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Author: Subject: Does anybody brew/ Make wine here?
Sobrero
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[*] posted on 7-7-2009 at 01:49


Every year I make cider from our own apples (with some extra sugar). It tastes good, a bit champaign-like, but after three glasses, I get very sleepy :D.

Every once in a while, I also ferment (pure) sucrose, and distill the resulting "beer", up to about 90% concentration. Then I make different kinds of jenever with it, like lemon and chocolate jenever. They're quite delicious, these are the recipes (found with some trial and error, they're not improvement-proof):

Lemon jenever:
Peel the skin of one average sized lemon, try to take only the yellow peel, not the white below it. Put it in 200ml EtOH >90%, and leave it for approx. ten days in the dark (well shut of course). Then add 300ml of spring water, and three teaspoons of sugar I think (I don't recall an exact amount, because I just add some, taste it, and see if it needs some more sugar). Shake well to dissolve it. Best chilled in the fridge before consumption.

Chocolate jenever:
Take seventy grams of dark chocolate, and melt them gently (in a bain marie or, like me, in the microwave, gently). Mix 50ml of >90% EtOH with 100ml of premium cream and 50ml water, and add this mixture to the molten chocolate. Gently mix the chocolate with the liquid, not too violently otherwise the cream becomes too viscous. Perhaps you may need to sieve the cream beforehand, so as to exclude difficult-to-mix particles.
Let cool and serve at room temperature.


[Edited on 7-7-2009 by Sobrero]




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[*] posted on 21-7-2009 at 02:03


Yesterday I kept on distilling my fermentation product.
I have 10 liters of ~18% etOH.


Right now the biggest container that i have is 2 liters ( a round bottom flask with NS29 )
It's a real pain doing this 5 times, ah well my vigreux makes up coz I get a product cointaining 92% in a single run :)

The first run gave about 325ml of product, theoretical i should be somewhere around the 400ml so I am quite happy.
If course i threw away the first 15ml for methanol contaminations.

The next run was done with a sand bath and gave me somewhat more stable conditions and also a higher yield.
The temp was a lot easier to monitor so i could cut off the fraction that i didn't want.


The raw product with some tap water (43 %) tastes somewhat funny, it is quite sweet and one can clearly taste the yeast effect on sugar water :P

I think ill do the next runs and put the product trough a final distillation.
Maybe deodorize it with activated carbon.
I should have somewhere around 3 liters of 40% maybe more.
During my live as a citizen i work in a kitchen , we have a lot of herbs and other fun stuff.
That opens some windows for toying around with taste.
It quite nice to do some innocent chemistry once in a while.





What a fine day for chemistry this is.
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setback
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[*] posted on 21-7-2009 at 05:48


Try fermenting with something other than sugar and water, that's what the moonshiners do to make a lot of money... but poor whiskey. Maybe try making a fruit wine and a fruit brandy out of it, maybe use apple juice; even barley would work well. Like a hopless beer.

[Edited on 21-7-2009 by setback]
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[*] posted on 25-7-2009 at 02:11


Quote: Originally posted by setback  
Try fermenting with something other than sugar and water, that's what the moonshiners do to make a lot of money... but poor whiskey. Maybe try making a fruit wine and a fruit brandy out of it, maybe use apple juice; even barley would work well. Like a hopless beer.

[Edited on 21-7-2009 by setback]



If anybody is going to do this they should use a pot still instead of a reflux type still, as the latter is more selective and you lose all of the nice smelling cogeners you would get. But using a pot still means the mash will need to be run through twice... Anyway, I read something about the whiskey operations in Ireland using gigantic copper pot stills.


Also this is seriously not some innocent chemistry, distilling is still illegal in the states!
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[*] posted on 25-7-2009 at 03:40


Ah come on this is innocent, where I live it isn't legal to do so ah well.
Driving too fast is illegal to.
Compared to making explosives it is the nicest thing you could do.. right?

Most of the oder/tast makers are esters with relatively low boiling point.
But your absolutely right, a lot more oders come over when one doesn't use a vigreux of any kind.
In my eyes it has one mayor advantage, the lowest boiling components come over first and that includes the methanol which is always created in the fermentation procces.
I only start catching the distillate when it went over the 78 degrees, funny is the jump between the 2 alcohols can be clearly noticed, as if a switch is flipped the thermometer takes a run from 68.x to a little over 78 degrees celsius.

[Edited on 25-7-2009 by User]




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[*] posted on 10-11-2009 at 04:23


Hhmmm, double post.

The latest alcohol related project i am doing is brewing something that looks like cognac.
I've read a couple of books about how this is done, there's just to much to read :)

What I did is buy two bottles of wine (2L, 10%) , the cheapest white wine i could find.
Poured it in a 3 litre erlemeyer and distilled it till the liquid coming over tasted worthless/bad and not much more alcohol.
I obtained somewhere around 0.7L.
This tasted rough, quite sour and a bit bitter.
I than performed a second distillation and obtained 0.5 litres roughly 40%.
(I don't really have a good way of measuring this, and its not that important)
This product tasted a bit more smooth, but still not really good.

To age it artificially I placed it in a water bath (55 degrees) for about 4 hours.
The bottle was closed so no alcohol could evaporate, be careful doing this.
This did make a difference in taste, not as much as I had hoped.


They actually use this method in country's where it is not prohibited to age wine/port etc this way, only than it stays at slightly lower temp for some months.
If course exact temp aren't mentioned as far as I have seen.


I read a couple of tips and trick surrounding home brewing and came up with something that works quite well and does not cost extra money.
I simpely placed the bottle on top of the central-heater unit (correct word ?).
The "cognac" suffers from heavy temp shocks, when the heater is running the temp of the bottle climbs to more than 45 degrees celsius and during the night it goes back to about 15 deg C.

Leaving the bottle there for 3 months.
I was quite surprised by the result.
It tasted quite smooth, not as sour as it used to be, warm, and tasteful!
Also I could add some wood chips to accelerate the process and make it even smoother etc.

Anyway I found that this artificial ageing works very well and makes a rough fresh distillate taste good in a couple of months time, I'm pleased.
No exact science but giving something as primitive as brewing a modern edge is quite nice.



[Edited on 10-11-2009 by User]




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aonomus
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[*] posted on 10-11-2009 at 12:58


Not to derail, but would it be efficient to take sugar, water, and brewers yeast to create crude ethanol, and then distill (maybe multiple times) to obtain ethanol clean enough for reactions (eg: esters) and washing/cleaning?

What would be good fermentation conditions with sugar, temperature, % water; and what about other essential nutrients (ie: amino acids, proteins, to allow yeast growth).

To clarify: not for drinking, my liver (genetics) prohibits me from such activities.
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[*] posted on 10-11-2009 at 13:31


Quote: Originally posted by aonomus  
Not to derail, but would it be efficient to take sugar, water, and brewers yeast to create crude ethanol, and then distill (maybe multiple times) to obtain ethanol clean enough for reactions (eg: esters) and washing/cleaning?

What would be good fermentation conditions with sugar, temperature, % water; and what about other essential nutrients (ie: amino acids, proteins, to allow yeast growth).


That's what I do, go to a home brew store or find someone online who sells "turbo yeast" it's used to make rum and other distilled beverages, it is premixed with nutrients and ultra high tolerance yeast.

I use a 5 gallon bucket water and regular white sugar and within a week have 25% alcohol. Distill the crude alcohol in a standard distillation setup for relatively pure ethanol ~95%. Distill again with a drying agent such as anhydrous magnesium sulfate for an even drier product.

It isn't ACS grade but I have used it as a solvent and in many reactions with no problems.




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[*] posted on 10-11-2009 at 13:32


10% malt extract will give you all the cofactors needed for good yeast growth. A little ammonium, phosphate and magnesium, in the form of salts will help.... Google "yeast nutrients"

Yeast extract would work too, but Marmite & Vegemite have too high a salt content.

If you get your sugars from hydrolyzing plant material, particularly waste cellulose, then you are well on your way to making bioethanol for fuel & chemical feedstocks. A fully legitimate enterprise.
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[*] posted on 10-11-2009 at 15:17


My friends and I just made a 10 L batch of white wine using welche's grape juice. We added sugar and left it for 2 weeks.

I was way too impatient to properly rack and fine the wine. I said to my friend "chemists invented filters for a reason - the least we can do is use them!" So I tried to filter the wine. 8 coffee filters proved insufficient in removing the cells - product was still pretty cloudy. A cotton plug did a slightly better job. I had some super hard and slow filtering discs, but those would take the lifetime of the universe to filter 10 L of liquid. The coffee filters/cotton plug already took hours. So we settled with a cloudy wine :P

To adjust the flavor, I added ascorbic acid and more sugar. The product tastes pretty good for a first trial. Very fruity and a bit sparkly :D




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[*] posted on 10-11-2009 at 15:32


The last post before my last confirms that I practised this method quite some times :)

The whole point, which I thought was clear, is to make a 'cognac' like drink.
This can't be achieved fermenting sugar because the best taste one can obtain is no taste.
Adding flavour is the trick in the sugar fermentation method.

What i did is use the wine for the flavour and add nothing extra.
The sport is to obtain something nice that is fully based on wine.
Clear?

Ps i still have about 2 liters of 92% EtOH (tripple distilled).
Got to figure out what to do with this.

[Edited on 10-11-2009 by User]




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aonomus
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[*] posted on 10-11-2009 at 16:23


Heh, speaking of anhydrous MgSO4, I took a kilo of epsom salts (unscented plain) and baked until completely dry.

Good to know I can use something other than molecular sieves to get it over the 95% azeotrope.
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[*] posted on 10-11-2009 at 16:52


I used to make beer, in 4 gallon batches. It was fun but
something often went wrong you ended up with 4 gallons of bad tasting stuff that you felt that you still needed to drink.

I also made root beer, but once used too much yeast and
the bottles exploded! (they were of thick glass too). It happend in the middle of the night and scared the crap out of us and mad a big mess too. Home made root beer tastes
pretty good too.

On of the nicest things to drink was the 100% etOH from the
processing lab (mixed with fruit juce etc). You could not taste
it and it had a very clean "buzz" to it.

The Mythbusters did some experiments on changing cheap
vodka into high quality vodka using charcoal water filters.
I think they were somewhat sucessful depending on who
was doing the tasting.
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[*] posted on 10-11-2009 at 17:18


my question can seem stupid, but can we drink volka made from the distillation of alcool made with distiller yeast? They say that yopu can make wine with it, but they don't say that it is not commestible after some distillation. I say that because the distiller yeast is much more cheap that the turbo yeast for exemple.

thank
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[*] posted on 10-11-2009 at 20:20


Well I found the turbo yeast mentioned in a post above ( http://www.clickabrew.com/shopexd.asp?id=1302 ), which seems cheap enough to try.

I was also wondering about ( http://www.clickabrew.com/shopexd.asp?id=1303 ), which states that if you add it, it will prevent the yeast from fowling the distillate. Has anyone tried this before? Will it actually help? (Keep in mind, aiming for ethanol clean enough to use for reactions).
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[*] posted on 10-11-2009 at 20:56


I'd use some activated carbon, and bentonite or diatomaceous earth to settle it.

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[*] posted on 17-11-2009 at 17:27


@aonomus - You definitely want to distill a clear liquid if possible. Kieselguhr/diatomaceous earth, gelatin, chitosan, even starches (maize/corn, tapioca/cassava, etc., don't use wheat flour) are all useful clarifying agents. There are directions on the web for clarifying wine and beer with these. It will take some days, so be patient to get something that tastes good. If you don't want to add anything, just let the liquid settle without light for 10-20 days and decant the clear liquid. Activated carbon is not very useful as a clarifying agent. It is more useful after distilling to remove bad flavors.

@bikemaster - the purer your product, the better the result. If the input to the still is drinkable, the output should be as well. When distilling, discard the low boiling product (in English "foreshots") which contain methyl alcohol and some aldehydes (low boiling) and the high boiling product ("feints") containing higher alcohols C3, C4, C5, etc. All of those are toxic or unpleasant in more than trace quantities.

I brew beer frequently and enjoy the results :D

Home distilling is illegal in the US. There is a rumor that the tax authorities ignore people who distill but do not sell their product or otherwise become more noticeable.

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[*] posted on 17-11-2009 at 17:36


Its also illegal in Canada, or at least Ontario thanks to the excise tax act. I read on a home brewers blog that essentially, so long as you don't try to sell it, and you do it under the radar, you should be ok...

ie: don't go around telling people about it, leaving your setup static and running all the time, etc. :E can't just come barging in without a warrant, and can't get a warrant without evidence of anything....
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[*] posted on 19-11-2009 at 01:28


Distilling and brewing and vintering at home are perfectly legal in New Zealand; but, if one tries to openly offer the stuff for sale, the Customs service will be on to one like a tonne of bricks, charging a large excise duty on sales based on ethanol content which is quite high for ethanol above 14%. In addition, the Food Standards Authority would probably require inspection and a license as to the product's safety before it can be $old.
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[*] posted on 2-12-2009 at 12:22


To anyone looking to get into the hobby, Charlie Papazian's book, "The New complete joy of home brewing" is a great place to start. It can generally be found at most used book stores for under $6 or so.

I have been homebrewing hard cider, ale, wine, and mead at home with my parents for a few years now. Mostly 1 gallon batches of hard cider due to ease. Simply get a gallon glass jug of heat pasturized apple juice that still has pulp in it, pour off a bit so there is room for foaming, add yeast and airlock and put aside. When done if you siphon off the good stuff from the dead yeast, pulp, etc and add more heat pasturized apple cider it will take off faster and may taste better being sort-of second generation yeast that is slightly more accustomed to survive the environment of cider. You can repeat many times.

The strangest thing I have done was 1 gallon of capsicumel (chile pepper mead). I used a whole lot of dried zimbabwe bird's eye pepper pods and dried cayanne pods. Its a beautiful red color, but turned out way to HOT. A sip and you wont even taste the alcohol, it just burns your tongue. I may have to mix it into something else or just use it as cooking wine.

I'll likely get into kegging in the future as bottling gets old pretty quick with large batches of beer.




So many ideas... too few dealing with chemistry.
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[*] posted on 10-12-2011 at 06:18


Great thread. I'm thinking of studying a bachelor of viniculture and winemaking in 2013, anyone done this before or just viniculture/winemaking bachelor? What can I expect?
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