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Re: Books on Pot still Brandy and Cognac.

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  • Harry
    ... Hari, Not full books, but there s some articles in the Library (Articles section obviously) dealing with brandy in general. This one on Cognac is quite
    Message 1 of 15 , Apr 17 2:15 PM
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      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      >
      > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "harisaki2004" <ledaswan@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Hi Harry et al.
      > >
      > > I am currently reading through the books on Harrys library. http://distillers.tastylime.net/newSite/homepage.html#
      > > There is some really good info here.
      > > However I would like more info on pot still brandy/cognac production.
      > > Can any distiller suggest articles or books on this in English or French.
      > > regards
      > >
      > > hari.
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      > This may be a start. Good luck.
      >
      > http://blog.cognac-expert.com/books-about-cognac/
      >
      >
      > Slainte!
      > regards Harry
      > http://distillers.tastylime.net
      >


      Hari,

      Not full books, but there's some articles in the Library (Articles section obviously) dealing with brandy in general. This one on Cognac is quite detailed. May prove useful...
      http://distillers.tastylime.net/newSite/articles/cognac_production/


      HTH

      Slainte!
      regards Harry
    • harisaki2004
      ... Hi Harry, thanks for that. The article cognac_production is the best bit of info I have found. I will have a look through the cognac-expert.com and see
      Message 2 of 15 , Apr 18 3:03 AM
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        > >
        > > This may be a start. Good luck.
        > >
        > > http://blog.cognac-expert.com/books-about-cognac/
        > >
        > >
        > > Slainte!
        > > regards Harry
        > > http://distillers.tastylime.net
        > >
        >
        >
        > Hari,
        >
        > Not full books, but there's some articles in the Library (Articles section obviously) dealing with brandy in general. This one on Cognac is quite detailed. May prove useful...
        > http://distillers.tastylime.net/newSite/articles/cognac_production/
        >

        Hi Harry, thanks for that.
        The article "cognac_production" is the best bit of info I have found.
        I will have a look through the cognac-expert.com and see if I can find anything else of interest.

        My main issue/question at the moment is about the 2 run process, ie distilling twice.

        If I was going to distil with a column I would neutralise the first pass before running the second pass. Does any one know if this is done between brandy runs? Whether it is Whisky or Brandy I assume the chemistry is similar.

        Any thoughts?

        best regards from the west
        Hari.
        >
        > HTH
        >
        > Slainte!
        > regards Harry
        >
      • tgfoitwoods
        Hari, If by neutralize you mean move the pH to 7, I would not do this in any flavored spirit, like cognac. Those great flavors come in large part from
        Message 3 of 15 , Apr 18 7:23 AM
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          Hari,

          If by "neutralize" you mean move the pH to 7, I would not do this in any
          flavored spirit, like cognac. Those great flavors come in large part
          from esters, which are formed and kept at lower pH's. In addition,
          raising the pH of a primary wash runs the risk of giving you the blue
          distillate, Schweizer's reagent, a copper complex.

          If you want a tasteless spirit, neutralize the low wines before
          distillation. If you want great flavor, leave it alone.

          Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "harisaki2004" <ledaswan@...> wrote:
          >
          ----snip----
          >
          > Hi Harry, thanks for that.
          > The article "cognac_production" is the best bit of info I have found.
          > I will have a look through the cognac-expert.com and see if I can find
          anything else of interest.
          >
          > My main issue/question at the moment is about the 2 run process, ie
          distilling twice.
          >
          > If I was going to distil with a column I would neutralise the first
          pass before running the second pass. Does any one know if this is done
          between brandy runs? Whether it is Whisky or Brandy I assume the
          chemistry is similar.
          >
          > Any thoughts?
          >
          > best regards from the west
          > Hari.
          > >
          > > HTH
          > >
          > > Slainte!
          > > regards Harry
          > >
          >
        • Harry
          ... I d second that ZB. Acids + alcohol reacts to form esters. Heat speeds up the reaction, just as it does in any chemical reaction equation (see
          Message 4 of 15 , Apr 18 10:22 AM
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            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "tgfoitwoods" <zymurgybob@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hari,
            >
            > If by "neutralize" you mean move the pH to 7, I would not do this in any
            > flavored spirit, like cognac. Those great flavors come in large part
            > from esters, which are formed and kept at lower pH's. In addition,
            > raising the pH of a primary wash runs the risk of giving you the blue
            > distillate, Schweizer's reagent, a copper complex.
            >
            > If you want a tasteless spirit, neutralize the low wines before
            > distillation. If you want great flavor, leave it alone.
            >
            > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller


            I'd second that ZB. Acids + alcohol reacts to form esters. Heat speeds up the reaction, just as it does in any chemical reaction equation (see 'esterification' http://tinyurl.com/3tpu33l). If one were to neutralise, then the acids are no longer in the process. No esters are formed.

            Slainte!
            regards Harry
          • PhilipWilson
            ... On the third page of this lovely document, a feature called a sprinkler is illustrated but not discussed. It appears to inject fluid (from an external
            Message 5 of 15 , Apr 18 10:31 AM
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              > http://distillers.tastylime.net/newSite/articles/cognac_production/

              On the third page of this lovely document, a feature called a "sprinkler" is illustrated but not discussed. It appears to inject fluid (from an external source?) at the base of the chapiteau. I heard something similar described by Adrien Camut, one of the few cognac producers that uses a Charentais alambic. He said it injected water, and implied that it was unusual.

              Does anybody know what the "sprinkler" does or what motivates its use? Perhaps it increases reflux?

              Thanks,
              Phil
            • Harry
              ... Phil, It s a CIP (clean-in-place) spray. Mentioned on the bottom of page 2... Boiler equipment includes the pipe to fill the boiler, the vent, the side
              Message 6 of 15 , Apr 18 11:46 AM
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                --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "PhilipWilson" <pgw@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > > http://distillers.tastylime.net/newSite/articles/cognac_production/
                >
                > On the third page of this lovely document, a feature called a "sprinkler" is illustrated but not discussed. It appears to inject fluid (from an external source?) at the base of the chapiteau. I heard something similar described by Adrien Camut, one of the few cognac producers that uses a Charentais alambic. He said it injected water, and implied that it was unusual.
                >
                > Does anybody know what the "sprinkler" does or what motivates its use? Perhaps it increases reflux?
                >
                > Thanks,
                > Phil
                >


                Phil, It's a CIP (clean-in-place) spray. Mentioned on the bottom of page 2...

                Boiler equipment
                includes the pipe to fill the boiler, the
                vent, the side glass, the sprinkler to
                clean boiler, and the valve to empty
                the boiler (Fig. 4).

                Slainte!
                regards Harry
              • harisaki2004
                Thanks Harry and ZB, seems that the sulphuric acid I used to lower the pH of the fermenting must is carrying over to the spirit. This seems to effect the smell
                Message 7 of 15 , Apr 21 3:02 AM
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                  Thanks Harry and ZB,
                  seems that the sulphuric acid I used to lower the pH of the fermenting must is carrying over to the spirit. This seems to effect the smell and taste.
                  Thats why I asked about adding potassium carbonate to raise the pH.




                  --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "tgfoitwoods" <zymurgybob@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Hari,
                  > >
                  > > If by "neutralize" you mean move the pH to 7, I would not do this in any
                  > > flavored spirit, like cognac. Those great flavors come in large part
                  > > from esters, which are formed and kept at lower pH's. In addition,
                  > > raising the pH of a primary wash runs the risk of giving you the blue
                  > > distillate, Schweizer's reagent, a copper complex.
                  > >
                  > > If you want a tasteless spirit, neutralize the low wines before
                  > > distillation. If you want great flavor, leave it alone.
                  > >
                  > > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller
                  >
                  >
                  > I'd second that ZB. Acids + alcohol reacts to form esters. Heat speeds up the reaction, just as it does in any chemical reaction equation (see 'esterification' http://tinyurl.com/3tpu33l). If one were to neutralise, then the acids are no longer in the process. No esters are formed.
                  >
                  > Slainte!
                  > regards Harry
                  >
                  Thanks Harry and ZB,
                  seems that the sulphuric acid I used to lower the pH of the fermenting must was carrying over to the spirit. This seems to effect the smell and taste. The smell is slightly acrid.
                  Thats why I asked about adding potassium carbonate to raise the pH of the feints.
                  Next year I will return to using tartaric acid and see if there is a difference.
                  Can any one confirm using acid may be causing this?
                  regards
                  Hari.
                • tgfoitwoods
                  Hari, This discussion is getting into the realm of my opinions, so you may want to take what I m about to say with a grain of salt. It is my opinion that
                  Message 8 of 15 , Apr 21 7:25 AM
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                    Hari,

                    This discussion is getting into the realm of my opinions, so you may want to take what I'm about to say with a grain of salt. It is my opinion that almost any naturally-pH-ed wash (one with no specific pH-modifying additions) will ferment to a healthy conclusion, assuming a reasonable sugar concentration, enough oxygen to start, and good yeast nutrient. A major corollary of this opinion is that attempts to modify the original pH by adding acids or bases can create unhealthy wash conditions and spoil the ferment, one way or another.

                    Here's my reasoning: most washes are, to one extent or another, buffered solutions. A buffered solution is a solution with a "pH preference" and it resists changing that pH even though strong acids or bases are added. The upshot of that is that you can change the acid or base concentration quite a bit without seeing much change of pH. Remember, the pH only tells you what part of all those acids and bases is ionized, and buffering messes with that ionization in some very complicated ways.

                    Probably the best explanation of the phenomenon in fermentations comes from the winemakers, who deal with both Total Acidity (they just call it TA) AND pH (what part of the total acidity is ionized). There's lots of good stuff written about this, and almost no-one in beverage fermentation gets into the actual buffering equations, which get almost impossibly complicated, given the number of strong and weak acids and bases in a common fermentation. The concepts are really important in winemaking only because you can get some serious acid in your fruit, and with no distillation you'll be tasting all that acid, ionized or not, in the wine (although high TA wine can make some great brandy).

                    To me, all this hand-waving boils down to a simple rule: don't try to change pH unless you have a really, really, really clear idea of what's happening in your solution (wash), because you can end up with some odd and nasty mixtures. I suspect this is what happened when you tried to adjust the pH to "ideal" by adding a strong acid?

                    Me? I don't change pH of any wash, with the exception of wine, and then I measure both TA AND pH before I figure out what I'm going to do. (I'll bet Waldo has some insight into this, too).

                    I'd just add the bicarb to your low wines and distill it for neutral, and just lose all the flavors you worked to get in the first place. Write it off as experience.

                    Zymurgy Bob, a simplepotstiller

                    --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "harisaki2004" <ledaswan@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Thanks Harry and ZB,
                    > seems that the sulphuric acid I used to lower the pH of the fermenting must is carrying over to the spirit. This seems to effect the smell and taste.
                    > Thats why I asked about adding potassium carbonate to raise the pH.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" gnikomson2000@ wrote:
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "tgfoitwoods" <zymurgybob@> wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > Hari,
                    > > >
                    > > > If by "neutralize" you mean move the pH to 7, I would not do this in any
                    > > > flavored spirit, like cognac. Those great flavors come in large part
                    > > > from esters, which are formed and kept at lower pH's. In addition,
                    > > > raising the pH of a primary wash runs the risk of giving you the blue
                    > > > distillate, Schweizer's reagent, a copper complex.
                    > > >
                    > > > If you want a tasteless spirit, neutralize the low wines before
                    > > > distillation. If you want great flavor, leave it alone.
                    > > >
                    > > > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > I'd second that ZB. Acids + alcohol reacts to form esters. Heat speeds up the reaction, just as it does in any chemical reaction equation (see 'esterification' http://tinyurl.com/3tpu33l). If one were to neutralise, then the acids are no longer in the process. No esters are formed.
                    > >
                    > > Slainte!
                    > > regards Harry
                    > >
                    > Thanks Harry and ZB,
                    > seems that the sulphuric acid I used to lower the pH of the fermenting must was carrying over to the spirit. This seems to effect the smell and taste. The smell is slightly acrid.
                    > Thats why I asked about adding potassium carbonate to raise the pH of the feints.
                    > Next year I will return to using tartaric acid and see if there is a difference.
                    > Can any one confirm using acid may be causing this?
                    > regards
                    > Hari.
                    >
                  • Harry
                    ... must was carrying over to the spirit. This seems to effect the smell and taste. The smell is slightly acrid. ... the feints. ... difference. ... Hari,
                    Message 9 of 15 , Apr 21 11:51 PM
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                      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "harisaki2004" <ledaswan@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Thanks Harry and ZB,
                      > seems that the sulphuric acid I used to lower the pH of the fermenting must was carrying over to the spirit. This seems to effect the smell and taste. The smell is slightly acrid.
                      > Thats why I asked about adding potassium carbonate to raise the pH of the feints.
                      > Next year I will return to using tartaric acid and see if there is a difference.
                      > Can any one confirm using acid may be causing this?
                      > regards
                      > Hari.
                      >

                       

                      Hari,

                      According to Prof. Kris Berglund in his book "Artisan distilling" (in the Archives section of my Library.  Recommended reading for brandy production.)...

                      http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/artisan_distilling/index.htm

                      "Wines : Often faulty wines or low-grade wines are used for distillation.  Special care must be employed during distillation and the addition of specific technical measures (elimination of the sulfur compounds, lowering of an excessive acetic acid content, etc.). "

                      So, I'd say that you need to remove as much of the sulphur as possible before you distill the wine.  A contemporary of yours in W.A. may have the solution, Hydrogen Peroxide...

                      " http://www.decanter.com/news/wine-news/486288/winemaker-invents-sulphur-removal-tool

                      Winemaker invents sulphur removal tool

                      • Tuesday 9 October 2007
                      • by Frank Smith

                      An Australian winemaker has patented a method of removing sulphur dioxide from wine immediately prior to consumption.

                      James Pennington, of Rivendell Wines in western Australia, patented his PEWA (Preservative Elimination in Wine At consumption) system earlier this year.

                      The system consists of a levered plastic stopper which is placed on the top of the recently-opened bottle of wine. When the lever is raised and dropped, a small amount of hydrogen peroxide is released. The hydrogen peroxide neutralises the sulphites and the stopper can be removed.

                      According to Pennington, once the proceedure has been performed the wine is almost completely sulphur free.

                       
                       
                      HTH
                      Slainte!
                      regards Harry
                    • Harry
                      More information... http://www.brsquared.org/wine/Articles/SO2/SO2.htm 15.3. Hydrogen Peroxide 15.3.1.
                      Message 10 of 15 , Apr 22 12:10 AM
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                        More information...

                        http://www.brsquared.org/wine/Articles/SO2/SO2.htm

                         

                        15.3. Hydrogen Peroxide

                        15.3.1. Theory

                        Free SO2 can be removed by adding hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to wine. The use of H2O2 is considered too severe by many. Nevertheless, it remains one of the only real options for removing excessively high levels of SO2 from wine for the non-commercial winemaker.

                        The removal reaction is:

                        SO2+ H2O2===>SO4--+ 2H+


                        The molecular weight of SO2 is 64.1 and that of H2O2 is 34. Therefore, 0.5304 g (1/64.1*34) of H2O2 is required to react with 1 g of SO2.

                        The peroxide reacts with molecular SO2, changing the SO2 equilibrium. Since this equilibrium is continually re-establishing, the H2O2 should be added slowly. Additionally, since H2O2 is such a powerful oxidiser, the amount added should be calculated carefully. Analytically testing the SO2 content before and after H2O2 addition is advised.

                        Solutions of H2O2 commonly come as 3% solutions. If they are mass/mass solutions (this appears to be the typical case) they should contain about 30.3 mg/ml H2O2. If they are volume/volume solutions they should contain about 42.3 mg/ml H2O2. (See "Information on H2O2 content" below for more details.)

                        15.3.2. Example using H2O2

                        15 litres of wine has a free SO2 level of 70 mg/l. It is desired to reduce this to 40 mg/l. The reduction of 30 mg/l (70-40) requires an H2O2 addition of 16 mg/l (0.5304*30). Thus, the 15 litres requires an addition of 240 mg (15*16) of H2O2. Using a 3% mass/mass solution of H2O2, 7.9 ml (240/30.3) of the solution needs to be added to the 15 litres for the drop to 40 mg/l.


                        15.3.3. Information on H2O2 content

                        Pure (100%/weight) H2O2 has a density of about 1.41 g/ml.
                        Mass/mass solutions: 3 g H2O2 / (97 g H2O + 3 g H2O2) means a volume of 97 ml + (3 g / 1.41 g/ml = 2.13 ml) = 99.1 ml. This contains 3 g per 99.1 ml which is 30.3 mg H2O2/ml of the 3% solution.
                        Volume/volume solutions: 3 ml H2O2 / (97 ml H2O + 3 ml H2O2). 3 ml H2O2 provides (3 ml * 1.41 g/ml =) 4.23 g H2O2 per 100 ml solution, which is 42.3 mg H2O2/ml of the 3% solution.

                        Slainte!
                        regards Harry

                      • harisaki2004
                        ... Hi Harry and ZB, Thanks for the info on SO2, I am familiar with the reduction of SO2 to H2SO4. I do not use SO2 in the ferments for distillation and
                        Message 11 of 15 , Apr 22 2:07 AM
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                          >
                          > 15.3.3. Information on H2O2 content
                          > Pure (100%/weight) H2O2 has a density of about 1.41 g/ml.
                          > Mass/mass solutions: 3 g H2O2 / (97 g H2O + 3 g H2O2) means a volume of
                          > 97 ml + (3 g / 1.41 g/ml = 2.13 ml) = 99.1 ml. This contains 3 g per
                          > 99.1 ml which is 30.3 mg H2O2/ml of the 3% solution.
                          > Volume/volume solutions: 3 ml H2O2 / (97 ml H2O + 3 ml H2O2). 3 ml H2O2
                          > provides (3 ml * 1.41 g/ml =) 4.23 g H2O2 per 100 ml solution, which is
                          > 42.3 mg H2O2/ml of the 3% solution.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Slainte!
                          > regards Harry
                          >

                          Hi Harry and ZB,
                          Thanks for the info on SO2, I am familiar with the reduction of SO2 to H2SO4.

                          I do not use SO2 in the ferments for distillation and therefore do not require H2O2, ie hair bleach.

                          The ferments I do for distillation are usually with ripe grapes, higher sugar levels and much lower total acid levels than french brandy grapes. Therefore adding acid to increase the Total acidity (for microbial protection) as you say is a standard winemaking method. However winemakers dont use H2SO4 they use tartaric acid with a much lower ionic value than tartaric. Adding the H2SO4 to reduce the pH from 4.0 to 3.6 may upset the yeast, and hence give a stopped ferment. I have even added yeast nutrients, with NO additional drop in sugar density. Ferments stop at about 1 Beame.

                          So next year will be back to standard wine making practice using tartaric and see if there is a difference.

                          Waldo may have some further insight please.

                          best regards

                          Hari.
                        • tgfoitwoods
                          Hari, Please forgive me for having appeared to talk down to you. I m never really sure how much knowledge a given poster has, so I tend to over-explain. The
                          Message 12 of 15 , Apr 22 9:31 AM
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                            Hari,

                            Please forgive me for having appeared to talk down to you. I'm never really sure how much knowledge a given poster has, so I tend to over-explain. The H202 solution looks like a solution strictly for sulfites and sulfurous acid, whereas you have a sulfate problem from sulfuric acid. Given that, I have no experience with sulfates, aside from "hardening" water for dark beers with gypsum (calcium sulfate). I can't think of any volatile sulfates that could pass through your still and give unpleasant flavors, so I think I'll still stick with the ester explanation, which can be solved with bicarb-dosing of low wines before distillation for neutral (thereby losing your good brandy flavor).

                            As far as lowering wine pH with a strong acid, to work with the natural buffering I'd stick with the weak acids, like the tartaric you mention, or commercial acid blend, a mixture of malic, tartaric, and citric acids, although I'm not sure that I'd remember anymore how to calculate the difference in pH buffering.

                            I have a tiny vinyard, and I have one grape that gives me the opposite problem from your high-sugar,low-acid grapes. Because I was told cabernet franc grows and produces well in our marginal climate, we planted a couple of rows of it. While the yield is typically great, there is not time in the growing season to get the acid down to reasonable levels. I've made a lot of educational mistakes with cab franc wine pH, and finally decided, "Screw it! I'll just make brandy", and it makes a pretty good brandy, although I'm not finished with it yet.

                            It sounds like you've already figured this out.

                            Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

                            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "harisaki2004" <ledaswan@...> wrote:
                            >
                            ----snip----

                            > Hi Harry and ZB,
                            > Thanks for the info on SO2, I am familiar with the reduction of SO2 to H2SO4.
                            >
                            > I do not use SO2 in the ferments for distillation and therefore do not require H2O2, ie hair bleach.
                            >
                            > The ferments I do for distillation are usually with ripe grapes, higher sugar levels and much lower total acid levels than french brandy grapes. Therefore adding acid to increase the Total acidity (for microbial protection) as you say is a standard winemaking method. However winemakers dont use H2SO4 they use tartaric acid with a much lower ionic value than tartaric. Adding the H2SO4 to reduce the pH from 4.0 to 3.6 may upset the yeast, and hence give a stopped ferment. I have even added yeast nutrients, with NO additional drop in sugar density. Ferments stop at about 1 Beame.
                            >
                            > So next year will be back to standard wine making practice using tartaric and see if there is a difference.
                            >
                            > Waldo may have some further insight please.
                            >
                            > best regards
                            >
                            > Hari.
                            >
                          • harisaki2004
                            ... Thanks ZB for your gentle and kind words. regarding the ions,sulphates etc, I will try again next year. The only advice I have for you with your cab franc
                            Message 13 of 15 , Apr 22 6:45 PM
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                              --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "tgfoitwoods" <zymurgybob@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Hari,
                              >
                              > Please forgive me for having appeared to talk down to you. I'm never
                              > really sure how much knowledge a given poster has, so I tend to
                              > over-explain. The H202 solution looks like a solution strictly for
                              > sulfites and sulfurous acid, whereas you have a sulfate problem from
                              > sulfuric acid. Given that, I have no experience with sulfates, aside
                              > from "hardening" water for dark beers with gypsum (calcium sulfate). I
                              > can't think of any volatile sulfates that could pass through your still
                              > and give unpleasant flavors, so I think I'll still stick with the ester
                              > explanation, which can be solved with bicarb-dosing of low wines before
                              > distillation for neutral (thereby losing your good brandy flavor).
                              >
                              > As far as lowering wine pH with a strong acid, to work with the natural
                              > buffering I'd stick with the weak acids, like the tartaric you mention,
                              > or commercial acid blend, a mixture of malic, tartaric, and citric
                              > acids, although I'm not sure that I'd remember anymore how to calculate
                              > the difference in pH buffering.
                              >
                              > I have a tiny vinyard, and I have one grape that gives me the opposite
                              > problem from your high-sugar,low-acid grapes. Because I was told
                              > cabernet franc grows and produces well in our marginal climate, we
                              > planted a couple of rows of it. While the yield is typically great,
                              > there is not time in the growing season to get the acid down to
                              > reasonable levels. I've made a lot of educational mistakes with cab
                              > franc wine pH, and finally decided, "Screw it! I'll just make brandy",
                              > and it makes a pretty good brandy, although I'm not finished with it
                              > yet.
                              >
                              > It sounds like you've already figured this out.
                              >
                              > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller
                              >
                              > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "harisaki2004" <ledaswan@> wrote:
                              > >
                              > ----snip----
                              >
                              Thanks ZB for your gentle and kind words.

                              regarding the ions,sulphates etc, I will try again next year.
                              The only advice I have for you with your cab franc is to not over crop it. In a marginal climate (unlike the swan valley W.A.)you need to maximise the photosynthesis per grape berry. Good luck, other wise continue with the brandy.

                              Ps, with sulfites and sulfurous acid (ie SO2)do you find it better to treat with h2o2 before the wine is distilled or before the second distillation?
                              regards

                              Hari.
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