Aging Spirit

To round out or smooth the flavour of your liqueur or commercially flavoured drinks, it often pays to artifically age your drinks.

When aging your spirit, it is best done between 58-70% alcohol.

This can be done using :
  • woods - eg natural or toasted oak, and
  • smoothing agents - eg glucose or glycerine syrups.
Hexenwolfe explains that glycerine is safe ...
    Glycerine is a naturally occuring organic molecule that is manufactured by all animals. It is a major part of the animal fats known as triglycerides. Almost all animal fats such as lard, beef fat (tallow), mutton fat and other hard fats are triglycerides. These fats are called tri-glycerides because each molecule is made up of one glycerine molecule to which is attached three fatty acid molecules. A mono, or di glyceride fat such as is found in vegetable fats contains either one fatty acid molecule, or two fatty acids respectively.

    Glycerine itself is a molecule made of three connected carbon atoms, with an OH or hydroxl group at one end. This makes it an organic alcohol by classification. This also gives glycerine it's other name of glycerol. Either name is valid.

    Glycerine is a natural byproduct of the soap making process. When a triglyceride fat is reacted with lye, the fatty acids are broken away from the glycerol molecule. The end product is three molecules of soap and one leftover molecule of glycerine. This glycerine molecule is valuable so it is recovered from the soap and used in many ways.

    Pure glycerine is a clear, oily liquid with a very sweet taste. Think of mineral oil that tastes like honey. Another common name for glycerine is "sweet oil". Glycerine is not digestable by the human body. The oily texture, and sugary taste make it valuable as a calorie free food additive. It is used in MANY foods both regular and those intended for diabetics. Glycerine is also used in many industrial products. Undoubtedly the most famous use of glycerine is the explosive nitroglycerine. If a nitrogen atom is attached to each of carbon atoms in the glycerine backbone, then you have the explosive. Another famous use of glycerine is in cosmetics. The "oil" in "Oil of Olay" is glycerine. Many hand lotions use glycerine mixed with mineral oil and a little lanolin. The most well known in America is "Corn Huskers lotion".

    Moonshiners in the mountains of the USA called glycerine "Beading oil". A few drops of glycerine added to low proof moonshine would cause the moonshine to form "beads" around the edge of the jar like those created when high proof liquor is shaken. The sweet taste also concealed the harshness of poor quality moonshine. Glycerine is available from most brewing shops as a finishing agent for wines. It is also available at pharmacies for use as a sweetener or in compounding medicines.

    Glycerine is a completely safe and 100% natural compound.


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