Wine for brandy

Discussions about beer and wine making.

Re: Wine for brandy

Postby woodduck » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:17 pm

I've just got a couple more questions for the brandy gurus.

Does the wine you use have to be the same variety eg, sharaz, cab sav etc?

Also does it matter if the wine is "corked" or leaked through the cork? I'm just not sure if any bad flavors will carry over. Would this crook stuff be better put aside and ran through for a neutral or even a cleaning run.

Cheers guys :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Wine for brandy

Postby RefluxEd » Mon Feb 09, 2015 12:43 pm

woodduck wrote:...Does the wine you use have to be the same variety eg, sharaz, cab sav etc?

Also does it matter if the wine is "corked" or leaked through the cork? I'm just not sure if any bad flavors will carry over. Would this crook stuff be better put aside and ran through for a neutral or even a cleaning run.:


Mixing the types could give a lovely complex grape flavour. In my experience the most dominant flavours come from the oak.
White wines have a fairly light taste in the spirit that comes off. The Pinot noir (red) that I'm currently processing has a stronger more peppery taste. I'm about a week away from sampling some I have on French oak dominoes and will try a little blending.

Many bottles that have been laying on their side leak a bit through the cork but are not "corked."
If it really is corked wine, I'd be a little hesitant. Corked wine that I've tried has been disgusting. :puke-huge:
As the saying goes, if you want a sound house you need a good foundation.

You could run it separately to get a grape based neutral, but don't risk fowling a good brandy.
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Re: Wine for brandy

Postby Roger » Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:58 pm

Emptied 32 bottles of various red wine blends into my boiler and ran twice through my 2" pot still. With my 2,000 watt Still Spirits boiler I wasn't able to lower the temperature but it wasn't running too hard - probably collecting 500ml every 5 to 6 minutes until the tails started kicking in. After some cuts have ended up with just over 4 litres at 65% and ready for some oak dominoes. Am thinking of putting in 10 to 15 grams dominoes per litre and tucking away for 6 months + with some fortnightly airing of the glass demi-john. Does this amount of oaking sound about right? Prefer less for longer to get a better quality. And would I be right to be able to call this a brandy?
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Re: Wine for brandy

Postby Sam. » Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:30 pm

The oak rate is about good mate some go 7g per litre and 15g is prob the max you want for long term aging :handgestures-thumbupleft:

And yes it will be brandy in the truest sense of the word, you wouldn't get any closer if you bought a bottle of brandy :D
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Re: Wine for brandy

Postby Roger » Tue Feb 17, 2015 7:16 pm

Excellent. Might go for 40g in the 4 litre demijohn. First brew other than sugar wash so looking forward to results!!
Thanks for all the help and advice!!!!
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Re: Wine for brandy

Postby Roger » Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:55 pm

First taste test last weekend against VSOP brandy. Bit rough and sharp. Lighter colour after watered down below 65%. But will patiently wait a few more months until I pass judgement. I have learnt to never criticise a job half way through!!
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Re: Wine for brandy

Postby Urrazeb » Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:04 pm

Roger wrote:First taste test last weekend against VSOP brandy. Bit rough and sharp. Lighter colour after watered down below 65%. But will patiently wait a few more months until I pass judgement. I have learnt to never criticise a job half way through!!

The best brandy (Cognac/Armagnac) I have tried was 40+ years old, it definitely gets better with age as we all do :)

Give it a few years on oak and it will reward you greatly :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Wine for brandy

Postby Zak Griffin » Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:51 pm

That's good to hear, Zeb, because I've got 10 litres of the stuff but I can't see myself needing to drink it for a decade or two :laughing-rolling:
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Re: Wine for brandy

Postby Roger » Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:19 pm

Bugger! In 40 years I will be smuggling it into my retirement village!! Hoping 6 months will make a difference :think:
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Re: Wine for brandy

Postby Urrazeb » Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:32 pm

Yeah 6 months will make a difference but it comes down to what your comfortable with. I tastsed many brandies that night and the 20yo ones were nice too! :laughing-rolling:
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Re: Wine for brandy

Postby Sam. » Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:59 pm

I reckon you will be fairly impressed after 6 months ;-)
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Re: Wine for brandy

Postby Roger » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:08 pm

So a progress update. 12 months + since I bottled. And it took six months to remove that rough edge. And since then has been getting better. In fact, at a recent blind test it was the favourite. And yes, it has been getting better and better. My conundrum - do I bottle after 12 months on oak and enjoy or see if it gets better and better. Sighs, one of life's tough decisions
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Re: Wine for brandy

Postby Dig Brinker » Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:58 pm

1 litre for now, 1 for 2020, 1 for 2025, 1 to smuggle into the retirement home :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Wine for brandy

Postby Urrazeb » Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:00 am

I'd bottle one up and leave it for another year, if you take samples off the oak each year you'll have a great range to compare later on.
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Re: Wine for brandy

Postby Roger » Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:10 pm

Just to clarify. When I said bottled a year ago I'm talking about put in a 5 litre Demi john with oak dominoes.

Was thinking of putting a bit in a 700 ml bottle watered down to 40%. But then the oak concentration for the remaining brandy in the Demi will increase. And would be devastated if I over oaked after so long. Still have some product from my T500 days left, before I need to access the brandy. So at this stage am inclined to wait a little longer.

Actually just did the sums so would need to put about 450ml into the 700ml bottle to make up the bottle. Which is about 10% of the Demi which shouldn't make too much of an impact.
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Re: Wine for brandy

Postby WTDist » Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:37 pm

Roger wrote:Just to clarify. When I said bottled a year ago I'm talking about put in a 5 litre Demi john with oak dominoes.

Was thinking of putting a bit in a 700 ml bottle watered down to 40%. But then the oak concentration for the remaining brandy in the Demi will increase. And would be devastated if I over oaked after so long. Still have some product from my T500 days left, before I need to access the brandy. So at this stage am inclined to wait a little longer.

Actually just did the sums so would need to put about 450ml into the 700ml bottle to make up the bottle. Which is about 10% of the Demi which shouldn't make too much of an impact.

Cut off 10% of the dominoe?
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