Uncle Remus' Briar Patch Gin

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Re: Uncle Remus' Briar Patch Gin

Postby Colin202 » Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:41 pm

Ok read this whole dang thread, here is what I was gonna do. If y'all have any imput it be much appreciated. Seems like a lot of methods would work for some fine gin.
I have a small 5 gallon pot still. Was thinking of running stripping run with out botanicals, then on second pass rigging a small bag packed with the goods in my onion top . Just loose enough to let it all through. Or would it be better to flip flop and pass though botanicals first? Or both? Then make appropriate cuts and drink!
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Re: Uncle Remus' Briar Patch Gin

Postby Pissedfart » Sun Aug 10, 2014 3:53 am

Hi,

Do you use dextrose for your base?

I love Bombay Sapphire Gin and I am looking for some base spirit recipes. I can get hold of 1.5kg Coopers Light Malt Extract made from malted and unmalted barley and ferment using the SS triple distilled yeast. Once my Alembic apparatus arrives I can move from compounded gin to distilled.

Do you have any recipes for base?
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Re: Uncle Remus' Briar Patch Gin

Postby DoublyDooble » Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:17 am

Just curious if anyone has tried using a parrot's beak as a gin basket? I'd love to experiment on my next run but don't have a ton of time to make a basket. However, it seems that stuffing the botanicals into the parrot's beak and letting the distillate flow over it coming up the tube may work...but after reading this thread, maybe that's no different (except more work and less exposure time) to grabbing a SS tea ball and dropping it into a quart of distillate, as either way there would be no contact with the steam, only distillate. Thoughts? If I'm just asking the same questions that have already been asked and answered pay me no mind. I've been a whiskey drinker for so long that's all I've really cared about making, but lately I've been enjoying a gin & tonic and would love to move in that direction of making my own.
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Re: Uncle Remus' Briar Patch Gin

Postby jackfiasco » Mon Sep 28, 2015 2:53 am

Parrot's beak? How big is your parrot?! I don't know how you guys are all doing these gin runs with such small amounts of botanicals (tea ball?). I grind up all my botanicals then put them in a bag and roll it up and stick in the column about half way up (I agree with Odin that it should be lower, and will try that in the future, half way up is just easier with my setup). The first batch I made was amazing, super flavorful, but it was a really small batch. The next batch was much bigger but could have used more flavor, as I used the same amount of herbs as the first time but much more alcohol. I'm running a new batch now and I swapped out the herb bag for a new one half way through. Hopefully that solves that problem.

I haven't tried any methods other than vapor infusion as it seemed to be the easiest (and quickest) but I will try next time with some of the botanicals, especially the fresh stuff like rosemary and lavender, because I don't feel their flavors come through with vapor infusion well. Some really come through great though, especially the cardamom, which has become the signature flavor of my gin!
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Re: Uncle Remus' Briar Patch Gin

Postby pyrate » Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:00 am

Odin wrote:I personally favour putting everything in the boiler. Gets over most taste and most complex taste. But if you like vapour infusion ... go with that.

Apart from technicality, we can look at it this way: the lower / earlier the herbs are introduced, the more they get concentrated as the alcohol gets concentrated too

That's why in the boiler or in the lower part of the column will give you more taste. Part technological approach (how much oils leach out via what extraction intermediate: vapour (less) or liquid (more)), part concentration: if you add gin herbs at the top, where alcohol abv is maybe already 90%, not much taste concentration takes place. In fact, diluting it to 45% means you water it down 2:1.

On the other hand, if you introduce it in the boiler, it takes the alcohol concentration cycle even a simple pot distillation gives you. Let alone when you use a flute where you get 4 or 5 re-destillations. Now, with herbs in the boiler or just above the boiler, the herb tastes get concentrated as does the alcohol.

Hopes this makes sense.

Odin.


Hey guys, sorry for interrupting your thread and Odin you are a great inspiration for any gin maker here. But this theory has weaknesses:

1. When you infuse the alcohol vapor as early as possible in your still (e.g. boiler or lower part of the column) the flavors have a long(er) why to go until they leave the still. The ABV theory is totally correct, but what does it mean that the ABV rises on the way to the condenser: It means cleaning the alcohol and so loosing flavorful stuff on the way. That is one of the reasons why a column exists. It rises the ABV and cleans the alcohol (e.g. when making neutral up to 96% ABV).

2. Alcohol is a perfect solvent. Alcohol steam is a more powerful solvent than liquid. Hence, a higher alcohol ABV steam is an excellent flavor solvent. That seems to be a reason to put the gin basket behind the column and next to the condenser where the ABV is higher. (Prerequisite: the construction of the still eliminates the possibility of contamination of the condensed liquid/final product)

3. The steam temperature get's lower on the way to the condenser (less water, more alcohol -> less temperature). That has a positive impact on flavors because heat may kill subtle and volatile aromas. That is in fact one reason why distilleries use vapor infusion instead of boiling in pot for some types of botanicals.

I conclude that there is no "best" way to infuse a gin. Some botanicals work in the boiler (macerated or not), some in a basket in the top of the boiler, some in a vapor infusion thing close to the condenser...
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Re: Uncle Remus' Briar Patch Gin

Postby still_stirrin » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:41 am

Pyrate,

The reason for boiling the botanicals versus putting them in the vapor path is that MORE of the essense is extracted in the boiler than in the vapor alone. It (the boiler) is WAY more efficient as a solvent at stripping the flavors out of the herbs & spices. In fact, so much so that if you likewise boiled the citrus in the boiler, the citrus would become overwhelming in the final spirit.

Now, when you put all the botanicals and citrus in ONLY the vapor path, the essense is extracted much more gently and less flavor and aroma comes out, all-be-it more delicately in the final spirit.

Major distilleries do it simply because of the "size" of the product run...it's easier to balance the final flavors if you use the vapor line only. Often times, different botanicals are added at different times during the run as well, due to the method of extraction of the oils, spices, and citrus flavors and aromas. Remember, they have varying rates of extraction. The Carter head is a dual-tap which allows the vapor flow to split into two paths facilitating longer and shorter vapor infusion cycles. Also, they can replace spent botanicals with fresh in order to keep the flavor and aroma extraction high in the spirit.

With Odin's easy gin recipe, the measurement of the herbs and spices are measured to help keep the flavors balanced when macerated and processed according to the recipe (boiler or vapor path). It's been tried and proven many times. In fact, I've found that you can make a "signature" gin by adding just a bit of many different types of botanicals...but be careful not to overdo it. The boiler is very effective at extracting the essenses. I like to keep things simple and start with the simplest botanical formulation possible and add complexity only when (if) it needs tweeking.

In conclusion, if you TRY the first time following Odin's protocol I believe you'll understand it's simplicity and flavorful product results. For gin lovers...it's spot on!
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Re: Uncle Remus' Briar Patch Gin

Postby Odin » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:54 am

Ehm ... I'd say that's pretty sound advice from StillStirrin!

;)

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Re: Uncle Remus' Briar Patch Gin

Postby pyrate » Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:35 am

still_stirrin wrote:Pyrate,

The reason for boiling the botanicals versus putting them in the vapor path is that MORE of the essense is extracted in the boiler than in the vapor alone. It (the boiler) is WAY more efficient as a solvent at stripping the flavors out of the herbs & spices. In fact, so much so that if you likewise boiled the citrus in the boiler, the citrus would become overwhelming in the final spirit.

Now, when you put all the botanicals and citrus in ONLY the vapor path, the essense is extracted much more gently and less flavor and aroma comes out, all-be-it more delicately in the final spirit.

Major distilleries do it simply because of the "size" of the product run...it's easier to balance the final flavors if you use the vapor line only. Often times, different botanicals are added at different times during the run as well, due to the method of extraction of the oils, spices, and citrus flavors and aromas. Remember, they have varying rates of extraction. The Carter head is a dual-tap which allows the vapor flow to split into two paths facilitating longer and shorter vapor infusion cycles. Also, they can replace spent botanicals with fresh in order to keep the flavor and aroma extraction high in the spirit.

With Odin's easy gin recipe, the measurement of the herbs and spices are measured to help keep the flavors balanced when macerated and processed according to the recipe (boiler or vapor path). It's been tried and proven many times. In fact, I've found that you can make a "signature" gin by adding just a bit of many different types of botanicals...but be careful not to overdo it. The boiler is very effective at extracting the essenses. I like to keep things simple and start with the simplest botanical formulation possible and add complexity only when (if) it needs tweeking.

In conclusion, if you TRY the first time following Odin's protocol I believe you'll understand it's simplicity and flavorful product results. For gin lovers...it's spot on!
ss


I agree with you in most points. But I did bot want to discuss boiling botanicals vs vapor infusion. I was just talking about the theory that you should place the botanicals aus early as possible in your still, if you do a vapor infusion.

You did not say anything about that... :wink:
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Re: Uncle Remus' Briar Patch Gin

Postby Odin » Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:02 am

As early as possible in the column ... to prevent particle contamination in your final drink.

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Re: Uncle Remus' Briar Patch Gin

Postby Devon » Sat Dec 05, 2015 2:56 pm

violentblue wrote:got a batch on now

3/4 cup dried juniper berries
1/4 cup corriander
1/4 cup dried orange peel
1/8 cup cinnamon (might be a bit much but we'll see)
1/8 cup anise seed (powdered)

ground together into a powder and mixed with about 1 liter (1/4 gallon) of water
add to 4 liters (1 gallon) of 60% neutral
topped of with about 1 more liter of water

its all sitting in my stovetop potstill slowly coming up to temp.

I understand that this method isnt as efficient as a gin bulb, so thus the reason I'm using more.

we'll see how it turns out, It'll need to be watered down to 40% when done and I can always add more neutral if the flavor is too strong, but if the flavor is too weak theres not much I could do.
I'll let you know how it goes.


sorry for the late attendance to this party but could you possibly for the folk of the U.K. Translate the measurements Into grams please
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Re: Uncle Remus' Briar Patch Gin

Postby Odin » Sat Dec 05, 2015 4:45 pm

Hahaha! That's a good one. I think I asked a Q like that ... and found out it is difficult to explain.

The way I look at cups is like ... 250 grams. Or maybe 250 mls? Shit, forgot it again!

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Re: Uncle Remus' Briar Patch Gin

Postby Devon » Sun Dec 06, 2015 1:18 pm

It just confuses me, I know if you are cooking you can get away with guessing. But this has to be pretty accurate. And from what I've read a cup isn't just one measurement, it depends on what you are measuring
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Re: Uncle Remus' Briar Patch Gin

Postby spencoid » Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:45 am

I made a reflux still mainly out of pyrex tubing. my goal is to get some good gin out of it. So far i have had one decent batch but nothing to get excited about (yet). I read a bunch and got the impression that only vapor infusion will produce the best gin. The picture is of the gin portion of my still. at the top you can see the main condenser, the hole for the gin aromatics and the lower reflux condenser.

I put a nylon bag of the ground and crushed aromatics in the hole and ran the still set at a reflux ratio to produce about 140 proof output. This seemed to produce decent stuff but there were problems. Condensate would drizzel down the glass wall and get the bag of herbs really wet and i think would then wash most of the flavor down the column. Not sure if or how much of this would then vaporize again but i think that most of it was lost. So i added the stainless steel guards fence you can see in the picture but need to wait until my current ferment is finished to try it again.

Some things i have "learned" so far follow and i would really like confirmation and or suggestions as to how to improve my gin.

Steeping the aromatics in high strength alcohol produces something that tastes like gin but it is dark oily and not that great. So i really want to get the vapor method to work.

Other than the fact that i think i lost a lot of the flavor dripping back down the column, i did get a clear distillate that smelled and tasted like gin. I think i need to figure out the right balance of herbs, following the recipes for "Sapphire" does not produce the tight balance at least so far. Not enough juniper or pepper and too much coriander.

I tried turning down the reflux to produce a weak distillate and came out with some really flavorful (bad balance again, licorice very strong ) stuff but it was very cloudy.

So, i think i need a strong vapor and ideally it should pass through the aromatics that have been protected from getting soggy. I have a bunch of empty tea bags on order and will use these the next time. I think this will allow me to pack the available space better.

I need to find some pictures of commercial gin stills or hopefully some from members and also ideas about what really is critical in terms of how the aromatics go in the vapor path etc.
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Re: Uncle Remus' Briar Patch Gin

Postby Jimy Dee » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:59 pm

Spencoid - have you progressed your project above since posting it?
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Re: Uncle Remus' Briar Patch Gin

Postby spencoid » Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:38 pm

i have made a lot of progress since the last posting. got the still working a lot more reliably due to better temp sensor placement. also made a much bigger reflux condenser that allows for almost 100% reflux at 40% heater power of 200 watts. got rid of everything that is not stainless steel glass copper or teflon in the full vapor path. sensor cables are now teflon and wrapped with heat shrink teflon. the biggest improvement in terms of making gin is a completely new "gin basket" i think i posted a picture on the "why not glass?" thread. the new gin back is a 3" stainless steel tee with short arms. inside is a stainless steel perforated plate on which i can place things like teflon restriction discs so i can direct all the vapor through the gin basket which is a stainless steel "can". i also completely remade the main condenser out of a pair of colinear copper tubes with a conical top on the vapor tube so that vapor passes up but the condensate is directed almost entirely out to be collected. this prevents the wetting of the botanicals. i am getting pretty goo to very good gin now. right now i am stripping a bunch of alcohol so i can make gin on demand in small batches whenever i need it. i plan to have a gin making party and to experiment with different formulas. so far i have a pretty good imitation of Sapphire. i do want to get a decent Beefeater copy because we are going to have a memorial for my mother who was a Beefeater fan. My still is named after her "Rosalie" I hope to have a few gallons of different gins for her memorial. Martinis for everyone.
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