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I've heard that apple that are high in acid tend to produce a distillate that is harsh and thin with lower aroma. Yet, Cognac producers seem to select grape varieties that are highly acidic as these are "perfect" for distilling. What's the deal? I've been cramming a lot of reading on wine/cidre chemistry into the last few days but have been unable to figure out whether acidic fruits (and I'm particularly concerned with apples) are better or worse for distilling--and more importantly, why they are better or worse.
Has anyone added juice or brewed coffee into their spirit as a natural flavoring? We are tossing some ideas to collaborate with local craft people, but my biggest concern is the oxidation of the additives. Does the alcohol basically suspend and preserve the juice/coffee/oil,sweet substance, or have you found there is quick degradation of quality?
Looking to get some yield data to build a cost model for apple distillates. 1. Brunner and Tanner claim that apples have a mean yield 5l pure ethanol / 100 kg raw fruit. Can anyone who has gone though the entire mash/ferment/distill cycle comment on the accuracy of this number? 2. Can anyone chime in on the yield of 1 gal of raw cider in terms of pure alcohol produced? Is there any insight on a better/best way to analyse cost/yield using apple as the base looking to make calvados or an apple vodka. I do not need to factor into the cost of paying all the other bills, just the cost of the raw materials without any processing or bottling. Using the Brunner Tanner yield estimate, it seems pretty clear that I would have a hard time making ends meet if I had to buy apples near $1.00/kilo (would anyone even sell at that price)? Please discuss.
I'm trying to figure out what makes one apple variety better for apple brandy than another. I know that calvados producers use a lot of different varieties, so there is no one absolute flavor profile. Conventional wisdom (and my personal experience) is that acidic varieties tend to produce a harsher--or shorter spirit. Other than that, I'm not sure what to look for. Calvados producers are generally also producing cider and what's great for cider might not always be the best for Calvados and it's hard to find information that makes a distinction between cider and calvados varieties. Anyone have any knowledge/experience that they are willing to share?