What is schnapps?
Schnapps is an alcoholic beverage. It’s made by distillation of mass gained by alcoholic fermentation of fruit. It can be made of different kinds of fruit. The most famous is made of plums or grapes. Apple schnapps, pear schnapps, peach or cherry schnapps are also very popular and I have to admit very tasty. It is one of the most famous beverages in Balkan used in good and bad. People here use it as a medicine for different kinds of diseases but for pleasure as well. It is simply inevitable part of all family gatherings, birthday parties, weddings, baptizing, etc. People here will wish you a warm welcome with a small glass of schnapps. It’s a sign of respect. This beverage is one of the most popular in this part of the world.
Peach schnapps-what is it?
Peach schnapps is schnapps made of the ripe peaches. For making any kind of schnapps people mostly use the fruit that is completely ripe, almost rotten (fruit that doesn’t have, because of its condition, any other commercial purpose).
This is very tasty schnapps, some kind of a liqueur. Since there are different kinds of peaches there is a wide choice of kinds you can use to prepare peach schnapps, but not all of them are suitable for making schnapps. When you choose the sort of peach you should pay attention to some things such as flavor, smell and content of sugar. The better sort you choose the more quality schnapps you will get. Intensive aroma is very important since it will be transferred to the schnapps. The more sugar your peaches have, the less money you will have to invest. You see, there are many reasons why you should be careful when you choose peaches for your schnapps.
Approximately around ten percent of peach yield is thrown away every year. But, with high quality technology this could be used for producing very good peach schnapps, schnapps of high quality and good price.
If you make schnapps from only one kind of a peach (because of different processes of ripening), after you make separated schnapps, you should mix them. The best peach schnapps is gained by mixing different kinds of peaches.
If you want diligent and sophisticated, quality peach schnapps, be aware that, in this case it should consist of at least 45 vol.% of alcohol. If it consist lower percentage of alcohol the peach schnapps will be inharmonic and of low quality. In this second case you won’t like the smell or the taste.
The peaches called Blake give the highest amount of schnapps (10.8l from 100kg). From the sort called Triumph you will get 7.5l from 100kg –this is the kind that provides the smallest amount of schnapps.
Making peach schnapps, step by step
Like with other kinds of schnapps there is certain process for making a quality product.
Let’s check them step by step.
First, you need to pick peaches when they are ripe, or overripe. Why do you need to be careful about this? Well, fruit, in this case peaches, have very conspicuous aroma and provides great taste if it’s ripe or overripe. The fruit that is picked unripe or almost ripe is used for making jams or compotes. To make things easier you can simply pick up the fruit that fell on the ground, under the tree. These overripe fruits contain maximal amount of sugar and are extremely tasty.
Kneading of peaches is done only if necessary, because if the fruit is ripe enough, peaches will finish this part by themselves, pressing one another. If you have to do this part, there is a special appliance with rubber furred roller which you use to knead. This appliance also separates bones from the rest of peaches. Bones should be separated uncrushed and undamaged. If you don’t separate the bones immediately, then the distillation should be done right away. You need to do this in order to avoid the appearance of the ingredients that give the fruit smash the smell of sour almond.
The alcohol fermentation of peach (fruit smash) should be done in closed dishes used for fermentation. These dishes should be sealed with covers or polyethylene foils. This way you’ll preserve taste and smell and alcohol and avoid more acids in the schnapps. For fermentation, use wooden vats with covers.
To fruit smash you should add (and this is recommended) sulfuric acid. This acid will prevent reproduction of harmful microorganisms, bacteria which, during the process of fermentation, form bad-smelled substances. This lowers the quality of the schnapps.
Once the process of alcohol fermentation is finished you need to do the process of distillation of boiled . If you don’t do it immediately, it will lose its quality and the quality of the schnapps will also be reduced.
If you use overripe peaches, it’s recommended to add some water into fruit smash to gain rare mass before the fermentation. There are several different ways to make the peach schnapps.
Before you even start making the schnapps you need to clean the barrows because hygiene is extremely important if you want to make quality schnapps. Take completely ripe peaches and wash them. Separate the bones from the rest of the peach. When you clean them you have to put them all at once in the barrows, not separated. Mash the peaches as much as possible.
Warm the water at approximately 35°C (95°F) and add yeast. After twenty minutes, add mashed fruit. You should do this slowly not at once so you could avoid big temperature difference.
After this, start filling the barrows, slowly. Before you seal the barrow with the cover you can put a plastic bag over it. It’s important not to allow air to enter the barrow. You don’t open it until the process is done. In order to lose a gas from the barrow, you can make a hole on the bag and put the hose. Put the hose into the dish filled with water. The whole point is to stop the air from entering and gas from staying inside the barrow. The process of fermentation starts after two hours. Put the barrow on the temperature between 18°C and 20°C (64-68°F).
After the process of fermentation is done the distillation process should be done as soon as possible. This is done by pouring mushed fruit (fruit smash) in caldron and baking. The alcohol that is formed during the process of fermentation evaporates this way and it’s necessary in order to make the schnapps. The process of distillation is finished when in the barrow where the schnapps is formed measured strength is around 20°C (68°F) (grad is the correct measurement unit).
After all these processes are done you can move the schnapps into another barrow or into glass bottles. Now it’s ready to be used.
There is one more way. You can add a peach extract into the schnapps made of grapes, but my recommendation is the first way!!