brews his own beer too and used the raspberries to make a raspberry stout. I love using what we grow. It is so rewarding! I am your newest follower. Cheers.

Joy said...

Mary, this making brandy post really caught my eye....maybe because it's Monday? :) Ha! It really does look good!

Thank you for joining us for Let's Get Social Sunday!

Love, Joy

John Howard said...

Loved the recipe. I usually only make beer, but I have a small 2 gallon pot that I may try and make some wine.

davidazus said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gui Braga said...

what is the "correct amount of yeast"

Gui Braga said...

what is the "correct amount of yeast"

Jim Reaves said...

Sorry, I guess I'm missing something here but I don't know how much packet yeast to use instead of cake yeast. No stores around here carry the block backing yeast.

frodo said...

and voila! 5 gallons of bread. please dont reinvent the wheel people. wine yeasts have been crafted and cultured to make wine. bread yeast makes bread tasting bread water. you arent in jail so use wine yeast for wine. and lets be clear, brandy is not fermented fruit. that is fruit wine. brandy is distilled wine. 1 pack of wine yeast will easily make 10 gallons of wine. its not rocket science.

Mary Smith said...

For those of you asking about yeast: find your local homebrew store or check online.
@ Frodo: Not everyone is an "expert" as you seem to think of yourself.

michael syrowski said...

The second recipe seems to be off for brandy. It seems to me to be a recipe for wine. I make plenty of wine but am trying to turn it into brandy. I gave 5 gallons to a friend to distill and what he gets is basically straight alcohol. Is there some advice you can give in that regards? Please email me at Thanks in advance

Buck Duffy said...

purchase a water distiller and distill your wine,
Take a large glass container that can seal air tight. I use an old pickle jar (2 gal.) Fill the container in layers with fruit and sugar I use one cup of sugar to one quart of fruit. Fill the container to the top. Pour in your distilled wine leave 1/2 inch of head space. Turn over a few times three times a day for ten days this is to get the sugar to dissolve. put in a dark corner and let sit six months. Pour off in glass containers slowly through a sieve layered with cheese cloth. I have made rasberry, blackberry, rasberry/blackberry mix, apricot, ginger, and plum. Plum is my favorite. Very strong and very smooth.

Robin Taylor said...

Your article on making brandy was very informative. One question I have is the following.

To go from a wine or a beer product do I have to distill using heat or can I freeze to get rid of the ice?


Carolyn Kornegay said...

Can I substitute dry yeast for the block? If so, how much would I use. Can't find block yeast in my town. Thanks.