Poli Museo della Grappa

Poli Grappa Museum

Poli Distillerie

Poli Distillerie

Discovering Grappa with Jacopo Poli.

Making Grappa: head and tail removal

Chop the head!
Rip the heart off!
Cut the tail off!

We are not talking about a fight against a fierce dragon to rescue a princess, but simply making good Grappa!

In fact, removing head and tail to X the heart only, is one of the most important parts of the distillation process. What does it mean essentially?

The grape marc is, to begin with a raw material rich of aromas and fragrances, since it is made of hundreds of aromatic elements; each one of them has its boiling point.

For convenience, we may distinguish three different categories of it: the so-called "low-boiling" aromatic elements, with a lower boiling point than the ones contained in the ethyl alcohol, which is 78,4" alc. Vol.; then we have the "medium-boiling" and "high-boiling" elements, with a boiling point higher than the ethyl alcohol.

During the distillation, the aromatic elements evaporate in sequence, starting from the low-boiling ones, which will create the head, the first part of Grappa leaving the alembic.

Being these aromatic elements very volatile, the head has a very aromatic note, reminding nail polish remover, paint, solvent... And it is therefore appropriate to divide it, cut and removed.

Then the hearth will flow, the central part, rich in ethyl alcohol and the aromatic pleasant elements, that remind of the grape aroma from which the Grappa was obtained.

Ultimately the tail arrives, the final part, rich in high-boiling components, which causes giving Grappa a heavy, unpleasant feeling reminding of wax, an oily note.

It is therefore appropriate to remove a generous portion of tail, to obtain a good quality Grappa.
As in beautiful fairy tales, even at the distillery the heart always wins.

Buona Grappa, everyone!

Watch the video with Jacopo Poli: