Grappa is a drink that is very popular in countries where they traditionally make wine. Italy (Grappa), France (Mark, Brandy), Hungary (Törköly Pálinka) as well as Spain and Portugal.
Grappa is made from spent grape skins. The grapes are harvested and then pressed. The liquids are used to make wine. The grape skins are a great base for Grappa. They have plenty of taste, nutrients, and fermentable sugars (fructose). Get yourself some grape skins, add water, add yeast, and you are on your way. Only thing is … it is messy. And we do not all have vineyards around the corner.
That’s why I made an easy Grappa recipe. With the help of mr. Petrusk, for which I am very grateful. How does it work? How easy is it?
Well, it is very easy, and this is how it works: we do not make Grappa from grape skins, but from raisins.
Okay,here we go. For a 10 liter base recipe, that is perfectly scalable, buy 1 kilo of raisins and rinse them well.
Now add them to three liters of boiling water and cook them for 5 minutes.
Turn off the stove and add 1 kilo of sugar. Stir in the sugar until it is completely dissolved.
Throw everything into your fermenter, add 7 liters of cold water and two spoons of lemon juice on the first generation of your Easy Grappa.
Wait until the temperature drops to 30 degrees Celsius. Now add yeast and stirr the yeast in violently.
Fermentation will kick in within 12 hours. Fermentation will be done in about two weeks.
Since the raisins contain about 65% of sugars (fructose), you will have a total amount of sugar of around 1.65 kilo’s per 10 liters of wash. That will get you to a wine that’s about 9% strong. Perfect. In a 45% finished grappa, that will give you 5 times taste concentration. What that means? Plenty of taste!
Now, when fermenting is done, distill and make cuts. Take a relatively small heads cut, since most of the taste is where heads meet hearts.
If you have an iStill 50 or 250 that’s directly heated, you need to take the wine of the raisins prior to distilling.
Do you have an iStill 50 or 250 h2o? Then throw in the wine as well as the spent raisins. Distilling “on the raisins” will give you a bit more taste.
In both cases use the potstill program with the extra fores & heads removal program. On the iStill 50 allow for 30 minutes of column stabilization and draw off heads at a rate of 2 to 3 drops per second for 15 minutes. That’s for a 25 liter charge. For a 40 to 50 liter charge, up the heads collection speed to 4 to 5 drops per second for 15 minutes.
Then collect hearts without using the carbon filter. Stop collecting hearts around 93 degrees.
Do you not have an iStill (yet)? You can use a simple potstill to make a Grappa as well. Just collect 1/3rd of your boiler charge on the first stripping run. Combine the outcome of 3 stripping runs for one spirit run. Take careful cuts by nose and taste.
Start up generation 2 of this recipe with 15% backset from your boiler and fresh raisins. No more lemon juice is needed.
Generation 2 will have more taste than generation 1 due to the taste transfer from the backset. Due to the extra nutrients and slightly lower PH, caused by the added backset, generation 2 will ferment dry in a week time. Maybe a day more.
Do you like the recipe? Please continue with generation 3 and 4. How? Just the way you make generation 2: with some backset from the previous generation …