How to Make Alcohol - Discussion

Would you like to exchange your experiences with other schnapps distillers? Everything in this forum revolves around distilling spirits at home - how to make alcohol. Please observe our forum rules (see Helpful tips for use).

June 2018:

It has now been an unbelievable 16 years (!) since the last major change to the website and forums. When you think that two to three years are an eternity for the Internet sector, that is really something. In any case, there has been so much going on in terms of technology that it has become urgently necessary to completely redesign not only the forums, but also the entire website, from scratch and bring the programming up to date. Naturally, along with this we also introduced various new features; for example it was high time we allowed pictures to be uploaded with a forum post too or enabled users to subscribe to the forums via RSS feeds. And of course we have subsequently included pictures that are saved on external websites and were then integrated here using an img tag, so that no valuable information is lost. In any case, we hope you continue to have fun swapping experiences and trying things out.

Juni 2002:

At this point, we would first like to extend a big thank-you to all the users of our specialist questions for their lively involvement. Without you, we could never have developed such an informative and high-quality reference guide in such a short time (the first post dates from April 8, 1999). The large number of posts and high numbers of visitors made it necessary for us to develop the specialist questions ourselves using PHP and MySQL (at last no more annoying advertising banners!). During the course of this, we have hopefully introduced several improvements.


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So, that’s it. We hope you have a lot of fun swapping experiences, reading, posting and naturally also trying things out afterwards. Dr Malle & Dr Schmickl Dr. Malle & Dr. Schmickl

Distillate flavor

DocDistiller am 17.03.2020 00:52:44 | Region: USA

I have run 4 “batches” of product through my still (Whiskey Still, USA). One potato mash, one hard cider, one “beer” with a cranberry tart. These were my inexpensive, easy practice runs. The fourth distillate was a tart cherry mash created last July. Fermentation was vigorous using turbo yeast, and produced a beautiful burgundy colored mash that smelled and tasted of the fresh cherries and had a high alcohol content (by taste. I have no way to measure the wort, but tasted like very strong wine).

From 5 gallons of mash, I harvested about 1gallon of schnapps at an ABV of 65%, then diluted to 43 ABV.

Problem: All taste the same—like pure alcohol! I had high hopes for the cherry. Why no flavor? I placed about 10% of pits and pulp in a basket, but must admit it was below fluid level during distillation (short legs). I may wait for cherry season to return and do an infusion, but how can I get flavor in the straight schnapps?

I have a pear mash that will be ready to distill in a few weeks (made 6 months ago).

Thank you!

RE: Distillate flavor

Tom am 20.03.2020 13:01:32 | Region: nowhere
The undiluted ABV is a bit high, but principally in the right range for a pot still, so you didn't reflux too much. Too much reflux causes losses of aromatic substances. You write: "I placed about 10% of pits and pulp in a basket". First, you don't need a steamer basket if distilling (fruit) mash, second, does this mean you used only about 10 % of the pulp? Thus, you distilled only the liquid and added just a quite low portion of the solid parts? You should use everything for distillation, liquid AND all pits and solid parts. Thus insert the basket in the kettle and pour the unfiltered mash into the kettle. The basket has to be covered entirely by the mash, just to avoid burning the content while distilling.

Good luck!

RE: Distillate flavor

DocDistiller am 23.03.2020 01:56:00 | Region: USA

My mistake. I only used a portion of the fruit pulp and pits. How do I distill 5+gal through a 2gal still? Agitate entire mash and do in batches?

RE: Distillate flavor

Tom am 23.03.2020 09:14:35 | Region: nowhere

Yes, stir well, pour the mixture into the kettle, and distill the content. Repeat this process until you've used up all of your mash.