Apple Brandy Recipe

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stillanoob
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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by stillanoob » Tue May 12, 2020 6:16 am

Very odd, I'd say 45 degrees is about what my cider house is at. The cider is great but still a little sweet.

While I'd generally be all over making my own apple processor, I am up to my ass in alligators at the moment and it looks like I will be for a while. I took a look at the Harbor Freight selection, what do you think of this:

https://www.harborfreight.com/14-amp-1- ... 69293.html

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by cranky » Tue May 12, 2020 6:51 am

stillanoob wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 6:16 am
Very odd, I'd say 45 degrees is about what my cider house is at. The cider is great but still a little sweet.
45f is about the bottom limit for 1118, so it does work slow, preferred temp is around 70f. I don't generally worry about time, finding the time to actually do anything with it is my biggest problem. I've gone as long as a year before running it.
stillanoob wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 6:16 am
While I'd generally be all over making my own apple processor, I am up to my ass in alligators at the moment and it looks like I will be for a while. I took a look at the Harbor Freight selection, what do you think of this:

https://www.harborfreight.com/14-amp-1- ... 69293.html
I think that is the one Bushman and several others use.
viewtopic.php?f=83&t=51537

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by stillanoob » Tue May 12, 2020 8:11 am

Thanks Cranky. The reason I was thinking about trying to get the ferment to go faster is simply the storage issue. I generally am not in a hurry, especially when it makes a better product. I don't have enough glass for 100 gallons of cider nor the room to store it if I did. In my fantasy world I would come across a SS tank cheap. I think I will start to look for something like that. However, unless I find something between now and fall I'll be in a position of either making less or fermenting faster.

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by cranky » Tue May 12, 2020 3:40 pm

stillanoob wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 8:11 am
Thanks Cranky. The reason I was thinking about trying to get the ferment to go faster is simply the storage issue. I generally am not in a hurry, especially when it makes a better product. I don't have enough glass for 100 gallons of cider nor the room to store it if I did. In my fantasy world I would come across a SS tank cheap. I think I will start to look for something like that. However, unless I find something between now and fall I'll be in a position of either making less or fermenting faster.
See, my way of thinking is if I can find time to pick and press the apples I can figure out where to put them. Sometimes I use the tub in our common bath but mostly it's the garage or shed.

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by Tummydoc » Wed May 13, 2020 12:24 am


stillanoob wrote: In my fantasy world I would come across a SS tank cheap.
A beer keg makes a great fermenter and indestructible! I also use that HF electric chipper as my apple scratter. Remove the top handle piece so you have a larger opening. You'll still have to cut any apple over about 2.5 inches, but it makes great pulp and can run hours without overheating.

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by stillanoob » Wed May 13, 2020 6:23 am

Tummydoc wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 12:24 am
stillanoob wrote: In my fantasy world I would come across a SS tank cheap.
A beer keg makes a great fermenter and indestructible! I also use that HF electric chipper as my apple scratter. Remove the top handle piece so you have a larger opening. You'll still have to cut any apple over about 2.5 inches, but it makes great pulp and can run hours without overheating.
Tummy, thanks for hands on chipper report! I think I will see if my friend can pick one up, I live about 2.5 hours from the nearest HF. As to kegs, I would love to use them for fermenters but unless I come across a stash cheap I need too great a volume. That does make me think that I do have one keg sitting around unemployed. It can't be too hard to fit a fermentation lock on top. Thanks!

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by Dutchsprings » Wed May 13, 2020 10:44 am

Thanks for the input Cranky!! There’s more questions than time or virtual ink will allow for. However two additional ones.... when you are referring to the 60 day mark. Are you referring to preferment, during, after fermentation has completely finished or after distilling?? I’ve been using unfermented cider.
Additionally what suggestions on material for reading on Apple brandy and distilling Apples or fruits. I enthralled because of the taste but also historical side of it.
Thanks

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by cranky » Thu May 14, 2020 3:04 pm

Dutchsprings wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 10:44 am
However two additional ones.... when you are referring to the 60 day mark. Are you referring to preferment, during, after fermentation has completely finished or after distilling?? I’ve been using unfermented cider.
The 60 day mark is after first adding the yeast. I often let my apple cider rest a very long time, up to a year but usually run it somewhere around April. Most years the last day I pick and process apples is December first or there about depending on the weather. Most of the Calvados makers say things like this "Cider destined to become calvados is aged six months on its lees to enrich its aromatic expressiveness. This is the perfect time span to avoid any tainting (deviation/corruption). The distillation can then begin" ( https://www.calvados-dupont.com/en/cider-making.htm ) . Often they distill shortly before they need the fermenting vessels for the next natch of cider.

I've had the honor to sample some of what at that time was probably one of the oldest bottles of Calvados in existence, bottled in 1858, thanks to Michigan Cornhusker and try to duplicate that so I try to replicate the process as well as I can but was doing it this way before I even knew about how they do it because I had accidentally stumbled upon the change while making wine.
Dutchsprings wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 10:44 am
Additionally what suggestions on material for reading on Apple brandy and distilling Apples or fruits. I enthralled because of the taste but also historical side of it.
That's a tough one, I haven't done much research on it in several years and I can't find a lot of the research I did when I was getting started.

Some good reading here are

Jimbo's apple thread is a good read
viewtopic.php?f=83&t=32309

and if you would like to see 6 years of my journey you can see it here
viewtopic.php?f=94&t=48881

and there is this thread about making brandy from store bought juice
viewtopic.php?f=38&t=72483

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by stillanoob » Fri May 15, 2020 6:55 am

Good reads, Cranky. Thanks. Still trying to figure out more storage. I may try a combination, ferment slowly as much volume as I can come up with in glass or SS and ferment the rest quickly in brutes.

Also still trying to decide between the chipper and the disposal for processing. My buddy is leaning disposal and I lean chipper.

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by cranky » Fri May 15, 2020 3:24 pm

stillanoob wrote:
Fri May 15, 2020 6:55 am
Also still trying to decide between the chipper and the disposal for processing. My buddy is leaning disposal and I lean chipper.
For the money I think you'll be happier in the long run with the chipper. I've seen a few people who have been happy with the disposal but most eventually say they get tired of having to wait to reset the breaker and eventually upgrade to something else. Jimbo mentioned using one in his apple thread and said it was only good for a small amount of apples. At some point in some thread he mentioned getting tired if it constantly popping the breaker. The only complaint I've heard about the chipper is you have to cut up the larger apples.

Harbor freight isn't the only place to buy cheap chippers, they can also be found on Amazon and ebay. Amazon has one right now for $103.92 with free delivery

A decent disposal that can handle a large amount of apples will probably cost more than that.

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by Tummydoc » Fri May 15, 2020 11:03 pm

Cranky, that Amazon chipper is identical to my harbor freight chipper. If I could remanufacture the metal blade guard it would take larger apples. Always intend to do that, but then forget till the next fall!

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by NZChris » Fri May 15, 2020 11:22 pm

I have posted about cider clubs/cooperatives using similar type chippers in the past, modified to take whole apples that are then pressed in traditional and very efficient slat and hessian presses.

I have used that style of chipper to crack corn for UJSSM and to mulch sugar cane for rum.

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by DetroitDIY » Sat May 16, 2020 3:13 am

Tummydoc wrote:
Fri May 15, 2020 11:03 pm
...that Amazon chipper is identical to my harbor freight chipper...
How long have you owned it? Run it? Ever had issues with reliability or maintenance? Just curious. I still grind using my homemade grinder. Slow and a bit of a work out. Reluctant to change that one as the neighborhood kids like to help crank it during pressing time. Thinking it'd not a fun nor safe for them if I motorized it. But a spare for the bulk of my work is worth considering...

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by cranky » Sat May 16, 2020 2:21 pm

I've found that when I'm sitting there with 600 pounds of apples in the back of my truck and they need processed withing the next week speed becomes a very important thing. Apples I pick range from pretty small (200 to a bucket) to as large as a soft ball (50-60 to a bucket). I tend to not have a lot of time the past couple of years and cutting them up to fit in a grinder is time consuming when time is short so building or buying something that is fast is something I feel is important.

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by Tummydoc » Sat May 16, 2020 5:51 pm

Detroit, I've used it 4 years with no problems. Motor is sealed so you can hose it down when done. A typical Granny Smith or red delicious apple needs to be quartered. I'll process 200 lbs at a time.

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by stillanoob » Sat May 16, 2020 6:07 pm

Well, for good or ill, my buddy picked us up one. Won't get a chance to play with it until next week. Tummy, do you need to cut the apples because they won't fit down the feed or because the chipper chokes on them if you don't?

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by Tummydoc » Sat May 16, 2020 6:26 pm

Wont fit, but plenty of power. I just need to replace the cast metal blade shroud with a self fabricated shroud with a larger opening, or more likely just remove it completely.

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by Tummydoc » Wed May 27, 2020 5:29 pm

I modified mine to take whole apples today. Here's my build: viewtopic.php?f=83&t=78862&p=7613311&hi ... r#p7613311

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by fzbwfk9r » Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:44 pm

cranky wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:19 pm
... If you are doing apple for the first time you probably want to use store bought apple juice. Ferment with 1118 yeast and cuts will be much easier than with other yeasts and be patient.
I made some apfelwein adding some sugar, then I made a 5gal batch with just AJ, unsweetened.
Both fermented with 1118.
the unsweetened would get lost between bottles of different brands of Chardonnay.
I call it my "Chardonapple"

I may still off my apfelwein for a brandy.
I am intrigued by the idea.

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by YOGUI » Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:53 pm

Hello, I'm new here, this is my first reply. (I'm from Chile, so sorry for my english) Thanks a lot for the post. In southern Chile, "raw" apple cider is very typical. It's dirty process where all those dirty things add something to the final product, which usually leaves some sweet in there to try before it gets too old. I just started distilling this year and I have tried we my custom cider recipe...and after I run out of apples (mostly because I didn't have more bins to ferment), I ended up buying cider from local cideries (really good ones). Independently of the origin, I have been getting a bitter taste on my final product, and I have no idea where it comes from. I'm using a 15lt copper alambeic and I'm doing several "fast" stripping runs and a very slow spirit run. For now, I'm cutting most of the heads (I discard the first 100ml of the foreshots, and then, usually 200 ml of heads, or until I have no flavor), then hearts and finally I try to not go too much in to the tails (I leave the first 300 mls with clear and strong flavor...about 60% ABV). It has a very appleish finish flavor, and taste great in drinks, but as I want to drink it straight I wonder what could be causing the bitter taste. Now I'm "oaking" in glass jars (at 55% ABV or 60% ABV or even 65% ABV...I'm testing) till I remember I'm oaking them...so hopefully, no less than 6 months. I said "oaking", because I have no American Oak here...but we have a Chilean Oak, that turns pretty red and an amazing aroma when is old...which of course it give a lot of "something" to the spirit (my nose is still really bad, so I hope it gives something good). Any clue about the bittery? Again, thanks a lot for the information....was a pot of gold!!.

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by cranky » Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:38 pm

YOGUI wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:53 pm
Hello, I'm new here, this is my first reply. (I'm from Chile, so sorry for my english) Thanks a lot for the post. In southern Chile, "raw" apple cider is very typical. It's dirty process where all those dirty things add something to the final product, which usually leaves some sweet in there to try before it gets too old. I just started distilling this year and I have tried we my custom cider recipe...and after I run out of apples (mostly because I didn't have more bins to ferment), I ended up buying cider from local cideries (really good ones). Independently of the origin, I have been getting a bitter taste on my final product, and I have no idea where it comes from. I'm using a 15lt copper alambeic and I'm doing several "fast" stripping runs and a very slow spirit run. For now, I'm cutting most of the heads (I discard the first 100ml of the foreshots, and then, usually 200 ml of heads, or until I have no flavor), then hearts and finally I try to not go too much in to the tails (I leave the first 300 mls with clear and strong flavor...about 60% ABV). It has a very appleish finish flavor, and taste great in drinks, but as I want to drink it straight I wonder what could be causing the bitter taste. Now I'm "oaking" in glass jars (at 55% ABV or 60% ABV or even 65% ABV...I'm testing) till I remember I'm oaking them...so hopefully, no less than 6 months. I said "oaking", because I have no American Oak here...but we have a Chilean Oak, that turns pretty red and an amazing aroma when is old...which of course it give a lot of "something" to the spirit (my nose is still really bad, so I hope it gives something good). Any clue about the bittery? Again, thanks a lot for the information....was a pot of gold!!.
I'm not really sure what can be causing the bitter taste unless you are going too deep into the tails, which you seem to indicate is not the case. Perhaps some other members might have some input that will help.

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by NZChris » Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:08 am

Is it bitter before oaking?

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by YOGUI » Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:48 pm

Thanks for the interest in helping.
Cranky, every jar has different levels of "biterness", so yes, is not a tail thing.
NZChris, yes, before oaking and before waiting the "enough time" to enjoy it. I have noticed though, that after a couple of weeks it gets less bitter.

Thanks again!

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by stillanoob » Thu Jul 02, 2020 3:38 pm

I made my first apple brandy a few weeks ago. It has been sitting with a couple of oak sticks. On a lark, I just took 30mL of it and proofed it down to 40% using some 5% hard cider from the same batch I made the brandy from. Mmmm, really good. Really apple-y and tasty.

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by cranky » Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:27 pm

YOGUI wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:48 pm
Thanks for the interest in helping.
Cranky, every jar has different levels of "biterness", so yes, is not a tail thing.
NZChris, yes, before oaking and before waiting the "enough time" to enjoy it. I have noticed though, that after a couple of weeks it gets less bitter.

Thanks again!
Maybe too many bitter apples in the mix? Just kind of grasping at straws here :roll:

One thought that comes to mind is how did you process the apples? I've always been careful to try to prevent breaking or grinding up the seeds but I don't know if it would add bitterness if it happened.

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by cranky » Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:28 pm

stillanoob wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 3:38 pm
I made my first apple brandy a few weeks ago. It has been sitting with a couple of oak sticks. On a lark, I just took 30mL of it and proofed it down to 40% using some 5% hard cider from the same batch I made the brandy from. Mmmm, really good. Really apple-y and tasty.
I always like to hear about the successes :D

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by frenzy » Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:31 pm

Hi there Cranky, thank you for sharing! I'm in the mountains of Virginia and I sometimes get lucky enough to run into locals who don't bother with their apple trees -- I too am a "freegan". Mind a few questions?
in regards to ageing your brandy:
1. at what ABV?
2. what ABV do you tend to dilute to after aging? I understand there's preference, but I want to not lose flavour.
3. best ageing devices? I have a small oak barrel that has been used twice, I think I could throw product in there for a couple of years... or perhaps use toasted oak chips or toasted apple chips?

would this have value as a straight up shine? I tasted a local's apple shine and it was delicious - I'm wondering if it was straight up apple shine or just apple infused though. (I can't ask, unfortunately)

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by cranky » Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:22 pm

frenzy wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:31 pm
Hi there Cranky, thank you for sharing! I'm in the mountains of Virginia and I sometimes get lucky enough to run into locals who don't bother with their apple trees -- I too am a "freegan". Mind a few questions?
in regards to ageing your brandy:
I'm always happy to answer questions, of course these are only my thoughts and opinions and probably don't mean a whole hell of a lot.
frenzy wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:31 pm
1. at what ABV?
See, that's a tough one. I age at whatever proof I wind up with after cuts and blending, it can vary greatly. One thing many calvados makers do is gradually replace the angels share as it evaporates with water which is tempering over a long period of time and may extract different things out of the barrel as it ages. The smaller the barrel the more the angels take. I recently emptied my 5 gallon barrel and had probably lost around 1.75 gallons over a 2 year period. I usually wind up somewhere around 120-125 proof when it goes in the barrel but I don't keep records so tend to forget. The recently removed batch came out at 120pr when finished. I don't know how that might work where you live but I'm at 200 ft above sea level with relatively cool temperatures year round, high humidity and slightly salty air. Jumbo has a thread about toasting and stuff that is extremely helpful if you can find it.
frenzy wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:31 pm
2. what ABV do you tend to dilute to after aging? I understand there's preference, but I want to not lose flavour.
'
That's another extremely subjective thing. I tend to taste it at different ABVs and decide by that, some years it's 100pr, others 80, this last batch seemed best at 88-90pr, so that's where I temper it to.
frenzy wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:31 pm
3. best ageing devices? I have a small oak barrel that has been used twice, I think I could throw product in there for a couple of years... or perhaps use toasted oak chips or toasted apple chips?
In truth my best ever was 75% apple, 25% pear and aged in 1/2 gallon jars with a stick of toasted apple wood with the lids loose and placed on a heater vent for a year. ( did say in that original post that I personally use some pretty complicated and perhaps strange aging processes at times. :crazy: ) I do like what my barrel does but all those things are also subjective.
frenzy wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:31 pm
would this have value as a straight up shine? I tasted a local's apple shine and it was delicious - I'm wondering if it was straight up apple shine or just apple infused though. (I can't ask, unfortunately)
I don't really care for the term "shine" it means something completely different to everybody and is too subjective. With no description I have little to go on but I would assume it was probably flavored as so many "Shines" tend to be. On occasion I have been known to make something I like to call "Scumble" which is loosely based on an apple brandy drink from a book series. I make it using apple brandy tempered with, a little apple jack, hard apple cider and apple juice. It takes a while to age out but just gets better with age. Some people like to use dried apple chips but I never have, it's just something you have to play around with and see what works.

I hope this answers your questions but honestly most of the answers are something you have to learn through trial and error.

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by NZChris » Sat Jul 04, 2020 11:21 pm

I don't know that I would call it trial and error Cranky and Frenzy. I've had very few trials that were disasters and produced distasteful products, especially with fruit. I'd call it trial and development if anything, tweaking each new season's method after referring back to previous seasons notes.

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Re: Apple Brandy Recipe

Post by NZChris » Sat Jul 04, 2020 11:28 pm

I just had a sample of my 5 year old Scumble. I should have made a gallon of of it :(

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