New To Distilling and Grappa

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Highilife
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New To Distilling and Grappa

Post by Highilife » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:23 am

Hopefully I can get some help here. I just jumped into distilling with both feet, I've been reading online for about month but still have some specific questions.

My dad and a friend took over my shop with 4000lbs of grapes to make wine and they have given me the pomace to distill, I have read so many conflicting methods of how to distill it.

It seems the most traditional way would be to do an equal pound/water combo and throw the whole mess into my pot still but I also have seen a lot where people are re-fermenting and adding sugar but that can cause a loss of the natural flavors. The first pressing of the grapes is done and I have the left overs of what started as 1000lbs of grapes can anyone give the dumbed down version on how to get started. I have a 5 gallon pot still so I know I can't get through all of it, this also means I can try different methods.

Sorry for the rudimentary description but as I said I just jumped in, I had no plans on distilling until this came up and now I'm very excited yet nervous to start.

YukonJack
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Re: New To Distilling and Grappa

Post by YukonJack » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:48 am

Highilife,
How are you heating your boiler? The reason I have added sugar and am refermenting is because I heat my boiler with a 5500w element. I did not want to put a pommace/water misture directly into the boiler due to scorching concerns. My boiler is a 15.5 gallon keg with the original 2" ferrule on it at the top, and getting the pommace into the boiler would be very difficult, needless to say, even harder to get out. Therefore, I chose to referment, press, and clear to have as few as solids as possible, but I am loosing flavor with this method.

YukonJack
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Re: New To Distilling and Grappa

Post by YukonJack » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:50 am

Also, did they press this with the stems attached? If so, be very aware you will need to toss larger fore cuts because of the increase of methanol. How long have you been on the board reading?

Highilife
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Re: New To Distilling and Grappa

Post by Highilife » Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:51 am

I'm new to this forum, I've been reading what ever I can find on line. The stems were removed prior to fermenting.

MDH
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Re: New To Distilling and Grappa

Post by MDH » Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:23 am

You should add inverted sugar up to 4-5% alcohol potential at most for best flavor. I would suggest keeping merlot, muscat seperate, but running all whites at once.

My favorite yeast to use is either wild yeast or lalvin K1. The only problem with the latter is that it takes time to omit musty "mushroom" flavor that is characteristic of Lalvin strains.
The still is not a liar. Mash and ferment quality is 99.9% of your performance.

Highilife
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Re: New To Distilling and Grappa

Post by Highilife » Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:27 am

So i made my first run last night and it turned out great, for grappa (not my favorite). I did buy some commercial Grappa as a comparison and its better than some and not as good as others so for a newbie I'm happy.

I do have a leak between the pot and tower so my runs (2) were small, any advise on sealing it? I've read plumbers putty or flour/water, any opinions? With the flour/water, how long does it need to dry/cure? Does the initial heat speed up the process?

Thanks for helping a novice

Prairiepiss
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Re: New To Distilling and Grappa

Post by Prairiepiss » Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:12 am

Slap it on and fire it up.
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Jimbo
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Re: New To Distilling and Grappa

Post by Jimbo » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:21 am

Highilife wrote: My dad and a friend took over my shop with 4000lbs of grapes to make wine and they have given me the pomace to distill.
They took over YOUR shop and only gave you the dregs? :shock: Gee what a privledge. That shit is a bitch to get rid of (I deal with mountains of apple pomace every year, not fun).

You should tell them to pry loose 10-20 gallons of wine for you to distill into brandy , and haul their mountain of shite out of your yard :ebiggrin:
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