What actually is: The difference between fruit brandy and fruit spirit

We have already talked about the production of fruit distillates in the Lion Spirits blog. Also how difficult it is to get a distilling license these days.
To this day, a fruit distillate is a product that plays an important role in southern Germany and is still valued today. If you take a closer look at the fruit distillates, you will quickly come across the terms fruit brandy and fruit spirit.
Today we would like to clarify the difference between the two distillates. When is it a ghost and when is it a fire? Are there differences in distillation or maceration? We have summarized for you how the difference comes about and which distillates can be called brand or spirit.
The difference lies in the way it is distilled, which in turn is determined by the fruit used. Not all fruits have a high sugar content, making them unsuitable for fermentation. Only fruits whose fructose can react with the yeast and thus produce an alcoholic mash can be used to ferment a mash.
Fruit brandy, also known as fruit water, is a distillate that is distilled from mash. In France and Alsace, this distillate is also called Eau de Vie, which has gained international acceptance. During fermentation, the fruit sugar is converted into alcohol with the help of the yeast. Normally, the fruit brandy mash has an alcohol content of around 12% by volume after fermentation. After successful fermentation, the mash is freed from the solid components, i.e. the remains of the fruit, in order to then be distilled. The remaining yeast-containing pulp, with this method, is called draff or pomace. From this spent grain, a further distillation is then used to produce marc brandy or marc. Grappa is probably the best-known example of this distillate.
After distillation, brandies are stored until they have reached the desired maturity. A distinction is made here between brandies made from pome fruit, stone fruit or berries. It is also irrelevant whether the cores or stones are processed during the distillation. Examples of berry brandies are blackberries, currants, elderberries or rose hips.
 In contrast to fruit brandy, fruit or berries with a low sugar content are used for fruit brandy, since fermentation can only be achieved with the addition of sugar. Therefore, the basic ingredients for the spirit are not mashed and not fermented, but prepared. The principle of attachment will be familiar to many. With this method, the aromas are extracted with the help of neutral alcohol, i.e. the maceration process is used. After a period of maceration, the alcoholic base is distilled. What creates the fruit spirit. Again, it doesn't matter whether the spirit is made from pome fruit, stone fruit, or berries. Representatives of the typical spirits are raspberries, mirabelle plums, apricots and sloes. Here the alcohol is not produced during the fermentation of the fruit. In contrast to fruit brandy, alcohol is added here to extract the aroma. Here the quality of this neutral alcohol also determines the quality of the spirit.
Not only fruits can be refined as spirits. The maceration method makes it possible, for example, to extract the aromas from nuts and to distill them. Like a hazelnut or walnut spirit. In summary, it can be said that a fruit brandy, fruit water or also called fruit brandy is a product that is fermented as a mash with the help of yeast. This is how alcohol is produced, which is extracted through the distillation and contains at least 35.7% vol. later matured and bottled.
In the case of fruit spirits, fruit, berries or nuts with a low sugar content are macerated in alcohol. In this way the aromas are released and transformed into a spirit by means of distillation.
In the end, whether a spirit or spirit is produced is determined by the basic ingredient being distilled and not by the distiller, the process, or any particular still.

Today we would like to clarify the difference between the two distillates. When is it a ghost and when is it a fire? Are there differences in distillation or maceration?


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