My best Absinthe so far...

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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby kiwi Bruce » Tue May 17, 2016 2:42 pm

So S M..... it's been a month, How did it turn out? KB
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby sparky marky » Tue May 17, 2016 10:09 pm

kiwi Bruce wrote:So S M..... it's been a month, How did it turn out? KB

I have not made a new batch since last month, but my most recent attempt which at the time was 2-3 weeks old is losing its "empyreumatic" quality as Duplais calls it. It's still not where I want it though- as recommended I will be calming down the anise and bringing the fennel up a bit.
We have been having some pleasant weather in the UK recently so both my wormwoods, the hyssop plants and Lemon balm all look happy!! Still a couple of months away from harvest but when i get that done I will report back with the results of the next batch! :thumbup:
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby kiwi Bruce » Mon May 23, 2016 4:40 pm

Very good...keep us up to date...KB
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby rubber duck » Mon May 23, 2016 6:15 pm

I've been doing mine with fresh Florence fennel flower heads and cutting back on the anise. I haven't got it nailed yet but it's has less of a sharp bite. Less flavor as well but it mellows faster.
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby sparky marky » Mon May 23, 2016 10:46 pm

rubber duck wrote:I've been doing mine with fresh Florence fennel flower heads and cutting back on the anise. I haven't got it nailed yet but it's has less of a sharp bite. Less flavor as well but it mellows faster.


That sounds really pleasant...Are you growing that yourself RD? I could probably get the seeds to start growing somewhere online but I wrote off doing it because I'd never produce enough seeds to do a batch in my already limited growing space. Is that perhaps why you are using the flowers?
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby rubber duck » Tue May 24, 2016 6:09 am

sparky marky wrote:
rubber duck wrote:I've been doing mine with fresh Florence fennel flower heads and cutting back on the anise. I haven't got it nailed yet but it's has less of a sharp bite. Less flavor as well but it mellows faster.


That sounds really pleasant...Are you growing that yourself RD? I could probably get the seeds to start growing somewhere online but I wrote off doing it because I'd never produce enough seeds to do a batch in my already limited growing space. Is that perhaps why you are using the flowers?


No it grows wild here I get off work walk down to the road a pick a bag full. You could grow enough for e few bottles but it takes a lot of space. I don't use the seats I use the flower tops.
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. John Steinbeck
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby sparky marky » Sun May 29, 2016 9:10 am

https://i.imgsafe.org/b2215ceab5.png

Damned bugs all up in my wormwoods business...
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby skow69 » Sun May 29, 2016 9:24 am

Bummer, dude! What the hell are they? There ain't a lot of things that can stand to eat wormwood. (Have you tried it?)

I've been getting earwigs in mine. They snuggle way down in the growing tips where you can't even see 'em. I spray the tips with bugicidal soap and about 3 seconds later they come staggering out all panicky sideways, stumbling and falling down. It's pretty entertaining. Then I squish the little bastards!
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby sparky marky » Sun May 29, 2016 9:35 am

Yeah if a friend asks what I'm growing there I tell its a herb for absinthe and suggest they taste a leaf. Hilarious prank. :twisted:

I don't know what these things are, or how they can stand eating this stuff. they look like some sort of mite? In not good at bugs...

Murdered them all with spray after taking this photo anyway :moresarcasm:
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby rubber duck » Sun May 29, 2016 9:56 am

sparky marky wrote:https://i.imgsafe.org/b2215ceab5.png

Damned bugs all up in my wormwoods business...


Those are mites pot grower have problems with them all the time. If you don't get a handle on it you will have a black mold problem. Once you kill them use dimonium earth to prevent them. Soapy water will work somewhat to kill them also.
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby sparky marky » Sun May 29, 2016 10:00 am

rubber duck wrote:
sparky marky wrote:https://i.imgsafe.org/b2215ceab5.png

Damned bugs all up in my wormwoods business...
Once you kill them use dimonium earth to prevent them.


No idea what this is :crazy:

I'm not an overly experienced gardener...
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby rubber duck » Sun May 29, 2016 10:15 am

If you go to the garden shop they will know, it's a white powder, you mix it into water and spray it on your plant with a pump sprayer. It acts like razor blades on bugs, they don't like the stuff but it won't hurt your plants.
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby sparky marky » Sun May 29, 2016 10:25 am

Cool! Thanks for the tip!!
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby kiwi Bruce » Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:06 pm

They call it DE... pool people use it as the filter medium for swimming pools...it cheap and works well...KB
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby sparky marky » Sat Aug 13, 2016 5:24 am

Got all my herbs harvested, dried and now I'm just about to start throwing them in the pot to soak ready for a run tomorrow! Here's the recipe I'm going to be using:

absinthe summer 2016

5 liters 85% macerate for 24 hours
150g dried wormwood flowers and leaves
270g anise seed
270g fennel seed
7.5g orris root
25g coriander seed
15g Angelica root
10g hyssop
2 liters of tails from the last run to dilute


Colour 1 liter at 60C
10g hyssop dried flowers and leaves
10g roman wormwood dried leaves
10g dried Melissa leaves
4g Angelica root
7g Calamus root


The two wormwoods, the coriander, the hyssop, the Melissa and some of the fennel seed has all come out of the garden. Just got my hands on some Angelica plants so got that to look forward to for next year fingers crossed!!
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby kiwi Bruce » Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:46 pm

sweeps wrote:I make mugwort ale pretty regularly and I can attest that it is about as hallucinogenic as wormwood - ie. not very. I'm very fond of the herb, but I'm not sure it would be a ideal substitute for a. pontica.

So I did a small experiment to see what the taste different actually is between the three, mugwort, pontica and wormwood. I took three small jam jars and added a gram of each to two ounces of bland white wine, let it sit for ten days. (this is a very basic vermouth recipe) All the herbs were dry.
The results :-
mugwort ... spicy/herbal but not artemisia herbal and not bitter at all.
pontica..... artemisia spicy and very slight bitterness.
Woomwood...earthy but not artemisia herbal and very bitter.

There is a large difference between them, and I feel switching one for another will only give disappointing results....KB.
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby skow69 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 5:29 pm

Sparky, how is that 5 liter batch doing? It looks tasty. I've never used orris root. What does it contribute?

EDIT spelling.
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby sweeps » Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:50 pm

I've never heard of orris being used in absinthe, but I can see it working in a similar way to calamus.
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby sparky marky » Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:54 am

It tastes great! Best batch flavour wise Iv ever done! After resting it a while I'm gonna buy a bottle of terminus or nouvelle Orleans and see how it measures up, hope I'm not disappointed :D
My louche is still on the weak side compared to fancy absinthe brands though.... :roll:

I'd be surprised if Orris root was unique to my absinthe recipe, I think I started using it after tasting a few really good commercial Absinthes and thinking they all had a pleasant floral character that mine lacked. I use it a lot in gin recipes and love it so have thrown some into the last couple of batches. It has a very unsubtle floral aroma/flavour that in small amounts can really enhance the end product, It really is floral like the smell of a bunch of flowers but can overwhelm if you are heavy handed with it.
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby sweeps » Wed Aug 24, 2016 5:13 pm

FWIW, none of the classic absinthe recipes from Duplais, de Brevans, etc. mention orris, but yeah, I'd be very surprised if it hasn't been tried by somebody at some point over the last couple of centuries.
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby sweeps » Sun Aug 28, 2016 3:16 pm

Talking about what Duplais didn't include in his recipes got me to thinking what he DID include...

I did a quick count - if we ignore the blanche, then he gives just six absinthe recipes, with a mere thirteen* ingredients.

All six recipes include wormwood, anise and fennel in varying proportions in the main maceration. Three of them also add coriander seed, two add angelica seed, one adds angelica root and one adds elecampane root (mistranslated as black alder root).

For the finishing step, all six include Roman wormwood (A. pontica) and hyssop. Five of the six use lemon balm and one replaces the lemon balm with Moldavian balm (Dracocephalum moldavicum). Three of them add veronica and one of them adds mint.

(*Not included in any of the recipes, but mentioned in passing is the suggesting to add calamus root and angelica root during the finishing step.)

Duplais was apparently a bit of a conservative. :)


de Brevans and Robinet go to town a bit more with the botanicals, adding hyssop, Roman wormwood and mint to the main macerations in some recipes, along with citronelle**, calamus, dittany of Crete and the dreaded star anis. De Brevans has a couple of recipes without fennel and Robinet even has one with no anise.


(** Not 100% certain what they meant by "citronelle". It probably means lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), although that is more commonly called "mélisse" in French. I doubt it means lemongrass, although that is often called "citronelle" in French. I also doubt it means the rough lemon (Citrus jambhiri), also sometimes known as citronelle.)

Yeah - I had too much time on my hands today...
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby skow69 » Sun Aug 28, 2016 4:09 pm

SM you are setting the bar pretty high with those Jades. You know, there is no shame in using Vieux Pontarlier or Meadow of Love for your benchmark. :) When I read your recipe I thought the louche might be a little thin. I use around three times that amount of anise and fennel. I just can't get a satisfactory louche with any less, but then I like a really thick, luxurious louche. My last batch louches when I turn the water on the lawn. That's just right. :D

I am using six ingredients that don't show in the treatises (vertes, that is). I got the ideas from some odd recipes that I don't remember, probably La Fee Verte, or The Misfit Absinthe Forum or something like that. I don't know enough about herbs to think these things up on my own. Actually, I feel like my herb bill is too big, but every time I drop one out for a test, I get an inferior batch, so I keep using them all. But I don't go looking for new ones anymore.
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby sparky marky » Sun Aug 28, 2016 4:38 pm

Interesting research you did there! Good read.

I fiddled my herbs for this batch based on discussions on the previous page of this thread and what I read in Duplais, does yours not feel overwhelming with so much aniseed and fennel?
I know I'm setting the bar high Skow... I realised last night when I went to an absinthe bar in my city, it's expensive and "hip" but it stocks alot of the good ones.
Me and the miss shared an Enigma Blanche, an Adnams verte, a la fee and a Jade Edouard. It was a mini tasting because she was curious as to why our garden is now mostly herbs she hasn't heard of... :econfused:

The Adnams was kinda bad, the enigma was better, everyone knows what La Fee is like, but the jade as expected was head and shoulders above everything else.
Not sure how they make it so much more full bodied, so much more flavourful, yet lacking any form of alcohol burn on the nose or palate even before dilution...
Do we know much about their recipes or methods?
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby sweeps » Sun Aug 28, 2016 5:09 pm

sparky marky wrote: ... she was curious as to why our garden is now mostly herbs she hasn't heard of...


:)
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby skow69 » Sun Aug 28, 2016 5:56 pm

Not a thing beyond the legend of Ted Breau holing up in his chem lab to disect samples of some vintage brands so he could duplicate them.

My latest batch is anise forward, immediately overcome by wormwood. It doesn't numb the mouth. I find it well balanced, but then I would, wouldn't I?
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby esxman » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:43 am

Nigel , I am watching your postings with great interest .I would love to try and make a macerated Absinthe . We have 2 more anis flavoured plants here in Greece , one is fennel and grows wild , it has quite an earthy anise taste , and a greek anis called glycoriza , sweet root , that and the star anise I can get locally .I know the star anise can be a very in your face taste , like say juniper berries if you are ginning .Love those photos , and the colour is amazing .If I can get it as good looking as yours , I have some dark brown bottles ,it seems to be the light that will turn the drink a brown colour , well done that man! esxman
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby kiwi Bruce » Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:36 am

esxman wrote:I would love to try and make a macerated Absinthe esxman


Maybe I misread this....are you not going to distill this ?
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby alf » Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:03 am

my last try...
not too bad.
light "louche" (don't know the word in english, and here some people do not like when absinthe becomes as cloudy as ricard when you put a water drop in it)...
good look and good taste for me.
alfsinthe filtree diluee.jpg


2 liters of neutral (92-96%)
35g badiane (Illicium Verum), seeds
35g green anise (Pimpinella anisum), seeds
15g fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), seeds
15g absinthe stems (Artemisia absinthium), dry stems
15g coriander (Coriandrum sativum), seeds
Grind, macerate 24h
Add blanquette of the previous pass and water up to 3-3.5 liters
Distillation, tail cut 60% - In my case 2l and dust to 83%
Collect the tail up to 15% (blanquette) for the next time ... it is ... good.

Maceration / staining mixture for recovered heart diluted to 70/75% (2.5l):
2.4g large absinthe (Artemisia absinthium), leaves and flowers
2.4g of green anise (Pimpinella anisum), seeds
2.4g fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), seeds
1.2g lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), leaves
0.8g of small absinthe (Artemisia pontica), leaves
0.8g hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis), leaves and flowers
0.8g mint (Mentha spicata), leaves
The whole ground, maceration 16h @ 28/25 ° C - 24h is too much-
Filtration, sugaring (or not) with cane sugar syrup
If we want to correct the taste:
- More round = more fennel
- More aniseed = more anise
- More floral / spring = more lemon balm
- More spicy / peppery = more coriander
- More absinthe = more absinthe
- Softer = Dilute with neutral and water
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby Bushman » Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:44 am

That has great color, thanks for responding so quickly with your post.
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Re: My best Absinthe so far...

Postby esxman » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:20 pm

To Kiwi Bruce from esxman
certainly am going to macerate and redistill .First I need to get some of the more unusual seeds to get the actual plants before I start .Btw watched a Nat Geo documentary a year or so back , they showed an American lab guy in France reviving the lost art of absinthe making .He has a very old copper still , and all his ingredients were in whole plant form , hung up to dry , I suppose either to not dilute the primary alcohol , or to bring out flavours .He bottles the stuff and markets it . First I think I need to grow my angelica and hyssop etc first .I just got some a amylase from Uk , so first ventrue will be a stab at a cornflake or rolled oat whiskey, while I am waiting from my plants to grow !
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