Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Information about fruit/vegetable type washes.

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by InglisHill » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:48 am

That is interesting, we use the skins because that is where a large percentage of the fragrance comes from, I have a good supply of them at the moment so will do a wash with no skins and see how we get on.

Thanks again Paulinka, you are an absolute asset to this site !

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Tokoroa_Shiner » Sun Apr 26, 2015 5:37 pm

Very interesting. Although it kinda makes sense. As well as being really really bitter. I've also found it has an almost waxy feel/taste. Natural oils? That hydrolyse during distillation?
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Paulinka » Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:53 am

Bitter oils, wax, terpenes, all of them are shields that act as a repellent against insects and/or UV-radiation, etc. From the plants point of view the outer layer of the fruit is all about protecting the seeds inside until full ripening, quite the opposite direction to when they are in bloom and baiting flying insects with vivid colorization and attractive scent of flowers.

Nearly all fruits are close to be inedible* until their seeds are ready to germinate. And when they are ripe, sugars (and the alcohol converted from them) make them attractive to birds and mammals, who bring the seeds in their system and poo them out far away from the mother-plant, giving a higher chance of getting full sun than they would have as nearby saplings.

It always makes me wonder, nature is so marvellous in it's complexity, every little creature has it's own important role, literally every living thing is a VIP under the sun.

(*Caterpillars can eat through the sour and hard unripe fruits because their digestive system is highly alkaline.)

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by frozenthunderbolt » Sat May 02, 2015 11:58 pm

As in my Feijoa Schnaps thread - It turns out I'm experimenting with this, this season; one bucket of feijoa skins and sugar for the alcohol, one bucket with no skin, just fruit and little sugar
Where has all the rum gone? . . .

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Bustard » Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:30 am

Good Afternoon,

Bloody marvelous posts - for a beginner i have yet to find another post as informative and easy to read. :clap: :clap:

Thank you for the information so freely shared. If i ever am lucky enough to get to that side of the world i will be knocking on a lot of doors.

Kind Regards

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Odin » Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:56 am

Bugac Puszta ... I visited it like 2 1/2 years ago. Paulinka, I plan to spend my summer holidays in Hungary. Siofok, Lake Balaton. The kids will go to a summer camp near Kecskemet. How about meeting? I am very curious to taste your palinka. I will bring some gin and genever! We, the mss and me, could visit you when we bring the kids to summer camp. Or, if that's more to your liking, please know you are invited to our summer holiday house for some beach time and an evening where we make bogracs gulyas!

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Kareltje » Sun Feb 28, 2016 2:12 pm

I just started reading your very interesting thread.
Paulinka wrote:Yesterday I finished distilling that 120kg (265lb.) cherry we harvested and mashed.
From that post I had a few questions:
Paulinka wrote:A few drops of pectin-converter enzyme mixed in the mash too, even if cherries don't have that much of a pectine, but because pectines degrade to methyl-alcohol if not broken down before fermenting, and for broad cherry taste and nose we need to keep as much head as possible - so better not be there too much malcohol.
If I am informed correctly, methanol is freed from pectine by the pectinase. And unless you heat the mash to more than 65 degr. C before fermenting, it stays in the mash. (And maybe even then!) I do not know at which temperature the pectinase is denatured and destroyed, but heating seems to be necessary for that purpose too.
Is there any information about this?

Paulinka wrote:Now we have about 25 l of 30%v/v cloudy cherrywater, dilute it with tapwater down to 20% and it is ready to distill. I have only a 17 litre pot, so three spirit-runs were needed.

Starting with a slow fire to drive out as much malcohol as humanely possible, foreshot is thrown out, then after the pause I cut back on temperature even more. First three dl is separated in different jars, and I collected the heart down to 45%. 45-40% were recycled in another mash, it is the part that has a wet-dog smell and a flabby range overall. 40-20% collected by 100mls, aerated for 24h. Around 32% I found a nice mellow buttery cherry-jam, it was mixed with the heart, the other tails were re-run. Also from the first three dl head only the first was not suitable to mixing in. Next two runs were nearly the same, of course the last one had a longer tail and it was separated more to find the sweet spot.
Do I understand correctly that you collect the heart withoud the part 45-40 %?
So you collect from, say, 85 % to 45 %, then keep 45 tot 40 % apart and collect again from 40 to 20 %? I never heard of this, but the way you describe it, it is an interesting practice.
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If you ask me: very good English

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by thecroweater » Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:58 pm

I also am not convinced pectinase is a good idea for a distilling must
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by freaky_cutout » Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:16 pm

Pectinase makes methanol. It also breaks down the gummy structures. There is the age old idea that methanol comes across over a whole run right, but, the amount that comes across after the initial burst is negligible. My opinion is that if you are using pectinase, make a bigger heads cut.
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by der wo » Mon Feb 29, 2016 1:57 am

If you use pectinase, you can mash with less water. You will get more taste but unfortunately also more methanol. Inspite of the low boiling point of methanol you can not reduce the methanol content with a bigger heads cut. Probably you even will get a little more methanol in you drink with a bigger heads cut. A bigger tails cut reduces the methanol content:
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... 33&t=40606

IMO the real question is, if methanol is really poisonous in our circumstances.
Our circumstances are:
-do you trust the studies, that methanol is no or way less poisonous while the presence of ethanol?
-how much do you drink of probably methanol-rich spirits?
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by thecroweater » Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:09 am

Yeah I'm not real sure I can fully agree with some of that statement. I don't believe that adding water ( with in reason) makes any discernible difference to the flavour, if it does ya may need to look at your distilling practices :thumbup:
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by der wo » Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:36 am

thecroweater wrote:I don't believe that adding water ( with in reason) makes any discernible difference to the flavour
I'm not sure too. It's only true for sure in theory.
But mashing for example quinces without pectinase? I will do only, if someone proves me, that I will poison myself by using pectinase.

Some provocating statement:
You can reduce methanol for sure by adding sugar and turbo yeast. The proportion between ethanol and methanol will change, because more ethanol and the same methanol in the mash means less methanol in your drink.
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by thecroweater » Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:52 am

Yeah OK not convinced turbo yeast would result in less methanol, depending on the nutrients it would possibly be the opposite but my point was aimed at claims water added water will necessarily reduce flavour, I have never found that to be the case. I can't see how that could be so unless you are ripping excess water over with your spirit in which case ya need to slow that shit down :wink:
One could claim a thick must could be run faster except it can't be because you'll get scorching
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by der wo » Mon Feb 29, 2016 3:18 am

Not the nutrients produce the methanol. The pectin is the starting material.

The next question is about the sugar content. If you add water, you lower the sugar content and you will get less abv. Less abv means less flavor extraction. This we can find out by experimentation with vapor infusion: The same amount of herbs/fruits will result in more flavor distilled with 10l 40% neutral than with 20l 20% neutral.

Of course you can compensate this by adding sugar. But dilutes this the flavor? Replacing fruit with water and sugar?

I remember, we both discuss this the second time now. And I know, this is one of the many things, for what I did not enough experiments, to see, what is right for me. So I respect the other opinion.
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by thecroweater » Mon Feb 29, 2016 3:46 am

Well now we are getting some where. You will get less alcohol by volume but you will most definitely not get less alcohol, the amount of alcohol will be identical as will the amount of esters and other flavours. Due to the slightly increased volume via extra water the must will be slightly diluted but we are all about concentrating yeah. So more water means more stillage and the product will be the same but will be much easier to work with.
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by der wo » Mon Feb 29, 2016 4:01 am

The same amount of herbs with the same amount of neutral alcohol will result in less taste the more you dilute with water. That is a fact for me proved by experiments. But not only less taste, also finer taste. So I have to add, less diluting is not always better.
Your theory is true but not complete. Perhaps there is something like a higher extraction power of higher abv?
Is there an argument, that a fruit mash would act different in this context?
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Odin » Mon Feb 29, 2016 1:21 pm

Higher ABV alcohol dissolves more tasty oils. Higher ABV alcohol is easier to distill, so you need much less energy to be able to make good cuts.

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Kareltje » Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:53 pm

freaky_cutout wrote:Pectinase makes methanol. It also breaks down the gummy structures. There is the age old idea that methanol comes across over a whole run right, but, the amount that comes across after the initial burst is negligible. My opinion is that if you are using pectinase, make a bigger heads cut.
This is not the answer I was hoping for. But we might as well discuss methanol.
By sheer accident I read an article about different pectinases and the amount of methanol in the corresponding wines. As could be expected: the better the pectinase worked, the more taste and the more methanol could be found in the resulting wine. So about that we do not need to discuss more.
(Sorry: I stumbled over the article while waiting for another, so I did not note the name of the periodical, nor date and time. :oops: )
Other than ethylacetate and ethylaldehyde, which come over in the first part and then are finished, methanol comes for a large part over in the head, but after that keeps coming over in the rest of the distillate in an almost constant rate per volume of distillate.

Sometimes the amount of congeners, among them methanol, is plotted per 100 ml aa (absolute alcohol (=ethanol)) and then the tail of the graph curls upward. But that's not because the amount of methanol is growing towards the end of a run, but because the amount of ethanol is diminishing! When you plot the amount of methanol per volume of distillate, the graph will be almost horizontal.

Once I read the best cure for methanol-poisening: keep the patient poisened with ethanol! According to that article methanol is a little quicker in occupying the metabolizing enzymes than ethanol. So if you want to drive out the methanol, you have to overflood the enzymes with ethanol. Seemed reasonable to me, at that time.

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by thecroweater » Wed Mar 02, 2016 7:42 pm

Guys it would be great if these off topic discussions could be stand alone topics rather than derail threads like this. Kind of interesting topic that can be discussed in the fruit forum but it need to be in its own tread with its own title like Managing and limiting methanol production rather than muddying up specific recipe and methods like this, link to it by all means but alot of members just want to see the various methods without whole pages of off tropic related discussion :thumbup:
I will move the last 13 posts when next on my pc
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Kareltje » Thu Mar 03, 2016 2:09 pm

Good point croweater.

But I would like you to leave my question about the interruption in collecting the heart bewteen 45 and 40 %ABV and then going on between 40 and 20 %ABV. He gives a very good reason (the smell of wet dog!) but this is the very first time I heard someone mentioning it. That is why I would like confirmation.

It would be a very interesting improvement, if it really works. But it would take much attention: according to my chart it is between 94,5 and 95,5 degr. C.

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Paulinka » Fri Mar 04, 2016 4:42 am

Dear Friends,

nice to be here again - it's been a long time, I spent most of my energy to enhance my brewing-skills -, and seeing this topic is at top and with a great on-topic conversation warms my heart. Thank you all!

Now, I'm pretty sure that it sounds most extreme and even suicidal, not to mention it's bubble-bursting effect but one has to say it sometimes, may it be now:
do not take extra caution to reduce methanol-content in fruit-spirits!
But.... methanol is highly posionous, amirite? Absolutely, however it's much more a friend than a foe in this very situation.

Methanol binds some of those extremely volatile and highly precious aromas that are literally steaming out to never be found otherway. While methanol spreads through in the heart and even found in the tail section of fruit spirits, most of them are in the head, not to mention the foreshot.
To secure some "high scent" I collect the head in mini sections: yes, most will smell only like acetone/nail polish/paint thinner, you name it, but some will also hold the freshest smell of fruit that will give a sparklingly vibrant soul to the spirit. Especially pears and apples are a good training ground for this, after a few batch you can even tell the color of the fruit which the spirit is made from by smelling it!

Ok, but we don't need the acetone/thinner part, is there a way to separate it without poisoning ourselves? Easy: dilute the head-sections carrying desirable flavours with 1:1 ice-cold water, and immediately put them in the freezer overnight. Next day carefully harvest the concentrated volatile fruit-oils from atop with a syringe and inject it into the heart. There we go, with enhanced dimension of the fruit-character: and we tamed the feared methanol to our friend.

Actually, with such a high ratio of ethanol beside - the methanol is nothing to fear of.
Example: if I drink a thimbleful (say, 3ml) of clear methanol diluted with the same amount of water, well, it does no good to say the least, as even this little dose can cause permanent blindness.
If I drink the very same amount of methanol while it is 2%* amount of all alcohols in a drink - the other 98% is ethanol - and it is also a 50% spirit, it's not about "if" anymore but how often, as it is 5-6 shots of fruit spirit. I will get drunk, but will have nothing to fear, as my liver's enzymes will easily break down methanol while breaking down the ethanol.

2% methanol-content in pálinka is two times more than the legal amount, which is 1%, or 10g / liter. However, with proper fermentation of ripe fruits it is highly unlikely to reach even 1% methanol-content, so use pectinase, it is not called "aroma-releasing enzyme" for nothing because the methanol it creates from pectin is beneficial.

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Paulinka » Fri Mar 04, 2016 7:41 am

Hello Kareltje,

yes, 45-40% is usually a section that is not just bland beyond itself but somehow has a negative effect on the overall quality of the final blended spirit if not selected out. I have no exact idea what kind of esters or alcohols are at peak in this segment but try to separate it and you can find out it is not a good part. It's not written in stone, can be the byproduct of yeasts I used, so YMMV.

Collecting tails under 40% must be done with very careful heating, the goal is to pull a lick of deep marmelade taste, nothing more, nothing less. It is much harder to decide tails at blending then to decide heady sections by smelling them. Always dilute everything to 45-50% for taste, so tasting tails means drop tail in it's planned ratio into the heart which is already blended with the heady part (and high oils, preferably). Syringes are very handy, and keep precise calculations of ratio, abv and water while blending. Skin tests are fine too, a little drop on each back of your hand can show the difference even between two good sections.

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by MDH » Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:27 pm

I agree that there are some good aromas in the foreshot, but will it need to be aged for a very long time?

Most people on this forum are looking for spirits drinkable within several months of being made. When I include small amounts of head and tail in my brandy, it usually needs at least two years in glass before it can be drank.
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Kareltje » Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:58 pm

Woa, Paulinka! :clap:

Waiting for your answer I was pondering about a cut between 40 and 20 %ABV, resulting in about 30 %, being a very reasonable strength. And a remark in some article about two different drinks made from fruitspirits, one at high and another at lower spirits.
And an article I stumbled upon, studying cuts at 50, 45 or 40 %ABV. The rest was considered tails. Can't find it again, alas!

You talk about, and you work with, experience, knowledge and taste.
I only have measuring and instruments to decide.
I stand humbly before you!
Not only is my equipment too small, but my ability and experience to taste and smell are too small too. So in fact I do not know what I am doing, I just follow instructions.

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Kareltje » Fri Mar 04, 2016 6:04 pm

Paulinka wrote:Hello Kareltje,

Collecting tails under 40% must be done with very careful heating, the goal is to pull a lick of deep marmelade taste, nothing more, nothing less. It is much harder to decide tails at blending then to decide heady sections by smelling them. Always dilute everything to 45-50% for taste, so tasting tails means drop tail in it's planned ratio into the heart which is already blended with the heady part (and high oils, preferably). Syringes are very handy, and keep precise calculations of ratio, abv and water while blending. Skin tests are fine too, a little drop on each back of your hand can show the difference even between two good sections.
I completely understand. Thought about it myself.
But as I said: my nosing and tasting are not sufficiently developed.

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Paulinka » Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:11 am

MDH wrote:I agree that there are some good aromas in the foreshot, but will it need to be aged for a very long time?
Foreshots shouldn't be used, no matter how lovely they smell. Head-segments can be blended in, especially with the oil-separation method described above. Otherwise, if head-segments blended straight into the heart then yes, it literally takes years to get rid of the acetone/thinner smell. It can help if you open the cap of those bottles every month once or so, but airing out also means oxidation. Of course we can air out the heads before blending, but then most fruit-scent flyes away on the horseback of those nasty high alcohols.
MDH wrote:Most people on this forum are looking for spirits drinkable within several months of being made. When I include small amounts of head and tail in my brandy, it usually needs at least two years in glass before it can be drank.
Fighting time. :) With the frozen oil method we can make strict cuts for the heart, and making a bit more trendy, very perfumey vodka-like fruit-spirits in potstills, but with body. Not sure about longevity of aroma and taste though: I will make experiences with yeast strains that are some of the better glycerine-producers in the league. Glycerine not just generates a longer and sweeter mouthfeel and aftertaste but can aid in preserving volatile aromas too.

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Paulinka » Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:40 am

thecroweater wrote:Yeah OK not convinced turbo yeast would result in less methanol
AFAIK turbo yeast was designed* with the sole purpose of creating (mostly) ethanol-fuel, sensory qualities and ratio of other alcohols/fusels were not in consideration. TY made to be a quick corn-glucose-to-fuel converter, and as such, it is as far from "tasty" yeast strains as mineral oils from vegetable oils are.
(*TY is a GMO-product, which is not a bad thing in this case cause it didn't meant to be consumed other than by engines. I believe it's a crime to advertise it like "fast vodka yeast" etc., still it serves well for some this way: after a few attempts with it people will continue to buy the spirit industries' products again, and step out from homedistilling.)

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by der wo » Sat Mar 05, 2016 7:46 am

Thank you Paulinka for all the interesting info, but this is not correct:
Paulinka wrote:I will get drunk, but will have nothing to fear, as my liver's enzymes will easily break down methanol while breaking down the ethanol.
No, the trick is, that the liver will NOT brake down methanol, while it is busy with the ethanol. Not the methanol is poisonous, but the formaldehyde, what the liver would build from methanol, when no ethanol would be present.
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Paulinka » Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:17 am

You're absolutely right, huge thanks for not leaving half-ass info here! Cheers!

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by thesource674 » Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:23 pm

Paulinka, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this whole thread...twice...as brandy is the drink that made me want to start distilling in the first place!

I have a question I have not quite been able to deduce fully however, it appears that i DO want to do a stripping run of my mash (or in this case apple cider) to make low wines before I do a spirit run. However you recommend that you do the stripping run not over a high heat but a lower heat. I use a hotplate since my still is smaller. Does this mean for a stripping run I should slowly turn the heat up as you recommend until a decent heat and the mash is at a steady boil but not a real high heat and raging boil. I imagine its something to that effect but I would love some clarification if at all possible!

Cheers

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