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Grappa

Posted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:47 am
by joelucci33
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?

Re: Grappa

Posted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:21 pm
by blind drunk
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.

Re: Grappa

Posted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:45 pm
by Dnderhead
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.

Re: Grappa

Posted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:19 pm
by decomissioned
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.

WWII Grappa Story.

Posted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:23 pm
by castleclr
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.
ty
c

Re: Grappa

Posted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:36 pm
by Dnderhead
stems/leaves was used on the bottom to keep the pumice off the bottom and burning.
iv seen reeds /cattails used.

Re: Grappa

Posted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:32 pm
by decomissioned
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.

Re: Grappa

Posted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:34 am
by Dnderhead
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.

Re: Grappa

Posted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:20 pm
by decomissioned
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).

Re: Grappa

Posted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:30 am
by joelucci33
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.

Re: Grappa

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:52 pm
by banjo
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?

Re: Grappa

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:18 pm
by blind drunk
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:

Re: Grappa

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:43 pm
by banjo
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.

Re: Grappa

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:47 pm
by blind drunk
reason I say so is that I do get complaints when its NOT harsh & "heady"
:shock:
Give the people what they want!! :mrgreen:

Re: Grappa

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:13 pm
by condensificator
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.

Re: Grappa

Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:52 pm
by Hutch-
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.

Re: Grappa

Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:31 pm
by banjo
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?

Re: Grappa

Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:35 am
by Hutch-
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.

Re: Grappa

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:06 am
by DSmith78
Time to wake up the thread!! I've been speaking to a local vineyard who are allowing me to take as much pomace as I can carry at the beginning of October. I'm nervous to put the skins in the boiler but I want the flavour so I'm thinking about putting a thumper together - any thoughts?

Re: Grappa

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:33 am
by jonnys_spirit
I've one a bunch of grappa runs. I don't cook it on the skins because I've got a 5k5W electric element in my boiler. Some folks may say that's not grappa but it tastes like it. For a traditional approach you might want to use something like a gas fired alembic with straw (hay) in the bottom of the boiler to prevent scorches.

Here's some of my notes for what might be a more contemporary protocol which I have found works great for me with lots of flavor -

Ferment / referment
- Don't press your wine pomace too hard and there will be good wine left in the pomace.
- I add sugar and water to top up the pomace for the referment.
- I might also add a cheap winekit concentrate to the pomace.
- I save and reincorporate grappa backset into the pomace and raise the pH to where the yeast want it to be to concentrate flavors.
- Referment for a week or two and press the fermented juice to strip - this stuff is not necessarily good for wine and I may also do a cleaner second kit wine ferment on my skins first to enhance the kit wine so my grappa is usually a third use of the skins - makes it good and nasty.

Striping runs
- I press the skins and strip the resulting liquid
- Strip hard and fast down to close to 0%ABV off the spout.
- Save the backset for reincorporation into future grappa and in the spirit run.
- Remove foreshots low and slow.

Spirit runs and cuts
- Remove foreshots low and slow.
- I'll add some backset into the spirit run.
- Feints into spirit run - I'll take my feints and mix with used skins to macerate for next spirit run (this might be a year or two depending on next wine season)
- Cuts the regular way - collect in jars, air out, make a cleaner white cut and a barrel cut for oak - depending on how you like it. Barrel cut a little wider than you might think.
- Reserve feints for maceration on skins and re-use in next spirit run.

Aging
- White may need a little time to mellow in glass but pretty much good to go right away.
- Age the barrel cun on oak - Depending on how much barrell cut I have it me age in separate jars with different oak profiles
- Age barrel cut on skins and oak - I experimented with this and needs filtering to remove sediment but very nice @ 9 months...
- I keep a solera jug going that I always add some grappa into from all my grappa efforts with some oak. This stuff is good with tons of flavor and has remnants from the first grappa I ever made. Top up with next batch and sip it sparingly...

Best luck and cheers!
-jonny

Re: Grappa

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:44 am
by HodyMac
I’ll be picking up a few Brute cans of pomace from a local vineyard. I believe the pomace will not have been fermented yet.
Any suggestions for getting this going? Add water, sugar if needed and wine yeast?

Thanks for any suggestions.

Re: Grappa

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 1:03 pm
by Demy
HodyMac wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:44 am
I’ll be picking up a few Brute cans of pomace from a local vineyard. I believe the pomace will not have been fermented yet.
Any suggestions for getting this going? Add water, sugar if needed and wine yeast?

Thanks for any suggestions.
If the producer has already added the yeasts before pressing the grapes, no yeast is needed. It smells the pomace and you realize if it is producing alcohol. I make some grappa from the pomace of my grapes (I live in Italy), I don't put any yeast for the fermentation of the grapes (indigenous fermentation), I don't add any sugar. I know that the yield of the marc is very very low but if you want to make an authentic grappa, no sugar. But if you have a limited amount of marc then you can "cheat" a little by adding a sugary syrup. Just my opinion

Re: Grappa

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:42 pm
by HodyMac
Thanks. I just learned that this pomace will be pressed from fermented grapes. It will be very dry and with very little sugar. They’re good at what they do, I guess. I will have to add water and, likely some sugar. Not exactly authentic, but trying to make something from what I’ve got.

Re: Grappa

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:18 am
by Demy
HodyMac wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:42 pm
Thanks. I just learned that this pomace will be pressed from fermented grapes. It will be very dry and with very little sugar. They’re good at what they do, I guess. I will have to add water and, likely some sugar. Not exactly authentic, but trying to make something from what I’ve got.
Certainly, you have to adapt to what you have, indeed this stimulates inventiveness. It really depends on the amount you have available. I'll give an example about myself: I have a lot of it, I do a lot of stripping since the alcohol is very low and then I do a final run. If I had a limited amount I would do as you do. Generally it presses hard and is almost dry but with a strong alcoholic odor. once I tried to leave it very wet and it works well, the best would be not to press it at all to ferment juice-skins together but this cannot always be done .... a greeting and good job

Re: Grappa

Posted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:18 am
by CikCikCikPogodi
If somebody lives in right region you can make this, it's called Travarica. It's made from Grappa by mixing herbs and leaving them in grappa for 20 days. You can make just out of sage. But it depends on where you live.
Image

Re: Grappa

Posted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:50 am
by jonnys_spirit
Hey Demy, is it a particular type of sage? Are there particular other herbs/blends or just depends? Is this redistilled after maceration?

Cheers!
-jonny

Re: Grappa

Posted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:01 am
by Demy
jonnys_spirit wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:50 am
Hey Demy, is it a particular type of sage? Are there particular other herbs/blends or just depends? Is this redistilled after maceration?

Cheers!
-jonny
Hi jonny, the post is not mine, but I can reply because I am familiar with these things. there are numerous ways of flavoring a grappa and generally it is not redistilled like a gin but often the botanicals / fruit are left visible inside the bottle or it can be filtered after maceration. I saw grappas with a whole chilli pepper inside, whole toasted figs (this I did) and much more. I made a fantastic carob grappa. I have an old youtube video about preparation here


Re: Grappa

Posted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:12 am
by CikCikCikPogodi
jonnys_spirit wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:50 am
Hey Demy, is it a particular type of sage? Are there particular other herbs/blends or just depends? Is this redistilled after maceration?

Cheers!
-jonny
On 1l bottle of Grappa you need
2-3 Yarrow twigs
1 sage twig
1 Rosemary twig
1 Mint twig
2-3 Thymus twigs
Lemon peel
10 Blueberrys

Re: Grappa

Posted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:25 am
by jonnys_spirit
Thanks guys and good morning! This will get me going and now I need to figure out how to get more pomace.

Cheers,
Jonny

Re: Grappa

Posted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 8:44 am
by Demy
jonnys_spirit wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:25 am
Thanks guys and good morning! This will get me going and now I need to figure out how to get more pomace.

Cheers,
Jonny
Hi jonny, you can also do it with a brandy by distilling some wine, it's very good.