Peach Brandy Pictorial

Peeled peaches, sugar, and half-gallon jar

Fill jar with peaches and sugar, alternating layers until full. Cap jar and wait.

 

Six months later…

 

Peach juice and sugar has combined to make brandy

Strain brandy through colander into first bowl

Pour brandy from first bowl through cheese cloth into second bowl

Funnel brandy into a favorite bottle. Enjoy!

Published on March 23, 2011 at 9:32 am  Comments (73)  

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  1. [...] year, a good friend of mine and fellow blogger recommended that I try making his peach brandy. I had never made my own alcohol before so I thought why not, this would be the perfect time to [...]

  2. Dated 6/19/12

    Well, I started out with this recipe and decided to cut my peaches into smaller pieces, since I had no half gallon jars…only quart size. Also my peaches were dead ripe (and delicious) and I removed the pits. The peeled peaches in the pics above look a little “crunchy”. Anyway, I had about a gallon of peeled, quartered peaches and ended up with about six quarts of put-back after adding sugar, and that includes leaving about an inch of space at the top of each jar. Now I only have to wait six months before I strain them for brandy.

    I was tempted to put a bit of yeast in them for a jump-start, but opted out for sake of ignorance as to the effect, especially since there is no cooking involved. Maybe next time I will experiment. This all sounds too easy from what I read re all the other recipes. I believe my brandy will be a bit on the “soft” side without pits or raisins, which other inet recipes indicate imparts a “nutty” influence. By the way, it took almost exactly 5 pounds of sugar for six quarts of put-back.

    Question…should I open the lids periodically (like monthly) to relieve the pressure or is the pressure insufficient to be of concern in a quart mason jar?

    If I can remember (more and more difficult these days), I will come back in December and advise you good folks re the effect of the recipe modifications.

  3. USING YOUR RECIPE, I MADE NINE QUARTS OF THE PEACH BRANDY ABOUT A MONTH AGO. YESTERDAY I INSPECTED THEM AND FOUND THAT THE FERMENTATION PRESSURE INSIDE HAD BUCKLED THE LIDS. TO PREVENT A DISASTER I ALLOWED THE PRESSURE TO ESCAPE AND RECAPPED THEM.

    THERE WAS AN UNMISTAKEABLE PEACHY ALCOHOL AROMA AND IT SMELLED WONDERFUL. NOW I NOTICE THAT THE FRUIT IS BEING PRESSED BACK DOWN AGAIN BECAUSE OF THE PRESSURE. WE WRAPPED THE BOTTLES IN PLASTIC BAGS TO PREVENT A CATASTROPHY. CAN YOU GIVE ME SOME INSIGHT AS TO HOW I SHOULD HANDLE THE BATCH GOING FORWARD?

    THANKS FOR YOUR TIME!!

    DOUG

    • Thanks for your comment Doug. Glad to hear you’re trying out the recipe. I had the same problem with my lid buckling from the fermentation pressure. I just left it alone (didn’t release the pressure) and opened it at the six month mark. I’ve made several batches and I’ve never had a jar break, even when I’ve left the batch in too long (three or so months extra). In any case, your plastic bag solution won’t hurt anything. Good luck!

      • I found your recipe and was pretty pumped. I started the process immediately. But i was curious to know if you or anyone else has tried this with different types of fruit and if so was the fermentation period the same?

  4. I found your recipe and was pretty pumped, i started the process immediately with peaches. I was curious however if you or anyone else had tried different fruit using the same process? If so was the fermentation period the same and how was the end result?

    • I’ve made batches of peach, plum, and apple brandy. I’ve used the sixth month fermentation period for all the batches and I think apple turned out the best (although the plum was pretty good as well). Good luck with making your own!

  5. Today I found your recipe for Peach Brandy, and as I found myself to be waist deep in fresh peaches, I immediately set to work. I used the smaller peaches and put them in a gallon glass jar previously used for dill pickles. I followed your instructions making sure to fill all spaces with sugar and then capped the jar. I was wondering if I could put a cinnamon stick in the jar as well or would that not be a good idea. I think spiced peach brandy sounds yummy, don’t you? If I wanted to have the end product be more clear do you think I could run it through my Britta water pitcher with a new filter on it or would the charcoal inside the filter remove the alcohol content of the brandy? Oh and I just looked at the jar with the peaches and sugar and now that the sugar is melting should I add more sugar to keep the peaches covered or leave it as it is?

    • Thanks for your comment Deborah!

      I’ve never added cinnamon sticks or anything like that before, but let me know how it turns out – there are no rules! Also, my final product has always been a little cloudy, but I’m not sure how the brandy would react with the filter. Your guess is as good as mine. I’d run just a touch through to see how it differs from the unfiltered batch, becacuse you don’t want to have to wait another six months for a second bottle.

      Don’t worry about adding more sugar – all the sugar (well, most of it anyway) will melt and the peaches will eventually just float at or near the “waterline” of the melted sugar. Just keep the jar sealed in a cool, shaded space for at least six months. Then, enjoy!

  6. Do I need to place the finished product in the fridg, will it go bad if I don’t?

    • Only if you want it chilled. I’ve made several batches and all of them have sat out. Just find a good bottle with a seal or cork and you should be good to go!

  7. What is the alcohol content on this when finished? Also the only glass jar of appropriate size is the glass lidded kind with the swing wire lid and rubber gasket. Do you think that should be a problem with the pressure building up that others have reported?

    • Good question about the alcohol content – I have yet to figure that one out myself. In terms of the gasket top jar, up, that should be fine. While some pressure builds, I don’t think it’s sufficient to actually break glassware. I’ve made several batches and haven’t had any problems. Good luck!

  8. First batch up! Lol I happened upon 1/2 bushel of peaches just after finding this recipe. So far 2 jars up. The first jar I did whole peaches and only 3 fit in 1/2 gal jar. 2nd jar I cut up and stuffed more in maybe 4 1/2 . Iz that eniugh peaches or should i repack with more ? Wow it will be almost spring when I get to try this can’t wait. If I leave it longer will it be ok? This might be good for making harvest fruit cakes next Christmas as opposed to plastic fruit cake lol. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Have you tried this with other fruit. Also i have the peach in it will be ready in February will let you lnow how it turns out.

    • Erica – I’ve made several batches of peach, one batch of plum, and one batch of apple. Used the same recipe with each. Good luck!

      • Re: apple…cored or no?

      • Not cored, just peel and layer just like the peach brandy recipe.

      • One question my batches that i started in august still have a hard layer of sugar on tje bottom (like rock solid hard) is this normal

      • Yep that’s pretty normal. After you strain the peaches and brandy out, run some hot water in the bottom of your jar. The sugar will soften right up and wash out with no problem.

      • I saw that in mine and got a wooden spoon and stirred it up (not as easy as it sounds lol) that’s not going to hurt it will it?? I do look at them occasionally (in a cupboard I only get into once in a while) and shake them up a bit redistribute the contents. Looking forward to March when I can sample the finished product. One other question can it be left longer? (If I can resist) I was thinking to leave one to stew til summertime will that increase the alcohol content or have a negative effect? Thanks yet again :-)

      • My best advice is: set it and forget it. I know it’s difficult but opening, stirring, redistributing, etc disturbs the natural process of the fruit converting the sugar to alcohol. That’s my take!

  10. What do you think about his reciepe with pumpkin or banana’s ?

    • I haven’t tried either, but there’s no reason not to try! Good luck!

  11. Okay, I had to open my Peach Brandy even though it won’t be ready until the end of January, yeah I couldn’t wait and yes I drank some…..did you think I wouldn’t? It was very good very peachy with a hint of the cinnamon stick I added to the batch. It is almost clear, just a little hazy with bits of peach floating here and there, very sweet and kind of melts when you taste it. I think I’m going to like this of; course I might drink it before its even done it has a nice warm feel to it.

  12. [...] Seems interesting http://thehipflask.wordpress.com/peach-brandy-pictorial/ [...]

  13. O.K., good folks, here we go…

    It’s been six months since I started my peach brandy. As I reported back in July, I used quart jars and VERY ripe, wonderful peaches. In a nutshell the results were disappointing, to say the least. The contents had expanded and had filled the jars, and the upper layer of the then floating peaches was a brownish color (first clue) , and the contents had a slightly metallic aroma/taste (second clue). All three that I opened were the same. In addition, the lids had blackened around the edges. After straining the contents through a colander, I sampled the brandy. It had, as feared, a metallic aftertaste that was almost overcome by the extraordinary sweetness. I know, brandy is sweet, and I expected that, but this had the consistency and sweetness of pancake syrup, plus almost no peachy-alcohol nuance. It was undrinkable. By the way, I left the last three quarts in the cupboard out of fear of the same results. Guess I’ll go ahead and bite the bullet now.

    What I think happened was: when I eased the lids about three or four months ago to relieve the pressure that was buckling the lids and (I thought) was going to burst the jars, the resulting expansion of the fermenting fruit got into the metallic lids/rings. In the process, even though I tightened the lids, I think the seal was damaged and allowed the alcohol to escape through the compromised seals. Over the next three or four months the lids/rings corroded and turned the upper layer brown and contaminated the fermenting fruit.

    Moral: let the pressure build because it presses the fruit down away from the tops and you don’t chance damaging the seal. Also, it has been reported that bulging lids are not a big issue.

    As for the extraordinary sweetness, I have no clue, unless the alcohol that was allowed to leak out through the damaged(?) seals would have used up the over-sweetness in the fermentation process.

    Any perspectives would be appreciated.

    Doug Graybeal (Branson, MO)

    • Sorry to hear your batches didn’t work out! The half-dozen I’ve had turn out successful were made in half gallon or gallon jars – half gallon mason jars was what Ms. Holland recommended in the recipe I re-created.

      That said, the brandies I’ve made are extremely sweet and very viscous – they still pour like liquids, but are definitely thicker than water. Also, since you aren’t actually distilling the brandy (as commercial liquors are), the results are absolutely homemade. That said, I’ve never experienced the metallic flavor you mentioned, so I’d agree with you that it’s probably due to the lack of seal.

      So, trouble-shooting: larger jars and a tight seal unbroken during the six month fermentation period. A trick I’ve used: add some masking tape over the lid and write the date to be opened. Thus, if you want to monkey with it, you’ll have to break the tape, which might discourage disturbing the contents.

      Here’s hoping your next batch is better – good luck and happy drinking!

  14. The batch I made I have mine fermenting in a vat and I’m one month in and I’m making home made peach brandy I added cherrys (pittless) with 3 tsp of yeast and I need to cook it I believe. What is the reasonable temp and how long also what is the fermentation length, and do I need to distill it or would it be fine to just filter and drink? Desperately need to know looked on prior sites some say yes some say no what would be the easiest and best way to make it?

    • Btw this is my first time dealing in home made drink

    • Unfortunately, I can’t recommend any advice on distillation as I have no experience using yeast or a distillery. I’ve only used the method that I described in my post. Sorry I can’t be of more assistance!

  15. Just curious if my comment went trough

    • It did, apologies for the delay in posting. Best of luck with your drink!

  16. Does this work with no distilling and can u do it with mashed pumpkin and apple sause

    • Yes, the process does not use distillation, simply natural fermentation. And I have not tried it with pumpkin and apple sauce – I’ve only tried it with whole plums, peaches, and apples.

      I suppose there’s only one way to find out! Good luck!

  17. Thank you for your help I shall tell you the results in the next six to seven months and is it true that the longer it sits its proof increases and do you know it’s percent or proof yet sencie the other batches?

  18. There is no hurry and thank you any advice for minor adjustments such as different containers what to use what not to use like what about pickle jars will they stand the pressure do you think (this info would be greatly appreciate) since I’m using pickle jars not masons

    • Pickle jars should work fine as long as they have a tight seal.

      • Any advice on dealing with water heavy fruits such as watermelon cantalope banana and so forth would greatly appreciate I made some and it was a lil premature but it was beyond words. Now I regret tossing it

  19. Hello

    My peach brandy is just about done, just waiting to filter it an soforth. The question came to mind as ive tried to go back over the various questions posted in relation to this peach brandy, and while ive seen several questions pertaining to different ingredients, apple, pumpkin, etc. i have yet to see any questions about berries. So thats my question have you or anyone tried any berries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries. These types of fruit tend to spoil faster and tend to have a softer skin to them, would these factors just mentioned exclude them as good candidates for fermentation in the same manner as peaches? Or do think there might possibly be a different process?

    • I have done a very similar brandy with raspberries or blackberries. They both turn out fabulous. For the berry alcohol, I weigh out equal parts of berries (unwashed – if you wash them it removes the natural yeast) and sugar and then layer into a quart jar. I cap (but do not tighten) and leave for 4-6 months. I have found that the blackberry alcohol should be strained to remove the seeds because they are pretty big, but I usually don’t remove the raspberry seeds. I serve mine as a syrup over vanilla ice-cream. Yum.

  20. See that baffles me and idk because I tried it with banana and the banana rotted twice as fast as the other and the alcohol content was definitely noticeable but was not strong I don’t know if there is a different process but I am very curious about this being that banana and strawberry are my favorite fruits pleas do tell and give a heads up on this issue

    • I haven’t tried bananas before, so I can’t imagine why they broken down quicker than other fruits. Perhaps bananas have more fructose/higher natural sugar content than other fruit? Just guessing, here.

  21. Opened one of my jars tonight couldnt wait 2 more weeks. Was really good. Sweet but definitely warms u up. Going to try this with blackberries this summer. Also one question do you think blueberries would wotk for this and strawberries as well.

    • I’ve never tried blackberries, but I don’t see why they couldn’t work. Just make sure to create a full layer of berries between layers of sugar, wait the six months, and see what happens – good luck!

  22. I imagine but they did rot faster and within a month and a half the alcohol was detectable I strained it took a sip and was really sweet and warmed you but I didn’t want it to be too strong or for anything to happen since I’m in experienced in this field I’m still learning

  23. Well 1 month til I open mine and looking forward to it :-) Its so tempting to open one of the 2 bottles ;-)

  24. How big is the bottle in the last picture? and how many 1/2 gallon jars did it take to yield that amount? I want to try and make this but I want to make sure I end up with a good amount of it.

    I just bought 2x 1 gallon glass barrel jugs and I was going to make one peach and one apple (with some cinnamon sticks). How much would one gallon of prep yield for the final product?

    • The final bottle is a standard 750 ml bottle – a used Hibiki whisky bottle. A half gallon batch of brandy filled the bottle about 85% of the 750 ml bottle. I made a batch of apple brandy in a one gallon jar a while back and it filled about one and a half 750 ml bottles worth of brandy.

      I hope this helps – remember, it’s not an exact science and different fruits will be broken down by the sugar at different rates, thus yielding slightly different quantities. If all else fails, you can just wash out the jar used for fermentation and pour the finished product back into it. I’ve had to do this before and it works just fine.

      Good luck!

      • I understand it’s not an exact science, just trying to prepare for how much I will have when I’m done. I’m hoping to have enough for a couple of smaller flask sized Christmas presents for the family. Thanks for the quick response! I look forward to trying some.

  25. Well mine were due to be opened March 6th but I waited til my son came for a visit from Atlanta this weekend to experience it with me. We opened one Monday night and am leaving the other til summer. It was thick and had a definite alcohol odor. My son and I tasted and it was super sweet and syrupy, and definitely a light alcohol warmness. This batch was the one I cut up the peaches, skins on, and threw in the pits as well. The peaches themselves were almost the consistency of a very fresh soft dried apricot (and quite yummy). I only got to strain it threw a colander so it had peachy bits in it, not a bad thing. I plan on straining some of it through cheesecloth for comparison. A 1/2 gallon jar yielded slightly more than 1 quart of brandy. I thought it was lovely and dessert on its own lol. My son had the bright idea of grabbing a bottle of brandy and thinning it some. I think he finally settled on an addition of 1 part brandy to 2 parts peach brandy which was nice, our sweet tooth differs. I liked it as is, but the mix was nice too. Cant wait to see how the additional time will effect the other batch (also this one I used the peaches whole and peeled as in the pictorial and there is still a layer of sugar on the bottom but this is also the one I mixed back in December and the peaches broke up). As for the peach slices that remain I am pondering what to do with them. They are too good to waste and I am thinking pie, smaller one tho not quite enough for a 9″ but maybe a full 6 or a thin 8, although a loaf of peach bread with the boozy peaches and some of the brandy for the liquid might be a winner. I do know that this summer I am purchasing a bushel or 2 and putting up more than a gallon lol. Will also be trying other fruits like pears, apples anything else I can get my hands on :-) Thanks for posting the recipe and so glad I came across it. Will share about the other batch in the summer when I open it which I’m thinking July 4th :-) Oh and also when I figure out what to make with the peaches.

  26. We just opened our first half gallon jar. It smelled like Peach Beer. There was more slime in it that expected. After filtering 5 times we got 1 cup of juice. We followed your directions completely, except that we opened the jar at 8 months instead of 6 months. We wanted to share this on my birthday with family and friends. The jar had also leaked a bit. Can you help us out on what went wrong? We will have pears, apricots and peaches this summer and want to try again.
    Help.

    • Still have not heard back from you regarding why my Peach Brandy smells like Peach Beer. HELP. I want to try this again but need to know what happened…
      please respond to leroy_ruth@msn.com

      • I’ve never had a batch turn out smelling like beer, but what you’re smelling is likely yeast. That makes me think your container wasn’t completely sealed. I’ve always had good luck with glass mason jars with the metal sealing ring.

  27. Anyone make a mixed-fruit brandy? I am thinking of doing a peach-raspberry just by adding a thick layer of berrys to the middle, but another poster’s misgivings about the use of berries has me unsure.

    Thoughts?

    • I’d say go for it – what’s to lose?!

      • I am starting it tonight, I will post back and tell you how it went in about 6 months.

  28. We used 1/2 glass mason jars with the seal and metal ring also. Could the fact that we let is sit for 8 months instead of 6 be the cause? There was one jar that did leak, but the other 5 did not.

    • I’ve let past batches sit for a little longer than six months and it’s never caused a break (which isn’t to say that that wasn’t the issue here). I’m stumped! Though it’s good to know that your other batches didn’t leak.

  29. just started a batch. can you use a plastic lid? my jar is 2qt. size

    • I’ve never used a plastic lid – I recommend mason jars with the metal ring seal. Pressure will build inside the container as the sugar is broken down and I’m not sure whether the plastic lid will stay on.

  30. Okay you guys have teased me enough…. so what all am I going to need to try this.. I can’t seem to find the recipe… only what I have read on here…

    • You just need Peaches and sugar. peel the peaches but don’t take the pits out, then alternate layers in the jar. I only got 5 whole peaches in a 1/2 galon jar (to give you an idea of how many you would need). Make sure your layers start and end with sugar and make sure there are no gaps.

      you can use any fruit you like it seems and I currently have 2 peach, 2 apple 1 peach raspberry and 1 pear on the go. I will let you know how it goes.

  31. I just chacked my peach batches over the weekend. they have been in there for about a month and I have a very substantial layer of sugar at the bottom. I would say about 1/3 of the jar seems to be just sugar. As i’ve said, they have only been in there a month so I’m not sure if this is normal, and that more of this sugar will break down, or if I did something wrong… I know I’m not supposed to open the jars, but I’m worried about the end product. Any imput would be very appreciated.

    I put a black mark on the jar at the “sugar line” to monitor if it goes down at all.

  32. mine is the same.lots of sugar on the bottom of the jar still

  33. Couple of quick questions… Can you use store bought canned sliced peaches? And can I use a plastic jug with the plastic lid… I have a large 15 gallon jug that I was going to fill… its easier to use the store bought sliced peaches in syrup… but don’t know if they will work or not.

    • The recipe I used called for fresh, peeled stone-in peaches, stored in glass mason jars. I don’t know if the pre-sliced peaches would break down the sugar enough. I don’t know whether plastic jugs would work or not, only one way to find out! Although 15 gallons is quite a large quantity – it would likely take far longer than the recommended six month fermentation period for the brandy to be ready.

  34. personally I would stick to the recipe. I would also use the glass jars with metal lids like kerr or ball. one of mine had a plastic lid on the jar and it wasn’t a good enough seal. I would be concerned that the plastic jar might burst. Fresh peaches are better. If I make it again I may use less sugar. I found the end product to be to thick and to sweet.

  35. Should there be sugar at the bottom of jar after 6 months and if so should I let fermentation continue until all the sugar is dissolved?

    • Yes, it’s possible that some won’t completely dissolve. This is common and shouldn’t negatively affect your brandy.

      Just strain out all the brandy you can and enjoy!

  36. Do you need to any water at all? Other recipes seem to call for it but yours doesn’t, yet it has that enticing golden colour. Did all that just come from the dissolving peaches?

    • No water at all – just the juice from peaches and the dissolved sugar. Simple as that.

      Couldn’t be any easier! Good luck!

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