Alcohol Question?

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Okay, I'm really going to show my ignorance this time :D Does anyone know what distinguishes wine from brandy? Is it process, ingredients, alcohol content or what? My peach wine is very strong and leaves a warm coating on my throat like brandy would. It's very good but more like brandy than wine. Could I have accidently made brandy?
 

Luc

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Wine has a far lower alcohol percentage. As yeast dies at a maximum percentage of about 15%, wine can never get an alcohol percentage that is higher as that.
Ok,ok I know there are some exceptions, this is generally speaking.

Now in holland (the Netherlands) we call distilled wines: brandewijn.

Look at the first part: brande
Brande is (old) Dutch for burning.

So the word may come from the process (heating) or from burning the throat from the high alcohol.

That is where the word brandy probably comes from.

So no way you can accidentely have made that.

What you are experiencing is probably a high alcohol wine (12% op a bit up) with a high acidity. That burns the throat........

Luc
 

AlFulchino

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my understanding..to add what Luc has said....is in terms of history...in days gone by Britain learned to love wines from the European mainland...specifically France.....it was very heavy to ship...so they boiled it down to reduce its weight, w the intention of reconstituting w water when they got it to merry ole England.....lo and behold they found they enjoyed the un-reconstituted form...commonly known today as brandy
 

Wade E

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Brandy is a distilled wine like said above. What you are probably encountering is a win e that needs aging to mellow out. How young is this wine and what was the starting and finished sg of this wine?
 
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Wow! Thanks for all the interesting backround and information. I've always wondered these things. So I'm guessing if I were to distill it into brandy, that would be illegal, right?
Wade, you are correct in saying that it probably needs some aging to mellow out. It was made in Aug '09. I don't have any "real" equipment yet, so I can't give the sg. I used bread yeast and am suprised at the heavy alcohol taste with each wine as this is the only kind of yeast I've been using thus far. I will check out some of the maker sites and get proper equipment and ingredients soon.
 

Mud

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Yeah. Distilling is illegal unless you're a commercial enterprise.
 

Wade E

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Ive heard that it is possible in few states like yours to get a permit to produce small amounts of alc as long as it wasnt for sale, dont know how true it is. Mani, do you have a hydrometer? If not I highly recommend getting 1 before trying to make anymore wine. This $6 tool will help you make a wine that wont need as much aging as it tells you how much alc you can make out of any batch of juice. Its very easy to read, really, just like a thermometer except it floats in the liquid and you just read the nuber at where its flaoting. Here is a link to where you can get one and below that is what it looks like.
http://www.finevinewines.com/ProdDetA.asp?PartNumber=5451

hydrometer-closeup.jpg
 

myakkagldwngr

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It's my understanding that the process of distilling brandy is looked upon almost like evaporation. They try to do it very slowly so as much of the base flavor will carry over through the distilling process.
 

arcticsid

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Grapestompers is a great site I go to from time to time.

In addition to Brandy, Cognac to is a distilled wine.
 

arcticsid

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Our meber woodbee sent me a bit of his apple medira(sp?) this last Christmas. He slowly "cooks" in an Etuffa. Not quite distilling, but I have to say, that stuff was GOOD! Mulled just a bit, it would cure the common cold without a doubt.
 

arcticsid

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Not sure Manic, I think it may be. I have had some top shelf brandy before that was as good as cognac. I don't drink much liquor so I never thought about it much.

I'd be curious to learn the answer to that myself.
 
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Wow, thanks! So basically it's the same only distilled in different parts of the world. I love this site! You guys are all so great! The more I learn, the more hooked I've become!
 

arcticsid

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I had a feeling that was the answer but wasn't sure. After I found that answer I did remember hearing that before.

Glad you enjoy the forum. Most everyone in here became hooked pretty quickly!! LOL

Brewing your own wine and beer is loads of enjoyment as I am sure you have gathered by now.

So what have you or interested in making?

Troy
 
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I have only made "country" wines so far. Blueberry, Peach, Mulberry, Clover N Honey and Fig. I only started just last spring so this is what I have so far.

I would love to do Muscadine or Scuppernong and also Dandelion this year. I may do some herbal experiments also and maybe some florals like honeysuckle.

I just recently roasted some dandelion root as they say it's like a coffee substitute. Tasted more like tea to me but very delicious! I may play with that flavor for a wine. I like to experiment with flavors.
 

arcticsid

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St Allie, if she doen't mind me saying so is the one to ask, She is our main county wine gal in here, she likes to play with flavors.

Glad you enjoy the forum. Hope you find some inspiration in here to try new things.

Troy
 

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