HOW IS PÁLINKA MADE?2019. 03. 17.
Fruit mash is prepared from fruits. Then it is distilled in two stages. The last step is aging.
The first step of making palinka is the bulk of the work: the carefully selected, high quality fruits are prepared and cleaned. Stone fruits are pitted, other fruits, like apple are ground. The second step is the fermentation: additives, like pectin enzyme, acids and yeast extract are added to the fruit mash.
Then fruit mash is pumped into fermentation buckets, where the conversion of fructose to alcohol is performed by yeast. It could take one to four weeks to complete the process. The buckets are covered by cooling jackets in order to keep the mash at 17 ℃. At this stage, mash is prepared for distillation and transferred into the pot still. According to “kisüsti” technology regulations, the capacity of the pot still cannot be bigger than 1000 litres. The distillation of “kisüsti” palinka is carried out in two stages. In the very first step, the result is called “alszesz” (raw spirit). This liquid is not suitable for direct consumption; it is neither too strong, nor too fragrant. After this, the raw spirit is refined through re-distillation in a smaller pot still. The outcome of this process is the original “kisüsti” palinka. The pot still is a double-walled equipment, between the two layers hot steam or water is circulated, which is used for heating the mash. Such indirect heating is easy to control, so the liquid always boils at an ideal temperature. Straight after the refining process, we get the palinka itself. In general, 400 litres of mash can be used to produce 8-80 litres of palinka; the volume strongly depends on the fruit. As the last step, distillation is followed by aging; during this period, palinka achieves its real flavour and aroma. Before bottling, palinka is stored and aged in tanks made of stainless steel or wooden casks. Column distillation process is more and more popular in modern distilleries. The advantage of column distilling is that one single distillation is enough to produce palinka. Vapour is transferred from the pot to the fractionating column. Thanks to this device, only vapour with high alcohol content and aroma is carried to the spiral coolers.