How to Distill With a Pumpkin

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Things You'll Need

  • Several large pumpkins

  • 2 buckets

  • Sugar

  • Yeast

  • Plastic wrap

  • Pot still

  • Oak barrel

Pumpkins can be used to make a sweet-tasting brandy.

Pumpkins have several uses. Around Halloween, they are used to make Jack-o-lanterns and pies. Pumpkins can also be used to make a sweet-tasting brandy through the distillation of fermented pumpkin wine. Depending on how long you want to age your pumpkin brandy, the process will take at least two weeks. However, at the end of the process, you will have pumpkin liquor that you can enjoy. All you need is a few basic supplies and you can be ready to distill your own pumpkin brandy.


Step 1

Remove the meat from inside the pumpkin. Put the pumpkin meat in a pot with a small amount of water. Add enough water to completely cover the pumpkin meat. Boil the pumpkin meat until it dissolves into a thin soup. Help dissolve the pumpkin by mashing the pumpkin meat while the soup is boiling.


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Step 2

Remove the soup from heat and allow the pumpkin soup to cool to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour the pumpkin soup into a bucket or sanitary vessel able to hold the soup. Mix granulated sugar and champagne yeast to the soup. You should add 1 pound of sugar and 5 grams of yeast for every 4 pounds of pumpkin meat. Stir the soup well. Cover the bucket with plastic wrap. Poke holes in the plastic wrap to allow the mixture to breathe.


Step 3

Allow the mixture to sit overnight. Inspect the mixture the next morning. There should be a cap formed on top of the mixture. Skim the top of the mixture, remove the cap and discard it. Stir the mixture well and reapply the plastic wrap.

Step 4

Continue this process every day for at least two weeks. Every day, remove the plastic wrap, skim the cap and stir the mixture. Note the level of the mixture in the bucket. Add more water if the mixture level drops. After two weeks, the mixture should be done fermenting.


Step 5

Run the mixture through a pot still. You may want to run the pumpkin wine through the still at least two times. The first time, distill the pumpkin wine fast. Collect the mixture in a separate bucket. The second time, distill the pumpkin wine slowly. The remaining product is pumpkin brandy ready to drink, though it may taste too strong to enjoy.


Step 6

Pour the product into a natural uncharred oak barrel. Seal the barrel. Age the product to suit your taste. The longer you allow the brandy to age, the stronger the pumpkin taste.


It is illegal to distill pumpkin brandy without a liquor license.


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