What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

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What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby malignity » Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:50 am

Novice here... But I've noticed something.

In making different recipes after making base shine, my peach shine, black and blueberry shine, and raspberry shine is like drinking liquid fire. My apple cinnamon shine, especially after sitting a week goes down very smooth.

In my bit of research, I've read that the more tart the apple in sitting, the more it mellows, and found one recipe actually recommending using crab apples to get rid of the hotness and mellow it out.

At first I just thought it was sugar that mellowed it, but all the other fruits have sugar too, and adding glycerine didn't seem to have much effect. What is it in apples that tames so much? Pectin? Something else?

The reason I ask is because I want to venture into other flavors and have the mellowness my apple brings, I just don't know how. There's obviously something I'm missing.

Thanks!
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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby Pikey » Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:13 pm

How do you do your base shine ?
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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby sltm1 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:17 pm

+1 Pikey...sounds like possibly too much sugar or inaccurate cuts to me
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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby der wo » Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:19 pm

Probably yes. But anyway it would be very interesting to know if and how the acid content of the apples affects the smoothness. Do you have links to your researches?
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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby Pikey » Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:24 pm

Yes - I do flavoured shines and there are some - sloe for example which comes out incredibly smooth whatever base spirit I use and others which vary when I think about it.

So I think a little research and discussion here may be a learning experience 8)
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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby The Baker » Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:41 pm

Interesting. I see you can get dried sloe berries.

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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby malignity » Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:16 pm

My method is pretty unscientific. I use the cold shine uncle Jessie's method.. and I'll note right now I'm sipping on straight apple pie shine that's absolutely delicious from it.


5lbs sugar
2 cereal bowls full of corn (scientific I know)
1 small can tomato paste
1 packet 15% abv whiskey yeast


Here's the unscientific link I caught regarding smoothing down whiskey. I guess technically this last batch was aged with allegator charred oak blocks and had a fish tank bubbler ran through it on a copper tube for a few days, so there's that. Technically a whiskey based shine is what I make.

https://gizmodo.com/5914858/how-to-make ... -smoother/


What I don't understand is that my peach shine I made a month ago is still a fireball. My apple I made two weeks ago is going down staight as we speak. There's something in the matrix that milds the apple and according to that article, it might be something within the tartness of the apple that does it.

Citric acid? Not sure what other acids would be in apples, but we might be onto something....
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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby sweeps » Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:52 pm

malignity wrote:Citric acid? Not sure what other acids would be in apples, but we might be onto something....


Malic acid is the main acid in apples. The name is derived from the Latin word for apple, malum, although it is found in lots of other fruit, including sloes and peaches.
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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby der wo » Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:42 am

Thanks for the link. Looking at the pictures I am surprised how many apples he takes. It looks like it will taste more like apples than like Whiskey.
Probably I will try it out (with my worst Whiskey first).
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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby malignity » Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:34 am

Per pint, I do 2-3 slices only. After about 2 weeks, all the color is drained from it and taste is MUCH more smooth.

If it's the malic acid, I'm wondering why my peach didn't mellow out. Maybe not enough of it?

I'm not exactly sure all an apple contains, but I can definitely attest that this works -- just not sure why.
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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby malignity » Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:38 am

This article has me really thinking...

https://www.livescience.com/44686-apple ... facts.html

Vitamin C? Polyphenols? (Don't blueberries have antioxidants too? Maybe different kinds?)
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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby WIski » Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:47 am

When making apple brandy I take a smaller heads cut to capture more apple flavor in the finished product. I feel this is a necessary evil when doing apple. That being said, the end product is much hotter than my typical whiskeys which are pretty smooth after cuts. I was hoping extra time in my once used Balcones would straighten this out but this process has me hoping there might be a short cut and no fears of contaminating the flavor as its apple based already. I will give this a go with a small sample. I would be skeptical of adding apple slices to my bourbon though just because of the flavor. Thanks for the insight malignity!! :eugeek:
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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby The Baker » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:43 am

Maybe potato slices in vodka???

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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby malignity » Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:24 pm

I did a little digging. It's most definitely not polyphenols doing this. Berries are higher than apples and my berry blends didn't mellow.
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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby DAD300 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:53 pm

Dif alcohols and dif acids form dif esters. It is more than possible that the acid(s) in apples use the some heads and tails constituents dif than other fruits. Thus removing what you taste as burn.

Also some ingredient in the apples may be coating your mouth and preventing the burn. Keep researching.

There is an article in Fall Artisan Distiller about this.
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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby HDNB » Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:03 pm

vanilla beans knock the edges off too. still tastes like whiskey, specially if you don't over do it and use some oak too.
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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby malignity » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:12 am

In reading this PDF, I'm thinking malic acid is what's doing it. What exactly it's doing I couldn't tell you though. My scientific brain only works so well before morning coffee.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source= ... FHsFJCWnt6
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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby malignity » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:16 am

Yep, this has to be it.

Wikipedia link explains malic acid is what gives tartness to fruit.

Given that first link suggesting crab apples, there's no question those are more tart, thus likely having a much higher malic acid level.
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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby malignity » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:21 am

If I'm understanding this all correctly, malic acid can ferment sugars. If that's the case, this is likely removing any leftover low ester sugar alcohols and fermenting them out and thus making a higher grade...?

Here's the Wikipedia link. The PDF also mentions this.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malic_acid
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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby malignity » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:22 am

I'm not understanding why my berries didn't accomplish this though when my apples did unless it just has a much higher concentration.
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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby Hilltop » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:12 pm

Are your blends all using the same base liquer? In other words can it be as simple as one batch was mixed hotter at higher proof? It sounds to me like your Apple cinnamon was made using good cuts. Maybe your other batches were made with too much heads.
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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby masonsjax » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:04 pm

Doesn't an acid and an alcohol combine to form an ester? Probably that's what's going on.
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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby Bamaberry » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:25 pm

FWIW -
My son bought a bottle of Jim Beam Honey :oops:
& I was trying to make it drinkable - no so sweet.
I mixed it with a bottle of Evan Williams ($9) and even nuked it but just too sharp to drink with water.
After reading this I poured it in a jar with a sliced Granny Smith and left it for a day.
Saturday, decided to try it with Coke while watching the Alabama football game - Roll Tide.

I refrigerated it and it's a little cloudy, but Incredibly smooth and there was no apple taste at all. And I don't know how to describe it but it has an very interesting "chew" to it.
Not sure I'd want to do for everything, but it sure helped clean up that mess.
:mrgreen:
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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby DAD300 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:13 pm

Next time you have a really messed up bottle of commercial Booze, leave the cap off for a day or two (air it) and or add a dried cherry! The acids in the cherry do great things for heads.
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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby Stillinthe716 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:10 am

This is my input based on experience distilling and heading up R&D in a craft distillery:

In my experience attempting to make an authentically prepared peach infused corn whiskey I learned something very interesting regarding fruit infusions. This discovery also put to rest a lot of folklore that we run into on this forum.

This information is in regards only to adding whole or portions of FRESH fruit or veggies to distillate - Dried or preserved will yield different results

When fruit is fresh it can contain anywhere from 10%-95% H20 and this H20 is to blame for the phenomena being discussed. When the fresh fruit is submerged and allowed to macerate in the distillate an osmosis reaction occurs in which areas of low alcohol concentration ( let's say a slice of peach) absorb distillate and in turn release h20 (along with sugars and esters). If one were to drink from the jar they would be pleasantly welcomed by sweet, smooth peachy goodness. Unfortunately the spirit they are drinking is (depending on weight of fruit to booze) most likely only 10%-30% ABV. Where did all that ABV go? Eat a peach and you'll see, that peach will taste nothing like fruit and fully of shine! - this has held true with any infusion where the substance to be infused has a water content.

This is a reaction I mistook for smooth booze for years of home distillation and helped explain the folklore to never eat the fruit in the jar.

SOLUTION? There are a few options I use everyday with great results but the best option to use at a home scale would be to create a fruit juice or better yet a concentrated fruit juice and use that to cut your spirit and then allow to mingle for several days or weeks. That time does wonders for the smoothness of your booze. I can attest this is how I perfected the best apple pie you've ever had while holding out a heady 80 proof.
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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby Chip N Dale » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:06 pm

I have had great success with dehydrated apples.
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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby The Baker » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:07 pm

'never eat the fruit in the jar. )'.

Throw the fruit in the next wash before distilling to recover some of the alcohol? Probably not enough to make it really worth while, but, you have got to throw it somewhere....

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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby Swedish Pride » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:19 pm

yeah apple works, unless a week in a jar smoothened it out when a year on oak did not
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Re: What is it about apples that removes the burn in shine?

Postby Stillinthe716 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:55 am

Yes! Dehydrated fruit is awesome- I made an "apple pie bitters" using apple skins. the skin is actually what holds a majority of an apple's flavor. That's not to say you can't get delicious results with fresh - just account for the addition of h20 and a loss of alcohol.
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