Grappa

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Grappa

Postby joelucci33 » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:47 am

So last year when my family made wine i took the peels after initial fermentation re-fermented them, and started to distill to make grappa....i ended up in the hospital putting my Grappa making to a hault...We are now starting to make the Wine again...I am running a Keg style boiler with a Reflux column. Last year i ran a pot still....SO my question is....does any one have a recipe on grappa?? Or distilling pomace from wine grapes?
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Re: Grappa

Postby blind drunk » Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:21 pm

I'm not sure of a recipe but there is some stuff here on HD. I remember posting a video link or two. In one video, the guy has some wine in a boiler covered with straw. The pomace sat on the straw and it looks like he ran it as a pot. I've made a wine with the pomace but those were early days and I made tons of mistakes, starting with turbo yeast all the way to bad cuts. Also, I hear white skins are better than red. Try youtube too. Good luck with your hunt, bd.
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Re: Grappa

Postby Dnderhead » Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:45 pm

these has been fermented all ready? like in red wine.
as for what I know you use lightly pressed grape skins ,like when making white wine, as these still have some juice in them.
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Re: Grappa

Postby erasei » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:19 pm

There is a lot of great info here on grappa. I was reading through it earlier today for the first time. There is a thread titled "Grape Must" that is pretty detailed.. a couple of winery guys working through the process.. find that and read up on it.

It's that time of year and I have over 50 wineries with less than 15 miles from my house.. actually its probably more.. so I'm very interested in using the white grape pomace (given away free by the truck loads) to make a grappa. A lot of the microwineries around me also sell their excess grapes for around $1.50 a pound.. so might "splurge" on some of that for a brandy as well.
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WWII Grappa Story.

Postby castleclr » Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:23 pm

On new years eve, due to my lack of sociabilty, I was in the shop running the pot. The neighbor's ex brings his dad over to show him my set up. The man was a young child in Italy during the war and he told of how in his town the Nazi's outlawed stilling, but everybody kept at it. The folk were using stovetop pressure cooker apparatus with a worm, from what I could gather, the old man telling the story was very young and not familiar with the set ups.The Germans ignored the practice, however the smell in the streets was noticeable because the villagers put some stems and leaves from the vines in the pots with the wash. He says it was a good smell.
The grandfather stilled grappa here in the states and the grandson tells me he used a glass pot, round lab type globe with a glass air cooled worm. The kid is a first class POS so I cant vouch for his... accuracy. Grandad is gone, cant ask him.
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Re: Grappa

Postby Dnderhead » Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:36 pm

stems/leaves was used on the bottom to keep the pumice off the bottom and burning.
iv seen reeds /cattails used.
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Re: Grappa

Postby erasei » Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:32 pm

So to be "grappa" does the ferment have to include stems and seeds? If the ferment just includes skins and juice is that a brandy? I picked up an ice chest full of white wine skins this afternoon. Got an 8 gallon fermenter filled with skins plus 8 lbs of sugar inverted in a gallon of water, cooled, added to skins then covered the skins with water. Probably 4 gallons total water. Basically just what I had on hand. No yeast added. Will see what happens. Took some pictures, will post em up when I'm done.
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Re: Grappa

Postby Dnderhead » Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:34 am

originally did contain seeds/stems and all, now they remove as many as possible, also at one time grappa was made from "foot stomped" grapes so nothing had to be added.if you used a direct fired still you made a "bed" of leaves/stems on bottom to keep the pumice off the bottom so it would not burn(some one on HD used a false bottom ),to day they use steam or double boilers,this is necessary because it is fermented and distilled on the pumice.
I thank today because they press the grapes and not as much juice left they add a bit of water/sugar.(if I remember right 1/4-1/2 as much as much juice that was taking off) seeds and stems are removed for much cleaner product.
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Re: Grappa

Postby erasei » Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:20 pm

Here's a picture of the grape skins that I picked up.
IMG_0932.JPG


And after being put into my fermenter and topped off with water and inverted sugar.
IMG_0933.JPG


The airlock was going so hard last night we could it hear from the bedroom.. which is downstairs, and the fermenter is upstairs and halfway on the other side of the house. Needless to say, it's going gangbusters on its own natural yeasts. I popped off the lid and mixed it up today and as soon as I put my (surgically clean) hand in to stir it fizzed out pretty big. Like a soda pop being opened. It has a wonderful earthy wine smell to it. This is my first try with a natural yeast and so far it's awesome!

Thanks for all the help from the many articles and folks on this forum. I estimate this 8 gallon batch will cost me around $3 (sugar).
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Re: Grappa

Postby joelucci33 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:30 am

so i started fermenting the first batch last night. I some what came up with my own method and we'll see how it turns out. I have a portuguese friend who makes an alcohol similar to grappa...he does not burn the pumice just the liquid/secondary wine after re-distilling the pumace.
heres what I did after reading different methods/articles. I have about 80 pounds of peels/stems/seeds that have already been crushed fermented and pressed to just about nothing. immediately after pulling the block of pumace out of the press i made sure to keep it at a temp of around 80 degrees so the natural yeast still present would not die. (I ahve read when making a grape pumace based mashed the more natural yeast and less "wine" yeast the better the finished product. I put the pumace in a 50 gallon plastic foodgrade barrel with the top cut off. I added 15 gallons of warm water about 85 degrees F
and started to break up the block of pumace. I then boiled 35 lbs of sugar in 15 gallons of water...i brought the temp of the water and sugar to about 95 degrees F and until all the sugar was multed down. I then dumped the hot water into the pumace and stirred it up pretted good....covered it with a tarp and put a small space heater under the tarp. Checked on it this morning and it is boiling/fermenting nicely already. I keep the temp of the pumace steady between 90 and 100 degrees F just like we do with wine. I plan on letting it ferment in the barrel for 5-7 days then pressing and either distilling right away or letting it ferment a bit more in Airlocked bottles for another week or so.
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Re: Grappa

Postby banjo » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:52 pm

I gotta wonder how your grappa turned out? what abv did you dilute down to? what kind of still are you running?

I've made my own grappa from both pinot noir & granacha/syrah & I receive rave reviews about it all. even if leave up at 90% ABV. the wierd part about grappa is that the people that are crazy about it love the harsh smell & taste of the heads, I could probably not remove the fores & theyd still love it... from all that I've had- the spirit itself is meant to be brash & harsh. I treated all my secondary grappa ferments exactly like wine, did punch downs every morning & night when it was going strong. kept it away from air. It all seems to have a chocolaty taste when its in my garage but it all goes away in distillation. i kept everything sterile enough for beer, even added DAP, racked off the juice & fired up the still. ended up with about 4 gallons of good grappa at 87% after one run in total potstill mode & second run with the small amount of reflux my still can provide.
let me know what you did! & what appellation?
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Re: Grappa

Postby blind drunk » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:18 pm

from all that I've had- the spirit itself is meant to be brash & harsh.


I have to disagree. I had some bush grappa once that was sweet and floral. It was like the essence of "the grape", and it was awesome. Don't sell grappa short :wink:
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Re: Grappa

Postby banjo » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:43 pm

I dont mean to at all! I actually like the stuff when I'm in the mood... I've made my own granache syrah that is smooth sippin at 90abv & really really nice at 40. Had to use some sodium bicarb to get some of the harshness out & still keep the nose on it but its all there & I get no complaints.

reason I say so is that I do get complaints when its NOT harsh & "heady" so I plan on leaving some extra in there for the fans. Personally I'm not a fan of it, just like I imagine most people on here taste some foul things if off the shelf stuff but others dont even know its there.

I'll probably be making at least 4 batches of grappa this year, Trying to decide on what kind of still to "go Big" with as I'm shooting to make 5-10 gallons of product from each batch to last the year. gotta figure that one out & the grappa production for friends & wine makers plays a part in that as it supplys me with good (really good) wine for years to come.
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Re: Grappa

Postby blind drunk » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:47 pm

reason I say so is that I do get complaints when its NOT harsh & "heady"

:shock:
Give the people what they want!! :mrgreen:
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Re: Grappa

Postby condensificator » Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:13 pm

i tried making some grappa once. the elders who got me into shining gave me a whole sh*t-ton of pomace...5 huge garbage bags full. i used their recipe, and man, that sh*t was TERRIBLE! don't know what the variety was, they got it from a winemaker friend of theirs and couldn't remember. i tried to re-run it a few different times and ways, and finally just dumped all of it down the drain. total waste of time, heat, and water!!!

someday i'll try it again, but i'll look up a proven recipe from one of you folk here.
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Re: Grappa

Postby Hutch- » Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:52 pm

Couple thoughts... I've made both brandy (juice only) and grappa (seed & skins). For me they turn out roughly the same, grape varietals being equal. I found that running both the stripping and spirit run hard works best for cuts. It also allows me to run deeper into the tails. I used to keep the stream about pencil lead thickness, now I make sure the output is twisting. Running my pot still too slow tends to smear the tails. I generally collect 80% down to 55%, then begin collecting tails in smaller increment. I've stopped collecting as early as 45%, and collected some down to 15%. Don't know if grape varietal or yeast has an impact on how deep to run, but it does vary. Like rum, there's a lot of flavor and grape aroma in the tails. I toss the fores, and keep anything else over 80% to add to the next run.
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Re: Grappa

Postby banjo » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:31 pm

I do roughly the same, save for the heads, I add a bit just because the main folks i make it for like the little bit of harshness.. others I even go to lengths of adding a bit of baking soda & aging a few months before they get to taste it... really mellows it out alot & is still VERY full flavor.. I do either 2 or 3 runs depending on who its for & tailor it accordingly.

thing that I find tricky about it is the blending. I blend to a large batch & then separate to jars, could just be my lack of experience & probably a good part of the still... just seems like its one thing then add a bit & then the complete opposite. its most common for me to do one stripping run & then a spirit run. thoughts?
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Re: Grappa

Postby Hutch- » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:35 am

banjo wrote:thing that I find tricky about it is the blending. I blend to a large batch & then separate to jars, could just be my lack of experience & probably a good part of the still... just seems like its one thing then add a bit & then the complete opposite. its most common for me to do one stripping run & then a spirit run. thoughts?


agreed. check out the sticky on cuts in the novice section. i find it true most runs that i get a portion of the tails that i have to discard, but then collect product i'll use after that cut. it's been my experience with grapes that every run is different, probably because i rarely use the same grape varietals and yeast combination. i should be keeping notes, it may shed some light. i do find i prefer brandy/grappa from white grapes over dark or a mix of the two.
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