If you have a mulberry tree or two and have tons of mulberries, you can put them to use by making mulberry moonshine. This recipe requires only a few ingredients and time for fermentation. This mulberry brandy recipe can also be diluted a bit to make homemade mulberry wine.
Harvesting mulberries can be done by picking the berries by hand, or laying cheap bedsheets down and shaking the tree. The ripe mulberries will fall onto the sheets for easy collection. Most mulberry trees will produce a crop with a harvest period of June through August. If you need to store mulberries until enough are harvested, you can store mulberries in the freezer (mulberries have a very short shelf life).
- Adding yeast to the recipe can jump-start the fermentation process, yielding homemade moonshine in fewer months. If you are using home-grown mulberries (not store-bought), adding yeast is not necessary because of the natural yeast found on the surface of the mulberry. Store-bought berries are loaded with preservatives and chemicals that prevent the fermentation process, giving the berries a longer shelf-life. Adding yeast will be necessary when using store-bought berries.
- Raisins will add body to the mulberry wine, meaning that they increase the viscosity of the mulberry brandy. This also allows the flavors to linger in the mouth longer, and also gives off a slight caramel taste. Adding raisins may also increase the sweetness of the drink (great for dessert alcohol).
- Pectin can also be added to thicken the mulberry schnapps, however wild mulberries contain a lot of pectin naturally and is not necessary.
- Tannin can be added to increase the bitterness and dryness taste of the moonshine or wine. A natural source of tannin includes green oak leaves and grape leaves.
Mulberry Mead Equipment
- 1 gallon carboy (or glass jar with fermenting airlock lid)
- Flip top bottles (after 5-6 weeks of fermenting)
- 1.5 pounds of mulberries (about 5 cups)
- 1.5 pounds of honey (about 2 cups)
- 0.5 pounds of raisins (about 1.5 cups)
- 1 gallon of water
- Sanitize everything that will be used in the brewing process.
- Heat about 1/2 gallon of water in the pot on low heat. Once it’s starting to steam (not boiling), add the honey and stir it so it dissolves. Let the diluted honey cool to less than 90 degrees Fahrenheit (so that natural yeast is not killed by hot water).
- Add mulberries and raisins into the one-gallon jug.
- Use the funnel and carefully pour the cool diluted honey mixture into the jug.
- Top off the jug with cold water, leaving at least 2 inches of head space on top. Put the lid on the jug and gently mix everything around a bit.
- Add water to the airlock, and put it with the rubber stopper into the end of the carboy. Store in a cool dark place. It should start bubbling within 12-24 hours.
- After about 4-6 weeks of fermenting, and once all bubbles have stopped rising in the jug and airlock, the mead can be bottled and aged. The mulberry is drinkable 2 months after bottling, and tastes best about 1 year later.
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- 1 Carboy
- 1 Siphon
- 8 16 oz flip top bottles
- 1½ pounds mulberries (about 5 cups)
- 1½ pounds honey (about 2 cups)
- ½ pound raisins (about 1½ cups)
- 1 gallon water
- Clean and sanitize everything before starting.
- Heat ½ gallon of water over low heat. When it starts to steam, but before it boils, turn off the heat and add the honey. Stir until the honey dissolves into the water. Let cool.1 gallon water, 1½ pounds honey
- Add mulberries and raisins into the 1 gallon carboy.1½ pounds mulberries, ½ pound raisins
- After diluted honey has cooled to less than 90°F, pour into carboy.1 gallon water, 1½ pounds honey
- Top the carboy off with cold water, making sure to leave at least 2 inches of headspace. Shake gently.1 gallon water
- Airlock the carboy (make sure to add water to the airlock), and store in a cool and dark place. It should start bubbling within 12-24 hours.
- After 4-6 weeks, the bubbles should stop, and the siphon can be used to bottle the moonshine. Bottle into flip top bottles (that are clean and sanitized), being careful to not siphon any sediment. Let the bottled moonshine age for at least 2 months.