Orujo, Grappa, Pomace Brandy

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Ftero
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Orujo, Grappa, Pomace Brandy

Post by Ftero » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:25 pm

As the subject suggests, it's all essentially the same thing. In Spain it's Aguardiente de Orujo, or just Orujo for short. In Italy it's Grappa. Technically I believe it all to be a Pomace Brandy.

There are not a lot of informative posts that I can find on the web regarding it's small-scale production. I find interesting tidbits in many articles and videos. Like making chocolate chip cookies, every cook has their own favorite procedure. I hope that a little of what I write here is useful to some novice.

I've been making Orujo for the last 10 years or so in my small, 30 liter, alembic pot still. Typically I load the pot with the pomace on top of a copper grid that is elevated about 2cm from the pot base which keeps the pomace from making direct contact and burning. I load the pot about 3/4 full with the pomace, pressing it down lightly so that it doesn't get blown up into the cap while distilling.

Usually, I then fill the pot to about 1/2 way with cold water. Some people do the same with the heads and tails from previous runs. Others use wine. This year the pomace that I got had very little juice and alcohol in it, as the vinyard used a hydraulic press and squoze the bejeesus out of it. I had access to some wine, so I decided to use it to charge the pot in stead of water.

I did a stripping run as per usual. I started to run the cooling water @ 75C. I ran it fairly hard, and the first continuous stream of distillate after the fore-shots started at 82% abv, and I stopped running @ 92C when the abv was at 20%. With the recitfying lentil on my still, I get about 7% abv higher to start off with compared to running without it.

This year I also deviated from my norm by not using the copper grid on the bottom of the still and using a layer of wheat straw instead. In Spain most of the home-based producers use this straw method. I have wanted to try this since I began distilling but had been too lazy to try. I bought a bale of straw this year. It works great and I can't identify any of it's taste in the end product.

Once I was done with my stripping run I dumped everything but the fore-shots into the pot, added enough water to bring the level up to 2/3rds or so and ran it slowly without the rectifying lentil, collecting it all into small jars to mix once done. I ran it all the way down to a cloudy 20% abv. I have learned that adding a little bit of the heads and tails to the hearts gives a better balance to the overall taste. This year I added all the way up to 75% and down to 47% to the hearts.

Today the ultimate test was to add a drizzle of Orujo to a generously sweetened cup of coffee. Awesome.

serafina
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Re: Orujo, Grappa, Pomace Brandy

Post by serafina » Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:37 am

Ftero, this is great

From what I'm seeing here it sounds like you don't do any fermentation yourself. Does this mean you're using red wine pomace exclusively?

Ftero
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Re: Orujo, Grappa, Pomace Brandy

Post by Ftero » Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:34 pm

20191110_090542_hdr1.jpg
No, I don't do any fermentation myself with regards to Orujo making. I only used bottled red wine from 2015 and 2016 and fresh pomace this year. I only have access to Pinot Noir.

I wish I could get Pinot Grigio or other varieties to try, but beggars can't be choosers.

The sulfites in the bottled wine do gum up my copper still. I just wash it down carefully with a strong citric-acid or lemon juice and rock-salt mixture to clean it up. I need the exercise anyway. :D

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Oldvine Zin
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Re: Orujo, Grappa, Pomace Brandy

Post by Oldvine Zin » Sun Oct 25, 2020 12:22 pm

What's up with that flammable storage box next to your propane burner?

Stay safe my friend
OVZ

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