Hatton House Diaries

One day, we decided to buy a 125 year old Victorian House in Des Moines, Iowa…….

Peach Brandy! (T Minus a Month) July 11, 2012

imageI posted on Facebook asking for ideas for what to do with my 10 gallons of peaches, and by far, the most interesting idea in my book was “peach brandy.” I did some research online, and found a recipe for peach brandy on Cooks.comthat was as follows:

2 gallons + 3 quarts boiled water
3 qts. peaches, extremely ripe
3 lemons, cut into sections
2 sm. pkgs. yeast
10 lbs. sugar
4 lbs. dark raisins
Place peaches, lemons and sugar in crock. Dissolve yeast in water (must NOT be to hot). Stir thoroughly. Stir daily for 7 days. Keep crock or vessel covered with cheesecloth.On the 7th day, add the raisins and stir. Let mixture sit UNTOUCHED for 21 days, then bottle. (5 gallon crocks).

So my friend Rachel came over and helped process the peaches (we left skins on, because on another website I read it said it would give the brandy a rose color). I got the crock bleached, the ingredients all boiled, chopped, and covered, and it’s going.

When I stirred it this morning, it was very fizzy and smelled like alcohol, but I think it was just the yeast. The things I’m unsure of are whether or not cheesecloth is enough to keep bugs out, and if I’m supposed to cover it for the 21 days or not. Then my mother in law stopped by tonight and said if you don’t chop up the raisins, they can swell up and explode. Apparently this happened in another family member’s wine making.

So here’s your chance to voice your opinion/advice on our first brandy making venture. Save us from our inexperienced selves as needed!


11 Responses to “Peach Brandy! (T Minus a Month)”

  1. nanxy Says:

    1–sounds like w you will have peach wine, not peach brandy: brandy is usually fortified or distilled. Then again w/out having measured the amount of sugar you had once it was all mixed it’s hard to say how much alcohol you’ll end up with.
    2–what kind of yeast did you use? bread yeast or wine yeast?
    3–I would keep it covered for the entire time, esp. to keep out bugs. As it ferments it will become more alcoholic & less sugary, so bugs will become less of a problem. Have you secured the cheesecloth or is it just draped over?
    4–I have never heard of raisins exploding in a wine & have been member of a home-winemaking club for 20 years….
    5–you probably want to wait until it entirely stops fizzing before bottling, (otherwise your bottles might explode) bu tin this heat it ought to ferment really quickly anyway
    6– then let it settle so you don’t have any sediment in the bottles. You definitely should siphon it to get it from bucket to bottle, so you don’t disturb the muck @ the bottom. I think that’s why it says to leave it UNTOUCHED.
    7–taste it of course: if it isn’t sweet enough or ‘strong’ enough you can back sweeten & add “real” brandy or some vodka to make it more of a peach liqueur. Or just enjoy the peach wine you made 😉

    • Interesting! I haven’t secured the cheesecloth yet, since I’m still in the stirring stage. Where would I find wine yeast for future reference? Do you have a good peach brandy making method for next year? And thanks….I was not looking forward to chopping up 4 pounds of raisins! For bottling, what would you recommend using for bottling, and does it have to be sealed it we aren’t going to drink it right away? Is it like liquor or wine in shelf life?

      • nancy Says:

        As far as bottles, you could use anything (start saving leftover wine bottles!) but it should be glass. Or, you usually can find interesting bottles @ Cost Plus/World Market. You’re in the Des Moines area, right? A quick search found these sources for info & supplies–you could get stoppers for used wine bottles, or even buy new, I’d imagine. (and wine yeast for your next batch….)
        • Heartland Homebrew Supply
        The Largest Homebrew Wine and Beer Making Supply Store in the Mid-West.
        “Have a question? E-mail or call us any time toll-free”
        Heartland Homebrew Supply
        232 6th St.
        W. Des Moines, IA 50265
        (866) 299-9621

        • Beer Crazy
        At our store you’ll find…
        Homebrewing Supplies
        Wine-making Supplies
        3908 NW Urbandale Drive/100th Street,
        Urbandale, Iowa 50322

        • New City Market.
        Beer and Wine-Making Supplies
        “For home-brewers we carry a full range of equipment and supplies at very competitive prices.”
        New City Market is located on the corner of 48th and University in Des Moines, Iowa.

        Have Fun!

  2. Hmm. With wild/back yard peaches I would think you would have natural yeast and not need to add any. Did you use wine yeast, or regular bread yeast? Because they are different and do different things to fruit, as far as I know. Do you directions call for you to strain out the fruit, or leave it all in there for 21 days? Sounds sort of like a rumtopf. But I honestly haven’t made a lot of homemade booze: just berry cordials. Here is that recipe, if you’re interested: http://localkitchenblog.com/2009/07/06/homemade-berry-cordial/

  3. Erika Says:

    So, it’s actually an Eau de vie and not “brandy” in the pure sense….. but it still has to be distilled to get the clarity. I was reading into this because I just finished putting up 75lbs of peaches and was looking for ideas. But to make an actual good liquor and not just something really acoholic it seemed more challenging than I wanted to take on. You’ll have to let us know how it turns out – from what I am reading the peach taste is non-existant and barely “fruity” at all. Can’t wait for a review!

  4. There are multiple kinds of yeast in the world? Interesting…. I used baking yeast, uneducated brandy/wine maker that I am!

  5. […] “What the heck do you make with kale?” I asked one of my girlfriends. The plants looked so pretty at the Downtown Farmer’s Market, but I’m not (yet) a green smoothie girl and I was pretty much at a loss for what to do with all my kale. My garden has largely failed, struggling through our very dry year and suffering from being too shaded by a tree that I’m guessing was not as tall when our garden plats were laid out years ago. But wouldn’t you know it, the one thing I don’t know how to use is going great. I just stared at it for a few weeks, but then it seemed wrong to not reward the kale’s perseverance under such challenging conditions. We had to find a way to eat this stuff. So I asked my friend Rachel, who was so helpful with my peach situation. […]

  6. […] or that woman that leveled her house with a chutney explosion. Last year, I avoided canning entirely and made peach brandy, and then froze the rest of my peach […]

  7. Luke Says:

    A few years later…. How did this end up?

    Currently fermenting 5kg of peaches with 5kg of sugar, with some wine yeast, citric acid & rasins… Getting tasty, just wondering if your effort ended up drying out a lot? Concern is if I let it ferment right out, I’d loose some of that peachy fruitiness. Time will tell!

    Step 2 would be to take 2l and freeze off all the water content. We are a house of evil geniuses.

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