Apple brandy/calvados

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scott.campion

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I’ve just successfully distilled some cider into apple brandy, and am wondering if anyone had recommendations for next steps. I’m planning to leave half raw and attempt to oak/age the rest into pseudo calvados, using charred oak cubes/strips/something in mason jars. Has anyone done this? Thoughts on amount, type of wood, and char? Amount of time? I’ve got a little more than 2 gallons total.

The raw is quite nice, but I’m insanely biased from seeing it develop from wild apples on the trees to distilled spirits.
 

docbot

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I'm on the same path: Calvados. Have been doing it ca. 10 years or so now. Getting a reliably drinkable pseudo calvados. My best stuff has come from a real 8 gallon American white oak barrel from Black Swan, but I've had quite acceptable stuff from: a) smaller oak barrels from Texas... yikes. b) oak chips - but my first batch I overdid the oak and had to call the batch "Docbot Black". At least one good friend still recalls that batch as one of his favorites. "but I’m insanely biased from seeing it develop from wild apples on the trees to distilled spirit" - YOU GO!!!
 

Bombo80

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I toasted my own apple wood. I tried to keep it on the low end to get more of the vanilla notes. It turned out really good. I need to get another one going.
 
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scott.campion

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Following up on my own post here. I used some small oak cubes, about 1 CM per side. I put 4, 6, and 8 cubes in different 1-qt mason jars for about 4 weeks, and the 8 cubes jars was clearly the best. Smoother, less bite, and a nice hint of vanilla. The only thing is that when drinking the "unaged" white brnady, about half of tasters insisted they could still taste some apple, and half thought they were being crazy. For the aged stuff, no one thinks they can taste any apple.

 
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