Facts on Infusion

Treatment and handling of your distillate.

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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by distiller_dresden » Thu May 03, 2018 3:47 pm

Okay, brandy - no. Got it; I was kind of thinking no, but wanted your input because your impression given is one of 'old wizard alchemist' when it comes to the topic and after reading through this thread.

Scotch or rum. You know what, why not both? After all, I'm going to be making the 'separate' distillation of the basil hydrosol. I can use a bit of my scotch and rum distillations while also doing what I will with those on their own to the side - keeping them separate for oaking. Thus keeping the base spirit as what it will be, and doing this.

I'm chiming in to let you know I'm taking a short break, about 2-3 hours for dinner with my father and we watch some TV. I'll be back about 1030-11p est, and enter an entry. Have lots of thoughts now coming from the aether into clarity. I will definitely send you some of each finished product should you wish! The scotch based, rum based, and my 'juicy fruit' brandy once that's aged - I am hoping/planning to age that brandy on some Japanese oak since it's already going to be wild, to really go the 10th yard with something almost nobody ever gets or works with. I'm thinking the bouquet, and that 'Japanese temple incense' I've read about, it's gotta be 'flowery' because incense is, right? Certainly that will complement a complex blended ghost of so many fruits...

I'll think of names for those 3. Take suggestions too!
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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by distiller_dresden » Thu May 03, 2018 8:59 pm

Okay so here's what we got, I think we have it almost nailed down. One thing I forgot to mention is I have a pot still. My setup is:
5 gallon pot still, 1 gallon thump keg, 1.5 gallon flake stand/worm, which I run cold water through with a submersible motor in a 16 gallon tank of water. Here's a photo of my setup-
still.jpg
I'm going to kind of step it out:

Basil hydrosol - few gallons of water in still, mix of pear juice concentrate and moscato wine in thump keg along with chopped fresh basil leaves (amounts must be determined, as my thumper only has a small opening, about equivalent to the female end of a garden hose, so no large chunks. I use a large funnel to fill it). I typically put 32 oz of liquid in to 'charge' it for a distilling run with 5 gallons of some ABV wash in my still. I've also dumped out much more at the end of a run, so I know I can probably safely fill it as much as 64 oz. Some advice or assistance here would be helpful as to how much basil by grams, how many oz of liquid, and that will be half and half wine/pear I'm guessing.

Cinnamon(stick) - I'm thinking with this what I will do is something I'm doing with a whisky currently; I put 6 oz of the whisky separate into an 8 oz jar with a stick of cinnamon, letting it macerate. I'm not really 'watching' it. I'm letting it go crazy. See where this is going? It's the same spirit that I'm going to be adding it back to, so that I'm able to control the level of the cinnamon very, very carefully and get it exactly where I want it.

Clove - Same thing, but maybe in 2 oz of spirit, and only 2 cloves. I wouldn't use more than 2 in the final spirit anyway full on, I don't think, do you? Then this way, again, I can carefully control the clove.

Vanilla - same, again. 2 oz. I have some of that Madagascar vanilla bourbon paste with seeds from Nielsen Massey. Very good, but this way I can control the flavor.

Fennel - making a strong tea from just spring/bottled water, about double strong what I would drink normally, because it'll be diluted, which will bring it down to normal strength/flavor; this will be used not to flavor, it will flavor, but to dilute down from full strength to 70 or 80 proof. Do I sweeten this tea to taste - and see the astra tea below - maybe I sweeten each tea to taste and that is the sweetening of the spirit itself when I dilute?

Astragalus and dried/OR/candied ginger - making another strong tea (should I make 'strong' teas from these two, or normal teas?) which will be used to dilute down to drinking proof along with the fennel tea. If I use the right amount and opt for candied ginger in there it would give me ginger and add sweetness without honey here. Maybe just the honey to taste in the fennel and ginger to taste here would be enough sweetness? Recommend - perhaps dried ginger here, no honey in the fennel, and I use honey completely separate. Which -skip to bottom, where I spin head on how to add what when in mixing this up...

Szechuan pink peppercorns - 2 oz spirit, maceration, add to taste for flavor

Wildflower honey - for sweetening the final product and to round it out, tying everything together and bringing the basil and fennel forward


Now - the questions are:
The way I have it, is maceration the best way (seems so, from our discussion) for the vanilla, cinnamon, peppercorn, and clove?
Is a 'tea' the best method for the ginger/astragalus and then the fennel, I think again that from discussion that seems to be what we've decided on right, seems what you've intimated to me?
The real 'unknown' at this point, pending the above two being confirmed, is the amounts for my thumper, that way up top question...


If it helps - my typical run of 5 gallons wash of say rum will yield me 60 oz of 120 proof drinkable after making cuts. Calculator tells me adding 30oz of water will make it 80 proof.
So one rum batch I'm going to have approximately 90-100 oz of rum to work with at 70- 80 proof. Since everything else, if this is all accurate, is outside the still processing, preparing the basil is the only thing I need to worry about. As I'll be 'setting aside' approximately 12 oz for the macerations to control introduction of those flavors, I'd say I can count on at least 80 oz of finished product. So I'll need to figure enough basil hydrosol to flavor that much, and I don't have a clue what that means! It's going to be a grams of basil in the thump issue for sure, right?

Finally - probably the MOST important question to this whole thing, I think. What order do I add things in? Do I start with the vanilla/cinnamon/clove in order to balance them as a chord, then bring in the fennel and basil so I have my vocalists of the song standing tall and get them forward but level. Next the astralgalus/ginger so I can detect a sweetness and medicinal bitterness just as a ghost there in the back row reminding me it's not all warming spices but there's something more to life. Now would the honey come in, followed by the peppercorn? I just don't know how to go about building this symphony.

Okay did I cover it all? What do you think...
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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by Alchemist75 » Fri May 04, 2018 5:38 am

Working on your answer, Lotta little things here.....
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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by Alchemist75 » Fri May 04, 2018 7:21 am

OK, so, the cinnamon, clove and vanilla are right on, macerate to taste in spirits 60% abv or above. Tincturing them separately will allow you to control the proportions in your final product very finely. Mixed rum/grain spirit sounds like a good compromise.
Fresh basil will give you lots of flavor for sure, the fresh herbs are the best to get high essential oil output.
Now, the fennel: if you do it as a tea it must be prepared separately from ginger and astragalus, see the rules for doing water based extraction in the link I posted earlier in the thread. The other and perhaps more simple approach to using the fennel would be to put it in the thumper with the basil. That will pull it's aroma without having to infuse it separately unless the tea is specifically what you're after.
Much of what gives fennel it's characteristic flavor is it's essential oil so steam distilling it will pull out a lot of the flavor.
The astragalus must be boiled and if you're using dried ginger it likewise must be boiled so you'd simply cook them together. If you're going to use the candied ginger you can let that dissolve in the broth immediately after you take it off the heat. This broth is going to stand out more than you might think in the final product. It will bring a lot of body to your blend. If using candied ginger you'll have to watch how much honey you add. If it were me I'd just use the dried but this is your Frankenstein so you make the call.
In terms of how much you put in your thumper it's a bit subjective. Doing the separate steam distillation will pull a fair amount of essential oils. I don't know the theoretical oil yield on either fennel or basil right off the top of my head though I found a table that I'll post after this. I strongly suspect that the fresh basil especially will yield a fair amount so you'll definitely get a lot of its character coming forward. Just based on a glance at the table the yield on fennel is pretty high and basil is a bit lower. Lots of basil, less fennel in the thumper assuming you put the fennel in the thumper. One thing you might encounter if you have a lot of liquid in the thumper is that it might puke a bit. Mind your energy input, keep it on the low medium end and just let it run through nice and slow. No hurry, slow and low is the best rule of thumb with any distillation as I'm sure you know.
So, in terms of how this comes together in the final blend:
Astragalus gets boiled with the ginger and honey in the same pot to create one broth. If fennel tea is used it must be either prepared separately or added to the broth AFTER you've cut the heat and then put a lid on the pot to let it infuse until cool. I'd probably use this latter approach just to simplify life. Once the hot broth is cooled you add the bulk of your base spirit and then the tinctured spices in controlled amounts with stirring and periodic tasting to get to mix just right. At this point if you're not at you're target abv you can add water or more base spirit to get it where you want.
Did I cover it all? Hoping you get a clearer picture. Did what I said make sense? I'll post that table next......
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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by Alchemist75 » Fri May 04, 2018 7:25 am

I couldn't get a good copy paste of that table so here's the link to it:
https://www.essentialoil.com/pages/percentage-yield" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by distiller_dresden » Fri May 04, 2018 8:49 am

Okay, awesome we are really starting to nail this down!

I think I will use dried ginger because I want this to be like the old world kind of tincture/concoctions, and they didn't have candied ginger in the old world, or if so it wasn't as common as dried, yeah, le's go with that. Plus, candied would be adding just 'sugar' flavor and I want any sweetness to come from honey and the astralgalus, to be 'alternative' sweetness that is more herbal or warm, not just BOOM sweet like sugar does.

Next, the hydrosol. I think I'm going to do a separate, though more work, fennel and basil hydrosol. It will allow me to control the flavors of each, instead of the other way where I could find myself trying over and over, or at least twice anywyays (when I could just do two with fennel and basil separate) trying to get basil and fennel where I want them which is both forward and together like a married couple. Plus, it will allow THIS (watch this-)

Fennel hydrosol - from charge of strong fennel tea sweetened with honey (32 oz charge, 2.5 gallons water in pot)
Basil Hydrosol - from charge of pear juice concentrate and moscato wine (32 oz charge, 2.5 gallons water in pot)
Vanilla tincture
Cinnamon tincture
Clove tincture
Pink peppercorn tincture
Astragalus/dried ginger tea sweetened with honey (make 8 cups, allow for loss to steam)
White rum or 'mock' scotch (deathwish wheatgerm)

Now I know I need in combination of both the hydrosols and the tea about 45-50 oz of liquid for diluting down my spirit once I've made cuts and mixed my hearts jars together, I usually have about 48-50 oz and it'll take maybe 12 oz to get to 120 proof, which is where I'll stop typically to get it for making my tinctures like for the cinnamon stick. I actually think I will only use 2 oz for the cinnamon stick, and use part of a cinnamon stick because they smell really REALLY strong, like an Atomic Fire Ball in their bottle, so I think perhaps I can use just an inch of one and be FINE and the extra oz's of higher proof spirit would be wasted. After all that 4-6 oz of 120 would be 6-8 oz of 80 and about 7-9 oz of 70 proof.

So this does solve one of my questions, when to add what. I think I'll dilute the spirit down to 100 proof with the tea, which will give the room I need for the hydrosols and the amount I'll add of them will probably bring me down to 80, possibly 70. This is not a problem however, because my tinctures are at 120, and after adding them (like the clove, only 2 in there) I could quite possibly find myself back at 80 proof. Awesome, feeling good about this!

Now, few more finalizing questions-
-Is freeze dried ginger going to be the same as dried for my purposes (it's cheaper for me)?
-Apparently my Szechuan pink peppercorn - is two, Szechuan are red, pink are different, and what I was actually thinking of. The pink aren't actually pepper, but do have a pepper bite and actually have an interesting flavor: "sweet and spicy flavor has become a recent favorite of chefs all over the world. Its taste is often described as a fruity" - so I think the pink is what I'm going with, it should complement nicely. Do you agree?
-I looked over the chart, but not really sure still what to make of it because, well, I don't know what I don't know. Would 8 oz of chopped basil leaves in my charge be sufficient for the hydrosol to have enough flavor? I don't mind, obviously, if it's potent, so it if 8 oz would be potent that's fine, I've never done this. Is 2.5 gallons enough water to get to where we're going, get the oils/flavors out of there? (two questions in one here, but they're sorta related/intertwined) The basil option is buying fresh at the supermarket/Kroger in the produce section, unless I can think of or you know of another option, especially if you say I need something like 2 lbs in there or...
-Same for fennel, I actually have a mortar and pestle... Hehe, I am a bit of a jack of all trades and have dabbled in everything at one point in my life, and I also hold onto things of value that I've invested in at those some points. Lots of fennel? I have a tupperware container right now, actually, full of 2 cups of fennel seeds. Same previous question, is 2.5 gallons in the still enough water for these hydrosol extractions, or more? So amount of pot water, and amount of herb/spice to be extracted in the thump is in question for good results.
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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by Alchemist75 » Fri May 04, 2018 1:25 pm

Freeze dried herbs are actually preferable when you can get them as regular air drying can change the potency and flavor. Lemon balm is a great case in point here. Dried lemon balm is a sad little joke when it comes to distilling. So yes if freeze dried is what is going to be easiest. Organic too, on all fronts, if available. Distillation can concentrate pesticides. I do agree with the type of pepper corn certainly, sounds like it's good quality.
The chart gives you some idea of how much oil you'll get from X amount of whatever relatively speaking. Since you're doing the hydrosols separately this really won't matter. You distill it, get what you get and if you need more then distill more. Your approach of doing everything separately is good as it will give you super fine control. Yes to your measurements on the thumper charge, you'll pull a decent quantity. To some extent the volume of liquid in the thumper will increase especially before it comes up to heat. Usually I only use as much liquid as is necessary to just cover the herbs so the thumper charge will tend to be "thick" or sludgy. A little trick with our hydrosol is to add some high proof spirit to it, just enough to get the visible beads of essential oil to dissolve fully into the solution. Doing this makes it possible to measure them out more accurately and it helps stabilize them if you end up with excess that you don't want to waste. Always store unused hydrosol in the fridge by the by. 2.5 gallons is plenty as long as it's adequate to just cover the herbs.
Last edited by Alchemist75 on Fri May 04, 2018 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by Alchemist75 » Fri May 04, 2018 1:32 pm

Sorry if I miss anything or if I'm being ambiguous at all. If anything is still mysterious do ask and I'll try to answer more clearly. The topic at hand is certainly sophisticated and each thing needs separate treatment. Lotta info.
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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by distiller_dresden » Fri May 04, 2018 2:22 pm

I think maybe I confused you, I'm not sure; the herbs/spices for hydrosol are going into my thumper. The thumper liquid was going to be 32 oz, I may cut that back given your 'sludge' advice, make it as dense, yet fluid, as possible. O-K for the 'high proof' spirit, do you get out what you put in, will this spirit affect flavor as well? Should I use something of mine - high quality - or just a few shots of cheap vodka?

Now, to the charge - as said, I'll cut it back, maybe 20 oz, 4-6 of 80 or above proof spirit, and 8 oz each of pear juice concentrate and moscato wine, for the basil in this instance/example, with chopped up basil leaves.

This 'example' is my baseline as to 'liquid' charge in thump for each hydrosol - fennel and basil. Fennel of course will just be 20 oz of mixed fennel tea, perhaps some honey, and a spirit (maybe a couple shooter bottles of Jagermeister, which I kind of loathe, but the mildness coming across should be fine for this use).

The 2.5 gallons is for water in my pot still, which is just going to be boiling and creating steam that's feeding the charges in my thumper and as I understand from you giving me my hydrosols.

Do I have that all correct? 2.5 gallons of water in the pot still should be sufficient for 20 oz of liquid in the thumper also being a 'mush' of in two cases fennel (ground by mortar and pestle) or basil leaves chopped up well (as both fennel and basil need to go into and out again). My thumper is total volume 1 gallon, but I don't know the point at which lowest the input from the pot isn't under liquid, nor highest the outlet to the worm is blocked. I do know I've dumped perhaps 64-76 oz out of it after a long 5 gallon run without any blockage.

Now, barring any misunderstandings in all the above - is all that good/we got it? - is everything else in my earlier post 'sound' to you via your no doubt encyclopedic and broad knowledge of this deep, old science and...alchemy?

Also - freeze dried ginger, got it. While we clarified that, the astragalus... Is this one decent for my use? If not, can you direct me to one I should look for?
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ZD ... 2ZD4ESJ6W0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

I can't find any freeze dried astagalus. I figured this cut and sifted would be perfect for making tea.
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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by distiller_dresden » Fri May 04, 2018 5:21 pm

nectare basilicum vulgare

Too much, for a name? Maybe. Hmm. Waiting for a response, trying for a good, really GOOD name...

I think I got it:

Chimera Nectare

Also, the hydrosols, is it just going to be water that's flavored strongly? I assume it will be somewhat like a spirit run, as in it will be weaker as it builds, then stronger and into the 'hearts' of it, then as the oils dissipate it will get weaker again.

How much do I collect, as in with my jars, do I collect like 2 oz at once, 4 oz at once, what is the process for obtaining a hydrosol as I've never done that, since we've walked through the whole range of the making and blending process of everything else? (also, check my last post because there were questions there)

This thread seems to indicate that I'll have an oil to separate, but another comment mentions that the hyrdrosol is just the water.
viewtopic.php?f=95&t=63983
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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by Alchemist75 » Sat May 05, 2018 2:41 pm

Sorry I've not come back at you yet, my life got busy there but I'll reply tonight.
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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by distiller_dresden » Sat May 05, 2018 2:47 pm

As the saying goes my friend, quite literally, "C'est la vie." It's all good. I'm not running it this weekend, we're a ways out. :) Looking forward to further old wizardly arcane advice.
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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by Alchemist75 » Sat May 05, 2018 9:12 pm

OK, so yes, the charge of 2.5 gallons aught to be sufficient. Most of the essential oils come through in high concentration at the nose of the hydrosol run. The "head" of the run may appear milky because of the essential oil concentration. It occurred to me that because there is wine in the thumper that the ethanol present will dissolve most if not all of the oils so you'll not have to add any more later. Usually if you were using only juice or water the head of the run would have visible oil in it, the presence of ethanol will keep that from happening most likely.
You'll only run it as deep as the tail which is to say the point at which the flavor starts to fade. Be handy with a spoon to catch a drop now and then to see where things are at. A hydrosol run will proceed much faster than a normal ethanol run, all the good stuff is in the nose so you won't even get close to depleting your boiler. No worries there.
Honestly I've never encountered freeze dried astragalus, I'm sure it exists but it would be the exception not the rule.
As I pointed out earlier, a hydrosol is technically the water that comes through with an essential oil distillation but because we're not going to separate our oil from the water it's just a really intense hydrosol. If anything we want the oil to disperse evenly into the solution which is why I brought up the idea of adding a little high proof spirit. Again, you have wine in your thumper so it may not be necessary to add any additional spirit. You could separate the oil from the water but there's no point in going to that extra effort.
In terms of names yours aren't crazy considering I make a rose, chamomile, mint and apple spirit that I sweeten a bit and tint green with chlorophyll named "smaragdine: aqua vitae" going as far as including the æ dipthong on the label. Nice and alchemical sounding. Al iksir is a fun one to insert in place of the English elixir. Spiritus, lixivium etc. Look up Latin or Arabic alchemical jargon and symbology for label ideas.
I realize I'm repeating myself here but in terms of how much hydrosol to collect it's the same as making cuts on ethanol if a bit less precise. You can dice up the run in separate containers if it'll help you make the call but basically run only until the flavor begins to fade significantly. 99% of the best of it is in the "foreshot" or the head of the run as you'll be able to detect easily.
I think overall you have a pretty clear picture of what will play out though if there's still any ambiguous parts ask away. The first time you make the stuff you're describing the flavors of it are definitely going to be eyebrow raising. Sometimes the way flavors interact and direct chemical reactions of the various phytochemicals can produce curious effects but we won't know any of this until all is said and done. Trying to harmonize plant extracts based on the similarities of a few compounds is fine until you realize that those particular compounds are all they have in common. It's experimental until it's not. You know?
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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by Alchemist75 » Sun May 06, 2018 9:38 am

Here's a couple of links you might enjoy. Very cool old books covering distillation, medieval alchemy and science. Fun reading.

http://www.faculty.umb.edu/gary_zabel/C ... rtat2.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

http://www.alchemywebsite.com/jfren_ar.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by distiller_dresden » Mon May 07, 2018 8:24 pm

The links are fascinating! I'm taking a break which I think you deserve as well, at least from this topic. This coming weekend will be a busy one for me, I'll have 10 gallons to run, a deathwish wheatgerm modified recipe to run, as well as my apple brandy, which I think finished yesterday or today. I haven't opened the ferment container much, but a peek, because I want to keep the CO2 on top of it for safeguarding. I do think I have what I need to make the Chimera Nectare, I'm hoping I can put it together slowly, and get it the first time without 'ruining' or blowing apart things. My understanding, and several repeat reads thru, I think should be sufficient...
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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by Alchemist75 » Mon May 07, 2018 8:35 pm

Lol, we pretty well covered everything there. Yeah, I've been running hooch for the last couple days, few more stripping runs and then a 6 hour spirit. I try to keep my turn around pretty high so I'm running every second week in most cases. As summer comes on it'll only increase.
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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by janho » Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:55 am

I have a T500 reflux still with a botanical basket attachment. During the week I will distill a sugar wash. I want to do a vapour infusion with dried orange blossom to make an orange flavoured vodka but have absolutely no idea how much grams of the stuff I should use. Any advice? Also should I first distill without the blossoms to just get a neutral spirit with the reflux then water it down to 80 proof, remove the packing in the column (to get some flavour), fit the blossom filled basket and distill again?

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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by Bushman » Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:08 pm

janho wrote:I have a T500 reflux still with a botanical basket attachment. During the week I will distill a sugar wash. I want to do a vapour infusion with dried orange blossom to make an orange flavoured vodka but have absolutely no idea how much grams of the stuff I should use. Any advice? Also should I first distill without the blossoms to just get a neutral spirit with the reflux then water it down to 80 proof, remove the packing in the column (to get some flavour), fit the blossom filled basket and distill again?
That is probably the way I would do it! Also to answer your first question I would fill the basket as full as possible, if you feel after the run the flavor is too strong you can always add more neutrals.

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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by janho » Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:14 pm

Thanks a lot bushman, I will give feedback when its done.

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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by Havenor » Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:40 am

Thanks to distiller_dresden and alchemist along with others for this discussion. I wish I had caught this subject earlier. My daughter had actually given me a book on botanicals and flavoring a couple years back which first piqued my interest. I stumbled here as result one thing in particular that I grew in my garden this year, thai basil. I know basil was discussed earlier but if you aren't familiar with thai basil it's totally different from other basils in that there is a distinct licorice smell and taste to it. I know it belongs in my alcohol (rum). I would describe it as a milder version of anise or absinthe. I thought my idea was nuts until I saw basil mentioned in an earlier post. Any tips would be appreciated or point me in the right direction. Thanks again for the discussion.

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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by distiller_dresden » Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:53 pm

Hey Havenor! Glad to find you here/you found us! I think what you'd want to do with the thai basil - first tell me about your distilling setup, any thumper, or basket, or what all do you use?
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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by Alchemist75 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:06 pm

Dresden, did you ever make the product you and I discussed?
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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by distiller_dresden » Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:45 am

Not yet, but I am actually waiting for my pink peppercorns and astralagus to arrive, they're ordered. I'm going to use rum to make it, and I suspect I'll just be putting a lot in the thumper for a straight hydrosol. I've also been considering combining, well sort of, with another project. I'm saving all my good tails down as far as I can run them, thumper after all, to make an all tails rum (saved all are from rum or sugar distillates - including several rum runs, 2 maple syrup rum runs, and a coconut sugar distillate run [try it!! I posted in 'coconut sugar' under sugars, my recipe and results, but people are not experimenting around here!!!]). I am considering using some tails, maybe 2 gallons in the pot, and then the herbs all in the thumper with more tails, to see what comes of that.

I need to make teas with the ingredients (including peppercorns) and extracts (just leaving the ingredients singly in small jars of white rum) and see how those two styles of extraction taste/fare as well. This will be carefully manufactured and produced, for best flavor balance. In the end when I'm happiest with which method -- hydrosol/gin style via thumper, extract, or tea -- gives me the flavor of each in the way I'm most wanting it and which will balance best with the overall recipe... Then I'll move forward and make it. But I'm maybe 5 days now from having everything in hand and beginning my extensive process of discovering the 'best' in my opinion ways to get flavor from each piece of the puzzle. I wanted to do that rather than just jump into hydrosol or tea or whatever; a tea would be used for proofing down and flavoring at the same time, hydrosol via tails run (so, rum-gin?) and extracts both I can just add that alcohol to taste into the final without losing proof like the tea.

So it's important for me to figure out the best way to get these flavors together as I imagine them. One thing concerning me is I've used honey to directly sweeten a 'Vanillamon whiskey' I made, having made a cinnamon extract with some excellent Saigon cinnamon sticks in a small jar of the whiskey, and another small jar with two vanilla beans in it, then blending into the whole. I then sweetened this with honey; it's a wonderful sip, but the honey clouded the liquor slightly and no amount of filtering removed it. Believe me, I filtered the CRAP out of it so many times... Cheesecloth wads and a funnel, sometimes so thick my wad that it went drip drip drip and took an hour to filter the half gallon. Still slight fogginess. Any ideas RE honey back-sweetening?

Alchemist - by the way, I have a friend on the board (and off it!) from CT who I have told about you, he has EXTENSIVE spices and herbs amassed, he wants to make his own bitters and distillates like we discussed, those 'herbal' tonic or tincture 80 to 100 proof alcohols that aren't quite a bitters and are so popular in Austria and EU. I've told him to reach out or to pop in here, that you are a master Gandalf with herbs and spices and tinctures and could help him immensely in making his bitters and such. "JohnsMyName" is his handle, his name is John (OMG, WHAT?? lol). He and I have really gotten deep (actually I converted him wholly and completely) into rum.

Since he and I started talking and developed our friendship, at the start he'd tried one or two 'good' premium rums, and wasn't really super into it. He had made and aged rum, had his own infected dunder, but now I have him deep and talking about different yeasts, sulfuric acid use for more esters, and even now we are looking into the lime salts experiments (from "der wo") to create SUPER ester rums. I doubt we'll get to a Hampden DOK level, but I have opened his eyes to funk and Hampden as well, but he has a passion to make bitters and sent me photos of his spice and herbs closet, full of boxes over-full, brimming with packages of peppercorns and herbs and spices. He is definitely prepared to get deep into the 'alchemy' of your science, my friend!
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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by JohnsMyName » Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:58 am

Dresden - Thanks for telling me about this thread, need to take some time and read from the start.

Alchemist - I would love to pick your brain if you have the time. Thanks for your contributions thus far.

I'll try to post a list of what I have on hand tonight.

Cheers,

John

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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by JohnsMyName » Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:25 am

Okay, so here's some of the more interesting stuff I have, plus some regular culinary. If there's anything culinary not on here chances are it's in the cabinet.

Quassia Chips
Angelica Root
Wormwood
Buckbean Leaves
Calamus Root
Florentine Orris Root
Cinchona Bark
Gentian root
Wild cherry bark
Black walnut leaf
Lavender flower
Burdock root
Marjoram Herb, Sweet
Szechuan Peppercorns
Black Tellicherry Peppercorns
Black Talamanca Peppercorns
Pink Peppercorns
Juniper Berries
Aleppo Pepper
Korean Chili Flakes
Thai Chili Flake
Saffron
Cumin Seed
Coriander Whole
Rosemary Cut
Mint Cut
Fennel Seed
Star anise, whole
Allspice (Mexican), whole
Cardamom (green pods)
Cardamom (shelled), whole

I haven't done anything with them yet, but want to get started, any advice would be great. I can buy/make any liquor abv needed, also any fruit rinds etc. I really like things like Campari, Orange bitters, tonic, Grapefruit, etc...

Not sure where to start, but very eager to learn!!

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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by still_stirrin » Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:47 pm

JohnsMyName wrote:...Not sure where to start...
I’d say you need to start with a big ‘ole jug of neutral....
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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by Bushman » Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:08 pm

still_stirrin wrote:
JohnsMyName wrote:...Not sure where to start...
I’d say you need to start with a big ‘ole jug of neutral....
:lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by distiller_dresden » Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:34 pm

Bushman wrote:
still_stirrin wrote:
JohnsMyName wrote:...Not sure where to start...
I’d say you need to start with a big ‘ole jug of neutral....
:lol: :lol: :lol:
Nah, RUM, white
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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by JohnsMyName » Thu Aug 23, 2018 4:41 pm

still_stirrin wrote:
JohnsMyName wrote:...Not sure where to start...
I’d say you need to start with a big ‘ole jug of neutral....
Lmao! I think you might be right SS. That part I’ve got figured out, I need the old boy for the wizard potion part!

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Re: Facts on Infusion

Post by distiller_dresden » Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:33 pm

RUM. It's a bit sweet like, even though no sugar, and it's a nice, smooth likker! Alchemist even suggested rum for my infusions and hydrosols. It'll be a better base body to hold things together. IMHO (and Alchemist's!). Neutral's okay, but nothing to it...
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