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Bulk Brandy or Apple neutral spirits


oboyatelny

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Hoping to get a good answer from our amazing knowledgeable group! 

 

We ferment and distill bulk neutral spirits. Getting into apple. Are any sugar additions allowed for the fermentation of apple juice? We are producing bulk brandy at 189 and apple neutral at 190. So far we did not add anything into fermentation but thinking if sugar could boost ABV for distillation. 

 

Thoughts? 

 

Thank you 

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Sugar additions, called chaptalisation, are permitted up to a point for any wine, that the producer cannot exceed.  This extends to wine that is intended for distillation.  Far better to chaptalise using apple juice concentrate, would you not agree?

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My understanding is that to use sugar the 'standard wine' must be prepared under a winery license and transferred to the distillery license, and without a winery license sugar cannot be added to a fruit mash for brandy distillation (as a distillery cannot prepare a 'standard wine'). There was a thread on this several years ago, but I would inquire with your TTB agent. I know Copper & Kings produces their Apple Brandy from chaptalized 'apple wine' produced at a winery and it requires no additional label disclosure for brandy. 

I think the brandy distilled to 189 proof will need to be classed as "Neutral Apple Brandy - Any type of brandy, e.g., “Fruit Brandy,” “Residue Brandy,” etc., distilled at more than 85% alcohol by volume (170 proof) but less than 95% alcohol by volume (190 proof) " 

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would it be considered Chaptalisation if you started with a apple concentrate and added water to dilute to have the right brix for the desired ABV outcome? might be able to maximize your systems output if you could start with concentrate. I mean if your goal is an apple based neutral. 

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I think that the original poster was wanting to increase ABV from sourced apple juice and he wondered if chaptalisation is a valid method of increasing ABV of the distillate.  I suggested adding concentrate, and you are suggesting concentrate as the base substrate entirely.  Both methods are clearly not chaptalisation because concentrate is just de-watered juice that the producer is only re-constituting.  It has emerged from the discussion that a distillery is not technically permitted to add sugar, but the use of concentrate alone or as an addition to fresh juice would not be considered chaptalization, a process named after Jean-Antoine Chaptal, who first suggested adding sugar to fruit juice.

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