gin blends

All things to do with making of gin

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kiwistiller
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gin blends

Post by kiwistiller » Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:19 pm

Kia ora all, I've been playing around quite a lot with gin lately, I love the stuff. The tricky thing with gin is getting your botanicals blend just right, and I thought it might be interesting to hear what everyone else is doing. So, I thought I'd start this thread as a 'share your botanicals blend' sort of place.

One thing that should be specified is what style of gin, so distilled gin (macerate then redistill with/without botanicals in boiler), Vapour infusion (gin basket / clip, botanicals in the vapour path), Uncle Remus-style (condensed distillate flows through botanicals) or Compound Gin (make an essence, add to neutrals). feel free to add a tasting note or two.

So, post em, even if they're part of a recipe thread thats been buried somewhere

I'll kick it off with my two-

kiwi's Vapour infusion blend:

for ~5 litres of product:
5l of neutral at your desired drinking strength, then add some water for the gods of safety
  • 3 tablespoons of juniper according to taste (mine are dried)
    4 almonds
    about 2 inches of lemon zest - no pith!
    a single clove
    a cm of cassia quill
    1 green cardomon pod
    about a teaspoon of coriander seeds - can use fresh leaves for a more.... grassy (?) product
    about a teaspoon of dried licorice root
botanicals smashed up and put in the vapour path or a pot still. very delicate gin, suited to martinis or other cocktails. lighter than bombay sapphire, long nutty aromatic finish.

kiwi's Distilled Gin
in 3.5l of 95%:
5-6 heaped tablespoons of dried juniper, probably about 45-50g
6 green cardamon pods,
1/2 teaspoon bitter orange peel
3 strips of lime (strip being a knife fillet of zest from the top to bottom of fruit, about 4cm?)
2 strips of lemon
1/2 teaspoon fennel
1/4 of a nutmeg, grated
2.5 heaped tablespoons coriander
2 almonds
6 black peppercorns
2 pods of star anise (i.e. two arms of the star, not two whole stars)
2cm of cassia quill
1 teaspoon of licorice root.

mortar and pestle, then macerate for 3 days, dilute to 40% and redistill with botanicals in a cotton bag in boiler. A heavy gin, great for tonic and tom collins' etc. I love this blend, wouldn't know what to change, except maybe to back off on cardamom slightly? heavy juniper citrus hit, with a smooth aromatic finish that shows off the cardamon, anise and fennel.

Your turn! looking forward to hearing some others.

kiwi
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Re: gin blends

Post by olddog » Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:43 pm

I make gin regularly for my wife, she loves it.

My recipe is 4 tablespoons full of dried juniper berries
4 almonds
2-3 strips of orange peel ( I use a potato peeler to get the zest without the pith)
2-3 strips of lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon full of angelica root
1/2 teaspoon full of Orris root
1/2 star anise
1/2 teaspoon full of ground coriander
about 1" cinamon stick
1/2 teaspoon full of ground ginger
These herbs are put into a coffee/spice grinder and ground to a coarse grind, I then put this into a bag made from surgical cloth and hang the bag with a SS clip in the neck of my keg. The wash is just a sugarwash, I then distill with the Frankenstill with thumper. The result is a vapour induced flavour which is close to Bombay gin straight off the still. I give it a few days to air, and then bottle.
I have found that this method of vapour infusion produced a far better product than maceration.
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Re: gin blends

Post by kiwistiller » Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:37 pm

I went to a tasting session with the blokes from http://www.lighthousegin.co.nz/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow yesterday. They were remarkably patient with a young fella like me who was obviously after their trade secrets. their use of orange was interesting, and really stood out to me in the nose of the product. they also used the native Kawa Kawa, which was curious. they had all their botanicals seperate in bottles (I think for decoration) and I asked to smell the kawa kawa. I found it very pungent and sweet, and I think that this with the orange was responsible for the end product having a very sweet taste. I bought a bottle to compare my future blends with.

They get neutral, macerate and distil, taking a heads and tails cut, and then distill again w/o botanicals, and take another heads and tails.

I was very interested to hear that the neutral grain alcohol they are supplied with comes in plastic containers @ 96.1%. apparently this is all that is available. Also interesting is that they are paying $14 tax on every 750ml bottle sold :shock:
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Re: gin blends

Post by kiwistiller » Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:49 pm

I suspect I may be talking to myself somewhat here, but in case anyone else is interested I'm going to chuck up my gin recipe for tonight's run. This is aiming a light, fruity, floral gin for summer sipping.
In my new gin basket (will put up pics later), I have:
25g juniper berries
1 tablespoon corriander
3/4 teaspoon orris root
1/4 tablespoon dill tips
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
2 black peppercorns
the tiniest pinch of caraway
1/2 teaspoon of lavender petals from the garden, fresh
1 big basil leaf
about 1/6th of the zest of a small ripe tangello
about 1/4 of the zest of a small ripe lemonade lemon.

all smashed up in a mortar.

still is charged with 8l of 40% neutrals, basket is in the pot still column.

This is coming of the still as I write this and it is GOOD. Only innate laziness is keeping me on the couch rather than compulsively tasting off the still :roll:
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olddog
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Re: gin blends

Post by olddog » Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:57 pm

Nah your not talking to yourself, at least I replied to your post.
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kiwistiller
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Re: gin blends

Post by kiwistiller » Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:12 am

cheers old dog :lol:
At least if I lose my books I'll have all my recipes online :D :D
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Re: gin blends

Post by blind drunk » Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:28 am

Hey Kiwi, I'm reading with great interest and gin is on my to do list. Although gin's not a favorite of mine (too much in high school many moons ago), my wife loves her gin and it. Cheers, bd.
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rad14701
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Re: gin blends

Post by rad14701 » Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:41 am

I've been reading along, kiwistiller... 8) Just not a fan of Gin so I have little to contribute... :roll:

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Re: gin blends

Post by kiwistiller » Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:11 am

Just got out of bed and went to smell the gin from last night... Just great, I'm really happy with it. the lavender was an excellent spur of the moment decsion, and the dill really sets off the citrus notes. Think I'll be making this one again.
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Re: gin blends

Post by rubber duck » Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:05 pm

I'm keeping up on this thread so your not talking to yourself. I like gin and Im intrested in doing a vapor infused gin but I don't have the equipment to do it properly. So in the meantime I'll keep reading.
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Re: gin blends

Post by Cackalack » Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:26 pm

ginger? never would've thought, and yet gin is so boundless, sorta like absinthe, two likkers that will never meet an end to experimentation, love it!

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Re: gin blends

Post by blanikdog » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:16 pm

I too and following the thread, Kiwi. I have some Tasmanian pepper berries that I got from mashman to use in gin, but my cancer sorta stuffed thing up a bit and now it's too effing hot to work in the shed. I've had to bring all my aging likker into the house where it's relatively cool. Tassy pepper berries are used by Lark Distillery in tassy and it's a great gin.

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Re: gin blends

Post by kiwistiller » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:03 pm

It's what I love about gin - completely open to recipe variation. I love the idea of using native botanicals, really personalises the gin.
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Re: gin blends

Post by HookLine » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:34 pm

I been following this thread too. Taking notes. 8)

Got three more things I want to try stilling. Whiskey, brandy, and gin.
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kiwistiller
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Re: gin blends

Post by kiwistiller » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:31 am

Wow, hook I have a MUCH longer list than you to try.
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Re: gin blends

Post by HookLine » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:49 am

kiwistiller wrote:Wow, hook I have a MUCH longer list than you to try.
He he

My basic list of spirits to try is vodka, rum, whiskey, brandy and gin. Only done vodka and rum. So I have not exactly got far yet.

(That includes some rice based, and honey based washes.)
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tester wanted

Post by kiwistiller » Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:11 pm

kiwistiller wrote:This is aiming a light, fruity, floral gin for summer sipping.
In my new gin basket (will put up pics later), I have:
25g juniper berries
1 tablespoon corriander
..... blah blah blah
I ran a slight variation on this last night.
Still charge:
12l of ~40% neutral
Botanticals:
45g juniper berries
1.5 tablespoons of good corriander seeds (I've noticed large variations in pungency over different sources)
1 teaspoon orris root powder
1 1/4 teaspoons of dried dill tips
3 black peppercorns
1 green cardomon pod
1/4 teaspoon of caraway seeds
1 teaspoon of frseh lavender flowers (just the purple petal-y bits, you pull them off the clusters.. hope that's clear enough? I should take pics :doh: ).
1 big basil leaf, fresh from the garden
1/3 of the zest from a large, fragrant lemon
1/2 the zest of a small fragrant clementine
(zesting done with a microplane instead of my usual knife filleting)

All that slightly overfilled my gin basket, so the remainder was wrapped in cheese cloth and placed above the basket in the column. Gave it a nice slow run, and we should have around 11 litres of nice floral gin for the rest of summer after a tails cut. I won't remove anything from the top end I don't think as that is where the lavander seems to be coming through, all in the first 100-200mls. I do collect in small jars though to control flavours through blending. I need a bigger gin basket. this stuff is in high demand so I may look at a seperate attachment that goes on the compression fitting off my column instead of the condenser, much like a thumper. if I could build it to double as a thumper..... my my think of the possibilities.

Very happy with this bontanical blend, anyone feel like replicating it? Would love an independent assessment.
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Re: gin blends

Post by techne1 » Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:58 pm

I love a good, dry Gin in the summer--but that's still a few months off for us in the states.

I'm definitely interested in talking about botanicals and ways to extract flavors.

Out of curiosity, what recipe do you use or prefer for your wash?

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Re: gin blends

Post by Bursal » Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:35 pm

Kiwi what does your gin basket look like, or anyone elses for that matter. I am about to make one but don't know if I should put it in the column or in the lyne arm. I will be distilling neautral and am making a small pot still out of a cheap s/s boiler. Looking for suggestions, ideas and pics. I have some 1 1/4", 2", 2 1/2" and 2 5/8" copper so have plenty of choices. If I put it in the lyne arm I am thinking of having the input at the bottom and output at the top. I have a small length of sight glass glass if needed so that I can see if it gets clogged up. That in itself would become a pressure relief tube but could let too much past the basket and loose flavour. I am thinking of making the basket out of termimesh, a very fine stainless mesh used in building around this part of the world.

Looking forward to hearing some suggestions and seeing some pics.

A dry gin lover.
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blanikdog
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Re: gin blends

Post by blanikdog » Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:50 pm

I'm just going to make a bag from cheese cloth and hang it in the kettle, just below the column, bursal. That is unless someone says it won't work. :)
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Re: gin blends

Post by olddog » Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:58 pm

http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... 3#p6785883 Try this, it works every time for me
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Re: gin blends

Post by blanikdog » Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:59 pm

As soon as I went there OD, I remembered that little device. :) :) :) In fact http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... 8#p6788668" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

I have the very thing from my younger days when I packed reserve parachutes. I knew they were worth keeping.

blanik
Simple potstiller. Slow, single run.
(50 litre, propane heated pot still. Coil in bucket condenser - No thermometer, No carbon)
The Reading Lounge AND the Rules We Live By should be compulsory reading

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kiwistiller
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Re: gin blends

Post by kiwistiller » Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:36 pm

Sorry for a slow reply, bit busy with other life stuff at the moment.
techne1 wrote:I love a good, dry Gin in the summer--but that's still a few months off for us in the states.

I'm definitely interested in talking about botanicals and ways to extract flavors.

Out of curiosity, what recipe do you use or prefer for your wash?
I use any finished neutral, but tend to make sure it is the 'heart of hearts' that has absolutely no taste / flavour whatsoever. If I need to go a little outside that due to everyone drinking my gin, I prefer to use DWWG. Though I have made some out of a rice / barley mash, that was yummy. Anyway, I figure gin is made from grain neutral, and DWWG (refluxed) is as close as a sugar wash gets IMHO.
Bursal wrote:Kiwi what does your gin basket look like,
Here it is.

It's a little on the small side. I'm thinking of making one that is the same size as the riser on my pot still head (because why not?). Very easy to make. But like OD's gin clip, all it does is hold botanicals in the vapour path. I've had equally good results from filling cheese cloth, tying a knot in it, and shoving it inside the column (always check you can blow through the thing before firing it up though).

Kiwi
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Re: gin blends

Post by blanikdog » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:55 pm

It took around thirty seconds to make the spring clip OD. It's a bewdy!!

Now I'll get on with the serious stuff like making some gin.

blanik
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Re: gin blends

Post by blanikdog » Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:51 pm

olddog wrote:I make gin regularly for my wife, she loves it.

My recipe is 4 tablespoons full of dried juniper berries
4 almonds
2-3 strips of orange peel ( I use a potato peeler to get the zest without the pith)
2-3 strips of lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon full of angelica root
1/2 teaspoon full of Orris root
1/2 star anise
1/2 teaspoon full of ground coriander
about 1" cinamon stick
1/2 teaspoon full of ground ginger
These herbs are put into a coffee/spice grinder and ground to a coarse grind, I then put this into a bag made from surgical cloth and hang the bag with a SS clip in the neck of my keg. The wash is just a sugarwash, I then distill with the Frankenstill with thumper. The result is a vapour induced flavour which is close to Bombay gin straight off the still. I give it a few days to air, and then bottle.
I have found that this method of vapour infusion produced a far better product than maceration.


I think I'll go for this recipe and use half Juniper and half Tassy pepper berries, although I'm a bit inclined to maybe 1/3 Juniper and 2/3 pepperberry. Truth is that I'm not really sure which way to go. :lol: :lol: :lol:

What capacity wash is this recipe for, OD? I have five litres of 45abv which I'll knock down to a safer abv before stilling.

blanik
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(50 litre, propane heated pot still. Coil in bucket condenser - No thermometer, No carbon)
The Reading Lounge AND the Rules We Live By should be compulsory reading

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olddog
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Re: gin blends

Post by olddog » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:01 pm

I just load my boiler with 25lts of fermented sugar wash, sugar/ tomato paste / lemon juice & water, put your bag of herbs in the neck of the boiler and distill. what comes out of your condenser is gin.

OD
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Re: gin blends

Post by kiwistiller » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:49 pm

Out of interest OD, have you ever tried using finished neutral (cuts already made) or have you always done it with wash?
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Re: gin blends

Post by olddog » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:13 pm

Always done it with the wash.
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Re: gin blends

Post by blanikdog » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:38 pm

OK thanks OD, I love your style. The only way to go IMHO :).

Today I'm going to run it with diluted neutral. I'll report back kiwi.

I have so much to do in the shed with plums and plum wash coming out of my ears, and I can't wait to try thes tassy pepper berries. I've never been so busy since I retired from the rotten, capitalistic work force. :lol: :lol: :lol:

blanik

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The state government have recently installed a huge pipe to take water from an already stressed river system to allow the gardens in Melbourne to be watered, and they back washed the completed pipe, causing the river to be a flowing mud pool. Ah well, 3,000,000 votes in Melbourne. :|
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Re: gin blends

Post by blanikdog » Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:08 pm

I decided in the end to go for three parts Juniper and one part tassy peppers. :)
You're right OD, it comes out gin and very nice gin too. :)

Are you gathering lots of pepper berries, MashMan? I can see myself doing a bit of playing around with this. You're gonna have to try this!!!

blanik
Simple potstiller. Slow, single run.
(50 litre, propane heated pot still. Coil in bucket condenser - No thermometer, No carbon)
The Reading Lounge AND the Rules We Live By should be compulsory reading

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