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Old 06-01-2011, 02:38 AM   #1
beninan
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Default Help deciphering Grandma's brandy recipe

Basically the title explains it.

My grandmother sent me this brandy recipe after she found out that I have been making my own beer and wine. I'd like to make it sometime and give some to her, but I'm not quite sure on one ingredient. Knowing her, this is a recipe from god-knows-when, most likely during the early prohibition era. I'm planning on tweaking the recipe to something that's a little more "up to today's wine-making standards".

The recipe exactly as written:

"Brandy
3 Gallons warm water
10# Sugar
4 Lemons cut in eights
3 Quarts fruit firmly packed
1 Large cake yeast
Mix well and cover. Stir once a day for 7 days. Then add
4# seedless raisins, let stand for 21 days.
Do not stir after the 7th day. Let stand 28 days total, makes 15 pints."

The fourth ingredient is what I'm stumped at. "3 quarts fruit"? Uh, what kind of fruit? And should I do anything with it, like slice it, or shred it, or blend it?
I'll be contacting her sometime on what exactly she means by this, but I'm interested in what you guys think. Like I said ^ up there somewhere, I'll be tweaking this a bit and use some quality wine yeast and definitely extending the aging time.



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Old 06-01-2011, 02:58 AM   #2
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fruit be fruit, just don't use citrus.
if it was fruit, it was brewed with. people from that generation didn't let anything go to waste.



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Old 06-01-2011, 03:02 AM   #3
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Why not citrus?

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Old 06-01-2011, 03:05 AM   #4
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Grapes would make the most sense.

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Old 06-01-2011, 03:08 AM   #5
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I was just reading some other threads, the consensus seems to be blackberries and cherries. Also, it's not a real brandy unless it's distilled, this is more of a 'fruit wine'.. I guess?

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Old 06-01-2011, 03:09 AM   #6
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I don't know anything about brandy, so I'm not sure what sort of "fruit" a brandy consists of. I'll have to do some research. Not sure of "no citrus" though, as the recipe has you add 4 sliced lemons. Maybe a brandy has no citrus? Beats me...

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Old 06-01-2011, 03:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmate View Post
I was just reading some other threads, the consensus seems to be blackberries and cherries. Also, it's not a real brandy unless it's distilled, this is more of a 'fruit wine'.. I guess?
I think it's intended to be a brandywine, but then again, I'm not really sure what the make-up of a brandywine is.

Edit: just researched a bit. Turns out, it seems that "brandy" is short for "brandywine", which seems to be a distilled wine. So maybe when she called this "brandy", it wasn't a good choice for a name. Anyway, I guess "fruit wine" would be the most appropriate name.
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Last edited by beninan; 06-01-2011 at 03:16 AM. Reason: reseach, and you will see light
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Old 06-01-2011, 03:14 AM   #8
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I think he recommended "no citrus" because it's harder to ferment due to being so acidic. But citrus is doable.. look up "skeeter-pee" to see what I mean. Course, if you use it in this, it won't be brandy - it'll be skeeter pee

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Old 06-01-2011, 03:17 AM   #9
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Technically, "Brandy" is the distillate of fermented grapes, and ONLY from grapes, but there is a colloquial usage with a long history that links the term to flavored hooch, flavored neutral spirit, strong fruit wines, etc., so really this recipe can be called whatever you want to call it, and I would suggest you use whatever "fruit" you would like the flavor of. (what I would really do, though, is replace the sugar with a gallon (~12 lbs) of honey and call it a Melomel and give it some really good ageing time)

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Old 06-01-2011, 03:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stout-n-Braggot View Post
Technically, "Brandy" is the distillate of fermented grapes, and ONLY from grapes, but there is a colloquial usage with a long history that links the term to flavored hooch, flavored neutral spirit, strong fruit wines, etc., so really this recipe can be called whatever you want to call it, and I would suggest you use whatever "fruit" you would like the flavor of. (what I would really do, though, is replace the sugar with a gallon (~12 lbs) of honey and call it a Melomel and give it some really good ageing time)
That does sound delicious, but I don't want to venture too far from this recipe just yet, aside from changing some processes.


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