Jump to content

Apple and Pear Brandy Production Differences


Recommended Posts

Can someone explain the Pros and Cons of different ways of fermenting on Apples and Pears. We have the ability to have someone press the fruit for us and ferment on the juice. It is a little time intensive and have questions regarding flavor profiles of the distillate when fermented on the juice, in relation to fermenting with the apples in the mash. I'm am new to Brandy production and don't have much experience mashing the fruit.

We have the ability to pulverize the apples and add to our mash tank which is direct steam injection.

Can someone explain some processes for mashing on apples, rather than just using the pressed juice. As well as pros and cons for different techniques?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fermentation with a single, aggressive, "domesticated" strain is fast and effective. That being said, I don't personally favor it when it comes to fruit brandy. Wild fermentation, if done properly, can allow a more subtle, nuanced profile that expresses the fruit without the influences most people describe as "Strong-liquor" like.

To make a predictable wild ferment, take a small amount of the unwashed fruit and prepare a starter by putting it in an anerobic space with allowance for gas to escape - this could be something as simple as a small bottle or ziplock bag with a small corner just slightly open -- then add more of the fruit you are going to eventually ferment to keep the starter alive. Once it is a large, healthy starter, mash the rest of your fruit and pitch the starter into it.

The caveat is that as with any wild ferment, there is a risk that they do not attenuate as well or will produce polysaccharides as a response to the rising alcohol content, thus lowering yields. Keeping the potential alcohol low will prevent this from occuring.

In terms of actual distillation, both apple and pear are distilled on "Light lees" in Calvados country. To make a judgement on what amount to keep within the ferment/still, think of it in terms of Grappa versus brandy - One is very woody tasting, the other light and fragrant. Apple peels have a unique taste, if you chew on them alone. If you distill with all of the lees and mash in, you'll certainly have more influence from the skin and seed. If you distill with a small amount of the lees in - about a quarter of the original leftover apple pulp/skins/etc, and press the juice of the rest, you'll have a more balanced profile that features all aspects of the apple. Either way, I don't agree with distilling completely clarified juice with no pulp. It simply won't produce the same profile.

For pear, personally, I actually like to keep the entire mashed pears, fermented fully, within the still, without removing anything. The pear's skin is much more subtle in taste and adds a pleasant countryside (can't think of another term) sort of aspect that is difficult to obtain without it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...