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Adding enzymes to fruit mash


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I really depends on the type of fruit, the juice industry does use enzymes to increase extraction, so it will work if done correctly (not to say it will be worth the trouble). Pectinases might be worth looking into, maybe some other types of hemicellulases. What type of fruit is this in regards to?

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Apples are the fruit I had in mind. I've read that a drawback to adding enzymes is increased methanol production. Still, I'm interested in creating a mash that is thin enough to distill in a double walled boiler without undue fear of burning.

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I would suggest to take small samples of your mash (let's say 250ml) and put different kind of enzymes into it. And the next day you just taste it. And of course take a sample without any. The different kind of enzymes I use for my fruit mashes (for distilling) are:

- Lyase (100%clean, not allowed for organic): According to some research is able to reduce methanol by approx 10-40%, unless the mash is stored for a prolonged period of up to 3-8 weeks. The luiquidification is ok, but no so good as standard pektinase products

- Pectinase for making juices: includes methylesterase, galacturonase and lyase, increases methanol, good luiquidification

- Pectinase with hemicellulase: strong liquidification, but for pip fruits: There is I think a harsh taste (too much extraction of unwanted stuff?)

- Proteinase: maybe for plums: a fullier body?

- beta-glucosidase: for some grape, berry and stone fruits: more extraction of some flavors, but can be too much

For pip fruits I stopped using enzymes, except for apples and some wild/perry pears: in order to have at least some luiquidification i use lyase.

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I always use the whole fruit: much more flavor. I once passed apple mashes (Gala and Braeburn) thereby removing the peel ==> the brandy was a littlle bit softer but more boring. But the crushing I do is coarse:

- apple: hammermill with 16mm sieve

- soft perries (like Bartlett, DrGuyot,Limoneras): we mash solely by single screw/progressing cavity pumps.

- we use strong but slow horizontal/vertical agitator tanks

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Most of my calculations on yield are based on research done on Calvados--so basically, making cider then distilling it. In my limited, small scale experiments I also prefer distilling with the whole fruit mash instead of pressing. Do you have any any rules of thumb concerning weight of apples equaling volume of mash or weight of apples equaling volume distillate? I can't find much information on this type of production.

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current example "apricot":

a) refractometer showed 62°Oechsle ==> gravity of clear extract 1.062 ==> gravity of mash (without stones) ca. 1.03

my rule of thumb: half oechsle of extract is the gravity of the mash

b ) (62°Oe * 0.98) / 4 = 15.2°Brix

(to have a precise mapping of oechsle <-> brix you have to look up a table; factor of 0.98 is okay for 45-75°oechsle)

c) tomorrow will be the end of fermentation and I guess at 3.0°Brix (apparant extract)

(here I use a handheld digital density meter - the same I also use for alcohol measurement of destillates)

(to filter the mash sample I use a stainless kitchen sieve: I put the filtrate repeatedly back on top of the sieve until it is very slowly dripping

==> then it is mostly clear enough; if the sample is very hazy the meter will display a value 0.5 to 1.0 °brix above the real one)

d) so the apparent delta will be 15.2-3.0 = 12.2 °Brix ==> I expect 12.2 / 2 = 6.1 to 6.4 %vol alcohol in the mash

e) so let's say 100l of fermented mash with 6.2%vol ==> 6.2 lA (litre of 100% pure Alcohol)

f) for the heart of fruit destillates we calculate 40 to 48% (mostly depends on kind of fruit) of total alcohol:

so let's say 6.2 * 0.45 = 2.8 lA

g) drinking strength let's say 40%vol: 2.8 lA / 0.40 = 7 litre

h) so 103 kg of fruit for 7 litre ==> 14.7 kg per litre

some apple/apple mash measurements:

- golden delicious: 75°Oechlse

- elstar: 52°Oechsle down to apparent extract of 1.3°Brix

- topaz: 60°Oechsle down to 1.3°Brix

- pinova: 61°Oechsle down to 1.0°Brix

- arlet: 54°Oechsle down to 0.5°Brix

- crab apple: 42°Oechsle

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