Brew Your Own Hooch

Hooch, also known as prison , is a homemade alcoholic that has gained popularity for its simplicity and affordability. Made using basic ingredients like fruit , sugar, and , hooch can be easily brewed in your own home. In this article, we will explore the science behind making hooch and provide you with a detailed recipe to try it out yourself.

To make hooch, you will need three main ingredients: fruit juice, sugar, and yeast. Fruit juice serves as the base for your hooch, providing the flavor and nutrients necessary for fermentation. Sugar acts as food for the yeast, allowing it to convert the sugars into . Lastly, yeast is responsible for the fermentation process, where it consumes the sugar and produces alcohol as a byproduct.

The first step in making hooch is to choose your fruit juice. You can use any type of fruit juice you prefer, such as orange, apple, grape, or even a blend of fruits. It's important to note that the quality and flavor of the juice will greatly affect the taste of your hooch. Once you have your desired fruit juice, pour it into a large container or fermenting vessel.

Next, you will need to add the sugar to the juice. The amount of sugar you add will depend on your personal preference and the desired strength of your hooch. As a general guideline, a pound of sugar for every half-pound of fruit paste is a good starting point. Add the sugar to the juice and stir until it is completely dissolved.

Now it's time to introduce the yeast. You can use either bread yeast or wine yeast for this process. Bread yeast is more readily available and works well, but wine yeast can produce a higher quality final product. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the juice and let it sit undisturbed for a few minutes to activate.

After the yeast has had a chance to activate, stir the mixture gently to distribute the yeast throughout the juice. Cover the container with a clean cloth or plastic wrap, leaving a small opening to allow gas to escape during fermentation. Place the container in a warm, dark location and let it sit for about three to five days.

During this fermentation period, the yeast will consume the sugar in the juice and produce alcohol and carbon dioxide as byproducts. The carbon dioxide will escape through the small opening, while the alcohol will remain in the liquid. The longer you allow the mixture to ferment, the stronger the hooch will become.

After the fermentation period, your hooch is ready to be consumed. However, it is important to note that hooch is not always the most palatable beverage. It can have a strong, yeasty taste and may not be as smooth as commercially produced alcoholic beverages. Nevertheless, it is a cost-effective way to enjoy a homemade alcoholic drink.

Making hooch is a straightforward process that requires only a few basic ingredients. By combining fruit juice, sugar, and yeast, you can create your own homemade alcoholic beverage. While the taste may not be as refined as commercial drinks, hooch offers a simple and affordable way to enjoy a homemade brew. So why not give it a try and experiment with different fruit juices and flavors? Cheers to your own homemade hooch!

How Do You Make A Homemade Hooch?

To make homemade hooch, a simple and straightforward process can be followed. Here are the steps involved:

1. Gather the ingredients: You will need sugar, , and a fermentable base such as fruit, grains, or even bread. The fermentable base is often referred to as “paste”.

2. Prepare the sugar solution: In a large container, mix about a pound of sugar with some hot water. The exact ratio can vary depending on personal preference, but a common ratio is one pound of sugar to every half-pound of paste. Stir the mixture until the sugar is dissolved completely.

3. Add the fermentable base: Once the sugar solution has cooled down to room temperature, add the paste to the container. The paste can be mashed fruits, crushed grains, or even bread crumbs. Make sure the paste is thoroughly mixed with the sugar solution.

4. Fermentation: Cover the container with a clean cloth or a lid with a small hole to allow the release of gases. Place the container in a cool and dark place, away from direct sunlight. The fermentation process can take anywhere from three to five days, depending on the ambient temperature and the desired strength of the hooch.

5. Check for fermentation: After the initial fermentation period, check for signs of fermentation. Look for bubbles or a foamy layer on top of the mixture. These are indications that the yeast present in the paste is converting the sugar into alcohol.

6. Additional fermentation (optional): If you desire a stronger hooch, you can strain out the liquid from the container, leaving behind the solid residue. Transfer the strained liquid to a new container and let it ferment for an additional period of time. This will further increase the alcohol content.

7. Bottling: Once the desired fermentation is achieved, it's time to bottle the hooch. Use clean and sterilized bottles or jars to store the hooch. Seal the bottles tightly to prevent any contamination or loss of alcohol content.

8. Aging (optional): If you prefer a smoother taste, you can let the hooch age for a few weeks or even months. This allows the flavors to mellow and blend together, resulting in a more refined end product.

It is important to note that the production of homemade alcohol should be done responsibly and within legal limits. Regulations regarding the production and consumption of alcohol may vary in different regions, so it is advisable to familiarize yourself with the laws and guidelines applicable in your area.

hooch recipe

What Are The Ingredients In Hooch?

The ingredients needed to make hooch, also known as pruno, include fruit juice, sugar, and yeast. In prison, inmates often use a variety of fruits such as oranges, fruit , and prunes to extract the juice. The fruit juice serves as the base for the hooch. In addition to the juice, sugar is added to provide sweetness and to act as food for the yeast. Yeast is a crucial ingredient as it ferments the sugar, converting it into alcohol. This fermentation process is what ultimately produces the alcoholic content in hooch.

What Alcohol Is Hooch Made Of?

Hooch is an alcoholic beverage that is typically made from a base of fermented fruit juice or malted grains. The specific ingredients used can vary depending on the recipe and the desired flavor profile. However, some common ingredients used in hooch production include:

1. Fruit Juice: Hooch can be made from a variety of fruit juices, such as apple, grape, or orange juice. The fruit juice provides the sugars needed for fermentation.

2. Grains: In some cases, hooch can be made from fermented grains, such as corn, barley, or wheat. These grains are typically malted before being used in the fermentation process.

3. Yeast: Yeast is added to the fruit juice or grains to facilitate fermentation. The yeast consumes the sugars in the juice or grains and produces alcohol as a byproduct.

4. Water: Water is often added to dilute the fruit juice or grains and to create the desired alcohol content in the hooch.

5. Flavorings: Additional flavorings, such as herbs, spices, or botanicals, may be added to enhance the taste of the hooch.

It's important to note that hooch can be made using a variety of recipes and techniques, so the exact ingredients used may vary. Additionally, the alcohol content of hooch can also vary, depending on factors such as the fermentation process and the length of time it is allowed to ferment.


Making hooch at home is a relatively simple process that requires just a few basic ingredients and some patience. By mixing fruit juice, sugar, and yeast, you can create your own homemade hooch. The sugar provides the fuel for the yeast to produce alcohol, while the fruit juice adds flavor and complexity to the final product. It is important to let the mixture sit for a few days to allow the yeast to ferment and convert the sugars into alcohol. The longer you let it ferment, the stronger the final product will be. Additionally, some people choose to add more sugar and ferment for a longer period of time to achieve a higher alcohol content. making hooch can be a fun and rewarding process, allowing you to experiment with different flavors and create your own unique alcoholic beverage. So why not give it a try and see what kind of hooch you can create in your own kitchen? Cheers!

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Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.