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Isabella grapes are excellent raw materials for juicing and homemade wine. As a rule, after processing, a lot of pulp remains, which does not need to be thrown away. You can make chacha from it or, in a simple way, moonshine. Grape moonshine is called chacha by Georgians and grappa by Italians.
There is nothing complicated in the technology, so chacha from Isabella at home, according to any recipe, turns out to be excellent. The main thing is to follow the rules and have special equipment available in the form of a fermentation tank and a moonshine still.
Features of cooking mash
There are many recipes for making Isabella grape chacha at home, but the process itself is almost the same. It all starts with home brew. It is this composition that must first be prepared.
Braga is made at home from unripe Isabella grapes with twigs or from the pulp left over after processing berries into juice or wine. In the first case, wine yeast is not required, and in the second, this component is indispensable.
- The grapes are harvested in dry weather. There is no need to wash the berries, since the whitish bloom on the fruits is a natural wild yeast necessary for the fermentation process.
- The bunches are laid out in a large bowl and crushed. You can use various presses, but for the preparation of mash, the procedure is best done by hand. It is advisable to crush the berries with gloves, otherwise you will have to wash your hands after work for several days.
- After the berries are crushed, and the branches do not need to be thrown away, the liquid must be separated from the pulp. Do not squeeze hard so that some of the juice remains, in this case the chacha will be of better quality.
We launch the mash
Now let's talk about how to make mash from Isabella grapes:
- Put the pulp or cake in a large fermentation tank. We choose enameled dishes, made of stainless steel or plastic, but it is food-grade. Aluminum dishes are not suitable for making mash, since the acid released by the grapes is in contact with the metal.
- Then let's get to the syrup. The required amount of sugar is combined with boiled water and cooled to 30 degrees. A higher temperature can destroy the yeast, there will be no fermentation. Pour the syrup into the fermentation tank and add the rest of the water. Mix everything thoroughly.
The ideal sugar content in the wort is between 18 and 20 degrees. If you have a sugar meter, use it.
- If wild (live) yeast from cake is used for fermentation, then ordinary yeast is not added. In the event that this ingredient is needed, then you need to use special ones - alcohol or beer. The fact is that baker's yeast can spoil the mash, and its end result is chacha from Isabella.
- We install a water seal on the container, and place the container itself in a warm place with a temperature of at least 25 degrees.
You can understand that fermentation has begun in a day by the foam cap. If the mash from unripe Isabella was put on wild yeast, then the fermentation process lasts 15-30 days. In alcoholic or brewer's yeast, the pomace or cake will ferment less, the mash will be ready for distillation in a week or two.
Attention! Braga needs to be stirred daily to immerse the foam in the liquid.
Determining the readiness of the mash to get chacha is easy:
- Firstly, carbon dioxide will no longer be released from the water seal.
- Secondly, the foam will disappear.
- Thirdly, sugar will cease to be felt, and the liquid itself will become bitter in taste.
We talked about how to cook mash, and now we turn to distillation.
Rules for distilling mash for moonshine
Isabella grape chacha is made at home from the brewed mash by double distillation.
Only in this case will you get a chacha with a grape aroma, reminiscent of wine in taste.
- First, you need to get raw alcohol from the mash, in which Isabella is preserved. The process requires the maximum power of special equipment, while crushing into fractions does not occur.
- In the event that a steam-water boiler is not available, for the primary distillation of the mash at home, you can use a regular moonshine still, but first you need to remove the cake from the mash. This can be done with a heavyweight fabric.
To make chacha from Isabella grapes, you need to distill the mash again. This procedure at home is much more difficult than the first. The second run is a longer and more laborious process. The main task is to separate the "tails" and "heads".
Chacha preparation process:
- The resulting raw alcohol is measured both by volume and by strength. Then we add water to the total mass within 20 or 30 percent. This will help the separation of factions.
- Pour the composition into a distillation apparatus and put on a small fire. The head fraction should come out in droplets, in total it will be ten percent of the total volume. The "aroma" of the "head" is not pleasant, and you cannot drink it, just like the "tails".
- When the smell becomes pleasant, we remove the container with the head and put a clean jar in order to select the "body" - alcohol suitable for drinking. It makes up about 70% of the mass.
- After a while, the smell changes again, it becomes smelly. This moment should not be missed in any way, so as not to spoil the drinking alcohol obtained from Isabella grapes. Experienced moonshiners know that tail movement begins when the apparatus heats up to 95 degrees. The process of obtaining grape moonshine from Isabella must be stopped.
Advice! If you are a beginner, it is better to donate some good alcohol and substitute a new container for the "tails" a little earlier.
Secondary distillation produces a fragrant chacha made from Isabella grapes. It is a strong drink at about 90 degrees. It is impossible to drink pure chacha from the second distillation, so it is diluted to 40 or 45 degrees.
Home-made moonshine from Isabella grapes requires a week of aging, and only glass containers can be used for storage: jars or bottles that are tightly closed with lids or corks.
If you pour alcohol into an oak barrel, and let it stand for several years, you get a drink that tastes like cognac.
There are many Isabella grape chacha recipes, we will present to your attention a few of them so that you can choose the one that suits you best.
Recipe 1 - with yeast
We will need:
- 5 kg of Isabella grapes;
- 15 liters of clean water;
- 2.5 kg of granulated sugar;
- 40 grams of dry wine yeast.
Attention! Tap water is not used because it contains chlorine.
We knead the unwashed grapes, squeeze, and then proceed as described above.
Recipe 2 - No Yeast
For making chacha at home, we will not use yeast according to this recipe in order to get a finished product without the taste of this ingredient.
We start a mash with the following ingredients:
- unripe berries of Isabella grapes - 15 kg;
- water - 5 and 40 liters;
- sugar - 8 kg.
You can use pomace from fresh grapes or pomace after previously made wine.
Chacha from Isabella at home:
As you can see, if desired, from Isabella grapes, you can make a fragrant moonshine at home, which is called chacha. The main thing is to observe technology and cleanliness. Of course, chacha at home will be slightly different from that which is produced in the factory. But on the other hand, you will have the opportunity to experiment, to improve the taste of chacha. But remember, any alcoholic drink is useful only when consumed in moderation.