Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 3 hours
Batch Size: 5 gallons of mash, 4.5 gallons of wash
Yield: 1 gallon of 100 proof spirit (1 quart of 100 proof hearts)
Rinse the strawberries with clean water: this will reduce the potential of an infection from wild yeast or bacteria on the strawberries.
Remove the green tops from the strawberries
Remove any rotten or spoiled strawberries
Put only good strawberries (free from rot and mold), without the tops, into a blender.
Blend the strawberries. Do Not Over Blend
Add raisins to the strawberries as you blend them until all 1.5 pounds of raisins have been incorporated into the batch.
Dump the strawberry puree into a sanitized bucket
Once 2.5 gallons of strawberry puree has been collected, transfer puree to a stainless steel boil kettle
Add 3 gallons of water to the 2.5 gallons strawberry puree. You should have 5.5 total gallons of strawberry mash at this point
Take a specific gravity reading of the mash, you will need to use a brix refractometer as the mash will be too thick for a hydrometer
The Strawberry mash should have a specific gravity reading around 1.024 which would yield around 3.5% ABV
Add sugar 1 pound at time until you reach a starting gravity of 1.054, as this will yield around an 8% starting alcohol (before distilling)
Make sure that you stir the mixture well after you add sugar and before you take another brix reading
Heat the Mash to 160 degrees
Once the mash has reached 160 degrees use a wort chiller to cool the mash to 70 degrees
Once the mash is at 80 degrees start making your yeast starter
Once the mash is cooled to 70 degrees transfer it to your fermentation vessel
Add the yeast starter to the fermenter
Add a sterilized airlock to the fermenter
Ferment in a dark place around 70 degrees for 7 days
Siphon (Youâ€™ll need to use 1/2? hose for this) the wash through a strainer (a fine cheesecloth, or a nylon paint strainer). Separate the pulp an discard it. Only add strained juice to the still. Youâ€™ll end up with about 4.5 gallons. Make sure not to add any of the settled yeast from the bottom of the fermenter to the still.
Complete a â€œstripping runâ€ by distilling the wash in a copper still using medium high heat. Distillate should be pouring out of drip tube. Do not make any cuts during the stripping run
Next, complete a â€œspirit runâ€ by distilling the product from the stripping run. Use medium low heat and run the distiller very slow (product should be dripping out of the still, not pouring). To be safe, make at least a 200 ml foreshots cut, and healthy heads and tails cuts, saving only the best part of the middle of the run for the hearts.
Discard the heads, along with the foreshots. Keep the hearts for the next step. Set the tails aside to use in future feints runs.
Pack pint jars with fresh sliced strawberries and fill them the rest of the way with the hearts from the spirit run.