What distillate to choose for the tincture
As we already know, good alcohol is one of the basic ingredients of any tincture, an ingredient that can have a huge impact on the taste of our homemade tincture. In countries where home alcohol distillation is fully compliant with the laws in force there, you can choose between different types of distillates: sugars, fruit flakes, cereals. Each of these distillates is different, has other advantages and disadvantages. The main advantages of distillates in general are their price and quality. The price of producing a distillate at home is much lower than buying spirit or vodka in a store, and the quality is often incomparably better than store products.
I would also like to make an appeal here, that: Distillate is not the same as Moonshine! Weird? Well no. Traveling around the world and meeting different people on their way (people more or less associated with the production of alcohol), visiting small family distilleries in Austria, drinking regional distillates in Germany - I have learned, that words distillate and moonshine mean something else! Moonshine is a product made in a hurry, not paying attention to the quality of the ingredients used, often produced on low-quality cameras. Such alcohol is often of poor quality, with a bad taste and a smelly smell. Distillate is a product made with a heart. Following all the rules of the art of distillation, using the highest quality raw materials, good distillation yeast and high-quality distillation apparatus. These can be high-quality fruit distillates as well as delicious and delicate-tasting grain vodkas, after which you will not have a headache the next day.
By preparing the distillate for the tincture, as in the case of the spirit for the tincture, we must obtain its proper power 60-70%. I wrote more about it in the article: What alcohol for the tincture.
One of the most popular distillates is sugar
Cukrówka is the colloquial name of a setting which includes water and sugar. Sugar is dissolved in an appropriate amount of water and then appropriate distiller's yeast is added, e.g.: COOBRA distiller's yeast or SpiritFerm distiller's yeast. After such a setting has been fermented, it is distilled, the result is pure alcohol with a strength of 80 to even 95% (the strength of the distillate obtained depends on the distillation apparatus at hand). Such alcohol is also commonly called sugar. The advantage of sugars is their very low price (largely dependent on sugar prices), high production speed on average from 2 do 8 days from the time of attitude to receiving alcohol, neutral taste.
One of the better distillates is the brandy
Winiak is colloquial, native name of the distillate formed after the distillation of the fruit setting. We can use any kind of fruit that suits us for a brandy. You should also obtain the appropriate fruit yeast. The fruits from which we are going to distill the brandy (fruit distillate) should be of good quality: ripe, tasty, aromatic. Crush the fruit and, after adding sugar syrup, ferment it with special yeast for fermentation of fruit sets, e.g.: SpiritFerm Turbo Fruit. After fermentation is finished, we distil the settings and we get aromatic alcohol. The most famous in the world alcohols obtained in this way are:
- Calvados - apple distillate
- Śliwowice - distillates obtained from plums
- Brandy, Grappa, Koniak, Metaxa - distillates obtained from grapes or grape marc after wine fermentation
The advantage of these distillates is their delicious taste, which will greatly affect the composition of the tincture, it will perfectly complement it by adding e.g.: plum distillate for plum tincture or cherry distillate for cherry tincture. However, you have to think about it, whether the distillate obtained is not worth keeping, aged on oak flakes and obtained a wonderful brandy (Polish homemade cognac).
Quality grain vodkas
Grain distillates are products obtained by distilling grain mash. Properly prepared cereals, malts or other starchy products (maize, potato, rice, etc..), undergoes mashing, i.e. the process of transforming unfermented starch into well-fermenting simple sugars. Then, after adding the appropriate species of distiller's yeast to the mash, fermentation takes place. This is how grain vodka is obtained, which is often much better than many vodka on the store shelf. For quality and tasty grain distillates, the production of which is time-consuming and labor-intensive, you should also consider whether it is worth keeping and tasting them after the aging period.
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