Friday, 19 December 2008

How Do You Make Bulgarian Rakia? - Question Answered

A question was asked on Yahoo! - Answers back in 2007. There were a few answers and the following was voted as the best. I have also quoted another answer to this question as it gave a quite interesting account as well.


Best Answer was written by Yahoo! Answer member InLoveandWar

The traditional Rakia is acquired by the distillation of fruits or wines in a special metal pot. It is heated by setting up a small fire underneath the pot. The first thing that will come out of the pot is a substance rich with methyl achohol, you should throw it away as it’s poisonous. You should get 1/2 litre of this substance when boiling 100 litres of fruits or wines.

Rakia ( cyr. Ракия ) is considered to be the national drink in Bulgaria and all the other Slavic Balkan nations. It has a very high alchohol content and is made by distillation of fermented fruits like plums, grapes, apples, quinces and other. Most people in rural areas make Rakia at home, therefore it’s alchohol content can reach 60% or more. It’s usually consumed with shopska salada, pickles, turshia. The Rakia is often compared to brandy and vodka. I’ll add a recipe how to make different types of Rakia at home later on.

The traditional Rakia is acquired by the distillation of fruits or wines in a special metal pot. It is heated by setting up a small fire underneath the pot. The first thing that will come out of the pot is a substance rich with methyl achohol, you should throw it away as it’s poisonous. You should get 1/2 litre of this substance when boiling 100 litres of fruits or wines.

The main ingriedients for the Rakia should have a fine taste, not too sweet, sour or bitter. The bitter taste means that it more than 5 months old. The fire underneath the bot shouldn’t be very big, otherwise you’ll burn the whole mixture.

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Another interesting answer by Yahoo! Answer member alicias7768

To make rakia you will need a still. Obviously the ideal would be a copper pot still, but if you want to go cheap, get an electric pressure cooker (do not use a stove top model, as there is a significant fire/explosion risk). Where the valve is, you will need to hook up some surgical tubing. The tubing then connects to a coiled copper tube in a bucket filled with ice water. The copper coil pokes through a hole in the side, where a glass catches the distilate.

Generally you will want to throw out the heads, the first part of the output (first quarter inch or so), because if the wine you used wasn't fermented properly (rare, but can happen), you can get toxic methanol in your brew. The tails (when too much water gets in, also gets thrown out, as it tastes less than ideal). Many distillers put the heads and tails into the next batch.

Of course, in America, you are not to even attempt to make your own rakia or grappa, as it is illegal, unless you have a bonded, licensed distillery. Of course, I do not write this from experience, but only from theoretical conjecture. If you happen to live in a place where this is legal, you should probably find a more experienced person to set up your still and to help you with the first few batches.


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