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Raven's Brandyshine ...the easy way


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#1 DreamingRaven

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 04:38 PM

Hello everyone, Raven here with a  little recipe for you home distillers here at Topia. 

 

First ,let me say I use a pot still, not quite five gallons in size, so my recipes are geared towards that but I do things in proportions that are easy to adjust up or down.

 

That being said let's start with brandyshine.

 

We need :

 

Short length of food grade tubing( we use this to siphon off into our still)

Cheesecloth

Large stock pot

Thermometer

5 gallon bucket or carboy with airlock/bubbler

10 pounds sugar

1 package of fruit turbo yeast

2 gallons 100% fruit juice (the more exotic your juice the more interesting your brandyshine tastes, but citrus fruits do not work as well)

2.5 gallons water  distilled is preferable, but de-chlorinated is a must, don't want to kill your yeast.

 

*optional - aquarium air pump with line enough to reach bottom of the bucket or carboy.

 

 

I take my big stockpot and add the water and turn on the heat. Once I see it steaming a little I slowly add the sugar , stirring until I see it goes back to clear.  (it will go cloudy when you add the sugar)  Turn off the heat and remove it from the heat source

 

Next add your fruit juice and stir, put a lid on it and wait.  When the temperature is below 90F you can add your yeast. (safe for most turbo yeast, I wait until it's about 80 because I'm just overly cautious)  Half of your yeast makers will say just sprinkle the yeast over the top, but this is not the best way to do this.  For the first six hours or so your turbo yeast should be growing , foaming up . They need oxygen still at this point so stirring well to aerate it is a big help for your yeast.

 

This is where you can do one of two things, either wait about an hour or two and give it another vigorous stirring , or you can do what I do. This is where the optional air pump comes in. I run my airline in the bucket all the way to the bottom through the hole in the lid where my bubbler/airlock goes, stuff cheesecloth around the line to close up the hole . I wait six hours the remove the line and cheesecloth and put the airlock in.

 

Now you place it in a nice dark  place and wait . A constant temperature of around 75F will keep your "mash" going just fine. With this amount of sugar you can expect 3-5 days of fermentation before it stops.

 

Once the fermentation I pull a tripled piece of cheesecloth across my still , set the still in a chair and the bucket on the counter . Then I use my food grade tubing to siphon from the bucket to the still, the cheesecloth catches most of your undesired leavings in the bottom of the bucket.

 

Next I set up my still , I'll assume if you made it this far you already know how to set it up, and my still is not the same as yours so...

after it's set up I slowly bring up the heat, taking care to keep it slow and chucking out the first 4-5 ounces of liquid that comes out( we don't want to poison anyone now do we ? ) and once it reaches about 175F on temp I dial back the heat to maintain 175. I get about 3/4 of a gallon before it starts to become impossible to keep the temperature down.

                 I don't make any cuts until this point, it's just too nice if you keep the temp low, but once the temp start to rise I switch containers and catch about another pint or so. I let this out gas ( I cover the jar with a cloth and tie it with twine ) for a couple of days and then store it until I get a few gallons of the stuff . I then distill it twice more, but more on that in another thread.

 

I take that 3/4 of a gallon and put it in the freezer. With no aging it's drinkable and tasty ice cold. If you want to stick it in your cabinet and let it age with a handful of dried fruit in it for a few months it really smooths out.

 

I will have some pics for the next recipe I post, we'll do rum next .

 

Hope you enjoy if you try it, and please let me know if you do.

 

 

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095c6c76a5416b6a7849


Edited by DreamingRaven, 19 February 2019 - 04:44 PM.

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#2 Juthro

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 05:22 PM

Nice write up DR!  A nice straightforward recipe to follow.  I look forward to trying it.

 

What kind of heat source do you use to drive your still, if you don't mind me asking?



#3 DreamingRaven

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 05:48 PM

I have a food service style electric hot plate, the kind you'd use in a lab where you can't have flame. It has a very precise control for maintaining the temperature, and since it's cold I have to do this indoors. When the weather is warm I have a nice propane burner that works great as well, my preferred method to be honest.

 

The pot still I use is pretty easy to run, my cousin has one identical to it and he runs it on the electric stove top with no problems. A lot depends on the still's design, I have seen some that state only to be used over flame producing heat sources.


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#4 PistolPete13

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Posted 22 February 2019 - 04:13 PM

 

If you want to stick it in your cabinet and let it age with a handful of dried fruit in it for a few months it really smooths out.

 

Have you ever tried these;

french.jpg

You can get American Oak, American Charred Oak, French Oak. You would have seen the chips and staves you can also buy(which only take a week or so), I have tried moonshine with the chips made from old Jack Daniels barrels it is was a lot nicer than the usual stuff. I am sure a nice French Oak would take your brandy to the next level (as it already sounded excellent!).


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#5 DreamingRaven

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 01:58 PM

@PistolPete13 , actually I have a supplier of peat toasted oak chips, which when I use in my corn liquor tastes a lot like old world scotch(not that nasty blended american stuff we get in stores) .  I age the rum the same way, I'd not given any thought to doing the same with the brandyshine. I'll have to try that soon.



#6 PistolPete13

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 02:03 PM

I am actually a bit jealous the only moonshine still around here produces a great vodka, but it strips everything else. While you are obviously pulling all these great flavors from your corn and rye mashes and those subtle wine like brandy/cognac notes coming through from your juices. A lot of people down here are now getting into bubble plate columns and hybrid columns. They also sell peat smoked barley now, so I am dreaming of getting one;

[Direct Link]

If you run it with 5 bubble plates it produces a very clean white spirit. But you can remove some and run 2 or 3 and pull some flavor from the mash over, and get the same results as a pot still.

 

I just need to win lotto......



#7 Juthro

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 03:00 PM

I hear 'ya.  I've drooled over them before, lol.   Those Still Dragon's are amazingly cool, but they are damn pricey.   



#8 PistolPete13

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 06:37 PM

There were cheaper ones I was looking at;

 

https://cheekypeakbr...ist_order=price

 

But yeah, still out of my price range at the moment also.....



#9 Juthro

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 03:39 PM

You can also get better deals then Still Dragon from Brewhaus, and Mile High Distilling (IMHO).  Dont get me wrong, Still Dragon make some really nice stuff, but they are expensive IMO.

 

Mile High Distilling

https://milehidistilling.com/

 

Brewhaus

https://brewhaus.com/


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#10 MeadMaker

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 06:11 PM

One important point about fruit juices is that if they have any preservatives in them then they might stunt or completely stop your fermentation. So if you're going to use fruit juice make sure to buy fresh or frozen or pasteurized juice that doesn't contain anything besides juice. Or juice your own.
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#11 PistolPete13

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 06:15 PM

Do you culture your yeast Meadmaker?



#12 DreamingRaven

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 10:49 PM

One important point about fruit juices is that if they have any preservatives in them then they might stunt or completely stop your fermentation. So if you're going to use fruit juice make sure to buy fresh or frozen or pasteurized juice that doesn't contain anything besides juice. Or juice your own.

only thing to worry about is if it is 100% fruit juice in the ingredient label, I buy 100% fruit juice that has been pasteurized only. I assumed anyone reading this had some foreknowledge.

 

I'm far from new to running a still, I just like simple recipes. I don't want to over-complicate things, it's why I use a basic pot still when I could afford something much more modern lol


Edited by DreamingRaven, 12 March 2019 - 10:51 PM.

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#13 mushit

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 12:31 PM

I am too cheap and too broke to buy anything to distill with.

I have all the parts acquired now to build one.  All I need is A Round Tuit.

Great recipe, Raven.  It may take a while, but I think this will be one I try for sure.


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#14 MeadMaker

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 07:03 AM

Do you culture your yeast Meadmaker?

 

I have not been in the habit of culturing my own yeast.  I typically use a yeast from one of the major yeast providers.

 

Carrying over yeast from previous batches or self-cultivating is possible as well as open fermentation for capturing of wild yeasts.

 

I haven't tried the latter due to the apparent proliferation of mold strains in my immediate vicinity.  I'm not sure if this is due to an indoor problem, or an outdoor issue.  We have a lot of farming activity in our area which would tend to increase the spore load in open air.



#15 PistolPete13

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 02:51 PM

 

Carrying over yeast from previous batches or self-cultivating is possible as well as open fermentation for capturing of wild yeasts.

 

Same here, I have not mustered the courage to try an open fermentation yet. I would not let your location put you off though, a lot of the original brewers that practiced open fermentation where in a location similar to yours(it may be an advantage!!). People pay extra for an original style farmhouse ale!

https://en.wikipedia...i/Farmhouse_ale

 

I have a great book on Farmhouse Ales if you are interested?

 

I am more interested in culturing yeasts from commercial beers that I enjoy, I have the plates the hood and all the equipment. So I take master cultures and if I want to brew a batch I will make up a yeast starter and put it on the stirplate, and 2 days later have 1 liter of pitchable yeast that would have cost me a fortune to buy.  The only problem I have really faced so far is that commercial (especially craft) beers are trying to get complicated and add several different yeasts to their beers. They may use one or a combination of yeasts for the main fermentation then clear and use a lager yeast to bottle condition in cold storage(for example). So replicating that beer with cultured yeast is an uphill battle, and you would probably end up fermenting mainly with the lager strain they used for bottle conditioning.


Edited by PistolPete13, 16 March 2019 - 02:53 PM.


#16 Juthro

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 03:05 PM

Hey DreamingRaven, I would really love to hear your recipe for rum, if you don't mind sharing, please.  

 

:)



#17 DreamingRaven

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 11:23 AM

Hey DreamingRaven, I would really love to hear your recipe for rum, if you don't mind sharing, please.  

 

:)

 

 

I'll get on that today :)


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#18 Juthro

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 12:56 PM

 

Hey DreamingRaven, I would really love to hear your recipe for rum, if you don't mind sharing, please.  

 

:)

 

 

I'll get on that today :)

 

No rush, but thank you :)



#19 DreamingRaven

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 12:42 AM

 

 

Hey DreamingRaven, I would really love to hear your recipe for rum, if you don't mind sharing, please.  

 

:)

 

 

I'll get on that today :)

 

No rush, but thank you :)

 

lol it now may take me until tomorrow, grandkids were here all day...


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#20 Juthro

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 01:27 AM

Good for you, and even better for the kids :)

 

Fate is fickle, and time is finite.  In the words of Carl Martin (sung by Steve Goodman) "You Better Get it While You Can"

 

[Direct Link]

 

Peace, love, and happy St. Patty's day!  I hope your visit was a good one.

 

 

 


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