Bettina Malle, Helge Schmickl
Publisher: Spikehorn Press U.S.A.,
© 2015
150 pages, hardcover, full-color
photographs & illustrations
ISBN: 978-1-943015-04-7

Table of Contents

German Version

Bettina Malle, Helge Schmickl
Verlag Die Werkstatt
13. überarbeitete Auflage 2017
174 Seiten, Hardcover,
durchgehend farbig bebildert
ISBN: 978-3-89533-411-5


The Artisan’s Guide to Crafting Distilled Spirits

If you would like to make schnapps yourself in the best quality, you can learn the art of distilling hands-on with the help of our book The Artisan’s Guide to Crafting Distilled Spirits:

  • Making a mash – the foundation of homemade schnapps
  • Distillation
  • Making schnapps yourself – the still
  • Dilution of schnapps
  • Numerous recipesfor mash, spirits and infusions

Making a mash

To obtain a good distillate, you must first of all make the perfect mash. The quality of the mash is decisive for homemade schnapps. Using rotten and dirty fruit can never lead to high-quality schnapps. In the book, you will find precise guides and recipes to make these mashes easily yourself, and you will find out everything about possible problems during fermentation and what measures can then be taken.


The book contains a detailed description of how to separate the heads, hearts and tails. When is it necessary to double-distil the mash, and under what conditions is single distillation adequate for homemade schnapps? You will find out exactly how you can distil a good brandy at home yourself.

Making schnapps yourself – the still

How does the optimum still have to be setup correctly from a process technology perspective? What materials can I use? How do I construct or alternatively recognize a functional still? Regardless of whether you build the still yourself or buy it, here you can acquire the necessary know-how to end up with the perfect still for your homemade schnapps.

Dilution of schnapps

Detailed description of the dilution process including calculation for making the perfect schnapps yourself. Furthermore, you will find tips on the storage and artificial aging of your homemade schnapps.


Numerous recipes for homemade schnapps with precise information for mashes, infusions and spirits. Discover how you can make the greatest variety of mashes and distillates at home yourself.

Table of contents

Table of contents:


  1. The Foundations and Traditions of Distilling
  2. Mashes
    HOW IS ALCOHOL FORMED?; An excursion into chemistry; The fermentation process;
    Which fruits can be used to make the mash?; Preparing the fruit; Fermentation container; Adding water; Conventional mash; Adding pure cultured yeast; Checking the pH value; Pectinate; Alcohol content of conventional mash; High-grade mash with added sugar; What are the advantages of a high-grade mash?; Preparing a high-grade mash; Checking the progress of the fermentation; Measuring the alcohol content in the mash with a vinometer; Fermentation log; When is the fermentation complete?; Problems during fermentation; Filtration of the mash; Storing the mash; Making a mash from grains, corn or potatoes (starch products)
  3. Stills
    Principles of construction; The pot still variant; Materials; Kettle; Column and lyne arm; Condenser; Different still types; Small Schmickl stills; Jacketed kettles; Reflux or rectification stills; Combination stills; Large stills (pot still and reflux); Buying a still; Using the still; Filling; Emptying and cleaning
  4. Distilling
    Introduction; Heads; Fine brandy; Tails; Separation of heads and tails; Relative proportions of the three parts; Antifoam; Single or double distillation?; Diluting to a drinkable strength; Determining the alcohol content; Calculating the amount of water needed for dilution; Cloudiness; Treatment with activated carbon; Flavor-neutral alcohol; Storage
  5. Mash recipes
    Excellent mash, excellent schnapps; Fruit wine; Filtering the mash; Pressing out the solid components; Extracting the fruit wine; Storage
  6. Infusions
    Required materials; Recipes
  7. Spirits
    The principle of making spirits; Basic materials; Recipes; Comparison of the production methods
  8. Essential oils
  9. Drinking culture
    Bottling and labelling; Enjoyment and quality check; Other countries, other customs
  10. Legal situation
    Germany; Austria; Distilling rights; Food code; Switzerland; Making spirits and distilling infusions
  11. Frequently asked questions
    Harvest calendar

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