Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Information about fruit/vegetable type washes.

Moderator: Site Moderator

Dan P.
Distiller
Posts: 1085
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:24 am
Location: The Islands

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Dan P. » Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:00 pm

Great posts, actually the best posts on fruit fermentation/distillation I have seen here. Thank you very much, Paulinka!
Speaking of plums; This year I had a decent crop, but not great, so will be using aggressive commecial yeast on them (ec-118).
I will however be making a separate, smaller ferment of plums and wild plums (bullace/damsons) with wild yeast to add to the spirit run. What do you think of that?

Also, pears; I get very bitter distillate from my pears. All the commercial pear distillate I have ever had is very bitter too. Is this how it goes, or is there a trouble shoot here that can eliminate this?

Thanks again.

User avatar
SoMo
Distiller
Posts: 1665
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:59 pm
Location: Tom Sauk Mnt

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by SoMo » Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:24 pm

Thanks for this wonderful education on palinka , I'm getting ready to do a brandy and you've certainly put forth some of the best material on fruit there is on this forum, I want to taste that so badly it's crazy. These posts should be cleaned and locked for the value the contain thanks again.
Everything's better home made, everything!!
15.5 keg 7.75keg 2"pot still, Gold CM
Never look down on a man unless it's to help him up.

MDH
Distiller
Posts: 1001
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:33 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by MDH » Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:26 pm

Paulinka,

I have used Lallzyme B several times, but have not noticed a remarkable improvement in the quality of the fruit mash. In all cases, pear was used. I am curious; do you use this mostly for unripe fruit?
The still is not a liar. Mash and ferment quality is 99.9% of your performance.

User avatar
Paulinka
Swill Maker
Posts: 169
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:53 pm

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Paulinka » Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:54 am

Hi Dan, I believe that multiple strains of a fruit type almost all the time leads to a better result than making a fruit brandy from a single strain.* This year our plum (all three variations) was pretty bad and uninteresting, however the blue mirabelle shined out with nice blueberry hues in it's scent and even noticable in taste.

You can enhance the plum-flavour by macerating some dried plum in the low-wines that are made from the plum-mash. I do not recommend to put any kind of mash directly into low-wines, distill it and call it ready, as it will be 1. cloudy 2. laced with off tastes. Just mix the low wines made from mullace/damson with the plum's low wines and distill like that. Or mix them and give them a good two handful of dried plums for a week or so per gallon. :wink:

*Quite the opposite with pears. There are huge differencies between pear and pear, just like a Jonathan apple is very different from a Granny Smith. For me only William's pear is good enough that I can call it a good base for körtepálinka or pear-brandy. It has a full spectrum of scent in every storey and a nice pronounced taste. I tried other pear varieties but had no luck. Pálinka made from Alexander-pear had a grassy smell and no body, although it was ripe, and Clapp was not much better either. If I would have a ''Beurre Diel'' (for cheap or free 8) ) I would try it in mash, it is close to William's and has a nice scent.

Pear is not an easy fruit to make a nice fragrant spirit from. In the process of distillation, most of the precious and native pear-scents take stage in the high ABV era, which means one has to catch them with the latter part of the heads. Hell, even in late center or second half of the heads, and let the stuff air out most of the acetons in a few days airing. Bitterness comes when one tries to give a robust body for a pear-brandy by not understanding the fruit properly. It is not there where the plums have it, no matter how ripe the pears were, it is impossible to pull out marmeladeish and jammy flavours from the roots of a pear-tail.

With William's at the end of the heart (in good years) comes a little toffee scent and slight sourness, that is where I stop and don't look back, hearts are done. It may smell like heaven after it, but it is bitter. Ok, I collect until I get tired of watching the decreasing number of drops, but those feints will be recooked with the next batch of pear-mash.

Had I nailed my pear-pálinka? Did it become a tad more bitter than enjoyable? Sadly, it happens. Should I re-run it? Not necessarily, as it will lose even more aroma from redistilled pears than with other fruit-spirits. Instead, I pour broken poppyseeds into, a good 200g for every liter undiluted brandy, leave it in a warm place for a month or two, and just before Christmas it is ready to be filtered and diluted with syrup to make poppy liquor at about 27% ABV. Pear and poppy taste together really well, and the bitterness of the pear brandy blends in with the poppy's own in one smooth hug. :)

User avatar
Paulinka
Swill Maker
Posts: 169
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:53 pm

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Paulinka » Tue Sep 23, 2014 4:09 am

Dear MDH, I never used Lallzyme-β, it is mostly used here by those who make a mash but - without having their own distilling equipment - bring it to distilleries for cooking and distilling it later. These poor souls are on a long queue with their already fermented mash on the list of distilleries, so they have time to wait four weeks after their mash is ready. Some are queued for December. o.O

Keeping a fermented mash healthy for that long time is a task itself: some fill the fermenting barrel with CO2, some put a strong plastic foil on top of it and fill it with water to push out all oxygen from the surface of the mash, but with this latter method the barrel can't be moved, before transporting to the distillery the water must be syphoned down from the foil. Oxydation leads to losing aromas, not to mention that without a protective CO2 layer any mash or wash is in a great danger of infection.

AFAIK that enzyme opens up terpenalcohols that are bonded to those fructose-molecules that have a free hydrogen-arm and are ignored by the yeast. These bonded aromaprecursors are rare, and even rarer in unripe fruits. If i would ever use Lallzyme that would be in a macerated raspberry-spirit, where raspberries are soaked in (clear grain) alcohol, Lallzyme-β is added to open up sugarbonded aromas that alcohol can't open, and then it would be distilled. Or elderberry-flower spirit... Or strawberries... Breaking up aromas before distillation without yeast can be useful.

Maybe Lallzyme-β pulls out some of the fresh, most volatile scent-range from overripe fruits that has those terpenes bonded to sugars, like fruit-skin smell.. I will ask around, it is better to know for sure than making theories. :roll:

MDH
Distiller
Posts: 1001
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:33 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by MDH » Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:45 am

I see. I had actually been given it by a winemaker friend from California several years back. Usually my mash is not sitting around for months unless it is a mash from cider apples, so...
The still is not a liar. Mash and ferment quality is 99.9% of your performance.

User avatar
Jimbo
Master Distiller
Posts: 8376
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:19 pm
Location: Down the road a piece.

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Jimbo » Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:51 am

Dan P. wrote:
Also, pears; I get very bitter distillate from my pears. All the commercial pear distillate I have ever had is very bitter too. Is this how it goes, or is there a trouble shoot here that can eliminate this?
Ive had the same issue Dan, but have found age, lots of age, completely eliminates the bitterness. Be nice to isolate the source to eliminate the years of waiting. I have a little left thats 14 years old now, and is pure pear bomb,... but another 14 years may not be in the cards, so..... I was wondering if the seeds are the source, maybe find a better way to juice without breaking the seeds too much?
In theory there's no difference between theory and practice. But in practice there is.
My Bourbon and Single Malt recipes. Apple Stuff and Electric Conversion

Dan P.
Distiller
Posts: 1085
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:24 am
Location: The Islands

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Dan P. » Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:04 pm

Paulinka, Thank you for your excellent reply, you are a real asset to this website. As it happens the pears I use are not williams, but various ancient perry varieties that are quit common in my locality. Traditional English perry is a real delight, but sadly quite rare. Either way, we got very very few pears this year, and those, like the apples, were quite scabbed.
Jimbo wrote:
Ive had the same issue Dan, but have found age, lots of age, completely eliminates the bitterness. Be nice to isolate the source to eliminate the years of waiting. I have a little left thats 14 years old now, and is pure pear bomb,... but another 14 years may not be in the cards, so..... I was wondering if the seeds are the source, maybe find a better way to juice without breaking the seeds too much?
I think we had this conversation before, Jimbo. From what little I know about perry production, the pear is a somewhat temperamental beast, with quite a few secrets.

urbanshiner
Novice
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:15 am

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by urbanshiner » Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:34 am

Hey Paulinka,

Thanks for the great posts, very timely as I have almost 1 ton of Italian prunes fermenting, and over 200lbs of Pears.

For the Pears, I wondered if you could advise on the initial preparation of the fruit. Do you wash them? Doesn't that remove wild yeasts? Do you let them sit whole and covered for a bit to break down tannins that affect fermentation (I read that in another web site, but don't know if that matters)? Do you cut them into small pieces (if so, how small?), or run them through an apple/pear masher, or blend them up with paint mixer drill? Do you leave the cores/seeds or remove them? Right now the 200lbs are sitting in covered containers, with the fruits cut in half.
IMG_20140925_161302_small.jpg
IMG_20140925_161309_small.jpg
I want to make sure I start off correctly, as this is the first time making Pear palinka. What shall I add to it next? Enzyme? Acid to bring down PH? Yeast nutrient? Shall I try all natural yeast, or add commercial?

My wife traveled to Hungary last spring, and brought back a bottle of her cousin's Pear palinka, and totally inspired me to try making some. It is so sweet and pleasant to drink, really a treasure of a spirit.

Thanks!

urbanshiner
Novice
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:15 am

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by urbanshiner » Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:44 pm

I also have a question about Plum Palinka.

I have 100s of lbs of Italian prunes/plums fermenting. I picked them ripe, and let them sit whole for a couple weeks in numerous airlocked containers. The airlocks were busy, and the plums began to ferment on their own with natural yeasts. I did not add anything to the fruit. A few of them have slowed down considerably, and I measured the Brix with a refractometer, and all read between 8-11, nothing lower (SG of 1.045). It seems that there is plenty more sugar in the juice, but the yeast has stopped.

Below picture is of active mash after sitting for 2 weeks:
Younger mash, active
Younger mash, active
This is a picture of mash that has since stopped fermenting actively, but has a Brix of 10 still:
20140930_154324-small.jpg
Same thing happened to me with apricots this year (also a natural ferment, and also never went below 10 Brix after fermenting stopped), and when I distilled them, I had very little alcohol or success. For stripping run, nothing would come out of my still until 92C (where usually for wine brandy, I get fores start to come out at 78C). I had very small yield (collected up to 96C), and distillate was very cloudy and oily. Out of 30 gallons of apricot juice, I got maybe 3/4 gallon of first run.

This is my first try with all-natural ferment of fruit.

Is this typical? do you know what I might be doing wrong?

User avatar
NZChris
Master Distiller
Posts: 8555
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:42 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by NZChris » Tue Sep 30, 2014 4:21 pm

That's a pretty big spoon you're asking him to fill.

Some personal research before you pick your fruit would be a good thing.

User avatar
Paulinka
Swill Maker
Posts: 169
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:53 pm

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Paulinka » Wed Oct 01, 2014 11:29 pm

Hi Urbanshiner,

I collect my pears in a big plastic tub filled halfway with water, and after washing them I and cut out the core with the seeds. Then I cut the pears by hand to thin slices. A curved knife will do the trick. With this amount pureeing with paintdrill will work too, but remember to decore and deseed before - most methilalcohol comes from unbroken pectins and most of the pectins are in the core.

I collect the pear in buckets that have an inch or so water in them with citric acid added (use a tablepoon for every 15L bucket): this will prevent oxidation of the fruit slices, thus conserving the delicate scent of pears and citric acid will be consumed by yeast in the later stage of fermentation, while an acidic pH also has preventive/protective purposes. A little water will not hurt any fruitmash, in thick mashes yeasts have a harder work and more possibility to stall. Always, always push the air out from your mash.

With pears/apples/quinces always use pectinase. If you happened to forget decoreing and deseeding, or got the mash "all-in", choose Lallzyme C (it is only pectinase), or HC (pectinase+aromaexplorator).
If you decored/deseeded properly and sliced the pears, then use Lallzyme EX-V, it has only a little pectinase activity but breaks down cellulose/hemicellulose/cell walls properly, and is a very strong aromaexplorator, it really expands more bouquet than the others, and there will be no need to use Lallzyme Beta after fermentation.
Use phosphoric acid (or sulphuric acid) to set acidity to 3-3,2 pH. For 0,3-05 pH-down it's about 1 litre of 10% phosphoric acid (always dilute your acids to 10%) for 100kg fruit. Make a few litre of yeast-starter. Use 20g/hl Uvaferm 228/SC/CGC-62/SLO or Danstil A for pomes, give them yeast nutrient too in the starter. I found out that using natural yeast for pears is a bit more risky than for plums/apricots, it is harder to find a good wild yeast for them, while molds are entering the battlefield in full strength.

Wild yeasts can have very low alcohol resistance, thus they die out before fermenting out all the sugars, and ferment stops. Some wild yeasts die because of the osmotic pressure the thick and sugary fruit mash has. This is why starters (who have only a faint idea how to make a proper fruit-mash and because of this they enter the world of wild yeasts blindly) and professionals (who seen lot's of different yeasts and fruit mashes work properly, and have the knowledge to enter the unknown wisley). I dare to be only a semi-knowledgeable folk,
I use commercial yeasts mostly, experimenting only with little batches.

Looks like you need a secondary fermentation to ferment the mash properly. I recommend to make a few litre of restarter with Fermivin PDM (or other killer-active yeast strain chosen to restart stalled ferments) with GO-FERM or other kickstart nutrient and kill your wildlings that are not working. Maybe they fermented out nice aromas, but their work is done, let's bring the big guys who make alcohol from those fruit sugars! :)

Wish you all the best luck and tasty drops!

Dan P.
Distiller
Posts: 1085
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:24 am
Location: The Islands

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Dan P. » Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:34 am

I've got to say I never met a wild yeast I didn't like, and that didn't work for me, though sometimes slow to start and finish.

With all due respect to Paulinka (which is a lot), I think there is a cultural difference between the use of wild vs. commercial yeasts, namely an emphasis on performance/efficiency vs. an emphasis on style (style being an insistence on "natural process", "authenticity" etc.).

For instance, this year I have used a commercial yeast on my plums, and the ferment really does not smell right at all. Where I live there is a strong tradition of cider making, and wild yeasts are always used, and it is, to me, the correct smell of a fruit ferment. Indeed, there is a German lady who moved here, and decided to start making cider, but of course in the German style (efficiency!) she uses a commercial yeast and, frankly, her cider is disgusting (to my palate). To most people, of course, our traditional cider is probably completely disgusting, and hers is probably very nice, as it is sweet, apply, stable and artificial tasting, rather than sour, dry as a bone, and as wild and alive as the West Wind! But of course, to each his own.

Urbanshiner, did you add sugar to your plums?

User avatar
Paulinka
Swill Maker
Posts: 169
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:53 pm

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Paulinka » Thu Oct 02, 2014 3:13 am

Dear Dan,

I think we have a complete agreement on the wild vs. commercial yeast topics. What I try to emphasize is that if one does not have a well-tried wild yeast at his disposal it is risky not to use commercial ones, especially with a big batch of fruit.
In fact, best fruit-brandies and pálinka I ever tasted were made with wild yeast, and the worsts also. If someone is unlucky, mash can easily turn to a failure (not enough CO2-production, bad conversion, bacterial side-infection, bad temperature-tolerance etc.) Having a great wild yeast that has multiple good abilities needs luck or work.

Of course, there are parts of the world where 80% of the wild yeast strains are acceptable for the job, and some of them have truely spectacular virtues, if they only given a bit (or much) more time to ferment every sugar. Other places may not be that lucky, and it takes lot's of tries, separations and work to breed out suitable strains that give magnificient smell and an okayish amount of alcohol in a tolerable time-interval.

A stalled ferment means an impotence of the yeast it was started with, it is all about saving the mash from that point with all means possible. It is kind of parralel to giving birth at home, some say it is good and natural way for Mum and therefore good for the baby, but the best is to have an ambulance car waiting at the front door, so if things turn bad not to end up in tragedy. Finding the best commercial yeast for a fruit is not easy, yet I find it as rewarding and interesting as any other part of making spirits at home.

The comparative yeast-list for different fruits is proposed by pálinka-distilleries on consensus, these combos fruited hundreds of gold medals in national and international spirit competitions, so they are an easier way to make great fruit brandies than with wild yeasts.

Dan P.
Distiller
Posts: 1085
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:24 am
Location: The Islands

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Dan P. » Thu Oct 02, 2014 5:46 am

Wise words, Paulinka.

I think I must live in an area which is blessed with benign wild yeasts. I am also 100% hobbyist, I do not ferment and distil to feed a habit or for any reason other than fun and curiosity (I say that because many if not the majority of members on this site seem to want only to be able to produce large quantities of sugar based alcohol, which I presume they are drinking themselves. Not a judgement, just an observation), and so if a ferment were to fail it is not particularly distressing to me.
Beyond that, there is no real culture of distilling fruit in my country, and thus availability and knowledge of suitable yeasts is limited, though you have obviously shared a great deal of such knowledge on this thread.

urbanshiner
Novice
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:15 am

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by urbanshiner » Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:18 am

Thanks Paulinka!

Incredibly helpful! I am going to try a commercial yeast to kickstart things again.

Dan - I did not add any sugar or other additives, just straight fruit. I live in the Pacific Northwest of USA, and this time of year the temperature can swing a good 20+ degrees from day to day. We've been up in the high 80s, and then in the low 60s F from one day to the next, and daytime and nighttime temps are pretty different. Its probably a combination of the wild yeast not liking the low temps (the airlocks get busier when the containers warm up in the sun), low alcohol tolerance, and the thickness of the mash.

Will post results. All the fruit has been free this year, so it's fun to give it a go with all natural. My plums I gathered by bugging every neighbor in the city within 5 miles of me (who I could see had a plum tree in their yard) to let me pick their unused fruit. Lots of work, and I'm sure I didn't have a good, consistent wild strain, like you would get from a single orchard.

My father-in-law in Eastern Washington (where the temps are warmer) is having good luck with 1000lbs of plums he got from a local farmer's orchard. We'll see if his can finish strong. Pics below, looks to be a good ferment.
sandor-plums2-small.jpg
sandor-plums-small.jpg

Dan P.
Distiller
Posts: 1085
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:24 am
Location: The Islands

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Dan P. » Thu Oct 02, 2014 3:31 pm

urbanshiner wrote:Thanks Paulinka!

Incredibly helpful! I am going to try a commercial yeast to kickstart things again.
EC1118 is a widely recommended stuck ferment re-starter. It has the benefit of being readily available in the US.

I am very envious of your father in law!

MDH
Distiller
Posts: 1001
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:33 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by MDH » Thu Oct 02, 2014 5:23 pm

I've had good luck with wild yeasts. My most recent ferment of an old-world, unidentified plum variety from an abandoned property took off almost instantly and continued to ferment at temperatures of 52 and below at night, which is normal here in the pacific northwest. I have actually transferred the yeast to Merlot grape juice and it is doing well; a nice nose of strawberry and rosehip already.

Generally though, I try to keep alcohol potential low - maybe 6%. Plums can reach as high as 30 brix on dry years, so they do need diluting.
The still is not a liar. Mash and ferment quality is 99.9% of your performance.

RandyMarshCT
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 713
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:46 am
Location: Hopkinton, RI

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by RandyMarshCT » Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:05 am

Paulinka, I just wanted to say thank you very much for this wealth of information!
Life member, representative, and proud supporter of the Hobby Distiller's Association.

http://www.hobbydistillersassociation.org

User avatar
Paulinka
Swill Maker
Posts: 169
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:53 pm

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Paulinka » Sat Oct 25, 2014 12:13 am

Thank you Randy, my pleasure.

Right now I'm cleaning out the resi(n)duals from the tubes of my pot-still with the collected foreshots of the year. All of the seasons' different fruits' tails'n'heads were mixed with some birdwatcher's wash, cooked to a lovely aromatic wine. I poured in some molasses to deepen the flavour, my plans were to make some kind of a rum.

It did not work out as well as I hoped, so I made gin from it, based on a Bombay Sapphire East recipe, with some twist here and there. It turned out to be really fine, I guess everyone is proud of the first gin he made, but it really is nice because most of the alcohol in it were made from fruit and it is so smooth and fruity because of it. AFAIK gin were made historically to mask the inferior quality of grain-alcohols made in that time, but this one is quite contrary the cream of the years' crop.

So, if you happen to have lots of fruity heads and tails - and I really hope you indulge in the lovable processes of fruitbrandy-making - left over from making brandies, I can highly recommend to make a good gin from it, yes it conserves the fruits in the background, and IMHO a much more elegant drink than mixedfruit-brandy, or as we call it vegyesgyümölcs-pálinka.

Just Bill

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Just Bill » Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:46 pm

Szervusz Paul.

What amazing posts. I lived in Papa, Hungary (Veszperem Megye) for four years and, let me tell ya, I've sampled my fair share of Palinka. Its unfortunate to say that my first three years were spent drinking truly awful Palinka, and I would have given up entirely if it weren't for my friend's parents. They owned a small farm outside of town and would bring in their produce to market every week. THEY showed me the difference when you take time and care for the product you are making (just like you describe). The result was unbelievably delicious! Unfortunately I finished off my last bottle of their brew about a month or so ago when I had company over.

I was also just complaining how I never picked up a Palinkafozo when I was out there. It would have been a great learning experience, but alas...

Anyways, I just wanted to drop in and say nagyan szepen koszonom for the history lesson and information.

I've never visited Kecskemet personally, but I did make friends with someone who used to work at the Mercedes factory there. The story of our introduction is long, but the short version is he now works for Boeing in Papa.

If you find yourself near Tacoma, Washington be sure to stop by for a visit.

Udvozlettel,
Vilmos (korte palinka :P )

User avatar
HDNB
Site Mod
Posts: 6609
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:04 am
Location: the f-f-fu frozen north

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by HDNB » Sun Dec 07, 2014 4:31 pm

just adding more thanks! used your info here and enjoyed the slivovitz.org site in my journey for my first plum ferment.

it's been a long haul since harvest of a small amount of local plums (about 50lbs) in september. using the natural yeast on the fruit and a lot of patience i have hard fought and won about 3 Litres of premium spirit.

Yay!

i'd like to think that it was superior skill and knowledge that paid off here...but i'm pretty sure i just got lucky with a great wild yeast and the right ferment temps. either way it's just in time for the Christmas holidays and i'm a happy stiller!
I finally quit drinking for good.

now i drink for evil.

User avatar
Paulinka
Swill Maker
Posts: 169
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:53 pm

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Paulinka » Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:41 am

Cheers Friends, I'm happy for everyone who comes around and eats through these huge walls of text. Sending the still to retire for the season is not an easy task, and to be honest I cannot do it, I'm sure most of us feel the same here. :)

So I make AG these days, using aged backset again and again and use it in 1/3 of the strike water, looks like enough acid can be recirkulated this way. Aging is easy, when it is still hot from the pot, I pour the backset into 5 liter containers and close the lid tightly.

After about two weeks, I open and smell them: a few will have a deep, flowery honeylike scent, others will be just sour or bitter. When I started aging backset, I got rid of those that are not smelling great, and used only the ones that are nice and sweet. To keep the beneficial bactierial culture* I keep a little of the aged backset in the freezer and inoculate the fresh backset when it comes down to room temperature.

*Because I do not wish to test the who-knows-what bacterial culture's pathogenity on myself and have absolutely no idea so far what kind(s) of creatures dwell in the aged backset, I always pressure-cook the liquid before use for 45 minutes, counting the time after the start of the hissing. Good news is that the honey flavour distills through properly, giving a wide deep taste to my otherwise pretty usual grain-bill, which is mainly red corn grit, rye flour and oat flakes, maybe a bit of buckwheat/quinoa to give it a nutty/earthy aftertaste.
Try it, you will like it! The idea came from reading about how the use of dunder-pits enhances rum-making.

Hutch-
Novice
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 12:56 pm

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Hutch- » Wed Dec 24, 2014 8:59 am

Does anyone have any tips for not burning the pulp? I have about 90 gals. of fermented plums ready to go. I do have a copper plate I can added the covers 90% of the bottom of my SS milk can boiler, but I'm still concerned about burning. I'm using a banjo burner as the heat source.

User avatar
NZChris
Master Distiller
Posts: 8555
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:42 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by NZChris » Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:20 pm

Hutch- wrote:Does anyone have any tips for not burning the pulp? I have about 90 gals. of fermented plums ready to go. I do have a copper plate I can added the covers 90% of the bottom of my SS milk can boiler, but I'm still concerned about burning. I'm using a banjo burner as the heat source.
Pálinka tells you how in the first post of this thread

Dan P.
Distiller
Posts: 1085
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:24 am
Location: The Islands

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Dan P. » Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:55 pm

SS is to be avoided if you are distilling on the mash; copper is the way to go.
Otherwise do as nzchris points out is written in the first post, or put some kind of mat or mesh at the bottom of your boiler, something that will stay put but not totally disrupt the boil.

Hutch-
Novice
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 12:56 pm

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Hutch- » Wed Dec 24, 2014 5:51 pm

NZChris wrote:
Hutch- wrote:Does anyone have any tips for not burning the pulp? I have about 90 gals. of fermented plums ready to go. I do have a copper plate I can added the covers 90% of the bottom of my SS milk can boiler, but I'm still concerned about burning. I'm using a banjo burner as the heat source.
Pálinka tells you how in the first post of this thread

I did read his suggestion regarding purified butter, but that is the first time of heard of this. I'll have to give it a go, since it is an easy solution.

Hutch-
Novice
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 12:56 pm

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Hutch- » Wed Dec 24, 2014 5:56 pm

Dan P. wrote:SS is to be avoided if you are distilling on the mash; copper is the way to go.
Otherwise do as nzchris points out is written in the first post, or put some kind of mat or mesh at the bottom of your boiler, something that will stay put but not totally disrupt the boil.
Why avoid SS, I've distilled traditional rakija from both grapes and pears in the SS pot for years. My concern with plums is the consistency of the mash, its like a puree. I have a bottom cover made from copper, as I mentioned in my post, but wanted additional protection from burning.

User avatar
Kamil
Novice
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2014 12:47 am
Location: POLAND

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Kamil » Thu Dec 25, 2014 12:14 am

Good protection before scorches there is coat water/oil. ;-)
"I to wszystko bez najmniejszej kropelki rumu." - Jack Sparrow (Piraci z Karaibów)
"Dlaczego rum!?" - Jack Sparrow
"Dlaczego zawsze brakuje rumu?" - Jack Sparrow

Dan P.
Distiller
Posts: 1085
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:24 am
Location: The Islands

Re: Pálinka - The Fruit's Spirit

Post by Dan P. » Thu Dec 25, 2014 3:39 pm

Hutch- wrote:
Dan P. wrote:SS is to be avoided if you are distilling on the mash; copper is the way to go.
Otherwise do as nzchris points out is written in the first post, or put some kind of mat or mesh at the bottom of your boiler, something that will stay put but not totally disrupt the boil.
Why avoid SS, I've distilled traditional rakija from both grapes and pears in the SS pot for years. My concern with plums is the consistency of the mash, its like a puree. I have a bottom cover made from copper, as I mentioned in my post, but wanted additional protection from burning.
Because SS does not conduct heat anywhere near like copper does, and good spread of heat leads to fewer hot spots and less burning.
If your plum mash is like puree, maybe it's not done? Otherwise, if it's too thick, add water. You seem to have had success with pears and grapes, (I've fermented and distilled pears and plums and found them very similar in consistency), I don't see why plums would be very different? I guess if they are done and you don't have problems with scorching otherwise, then the rogue factor is consistency, so maybe adding water will do the trick.

Post Reply