Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Information about fruit/vegetable type washes.

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by thecroweater » Fri Dec 26, 2014 1:01 am

My last run of sliv every yr is all the sediment of each tub and it is the consistency of fruit chutney. I run it in an 18 gal SS boiler as I don't have my copper boiler set up for my column yet. even though I use to use a pretty ferocious crab cooker burner I am yet to have my first scorch with fruit. A good stir before you start and a nice rolling boil sees me through
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Hutch- » Fri Dec 26, 2014 2:08 pm

First batch during the stripping run using clarified butter was a success. Did the second batch and forgot to add the butter :oops:, wound up with a burnt flavor in the stripped wash!!! Anyone know if the burned flavor will carry over during the spirit run? Any tips or tricks to assist with removing the burnt flavor.

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by NZChris » Fri Dec 26, 2014 2:26 pm

Don't mix the two runs. I doubt you'll find a way to get rid of the burnt flavor.

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Dan P. » Fri Dec 26, 2014 2:39 pm

Hutch- wrote:First batch during the stripping run using clarified butter was a success. Did the second batch and forgot to add the butter :oops:, wound up with a burnt flavor in the stripped wash!!! Anyone know if the burned flavor will carry over during the spirit run? Any tips or tricks to assist with removing the burnt flavor.
As said, don't mix the burnt run in with the first, though it may clear up with further distillation, depending on how burnt it got.

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Paulinka » Sat Dec 27, 2014 1:44 pm

Hutch, I'm said to hear that you burned down the mash, but it happens to everyone. With activated charcoal you can try to get rid of the burnt smell, still it would linger in the background, so if you can I highly recommend to use that burnt low wine only for making non-consumption goods, like bbq-lighter fluid, or a window-cleaning spirit.

A distillery-master once told me that a good fruit mash has a consistency of a bad diarrhea. And it really is. Like when someone is pretty sick but not that badly to take mineral supplements dissolved in water, more like when drank half a bottle of rum last night or had a bad oyster or two. Sorry for the details. :)

If you feel it it too thick then it quite probably is, trust your instinct, and don't be afraid to mix a thick mash with a few litres of water. Fruit mash needs to be stripped on medium heat, not as high heat like we use for wash, and not as low as we use for slow dripping distillation. If flames touch your pot's bottom, then you're doing it wrong. I use a flame separator under my pot made from steel, even if it gets "deep brown glowing hot" it is not as bad as having direct flame contact on the pot's bottom. The local heat-difference created by a boilstone also reduces the chance to burn down the mash.

Butter the pot lightly, drop the stone, pour the mash in, if you feel it thick just add water or - even better - feints from same fruit's distillation. The mash will hydrolize the nasty fusel oils in the feints, even converts some of them to higher, better aromas, and the added alcohol of the feints helps to pull out more flavour, especially opening up the waxy oils from the fruit skins in the mash. Good luck and take care!

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by O30311 » Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:36 am

Good afternoon,
I am following the conversation here since a while and used it as extra guide for he first production of my own palinka when I visited my relatives in Hungary.
Just arrived back home from there with a 2 litres almapalinka (appels from my garden in Belgium which I took as mash to Hungary to distill there with my potstill :lol: ) I still have an apple which I kept and wanted to add it in the palinka as I was tod this adds flavour. Unfortunately I find nowhere guidelines an as I only have 2 litres I wanna make sure I do it the right way. Any guidelines or information on this?
Thanks

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Odin » Tue Dec 30, 2014 11:04 am

I am just back from visiting my Hungarian family in law. Near Siofok, close to Lake Balaton. We didn't drink Palinka. I am affraid that's my influence! I took whiskey, vodka, and Tyrkisk Pebber with me. Especially the whiskey went down like water. O, I did make and bring Dio Palinka at 50%. Paulinka, I think you are near Kecskemét, right? Coming summer, that's where most of my kids will be for their summer camp. I'd love to come by and talk "Palinka" with you!

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by thecroweater » Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:23 am

Straining a plum must
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by emptyglass » Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:35 am

Paulinka wrote: if you wouldn't eat it then don't put it in the mash. No piece of straw, not even the tiniest drop of soil goes to the mash. If a fruit is not good enough for a premium apricot-marmelade then it will end on the compost-pile, not in the mash. Applies even to unripe parts of the same fruit. As simple as it sounds, it also means lots of work: when the apricot is as ripe as it can be, it falls down to the lawn under the trees. Harvesting is not picking from the trees, especially not shaking the tree (no touchy at that time of the year!), but picking up from the ground. Yes, bending down, a few hundred times for every liter of pálinka.

Did I mentioned no sugar is added? Alcohol made from sugar makes a kick on the tongue and harsh on the throat, while pálinka should be an elegant drink with smooth high alcohol and strong fruit taste. There is no place for sugar in the pálinka-mash if we are going for quality and not quantity.
Very good reading, thank you Paulinka.
I was told a recipe for a Czech plum Slivovitz, and the above parts were what was highlighted to me. As plums are almost ready for harvest here, I'm looking forward to doing a batch this year. Ive had good luck using the wild yeast so far, but I'll try adding some good wine yeast as the ferment slows this time and see if they can get a bit more of the fruits sugars fermented

The one main difference I can spot between your method for Paulinka and the method I use for Czech Sliv is soaking the stripped low wines on the pulp for 2 weeks before distilling for spirit.

Do you ever soak your low wine on the pulp?
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Paulinka » Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:23 am

O30311 wrote:Unfortunately I find nowhere guidelines an as I only have 2 litres I wanna make sure I do it the right way. Any guidelines or information on this?
Thanks
Sure, you can add any kind of fruit (especially similar) as bedding in your pálinka, this is how you make "ágyaspálinka". It is a funny double-edged word in Hungarian, "ágy" means bed, and "ágyas" also means concubine, a "lesser mistress". This meaning somehow brought that pálinka bedded with fruits is regarded a ladies' drink, side-by-side with the honey-ed pálinka.

If you put fruit in your pálinka I recommend to put a dehydrated or dried fruit, so it will not dilute your spirit but add all the flavours to it, and when the bottle is empty it is quite a good snack. Fresh fruits would haze the spirit and not much flavour comes out from them. So I recommend to put a few applechips in it, apple-pálinka is a very good base for this method as it does not have a very strong scent and taste.

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Paulinka » Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:30 am

Odin wrote:I'd love to come by and talk "Palinka" with you!
I am looking for that event with great joy and happiness, please don't forget to drop me a line when you around. I will have a huge variety of drinks that time and the garden will be nice and full with fruits and veggies, and we can have a barbeque or a fishermans' soup while tasting and chatting. Right now the graden looks like a disaster, signs of development everywhere cause we built some new buildings and it will continue in spring, two big rooms will be built at the side of the chickencoop and ducks' hen, with a huge outdoor oven where I can cook a whole piglet or a few loafs of bread.

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Paulinka » Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:32 am

thecroweater wrote:Straining a plum must
Looks great, I hope you made sure no seeds gone through. If a few goes to the ferment it is no big deal, just don't cook it, not because the cyanide that is inside the seed but they tend to burn down.

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Paulinka » Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:40 am

emptyglass wrote:soaking the stripped low wines on the pulp for 2 weeks before distilling for spirit
Well, honestly I never heard about this method, but so little I know and every region has it's own tricks. What I heard about Slivovitz is that they press the ripe plums out and only ferment the liquid, kind of like how wine is made. But, because this way most of the waxy oils from the plums' skins cannot enter to the spirit, maybe this method is a scent and flavour enhancer.

Which leads me to an idea what if the pressed pulp and skin is fermented separately, like grape-marc, distilled separately and combined later with the slivovitz. If we will have enough plums this year I will give it a shot and see how it compares.

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Paulinka » Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:49 am

Do you remember how I told to line the pot lighly with a little butter and gave sunflower-oil a big no-no (when cooking the fruit-mash)?

It turned out that if sunflower-oil is used it gives a nasty oily vegetable smell to the pálinka, rendering it undrinkable. However, as I was lazy redistilling those oiled pear-pálinkas, and given that we had no pears in 2014, I tried a glass from the 2012 William's pear which has an oily pot accident, and the vegetable oil-smell is completely gone. Also, it feels like that it acted as a fixative, those volatile aromas that use to disappear after a few years are in and strong. So, maybe I was just lucky, maybe it can be repeated.

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by MDH » Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:42 pm

The slivovitz I have tasted from Croatia (Sjlivovica they call it) is almost always distilled, mash and stones within.
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by thecroweater » Sun Feb 15, 2015 4:17 pm

I always ferment on all the seed, I prefer the flavour I get, but sure as I remove all the seed before distilling. As I mash the plums with a plaster mixer cracking the shell is a non issue, not sure if cyanide will pull though a plate still but I got no intention of finding out. Sliv is the best of Brandys but it does produce some nasty faints that can even contain some methanol, never use pectinase.
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Paulinka » Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:22 pm

No flavour goes to your ferment from unbroken seeds. Cherry and sour cherry (unbroken), and some apricot seeds (broken) can give a little bitter-almond aftertaste if they are cooked with the fruit mash. With cherry and sour cherry it is a traditional style, but losing popularity as it is known that taste comes from cyanides. However, during the few hundred years of pálinka-consumption not a single case of cyanide poisoning occured. What doesn't kills you makes you stronger, my cherry and sour cherry pálinka has a nice straight almondish backbone built from seeds.

Methanol and feints.. The more pectinase you use the less methanol you will get, and because methanol mainly comes from pectines and has the highest concentration near the seeds (the ovary) it is a good custom to deseed apples and pears with a wide cut before breaking them to pulp. Methanol cannot be separated, it will not come out with foreshots or heads, so it is best to reduce it's amount with smart and controlled fermentation.

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by InglisHill » Sat Apr 25, 2015 3:05 am

Hey Paulinka, great thread, like most of what I read that you have shared here.

Here is a question, a few guys over here at the bottom of the world in New Zealand are doing a few fruit ferments. What we are finding is that we are getting 'soap' in our product. I was wondering if that rang any bells for you or if you may be able to tell us what me may be doing wrong?

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Mikey-moo » Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:04 am

What do you mean by 'getting soap'? Soapy flavour? Soap-like solids? In the fermentation vessel or after stilling?

What fruit are you using? Where did you get it from? How was it prepared?

At least I imagine that all might help :-)
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Paulinka » Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:30 am

Hello InglisHill, by soap do you mean some flake-like particles that settle at the bottom of the container of the spirit? Those are normal, some fruit oils form waxy flakes over time. Kind of what happens with aged wines. By that time fruit brandies can be filtered (I use unbleached coffee filter papers) if you wish, they will not lose taste and aroma. Sometimes oil-islands form on the surface as well. These all show that the spirit is made with natural ingredients and they do their magic, ripening into new compounds, giving the brandy a wide flavour.

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Tokoroa_Shiner » Sat Apr 25, 2015 12:24 pm

The fruit is fresh feijoas, and it's a soap taste in some of the jars after distilling.
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by InglisHill » Sat Apr 25, 2015 2:41 pm

Paulinka wrote:Hello InglisHill, by soap do you mean some flake-like particles that settle at the bottom of the container of the spirit? Those are normal, some fruit oils form waxy flakes over time. Kind of what happens with aged wines. By that time fruit brandies can be filtered (I use unbleached coffee filter papers) if you wish, they will not lose taste and aroma. Sometimes oil-islands form on the surface as well. These all show that the spirit is made with natural ingredients and they do their magic, ripening into new compounds, giving the brandy a wide flavour.
No, not quite. I had asked the original question just to see if there was something that you may go 'ah ha, I know what that is', although on this occasion it seems not. We are currently discussing it on the New Zealand forum at the moment.

There are some wild theories developing about what may or may not be going on for us. I shall report back later with some more thoughts for you to ponder.

Thank you kind sir!

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by HDNB » Sat Apr 25, 2015 5:19 pm

this fruit may have a chemical that forms an aldehyde that tastes like soap. is it soapier towards the heads or tails?

http://www.nature.com/news/soapy-taste- ... ts-1.11398" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

"One of those genes, OR6A2, encodes a receptor that is highly sensitive to aldehyde chemicals, which contribute to the flavour of coriander."

how's that for a guess?
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by InglisHill » Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:30 pm

Tails in my experience, NZchris only tasted it once he dropped some sugar syrup in it and I am not to sure at which point TS found it...........

I would say you may well be onto something there, I award you 203 internet points for such a fine find and guess :)

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by InglisHill » Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:46 pm

Interesting quote from that article in the comments section HDMB,

'I had a girlfriend that hated cilantro and whenever we ate asparagus I would make a comment that it makes urine smell funny. She said that it doesn't make hers smell funny. So for the past 5 years or so everytime I come across someone that hates cilantro I ask them if their urine smells funny after they eat asparagus, and so far the answer has always been no. Don't like asparagus = can't smell asparagus pee. Thanks for the article! Helps validate my theory.'

Funny, I love corriander and can smell asparagus pee........

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Tokoroa_Shiner » Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:29 pm

Mm yea. Tails. Maybe it is just a combination of the fruit oils. Hydroxides + aldehydes + heat. I wonder if it's a similar thing as rum oils. What do they smell like?
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by NZChris » Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:49 pm

InglisHill wrote:Tails in my experience, NZchris only tasted it once he dropped some sugar syrup in it....
That is not correct.

I picked up the soap during a run with skins, that had been scooped out the day before, in the gin basket. I could have easily cut that fraction out, but it was a tiny experimental run and I let it go.

I think the fatty acids had time to break down before I put the skins in the basket and that what I tasted really was soap. I doubt I would get it with fresh fruit in the basket. It would take an hour and a half and 400g of feijoas to test that theory :D

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by InglisHill » Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:59 pm

Sorry NZChris, second time in one night, I might shut the hell up now.

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by InglisHill » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:00 am

PS: I have a few kilos lying about......

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Paulinka » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:31 am

Sadly, guavasteen is absolutely unknown in this part of the world, as it prefers cool winters (we have cold winters, 8-12C below zero) and moderate summers (+30-35C is more of what I call hot). Maybe in some places that have a moderate microclimate. The nursery garden where I use to order egzotic fruit-trees and shrubs from has Acca sellowiana in it's portfolio, but it is not the same species, however it is said to withstand cold temperatures if the root trunk is covered through the winter. I just ran out from south-facing white walls (planted six new fig-trees, all different type), but will keep in mind to plant some guava, or guavasteen.

What I found out that all plants in the Myrtaceae family has saponin glycosides (plus tannins) in their fruitskins, and because soap is quite soluble in water it distills through easily. It's good to know that it is easy to cut it out.

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