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Home » Tsipouro & Raki: The Greek Distillation

The History

The production of tsipouro lost in the depths of time, but said that it began in the 14th century by monks from Mount Athos who lived there. Over the years it spread to various parts of Greece, especially in Macedonia, Epirus, Thessaly and Crete.

Until the last decades of the twentieth century was to produce raki exclusively "home", ie there was no massive industrial production. Historically, a colorless spirit drink produced and drunk each year across the Mediterranean.

It is known by various names: raki, peas, gkrappa. Products distilled from wine, as if the man wanted to take advantage of as much as possible the gift of the gods, the vine. Delivery of production have raki, Macedonia, Crete, Thessaly and Epirus. Raw material for the production of spirits is the marc, ie the mass remaining after compression stafylopoltou, to produce wine.

This mass consists of the skins of grapes, seeded (seeds) and embraces a percentage unfermented grape (grape), must in fermentation or fully fermented mash (wine). Generally, are seeded in 3 to 6%, the Peel 6-9% in the flesh for 75 - 85% of this mass. The flesh of the grape consists of 0.5% solids. Marc, to give an alcoholic extract, one should not have been completely drained and to have fermented, so that the residual grape sugars turn into alcohol.

The raki can be produced from grape marc fermented and is derived from red wine with greater or lesser amount of wine. They may be used marc fermented separately from the bulk of the grape, which come from white grapes, but from red grapes used to produce ros? or white wine by direct compression.

First energy to produce distillate from white unfermented marc is fermented them. The fermentation takes about 30 days, when fermented marc alone, much less when fermented with grape. When we get a first distillation of spirit (Schumann), which is 15 to 20% of its original volume. After the distillation, the residue is discarded. To fill the second distillation stills (pot) by 80 - 90% with Schumann. Many times, the product obtained from the first distillation is consumed without being second distillation. The diploapostagmeno raki, however, is thinner and cleaner in flavor and taste.Manufacturing Process of Tsipouro

In the second distillation is possible to add fragrance raw materials such as anise, fennel, cloves, nutmeg and mastic. After the second distillation remove the first 0.5 1 liter. He has great strength and degree is the "head". Then collect the "heart" which represents 50% of its original volume. Is the fraction containing the desired components and which, when diluted to achieve the desired ABV will be given on consumption as champagne.

The rest, the "tail", the Collect and place it in the marc or checksum for a re-distillation. Good he is alcoholic strength of 38 - 45% by volume. Monitoring of distillation requires great care. Heating the stills can be done with wood, coal or gas. If wood or coal, the heating is regulated by the power and the air flow by opening or closing the door beneath the cooktop. The water vapor, alcohol and other volatile components will be directed to the condenser and received as distillate.

The modern way of making raki from industrial plants is the method of fractional distillation (mainly batch distillation), using high quality construction atmokazana, fully adjustable and electronically controlled. This allows the preparation of a multi-distilled product quality, reducing undesirable substances distillation to a minimum and allowing the producer to make the desired mix between head, heart and tail.

From late October to mid December in Greece, the place is "boiling". Traditional boilers are preparing the "agioneri" (holy water), culminating in the various celebrations in many parts of raki (Macedonia, Epirus), which are accompanied with traditional celebrations. H spirits sales for direct consumption was prohibited until 1988. Only growers in some areas were allowed to distil and sell at local level, skins, and allowed the sale of the spirit in alcohol production companies. Today, with the passage of the 1988 Act to produce distillate marc, the production and distribution of tsipouro in Greece only with special permission. The tsipouro is taxable, while the disposal of non-bottled (bulk) distillate is prohibited.Tsipouro