Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by cranky » Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:04 pm

distiller_dresden wrote:Damn Cranky; I would love to get hold of just one piece of Japanese Maple. How I use wood that would last me years, since I only have a 5 gallon pot still and use cubes now, even then I would just use made chunks. I think I may have located a flooring/cabinet place with the breed of wood, is buying wood from a place like that, the wood if raw is dried proper right? Mind if I ask how you got hold of some?

I don't have any way to get fruit woods, unless I looked on Amazon - I ordered the Port barrel chunks, once I mentioned and thought of them in my whisky, oh man. Wonder how that might be in brandy?
Fruit wood is fairly common here, there are even people who sell it on craigslist by the cord as fire wood. I got my Japanese maple because my 25-30 year old Japanese maple tree had some issues due to damage at the base. It was dying so had to be removed. I cut it up and was using it for cooking when I started thinking about using it for aging. I let it age a couple years before using it for that. I think kiln dried wood tends to not work as well because the tannens and stuff that leach out when dried outdoors are still in there. I have some kiln dried pecan wood I want to try so I put the chunks outside where they can weather naturally over the next couple years. I suspect you could speed this along by alternately soaking and drying the wood but I'm pretty patient. be cautious about cherry wood. I've read where certain types of cherry can result in some serious problems. That actually kind or upset me because I have some cherry from an unknown variety I was hoping to make a barrel out of. I'm not sure I have much left but I'll eventually look and see if I have any maple to spare and might try to send you a piece or two, I have to fight my way to them in the garage so it may take a while, hopefully I can remember, I suffer from CRS (Can't Remember Shit) so tend to be a bit forgetful.

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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by distiller_dresden » Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:14 pm

That would be amazing Cranky; I would be indebted for at least a year, and could send you jars as you deemed fit of whatever you deemed fit. Raw or aged or mid-aging, as you deemed fit, just so I could have some chunks of Japanese maple to experiment with, it would be worth it. Since I only have a 5 gallon still, I only get a gallon at a time, and then typically 60oz of 120 proof of any given liquor, give or take, from any given batch, so depending on your oak use, you can see how long wood lasts me. I just used 11 oak cubes of various make in my last batch of corn gen 2, and an inch of oak spiral, still aging, and judging from gen 1, that should be plenty of oak, plenty. 1/2" x 1/2" cubes, although I'd like to use bigger chunks if I had the option, the cubic volume of wood isn't going to go up much.

I want to get into fruit woods, especially pear because I've read a lot of good about pear, but I'm still getting my oak feet under me, and learning about corn and molasses, and right now my first proper apple brandy attempt. I am trying to do a thing at a time, and then as with my corn, do several gens in a row to kind of get a feel/learn that thing, before the next. After one more corn gen is rum. The apple is kind of a breather, just started now because I want to allow a good long time for ferment at the low temps. Absolutely no rushing it; I want to do my best to turn a good product first attempt, if I can. Cuts are going to be my make or break, I think...

I can mention the boards from time to time if it won't make you... Cranky. :)
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by Copperhead road » Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:55 pm

distiller_dresden wrote:That would be amazing Cranky; I would be indebted for at least a year, and could send you jars as you deemed fit of whatever you deemed fit. Raw or aged or mid-aging, as you deemed fit, just so I could have some chunks of Japanese maple to experiment with, it would be worth it. Since I only have a 5 gallon still, I only get a gallon at a time, and then typically 60oz of 120 proof of any given liquor, give or take, from any given batch, so depending on your oak use, you can see how long wood lasts me. I just used 11 oak cubes of various make in my last batch of corn gen 2, and an inch of oak spiral, still aging, and judging from gen 1, that should be plenty of oak, plenty. 1/2" x 1/2" cubes, although I'd like to use bigger chunks if I had the option, the cubic volume of wood isn't going to go up much.

I want to get into fruit woods, especially pear because I've read a lot of good about pear, but I'm still getting my oak feet under me, and learning about corn and molasses, and right now my first proper apple brandy attempt. I am trying to do a thing at a time, and then as with my corn, do several gens in a row to kind of get a feel/learn that thing, before the next. After one more corn gen is rum. The apple is kind of a breather, just started now because I want to allow a good long time for ferment at the low temps. Absolutely no rushing it; I want to do my best to turn a good product first attempt, if I can. Cuts are going to be my make or break,
I can mention the boards from time to time if it won't make you... Cranky. :)
Rapid boiling oak and fruit woods in a large stockpot can help and speed up process of removing tannens before putting it out in the sun to season. Have done that several times with homemade oak staves before making dominos. I am keen to source some mulberry wood and do the above for brandy aging sticks,
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by distiller_dresden » Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:11 pm

That's good to know, handy! Thanks, Copperhead road. Hear that, Cranky?

Update on the brandy; I just pitched about an hour ago. Due to the concentrates the temp was really low, 45F, and I had a heating pad under the vessel to raise temp. Got home from THE MOVIE (wow, the Empire Strikes Back of Marvel movies) and it was 59F, so ate some dinner and then aerated and pitched. Was about 61F when I pitched. Will see where it's at in the morning and get a photo for documentation purposes. Removed the heating pad - want the cool fermentation, slow and easy, take your time yeasties!
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by distiller_dresden » Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:36 am

Does this look right for 12 hours after pitch?
apple.jpg
Also to anyone looking at those port and brandy used barrel chips I got, unlike Jack Daniels chips, which are substantial big chunks, these are just a touch bigger than any 'chips' you'd get ordering 'oak' chips from a brew place. I can toast them in the oven easily, but they aren't the large chunks like JD that I'd thought they would be; I really thought they'd be just like the JD barrel chips are. They DO smell of their respective liquors, however, so there is that.

Hoping someone chimes in on the 12 hours in ferment pic; wondering if I got a bad pack of 1118, I have 2 more in the fridge. Wondering if I should hydrate another or half of another and pitch it... Anyone with experience tell me if that looks right for a 12 hours in ferment at 64F?
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by OtisT » Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:50 pm

If you are getting good bubble action and you have CO2 built up in your fermenter bucket I would think it is just fine. Do you see/hear lots of tiny bubbles breaking the surface?

For me, ferment action often starts to peak between 12 and 24 hours.

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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by Copperhead road » Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:03 pm

Had to tell from picture due to image quality, put your ear against the side of fermenter and you should hear the activity.
If so it’s working off nicely and your golden....
I use open top olive drums with push on lids and NO airlock bubble trap for my brandy fermenters, this is how I check the activity. Sometimes after 3 or 4 days you will not see the bubbles but you will hear them.
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by distiller_dresden » Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:24 pm

Hey all, there was zero change in the surface a couple hours ago; I hadn't heard from a couple PM's I sent out, I really didn't want to over pitch yeast. I sat and watched it for 10 minutes and not a single bubble broke the surface, it looked like still water. So I decided to rehydrate and pitch another pack of EC-1118. That was about an hour and a half ago, 4p est. I'll update later tonight like midnight/1a est on progress. Thanks Otis and Copperhead for chiming in.

I was just really concerned that the initial pitch was ineffective, there must have been an issue with the yeast. I'd gotten it from Amazon, so who knows. I hope the next pack is okay, I've been keeping them in the fridge. Never had a problem with yeast before. I think what was there on top is maybe the dead yeast from my previous pitch or something, or maybe a very small part of them lived, I don't know. It just didn't seem like the whole pack was right. When I hydrated it didn't foam up like normal when I have ever hydrated before a pitch. The second pitch hydrate seemed okay, water at 105 per packet instructions, stirred in, and after 15 minutes I had a foamy head of about 1/2", a little more like usual.
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by cranky » Sun Apr 29, 2018 6:42 pm

Looks like you got it going now :thumbup: I've actually had 1118 fail when using the recommended pitching method, so I just sprinkle it on top, never had a failure that way, or I take a quarter to half pint of juice, add an equal amount of water and use that to re-hydrate, then shake the crap out of it ever 5 or 10 minutes until it's all nice and foamy then add it to the must but I rarely feel the need to do that.

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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by CatCrap » Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:05 pm

That's odd. Did you buy both packs from amazon at the same time from the same source? If so, it seems highly unlikely one would be good and one bad. It's really hard to kill yeast. The only things your up against are if it's very very old, or if it gets to hot. I don't think yeast can die from getting to cold, wether it is rehydrated or still dry. I think it just goes dormant at low temps. With that said, DD, remember, cold ferments are not as active (not that there is anything wrong with a cooler, slower ferment, please don't think that's my contention) and can take some time to get going. Cranky has had some quick yeast action, but i've had washes take over 2 days to really start going and show activity. Also, strangely, some of my ferments i can hear sizzling, and some i cannot. Not sure why.. i've had very active rum ferments that are pretty much silent, and barely working UJSM that i can hear sizzling nearly accross the room. Def a case of YMMV. Be patient. Remember... nothing bad is going to happen in a couple days to your ferment, if your initial yeast pitch wasn't successful. So, just be patient. I don't think you're going to have done any harm whatsoever by pitching a second pack. 2 packs of EC in a 5.5 Gallon ferment is just right IMHO. One is fine.. but you are not even in the same ballpark of overpitching. Not even the same planet. You could pitch 10 packs without any ill effects. You'd have to pitch dozens of those small packs of yeast to really have any ill effects from too much yeast. You'll just have a little more trub. Really.. much more likely to have issues from UNDER than OVER pitching.

Good luck man!! I hope this comes out well.. i can't wait for your results!!

One other thing I wanted to share with you, in hopes it may be helpful. This is something i've learned and would like to share with you. You had mentioned that you get a pretty small amount of Keep Cut from your runs, as you have a 5 gallon Boiler. I believe that you probably could yield a larger cut using a 5 gallon boiler. You also, in the long run, will save time and work, and lose less product to heads and tails, IMHO. So, let me explain..

So.. i noticed you mentioned that you only get like 60OZ of usable product from a run. If it was something like this... a 5.5G ferment, single run (with thumper) i could see that being the correct number. For me, i've found that i try to make my spirit runs as LARGE as possible, in most, but not all, cases. Like for UJSM For example. I have an 8 gallon Still. again, i'll never put 8 gallons in it, but that's it's capacity. ON a strip or a wash run, i'll usually max out at 6ish, just so i can run fast without any worry of puking. But.. for SPIRIT runs.. because i'm using all low wines, or 90% low wines.. i try to fill the boiler quite full as low wines are much less likely to puke, and i run at way way less power on a spirit run of low wines than a strip run of wash. So, for me, that means i'll do around 6 strip runs or so of UJSM to accumulate enough low wines for a spirit run. That way my spirit run charge is around 6-7 Gallons, usually i like it around 30% ABV. The idea behind it is this.

First: I find with my still, as a pot still with my column, lyne arm etc, a charge of 30% equals my accumulated hearts cut, once all blended together, will be right in the aging area, or slightly ABOVE, but never below, what i want. That means usually 60-70% If it's above, i'll dilute a little for aging, but never have to dilute very much and so am not diluting the flavor significantly. If i charged at 40%, i'd yield a higher hearts cut, with inherently less flavor to start with, and then lose more flavor because i'd have to dilute further with more water. If it's right at 62 or 60% then that's what i age at. So that's why i do 30% in my LW. Anyways, the point i want to make... Doing a smaller spirit run, just means i'll have to do more runs. (these numbers that follow are all APPROXIMATIONS) It means i could either do a 3 gallon Low wine run, and then let's say i get 10 qt jars from that. I end up cutting 3 as heads, 3 as tails, and keep 4 as hearts. Yield: 1 gallon hearts. However, if i do a charge of 6 Gallons in my spirit run... i yield lets say 20 Qt jars. I cut 4-5 tops as heads, and 4 as tails, and keep 11-12 QTs for hearts: meaning my yield is actually 3 gallons in that case. So I've just got an additional gallon of hearts out of this, by doing a larger spirit run charge. So, what i'd suggest to you, is for your five gallon boiler, you should try to do a spirit run of 4.5 Gallons low wines, no less. Again, this isn't directly related to THIS recipe, but more of a general suggestion, if i may, on how you go about running. I think this could be helpful for you doing those Rum and Corn projects you're talking about. This may help you to yield larger keep amounts from your runs. Do you understand what i'm getting at? It just sort of dawned on me one day when i was thinking about my methods. Like... i considered that i had accumulated 4 Gallon of low wines of UJSM from 4 strips. I figured, well, that will cover my element, why don't i do a spirit run, and then i can start over and start stripping LW again? But it just dawned on me, that i will lose more to the heads and tails cut by doing smaller spirit run charges.

I'm not sure if that's something you are already doing. If so, disregard. I don't meant to make any assumptions about your processes, and i don't mean to be (very very slightly) off topic, so sorry about that. But, i just thought i'd mention this, in case it's able to help you, or for that manner anyone else, in any way. That's what the forum is about. Best to speak up, rather than hold back for fear of telling you something you already know. I don't like to make assumptions about your process, but i think it's equally bad to assume that you already DO know this as well. I'd be thrilled if my advice was able to help you to improve in any way.

So, again, Good Luck! Please make sure to keep us updated. But i think you will. I for one, appreciate you documenting your process. Great to follow along on your adventure!

CC

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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by distiller_dresden » Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:17 pm

It's 11p est, with a flashlight looking in, it is ACTIVE, there's not a foamy head, but it is partially clear, I forget the word - it's like a molasses wash. But looking in it is churning up from the bottom now in the middle and out on top, it is working. Little buggers doing their job now, that second pack was definitely right. I don't know what was wrong with the first pack, but we got 'er goin' so I'm happy! I'll get a photo in the morning which will be about a 20 hour pic, I figure it'll be good for documentation and a good reference for anyone else. People in my situation could always find it and see what it should/could look like.

CC- I typically run a full 4.5 or 5 gallons in my pot with thump, charged with wash and something to flavor, and if I have it some feints to up the ABV in there that are feints from a previous run of whatever I'm running. I haven't ever done a stripping and then a spirit run, usually I'm once and done. I usually get 50-60oz of 120 proof/60% from a 5 gal cook. I'll keep my heads and tails (dump fores) and will dump those into the next wash of whatever they are that I run of that kind of wash. For instance if they came from a corn wash, they'll go in a corn wash in the pot before a run. Rum feints in a rum pot run, etc. I know some people will save all these feints and do a whole separate 'feints' run on it's own with some dunder or backset like it's a whole wash run, but I figure there is some oils in those tails, while I'm not using them, I do want them back into the kind of whatever I'm running, so I recycle that way. I'm not exactly clear on what you're saying, so I'll re-read it a few times. Maybe send me a PM. I think terminology gets mixed up too, because it's not 'standardized'. For me I have heads, hearts, tails. Heads and tails after a run are 'feints'. I think low wines are everything after a stripping run, to be run through a spirit run? I can reference the wiki when I'm rereading your thoughts. But I do always to to run my pot as full as I can, as I've found if it isn't full I have problems controlling the temp once I get into the middle of my hearts and it wants to blow out.

Edit to add - after reading, I don't know if it really applies, but I do understand and appreciate your logic. Thing is with my thump and setup, with one run the heads I get off even with just wash in my thump usually come off at 185-180 proof/90% and really pure, and my runs hold really strong through hearts. In fact even after I've collected, I'll typically collect about a gallon of ethanol, it's not until the last 30-35 oz or so that things start dropping under 100, but then they start dropping very quickly.
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by distiller_dresden » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:39 pm

No photo, it's going, but it doesn't look like it if you glance. You have to watch it, the top just looks like unfiltered juice. Watching, you can see a slight churn in the middle as the yeast work, and tiny tiny bubbles. But there is no 'head' as in every other ferment I have ever done. I don't know if it's because it is all juice, or because it's low temp, maybe a combination of the two. There is some matter in there, apple, not really 'pulp', but there was some kind of particulate in the bottom of even the 'juice' that I got that was unfiltered, and of course the cider was not clear at all, so obviously had matter in it. But not enough to create any kind of head with the yeast. So we're just fermenting along merrily!
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by jonnys_spirit » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:04 pm

Sounds like that’s going to be very good! When ever I do Apple anything i’ll chop up and throw in several 10lbs bags of juicy apples too along with some pectic enzyme to help liquefy.

Looking forward to see how this turns oit for you :)

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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by distiller_dresden » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:58 pm

Thanks jonnys!

I've decided what I'll be doing with part of my backset from the brandy-
Going to start another batch of brandy, but it'll be a mixed brandy. I have a lot of frozen fruit in the deep freeze that's taxing my freezer, about 24 lbs that needs to be used. I have bluberries, black cherries, peaches, and mangoes. I also ordered two more 32oz bottles of the pear juice concentrate. Next brandy batch will be, this is a real early 'draft' recipe:

1.25 gallons apple brandy backset
.5 gallon pear juice concentrate
1 gallon 100% juice white grape peach
.5 gallon 100% juice pineapple juice
1 gallon 100% juice organic peach mango
1 gallon water
6 lbs frozen bluberries
8 lbs frozen black cherries
6 lbs frozen peaches
4 lbs frozen mangoes
1 lb Lyle's Golden Treacle
1 lb Lyle's Black Treacle
2 lb homemade invert sugar
Last edited by distiller_dresden on Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by CatCrap » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:07 pm

Nice! Glad to hear you have some fermenting action.

I guess i didn't realize that you only ever did single runs. I wasn't quite sure if you were doing that, or doing stripping and then spirit runs. For me, unless i'm doing fruit wash for brandy etc, i ALWAYS do stripping and then spirit runs. The reason i don't do it with fruit, is because it's much more expensive and time consuming to acquire fruit based washes (at least when we don't use sugar, and that's the only way, right? IMHO it is). Also fruit washes have some delicate flavors, and don't persist as well through a second distillation. I don't have a thumper so my method so far has been to do 1.5X runs to get the flavor i want and the abv i need for aging.

Just my 2 cents, but i think you should give double distillation a shot. You may find the results more to your liking. You may not, of course. But, for me, with grain and molasses, whiskey and rum, i like the results flavor wise and efficient wise of doing double distillation. So, the process, if you aren't completely familiar, is this:

Run the wash in my pot still at full speed. For me that's two elements totalling 3150 watts, and a shotgun condenser with full flow to knock down all the vapor. So, you run the wash at full speed, taking a small fores cut only and discarding that. In my case it's between 50 and 100 ML per stripping run of 6 gallons. What you collect from this, in my case it's between 4 and 6 quarts, is known as Low Wines. I do not make any cuts and run at high speed, so the low wines have a smeared mix of heads, tails, and hearts. I save up these low wines. I continue to make wash, and run it in stripping runs, until i've accumulated about 6 gallons. I then add this 6 gallons to my still, and run it as a spirit run. I run it much slower, and collect in small, numbered jars. Air these jar for a day or two, then taste and test for ABV. I determine what i want to keep and what i don't want to keep. Whatever i don't want to keep - the heads and tails - goes into a 6 gallon glass carboy as "feints". As you mentioned, i'll save these up over time, and once i have enough i'll do a run of only these, an "All Feints Run". What i do keep, and depending on the size of the charge, is my hearts. I blend them all together in a large SS Stockpot. I taste it, i check the abv and bring it down if necessary, to around 60% ABV, and then put it into jars with oak, depending on what it is - rum, whiskey, etc etc. So, a full spirit run for me, with a 6 gallon charge, can yield up to 3 gallons at 60%. 3 gallons. So in your case, if you did things this way, your result could be around 2 gallons of double distilled, 60% ABV hearts. You may find you like this method more, both because of the increased yield, and because of the improved flavor from double distillation. Again, you may not, you may find you like doing single distillation runs. I find single runs to be a bit rough, a bit harsh. Double run spirits tend to be really nice and clean, and with the addition of some tails that are pleasant, and proper aging (long enough, on the right wood with the right treatment) results in some really nice spirits that have great complexity, are smooth and clean, and don't have much burn. This is how many professional distilleries operate.

So, just another way of doing things. I'd suggest you try doing things that way, if for nothing else, just to see another method of distillation.

This doesn't really apply to your apple brandy though. This is much more appropriate for Whiskey and Rum.

just my 2 pennies. Take care, good luck!

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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by cranky » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:11 pm

distiller_dresden wrote:No photo, it's going, but it doesn't look like it if you glance. You have to watch it, the top just looks like unfiltered juice. Watching, you can see a slight churn in the middle as the yeast work, and tiny tiny bubbles. But there is no 'head' as in every other ferment I have ever done. I don't know if it's because it is all juice, or because it's low temp, maybe a combination of the two. There is some matter in there, apple, not really 'pulp', but there was some kind of particulate in the bottom of even the 'juice' that I got that was unfiltered, and of course the cider was not clear at all, so obviously had matter in it. But not enough to create any kind of head with the yeast. So we're just fermenting along merrily!
It's luring you into a false sense of security. Tomorrow or the next day it's going to suddenly foam up and try to crawl out of the fermenter.

Actually since it was commercial juice it probably depends on how it was pasteurized but mine always tries to foam up at around 2 days and it always does it in the middle of the night so I wake up to find a mess to deal with before I go to work.

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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by distiller_dresden » Wed May 02, 2018 8:22 am

Hey Cranky! It wasn't the second day, it was today. So, day 3, 3.5 call it, I peeked in, careful not to move the top too much in order to keep all the good CO2 in there, and the top isn't dark brown juice/cider-looking any longer. Now it is light brown, like light brown sugar-colored, and the top is smooth overall, but goose-pimpled with thousands of tiny bubbles. At a glance it is still, but you look closer and they are CHURNING man. Yeast are going nutso, and it has a wonderful aroma, the acidity is coming and there's an alcohol smell beginning to blossom.

Check it out:
apple brandy ferment.jpg
I'm also considering my aging and oaking options, definitely leaning into using my old chips, chunks, cubes. Since I started this wonderful, fantastic zen in January I have saved every bit of wood that's ever been in spirits, have it all in a big ziploc. I can pick and choose from those. I also have a huge selection:

Medium toast French oak chips
Medium toast American oak spirals
Medium toast Hungarian oak cubes
Light toast French oak cubes
Jack Daniels American oak barrel chunks/chips
? oak (probably French or Hungarian) port barrel chips
? oak (again, F or H most likely) brandy barrel chips
Oven medium toasted/caramelized (port sugars) ? oak port barrel chips
CRANKY - what do you think apple brandy would be like with some Japanese maple aging? I've heard they have some very interesting flavor notes - 'Japanese temple incense' for instance...that sounds to me like "flowery" and it would compliment 'apple' wonderfully; I also bet NOBODY has EVER aged apple brandy on Japanese maple...

Then about 1/2 full gallon ziploc bag of all my 'used' wood.


I'm also considering doing what Calvados does with one of their limited and...really fuckin' expensive brandies. It's called Calvados Drouin - Calvados Pomme Prisonnière, they grow an apple in the bottle, then when the brandy is ready to come out of the barrel processes they use, it goes into the bottle on a whole apple. Like so:
110952-calvados-pays-auge-pomme-prisonniere.jpg
Thoughts/feelings/objections, share! What type of apple would I use if I did that - I was thinking honeycrisp, but could that be too much for a delicate brandy? Maybe I go golden delicious, because they are very subtle and sweet, no overpowering acidity? Love to hear arguments for or against an apple selection...
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by CatCrap » Wed May 02, 2018 5:56 pm

YEah the apple in a bottle is so cool. I first saw that with pears, there are few pear and apple products like that out there. So cool. Ordered my first bottle of calvados online the other day.. Very excited as i've never really had calvados, except in a cocktail at a restaurant so it was hard to discern the precise taste. I expect i'm going to like it a whole lot.

Yeh, they had some ungodly expensive liquor on that website. Including the pear in a bottle etc. There was one that wasn't too crazy pricy.

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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by cranky » Wed May 02, 2018 6:01 pm

distiller_dresden wrote:Hey Cranky! It wasn't the second day, it was today. So, day 3, 3.5 call it,
Mine usually happens in the middle of the night, one minute it is fine, then I get up and find a big mess with my airlocks clogged but by then it settled down again and you wouldn't know it had happened except for the obvious evidence left behind.
distiller_dresden wrote:CRANKY - what do you think apple brandy would be like with some Japanese maple aging? I've heard they have some very interesting flavor notes - 'Japanese temple incense' for instance...that sounds to me like "flowery" and it would compliment 'apple' wonderfully; I also bet NOBODY has EVER aged apple brandy on Japanese maple...
I'm actually thinking about finishing with the maple. It tends to have a slight maple syrup flavor but not as strong as if it were a sugar maple, I can't really say how it might compliment the apple.
distiller_dresden wrote:I'm also considering doing what Calvados does with one of their limited and...really fuckin' expensive brandies. It's called Calvados Drouin - Calvados Pomme Prisonnière, they grow an apple in the bottle, then when the brandy is ready to come out of the barrel processes they use, it goes into the bottle on a whole apple. Like so:

Thoughts/feelings/objections, share! What type of apple would I use if I did that - I was thinking honeycrisp, but could that be too much for a delicate brandy? Maybe I go golden delicious, because they are very subtle and sweet, no overpowering acidity? Love to hear arguments for or against an apple selection...
My thoughts are that a both honeycrisp and any delicious are just too soft to stand up to it. I think it would be best to use a harder apple but not a tart one. I don't really know what I would use :problem: well actually I know what I would use but since there are only 2 of those trees in existence you can't use them so I don't really know what to recommend.

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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by distiller_dresden » Wed May 02, 2018 7:28 pm

Okay, so the hardest breed (hmm, is that the right word?) of apple I can find, so long as it's not tart. Off the top of my head, Fuji or Sonya. Those are both really firm and crunchy, and very sweet with little tart. I think I can find Fuji now, not sure about Sonya. We'll see this weekend at the store; I'll check out the expensive 'Fresh Market' with a much better fruit selection if I need to. Open to apple suggestions, orrrr negations of my two ideas...

Hey Cranky, would a quart of the rum I have ready now encourage you to dig out some Japanese maple sooner? :) You could just PM me, I even have this awesome weird sheet bubble wrap that is more like garage insulation sheets than normal flimsy bubble wrap, I forget what shipped to me with it, but I saved it because it's awesome for shipping shine. It isn't a traditional rum, though, it had some fruit in it, but nothing to overpower, more small amounts and in balance, and one clove. I think it has a nice slightly sweet base, some vanilla to it, panella and molasses, then you'll get hints of the fruits at different times - light and dark raisins, prunes, pineapple, cherries, apricots, I had 10lbs of bananas in the mash, and in the thump when distilled, so there is banana notes to it, but it all kind of blends together. Got it down to 80 proof, I think it's a really enjoyable sipping rum, it's fun.

And I think I know what trees you mean, but didn't you know, that fruit was ACTUALLY a quince?
quince.png
Wikip:
-sole member of the genus Cydonia in the family Rosaceae (which also contains apples and pears, among other fruits). It is a deciduous tree that bears a pome fruit, similar in appearance to a pear, and bright golden-yellow when mature. Throughout history the cooked fruit has been used as food, but the tree is also grown for its attractive pale pink blossoms and other ornamental qualities.
...
Although the Book of Genesis does not name the specific type of the fruit that Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden, some ancient texts suggest Eve's fruit of temptation might have been a quince.
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by CatCrap » Thu May 03, 2018 10:40 am

I think the trees he means are local trees by him, which are 'Antique' or 'heirloom' or "wild" or hybrid or something like that. Maybe the KD? He means that those trees are unique, not an apple you can really find or buy anywhere.

but, obviously he knows what he means better than me. LOL.

Quince in a bottle tho... hmm.. could be interesting...

QUince are certainly a strange unique fruit. Have you ever had one? They are very very firm, even hard. YOu don't really wan't to eat them raw, they must be cooked, or i guess juiced. They have a seriously chalky texture, and super super astringent tannic taste to them, it almost dries up and coats your mouth. They're most traditionally used for Mostarda, which is an italian condiment sort of. It's made with mustard seed oil, and usually served with Salume etc. It's kind of like fruit in syrup, hard to describe or explain. One method is to add sugar to the cut fruit, then warm that syrup that comes out from the maceration, and pour it over the fruit. Then the next day you drain off the syrup, heat it up again, and pour over the fruit. You repeat this for several days or a week, until the fruit is soft enough and the syrup has imparted some flavor and extracted some flavor from the Quince. Quince is kind of like apple or pear, but not really. It's very unique. But, i encourage you to try working with it! It's always exciting to try something new.

* EDIT - Oh, i forgot to mention, you use the mustard with the Quince and syrup of course. YOu can use mustard seed, or powder, but to make the real deal Italian style you need to get some legit mustard seed oil. They sell it in pharmacies in italy, but it's a controlled substance, as it is very very very intense and can be dangerous. After all, mustard has been used as a weapon before.

But, we're way off topic here. So, that's all i'll say about that.

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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by distiller_dresden » Thu May 03, 2018 11:27 am

Oh I didn't consider that, when Cranky said 'existence' I thought he meant the trees of the fruit of knowledge... Uh durrr. Not at all familiar with quince, I just had that fact bouncing around in my melon with a billion other ones. CatCrap, sounds like you're a bit like me, too, lots of facts in there, hehe. We are curious people, curious people are the BEST people, inarguably.
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by cranky » Thu May 03, 2018 7:02 pm

I did mean the KD :D Since they are such a dense apple they would be perfect for growing in bottles and would stand up to the alcohol.

I used to have access to a really good quince thicket. There are only something like a dozen or so verities of quince but each one tastes a bit different. They are very astringent when raw, kind of like sticking a spoon full of alum in your mouth but if cook them forever they become quite flavorful. They smell amazing even when raw. It wouldn't take much quince to add a whole lot of flavor to something.

I got those sticks sent off today, they should be there in a couple days, no need to send anything my way :D

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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by distiller_dresden » Thu May 03, 2018 8:14 pm

Oh MY! That's AWESOME Cranky. I can't believe it!! I've been so on a bandwagon in April since I learned about Japanese Maple. I even have my dad (stillin' buddy) crazy about it. We were looking up the Chivas release that was aged on JO in 2013, he was going to get himself a bottle (he LOVES Chivas, I don't care for it, I like a single malt only, Chivas is way too rough to me, not smooth). Couldn't find it other than a few stores in the UK, 2 in MN, and several in Japan.

I wish I had a more expressive way with typing to express how happy and thankful I am, I know it's just a couple of pieces of wood, but it's so much more than that to me. It's like the realization of a (god this sounds corny) dream that I wanted to experiment with this 'hallowed' rare and impossible to attain in America wood. Thank you so much, sir. You have really made me so happy!

What do you think of Fuji or Sonya, those are the hardest apples I can think of? To put in my 120 proof while it's aging on wood.
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by CatCrap » Thu May 03, 2018 10:09 pm

Awww.. that's heart warming. I love this hobby more n more every day.

:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by Copperhead road » Fri May 04, 2018 12:20 am

CatCrap wrote:YEah the apple in a bottle is so cool. I first saw that with pears, there are few pear and apple products like that out there. So cool. Ordered my first bottle of calvados online the other day.. Very excited as i've never really had calvados, except in a cocktail at a restaurant so it was hard to discern the precise taste. I expect i'm going to like it a whole lot.

Yeh, they had some ungodly expensive liquor on that website. Including the pear in a bottle etc. There was one that wasn't too crazy pricy.
Though this was pretty interesting....

https://youtu.be/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by distiller_dresden » Fri May 04, 2018 8:35 am

I don't think that came over Copperhead...
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by Copperhead road » Fri May 04, 2018 1:09 pm

distiller_dresden wrote:I don't think that came over Copperhead...
It seems I can not upload a utube clip on this forum, it works any other place....
Must be the forum.
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by distiller_dresden » Fri May 04, 2018 1:12 pm

can you email me the link? I'm interested if it's related to this thread, especially if it was related to the topic we'd gotten into!

Or put the link back in there, edit your post, and just put spaces in the link so it's just bork-en, then we can reassemble it.
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by Copperhead road » Fri May 04, 2018 7:53 pm

distiller_dresden wrote:can you email me the link? I'm interested if it's related to this thread, especially if it was related to the topic we'd gotten into!

Or put the link back in there, edit your post, and just put spaces in the link so it's just bork-en, then we can reassemble it.
https://youtu.be/DxGwveivNPU" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
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