rakia - Making of

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BigD
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Postby BigD » Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:06 am

In my limited experience (and I'm almost certain to be shot down in flames!) you mix the total output together and then add water down to an acceptable (drinkable) alcohol content. This seems to vary from 55% down to 40%.
There seem to be different opinions on the type of water to use, some just adding tap water, whilst others go for spring water or even bottled water.

My rakia, from grapes, finished at 61% overall and was watered down with spring water to 45%. It tastes good to me but, who knows? Incidentally, it was distilled in a village that had a very upmarket distillery. The still had two condensing chambers, the first over the pot itself (complete with several filters), whilst the second had an outlet where you could float the hydrometer to give a continual reading of output strength. I was advised that, because of the still design, whatever came out at the end could be collected and drunk. I'm not too sure about that one but am OK, so far!!
By the way, if you want colour it comes from either, the barrel it is stored in, or, by adding sticks cut from a log from a mulberry tree.

All Bulgarians seem to think that their own product is the best, which is only natural, I suppose. I have been given stuff that I enjoyed right down to stuff that would strip paint. In the latter case I donate it to the wife to turn it into her Walnut liqueur, very sweet and sticky, but which she will drink, rather than the rakia which she won't!!

The recipe for the Walnut rakia, which I've posted previously:-
1 litre rakia
1Kg sugar
40 unripe walnuts (the complete, green pod when about the size of a large cherry or damson) Seems ready about late May, early June.
Put all into a large jar and shake daily for 40 days.
All sugar should be dissolved and the end product a very dark green (looks black), slightly sticky liqueur. Strain and bottle.
Enjoy



:wink:

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mickw
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Postby mickw » Sat Dec 08, 2007 1:52 pm

Well done BigD,
you have answered my question, mix it together and water it down to an acceptable proof.
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Jerico
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Postby Jerico » Sat Dec 08, 2007 5:26 pm

Hi,

I have been recommended only to dilute Rakia with distilled water. This is available in most chemists.

I have also been recommended to add 2grams of glycerin per lire Rakia. The reason for this is seems to be that it 'protects' the heart. I think it may have something to do with stopping the alcohol from evaporating as quickly.

Most Bulgarians also recommend that the Rakia is distilled twice to remove 'impurities' and then allows to age fro 10-20 days.

i have also seen a commercially available colourant for Rakia. I think it was caramel based.

Where was your posh moonshine made BigD? Have you got any picture of the still?


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kudukid
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Postby kudukid » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:16 pm

I would recomend doing some research before you start to distill alcohol as it is really quite dangerous! Not only from the point of collecting the wrong part of the "run" (methly alcohol can kill) but there is also a danger of the still causing an explosion.


I would recomend spending some time on www.homedistiller.org this will give you a good base knowledge of the subject, everything from the safety aspects, to making your own still and what types of mash to make.

If you need any specific advice then feel free to pm me.

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ROCKETPOTTY
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Postby ROCKETPOTTY » Sat Dec 08, 2007 7:31 pm

Hi,

Is there a 'shelf-life' for Rakia ? I've had a bottle since it was given to me in BG in July.

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BigD
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Postby BigD » Sat Dec 08, 2007 7:36 pm

Jerico,
I have heard of using distilled water too, but forgot to mention it.

I didn't take a picure of the still but, looking at this site, http://homedistiller.org/type.htm (and others), I believe it to be a kind of reflux still which then connects across to a more normal condenser?
The still is in a village called Sirimenavo sp? East of Binkos, both on the old road between Tvarditsa and Sliven. The equipment is, evidently, four years old, so quite a modern piece of kit, but housed in the usual decrepit building! Previously, I have used a friends portable garden still, for small quantities and the basic pot still in another village.

In the old type stills they only collect the first output for medicinal purposes down to about 70%, then down to about 40-45% to drink, then the final bit to 35% they keep to add to next years brew!

Incidentally, when I talk about 'using' I really mean helping, as I leave all the clever stuff to expert Bulgarian friends!! :)

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BigD
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Postby BigD » Sat Dec 08, 2007 7:41 pm

I see Kudukid beat me to the website!!

I agree with his warnings and recognise that people in Saudi do have the knowledge and experience, that's why I leave the clever stuff to the experts!

I don't think rakia has a shelf life, much like normal spirits?

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mickw
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Postby mickw » Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:06 pm

Like Whisky the longer the better.

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ROCKETPOTTY
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Postby ROCKETPOTTY » Sat Dec 08, 2007 10:07 pm

Thanks BigD and MickW.

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stewarty
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Postby stewarty » Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:35 pm

YUK!!!! Horrible stuff!!!!


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