Cont

Have any Questions?

Www.Distillery.Sale

Jun 08, 2022 View:

adding sugar to brandy

Hi We are new in this business.. We have been making apple brandy all fall and winter.. It's been very good... does anyone know what the deal is around adding cane sugar to brandy during the fermentation to bump the % .. There are two different types of sugar, are there any rules around whats allowed ... Hoochbitch


Reply:

I know the answer in one situation. Since I'm primarily a cider (as in 'hard') maker, I have a Bonded Winery as well as a DSP registration. I've gone around a couple time with the TTB on this.

The BW may make a chaptalized fruit wine within the reg limits. It may have residual sugar. The BW may send the wine to a DSP to be distilled - and it's brandy. No special designations needed.

Neither the BW, nor the DSP, may intentionally referment the residual sugar and then distill it.

That answer may not fit your situation - but it's as far as I've explored.


Reply:

Before you go about adding sugar to your ferment please consider this. If x equals the total amount of apple character you can extract from the base ingredient(in this case your cider that you plan to distill), and you double the amount of final product you intend to yield (by raising the ABV of the base wine). What does that do to the amount of apple character per unit of final product?

I know the answer in one situation. Since I'm primarily a cider (as in 'hard') maker, I have a Bonded Winery as well as a DSP registration. I've gone around a couple time with the TTB on this.

The BW may make a chaptalized fruit wine within the reg limits. It may have residual sugar. The BW may send the wine to a DSP to be distilled - and it's brandy. No special designations needed.

Neither the BW, nor the DSP, may intentionally referment the residual sugar and then distill it.

That answer may not fit your situation - but it's as far as I've explored.


Reply:

I believe it is permitted to chaptalize cider prior to fermentation. The impact on the spirit will be negative, unless your end product is a neutral spitit (vodka). If you are hoping to make an apple brandy (aka applejack according to the CRF), a better route would be to ameliorate the cider with water for the occasional batch where the brix are above 12% or 13%. While adding sugar will increase the yield, it will significantly harm the quality of an apple brandy.


Reply:

Hi We are new in this business.. We have been making apple brandy all fall and winter.. It's been very good... does anyone know what the deal is around adding cane sugar to brandy during the fermentation to bump the % .. There are two different types of sugar, are there any rules around whats allowed ... Hoochbitch


Reply:

Rusty, that was not the answer I got from the TTB.

And Tom is right. Whether you can, and whether it's a good idea are two different things. Alcohol level during fermentation affects aromatic profile, since a lot of aromatics are more soluble in alcohol than water. Keeping brix low would give one kind of profile. Running the alcohol up with sugar, or heads and tails (which is allowed in the regs) would give another. I won't claim one to be better - that's up to you and your customers. I happen to like my apple wine spirit. But adding sugar does more than just dilute apple character. For better or for worse. And it's likely to offend purists.


Reply:

The quality of your final product is only as good as your base. If you want to make apple brandy make it out of apples. If you buy concentrate you have no control over its quality. There is a saying "Great wine is made in the vineyard." the same can be said about really any fruit based spirit. A friend of mine is a great wine maker, part of the reason he makes great wine is because because he is a great farmer.

Rusty, that was not the answer I got from the TTB.

And Tom is right. Whether you can, and whether it's a good idea are two different things. Alcohol level during fermentation affects aromatic profile, since a lot of aromatics are more soluble in alcohol than water. Keeping brix low would give one kind of profile. Running the alcohol up with sugar, or heads and tails (which is allowed in the regs) would give another. I won't claim one to be better - that's up to you and your customers. I happen to like my apple wine spirit. But adding sugar does more than just dilute apple character. For better or for worse. And it's likely to offend purists.


Reply:

Which is why I've got apples like 'Parmar' (a 19th Cen american distilling cultivar) and 'Harrison' in the ground. I'm only distilling the apple wine 'cause I had it handy. But I've been pleasantly surprised at the results.

There can be a lot of pressure to find a middle ground bewteen artistic purity and commercial pragmatism. (I think) We all have to deal with it at some point.

The quality of your final product is only as good as your base. If you want to make apple brandy make it out of apples. If you buy concentrate you have no control over its quality. There is a saying "Great wine is made in the vineyard." the same can be said about really any fruit based spirit. A friend of mine is a great wine maker, part of the reason he makes great wine is because because he is a great farmer.


Reply:

I don't dissagree with that. But quality is really the only edge we can have over the big guys, it sure isn't advertising budgets. I've heard of Harrison but not Parmar all very cool in my book. How big is your orchard?

Which is why I've got apples like 'Parmar' (a 19th Cen american distilling cultivar) and 'Harrison' in the ground. I'm only distilling the apple wine 'cause I had it handy. But I've been pleasantly surprised at the results.

There can be a lot of pressure to find a middle ground bewteen artistic purity and commercial pragmatism. (I think) We all have to deal with it at some point.


Reply:

I don't dissagree with that. But quality is really the only edge we can have over the big guys, it sure isn't advertising budgets. I've heard of Harrison but not Parmar all very cool in my book. How big is your orchard?


Reply:

Cool about the acreage I love apple based spirits.

Large producers do make some good products but many of their products set a low bar. Sure they have excellent quality control to make sure their ingredients and all other processes meet their standards. But honestly saying that small producers can't be consistent in what they produce I just don't believe that. That said there is no reason not to promote small runs too.

I'm partnered with a 60 yer old, 15 acre, 1500 tree, 200 cultivar orchard. They let me graft and plant - so I've got about 3 acres of heirloom english, french and colonial american cultivars that are just for my business. Harrison is incredible. Parmar hasn't fruited for me yet, but I got it on the advise of Tom Burford - the East Coast's Old Man of Apples. He says that when his father would go walking with him up into the hollers of the Virginia Piedmont, when they saw a farmstead with Parmar growing, he'd point it out and note that they must be moonshiners, because that was the only reason you'd grow that particular apple.

And it may be off topic - but I don't know that quality is an advantage that small producers _actually_ have. You might not care for a given macro-spirit product, but they've got quality down. You know exactly what you're going to get, because they've got delivering it down with precision. A little producer is going to have a hard time getting that precise, repeatable delivery - for a number of reasons, but including simple scale of operation.

I think small producers can flip that coin though. Play up batch to batch, barrel to barrel differences, much as vintage, single vineyard wines might. A place where, I think, macro-spirits can't credibly share space with micros is in ties-to-place. We're local. They aren't. Period. Which is why I spent the extra penny to put my WI grown, WI fermented, WI distilled brandies into WI oak.


Reply:

There can be a lot of pressure to find a middle ground bewteen artistic purity and commercial pragmatism.