Author Topic: Preserving Summer Goodness -- Raspberry, Blueberry, Cherry, Blackberry Liqueurs  (Read 3572 times)

Offline Tomer1

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Re: Preserving Summer Goodness -- Raspberry & Blueberry Liqueurs
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2012, 12:11:52 PM »
Quote
It seems like the original Pallini Raspicello had a higher degree of mouth feel
Not all fruits are created equal.  some are light some medium and some are full bodied.
There are inactivated yeast based products like biolees which can enhance body and smoothness if your willing to go there.
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Preserving Summer Goodness -- Raspberry & Blueberry Liqueurs
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2012, 06:43:25 PM »
I had estimated getting about 64 ounces of juice from the 8 pounds of blueberries. I got 58 ounces. I had already put in as much grain alcohol as I had. That was 14 oz of Everclear (75.5%ABV) and 32 oz of Smirnoff vodka (40%ABV). That gave me 46 oz of almost 51%ABV (50.65%). The 46 oz of alcohol plus the 58 oz of juice was going to divide the alcohol potency down to roughly 22%...and I still hadn't added sweetener yet.

So I did a few extra calculations, adding 8 oz additional 75.5% Everclear and 8 oz of Simple Syrup (2:1 ratio), and arrived at almost 25%ABV (24.75%). I could live with that. It's closer to the target of 26% that the Pallini Raspicello and Peachcello had. I also added the remainder of the last bottle of glycerine that I had which was probably around 3 oz. I wished that I had bought a larger bottle.

So what did I learn with this project?
  • I found that it's less complicated to use the highest potency grain alcohol that I can and don't try to mix to cut the alcohol level. It will be cut with the volume of fruit juice used and the addition of the simple syrup and glycerine (if that is used).
  • The filtering process went well and improved with each time I did a batch of fruit. The blueberry was coarse-filtered to get a majority of the really heavy fruit seeds and pulp, followed by a double layer of flour sack which trapped additional pulp, and finally two passes of a 4-layer flour sack filter.
  • When using the type of cap I used ("T-cap"), allow a little air gap in the neck of the bottle to allow for compression of the air inside. Otherwise, the cap slowly eases its way out of the neck.
  • Even though I added quite a bit of glycerine to the mix, none of the liqueurs ended up like syrup. Far from it.
  • As I expected, the blueberry character is fairly thin. I used a lot of fruit and end up with a lot of nice juice, but the blueberry taste is very elusive.
  • I was fortunate to identify unique bottles to hold these liqueurs. I firmly believe in presentation. A lot of analogies here: "dress for success", "lipstick on a pig", "clothes make the man". It's all in the marketing. If it looks good on the outside, there's a decent chance that it will be matched on the inside. And it certainly looks more inviting than an old Mason jar. ;)
  • I also went to VistaPrint to have the labels made. Not too bad. Better than an indelible pen, which is more suited to labeling my cheese vacuum bags.
  • I got the food-grade vegetable glyerine from Amazon. The bottle stoppers and heat-shrinkable sleeves came from my local brew supply store.

I hope to report a tasty treat in several months after these puppies have had a chance to rest and age a little.  8)

-Boofer-
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 09:15:52 AM by Boofer »
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Offline hoeklijn

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Re: Preserving Summer Goodness -- Raspberry & Blueberry Liqueurs
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2012, 01:53:37 PM »
Oh man, this is looking so nice. Brings back a lot of memories from the time I used to make wine myself... I still have almost 1 liter of 90% alcohol (imported from Luxembourg, because it's not for sale here) and one of these days I'm going to use that for a Cointreau-like liqueur...
- Herman -

Offline Boofer

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Re: Preserving Summer Goodness -- Raspberry & Blueberry Liqueurs
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2012, 10:20:51 PM »
Oh man, this is looking so nice. Brings back a lot of memories from the time I used to make wine myself... I still have almost 1 liter of 90% alcohol (imported from Luxembourg, because it's not for sale here) and one of these days I'm going to use that for a Cointreau-like liqueur...
Okay, Herman, where's the recipe? Sounds interesting.

One of these days, huh?  ;)

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Offline hoeklijn

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Re: Preserving Summer Goodness -- Raspberry & Blueberry Liqueurs
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2012, 06:02:52 AM »
OK, here it is in short version:
Clean an orange, a tangerine and a lemon very good (brush it with warm water). Cut the lemon in half.
String them on a nylon fishing line. Get a jar that is big enough for the fruit. Put 200 ml of 90% alcohol in it.
Hang the fruit in the jar, above the alcohol. Close it air tight and keep it in a cool dark place for 6 weeks.
Remove the fruit and mix the alcohol with water and inverted sugar to the right strength (I have a formula for this somewhere at home, but I'm pretty sure you know what I mean...)
- Herman -


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Offline Boofer

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Re: Preserving Summer Goodness -- Raspberry & Blueberry Liqueurs
« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2012, 09:31:45 AM »
I have seen other recipes similar to yours which suspend the fruit above the alcohol. I find it amazing that the magic happens and the citrus essence is able to incorporate into the alcohol.

Here's another take on the recipe:

"Cointreau is a French brand of triple sec, an orange-flavored liqueur, and is made from bitter oranges. If you are able to find bitter oranges use them in place of the oranges and lime. Cointreau is consumed both as an apéritif and as a digestif. Though stronger than a triple sec (which has anywhere between 15 and 40% alcohol), Cointreau (40% alcohol) is often considered either a triple sec or in a category of its own.

Yield:
1 Liters

Ingredients:
1 1/2 liters brandy
6 oranges
1 lime
4 cups of sugar
1 cup water

Preparation:
  • Using a fine grater, grate the outer peel off the oranges and lime Avoid getting the bitter white rind
  • Pour out enough of the brandy to make room for the citrus zest. Add the zest to the bottle and recap.
  • Let sit for 4 weeks, gently turning the bottle daily to incorporate the flavors.
  • After 4 weeks: Carefully strain the liquid over a large bowl or container using a fine strainer to remove the citrus bits.
  • Then, strain again through a coffee filter to further clarify the liqueur.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat make a simple syrup with the water and sugar. Heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • Add the simple syrup to the liquid and rebottle. Let sit for an addition 4 weeks, gently turning daily.
Source URL: http://www.foodista.com/recipe/LS433ZR2/homemade-cointreau"

Yep, since I'm already in this line of thinking, I think I might try this out too.

-Boofer-

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Offline hoeklijn

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Re: Preserving Summer Goodness -- Raspberry & Blueberry Liqueurs
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2012, 09:52:58 AM »
 Sounds really good too. Think I need an extra holiday  O0 Webshops here that sell stuff for making beer also have a lot of essences for liqueur so you can make anything you want, they even have special "water"distillers....
- Herman -

Offline Tomer1

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Re: Preserving Summer Goodness -- Raspberry & Blueberry Liqueurs
« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2012, 05:28:31 AM »
Gewurztraminer grapes are coming tomorrow :)
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Preserving Summer Goodness -- Raspberry & Blueberry Liqueurs
« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2012, 10:17:02 AM »
Gewurztraminer grapes are coming tomorrow :)
And what will you do with them?

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Offline goatherdess

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Re: Preserving Summer Goodness -- Raspberry & Blueberry Liqueurs
« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2012, 10:42:22 AM »
Wow! To me this post is really amazing and very creative. It looks so wonderful - I'm impressed!


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Offline Boofer

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Re: Preserving Summer Goodness -- Raspberry, Blueberry, & Cherry Liqueurs
« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2012, 10:18:29 AM »
Dark cherries are currently in season. Even though I had gone through the process of making raspberry and blueberry liqueurs, it occurred to me that another ruby-hued liqueur in time for the holidays would be quite festive.

I'm still in my learning phase with these liqueurs with the Pallini Raspicello and Peachcello as guide markers on my quest. Those two drinks have a 26% ABV potency and a slightly viscous mouthfeel. I am also using Villa Massa Limoncello as an example. It boasts a 30% ABV with a similar viscous character. I had thought that adding glycerine to the final product when bottling my raspberry and blueberry liqueurs would provide the viscous characteristic I was seeking, but that didn't really achieve my goal.

So yesterday I washed, sliced, and mashed 5 pounds of fresh dark cherries I had just purchased from the store. I had 3 cups of Everclear left over from making the blueberry liqueur. I stirred that into the broken cherries, put the lid on, and placed the jar in the coolest, darkest part of the house with a towel around it to further exclude the light. There it will sit, with an occasional stir, for 2 months. Around October 15th, I'll strain the alcoholic liquid from the fruit pulp and add in my Not-So-Simple-Syrup (NSSS).

Starting with a base alcohol of 75.5% strength, my desire is to divide that in thirds, arriving at a target final strength of around 25%. The other two thirds of the liqueur would be made up of fruit juice and "NSSS". That goal should put me close to the 26% potency of the previously mentioned Pallini liqueurs.

I've bemoaned the confusion and disagreement of what constitutes "Simple Syrup". Some mark it as a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. Others post it as a 2:1 ratio, sugar to water. I used a 2:1 ratio for my raspberry and blueberry liqueurs. I discovered another ratio that really intrigues me when I checked out a Cointreau recipe... 4:1, sugar to water.  :o

I wasn't sure that 4 cups of sugar would successfully dissolve in 1 cup of water. Earlier when researching for the raspberry and blueberry Simple Syrup, I Googled how much sugar could be dissolved in a quantity of water. It seemed a consensus pegged it at 2 cups in 1 cup of water. Yesterday I successfully (?) dissolved 4 cups of sugar in 1 cup of water, stirring constantly. I didn't think this qualified as mere Simple Syrup of 1:1 or 2:1 strength, so I'm calling it Not-So-Simple-Syrup (NSSS). Why do I think I need the NSSS? Well, I'm trying to limit the volume of liquid in this liqueur so that I can approach my targeted 26% alcohol strength. How can I do that and still deliver the sweetening power that the liqueur needs? Hopefully that can be achieved by concentrating the sugar per water ratio. I am also hoping that the NSSS will contribute a more viscous mouthfeel to the final product.

Several cherry liqueur recipes suggest taking some of the cherry pits and cracking them to expose a slight bittering to the final product. I don't believe that's a great idea. Here's why.

So now I wait until mid-October for the next phase of my liqueur education.  8)

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Offline Tomer1

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Re: Preserving Summer Goodness -- Raspberry & Blueberry Liqueurs
« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2012, 11:22:04 AM »
Gewurztraminer grapes are coming tomorrow :)
And what will you do with them?

-Boofer-
Basically do an off dry style.
First put them in the fridge to cool overnight.
Then press them as whole clusters, settle the juice for a few days to clearify the juice, reserve some of the juice (sweet reserve) in the freezer, ferment it dry at 13-14c , clearify, fine with bentonite, adjust the sweetness with the juice , filter and bottle. 

Quote
I had thought that adding glycerine to the final product when bottling my raspberry and blueberry liqueurs would provide the viscous characteristic I was seeking, but that didn't really achieve my goal.
Yeah, you really need to overdose it to get an increase in mouthfeel but than it just tastes weird.

I suggest you take out some of the juice to increase the juice-skins ratio and get a bigger bodied product.

I suggest you make an invert sugar syrup instead of 1:1 sugar syrup as it will add less water to your product.
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Preserving Summer Goodness -- Raspberry & Blueberry Liqueurs
« Reply #27 on: August 16, 2012, 01:14:49 PM »
I suggest you make an invert sugar syrup instead of 1:1 sugar syrup as it will add less water to your product.
I did a 4:1 invert syrup with a little added lemon juice to invert it...my "NSSS".

Did I mention that in my posting?  ::)

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Offline Tomer1

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Re: Preserving Summer Goodness -- Raspberry & Blueberry Liqueurs
« Reply #28 on: August 16, 2012, 02:11:30 PM »
I always keep some around as it doesnt spoile, I sweeten overly dry white wines and extra brute sparkling wines with it :)

 
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Preserving Summer Goodness -- Raspberry & Blueberry Liqueurs
« Reply #29 on: August 16, 2012, 07:54:20 PM »
Good point, Tomer. Also good for those wonderful summer drinks like Mai-Tais.

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