In every country there is a strong alcoholic drink, which residents prepare themselves. We have it moonshine, in the Balkans - rakiya, in Georgia - chacha. A traditional feast in the Caucasus is accompanied not only by world-famous wines, but also by stronger drinks. For Georgia, chacha is an integral part of the national tradition. In 2011, the government even received a patent for it.
Chacha from grapes at home it is simply kicked out. The recipe for making it is only slightly different from moonshine. A large number of vineyards contributed to the emergence of the tradition of preparing alcoholic drinks from this sunny berry. Of course, wine for Georgians will always come first. But the waste left after its production and substandard grapes, which even the most well-groomed vine will give birth to every year, allowed the inhabitants of Georgia to prepare a strong, aromatic drink from them.
Home chacha can be done from any juicy and sufficiently sweet southern fruits. It will be tasty, aromatic and strong. But grape chacha has become one of the visiting cards of Georgia. In Abkhazia, it is usually made from varieties Isabel or Kachich, in the west they use Rkatsiteli.
Chacha is called Georgian brandy. Indeed, among spirits, she is considered a relative of cognac. Of course, grape chacha is not so noble, but if it is properly prepared and cleaned, it will come out fragrant and easy to drink.
Raw materials and technology
Georgian brandy is made from the pulp left over from the production of wine or juice. Unripe grapes must be added to it. In order to remove an unpleasant odor and increase the strength, making chacha provides for double distillation.
If, after distillation, the drink is immediately bottled, it is called white. Chacha aged in an oak barrel is considered yellow.
Strength and taste
We are used to the fact that strong alcohol is 40 degrees. That is why our tourists can get trashed in Georgia. They just don’t think how many degrees there are. But even “light” factory varieties cannot contain less than 45-50 percent alcohol. Chacha is usually prepared at home with a strength of 55-60 degrees, and sometimes all 80.
The taste of the drink made according to the rules is light and pleasant. And if he was insisted on herbs or fruits, then in general the degrees can not be noticed. Insidious drink! Moreover, it contains as much as 225 kcal per 100 g. And this is neither more nor less - 11% of the daily value.
Traditions of use
It is interesting that in western Georgia it is customary to eat this drink with sweets, and in the eastern regions - with pickles. In Abkhazia, it is served before a feast as an aperitif, but drinking chacha at a family holiday is considered bad form. Residents of mountain villages often drink a glass of strong drink in the morning before going to work.
Real Georgian chacha
For those who have at least once drove moonshine, making chacha from grapes at home will not be difficult. Just what kind of drink will it be? Will the residents of Georgia recognize him or will they say: “Ay, what kind of moonshine”?
Before preparing chacha, read the recommendations.When you deviate from them, you will receive a strong alcoholic drink, only vaguely similar to a real Georgian brandy.
- Grape cake left over after making wine or juice is used as a raw material. Unripe or substandard berries, ridges are a must for brew.
- The homemade grape chacha recipe uses only wild yeast. And no sugar! Of course, you can't make a drink from sour grapes.
- During distillation, Georgian brandy is not separated into fractions. It is distilled twice and then purified.
- Strong alcohol, aged in any wooden barrel, except for oak, cannot be called chacha. Containing less than 45% alcohol - too.
The above tips relate to the preparation of real Georgian chacha, if you are making an adapted drink, then sugar can be added, and whole grapes can be used instead of cake.
Chacha with and without sugar
Homemade grape chacha, the recipe for which you brought from Georgia, is prepared only without sugar. Now let's think a little. Residents of warm regions grow sweet grape varieties, the sugar content of which is at least 20%. Moreover, in a cold and cloudy summer, its content will be much lower.
The northern regions also grow grapes. But the varieties there are adapted to local conditions, their sugar content is usually 14-17%, and even less if there is a lack of light and heat. It is possible, of course, not to cook chacha at all, since it will differ from the Georgian one. But no one will forbid you to add sugar, and even though the product is somewhat different from the original, it will still be delicious.
There is one more point worth considering. Real traditional chacha is made from cake left over from processing grapes into juice or wine. Even if the sugar content of the berry was not less than 20%, at the output we will get 5-6 liters of chacha from 25 kg of extracts and substandard. When adding 10 kg of sugar, the volume of the drink will increase to 16-17 liters, and the preparation time will be halved.
We will show you how to make chacha with and without sugar. Of course, the taste of the drink will differ. But the Georgian brandy made in the Caucasus also differs. Each family makes it in their own way, secrets are passed down from generation to generation. It seems nothing complicated, but for some reason the two neighbors living next to each other have different chacha.
This recipe is original Georgian, however, the simplest. The taste of the drink will differ depending on the grape variety (it is better to take white), its sugar content. It also matters how the pulp is obtained - did you make juice or prepare wine, how and how much it fermented. If you squeezed the cake completely, you will not get a tasty chacha, it should contain about 20% liquid.
- bunches and cake of grapes - 25 kg;
- boiled water - 50 liters.
The taste of chacha will largely depend on the proportion in which you take the cake and substandard grapes. The bunches may contain unripe, small, deformed berries. To make a real Georgian brandy, they must be added.
Do not wash the bunches (so as not to remove the "wild" yeast), do not pick the berries, just free them from leaves and debris.
If you have a special press, pass the grapes through it. If not, mash thoroughly, trying to crush each berry.
Fold the grapes and pulp into a fermentation container, fill with water, stir with a wooden spatula.
Install a water seal, place in a warm place protected from the sun. It is desirable that the temperature remains between 22 and 30 degrees. With a cool content, fermentation will not occur, and in a hot room the bacteria responsible for it will die.
Stir the contents every few days.
Without sugar, on natural yeast, fermentation can be weak and last more than 30 days. In some cases, it can take 2-3 months, keep this in mind when you choose the method of making mash for grape chacha.
When fermentation stops, it's time to move on to distillation. Fold the cheesecloth in several layers and squeeze the mash.
Do not throw away the cake, but tie it and hang it to the top of the alembic.
After the first distillation, you will get a foul-smelling chacha with a strength of 40 degrees.
Dilute it with the same volume of water, remove the cake and put it on re-distillation.
Clean the drink. We will tell you how to do this in a separate chapter.
Dilute to the desired strength and bottle the chacha, put it in a cellar or other room with a low temperature for a month and a half.
It is much easier and faster to prepare a drink, the mash recipe for which involves the addition of sugar.
- cake and bunches of grapes - 25 kg;
- water - 50 l;
- sugar - 10 kg.
Prepare the grapes in the same way as described in the previous recipe.
In a fermentation container, mix the pulp, water, sugar.
Install a water seal. Place the grape chacha mash in a dark, warm place.
Shake or stir the fermentation vessel daily.
When the odor trap stops bubbling, proceed with the distillation.
All subsequent actions do not differ from those described in the previous recipe.
Cleaning the beverage
You should not clean chacha with potassium permanganate, coal or soda. This will change the taste for the worse. There are many ways of pasting self-made alcohol, and they are not invented for the sake of fun. Improperly refined alcohol can turn from a drink of the gods into slop. Of course, this primarily concerns wine. But why spoil the taste of Georgian brandy at the final stage?
Without cleaning, chacha has an unpleasant odor and contains many harmful substances. It is impossible to completely remove them at home, but it is possible to significantly reduce them.
Purification with casein
This is the cheapest way. It will remove unwanted impurities, improve taste, and eliminate unpleasant odors. To do this, add 200 ml of cow's milk to 10 liters of the drink. Put in a dark place, shake the mixture twice a day. After a week, carefully drain from the sediment, filter.
Pasting with pine nuts
This method is not cheap, since pine nuts are expensive. But the drink will not only be cleansed, but will also acquire an incomparable aftertaste. True, the cedar will have to be thrown out later, since it will absorb a lot of harmful substances.
A handful of peeled nuts is added to each liter of chacha, put in a dark place, then filtered and bottled.
Watch a video on how to make chacha:
Prepare chacha according to one of the suggested recipes and enjoy a fragrant drink. Just do not forget that it is easy to drink and contains a lot of alcohol.