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 » Fri May 04, 2018 7:59 pm

With a reaction like that I wish I had more to send but my supply is dwindling. Maybe I should go sneak over to my neighbors house in the middle of the night and cut down his tree :crazy: but who knows, maybe you won't like it.
distiller_dresden wrote:What do you think of Fuji or Sonya, those are the hardest apples I can think of?
I would think that would work but I'm only speculating.

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

Post by distiller_dresden » Fri May 04, 2018 8:16 pm

Remember Cranky, my still is only 5 gallons... An average wood bill for one batch of whisky is for a heavy desire of wood 22 grams. Adding to that, I plan to be VERY selective with how I use this Japanese Oak. From my research it is a wood that imparts flavor differently and apparently, at least in Japan with their whiskeys, they found it took years to discover the 'Japanese Temple Incense' smell/flavor component it imparts. I'm not sure if 'nuclear' aging will pull that out or not, but I am going to do an experiment using like 2-4 oz of white spirit and a maybe 1/2" cube of the JO just to see what flavors come out, diluting down after the nuke and doing a careful tasting and smelling like a wine tasting.

I am so utterly excited to have this to work with. Like a teenage girl having a date with her crush!

I think depending which is available I'll go with Fuji or Sonya, but I think Sonya are a fall apple maybe. We'll see when I have the brandy run and go to the store.

Do I air it like I would anything else, or do I not air brandy for fear of losing something? I've read some information saying do not air brandy. I typically air my other spirits 48 hours. Give me some direction on the brandy air yes/no and if so how long please, cranky?

Waiting is the hardest part, thank you again cranky!!

copperhead - that video was cool, that distillery is amazing, and that's how I think of myself, but HAHAHAHAHA right, and that guy has THE BEST job man....
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by cranky » Sun May 06, 2018 5:44 pm

distiller_dresden wrote:Remember Cranky, my still is only 5 gallons... An average wood bill for one batch of whisky is for a heavy desire of wood 22 grams. Adding to that, I plan to be VERY selective with how I use this Japanese Oak. From my research it is a wood that imparts flavor differently and apparently, at least in Japan with their whiskeys, they found it took years to discover the 'Japanese Temple Incense' smell/flavor component it imparts. I'm not sure if 'nuclear' aging will pull that out or not, but I am going to do an experiment using like 2-4 oz of white spirit and a maybe 1/2" cube of the JO just to see what flavors come out, diluting down after the nuke and doing a careful tasting and smelling like a wine tasting.
One thing :think: it's Japanese maple, not oak. I hope that's not too disappointing. According to the post office you should get it tomorrow.
distiller_dresden wrote:Do I air it like I would anything else, or do I not air brandy for fear of losing something? I've read some information saying do not air brandy. I typically air my other spirits 48 hours. Give me some direction on the brandy air yes/no and if so how long please, cranky?
I air mine just like anything else but I have read where one member will close theirs up if they think the flavor is good straight off the still but I haven't tried that myself.

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

Post by distiller_dresden » Sun May 06, 2018 6:29 pm

Hey Cranky - Back up thread I may have inserted maple for oak because I'm more accustomed to 'Japanese maple'. It's not a let down! I'm excited to get a new exotic wood to work with, I don't know anything about Japanese maple. What I was thinking of was Japanese Oak, or a species of Mongolian oak as it's more commonly known. This in now way reduces my gratefulness and excitement to get new wood to work with, and I can't wait. I can start preparing it when I get it. I'll have my cornflakes/corn gen3 aired out 48 hours tomorrow evening about 6p and ready for wood, and I have a gallon of the first two generations so I'm ready to do something else, this generation is MUCH more flavorful than those were.

It's got a much stronger corn flavor, but also the malty flavor that they've each had has carried stronger and stronger per generation and this last gen I had added some honey malt which really added something nice to it. I think prepping and toasting some of this Japanese maple in the oven would be what's called for since this batch came out tasting so good white.

For your brandy, do you air 24 or 48 hours? I haven't done a brandy, and I air my corn or rums for 48, I don't want to lose any good fruit essence ghost. If you air yours though, I'm confident airing, just wondering how long? I think my juice is almost done, it's looking almost still, but I haven't touched it yet because I didn't want to disturb the CO2 pocket on top of it. Tomorrow morn I'm going to dip a sterilized bit in there so I can taste it and see if it's sticky or what.
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by cranky » Sun May 06, 2018 7:23 pm

I'm not sure I'm the best one to answer that. I tend to be very slow with my blending usually starting the process around 24hr after distilling and taking up to a week. I usually do 2 or 3 samples then walk away for a while to let my taste buds recover then go back and do 2 or 3 more. Because of where I live evaporation is slow so I can leave jars open for extended periods and my apple is usually run off in the winter so it stays cold. I often leave things to air for as long as a week as a result, especially if a jar or two are being troublesome, any longer and I will cap everything. Of course where you live might be different and you may need to cap them much sooner than I do so I would recommend you probably not air longer than 48hr if possible.

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

Post by distiller_dresden » Wed May 09, 2018 6:39 am

Checked the wash this morning; flavor is very apple forward, but a hint of - of all things - apple blossoms that seems to have come from the pear juice, and it's really well-balanced, also pretty damn alcohol-heavy. I think I definitely hit the 11% mark, at least just from a tasting it guess, and it's very dry, but it doesn't taste dry because of the apple blossom quality, it's almost perfumey with apple essence likely because it was almost like apple juice concentrate when I pitched yeast. Can't wait to run this off this weekend.
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by cranky » Wed May 09, 2018 6:48 am

I did a pear one year with Asian pears that came off so florally that it tasted like I had left a box of drier sheets on it while airing. It was a completely unexpected taste if you were expecting pears but was a very interesting brandy and when blended with apple added a whole lot to the final product.

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

Post by distiller_dresden » Wed May 09, 2018 7:06 am

Yeah, this was the last thing I thought would happen. I thought they'd add a residual kind of 'honey apple' to the mix, I never expected there to be, exactly what you said, it is so ethereal and perfumey, like a dryer sheet, and with the apple juice denseness there, it's like apple blossoms. All that from just 64 oz of pear juice concentrate in a 5.5 gallon wash that was as apple dense as it was, is amazing! I think depending how this comes out, at least from taste before I've run it, next time I could go with one bottle of the concentrate, as it was $20 a bottle. Expensive, but I was looking to make a really really good brandy on my first go round and do everything as best as I could. Cuts are where I'll need to make sure I do best next.
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by distiller_dresden » Fri May 11, 2018 8:32 pm

Running off my brandy tomorrow, excited to do it too, it's really clarified very well.

Once I do so, I'll be mashing in my 'juicy fruit', adjusted recipe as follows:

1 gallon apple brandy backset
1 gallon prune juice 100%
1 gallon peach mango 100%
.5 gallon pear juice concentrate
1 gallon water
9 lbs mangoes
6 lbs black cherries
6 lbs blueberries
2 lbs mashed super overripe bananas (leftover from making giant batch of banana bread, figure great add for sugar and potassium/nutrients)
2 lbs inverted sugar
1 lbs Lyle's Black Treacle
4 grams Fermaid K
1 Servomyces capsule
Pectic enzyme
Potassium bicarb to raise PH of juices and backset to 6.0 before fruits (assuming fall from fruit acidity)
Few drops of olive oil
EC-1118 yeast @ room temp/68F ferment

back to my apple brandy-
Once I've made cuts and gotten the brandy to 120, and it's aged on wood to where I'm happy, I'm going to get some organic Fuji apples. That's the firmest and sweetest I can find, and organic should be more intensely flavored instead of how non-organic fruits can sometimes be swollen in size and watered down a bit. Then 2 or 3 of these will be washed very very well, and the entire apple will then be aged with the proofed down brandy and left untouched, but of course watched and monitored to ensure no issue with the apple. This part is, of course, at least a month or two away.
Last edited by distiller_dresden on Sun May 13, 2018 5:53 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by CatCrap » Fri May 11, 2018 10:11 pm

Hey, DD, i've got a killer banana bread recipe. I'd be happy to share by PM if you're interested. From my Great Grandmother. LOL you can tell it's old because it calls for Lard and "Sour Milk" (cuz we all have that hanging around... i just use buttermilk)

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

Post by The Baker » Sat May 12, 2018 4:02 am

CatCrap wrote:Hey, DD, i've got a killer banana bread recipe. I'd be happy to share by PM if you're interested. From my Great Grandmother. LOL you can tell it's old because it calls for Lard and "Sour Milk" (cuz we all have that hanging around... i just use buttermilk)
And the buttermilk in my grandmother's kitchen was the liquid left from making the butter; not something from the supermarket. Come to think of it, WHAT supermarket?

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

Post by distiller_dresden » Sat May 12, 2018 8:05 am

I'd love the recipe CatCrap! Next time I make BB I'll prep to make that recipe, it has to be good because it's your great grandmother's! Heck yeah!!
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by distiller_dresden » Sat May 12, 2018 2:55 pm

Just finished distilling the apple brandy; am quite surprised, maybe someone can help figure out a mystery with me? By my math on the juices and concentrates involved, no sugar was added at any point, I should have been around 11-12% ABV. I just pulled 138 oz of alcohol before I shut down and my last jar was at 60 proof. I was edging on 212F pot temp. I don't have a steam/head thermometer.

I mashed in 5.5 gallons if I recollect without checking right now. I distilled 5 gallons. How on earth did I get over a gallon of alcohol?

Off the worm I was getting ghost of green apple jolly rancher in the heads, sort of what you imagine as a little kid red apples taste like ghost of in the hearts. I wasn't picking anything up in the hearts-tails transition, or the tails, but we'll see where it's at after airing. I collected heads in 4 oz at a time half pint jars somewhat into hearts, then hearts the first couple jars at 12 oz, then the rest at 8 oz. As I thought/felt they were slowing down I switched to 6 oz at a time (had switched to pint jars for hearts) and then when I was deep into tails my last three jars were going to be (assuming I was going to get a little under a gallon) 12 oz. When I got into the third jar and it was going strong I filled it at 16 oz and had to get another jar, which I filled to 10 oz and then there I cut it off.

How did I get 138 oz of alcohol out of 5 gallons with a supposed 11-12% ABV wash?? I figured out the sugars by labels, and then estimated my ABV using a calculator as if it was pounds of cane sugar. Is 'natural' fruit sugar drastically different from cane sugar so much as far as how yeast use it, that much more efficiently?

Anyway, airing now.
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by distiller_dresden » Sat May 12, 2018 8:40 pm

Just mashed in the new brandy, no boil so I mashed on top of the yeast bed from the apple brandy. I cut back a gallon of peach mango juice, still looks like I didn't estimate for the fruit... So I'm going to have about 9-10 gallons of the brandy to ferment. One concern is I might not have enough yeast, so in addition to the yeast bed I'm pitching another packet of EC-1118 just in case, think that should do it. Someone feel free to chime in on that! I really don't want to be under-pitched. Hopefully it'll be good brandy for an experiment, since I have 10 gallons, it's a shit load of fruit and the wash tastes amazingly fruity that mix of blueberry/cherry/mango/prune/pear/peach - I don't get the apple backset but then it's 1 gallon in 4.5 gallons liquid, but 10 total gallons so...
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by distiller_dresden » Sun May 13, 2018 5:45 am

So now that the must of all this fruit is at the top of my fermenter, and I'd blended the hell out of it before I mashed in, is there a lot of juice left in the fruit? Juice and sugar? Because I literally have 6 inches of must in a 12 gallon ferment tub/barrel, and wondering if I couldn't get away with scooping it now and tossing it before it sinks and give me mush at the bottom of my wash--

But I don't want to lose a bunch of sugars and flavor. I did use a stick blender on everything in two large pots before I dumped it onto the yeast bed, so the pieces of anything were a bit larger, maybe the biggest were the mango pieces and that was two times the size of a BB. The cherries and blueberries were shredded. Did I get the juice and sugar out of everything?
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by distiller_dresden » Mon May 14, 2018 10:47 am

Made cuts and have 61.5 oz of 120 proof white apple brandy. It's got a very delicate, warm apple ghost flavor with the lightest hint of pear sweetness and scent overall. I've started with a domino of Japanese maple that spent a week in 60 oz of my gen3 cornflake/corn whisky/bourbon (and really REALLY sweetened it so much that I have oaked it now hoping to balance that sweet). I think I'll need more wood but for now seeing what the 'used' JM will do for it, as I want to come at the brandy very slowly and make sure I get it wooded just just right.

Hoping somebodies chime in on the must cap in the juicy fruit brandy, I don't know if it is necessary to keep it and am worried that a 6-7 inch cap in a 12 gallon ferment container/barrel is a LOT, could risk some kind of contaminant... Would save trouble to scoop and trash it, but don't want to sacrifice sugar/flavor. BUT since I used a stick blender it's all specks...
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by CatCrap » Mon May 14, 2018 3:07 pm

If you're going to get rid of it, i'd say scoop it out and squeeze the juice out of it and add it back it. Or just leave it alone. I know alot of the fruit recipes here say to knock the cap down once a day. Have you tried knocking it down, like pushing it down into the ferment?

My apple brandy was an absoulte total failure. It was an awfully sluggish slow ferment, and after a month nothing seemed to be happening. I tasted it, and while it was still a little sweet, it had some alcohol in it. I had tried restarting it once, with limited success. So, i decided to run it. It started off smelling and tasting great, like pure delicoius apple. But.. at at pitiful 25 abv. Bleh.. so i kept runnig, and once it got close to filling the first quart, started puking, badly. Worst puke i've ever seen. I killed the heat, and it still kept puking, then it actually started to get worse. Usually a puke i see in my sight glass as big splashes coming up into the lyne arm. That stopped when i killed the heat, but then the foam started.. it was a slow push of foam for about 3 minutes that just kept coming and coming.. right into the shotgun.. ughhhhh this is gonna be a massive pain to clean.. as the still is still so hot, i'm sure that shit is all going to bake onto every part of my column, arm, and condenser. God damn it.. what a disaster. Not sure what to do now. I guess i could use this "back set" to try to start a new ferment.. but i'm not sure. Obviously there was a ton of sugar and fermentables left in the wash... so, i don't really want to throw it out... but this wash has proven that it just doesn't want to ferment. I know it's got nutes, got good yeast in it, twice... so the only thing i can chalk it up to is PH. I could try to push the pH up with calcium hydroxide, add some fresh apple cider, and pitch... but.. i just don't know.

Glad you had a successful run. Sounds like you got more than you were hoping for too!! FWIW, i usually get about a gallon of low wines from a 6 gallon strip.. so your 5 gallon wash yielding a gallon of spirit doesn't sound too off to me?

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

Post by The Baker » Mon May 14, 2018 3:43 pm

CatCrap wrote:If you're going to get rid of it, i'd say scoop it out and squeeze the juice out of it and add it back it. Or just leave it alone. I know alot of the fruit recipes here say to knock the cap down once a day. Have you tried knocking it down, like pushing it down into the ferment?
......

That's what they do with red wine fermented the old way, in open vats. Stalks and stuff form a cap and it is pushed down every day so it doesn't dry out.

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

Post by distiller_dresden » Mon May 14, 2018 3:47 pm

I'm getting a giant nylon mesh brew bag delivered tomorrow, I was thinking if consensus is to squeeze I could use that then after sanitizing it with a vodka rinse and dry. Wondering what anyone else thinks. I just can't figure how I got 138 oz out of 5 gallons, it's crazy, and there was more in there!

I think your wash issue was definitely PH; did you test? Get one of the cheap electronic PH testers from Amazon for $14-15, it's the best cheap brewing purchase I've made, so easy to use really just need that and a gallon of distilled water. It'll come with three packets to make your base solutions, make them in jars and cap and keep them to test or recalibrate it. Then rinse with distilled whenever you use it, dry with paper towels and put away, simple as pie. It can save you hearbreak like with what you're dealing with now! Especially fruit washes can be really acidic to start. Not that this is an issue to halt a ferment, but did you also use pectic enzyme? I don't know if pectin would harm a ferment, but I bet it could cause issues along with sugar in the cook maybe, and the mess boil over you had sounds horrible... But I would try to salvage. I had an easy and hassle free ferment, would be happy to discuss what I did if my posts weren't enough.

I'm definitely worried about my must cap though, and since I stick blended the heck out of the 21lbs fruit, I really wonder if with a squeeze if all the fruit matter is necessary to leave in...
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by CatCrap » Tue May 15, 2018 12:02 pm

Ugh... yesterday was a tough day in my distilling world. I'll have to post it in the "mistakes i've made" thread. This was one of those fucking epic messes... to add onto the epic mess i made the other day. Was boiling a very full 4 gallon pot of backset. It got to the boil and i gave it a nice vigorous whisk, completely forgetting that boiling backset always creates a nice head of foam. I whisked, and it came right over the edges of the pot, and just wouldn't stop emptying at least a gallon and a half of funky boiling backset onto my stove, in my stove, under my stove, shoes, and everything nearby. Twas quite a mess to clean up. How to top that? The 30 gallon reservoir buckled full of hot gross water, at 230 AM. FML

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

Post by CatCrap » Tue May 15, 2018 12:23 pm

On a more positive note..

Banana Bread Recipe:

viewtopic.php?f=57&t=70858

Enjoy! Didin't want to muddy up your thread any further. Please let me know how you like it!

Tell us about your mistakes thread:

viewtopic.php?f=33&t=5200&p=7525162#p7525162
Last edited by CatCrap on Tue May 15, 2018 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by distiller_dresden » Tue May 15, 2018 12:34 pm

That sucks CC, sorry to hear it! Reminds me of my apple wash when I had it all in the ferment tub, a 12 gallon I guess 'barrel' if you will, about 6 gallons liquid, but the PH is about 3.9. So I'm raising PH and decide this is going to need a good punch of potassium bicarbonate to get the PH in 5.5 range. I know from experience what 2.5 gallons at 4PH needs, usually 2.5 tblsp PB, so I guesstimated about 1/4c of PB is called for. I measured, sprinkle-dumped it in and stirred it, little bit of foam, okay cool, then I went and sat down to let the inch or so of foam settle before taking a new PH read.

Well, the barrel is on my fireplace base, a raised brick base about 12" tall and 6ft long across from my chair, off to the side of the TV, which my chair is across from. I'm watching TV, about 5 minutes later I glance over and my brain catches for a second, not processing. What-- The barrel is FULL, to the TOP. WHAT? It's literally an inch from the top, maybe less. JUMP out of my chair and look, the damn foam, like a grade-school volcano man, the acidity of the cider wash and the basic PB have interacted like a BITCH and this foam has come up to fill 6 gallons of space in the barrel like expanding insulation foam. Grabbed my stainless spoon and started stirring madly which reduced the foam slowly but surely over about 20 minutes of constant furious stirring. Good news is I was totally ready to aerate after that.

But damn, I was less than an inch away from a messy catastrophe. Note to self and all brewers/distillers: when raising PH of an acidic liquid, always add your very basic powder in amounts of no more than 1/8c at a time, and wait 5 minutes before adding more.

Hey CC - future reference, when facing a boil-over, pull the pot off the heat! It stops almost instantly. Another option is to add some oil, any oil will also very quickly drop the foam head. You can add about a tblsp ahead of time to discourage the foam in the first place. If you were boiling it to jar/can it, why not just put it in while it was still hot from the still? That's what I do, so I don't need to reheat it, it works perfectly. I let the still sit for about 3-4 hours to cool down enough to handle, then if I'm saving backset/dunder I'll rinse jars with some cheap as hell vodka, caps and jars, let them dry, then using a towel or oven mitt dump my pot into the jars with a funnel, wipe them down, then cap them. They seal themselves/the cap sucks in as the jars cool, every time. Also, I've been using olive oil in my ferments lately--
http://www.kotmf.com/articles/oliveoil.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow https://www.whitelabs.com/news/olive-oi ... experiment" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow http://beersmith.com/blog/2015/09/14/ol ... r-brewing/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
--so having some olive oil in your backset/dunder when you jar it wouldn't even be a bad thing, you'd be set up to go for your next ferment, and it won't make it through distillation so it won't affect your final product in any way.
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by CatCrap » Tue May 15, 2018 1:13 pm

To your earlier post, i have 2 ph meters. I find them hella inaccurate. And to be completely honest, i have kind of been taking a less scientific approach lately. I used to be soo meticulous, logging everything, measuring every PH every Sg etc etc. Lately, i just taste it, and if it seems acidic, or i know there's a lot of backset or acid involved, i raise the PH a bit. If it doesn't taste sweet, the ferment is done, time to run it. I'm sure it has bit me in the ass, and would be worth a little more effort, but that's been my approach.

Also, i've had a fucking hell of a time ever raising ph. Lowering is super easy. i tried calcium carbonate, but it doesn't dissolve for shit, and it doesn't move the ph much without tons of it. So i've been using calcium hydroxide, which seems more effective. You use potassium bicarb huh? That seems to work well for you?

I def know about the oil in the pot trick. Any time i'm cooking potatoes or pasta, a bit of oil always keep the foam down. I don't put oil in the still anymore, after i had a really weird result with some AG i did. The distillate came out really messed up when i was using olive oil, so once i stopped adding oil, and just running more slow or careful, pukes usually aren't an issue. As for the backset.. the heat was off!! Backset just foams like crazy when hot, or some backset does, and i just plum forgot that when you stir it it comes up a bit with foam. This backset was for soaking some corn for an all corn run the next day. First time i tried it and i think it worked well. So, was only heating up previous backset to soak some corn. My mash days don't fall on the day after a run usually, so it would be tough to use it right out of the still. It's just logistics.

Thanks for the tips though, i'm going to check out the olive oil in wash article you linked.

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

Post by CatCrap » Tue May 15, 2018 1:15 pm

I do have the little packets of testing or calibration solution. I didn't know that i could make them up ahead of time and keep them and reuse them. That's a great idea. Probably will make me much more likely to use the meters. I just found them to be super inaccurate, they would give me readings all over the map, and even after trying to adjust ph, they didn't seem right at all. So i kind of gave up on them. I hate having to fuck around with ph on a ferment.. it's just a massive pain in the ass. It's a shame that i'm a beleiver in backset adding flavor. I know some beleive it and some don't.

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

Post by distiller_dresden » Tue May 15, 2018 1:39 pm

Oh, backset adds flavor, as does dunder, so any who don't 'believe' are just ~foolin' themselves, and don't believe it~.

Dood, mix up your solutions according to the instructions - if you still have them, that means you never used them, that means you NEVER calibrated your PH meter, so I'm not at all surprised your PH meter is 'all over the place' and not accurate... Goof! Make those up, distilled water, in jars and you can keep them! I think at least mine was 500ml of water per packet. Then you keep the solutions they keep like forever. Any time your meter starts getting funky, which will happen really only with low/dead battery or with loooong periods of no use, you need to recalibrate it with the solutions. If you've never calibrated... There you go, I think you're going to be really surprised man.

Check out that olive oil thing; it's completely legit. I KNOW it's anathema, but people have actually done mash-in and ferments without ANY aeration AT ALL and gotten completely comparable/similar/same results with only a few drops of olive oil to a fully aerated mash. It's freaking black magic man, but it works. I don't know the science behind it but it has something to do with the oil, actually with the cell walls of the yeast and with linoleic acid in the olive oil. I think if you had access to an oil with a higher content of that you could use it alternatively, but the olive oil was used as it's the most readily available with a high content of linoleic acid in it.

Of course I still aerate AND use olive oil, I give my yeasties every single damn advantage, they are spoiled rotten. I also have been using servomyces capsules and upped my normal generic 'yeast nutrient' to Fermaid K. It doesn't cost much more, dimes or so, but it's more complete.
Servo - Add servomyces to your beer to increase yeast health because healthy yeast make better tasting beer. Other benefits include a decrease in fermentation time and increased alcohol potential. Servomyces stimulates the uptake of maltose which results in drier beer with higher alcohol yields. It is made by saturating beer yeast with zinc and then drying it. Zinc is a missing nutrient in wort and is more readily absorbed from dead yeast cells than by adding it directly as a mineral.
Fermaid - Fermaid K is a complex formula that provides DAP, free amino acids, yeast hulls, unsaturated fatty acids, sterols; and micronutrients such as magnesium sulfate, thiamin, folic acid, biotin, calcium pantothenate, and other vitamins and minerals. Yeast use Nitrogen for protein synthesis and to maintain cellular growth. Nitrogen from the alpha amino acids contained in Fermaid K is utilized much more efficiently than from the ammonia salts like DAP. The unsaturated fatty acids and sterols available in Fermaid K are important survival factors needed to maintain alcohol resistance. They also help keep volatile acidity levels low. The cell wall fractions, available through the included yeast hulls, absorb medium chain fatty acids that are toxic to the yeast. They also provide nucleation sites to help keep the yeast in suspension.
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by distiller_dresden » Fri May 25, 2018 11:41 am

VERY excited for my next brandy wash. The juicyfruit is aging off nicely, getting some color from the Japanese maple I have in it. Also have 6 light toast French oak cubes and 2 large Jack Daniels barrel chips.

So the next is going to be:

1.6 gallons lychee 100% juice
1.6 gallons pear 100% juice
1.6 gallons papaya 100% juice
.25 gallons apple cider backset
5 cans apple juice concentrate (sugar punch mainly)
will balance PH with potassium bicarb

Can't wait to see how this turns out - super tropical lychee/pear/papaya!! Man I'm hyped. It was, I won't lie, expensive as shit to buy the juices. I'll be backing off brandy washes after this for a while.

Anybody have a suggestion for something other than EC-1118 that may be better/more ideal for these flavors to come across in my brandy?
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Re: Would like to try my hand at some apple brandy

Post by butterpants » Fri May 25, 2018 11:52 am

D47.... that my go to strain for fruit meads.
distiller_dresden wrote:VERY excited for my next brandy wash. The juicyfruit is aging off nicely, getting some color from the Japanese maple I have in it. Also have 6 light toast French oak cubes and 2 large Jack Daniels barrel chips.

So the next is going to be:

1.6 gallons lychee 100% juice
1.6 gallons pear 100% juice
1.6 gallons papaya 100% juice
.25 gallons apple cider backset
5 cans apple juice concentrate (sugar punch mainly)
will balance PH with potassium bicarb

Can't wait to see how this turns out - super tropical lychee/pear/papaya!! Man I'm hyped. It was, I won't lie, expensive as shit to buy the juices. I'll be backing off brandy washes after this for a while.

Anybody have a suggestion for something other than EC-1118 that may be better/more ideal for these flavors to come across in my brandy?

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

Post by distiller_dresden » Fri May 25, 2018 12:31 pm

Tips how it differs from 1118? Pulls more flavors, makes cuts a little more difficult, but in a good way because the flavors come across better? I'm ordering a 10 pack for $8.
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"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."

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

Post by cranky » Fri May 25, 2018 5:21 pm

D-47 adds fruity esters, which makes cuts harder and at times has been reported to reduce yield even though it ferments dry. It is one of my go to yeasts for the fruity esters and I have not had any noticeably reduced yield but don't keep track of things like expected yield very well any more. Another go to is 1122 which also adds fruitiness but also makes cuts more difficult. I've read good things about Safales US-05 and S-04 but had a bad experience with S-04 with a very slow start so have not used it since.

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

Post by distiller_dresden » Sat May 26, 2018 12:21 pm

Ordered some D47 as well; will be debating these two...

Onto my apple brandy which was now been on wood for 13-14 days. I bought some medium organic Fuji apples today, and just washed the shit out of them (only word appropriate, sorry), I used soap and water and a new scrub sponge, rinsed them very very well, they're draining and drying now. I figure they would offset approximately 5oz in a 750ml/25oz bottle as in the Calvados special expensive offering, though I will fill a 32oz measuring cup with 25oz water and drop one in to see what the offset is, and take note. I can put these in my crisper and they'll keep fresh as they are now for a week or two. I can also eat them if the brandy needs longer than that.

Whatever the offset is, this is how many ounces I'll subtract from 25, then add that many ounces to a 32oz mason jar, once I have proofed down my 120 proof apple brandy to 82 (allowing for the apple to do it's macerating work and take the last 2 proof down to 80). At this point I'll be adding one of my super-cleaned organic Fuji apples and sealing the jar loosely so that it can still breathe a little, I'm thinking to top upside down and loosely screwed on. Thoughts here?

Also, thoughts on the aging on wood? Longer? It has taken a ton of color from the wood. I'm not sure I want much oak coming over, I have a Japanese maple domino in there now, it's gotten a bit of sweetness but it's a 'second generation' domino that was first used in a whisky for 7 days, and damn did that whisky get sweet! 3 days ago I added 5 light toast French oak cubes which hadn't been in anything else, and yesterday I pulled three of them because it was just starting to get a little oak into it. There's also a big Jack Daniels barrel chunk (they're from used barrels) that's about 4" long and 1/4" thick and 2" wide, I don't think it's adding too much flavor, but I think it's an oak 'filter' as it were.

My 'juicyfruit' brandy, which yielded 77oz 120 proof (remember I had about 9 gallons of wash, the wash wasn't very high in sugar - I need to post a recap on that), has a virgin Japanese maple domino in it and 6 virgin light toast French oak cubes. Debating switching the maple dominoes for a week or so to pull more sugar from the maple into the apple brandy. Cranky input, or anyone else?
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