Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

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Mikey-moo
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Mikey-moo » Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:30 am

thesource674 wrote:Paulinka, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this whole thread...twice...as brandy is the drink that made me want to start distilling in the first place!

I have a question I have not quite been able to deduce fully however, it appears that i DO want to do a stripping run of my mash (or in this case apple cider) to make low wines before I do a spirit run. However you recommend that you do the stripping run not over a high heat but a lower heat. I use a hotplate since my still is smaller. Does this mean for a stripping run I should slowly turn the heat up as you recommend until a decent heat and the mash is at a steady boil but not a real high heat and raging boil. I imagine its something to that effect but I would love some clarification if at all possible!

Cheers
Most hotplates try to maintain a constant temperature by cycling on for a number of seconds, then off for a number of seconds... if yours does this then you'll need to modify it - remove the thermostat and get a power controller.

The end result will be a hotplate that is always on with variable power output. In which case, turn on full until the first drop, then dial back the power to run slowly.
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by thesource674 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:37 am

Balls I thought I had avoided that with one that said it was built to maintain a constant boil/simmer or whatever. Guess ill have to figure out how to do the modification ><

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by NZChris » Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:31 pm

Mikey-moo wrote:Most hotplates try to maintain a constant temperature by cycling on for a number of seconds, then off for a number of seconds... if yours does this then you'll need to modify it - remove the thermostat and get a power controller.
Mine don't. There are two types I know of.
A simmerstat dial can be turned to any position and you can hear it click on and off as it cycles. Turn it to full on and add a controller.
The better type has a six position switch that switches several internal elements in the plate, each position gives a constant heat so no extra controller is necessary.

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by der wo » Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:38 pm

Many of the cycling hotplates don't cycle at the heat up phase, but later when it boils. They have a temperature sensor.
Other simply follow a time setting, for example 10 seconds on 10 sec off, regardless of the temperature.
NZChris wrote:The better type has a six position switch that switches several internal elements in the plate, each position gives a constant heat so no extra controller is necessary.
This is, what I use. But I can shut on and off all electric connections seperately, so I have more than six options.
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by thesource674 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:09 pm

NZChris wrote:
Mikey-moo wrote:Most hotplates try to maintain a constant temperature by cycling on for a number of seconds, then off for a number of seconds... if yours does this then you'll need to modify it - remove the thermostat and get a power controller.
Mine don't. There are two types I know of.
A simmerstat dial can be turned to any position and you can hear it click on and off as it cycles. Turn it to full on and add a controller.
The better type has a six position switch that switches several internal elements in the plate, each position gives a constant heat so no extra controller is necessary.
I have that first one. So i can turn it to full and just plug it into a controller and it should be ok? I have no idea how i would even find the thermostat anyway.

EDIT - I found some guides but i may need a little soldering. Im sure i could figure it out/

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by der wo » Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:46 am

NZChris wrote:The better type has a six position switch that switches several internal elements in the plate, each position gives a constant heat so no extra controller is necessary.
Do you (or someone else) have the common word for such a hotplate? I only know the German word. When I search on google.com for such a hotplate, which keyword works best?
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Mikey-moo » Wed Nov 23, 2016 9:00 am

What's it called in German?
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by der wo » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:03 am

"Siebentakt-Kochplatte". Translated "Seven measure/phase hotplate". Stupid name, because "Takt" means normally a rythmical unit. So the name sounds a bit, if it would cycle on and off. And it doesn't.
There are also Viertakt-Kochplatten with four levels (including off, so there are three levels only).

Very good information in German:
http://www.herd.josefscholz.de/7Takt/4_und_7_Takt.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by gregorytate » Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:12 pm

I read in the instructions of my Portuguese alembic still that the temperature of the distilling mash at the liquid level should be between 78 and 82 degrees C for proper ethanol production. After vaporizing the foreshot at a lower temperature of around 76, I find I must have a temperature of about 92 degrees C before I see any further yield from the still. When I back the temperature down to 82, the yield shuts down. I am concerned that I am heating too high for proper hearts production. I am measuring temperature with a very accurate hand held infrared thermometer, so I think I am correct there.

The product smells good and I hope in 6 to 12 months will taste good, but I am concerned that I am over heating for ethanol production. Can anyone offer any advice?

Many thanks

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by piperdave » Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:20 pm

Every still runs different. Experience will tell you how to run your's. Run your rig, learn to make cuts and don't worry about temperature too much. On an alembic it is just a guide. If you have a 10 % ABV wash or mash the ethanol is gonna come out at a higher temp. than pure ethanol or high ethanol/water mix. For safeties sake I will mention the rule is never run your boiler with more than 40% abv charge. Bottom line, learn the peculilarities of your rig and learn about boiling points of a water/ethanol mix.


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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by der wo » Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:27 pm

gregory,
you get what you get. At what temp the fractions may also depend on abv of the mash. And this depends on sugar content. But most of all your cuts have to taste. Don't swear on a thermometer, buy jars, and fill them successively. And decide the days after the run. And perhaps double distill. Normally almost everything is double distilled.

Overheating? Perhaps. It won't affect the temps much, but perhaps the taste. How long need your runs? How many liters?

Btw, perhaps it's the wrong thread you captured for your questions. If you don't have yet, read Cranky's spoonfeeding thread and kiwis thread about cuts. If you have questions after reading, you will find a better place to ask.

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by gregorytate » Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:38 am

Piperdave and Der Wo, many thanks. I feel better about temperature now.

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Jimy Dee » Fri May 26, 2017 12:17 pm

I discovered Paulinkas thread tonight - I think it should be archived in a special place and made compulsory reading for beginners to show them what depth of knowledge the heavy weights in this hobby possess. I have been into this hobby for the last year or so and reading this thread was just captivating, it motivates me to strive for a better level of skill. What a great hobby !

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Copperhead road » Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:04 am

Well Palinka, you are truely a master distiller and there is no substitute for experience. What an absolute awesome read on the supreme art of fruit brandy, you are the most fruitful wealth of sweet knowledge.
My hat goes off to you, upmost respect buddy and thank you kindly for your distilling wisdom :thumbup:
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Bart Meijer » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:37 am

Thank you Paulinka for your post.

We are situated in Pakrac Croatia and will have to do our very best with 2500-3500 Kg of plums this year, the finest of Croatian wine plums.
Thank you so much, learned a load here.

Hope to see an update somewhere soon !

Cheers Bart

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Moonbeam » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:48 am

A huge cheers (Skål) and thank you to Paulinka for this excellent thread. There is so much information here regarding fruit distilling is is amazing. In awe, Sir!

I love clear fruit brandies. One of the first alcoholic drinks I had was a croatian Slivovitz, it was long drawn-out fight to enjoy it, but it won :D. In my travels of eastern Europe I stumbled across Barack Palinka, which is one of my biggest favorites and I have a nice bottle in the cellar that I take out every once in a while when there's something to celebrate. Unfortunately, where I live now Palinkas are hard to come by. For many years I lived and worked in Brussels and I used to pop down to Lorraine and Alsace to stock up on different types of Eau de vie. One of the types I really love is Mirabelle Brandy, or Mirabella Palinka as you say in Hungary, I think.

I have planted two fruit trees in my garden with the intention to distill my own Palinka. One is a blue mirabelle tree and the other an apricot tree. However, the deer chewed up most of the apricot tree the first winter, but I left it to see if it could survive, which it actually did. However, when the tree gave fruit it instead, miraculously, gave yellow mirabelle plums. So now I have blue mirabelle plums ripening in September and yellow mirabelle plums ripening about 2-3 weeks later. They are considerably less sweet and more sour in taste than the blue ones.

You wrote in your initial posts that you also have and distill palinka from blue mirabelle plums. Could you please share some more details about the process you follow when making this lovely eau de vie? My plan is to make my first attempt during next year's harvest.

One additional question. If I understand you correctly, Paulinka, you distill your palinkas in one run, as opposed to do it in two (or more) runs. Is this a regimen you follow for all palinkas you make or do you also double distill some of the fruits you ferment? I have a classic Portuguese alambique (charentais style) and have always distilled wines in two passes, the first run concentrated the low wines to 30% of the original fermented volume, the second bon chauffe create the final product at 65-75% ABV. I am not sure I can get a great result with a one pass with my alambique. Thoughts on this?

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by bubba » Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:39 pm

bump.
what a nice string . last post was in '17 ,2 years past .
i admire the OP's English usage. and the obvious mastery of a traditional art ,
string should be distilled for the essence and tabbed to the top of the fruit list , so as to be easy found.
ty

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by BillyBob1808 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:14 am

Drank palinka a few times in my life. Quite an interesting taste, and oh it's so strong. A few shots and you're KO, at least that was it for me.

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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Black Hearts » Thu Jul 09, 2020 5:18 am

Fantastic read with a huge amount of info. köszönöm szépen barátom.
Currently in Budapest and looking to have a thorough taste..
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Evil Wizard » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:46 am

I'm just finding this thread now as I took a job distilling various berries on an old continuous armagnac still in the wilds of Canada. Paulinka, I am in your debt.
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Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Tasgrasshopper » Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:07 pm

"WOW" Paulinka, what a fantastic read, The Palinka you make must be fantastic!! I'm amazed by your level of understanding and the fact that you are able to explain the process in detail.
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