Agave Nectar Tequila Trial

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Agave Nectar Tequila Trial

Postby Horse_Shoe » Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:58 am

Hi Everyone,

I'm excited today to experiment on Agave Nectar, in an attempt to make tequila with my Copper Alembic Pot Still. The wash is as follows:

46 ounces (2 x 23oz bottles of Madhava Agave Nectar sold at Wal-Mart)
32 ounces (Karo corn syrup with real vanilla - on sale at Wal-Mart)
1 Cup of granulated white sugar
1 3/4 gallons of tap water
2 tablespoons of yeast (Fleischmens baking yeast)
breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice

Heat 1 gallon of tap water in a pot to 155F and combine agave, karo, sugar, and acid for 30-45 minutes. Pour into 5 gallon drink cooler (my fermenter.) Add 3/4 gallon of cold water to cool wort down to 85F. Pitch yeast and add breadcrumbs.

I'll keep you posted.
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Re: Agave Nectar Tequila Trial

Postby Smokehouse Shiner » Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:07 am

Hate to tell ya, but you shoulda done a little searching on the site. It's been done and the concensus is that Agave Nectar does not equal Tequilla. :( Not to say your likker wont turn out good but don't expect Patron(or even Jose).
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Re: Agave Nectar Tequila Trial

Postby loneswinger » Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:29 am

I made a test batch quite a while back that used the brand: "wholesome sweeteners organic raw blue agave". Rice and the juice from a couple of lemons were added for nutrients/acid. Fermented at ~80 F with Red Star pasteur red wine yeast. I double pot distilled it and ended up with about a gallon of spirit (I don't recall the initial charge off hand but I think I had to purchase about $50 worth of nectar).

Fresh off the still it did not taste like tequila. After aged for about 3 months on toasted oak it had a very light and pleasant tequila flavor. So expect it to take some age to bring out the tequila taste (I think this is the reason that previous attempts by others failed). I also think that somewhat high fermentation temperatures will help and the raw agave nectar is probably better than processed.

You probably would have been better off using only agave nectar as the source of sugar instead of supplementing with corn syrup. I hope that it goes well for you though.

If I do it again, I will copy someones dark Rum recipe but replace the molasses with agave nectar, but recycle feints and dunder in a similar fashion.

Cheers,

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Re: Agave Nectar Tequila Trial

Postby ozone39 » Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:30 pm

Ran a batch of tequila (blue agave spirit) about 5 months ago. I put a gallon of that blue agave nectar in my turkey fryer, took a torch and put the burn to it...Added three gallons of water, mixed and pitched the yeast and away it went....I did a double distill and it came out pretty good. But it's expensive...
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Re: Agave Nectar Tequila Trial

Postby Horse_Shoe » Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:41 pm

Thanks everyone for your input. I bought the last two bottles of nectar from the shelf. I had the corn sweetener and sugar already, so I used it. When I poured the nectar in the water by itself it did not taste very sweet at all. The nectar by itself was extremely sweet and had that burned smoky flavor to it, very hard to describe, but very tasty. At this time the fermentation is going full blast, bubbling like champagne. Can't wait to rack it off and see what happens. I tried finding distillation info on agave, but it was scarce and vague. I saw that the correct liquor term is Mezcal, according to some internet sights. Some premium tequila distillers claim that their products are made from blue agave. So, I'll find out on my own and share it with ya.
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Re: Agave Nectar Tequila Trial

Postby Dnderhead » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:37 pm

seems that iv read that much "off the shelf" syrups have sugar added,much like
"real maple" syrup has..then they have been refined this removes a bunch of flavors
similar as what happens to molasses.
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Re: Agave Nectar Tequila Trial

Postby WeeStiller » Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:20 am

Tequila is ONLY made from blue agave, no other ingredients are allowed. Do a google on tequila and you find excellent reading on how it's produced and when one is allowed to name it tequila (lots of regulations!). Tequila derives its specific flavor from a sugar called inulin and inulin only. See if you can find on the bottles how much inulin they contain, you can assess how close to the tequila flavor you will get. Adding other sugars will certainly mask the tequila flavor so myself I would leave them out. The agave drink probably already contains other sugars by itself. Artichokes, onions and chicory also contain inulin, so you might try adding some of these. Being a short chain sugar already, inulin does not have to be converted or inverted. There's a thread going on at HD about using onions to make tequila: beware, onions contain loads of sulfur you need to get rid of.
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Re: Agave Nectar Tequila Trial

Postby Horse_Shoe » Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:03 am

Yeah, the Agave Nectar that I purchased is produced by Madhava, and they claim that it is 100% pure and raw, with no other added sugars or syrups. I threw out the bottle and cant find an Inulin measurement. It states under the carbohydrate category that there are 15g or sugars per serving. I don't remember the serving size though.

Yes, I realize that the addition of the corn syrup and sugar omits the brew from being a true tequila. I'm hopeful that the Agave nectar will at least impart some character to the sugar/corn wash.

The problem right now is the fermentation. It's going like a bottle rocket, but at 96F and 3.2 Acid. I'm going to add some Gypsum to try and tone it down and also add some turbo yeast to tolerate the high temps. I might kill the whole thing. We'll see.
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Re: Agave Nectar Tequila Trial

Postby loneswinger » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:36 am

No I think the high temps will be good.

And for further clarification:

Mezcal is spirit derived from any agave. Tequila is derived specifically from the blue agave (along with many other regulations).

In either case the 'pinas' of the plants, once mature, are collected and cooked. They are then shredded and pressed and the juice that is collected is fermented and distilled. It is this same juice that is dehydrated into the nectar that we purchase at the store. I think what happens though is a lot of the more volatile and aromatic compounds in the agave juice are evaporated during the dehydration process, hence a lot of the flavor and aroma that would normally be in the juice is absent in the nectar.

I have been unable to find much information about the specifics of the distilling process. For example, I don't know if the heads/tails are recycled, or if the dunder gets reused in any way. I have heard that the spirit is typically rested for at least 3 months, even when left clear, but I do not know for sure.

I participated some in the onion tequila trials. Let me tell you that it is the worst spirit, probably the worst food product of any sort, that I have ever made or tasted in my entire life. Completely horrible. It tastes like you allowed a whole bunch of onions to rot along with other garbage in your dumpster, you then took all of the flavors and smells from the dumpster and concentrated them to such a degree that they would all fit into a 750 ml bottle. Ok, maybe not that bad but still bad.

I would stick to the agave nectar. :wink:

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Re: Agave Nectar Tequila Trial

Postby ozone39 » Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:12 pm

They cook/char the "pineapples" in a oven for three hours before they press 'em.....That is a critical part of the process as well...I scorched/boiled the nectar before adding water. Makes a huge difference, I've done two washes, one scorched and the other with out...As well, the blue agave nectar I ordered was in a big bucket from south of the border, 100% pure (or so they claim). The "tequila" is trademarked that and can only be used on blue agave spirits made in Mexico and no where else..
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Re: Agave Nectar Tequila Trial

Postby Horse_Shoe » Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:12 pm

ozone39 wrote:I scorched/boiled the nectar before adding water. Makes a huge difference


For you what is the difference? I mean, does your raw nectar have any phenol (scorched) smell? What is the end result taste difference?
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Re: Agave Nectar Tequila Trial

Postby ozone39 » Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:11 pm

Belive it or not the scorched was smoother in the end and had a less harsh bite to it. I put the flame ( used a weed burner)to the nectar until it started to bubble up from the flame. I did not burn it, might say I caramelized it till it got thick. Then added the water, heated till 105F and pitched the yeast (I use fleshmans bakers yeast)..Kept it pretty simple. Me and the buds thought it was pretty good. It made a mean margarita....
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Re: Agave Nectar Tequila Trial

Postby Smokehouse Shiner » Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:21 pm

Well my apologies Horse Shoe, Ozone and everyone. I guess I was wrong. Must have missed the threads where this stuff acually worked.... :oops: Only ones I remember reading were unsucessful. Don't let me discourage you from experimenting and from now on I'll stay out of it as I don't even like tequila..... :|
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Re: Agave Nectar Tequila Trial

Postby loneswinger » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:29 am

ozone39 wrote:Belive it or not the scorched was smoother in the end and had a less harsh bite to it. I put the flame ( used a weed burner)to the nectar until it started to bubble up from the flame. I did not burn it, might say I caramelized it till it got thick.


So do you think that the agave nectar that you purchase at the local store did not go through a cooking process? Somehow I had it in my head that cooking the pineapples was a necessary step in making the nectar.

I would like to revisit making some "tequila" again. It is expensive though.

I look forward to hearing the results of these trials.

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Re: Agave Nectar Tequila Trial

Postby Horse_Shoe » Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:05 pm

@ 24 hours acid 5.2 temp 82F. Wort is very cloudy, due to gypsum and baking soda.
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ARTICHOKE WASH ?

Postby mash rookie » Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:52 am

Hey Horse shoe, How is your Tequila wash coming? Interesting thread. I have a couple of bottles of agave nectar that I have been planning on trying.

Some one mentioned that artichokes have inulin sugar too. Has anyone tried using artichokes? Or added them to a Agave syrup wash?

Maybe we are missing the boat trying to make a tequila flavor. I think I will scorch my syrup and boil up a couple of artickokes.
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Re: Agave Nectar Tequila Trial

Postby Horse_Shoe » Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:52 pm

Hello Everyone!

Time for an update! I just returned from a trip. The agave nectar wash has been fermenting and settling out for almost two weeks.
IMG00158-20110212-1635.jpg
Agave Nectar Wash
IMG00158-20110212-1635.jpg (17.21 KiB) Viewed 10394 times


As you can see it is a pretty golden amber color and is quite clear. I racked it instead of filtering it. Final abv wasn't available, but the acidity was at 5.2 ph. The wine smelled pleasant. I'm distilling the first gallon now in my little copper alembic potstill. I'm doing a strip run first. The first 150ml are coming off at 65% abv. The next at 35%. The product tastes quite smooth and has no odor whatsoever. I'm going to backset a little of the wash into the next gallon. Was thinking of backsetting the first distillate into the second gallon to save time. Any thoughts?
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We've got a winner!

Postby Horse_Shoe » Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:36 am

Good Morning,

I know some of you have been waiting to see how the Agave Nectar Tequila Trial turns out. Here are the results:

Strip Run: 750ml of low wines at 65%-30% abv respectively (47% avg.)

Spirit Run: 450ml of distillate at about 85%-75% abv respectively (80% avg.)

I measured alcohol at 100ml throughout. Acid remained about the same at 5.2 ph.

Flavor: Tastes like tequila. Smells like tequila. Slightly bitter and sweet. Full body texture, feels like honey on my tongue. Initial results are satisfactory.

Diluted to 80 proof with distilled water and stored in separate glass and stainless steel containers. Total volume: 1 Liter of 80 proof silver tequila.

Hope you like.
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Re: Agave Nectar Tequila Trial

Postby loneswinger » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:09 am

Sounds good Horse_Shoe. I found that the tequila flavor really opens up if you let it age for a month or three, even if you let it age without oak. As to recycling the dunder or the heads/tails..I really am not sure if this is appropriate for tequila or not. Maybe give it a try and see what happens. It works with just about every other spirit so it should work here maybe?

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Madhava Agave Nectar at Wal-Mart

Postby Horse_Shoe » Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:04 pm

Hi Everyone,

I just saw that Wal-Mart stocked up on Madhava brand Agave Nectar, clear and amber. The 23 oz clear bottle was $6.37 each. Pricey, but pretty tasty.
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Re: Artichoke Wash

Postby Horse_Shoe » Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:07 pm

Mash Rooky,

I've read that Artichokes and Onions contain the right sugars for fermentation; but, they also contain very high amounts of sulfur. Sulfur is what gives them their pungent and savory flavor. Sulfur also ruins any chance of making a decent mash. There are rumors that it can be done. I just don't know how to remove the sulfur.
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Re: Agave Nectar Tequila Trial

Postby loneswinger » Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:44 pm

Not artichokes, Jerusalem artichokes, quite different. One is a flower, the other is a tuber, and the two are completely unrelated.

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Agave Nectar Tequila Reviews

Postby Horse_Shoe » Sun Feb 27, 2011 5:49 pm

Hi All,

I just had to share this with you. My girlfriend, who is a self styled Tequila connoisseur, had the opportunity to make an opinion on my Agave Nectar Tequila. This weekend she took me to a restaurant that served all of the top shelf brands and we ordered "a flight" of different premiums, of various brands and ages. She walked me through the tasting part, while I connected it all to the making part. At home, I served her some of my home made spirit. She was honest and stated that it certainly wasn't on the level with her favorite premiums, but that it held lots of promise. She said that the flavor was right, and that there were no "off" odors or flavors. Together, we agreed that, at minimum, it was great for Margarita's; which we made and drank.

I sent her back to Texas with a couple of bottles for her to store and age. I am very pleased with this experiment, especially since my malt trials are really "trials." :x Does anyone have a source for bulk agave nectar that is reasonably priced. I think I can do more of this, but small quantities make it expensive.
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Re: Agave Nectar Tequila Trial

Postby retlaw » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:20 am

it is my understanding that tequila can only be called tequila if it comes from Jalisco, Jaliso is one of the 31 Mexican states,
just like champagne cames from champagne france, champagne is a province in the northeast of France,
if its not made there, then it can't be called it,
mescal is made the same way as tequila but does not come from jalisco, it is made in one of the other states of mexico so they can't call it tequila,

roasting of the agave hearts adds the smoke flavour and brings out the sugers,
just like when sugar cain feilds are burned, the burning helps with the harvest and increases or brings out the sugars in the cane,

agave farming is nicknamed the "widows crop",
it takes five years or more to get a high quality agave,
suggesting that the farmer dies before he gets a chance to harvest so his widow has to harvest the crop,
plus there is a mold or fungus that can destroy the crop and leave the farmer nothing,

if you were real serious of making the drink as authentic as possible you could import the roasted hearts or pine apples of the agave from mexico, border duty fees would be a fraction compared to bring over the finished drink product,
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Re: Tequila is only made in Mexico

Postby Horse_Shoe » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:39 pm

Is anyone else reading that last post and rolling their eyes? Really? The rules say blah, blah, woof, woof. This is a community of outlaws, conspiring to have propriety over their own happiness and destiny, without the bureaucracy and oppression of governments. Who gives a flying S*** if in Mexico, only Jaliscos can call it Tequila. The point is that I made it in my KITCHEN! MY KITCHEN! MI COCHINA! It tastes like tequila, looks like tequila, smells like tequila, and I'm calling it F***ing TEQUILA! Without my notes on the subject here, you might not be able to make it for yourself. However, I have copiously provided a successful method for you, selflessly. Now, get off the friggin keyboard and try it yourself! Enjoy :roll:
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Inulin Powder

Postby Horse_Shoe » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:44 pm

Hey All,

I was searching for bulk Agave Nectar on the net and saw "Inulin Powder." Does anyone have the skinny on this product. Inulin is a type of sugar, as I understand it.
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Re: Agave Nectar Tequila Trial

Postby retlaw » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:51 pm

getting a little up tight there aren't you Horse_Shit, maybe you should have a drink or something,

if you want BULK agave inulin try Alibaba.com
http://www.alibaba.com/product-free/109 ... nulin.html

min. order is ten tons, is that to much for your tiny still?
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Re: Agave Nectar Tequila Trial

Postby WalkingWolf » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:56 pm

I agree with your assessment of our endeavor -- although, maybe not with quite the fervor. There are purist amongst us (of which I could be accused at times) that feel obligated to reiterate the basic rules of nomenclature. Nothing wrong with that -- we could all learn a thing or two from this lot, and personally, I like the input. We are, in general, malcontents for the status-quo, thereby not averse to blazing our own trail. So, for naming conventions, bourbon can only be called as such if a certain stringent set of rules are abided by -- then if I produce a similar product, seeing how I'm outside of the established standards anyway -- I'll call it what I see fit. In reverance to those that have come before (and respect to the genre in general) I will choose to call my product "Bourbon-esque". I don't mind. So have no ill will to your brethren -- for he simply responds to what moves him -- as you do yourself.

I'm glad to see your endeavor with the agave turned out for you. Mine was an (expensive) miserable failure -- thankfully I had a healthy UJSSM going and it ate it up with no hesitation. I'd think this may be an option for someone from that region with access to "cost-effective" raw material.
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Re: Agave Nectar Tequila Trial

Postby Horse_Shoe » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:02 pm

Wise words Walking Wolf. No hard feelings for the retlaw poster. I'd also read and enjoyed learning about the conventions of Tequila "proper." Too bad your trial didn't turn out. I've had plenty of that with these malts. I've only got some peat left, and I'm afraid to use for I'll ruin it too, and throw it out like the others. I'll keep trying, but simple sugars seem to work well for me. Its kind of ironic because I'm mostly a rum and vodka fan anyways. I do love a good single malt, though. And, I want badly to develop my own.
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Re: Agave Nectar Tequila Trial

Postby rad14701 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:03 pm

retlaw wrote:getting a little up tight there aren't you Horse_Shit, maybe you should have a drink or something,

if you want BULK agave inulin try Alibaba.com
http://www.alibaba.com/product-free/109 ... nulin.html

min. order is ten tons, is that to much for your tiny still?

I'm seeing a bit too much of an attitude for such a new member, retlaw... Trying to piss off members with your 4th post here isn't going to win friends or influence people... Think long and hard before you press Submit from now on...
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