If you’re looking for ways to preserve your pears from your pear tree, try this homemade pear moonshine recipe. This pear liqueur recipe can also be altered slightly to make the best pear wine. With minimal prep, this will be your new favorite way to preserve your pear harvest.
Ingredients Needed to Make Pear Brandy
You’ll only need a few ingredients to make this homemade pear brandy. Pears from your own pear tree, or from local farmers’ markets will work best. Store-bought pears have preservatives applied that prohibit the natural yeast needed for the fermentation process. If using store-bought pears, simply add commercial yeast to the recipe.
- Pears: Pears with high contents of sugar and water work best for homemade pear liqueur. These varieties include Bartlett, Comice, and Starkrimson. Other varieties will work, and feel free to try your favorite variety of pear!
- Honey: There are several health benefits to honey. Since honey is expensive, sugar could be used as a substitute. Honey will add a bit of spice to the moonshine when compared to using sugar, so using honey will give another hint of flavor.
- Water: If using chlorinated water (like city tap water), let the water sit for 24 hours prior to use to allow the chlorine to evaporate. Chlorine can kill the beneficial bacteria needed for fermentation. You could also add campden tablets to your brew to counteract the chlorine.
How to Make Pear Liqueur
Making pear schnapps is simple.
- Add a layer of ripe pears to the fermenting bucket (or in half gallon mason jars, Amazon Affiliate Link). Pears can be left whole, or cut into pear wedges to speed up the fermenting process.
- If using sugar, add a layer of sugar. Repeat the process until the jar is full, or you are out of pears or sugar.
- If using honey: Heat up a quart of water to dilute the honey, but not hot enough to boil (Turn the heat off when it starts to steam slightly.) Set the diluted honey aside to cool. Fill the fermenting bucket (or jar) with pears, then add COOL diluted honey mixture.
- Top the jar off with water, covering pears but leaving at least 3/4″ of headspace.
- Place lid LOOSELY on jar, (fingertight) allowing gas to escape but not letting air in.
- Place in a cool dark place for 4-6 weeks, until bubbles stop forming (they should start forming within 24 hours).
- Once bubbles stop, bottle into flip-top bottles (Amazon Affiliate Link) and age for at least 2 months.
- Cinnamon: can give a pear cobbler taste to the moonshine
- Raisins: give the alcohol more body, meaning that the flavor will sit on the tongue longer
Pear Wine Recipe
To make pear wine instead of pear mead alter the following steps: Boil and mash the pears (or food process them), add champagne yeast, and use sugar for fermentation. After fermenting, strain and rack (or rebottle) every few days (allowing sediments to settle), until wine clears. Once clear, age in wine bottles.
Pear Moonshine Recipe
- 5 lbs Ripe pears (about 10 pears)
- 2⅔ lbs Honey (about 3.5 cups)
- 3 cups Raisins
- 1 gallon Water
- Dilute honey in 1/2 gallon of hot water (not boiling), set aside to cool.2⅔ lbs Honey (about 3.5 cups), 1 gallon Water
- Add ripe, unpeeled pears and raisins to the fermenting container. If using sugar instead of honey, alternate layers of pears, raisins, and sugar.5 lbs Ripe pears (about 10 pears), 3 cups Raisins
- Add cool diluted honey to the fermenting container. (Skip this step if using sugar.)2⅔ lbs Honey (about 3.5 cups), 1 gallon Water
- Add the remaining ½ gallon of water (if using sugar add 1 gallon), leaving at least ¾" headspace for bubbling.1 gallon Water
- Add water to the airlock, and seal it into the lid. (If using mason jars, you can secure the lids with rings fingertight. This allows air to escape but doesn't allow air to enter the container.)
- Store in a cool dark place. Bubbles should start forming in the airlock within 24 hours.
- After bubbling stops (about 4-6 weeks), siphon liquid to flip-top containers. Avoid siphoning any debris or particles. If after a couple of days, the mead doesn't clear, you can re-siphon into another bottle to clear it up. Age the moonshine for at least another 2 months.
- After the pear mead has aged at least 2 months, enjoy!
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