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Any Experince With Carbonic Maceration?

Looking for advice on carbonic maceration. I want to do some fruit brandies next summer and would like to try it.

Does anyone have any advice?

Is it worth it?

I've done a little bit of research but it boils down to Throw stuff in a container, close it, wait. VOILA!.

Comments

  • edited September 24

    I'd say do a side by side and let your sensory awareness team make the call.

    Not sure how much more the fruity goodness will carry over with out employing an Armagnac approach?

    Just thinking out loud. No practical exposure to the process what so ever.

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  • Evidently, the wine produced is intended to be consumed young.

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  • There may be some benefit to true carbonic masceration (co2 purging) in distillation, primarily due to preservation of volatile organics from the fruit itself (due to the far slower fermentation), and perhaps secondarily in reducing acetaldehyde and other negative oxidation byproducts.

    Suspect the larger the fruit, the more challenging this method is, you wouldn't want to be in a position where your fruit rots and molds before it ferments.

  • edited September 25

    But like @Smaug says, the primary benefits for winemakers (reduced tannins, softer young wines), are irrelevant to distillers.

    Feel like brewers have been using the term a lot recently to sound fancier than they really are.

  • Now on the otherhand I do love a port because of my sugar and alcohol addiction. Two birds with one stone as they say.

    So maybe a fortified wine is the way to go and get the break on the tax ah la the Southern Comfort model?

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  • Breakfast of champions.

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  • I was researching Slivovitz.

    It seems like a mixture of wild fermentation and partial carbonic maceration for fermentation. Not sure how optimal it is. I know that around here there's a huge Eastern European population that keeps asking us to make it so I at least have to try.

    Peaches are a big thing here too so that would be fun to try. I can't seem to get much peach flavor no matter how I work with them so maybe it will help. (I know it won't but I can at least pretend until proven otherwise.)

  • To me this (carbonic fermentation) does not belong in the terroir of distilling, primarily because it limits alcohol fermentation. .... well that's my take on it. I get the brandy side of it but @SingleMaltYinzer are you more thinking of trying to get a heavier fruit flavour coming through. In this case you would need to distill through the fruit.

  • edited September 25

    Always wondered what would happen if you steam or vacuum distilled the fruit first, to capture the volatile organic aromas and flavors, then fermented the remaining fruit, distilled, and recombined.

    Heresy! But I bet the end result will be far more representative of the base fruit.

    Two major issues with fruit. Blowing off these volatile aromas during fermentation, and then having to cut them out during your heads cut.

    If there is any magic here, it's the brutally slow and cool fermentations.

  • @richard said: are you more thinking of trying to get a heavier fruit flavour coming through. In this case you would need to distill through the fruit.

    Yes. I want heavier fruit flavor contribution without having to back flavor. I prefer dry spirits. I will say though that your brain has trouble associating some fruit flavors without sugar. Dry spirits tend to have very low recognition. Throw it in with something sweet and the proper flavor will bloom. Back flavoring helps with both fruit flavor and sugar but it's not what I what I would consider a elegant eau de vie.

    @grim said: Always wondered what would happen if you steam or vacuum distilled the fruit first, to capture the volatile organic aromas and flavors, then fermented the remaining fruit, distilled, and recombined. Heresy! But I bet the end result will be far more representative of the base fruit.

    Interesting. I need to think on that one a bit.

    @grim said: Two major issues with fruit. Blowing off these volatile aromas during fermentation, and then having to cut them out during your heads cut. If there is any magic here, it's the brutally slow and cool fermentations.

    Yes. I'm ok with long ferments. Soon I will have a ton of space so putting something off to the side for a month or more would be easy.

    Some inspiration for this wanting to make eau de vie comes from Stahlemuhle:

    https://vimeo.com/39184670

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxGwveivNPU

  • edited September 26

    @SingleMaltYinzer said: I will say though that your brain has trouble associating some fruit flavors without sugar.

    100%

    Also, there are non-volatile flavor components that are very important in some fruits as well. You'll never get these flavors without macerating.

  • Pisco. For me (based on my limited exposure) pisco seems to be the most representative when I think of fruit aromatics

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  • @grim said: Two major issues with fruit. Blowing off these volatile aromas during fermentation, and then having to cut them out during your heads cut.

    I also think this goes to the other thread about the high ester still that you said that some ester can be destroyed with heat. With fruit, I think, the game is stacked against us.

  • 2 items about this thread:

    1. Carbonic Maceration works well with fruit driven grape varieties (Gamay) and poorly with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon if they have high levels of pyrazines (bell pepper type flavors). Please note that it evolved as a technique in an area that is cold and difficult to develop RIPE fruit flavors in red varieties i.e. North of Burgundy and more like Alsace or Champagne than the Rhone or Languedoc. Not sure if the technique would really accomplish anything with a fruit other than grapes.

    2. Peaches/Stone fruits are the most delicate to distill and need especially controlled fermentation and Distillation temperatures in order to preserve the aromas in the final distillate. Reference the fruit schnapps/spirits books of Josef Pischel and Bettina Malle for more printed reference information on how to try to get more fruit aroma and flavor out of your fermentation and distillation.

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