How Many Agave Plants Does It Require To Make 1 Liter Of Tequila
- A plant usually weights between 20 and 30 kilos.
- It takes around 6-8 kilos to produce 1 liter of tequila, depending on the weather and type of soil used.
- There are methods which can get more liters out of the plant Although it reduces the quality of the product. The average plant can make 3 to 4 liters of 100% Agave Tequila.
- Or you can experiment using Copper Alembic Pot Still.
The wash is as follows:
- 46 ounces
- 32 ounces
- 1 cup of granulated white sugar
- 1 3/4 gallons of tap water
- 2 tablespoons of yeast breadcrumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice
Heat 1 gallon of tap water in a pot to 155F and combine agave, Karo, sugar, and acid for 30-45 minutes. Pour into a 5-gallon drink cooler Add 3/4 gallon of cold water to cool the wort down to 85F. Pitch yeast and add breadcrumbs. Expect it to take some age to bring out the tequila taste.
How To Drink Tequila And Mezcal
Although drinking tequila shots is a very popular activity, and there is some debate about the “correct” way to shoot it , tequila connoisseurs say that it is a complete waste to shoot a fine tequila or mezcal, and they recommend that it be sipped, either alone or with sangrita, a mixture of tomato, orange juice and lime juice, spiced with chili powder.
How Do You Distill Agave
How Is Tequila Made?
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Where Is Tequila From
The first tequila distillery was in the town of Tequila, in the state of Jalisco. Much like the way in which France controls the wine regions and naming of wines, Mexico controls the regions where tequila can be produced. The state of Jalisco is the largest area that produces tequila with the seal of approval, and there are other smaller areas near some cities in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit and Tamaulipas. If youre interested in purchasing some high-quality tequila, head over to our spotlight on 11 Mexican- and Mexican American-Owned Tequila & Mezcal Brands You Need to Know.
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Different Types Of Tequila
If the distillate is destined to be sold as a blanco or plata tequila, it is hydrated with water and bottle after resting for no more than two months in stainless steel vats.
However, aged tequila has grown in demand. The ageing process will either involve American or French new oak barrels, which will greatly impart its flavours onto the distillate. If French oak is used, the casks may be toasted or bousiné, which is a technique often employed for French brandy.
While blanco tequila will likely have harsher and crisper flavours, tequila will mellow in body and structure as it is aged. Producers will tailor the ageing period according to the desired flavour profile they wish to create.
The ageing periods of tequila have been standardised by the designation of origins, which has led to the following categories:
- Blanco:White tequila is a clear and unaged spirit, which may or may not contain flavourings and additives.
- Plata: Unlike blanco tequila, plata or silver tequila may not contain any additives at all.
- Reposado:Rested tequila is aged for at least two months and not more than a year in oak barrels, resulting in an amber hue.
- Añejo: The tequila is aged for between one and three years in small oak barrels.
- Extra Añejo: A newer category established in 2006 for tequila aged longer than three years.
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Collecting Your Tequila Distillate
Next, youll be collecting your tequila distillate. This is where all of your hard work up to this point will pay off! Its definitely the most satisfying part of this entire distilling process. This step is a mixture of art and science. It takes an experienced distiller to get this process dialed in and exactly right. However, dont let that deter you if youre a tequila distilling newcomer. You know what they say, practice makes perfect. Its no different here. After you run a few batches with your still, youll gain a familiarity with the whole process and be able to really improve by taking notes and making the necessary adjustments.
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Why Can Tequila Only Be Made In Mexico
According to Mexican law, tequila production is permitted only in Jalisco and a few municipalities in Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas.
The blue agave plant, which is the principal raw material for tequila production, only grows in these areas.
Our post Can tequila be made outside of Mexico? answers this in more detail.
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An Overview Of The Agave Growing And Production Process Of Our Favorite Mexican Spiritand Why We Love It
Every time you taste tequila, I invite you to think of this: you are holding in your hands a beautiful spirit that has taken 7 years at the very least to create in Mexico and find its way to you. Isnt that amazing to think about?
To help you understand the journey of tequila, here is an overview of its production process, from agave planting through distillation. Agave takes quite the journey to get from field to your glass. The decisions made during each production stage are what define the differences in flavor from tequila to tequila.
Mexico received the Denomination of Origin for the spirit in 1974, which means that for tequila to be tequila, it can ONLY be made only in certain municipalities of 5 different states in Mexico. In Jalisco, where most tequila is made, there are 2 growing areas: Los Altos and Valles. These areas differentiate themselves in the tequila they produce because of their different types of soil and climate. In Los Altos, theres a little bit more copper and iron in the ground so it looks red. In Valles, the soil is more volcanic and heavy with minerals, so it looks darker and gives us wonderful aromas and flavors. The 2 areas really do produce excellent tequila with different tastesand I love them both.
What Plant Is Tequila Made From
Tequila is made from the only Weber Azul plant, more formally known as a blue agave plant. This is the only plant ever used to make an alcoholic beverage. Its been rumored that the Mexican government had stated that, to be considered an authentic tequila, the liquid must be made with precisely 51% of these blue agave plants sugars.
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Extracting The Agave Nectar
As previously stated, to manufacture pure tequila, your wash must be made from the Blue Weber Agave plant. However, considering the difficulties you may face in harvesting agave plants, you may take the less stressful option of sourcing Blue Agave nectar elsewhere.
If using the conventional method, you need to bake the harvested and cut up piñas for about 24 to 48 hours to turn complex carbohydrates into simple fermentable sugars. Following that, you should use mechanical crushers to extract the juices from the pinas. Next, rinse the mashed product with water to assist in extracting the juices.
At home, you can chop the pina into little pieces or mince it in a food processor. The next step is to mash the little pina pieces while collecting the extracted juice in a nectar container. Mash them till no liquid comes out of them. Squeeze the remaining nectar into the nectar bowl by pressing the mashed agave against a fine wire mesh strainer with the back of a wooden spoon.To eliminate filterable solid particles, place a paper filter in a funnel and pour the nectar through this funnel into another bowl. Youve got it now. Your own Blue Agave nectar.
Fortunately, Blue Agave nectar is readily available in most grocery stores and online, so you will not need to harvest the agave plant to prepare the mash for your fermentation. This has the advantage of reducing your processing time.
The Tahona Process Is As Crafty As It Gets
Tequila can be as artisan as the most artisany crafty tiny spirit out there. Even if its made by a big producer. See, tequila is made by steaming and crushing those massive piñas. One way those piñas can be crushed is the Tahona processbasically dragging a massive volcanic wheel over the steamed agave hearts. Traditionally, and in at least one place, still done by donkey. If use of a donkey isnt artisan, we dont know what is.
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How Is Agave Made
Agave syrup is derived from a desert succulent plant with huge sword-like leaves that is used to make agave syrup. When the agave plant is harvested for syrup, the leaves are chopped away, revealing a sap-rich core within the plants interior. After that, the sap is removed from the core and boiled to concentrate the sugars in the sap.
Why Is Tequila Different From Other Alcohol
Unlike the other 6 types of liquor, tequila is only made in one part of the world.
Mexico is the only place in the world where tequila production is allowed. The name Tequila is the copyright of the Mexican government.
All the activities related to tequila are overseen by the Norma Oficial Mexicana . This includes the supply of the agave to the production of the spirit and everything after.
If a tequila should have a NOM identifier on the bottle . If it doesnt have this then its not authentic or regulated by the Mexican government.
This code also indicates which distillery the bottle comes from. Each distillery is assigned a NOM number by the Mexican government. You can use the NOM number to find out where it was made.
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Extracting The Sweet Agave Juices
Those sweet juices found inside the baked agave now need to be extracted. Just like every other step in the process, tequila distilleries employ different methods.
The majority of the time, mechanical shredders are used to pulverize and separate the agave fibers, allowing the sweet juice, or mosto, to be collected for fermentation. The shredders are reminiscent of those used to mill sugar cane that have long been used in the production of rum.
A handful of tequila distilleries choose to do it the old-school way, with a tahona, a large wheel often made from volcanic rock that rolls around a stone pit, crushing the agave and extracting the juice as it goes. Using the tahona wheel is a very traditional method and it was originally pulled by horses, mules, or oxen. Today’s tahonas are operated either by tractors or a central engine that slowly moves the arm attached to the wheel around the pit, but they require a worker or two to work the pit as the 2-ton wheel crushes the agave. Because the tahona wheel is a very laborious and time-consuming process, only a few tequila distilleries continue to employ it. Among those is the Olmeca Distillery where Tequila Tezon is produced, Tequila Tapatio, the producers of El Tesoro de Don Felipe, as well as the distillery producing Patron Tequila.
Products Made With Agave
Our beautiful and beloved Mexico is one of the countries that has a highest level of Biodiversity in the world, and within these natural riches, lies the agave. There are around 300 species worldwide, from which approximately 159 are found in our territory. Its area of origin is the arid region that today is found between northern Mexico and the southern United States. It is estimated that the genus began to diversify 12 million years ago.
The product from the agave that is best known by a majority is the spirit drink called Tequila, however, with the great diversity that this species has, we cant be surprised to learn that there are many products that can be made from the agave plant.
The meaning of the word agave comes from the Greek , which means noble or admirable. It makes reference to a genus of monocotyledonous plants, usually succulent, belonging to the Agavácea family. They receive numerous common names, such as agave, pita, maguey, cabuya, fique or mezcal, among the most known ones.
The products derived from the agave plant can be found in several business branches, such as medicine, food, fuel, cleaning, cosmetics and recycling.
Here are some examples of agave products:
- Agave syrup and fructans
- Bug repellent
This is one of the products that you can find at the souvenir shop of Quinta Sauza at an affordable price and in two presentations: light and dark. The latter, having no color extraction process, has a more intense flavor.
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Growing And Harvesting The Agave
Growing Agave tequilana for the purpose of producing tequila is not a short process. The plants are cared for in vast fields for about six to ten years before they are ready to harvest. When Agaves are ready to bloom, they produce a long stalk from the center of their rosette. In tequila production, this stalk is removed as soon as it begins to grow so that the plant can focus its energy elsewhere. Plants that have had their stalks removed typically have higher concentrations of sugar, which is essential in fermentation.
The harvester, or jimador, used a sharpened, curved tool called a coa to slice off the Agaves tough leaves. The heart of the plant, called the piña, is the only part of the Agave that is used to make tequila. Jimadors must be careful while handling the piñas, as the caustic sap of the Agave can cause rashes that can last for up to a week.
At the time of harvesting, the piña of an Agave plant will weigh anywhere between 80 and 200 lbs. This may seem like a lot of weight but remember that Agaves are succulents that retain moisture. It takes approximately 15 pounds of Agave piñas to make a single liter of tequila, so large distilleries need a lot of Agave to keep up with demand. After harvesting, the piñas are sent to the distillery to be cooked.
Which Tequila Is 100 Blue Agave
The traditional® reposado is a tequila made with 100% blue agave. A minimum of two months are spent aging this wine in oak barrels so that it reaches the level of smoothness and subtle complexity that aficionados desire. Original Cuervo® tequila remains the tequila of choice in Mexico, because it is the original.
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How Strong Is Tequila
When sold in Latin America, tequila can be as low as 35% ABV according to each countrys local laws. Meanwhile, any alcoholic spirit must be at least 40% ABV in the European Union and North America.
Usually, the alcohol is hydrated, which means that it is simply cut with pure water. Most large-scale brands will usually retail their tequilas at exactly 40% as it means that they can sell a greater quantity.
Alternatively, a few distillers may distil to proof, which involves a careful distillation process where the resulting distillate is immediately bottled without hydration. Tequila that is distilled to proof tends to be above 55% ABV.
When ageing the tequila, this can be particularly challenging as the angels share will alter the alcohol content as it evaporates. Nevertheless, some distillers have mastered the technique into an art-form.
Difference Between Mezcal And Tequila
While both beverages can get the job done, its important to point out that tequila and mezcal are not the same thing. In fact, theyre two completely different liquors.
As we already noted, tequila must be made only from the blue agave in five Mexican states. Mezcal, on the other hand, can be made from any kind of agave and in eight Mexican states. Most of the Mezcal produced today comes from the Oaxaca region.
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Stage : Successive Distillation
After a good amount of alcohol isproduced, the mixture is then distilled to separate and concentrate thealcohol. For the production of tequila, the distillation is carried out twice,or sometimes even thrice. This is because each distillation milds the taste ofliquor and produces smoother, purer products. After the successivedistillation, the product is clear, silvery tequila, which is ready to beaged.
Feeling Thirsty Yet Buy Tequila Online
You can buy tequila online through our website using Drizly or Reserve Bar here: . Whether you love Casa Mexicos silver, reposado, or añejo tequila, you can have it shipped directly to your home. If you prefer to go and purchase tequila in a liquor store near you, visit this link:
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What Is A Blue Agave Plant
The infamous blue agave is a blueish-grayish succulent from the Asparagaceae plant family. This large, fast-growing plant its indigenous to the state of Mexico, although it grows in Central America and parts of the United States as well.
Regardless of these succulents being a fast-growing plant, they still can take anywhere up to 12 years to sprout ultimately. Interesting, right? Not to mention that there are about 300 known variations of this one agave species! But why has this specific plant been the chosen gem in creating tequila?
The blue agave has a higher chance of producing agavins, also known as sugars. The agavins make an irresistibly perfect match for fermenting alcohol-induced beverages. However, you never want to use them raw, as they are considered poisonous when consumed raw. Instead, they should always be baked or formed into a sauce, like syrup. Only then will the tasty, sweet flavor notes become more prominent.