How to cook grappa at home: short and sweet
Grappa - this is a rather unpretentious version of grape brandy from Italy. In order to make this drink at home, you first need the following: a moonshine still (also known as a distiller; theoretically, a classic copper alambic is preferable), a vat or similar container with a tight-fitting lid, an oak or cherry barrel, the classic triad of water, sugar, and yeast, and, if possible, your own vineyard... We will probably start with the latter.
Raw materials and their preparation
You will probably be interested to know the recipe for grappa for cooking at home, but the fact is that the whole recipe comes down to certain technological processes, which we will tell you about.
First of all, it should be borne in mind that it is best to use slightly unripe grapes to make grappa. Its inherent high level of acidity will make your future drink more flavorful and rich. That is why it is desirable that you can decide for yourself at what point to cut a very significant number of grapes.
Next, if you don't want to end up with chacha or rakia, cut grapes must be removed from the juice as thoroughly as possible. The fact is that a real Italian brandy is not made from whole berries, but from the pomace that is obtained after squeezing out the juice that goes into wine...
Preparation of the brew
The next step is to make braga from the resulting grape cake. To do this, the prepared material must be placed in a vat or some other capacious container. Then, for one part of the pomace, add 0.5 parts of sugar, 3 parts of boiled water at room temperature, and wine yeast at the rate of 10 grams per kilogram. At the same time, if you do not want your grappa to be noticeably bitter, do not put grape combs in the fermentation container.
When the contents of the vat begin to ferment 5-7 days after the material is laid, the container should be tightly closed with a lid and transferred to a dark place for 2-3 weeks. At the same time, the maturing brew must be stirred twice a day so that the yeast "cap" regularly moves to the bottom of the container. After the end of the fermentation process, it is strongly recommended to strain the brew twice. This is done in order to rid the future grappa of the rather unpleasant odor obtained by distilling the skeletons of grape bunches.
Distillation and final stage
Moving on to the distillation stage, it should be noted that classic grappa goes through this procedure twice. Moreover, during re-distillation, the producers of the drink leave only the most aromatic part of it, obtained in the middle of the distillation process. So to speak, cut off the "head" and "tail" of the distillate.
Thus, those who want to make grappa at home have three options.
Be satisfied with an approximate semblance of the drink, without bothering to separate the necessary part of it during the second distillation.
Buy a more complex moonshine still and do everything by the book.
Get a real copper alambic, similar to those used to make grappa from the very moment of its appearance.
After the distillation is over, you have, again, 3 options:
Immediately bottle the drink and start drinking it immediately.
Before direct consumption, insist grappa on your favorite fruits, berries, roots or aromatic herbs for several days or even weeks.
To be patient and pour the drink into a barrel for further aging (on average, this process lasts from six months to one and a half to two years).
In conclusion, it is worth noting that even the first experience of making homemade grappa will not disappoint you. And the experience gained during the first distillation will significantly improve the quality of your drink in the future.
Category: Brandy and Cognac