Can I Distill Beer or Wine?

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Can I Distill Beer or Wine?

Postby WhiskyBarron » Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:19 pm

Hi all,
I am new to this. I was wondering if it is possible to distill store bought wine (red or white) or beer (say a lager) and make grappa, brandy or whisky respectively?

If so, any tricks or things to do/don't do?

Thanks!
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Re: Can I Distill Beer or Wine?

Postby rad14701 » Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:38 pm

You don't want to distill beer because you can't get rid of the hops taste, so scrap that idea... Some people have tried it with mild success but I'm not sure I'd give it a go again after my wretched attempt...

Yes, you can distill wines... Distilling with a pot still will yield brandy... Distilling with a reflux column still will produce neutral spirits...
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Re: Can I Distill Beer or Wine?

Postby blind drunk » Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:21 pm

I've distilled homemade red wine with modest success. The red stuff has lots of heads; either that or I still don't know what I'm doing :roll: I think I read somewhere on this board that white wine might be cleaner and when I get the chance I'll make some white and compare. Good luck to ya, bd.
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Re: Can I Distill Beer or Wine?

Postby Dnderhead » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:32 am

If you make wine for distilling , Id suggest leave out the pectic enzymes as they cause more fore shots/heads.
making "beer" for distilling is not that hard, and much better than commercial beers ,,much cheaper,(about 1/2)
all grain is the cheapest but even extract brewing whould be cheaper and is very easy.
useing extract all you need is the extract/hot water and yeast,
this will cost about 20$ for 5 gallon (48 bottles of" beer) (cheaper if bought in balk)
you can also add more extract and have higher alcohol content.


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Re: Can I Distill Beer or Wine?

Postby plonker » Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:21 am

+1 blind drunk, I STILL got acetone left over from the last time I did a red wine run... :ebiggrin:
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Re: Can I Distill Beer or Wine?

Postby blind drunk » Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:12 am

Glad I'm not alone Plonker. I guess it makes sense since red wine is fermented on its skins, twigs and seeds and white wine, for the most part, isn't :idea:

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Re: Can I Distill Beer or Wine?

Postby kiwistiller » Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:19 pm

On the beer front, I have turned beer into neutrals before, when a mate had a home brew disaster. the strip was highly skanky, and the spirit run not much better, but the carbon filter cleaned it up :)

more effort than its worth unless its free I'd say (it was)
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Re: Can I Distill Beer or Wine?

Postby Horse_Shoe » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:35 pm

We're going to find out right now. I just received my little table top pot still from Alembic and I ran a water run. I'm distilling four little 187ml bottles of Bella Sera Pinot Grigio white wine from Wal Mart. I'm counting on screwing this up while working out the kinks, but who knows what'll happen. I'll keep you posted.
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Re: Can I Distill Beer or Wine?

Postby Horse_Shoe » Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:53 pm

Ok,

Here's what I found. Distilling white wine into brandy, using a pot still, is do-able: and, its pretty easy. I fired up my Copper Alembic 7,5 liter electric. I poured in 4 x 187 ml bottles of Bella Sera Pinot Grigio (750ml.) Adjusting for the sub-standard thermometer supplied with the still, I took the first 50ml off for heads and set aside for paint thinner. I took the next 50ml off for hearts. These tasted and smelled just like brandy. I had a bottle handy to compare to. Of course, the oak and age was different; but, the basic ingredient was quite good enough to drink. I took 50ml more off for tails. These smelled foul and I kept them for the next run.

Total: 150ml of alcohol = 20% abv (the label stated 12.5 abv)

So, yes, one may certainly distill store bought wine into brandy. :ebiggrin:
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Re: Can I Distill Beer or Wine?

Postby Sr WiNdTech » Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:29 pm

I'm allergic to sulfites in wine, would distilling the wine get rid of the sulfites?
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Re: Can I Distill Beer or Wine?

Postby Dnderhead » Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:39 pm

that is what the copper is for,more the better in the vapor path whair it can fall back into the boiler.
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Re: Can I Distill Beer or Wine?

Postby Dogfish » Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:34 am

You can distill beer; it's called bier schnapps and has a unique flavor imparted from the hops and residual malt sweetness (some loveit, some hate it). It is patucularly difficult to run because the wash is relatively low in alcohol (as compared to a typ distillation wash) and you have the head retention from the beer which promotes foaming and creates instability in the boiler and tower. Finally it makes an awful mess of your tower packing and the boiler.
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Mr. Beer - Homebrewing Kit - Distilled

Postby Horse_Shoe » Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:28 pm

I just bought a Mr. Beer home brewing kit from Sears. See note at the end for recommendation for fine cookware that I saw there. Anyways, it was pretty simple. It took about a half hour to prepare the wort and begin fermentation. I stowed it away into the closet for the next two weeks. The kit comes with a 2 gallon dark brown clear plastic barrel fermenter that sits on its side with a screw top lid and a plastic spigot. I package of sanitizer ( I don't know what was in it.) I package of "booster," (they state that its for the 3.7abv and body. I think its sugar.) I can of Hopped Malt Extract (no details other than Pale Ale.) I package of yeast 2grams. 8 X 1 quart dark plastic bottles with caps and decals.

I fixed it up and added a little of my own distillers yeast, just in case the provided product was expired and dead. It seems to be going ok. I want to try and distill it into beer schnapps, then reuse the fermenter.
img-beerkeg.jpg
Mr. Beer 2 gallon fermenter
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Re: Can I Distill Beer or Wine?

Postby NewShine » Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:45 pm

I bought 2 gallons of cheep burgundy wine just for the 1 gallon jugs, can I put some of this into my sugar wash run and distill it? If not I will just poor it out.
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Re: Can I Distill Beer or Wine?

Postby Prairiepiss » Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:56 pm

NewShine wrote:I bought 2 gallons of cheep burgundy wine just for the 1 gallon jugs, can I put some of this into my sugar wash run and distill it? If not I will just poor it out.


Sugar wash? What are you trying to make?

Don't throw it away its good alcohol. It just needs to be used properly. Grape wine distilled usually makes a brandy. It can ne Refluxed to make a vodka. But you left out all kinds of info. So I'm not real sure what to tell you?

By the way your sugar wash is just sugar wine. We make wine and beer to distill. We just don't bottle it when its done fermenting. We distill it then bottle it.
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