Distilling wine

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Distilling wine

Postby harry ballsonya » Wed Jan 25, 2006 7:53 am

Ok just finished my first Pot Still (5 gal ss corny) and I am just waiting on the propane burner to arrive (seems nobody carries them in the winter) so I can get at it

I want to distill some grape wine I made a couple of years ago (about 100 l total)
this wine was made from pure Juice and lavin 1118 yeast
My question is that this wine has a funky taste (kind of moldy) and i am wondering if this taste will still be there after distilling...or better yet how to avoid this
and any other advice you might have would be helpful
cheers
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Postby knuklehead » Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:02 am

A few years ago I ran some homemade wine for a friend. It had a bad taste to it so he wasn't going to drink it as wine and asked if I could run it for him. I ran it through a reflux still twice, aired it out for about 2 months then let it sit on activated carbon for another month before filtering. That is what it took to get rid of the taste and smell the funked it up in the first place. If you intend to make brandy, I think the same problem will exist in your brandy as the wine. If you just want to get strip all flavors out of the wine into a neutral spirit, run it at least three times through your still and air it out for a long while. You should get a lot of experience running your still doing this as well as making use of the ethanol in the wine. Good luck.
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Postby Dr. Lector » Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:50 pm

I agree with knucklehead. A friend of mine made some wine and the buckets he used had some kind of soap in them . It came across in the wine and he gave it to me to distill. I ran it and it came across even worse in the still. We might have cleaned it up but we ended up throwing it out .My expereince is use food grade in the ferment and it should come out good in the still. Trash in = trash out
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Postby Guest » Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:54 pm

[quote="Dr. Lector" Trash in = trash out[/quote]
thats what i was afraid of
i guess if the brandy atempt goes bad i will try to neutrallize it
thanks
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Postby pothead » Wed Jan 25, 2006 7:11 pm

I have also found that if campden tablets were used in the wine, it can carry a sulfer taste and smell over that is nearly impossible to get rid of.
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Postby dye99 » Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:37 pm

I would like to add on if I may.
I just distilled about two litres of my homemade wine that had a sour taste to it. After letting it run for about 2 hrs I got somthing that left that vapor feeling in your mouth and just a little bit of the good wine taste left in it. I liked it alot and am looking foward to distilling a few more gallons of the stuff. Its my best creation yet so im quite pleased.
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Postby Watershed » Thu Jan 26, 2006 12:34 am

Try it - my currant wash was undrinkable - incredibly sour as are many of the hedgerow fruit washes I do but they still make fine spirits. Of course the fruit acids get left behind in the still, whether your musty flavours will is another matter but many grappas have a musty taste to them and are good drinking.
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Postby Bujapat » Fri Jan 27, 2006 12:05 pm

I don't agree with Knuklehead... Sorry.

My mother has an old collection of old french wines (more than four hundred bottles, from 1967 to 1985...) Each family meeting, we try to drink a few bottles, but most are bad tastin'... Cork, mold and so on... Maybe one bottle from five is drinkable... What a pitty!

Since I've made a still, I collect the bad bottles in a 25 l jar and when it's full...(it may take a few months) let's go to the still!
The result is, after agin' in oak chips and addin' a little caramel (a very little!), a full & good taste brandy!

I distill in a reflux, gettin' between 80 and 90 % proof, then I dilute and age a few weeks on oak chips.

So I don't think bad taste in wine does bad taste in distillate (not every time regardin' my experience)...
I'm french speaking!

Boiler : 50 L (13 gal) beer keg, gas heated.
Reflux : 104 cm (41 inches) column 54 mm (2 inches) diameter withh SS scrubbers packing.
Potstill : 40 cm (15 inches) column 54 mm (2 inches) diameter without packing.
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Postby knuklehead » Fri Jan 27, 2006 4:56 pm

Bujapat, no need to be sorry, every one is entitle to there own opinion. :D
Now here's mine. You said you refluxed it. Well then you are stripping off the flavor, brandy is made in a pot still. You said you collected at 80-90% proof. Which is it % or proof. Anything over 80% abv and you have stripped the majority of the flavor off the wash anyhow. My point is that a reflux still is meant to strip off all flavors to make neatral alcohol. If you had run it in a pot still at 80% down to 40% I'll bet you would have had differant results and found that the bad taste was also present in the brandy. Just my opinion.
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Postby Bujapat » Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:01 am

So, nearly one week without connectin' to the forum (too much work)!
In fact, I tried twice to distill old bad wine.
As I sayed, first time I distilled at ± 80 %... didn't taste much!
Second time, I distilled faster to get ± 55 %... I found that I got some taste then... Now is it agin' on wood (french oak) and smells better from week to week.
I repeat the wine was undrinkable, but not vinegar... Just tasting "too old" (I hope you'll see what I mean)...
I'm buzzy with buildin' a potstill now, I think it will help to get more tastefull products..., also with my mother's old wines!
I'm french speaking!

Boiler : 50 L (13 gal) beer keg, gas heated.
Reflux : 104 cm (41 inches) column 54 mm (2 inches) diameter withh SS scrubbers packing.
Potstill : 40 cm (15 inches) column 54 mm (2 inches) diameter without packing.
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