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patrick260z

Watering back for bottling, all at once or...

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Hey y'all,

Doing some research concerning grappa production and I've found something that keeps popping up. Seems some producers water their grappas back to bottling proof in small doses over long periods of time, sometimes months. Is anyone out there doing this? Any resources out there explaining why this is done, and how it works?

Thanks

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I don't have much info on it but search for saponification especially in regard to proofing brandy. This is what they are trying to avoid by employing a long proofing time.

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Great info, glisade. Pointed me in the right direction, anyway.

So, is the slow watering back method to keep congeners suspended or avoiding de-esterification? Is it primarily to preserve a clear liquid or preserve bouquet/aroma? Both? Anyone? T

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The glycerides of a saponified spirit will really impede a good bouquet of esters, but further more it will impart a recognizably soapy flavor and mouthfeel. Slow and steady seems to be the best plan of action for any proofing! That and ample agitation.

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jamie, thank you for the reply. That's really interesting. So now the next question... how slow? Thanks!

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At the risk of sounding like over-complicating things, it really depends. I've never worked with grappa, but i know it is congener rich stuff. All those congeners will affect the spirit/water addition. I have heard of brandy and rum being proofed down and married back in the barrel for months as well. It's a good practice, since so much time, energy and work has gone into the product to date. Crashing it out at the last stage is a very real concern. Water quality is another factor: hard, soft, filtered, purified, spring water? All those inherent minerals could play a role.

One good thing to know is there is certainly a proof 'hurdle' of sorts at around 50% abv- 44% abv. I tend to be cautious and pay close attention to 55% abv - 40% range. This threshold is here you are taking the spirit from majority of alcohol to a majority of water. That flip in proof needs to happen slowly, in my opinion.

I hope this helps a little. I have yet to experience grappa, so it really may take some tinkering to find what works best for you. Good luck!

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Thank you, very good information. I had heard of there being issues with congener precipitation below 90 proof, but what you're saying makes good sense. Thank you for all the information!

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