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Old 01-21-2011, 01:16 AM   #1
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Default Old "Fruit Brandy" recipe???? Help

I got a recipe from a friend that was actually something she found from her late father. It is what he called in the recipe a "fruit brandy" but since no distilling is done I assume it is technically a fruit wine.

He makes no distinction in the recipe as to what yeast to use, but here is the recipe/directions:

3 gallons of boiled water cooled
3lbs of cut up fruit (of any kind)
10lbs of sugar

Put all above ingredients in fermenter and pitch yeast

Stir once a day for 7 days, then add 4 lbs of raisins
Let sit for 4 weeks
Siphon "brandy" off of sediment

I think he was using baker's yeast, but I have no way of knowing. Any suggestions as to what I should use for this? I'd like to try it out and see what happens.
Thanks!!

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Old 01-21-2011, 03:55 PM   #2
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Seems like it would turn out as a really weak flavored, higher alcohol wine. Most basic fruit wine recipes call for 3lbs of fruit per gallon, so this recipe is much less than that. From what I can find out, about 3lbs of sugar per gallon will get you around 1.100 SG with an alc% of maybe 14% with the fruit added, so nowhere near as strong as one would expect from brandy.

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Old 01-21-2011, 04:39 PM   #3
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That's almost exactly the way I do mine except I use 5 Gallons of Water. I also use WL champagne yeast. Boosts the ABV and dry's the flavor a bit. (I'm not a huge sweet finish fan)

The last one I did was with pears. And BTW I use white raisins too.

My favorites have been with Blackberry, and with Cherry

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Old 01-21-2011, 08:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hophead75 View Post
Seems like it would turn out as a really weak flavored, higher alcohol wine. Most basic fruit wine recipes call for 3lbs of fruit per gallon, so this recipe is much less than that. From what I can find out, about 3lbs of sugar per gallon will get you around 1.100 SG with an alc% of maybe 14% with the fruit added, so nowhere near as strong as one would expect from brandy.
I assumed that because he probably used baker's yeast that possibly some of the fruit sugars weren't able to be fermented out(don't know, just a guess)...this would make 3lbs of fruit + 4lbs of raisins more than enough I would think...(again, a guess)

I put "Fruit Brandy" in quotes because it can't be a brandy if it hasn't been through a distilling process.

My question isn't with the recipe, it's with what yeast to use...
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunfighter04 View Post
That's almost exactly the way I do mine except I use 5 Gallons of Water. I also use WL champagne yeast. Boosts the ABV and dry's the flavor a bit. (I'm not a huge sweet finish fan)

The last one I did was with pears. And BTW I use white raisins too.

My favorites have been with Blackberry, and with Cherry
That was my line of thinking...that a wine or champagne yeast would be able to ferment out more of the fruit sweets than a bakers yeast and would give me a less sweet higher abv...
I'm not sure how to try it first...maybe a half batch with bakers yeast first and then go from there.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:48 PM   #6
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you can use any wine yeast you want. I mostly use Red Star Montrachet. It is a good all round yeast and i think it quits around 15%

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Old 01-21-2011, 09:28 PM   #7
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what does the addition of the raisins do to the "brandy"?

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Old 01-21-2011, 10:10 PM   #8
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I got nearly the same recipe from a relative, except it added 1 quartered lemon per gallon for acid I assume. The result was way sour and I'll be using acid blend from now on.

The raisins added a week later seem to be a poor man's staggard nutrient addition while also raising the alcohol. I think they end up pushing the abv. to ~18% which is why people call it a "brandy". The name bugged me too since you aren't distilling anything.

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Old 01-22-2011, 03:28 AM   #9
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Oops, yeah this recipe says to add 1 lemon for the 3 gallon batch also... I suppose 1 per 3 gallons is better than 1 per gallon...

I went ahead and picked up some red star Pasteur Champagne yeast from my LHBS...maybe tomorrow I'll get this thing going. I'll report back on any progress or interesting developments.

Thanks all

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Old 01-27-2011, 12:27 AM   #10
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Here's an update so far...and I have some concerns.

I put this "fruit brandy" together on Sat night(4 days ago) and I do have some signs of fermentation...but it is REALLY slow.

Like no airlock activity, but I can hear it fizzing in the bucket. The recipe says to stir it everyday, and when I do it's like I'm stirring up a bucket of pop. There is A LOT of CO2 release whenever I stir, but nothing of what I would consider normal fermentation yet(again, normal for me is what I've seen so far in 6 or 7 batches of beer).

Is this sluggish a start "normal" for something like this that was probably 1.100 or more in OG? (with virtually no change yet)

Since I know there is "something" happening I'm not panic'd but I would sure have thought it would have picked up by now 4 full days in.

Thoughts on that?
Thanks!

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