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Pomace brandy wash

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Pomace brandy wash

Postby Fraser » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:23 am

This past weekend we picked pino grigio at our vineyard, and grabbed a couple pressed baskets of the pomace and split it up into 4 30 gallon barrels. I threw in a little sulfite to sterlize it and topped them up with water. Really hard to get a SG reading on it because most of any sugar in there is locked up in the skins.

The next day I had to bucket some out of each barrel into more barrels because of course they swelled up with water and expanded a lot (duh). So now I have 6 barrels.

Took a sugar reading with a refractometer and it was about 5%, but again I'm not sure it was totally reliable. I pitched in some citric acid to get the pH down to about 4, added about 30 pounds of sugar per barrel along with pectin enzyme. I figure there must be a bit of sugar and flavor locked into the skins, and want to find out if that helps. I heard that might increase the methanol I'll have to chop off the front of the run, anyone know anything about that?

Pitched 60 grams of EC1118 per barrel along with a little nutrient. They're going to town today, bubbling away. It'll be a surprise what they end up at.

My idea was to take the free pomace and make a pomace brandy. Figure you can't go amiss with free product. I'll post some photos next week because I forgot to do that while I was doing it.
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Re: Pomace brandy wash

Postby hudsonbay distillers » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:08 am

sounds like acool project fraser hope u keep us in the loop . i have never had any experience with brandy cuz we dont have fruit so ill ask what is pectin enzymes .
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Re: Pomace brandy wash

Postby Fraser » Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:08 am

Pectic enzymes break down the pectin in fruit, which is the gluey jelly-like stuff that holds it together. Wine makers often (but not always) use the enzyme to clarify out hazing. It's also useful in wine making if you're pressing out stubborn grapes that are particularly thick or jellied. Native niagara and catabwa grapes are often like this here, and super difficult to press out as they tend to hold onto a great deal of their juice in the press.

So the idea is that throwing that in with the pomace along with the yeast should help release more of the juice and sugar trapped in the skins that otherwise might not be easily extracted. That's just my idea and I have no idea whether it will work or not. Some articles I've read suggest that a high temperature and alcohol ferment along with the enzyme may create more methanol, which is something I will need to try to correct for later on if that happens.

So far everything still seems to be bubbling away and nothing exploded onto the ceiling. That's a win in my book.
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Re: Pomace brandy wash

Postby Copperhead road » Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:43 am

Is pomace just the grape skins :confusion-confused: or is it a variety of grapes....

It does sound interesting either way Fraser :handgestures-thumbupright:
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Re: Pomace brandy wash

Postby Fraser » Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:57 am

Pomace is a general term for whatever is leftover in the basket after you've pressed the juice out of it. It could be any sort of fruit. For me its just the skins and seeds, but some people I hear throw in the stems too.
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Re: Pomace brandy wash

Postby S-Cackalacky » Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:45 am

The most flavorful apple brandy I made was from pomace. There are several wineries around where I live - wonder what they do with their pomace after pressing.
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Re: Pomace brandy wash

Postby Copperhead road » Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:38 pm

Thanks Fraser & cackalacky now I understand pomace, I learn something everyday on the forums :handgestures-thumbupright:
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Re: Pomace brandy wash

Postby Fraser » Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:16 am

S-Cackalacky wrote:The most flavorful apple brandy I made was from pomace. There are several wineries around where I live - wonder what they do with their pomace after pressing.


A lot of wineries just compost the pomace and spread it around. We've just been dumping the lot out in the woods in giant piles for years since we haven't had any use for it. It's harvest time now so if there's wineries with extra pomace to go around, it couldn't hurt to ask if they'd spare some. Free is free.

You could just tell them you're making a "pomace wine" if they ask, since home winemaking is totally legal, and pomace wine is a legit thing people do. You'd just need to find a way to press it out again after it ferments out, which could be a pain. I've got this small basket press to do that out in the driveway. But maybe you could throw it in a pillowcase and squeeze it out into a bucket.
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Re: Pomace brandy wash

Postby S-Cackalacky » Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:22 am

It's about harvest time around here too, but no time for it this season. I have all the materials I need to build a press, so maybe I'll be thinking about getting things together for next season.

Fraser, if the stuff is pressed fairly dry, how do you get it prepped for ferment? For the apple pomace, I added water and invert sugar, fermented dirty, and used a butt press to press out the wash.
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Re: Pomace brandy wash

Postby Fraser » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:21 pm

I've added water back to it, which made the skins swell up quite a bit overnight. I added a little citric acid to it to get the pH lower, since I figured its basically a wine I'm making here. I didn't have the patience to invert all that sugar so I just dumped it in and stirred it up vigorously. I also put in some pectic enzyme with the yeast. It seems to have done alright over 7 days. I'll be pressing out that batch this morning and then pitching yeast into the barrels of chardonnay i got yesterday. All in all I'd say I've conservatively got about 1,000 liters of brandy wash (taking the liquid displacement of the grape solids into consideration). Not sure if it's going to turn into anything good, but I'm hoping.
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Re: Pomace brandy wash

Postby crow » Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:33 pm

Every time I make brandy wine I also make Grappa wine on the marc. As you need to add water to this its likely you will need to also add some sugar or your yield will be desperately low.
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Re: Pomace brandy wash

Postby crow » Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:49 pm

OK so I just read where you added pectinase and that's fine, it thins the wash , opens up a lot of flavour but breaking down pectin may make it more susceptible to producing methanol.you won't cut grappa the same as brandy pomace/ marc has a lot more pectin than grape juice and also some woody material and will produce some darn nasty higher alcohols. A lot of bullshit gets bandied about about methanol but this is one wash that is notorious for producing it along with acetone, acetate and methyl compounds so be generous with your heads cuts and its best not to attempt to re-run them (except maybe refluxed) . Grappa is a great drink but its not brandy.
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Re: Pomace brandy wash

Postby Fraser » Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:07 am

We have a de-stemmer/crusher machine that removes all the stems and pre-crushes the grapes on their way to the wine press. So all the pomace has had all the woody stems and bits removed. We do that because the red wine grapes need to sit on their skin for awhile during their primary ferment. So all the pomace I have from the white wine grapes should be free of that stuff. But I definitely will be mindful of extra methanol that could be a byproduct of the pectin enzyme.

I did detect a bit of acetone in the wash when I was pressing out the grapes yesterday. I slash filled by buckets into the tank, so I'm hoping some of it gassed out. Good advice to take a large heads cut. I'll be running the first batch this saturday. I'm undecided on whether to take stripping runs and then rerun it slow through 2 or 3 plates, or just run it once without stripping.
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Re: Pomace brandy wash

Postby Copperhead road » Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:22 am

I am wondering what is the difference between a brandy and grappa :confusion-confused:
I am reading Zymurgy Bobs book at present which states if you ferment a grape you get a wine, if you distille a wine you get a brandy....
I'm still learning and devouring so much information can get confusing at time, there is so much to learn about fruit brandys and ways to ferment them.
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Re: Pomace brandy wash

Postby Fraser » Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:29 am

It the states, at least, it comes down to the definition set out by the TTB. If something is listed as a brandy it is automatically assumed to be distilled from wine grapes. Otherwise there has to be an identifying statement about what fruit it is derived from. The term grappa and the process to make it is strictly regulated in the EU, but not so much here in the states. There's some really interesting videos on youtube about how they make it over in italy, and i recommend checking it out.

If you're distilling something that was made from the pomace of grapes or any other fruit, you can call it a pomace brandy or a marc brandy. If its grapes only I believe you can call it a grappa. It really comes down to labeling requirements from the government.
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Re: Pomace brandy wash

Postby Copperhead road » Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:48 pm

Fraser wrote:It the states, at least, it comes down to the definition set out by the TTB. If something is listed as a brandy it is automatically assumed to be distilled from wine grapes. Otherwise there has to be an identifying statement about what fruit it is derived from. The term grappa and the process to make it is strictly regulated in the EU, but not so much here in the states. There's some really interesting videos on youtube about how they make it over in italy, and i recommend checking it out.

If you're distilling something that was made from the pomace of grapes or any other fruit, you can call it a pomace brandy or a marc brandy. If its grapes only I believe you can call it a grappa. It really comes down to labeling requirements from the government.


Thanks Frazer :handgestures-thumbupright:
I will look up grappa clips on YouTube also.
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Re: Pomace brandy wash

Postby Fraser » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:24 am

We picked our Traminette and Reisling over the weekend. I filled up (7) 30 gallon barrels with pomace and all the extra overflow pomace went into this 660 liter fermenter. I think it's about half full once I got some sugar and water in there. I'm estimating that when all is said an done, I'll have about 2,000 liters averaging out to 10% abv small wine wash. I've already started stripping runs to make room for it in my limited tank space, and the low wines from it actually smell pretty good (for low wines).

I'm planning on running it all out for low wines and then running that through 2-3 plates, and resting it on oak for awhile.
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