Prices of Local and Foreign Alcohol Brands-Soon To Be Equal

Are you an alcohol drinker? Or an alcohol manufacturer? Perhaps only few of us are alcohol manufacturers and millions are alcohol drinkers. What brand of spirit do you prefer? Perhaps you like the foreign brands better but you are always buying the local brands.  Locally produced alcohols are cheaper because they are made locally. Mode of transport is shorter compared to foreign brands. In addition, our government is imposing a large tax on foreign brands, making them to have prices more than twice as much.local wine on exhibit

The European Spirit Association and America filed a complaint on World Trade Organization (WTO) stating that Philippine taxes on foreign alcohol brands are discriminatory. WTO then ruled, Philippine taxes imposed on foreign spirits is illegal.

Philippine need to trim down the taxes. What would be the effect. The prices of foreign and local brands would be almost the same. The sales of domestic alcohols will go down drastically – because Filipinos love foreign brands.

The news is good for consumers but very bad for local producers. We should do our best to make our local brands more competitive in terms of quality.

What is the Optimal Acidity for Fruit Wines

philippine-fruit-wines

Why do we need to adjust wine acidity? Many wine making beginners just follow the major rule: adjust sugar content to 25 Brix for sweet wine and 20 Brix for dry wine. But often fail to adjust acidity.

Acidity provides the crisp, slightly tart taste of wine on your palate. Too little acid, and your wine tastes flabby and non-committal. Too much acid, and your taste buds scream for relief. When acids are properly countered by the other ingredients in wine (such as alcohol, sugars, trace minerals, etc.), the wine is said to be “in balance”, which is the desired end result of all winemakers.

Following should be the optimal titrable acidity for wine.

Dry White Wine = 0.65 % – 0.75 %
Sweet White Wine = 0.70 % – 0.85 %
Dry Red Wine = 0.60 % – 0.70 %
Sweet Red Wine = 0.65 % – 0.80 %
Sherry Grape Wines = 0.50 % – 0.60 %
Non-grape White Wines = 0.55 % – 0.65 %
Non-grape Red Wines = 0.50 % – 0.60 %
values was source from jackkeller.

Detailed procedures for titrable acidity determination can be found here.  Necessary adjustments can be computed using Pearson’s square formula.

philippine-fruit-wines

How to Make Bamboo Wine (Ulanzi)

bamboo-for-wine

update as of June 2016

If we spread our mind a little wider, we will realized there are several ways to accomplish this.  The first one is stated below. It is by tapping young bamboo sap during rainy season.

When I think about it, accomplishing this is troublesome. Young bamboo shoot is short. Cutting it makes it shorter which makes very little room to position the collection container. It is expected close to ground which would gather so much contaminants.  Rain fall adds to problem. Bins are likely to catch waterfall diluting the sap.

I imagined how the men are doing it, but I cannot picture how could they make it more sanitary to point acceptable to regulatory agencies.

The second is by using the bamboo shoot, instead of its sap. The shoot or ubod is regarded as delicious vegetable. There is a great possibility that it can be processed into wine too.  See this post “The Sweetest Kawayan Ubod and Medicinal Bamboos“.

Bamboo shoot is sweet to some extent and there is a so called sweetest bamboo. It can be extracted by boiling and putting additional sugar in case not enough. Then, from here on, wine could be accomplished using the other popular methods.

The last one is somewhat a gamble. It entails cutting the internodes one by one until sufficient amount of water is collected.  I said it is a gamble cause getting water in every segment is uncertain.  You may not get any if unlucky.  The price of wine produced is not likely to cover the several destroyed bamboo poles.


Product description

Ulanzi is a fermented bamboo sap obtained by tapping young bamboo shoots during the rainy season. It is a clear, whitish drink with a sweet and alcoholic flavour.

bamboo-for-wine

Preparation of raw materials

The bamboo shoots should be young in order to obtain a high yield of sap. The growing tip is removed and a container fixed in place to collect the sap. The container should be clean in order to prevent contamination of the fresh sap.

Processing

The raw material is an excellent substrate for microbial growth and fermentation begins immediately after collection. Fermentation takes between five and twelve hours depending on the strength of the final product desired.

Packaging and storage

Packaging is usually only required to keep the product for its relatively short shelf life.

by Mr. Mike Battcock and Dr. Sue Azam-Ali,(fao)

Please refer to Making of Mango Wine if you want to induce the fermentation process.

Notes:
Measure the following physico-chemical properties and and adjust accordingly to your set standard. Properties should be uniform every batch.
a. sugar content. Sugar concentration can be increased by adding sugar or can be lowered by adding water or pulp.
b. pH. This can be lowered by adding citric acid or can be increased by adding water or pulp.
c. titrable acidity. Adjustment can be made by mixing different concentrations or addition of citric acid.
d. alcohol content. Adjustment can be made by mixing different concentrations.
Adjustments can be computed using Pearson’s Square formula.
e. See standards for wine here.

How to Make Banana Beer

young saba banana

Product description

Banana beer is made from bananas, mixed with a cereal flour (often sorghum flour) and fermented to an orange, alcoholic beverage. It is sweet and slightly hazy with a shelf-life of several days under correct storage conditions. There are many variations in how the beer is made. For instance Urwaga banana beer in Kenya is made from bananas and sorghum or millet and Lubisi is made from bananas and sorghum.

young saba banana
Preparation of raw materials

Ripe bananas (Musa spp.) are selected. The bananas should be peeled. If the peels cannot be removed by hand then the bananas are not sufficiently ripe.

Processing

The first step of the process is the extraction of banana juice. Extraction of a high yield of banana juice without excessive browning or contamination by spoilage micro-organisms and proper filtration to produce a clear product is of great importance. Grass is used as an aid in obtaining clarified juice.

One volume of water is added to every three volumes of banana juice. This makes the total soluble solids low enough for the yeast to act. Cereals are ground and roasted and added to improve the colour and flavour of the final product. The mixture is placed in a container, which is covered in polythene to ferment for 18 to 24 hours. The raw materials are not sterilized by boiling and therefore provide an excellent substrate for microbial growth. It is essential that proper hygienic procedures are followed and that all equipment is thoroughly sterilized to prevent contaminating bacteria from competing with the yeast and producing acid instead of alcohol. This can be done by cleaning with boiling water or with chlorine solution. Care is necessary to wash the equipment free of residual chlorine as this would interfere with the actions of the yeast. Strict personal hygiene is also essential (Fellows, 1997).

For many traditional fermented products, the micro-organisms responsible for the fermentation are unknown to scientists. However there has been research to identify the micro-organisms involved in banana beer production. The main micro-organism involved, is Saccharomyces cerevisiae which is the same organism involved in the production of grape wine. However many other micro-organisms associated with the fermentation have been identified. These varied according to the region of production (Davies, 1994).

After fermentation the product is filtered through cotton cloth.

Packaging and storage

Packaging is usually only required to keep the product for its relatively short shelf-life. Clean glass or plastic bottles are used. The product is kept in a cool place away from direct sunlight.

by Mr. Mike Battcock and Dr. Sue Azam-Ali,(fao)

Notes:
Measure the following physico-chemical properties and and adjust accordingly to your set standard. Properties should be uniform every batch.
a. sugar content. Sugar concentration can be increased by adding sugar or can be lowered by adding water or pulp.
b. pH. This can be lowered by adding citric acid or can be increased by adding water or pulp.
c. titrable acidity. Adjustment can be made by mixing different concentrations or addition of citric acid.
d. alcohol content. Adjustment can be made by mixing different concentrations.
Adjustments can be computed using Pearson’s Square formula.
e. See standards for wine here.

Distillation of Lambanog – Infographic

I created this infographic in response to my previous post “Proper Lambanog Processing”. It was a laboratory setup but the method is exactly similar to traditional coconut vodka distillation done beside riverbanks.

(Click image for larger view)

wine distillation setup

You can get alcohol hydrometer at your nearest Laboratory Supplies. The one used for this infographic was bought for 750 pesos. If you have enough budget, wine refractometer is a more expensive alternative but it is easier to use.

Alcohol Proof / ABV Guide

Alcoholic drinks or spirits  are product of sugar fermentation. Any fruit commodity containing sugar can be fermented by yeast to produce alcohol. Even grains can be processed to alcohol my means of two stage fermentation process. Conversion of starch to sugar followed by conversion of sugar to ethanol.

Alcohol process yields ethyl alcohol or ethanol. Ethanol is the only edible alcohol. Other alcohol such as methanol causes health hazards. Adulteration of spirit with methanol causes blindness and death. Ten fisherman died in Philippine Quezon Province after drinking improperly processed lambanog. A ten ml ingestion of pure methanol is fatal.

Moderate alcohol drinking is beneficial . Moderation may depend on alcohol content of your chosen drink.  A glass of wine a day is enough, a glass of whiskey can be over drinking and a glass of neutral grain spirit is too excessive.

Alcoholic beverages are classified according to their alcohol content by volume or ABV. Proof is double of ABV. In UK proof is ABV multiplied by 1.75.  ABV is the standard used in declaring alcohol strength of spirits.

These are the alcohol contents of common spirits according to Wikipedia. Values are expressed in ABV. Some of these alcohols are illegal in many countries.

* Fruit juice (naturally occurring): less than 0.1%
* Low-alcohol beer: 0.0%–1.2%
* Kombucha: 0.5%
* Kvass: 0.05%–1.5%
* Cider: 2%–8.5%
* Beer: 2%–12% (most often 4%–6%)
* Alcopops: 4%–17.5%
* Makgeolli: 6.5%–7%
* Mead: 8%–16%
* Barley wine (strong ale): 8%–15%
* Wine: 9%–18% (most often 12.5%–14.5%)[7]
* Dessert wine: 14%–25%
* Sake (rice wine): 15% (or 18%–20% if not diluted prior to bottling)
* Liqueurs: 15%–55%
* Fortified wine: 15.5%–20%[8] (in the European Union, 18%–22%)
* Soju: 17%–45% (usually 19%)
* Shochu: 25%–45% (usually 25%)
* Bitters: 28-45%
* Mezcal, Tequila: 32%–60% (usually 40%)
* Vodka: 35%–50% (usually 40%)
* Pure vanilla extract: 35%+
* Brandy: 36%–60%
* Rum: 37.5%–80%
* Sotol: 38%–60%
* Nalewka: 40%–45%
* Gin: 40%–50%
* Whisky: 40%–55% (usually 40% or 43%)
* Baijiu: 40%–60%
* Palinka: 42%–86%
* Rakia and Raki: 42%–86%
* Bitters 45%
* Absinthe: 45%–89.9%
* Poteen: 60%–95%
* Neutral grain spirit: 85%–95%
* Rectified spirit: 96.5%
* Absolute alcohol: >99%