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How grappa is made

How grappa is made


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There grappa it is one of the most popular drinks, especially in Northern Italy, where for a long time the most traditional recipes have been handed down from generation to generation, in order to recreate a pleasant grappa.

With the first productions dating back to the Middle Ages, the idea behind this particularly strong and alcoholic drink derives from the use of skins, stems, seeds and other "by-products" of fruit, in search of an intoxicating liqueur with very determined.

Although grappa was originally created to be able to use every part of the fruit, so that nothing was wasted, in reality today this drink is often compared, with the same quality and dignity, to French cognacs or brandies.

Also keep in mind that grappa is a very symbolic drink. For example, it took a lot during the First World War to encourage soldiers to engage in battle despite themselves. Fortunately, after the great wars, its use became much more peaceful, and the Italians learned to appreciate it, savoring its taste, improving the quality of production, declining it in different facets, so much so that today there are many varieties of grappa, coming from many regions. .

But nobody forbids you to produce it independently. And, indeed, it is fair to say that in more recent times there are more and more people who have launched and ventured into the home production of grappa, learning to create real do-it-yourself delicacies.

By the way: how grappa is made? Are there any pointers newbies should keep in mind?

Of course, today it is possible to make grappa completely autonomously but… be careful not to make easy mistakes: although it is possible to make grappa at home, in reality obtaining an appreciable result is not as easy as you might expect.

The basics

Going in order, what you should do is buy the ripest fruit you can find on the market, and then wash and cut it.

Put the fruit together with the stems, seeds and peel in a large vat, or in a pan large enough to allow the fermentation process to begin. Seal the container. Some grappa producers put their fruit blend in glass containers and speed up the process by placing them in the sun to speed up fermentation: you can stop the fermentation process after a week.

Then, use a fruit press, blender, food processor, or other type of tool to help you pulverize fermented fruit into what grappa makers call "pomace." The goal will be to quickly squeeze the oxygen out of the mixture so as not to lose the precious aromas that are forming.

Then put the squeezed pulp in an alembic and heat it until you see steam. Check the temperature of the still to be sure that no material burns and spoils the flavor of the grappa. It will not take long before we see the grappa start moving through this structure to the final storage chamber.

How to work grappa

Eliminate the first grappa that reaches the storage chamber. As with most products of the distillation process, the first result has a bad taste, considering that it contains methane. So try to throw away the initial production.

Instead, check the rest of the grappa as it moves through the still and continue cooking. When you notice that the color is finally lightening, it means that the infusion is properly reducing, thus reaching the end of the process. Remove the tail of the grappa so that it does not dilute the finished product.

Read also: Woodruff, properties, herbal tea and grappa

The aging of grappa

At this point you will have to take care of the aging of this drink. Age the grappa you distilled in a stainless steel barrel or similar large container, unless you are lucky enough to have oak barrels (in this case, obviously, the drink will turn out to be even tastier).

In any case, seal the container and put it in a cool, dark place. Most vintners agree that six months is an adequate ripening period, although some suggest that it would probably be possible to taste the grappa after three months to see if it is ready for consumption.

At this point, once you are satisfied with the taste, you can bottle the grappa. Some winemakers recommend filtering the liqueur through a filter before bottling, but in reality it is not necessary. Instead, divide the grappa into glass bottles, seal with corks and get ready to amaze your guests once you present it for tasting at the end of the meal, or whenever you want!

Advice

Of course, the above recipe is a simplification of what is a real art, and you will certainly not be able to tell yourself a "master" of grappa by following the few indications that we have summarized above.

Moreover, feel free to use any type of product to prepare your grappa. Follow tradition and use grapes or select other seasonal harvests. Talk to vendors at local fruit and vegetable markets to get their suggestions.

Furthermore, as you can well imagine, as with all distillation experiments, you may have to prepare grappa several times and with a variety of fruit bases to obtain a final result that satisfies your taste buds. In the meantime, have fun tasting your grappa along this experimentation path!


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