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Aging unoaked brandy

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  • clearweather714
    Recently I went to a local distillery to try one of their products. I was not impressed. As I tasted it I wanted very much to shake it up and see if I could
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 14, 2011
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      Recently I went to a local distillery to try one of their products. I was not impressed. As I tasted it I wanted very much to shake it up and see if I could blow off some of the not so pleasant volatiles. I was told that the had a new "moonshine" coming up that would go into the still and be bottled and available for sale in 3 days. This was a mixed grain wash.

      This brings up my questions:

      Does clear brandy (distilled wine) need a different aging protocol than say a sugar wash or grain wash?

      Running a pot still (slight bit of reflux) I find that some of the unwanted early alcohols come into the distillation no matter how tight the cuts are but that some of the flavors do not seem to be in solution but come out over time.A lot of them seem to come out in the 1st day but there seems to be a fair amount that come out in the next 30-60 days. I keep hearing that white or clear distillates do not need aging. I get a sense that this is wrong. I feel that clear distillates do not need the years of aging but defiantly do need some. What are the opinions of people out there that have been experimenting far more than me?
    • tgfoitwoods
      clearwather, Ain t it a shame when a distiller feels the necessity to sell you some heads with the good spirit just to help the profit margin? I find this
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 14, 2011
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        clearwather,

        Ain't it a shame when a distiller feels the necessity to sell you some
        heads with the good spirit just to help the profit margin? I find this
        especially disturbing when the distiller is (if i got that right) a
        small local distiller, who should have no selling points aside from
        quality.

        I make a lot of fruit brandies, and I leave many of the best of them
        clear, to get that great light fruity flavor. I've always believed that
        a new white dog ages over a few days (I think I could believe 60) due to
        unstable chemistry in the new brandy. The upleasant flavors appear to
        decay in a 1/t function, so the difference is greatest at first, and the
        rate of "bad stuff" loss decreases with time. In addition, there is the
        evaporative "angel's share" cleansing of heads that occurs in an open
        container. a phenomenon you obviously know.

        All of the above is the reason I advocate making the cuts the day after
        distillation, or even later.

        If I can get on my soap-box, knowing all this is the reason that you
        can, and in fact should, produce spirits to make that local distiller
        look like a prohibition-era Sterno-squeezer. Go for it!

        ;soapbox OFF

        Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "clearweather714" <doug@...> wrote:
        >
        > Recently I went to a local distillery to try one of their products. I
        was not impressed. As I tasted it I wanted very much to shake it up and
        see if I could blow off some of the not so pleasant volatiles. I was
        told that the had a new "moonshine" coming up that would go into the
        still and be bottled and available for sale in 3 days. This was a mixed
        grain wash.
        >
        > This brings up my questions:
        >
        > Does clear brandy (distilled wine) need a different aging protocol
        than say a sugar wash or grain wash?
        >
        > Running a pot still (slight bit of reflux) I find that some of the
        unwanted early alcohols come into the distillation no matter how tight
        the cuts are but that some of the flavors do not seem to be in solution
        but come out over time.A lot of them seem to come out in the 1st day but
        there seems to be a fair amount that come out in the next 30-60 days. I
        keep hearing that white or clear distillates do not need aging. I get a
        sense that this is wrong. I feel that clear distillates do not need the
        years of aging but defiantly do need some. What are the opinions of
        people out there that have been experimenting far more than me?
        >
      • clearweather714
        ZB As a commercial winemaker I had to learn patience. everything comes around in it s own time. It is a hard lesson to balance time and cash flow while
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 14, 2011
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          ZB

          As a commercial winemaker I had to learn patience. everything comes around in it's own time. It is a hard lesson to balance time and cash flow while starting out. What I tend to see here and in the industry is that everything is based on how quick you can get a product completed. Quantity over quality....

          It appears to me that the people who have been making wine or distilling for a long time have learned this lesson. A good fermentation takes time.. Proper aging takes time.. Drinking can be quick but savoring takes time.

          PS... I am still chuckling over your soapbox comment. Very appropriate though. It could be a very interesting challenge.
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