Sip This…: Uncle Finus’ Grape Moonshine Recipe (Homemade Hooch)

We keep telling you that summer is coming.We’re not trying to scare you, just trying to get ready. This summer, if you live near a beach, or any body of water, you owe it to yourself to chill as close to the water as you can.  And whilst thou art chilling, you need to drink you a cup, tin, bowl, thimble, jug or barrel of homemade moonshine.

That’s right. Moonshine. Hooch.  Rotgut. Homebrew. We’re going to teach you how to make your own.  With just a few very simple ingredients.  By no means do we advocate making several batches of this and selling them at the beach to your folks, but we’re not telling you not to do it, either. We do encourage you to try to vary the recipe once you have the basic recipe down.  You can come up with your own moonshine drink recipes.


Moonshine Drink Recipes Base

Let’s get started.  First, you’ll need:

  • 2 – 12 oz. cans frozen grape juice (Juice. Actual juice.)
  • 3 1/2 cups of white granulated sugar (don’t get fancy here, regular all-purpose sugar will work, so put the hipster raw sugar up)
  • 1 package of active yeast
  • A large Balloon and some strong string one gallon Jug

First, set the grape juice out to thaw, until slushy. Next, mix the sugar thoroughly in with the grape juice.  Pour the sugar and juice, into the gallon jug (it doesn’t have to actually be a jug, but we’re making moonshine, and when you make moonshine you make it in a jug. Moonshine gets made in a jug. Period.).

Dissolve the yeast in a ½ cup of lukewarm* water and add to the juice mixture in the gallon jug. (*If water is too warm, it will kill the active ingredient in the yeast that causes fermentation. 105 degrees is a good temp to shoot for)  Mix everything carefully. Now add enough lukewarm water to fill the gallon jug up to about 2 to 3 inches below the neck.

When this is done, place the balloon over the top of neck and secure tightly with string.  Note! This must be an air tight fit…If it’s not the gases will escape completely and the mixture will never ferment into moonshine.

If you have followed all directions carefully, the balloon will soon start to expand with the gas, caused by the fermentation.  Store the mixture in a cool , dry area. Sixty to 75 degrees is ideal. Depending on temperature the whole fermentation process should take about 3-6 weeks.


If you do plan on coming up with your own moonshine drink recipes and variations, make sure you write things down.  And properly label the bottles.  You want to make sure that all of your homemade hooch recipes don’t get mixed up. There’s nothing worse than not being able to recreate your favorite moonshine because you didn’t write down the drink recipes.  Take notes.

Check the balloon every other day.  If the balloon expands too large, untie and allow the gas to escape and then retie, but be sure to retie tightly to make it air tight again.  When the balloon ceases to expand, the wine is done.

Strain your moonshine wine with a cheese cloth or a tea towel and pour into a bottle, using a snap-on type of cap or use a cork. Drink the moonshine wine. Drink all of the moonshine wine.

NOTICE –  Do not bottle the wine  before it is done. Working wine (fermenting) can explode a bottle from the gas pressure of fermentation

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