Tequila is a distilled spirit made from the Weber blue agave plant. The Mexican government decrees that tequila is only allowed to be produced in Mexico, and only in certain designated regions. Teresa is your Tequila Queen of the South. She is alluring, enchanting and fearless. Made with 100% Pure Organic Agave Syrup from Mexico this is our take on how to make a delightful light and bright Agave Spirit with some options to flavour boost and/or oak age and rest your spirit. Like all good things, time, attention, care, patience and persistence will be your reward when it comes to fermenting, distilling and resting this Agave Spirit. So, what are you waiting for? Arriba, abajo, al centro y adeeentrooo!
pH: This is critical. Check the pH daily during fermentation and adjust it with baking soda or Calcium Carbonate to keep it between 4 and 5. Add baking soda 1 Tablespoon at a time, and check pH before adding more.
Test the pH of your wash. The ideal pH is 4.5 to 5.0. Use citric acid to bring the pH down and calcium carbonate or baking soda to bring it up.
Pitch the Yeast - sprinkle on top of the wash.
Allow to ferment in the temperature range 32-35C. A warmer fermentation will ferment more quickly and produce some more ester character to your wash and final spirit. Agitate and/or stir the wash daily to purge the C02 and increase oxygen to assist with yeast health. Once the Specific Gravity has dropped by more than 1/3 to 1/2 pitch the remainder 25g of the Still Spirits | Distillers | Light Spirits Nutrient. Once again, stir vigorously or use an oxygen aeration kit to oxygenate the wort to maintain a healthy vigorous fermentation.
Fermentation should be completed within 3-5 days. Wait for two consecutive days of consistent low Hydrometer readings. You should get very close to 1.000 given the high fructose content of Agave Syrup.
Once fermentation is complete. Stir the wash vigorously to remove all of the remaining CO2. Once degassed, add the contents of Part A of Still Spirits - Turbo Clear 130g stir well, then leave for 1 hour to stand.
After 1 hour, slowly pour Part B of Still Spirits - Turbo Clear 130g evenly over the top of the wash while stirring gently to help spread it evenly. Do not stir vigorously as this will disrupt the clearing process. Leave to clear for 24 hours. During this time Part B will drop down from the top, taking all unwanted yeast and sediment with it to the bottom. If you have temperature control of your fermenter or an old fridge feel free to crash chill to assist with clarification of your wash before distillation.
To add flavour and character to your wash and spirit here is a couple of additional options steps that can be taken prior to steps 1-3.
Flavor Booster Option #1: Make a Bochet syrup with a small portion (250mL) of the agave syrup by simmering it on medium low for 20-30 minutes until the color darkens significantly. Dissolve this dark syrup in water before adding to the wash.
Flavor Booster Option #2: Add a sourdough bread starter and/or Active Culture Yogurt to the wash 24-48 hours before pitching yeast. Allow a lactobacillus fermentation to take place to create acid and help with ester production.
Move the Agave wine to your Still and prepare to Distil Happy! Distilling notes from a professional craft distiller. They found that since agave syrup has a lot less inherent flavor than the fresh roasted agave pulp it is better to de-tune their still to run at a lower ABV, around 60-70%, and run slow. This seemed to preserve more flavor. Run a stripping run then a second run where you make your cuts. Taste and blend your cuts to your preferred flavour profile.
Oak Aging - Like many spirits you can experiment with Oak Aging. Check out our many Oak Products for options to infuse oak flavour to mimick a Reposado or Anejo Tequila. We recommend Oak Chips or Spirals and tasting every 2-4 weeks until your desired Oak Levels are reached anywhere from 1-3-5 months depending on the level of Oak to Spirit.