Grappa

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jca31
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Grappa

Post by jca31 » Tue Jul 10, 2007 8:02 am

hello all. newbie here so bear with me. I have been making wine for a long time. bought a pot still last year and froze all my pomace after pressing. I have been reading a little on this sight, very cool sight at that. To start, I think I am going to try the alembic still with no reflux. should I put the pomace into the pot and mix with water? I see that the first 150 mL should be removed and then keep to about 203 degrees F. has anyone tried this before with grape pomace? any info would be appreciated.

junkyard dawg
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Post by junkyard dawg » Tue Jul 10, 2007 8:15 am

You are gonna want a double boiler for that pomace. Sticking and burning grapes just plain suck. Don't dilute it. If you have a lot then run stripping runs and then do a spirit run.

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double boiler

Post by jca31 » Tue Jul 10, 2007 8:21 am

so put pomace in pan inside alembic with water in pot? I suppose I need to keep that pan off bottom of pot. thanks.

also, stripping run means keep everything? then run again? thanks

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Post by junkyard dawg » Tue Jul 10, 2007 9:41 am

no, a water bath around the still is what I meant. If you can find one, get a pot big enough to hold the alembic. put some water in there, and pomace inside the still. the water will indirectly heat the alembic and no burning happens. Stripping runs are done hot and fast, don't worry about cutting fores or heads or tails, just run fast and collect it all. After you have done this a few times take all that distillate and run once more slow and carefully make your cuts. double and twist... so Im tole... :wink:

jca31
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double boiler

Post by jca31 » Tue Jul 10, 2007 9:53 am

ok, I get it now. I am going to give it a try. I have been reading about a thumper box, should I be concerned with this, or should I just try with what I got?

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Re: double boiler

Post by Husker » Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:10 am

jca31 wrote:ok, I get it now. I am going to give it a try. I have been reading about a thumper box, should I be concerned with this, or should I just try with what I got?
A thumper box is a way to get around a double distill. However, since you are distilling on the grain (or on the skin), you really do want to double distill. Thus a thumper is not what you are wanting.

First run, will remove ALL of the solids (while collecting all of what you want, plus some of what you don't). Then when you run the 2nd time, you will be able to separate out the goodies from the baddies. If you are using a alembic, (and I assume about 8% ABV finished mash, unless you add your own sugar to juice it up a bit), then you will get about 28 to 32% ABV stripped, and about 60 to 65% ABV final product (the full mix of the hearts). I have a copper alembic also, and those are "about" my results. Now, I usually start out with just a touch more ABV mash (about 12%), and I get about 34% strip and about 65% product run.

NOTE on your 2nd run, you will not need to do the "double boiler" method. The only reason for that, is to avoid burning the solids.

H.

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Post by wineo » Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:19 am

I would just ferment it on the pumace for a week,with a straining bag,then let the wine finish,and run it.Save some of the pumace to macerate,and flavor the booze when your done.I know its not the same,but it would be alot easer.
Wineo

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Post by jca31 » Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:20 am

thanks Husker. I will get me a big pot to boil my smaller pot and see what I get on the second run. by the way, can I fill teh alembic close to full with the skins or should I do a few small batches? I will let you know and appriciate the help.

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Post by Husker » Tue Jul 10, 2007 11:28 am

jca31 wrote:thanks Husker. I will get me a big pot to boil my smaller pot and see what I get on the second run. by the way, can I fill teh alembic close to full with the skins or should I do a few small batches? I will let you know and appriciate the help.
I have not done grappa, but I imagine that you can fill it pretty full (on the first strip run). You will be doing a double boiler run, and thus, the boil will be pretty smooth. I bet with the pomace, as long as it does not "splatter" into the goose neck, you will be all right. And since you are double boiling, I would hope that there would be little or no splattering. Even if just a touch of the solids do make it over on your first run, that will not be a problem. Many people do a single run, and there is always solids in the first run (dead yeast in the very least). What you are trying to do with your strip run, is to reduce the volume to about 1/3 of the start, and to remove as much solid as you possibly can. On the strip, you are not worried about the quality (other than do not burn it, or you will have ruined everything). Quality will come on your 2nd run of the combined stripped runs (low wines).

When doing a normal run (or for you, the 2nd run), I never fill more than about 2/3 full. The alembic has that big onion head on it, so that works like a slop box (keeps the mash from coming over and out the coil). My still was "listed" as 25L, but actually holds about 16L to the rim in the lower pot. I usually fill it to 12L or so, and once it boils, I turn down flame so the boil is not violent, and I have had no problems at all.

H.

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Post by jca31 » Tue Jul 10, 2007 4:36 pm

thanks Husker. that is great info for a newbie. I will let you know what comes of the first try, I am excited to give it a whirl.

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Post by blanikdog » Thu Jul 12, 2007 8:53 pm

I'm distilling grappa as we speak. Thirty six bottles of red wine and I did a fast rum to give low wines and it's coming out of the spout at 76abv with tons of taste. Not a bad result from my cheap old potstill.

This time I WILL age at 65abv. :oops:

I intend on using Pear wood cos it has a nice mild taste and wonderful pink colour. I'll have another 36 bottles soon and will do the same using oak.

Just love living in a wine producing area and can get wine for free. :)
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Post by Aidas » Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:27 pm

blanikdog wrote:I'm distilling grappa as we speak. Thirty six bottles of red wine and I did a fast rum to give low wines and it's coming out of the spout at 76abv with tons of taste. Not a bad result from my cheap old potstill.
Blanikdog (I always wonder what that handle means...),

If you're running 36 bottles of red wine, you're making brandy, not grappa. Though grappa has its charm, I'd say you're running a more noble product. :)

Brandy is made from juice, while grappa is made from pomace, i.e. the pressings. It's a method that came from frugality, i.e. getting everything you can out of pressing grapes. These days, obviously, grappa has succesfully been marketed into something more upscale than what it once was -- a rather harsh vineyard based moonshine consumed by the less well-to-do in italy.

That said, I've had grappa in a rustic italian setting after a simple, but fabulous peasant meal -- and it works. O yes, it works just fine. :D

Aidas
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Post by jca31 » Fri Jul 13, 2007 4:16 am

I've been called worse than a less well-to-do italian! running my grappa this weekend i will post the results.

JC

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Post by OldManP » Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:24 am

Just to clarify (as i too live in a prevalent wine area and very interested in this stuff)... To make grappa, acquire the pomace (skins, seeds, stems) from the pressing, add some yeast and ferment, then distill on the "grain"?

Do you add water to the pomace?

Do some people add sugar for a little more alcohol?would this hurt the quality?

Finally I've heard that there is a difference in white wine pressings and red wine pressings....b/c the red wine pomace was already fermented with the juice prior to separation? is this correct?

Thanks guys...i sure wish we all had a way to thank each other for all the help!
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Post by jca31 » Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:45 am

the red pommace gets crushed and fermented for a couple of weeks prior to pressing so that is ready to distill without the need to add water and yeast to ferment. the white wine is pressed immediately after the crush so the skins are not fermented and would have to have water and yeast added to ferment out the skins, then distill. From all I can read, the red pommace is ready to distill after press without any additives. Just use double boiler method mentioned in previous post to avoid burning. run fast and dirty for the first run and then slow and easy and make proper cuts for second run. then enjoy the fruits of your labor.

J.C.

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Post by OldManP » Fri Jul 13, 2007 7:05 am

Is the red wine pomace pretty mushy? or is it dry?
B/c i figured most wineries would squeeze the ever-lovin' daylights out of the pulp to get as much out as possible leaving the pomace too dry to distill--this would make me think i would need to add some water before i put it in still or else it woudl be like adding dry fruit skins and heating them up? Maybe I just dont' understand how much juice is still in the pomace?
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Post by blanikdog » Sat Jul 14, 2007 4:46 pm

Yes Aidas, you are quite correct, I did make brandy and it is indeed a noble drop. :)

I have three litres on Pear wood and in a week or so, I'll put another batch on Oak to compare the two. The way I'm getting wine leftovers I may not have time to do my favourite drinks, UJSM and Harry's GGGP rum, but I will manage.

I tried using marc to make grappa and it was the a dreadful amount of work for very little return. As long as I can get wine I will NEVER try using marc again. It was messy and I would never recommend anyone to make it. The marc did make nice compost though. :)



A few years back I flew gliders - when I became too old to jump out of power aircraft - and one of my favourite aircraft was an eastern European glider called a Blanik. I also found an abandoned pup and I decided - on an impulse - to keep him and called him Blanik. Hence, Blanikdog. 8)
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Post by melmoth » Fri Aug 10, 2007 9:32 am

OldManP wrote:Is the red wine pomace pretty mushy? or is it dry?
B/c i figured most wineries would squeeze the ever-lovin' daylights out of the pulp to get as much out as possible leaving the pomace too dry to distill--this would make me think i would need to add some water before i put it in still or else it woudl be like adding dry fruit skins and heating them up? Maybe I just dont' understand how much juice is still in the pomace?
I am wondering about this as well. Pomace is mushy, but does not really have much liquid in it, because that has been pressed out of the skins already. So, I'm wondering if you are to add any water to it at all -- hopefully someone will chime in with an answer.

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Post by cannon.co.tn » Fri Aug 10, 2007 2:56 pm

Well, if you add water it will take longer to heat up but will not increase the amount of alcohol that you will get. The alcohol in the pomace is all there is. If you have a good double boiler setup here is no reason to add water you can distill the alcohol out directly. If you are direct heating water will help minimize scorching. If you have an immersion heater I wouldn't try it.

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Post by melmoth » Fri Aug 17, 2007 9:20 pm

Cool, good to know. If you wanted to add anything to it, I guess you could maybe just add a little wine, as opposed to water. I'm going to try both ways and see what comes out (skins only and skins + wine). I have a good bit of pomace. I'm really just wanting to make some high alcohol grape spirits -- not pure grappa or pure brandy.

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Post by Usge » Sun Sep 02, 2007 12:00 pm

Just wanted to add to this thread:

For those interested in making grappa and are using alembics....try this:
http://www.copper-alembic.com/shop/inde ... ductId=124" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

They make them for most of the smaller sizes (5L, 10L, 20L, etc.,)

It's basically a custom double boiler setup (a tub with tiedowns for your alembic) for using fruit pommace in your alembic without it burning.

It's kind of pricey if you have a larger unit ...because of the copper. But, may be worthwhile if you are planning on doing a lot of grappa or working with fruit.

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Post by Usge » Sun Sep 02, 2007 12:08 pm

melmoth wrote:Cool, good to know. If you wanted to add anything to it, I guess you could maybe just add a little wine, as opposed to water. I'm going to try both ways and see what comes out (skins only and skins + wine). I have a good bit of pomace. I'm really just wanting to make some high alcohol grape spirits -- not pure grappa or pure brandy.
I have it on good authority from someone who came from one of the famous grappa producing regions in the mountains of Italy..that it wasn't unusual for them to add wine that "didn't turn out so good" to their grappa runs. It also adds quite a kick % wise to it.

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Post by pintoshine » Sun Sep 02, 2007 7:34 pm

Labor day weekend in the USA and what do I do? I pick Chardenelle grapes. It was very relaxing to pick grapes. I have a co-worker that has acres of grapes and every year he invites everyone to come and pick grapes for cash.
This year I got a bonus. I got 200L of juice and skins to ferment. You know where this is heading. I am on the road to some white grapa...
I put some in a 24 L glass carboy to see what would happen. It pushes the grape skins out the top! That's what happens. I also have two 100 L plastic barrels about 9/10ths full. It has already made a mess on my shop floor. Grape juice rules!
I am so glad I have a large pot for this unexpected gift.
Unfortunately, I may be using most of it for fuel.
One can only drink and appreciate so much.

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Post by CoopsOz » Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:34 pm

pintoshine wrote: Unfortunately, I may be using most of it for fuel.
One can only drink and appreciate so much.

:lol: :lol: Tough problem to have Pint.....I wish I was close enough to take a few bottles from ya.
It is most absurdly said, in popular language, of any man, that he is disguised in liquor; for, on the contrary, most men are disguised by sobriety. ~Thomas de Quincy, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, 1856

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