A gin experiment of sorts

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Uncle Remus
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A gin experiment of sorts

Post by Uncle Remus » Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:04 pm

Not a new recipe, but I'm gonna try a different method of making it. I have 2 gallons of vodka (45%) in the basement, which have been kicking around for quite some time.

SHMBO said why don't I make some gin? So this is what I'm doing. I took the ingredients from my 'Briar Patch Gin' recipe,

2 tbsp juniper berries crushed
2 tsp corriander seed
1 tsp anise seed
2" piece of lemon peel with no white stuff
a piece of cinnamon stick about 1.5" long

Instead of a cinnamon stick I used about 1/2 a tsp or ground cinnamon. I took all of the above ingredients and tossed them in the blender with a couple cups of vodka. I thoroughly munched up everything and split it between the 2 gallon jugs of vodka.

The jugs have been sitting 2 days now. Tomorrow night I'm gonna run them through the pot still and see how the flavor carries through. If it's too strong a flavor I guess I will run it again. If there isn't enough flavor that comes through I guess I will go back to my original method.

I'll let you all know how it turns out.
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all day and drink beer.

AfricaUnite
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Post by AfricaUnite » Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:09 pm

Havent heard much talk of Gin around here lately, looking forward to the results, ive got 10L of 90% kicking around I dont know what to do with, havent made a gin yet.

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Post by wineo » Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:19 pm

I have a big ole bag of juniper berrys that I picked this summer.I havent tried making gin yet,but plan on trying it on some neutral soon.I dont know if im going to distill it,or make up a flavor jar,and cheat.I have read your recipe,and thats the one I will use.

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Post by pintoshine » Wed Nov 07, 2007 9:11 pm

I've not tried gin either and that is on my todo list. I am interested. Gin and its close cousin aquavit are very interesting to me. The flavors of some commercial ones I have had can be very nice.

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aquavit

Post by Uncle Jesse » Wed Nov 07, 2007 9:13 pm

How are you gonna make aquavit if you can't set it sailing around the world first?

Or, do you have a plan for that? ;)
If only the best birds sang, the woods would be silent.

pintoshine
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Post by pintoshine » Wed Nov 07, 2007 9:20 pm

Aren't you the funny one tonight. Do you watch the "Thirsty Traveler"?

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nah

Post by Uncle Jesse » Wed Nov 07, 2007 9:31 pm

Nope but my old job had Danish contracts and they used to send us bottles of aquavit pretty regularly. They were proud of the fact that it goes around the globe.
If only the best birds sang, the woods would be silent.

Uncle Remus
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Post by Uncle Remus » Wed Nov 07, 2007 9:37 pm

The ingredients I listed came from Tony's website. It was a basic recipe for bombay gin, I am short a couple ingredients such as orris root, angelica root ??? and cardomon pods....some of these things I just couldn't find in small town Canada.

Like I said before I'm not a big gin fan myself, but my wife and a few friends are. My wife bought a bottle of London Dry gin a week or so ago and she said it wasn't near as good as what I made. I have a good friend who loves gin, he did a side by side comparison with Bombay Sapphire. He said they were close but the sapphire was a bit smoother. Mine was only about a month old at the time and the Bombay was probably several years old?

I'm convinced that the fresh juniper berries give it a real refreshing flavor( in a gin drinkers taste buds anyway) Around here juniper is plentiful, hell I don't even have to leave town to find berries.

I'll see how pot stilling this concoption turns out and let you all know.

Cheers!!
UR
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all day and drink beer.

Mooki

Re: nah

Post by Mooki » Thu Nov 08, 2007 11:36 am

Uncle Jesse wrote:Nope but my old job had Danish contracts and they used to send us bottles of aquavit pretty regularly. They were proud of the fact that it goes around the globe.
Actually this only holds true for Linie- or Linjeakvavit which is indeed transported around the globe by ship. Linieakvavit is a Norwegian specialty - I have previously not heard of a Danish Linjeakvavit.
Regular akvavits are not sent globetrotting, the akvavit name can be used as long as the prescribed herbs have been used.

/M

Uncle Remus
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Post by Uncle Remus » Fri Nov 09, 2007 4:37 pm

I ran it last night, and well it never turned out quite like I expected. The first liter on so had very heavy juniper smell. About 3 liters into the run I tasted a bit on a spoon and to me it tasted very much like Jagermiester (sp?) only without the sweetness. Probably about 6 liters into the run it tasted more like sambucca or on of those other liquorishy drinks without the sweetness.

After it was all cut to 40% with water it smells like gin. I just poured a small taste now and wow...did the other botanicals ever come through. It has a very complex flavor, I can taste everything, coriander, anise, cinnamon even the lemon zest. It doesn't have a lot of juniper taste though even though it has the smell. It is very herb ally tasting, kinda like medicine in a way, but very smooth and pleasant.

I think if I try this pot still method again I will double or maybe even triple the amount of juniper berries. In the mean time I will save a couple of bottles of this snake oil as is and the rest of the bottles I will drop in a couple of juniper berries and see what happens.
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all day and drink beer.

fergie

GIN

Post by fergie » Sat Nov 10, 2007 12:40 pm

Uncle Remus

What style of still are you running. i would like to see other examples of pot stills. I am currently using a 1/2 keg reflux still with a 1M column, I also have a 20L stock pot with a 3/4 in copper column about 16inches tall, it strips mous of the flavour though.

Uncle Remus
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Post by Uncle Remus » Sat Nov 10, 2007 10:17 pm

This be the one affectionately known as Layla. The still not the dog!
Image
Image
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all day and drink beer.

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Post by modul8 » Sun Nov 11, 2007 1:47 am

That is some mighty nice work Uncle Remus!!!!!
Got to be one of the nicest finishes I have seen.

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Post by HookLine » Sun Nov 11, 2007 2:20 am

Yairs. Nice work, and some serious polishing.

Good looking still dog ya got there too.
Be safe.
Be discreet.
And have fun.

pintoshine
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Post by pintoshine » Sun Nov 11, 2007 6:19 am

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
I love your organizational methodology. It looks just like mine.
Out of our defense I have named this method chronological organization :idea:
I have a very good talent at leaving something... everything just laying around and am able to go right back to it even if it has been there for a few year. That is as long as no one moves it. :evil: :evil: Did someone say the wife word?
By the way, if I haven't said it before let me say it again that your technique for working copper is most excellent! A still of that construction shows a lot experience and fore thought and design. I bet that makes excellent liquor right off the worm. A doubling batch through that would be a delicacy!
Very good job!

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Post by Ricky » Tue Nov 13, 2007 7:33 pm

chronological organization i love that term! remus let us know how the soaking of the juniper works. i was going to suggest that. if the smell is coming thru the addition before distillation might be to strong. the masseration hopefully will do the trick. o yea i get invius every time i see layla. i know though shalt not covet but i cant help myself.
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Post by duds2u » Wed Nov 14, 2007 5:00 pm

Isn't that the first commandment of distilling?

Thou shalt not covert thy neighbours still.

Uncle Remus
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Post by Uncle Remus » Sun Nov 25, 2007 8:43 pm

Thanks for the kind compliments on Layla guys :lol: .... she's my sweet little thing, she's my pride and joy.....

I had lots of time to build this still so I did a bit at a time and worked at it whenever I had a bit of spare time, I spent a fair bit of time polishing as well.

Back to the gin story. I added a couple of ripe (purple) berries to each bottle and it has done the trick, it has given it that nice fresh flavor. SWMBO likes it a lot. As nice as my gin basket is and all I think I'm gonna give it up for this method. It's less work and the product is every bit as good, maybe even better, there seems to be a lot more subtle flavors from the other spices. The next time around I'm gonna try doubling up on the juniper berries and leave everything else the same.

Thanks again for the kind comments

:oops:
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all day and drink beer.

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Post by violentblue » Sat Jan 12, 2008 6:12 pm

Uncle Remus wrote: Mine was only about a month old at the time and the Bombay was probably several years old?
gin is an unaged spirit, try running your neutral spitit through some britta filters a couple times before mixing with your flavoring agents and redistilling.
it will take the harsh edge off. carbon filtering works too, but i find that britta cleans some notes that carbon missed

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Post by violentblue » Sat Jan 12, 2008 6:14 pm

I've given my still away after only minimal experimentation but maybe i'll have to buy a small pot still just to try this recipie, I'm a big fan of gin, but rum remains top in my opinion

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Post by JMF » Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:11 am

violetblue
gin is an unaged spirit, try running your neutral spitit through some britta filters a couple times before mixing with your flavoring agents and redistilling.
it will take the harsh edge off. carbon filtering works too, but i find that britta cleans some notes that carbon missed
I personally wouldn't use a britta filter. It has other things in there besides activated charcoal such as resins and other chemicals that can be stripped off into the spirits. Also the plastic has volatiles that can get into the spirit as well. I was just reading some research that had some negative things about the britta filtering of spirits.

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Post by violentblue » Sun Jan 13, 2008 4:59 pm

JMF wrote: I personally wouldn't use a britta filter. It has other things in there besides activated charcoal such as resins and other chemicals that can be stripped off into the spirits. Also the plastic has volatiles that can get into the spirit as well. I was just reading some research that had some negative things about the britta filtering of spirits.
I've had much better success with getting some of the off taste out with brita than with a strait carbon filter. of course this is going only by taste with 50% abv.

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Post by Husker » Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:09 am

violentblue wrote:
JMF wrote: I personally wouldn't use a britta filter. It has other things in there besides activated charcoal such as resins and other chemicals that can be stripped off into the spirits. Also the plastic has volatiles that can get into the spirit as well. I was just reading some research that had some negative things about the britta filtering of spirits.
I've had much better success with getting some of the off taste out with brita than with a strait carbon filter. of course this is going only by taste with 50% abv.
I have had much better success removing flavors by using a quality still (an internal reflux is NOT a quality still IMOH), and by performing several stripping runs, combining them into a single spirit run, and running the still very carefully during the sprit run. If you do it right the first time, you will not have to waste time and make a mess using carbon.

H.

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Post by HookLine » Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:34 am

I agree with Husker. There is no reason for carbon if you use a good reflux column to start with, and drive it well.
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Post by Samogon » Thu Feb 07, 2008 12:48 pm

So, did you leave the botanicals in the wash when you ran it, or strain them out first?

And was the vodka you soaked them in 80 proof, or higher?

IIRC, last time you put your gin basket after the condenser, and had to run the product again, as it was green and too flavorful. It seems to me that a 'gin head' has to be in the vapor path pre-condensation to work - hopefully with some reflux after it. Kind of like steam distillation of plant matter.

I haven't made gin yet, but my plan is to macerate in neutral, strain and then distill.

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Post by Uncle Remus » Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:58 am

Botanicals and all went in the boiler. The neutral spirit I used was 40%. It had previously been refluxed to 95% and then made into vodka. I just had too much vodka around so I made some into gin.

When I used the gin head, it was only the first gallon that was green. I just poured it back in and ran it again. It all came out clear after that.

IMHO the maceration method is easier and the end product just as good.
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all day and drink beer.

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Post by punkin » Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:13 am

If there are any Ozzies interested, i have some beautifull little stainless baskets that would be perfect for this.
A range of diameters from about 3 to 5 inches and would hold a cup or so of herbs.

Perforated heavy duty stainless....


mmmmmmm....

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Post by Aidas » Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:27 pm

Well, I finally got around to doing this.

Took my heads and tails jar and potdistilled 2.5 times (double distilled with the last bit thrown in on the third run) it and ended up with 1.5 liters of 80 percent (I figure this is close enough to neutral, considering I did VERY conservative heads and tails cuts). I then added:

40 grams dried juniper berries
16 grams whole coriander, crushed
a couple of slices of lemon zest (no white stuff)
a couple of slices of tangerine zest (I didn't have an orange on hand)
2 sticks of crushed cinamon
2 whole cardamom pods, crushed

Threw everything into a jar, topped up with 1.5 liters of water (thus making the mix 40%). I left it to macerate until today (exactly one week). Ran it with the herbs in the boiler, collected pretty deep into the tails (I had to change the baby :) ) and have just measured and cut it. I collected 1.2 liters at 64% (very conservative head cut -- about 400 ml), so I've ended up with a total of 1.92 liters of sparkling clear gin.

I haven't made a martini with it yet, and I don't have any tonic, but it smells great, and the small taste I took seems very nice. The distilling room smells like cinammon, but it's not overpowering the drink. The junipers are right at the forefront, but not too big. The citrus is just hinting itself, and the aftertaste is right on. Right now I'm pretty happy with it, but a definitive thumbs up or down will come when I have a martini... :)

Aidas
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Post by Aidas » Sat Mar 01, 2008 12:27 pm

Well, I just got done with the martini (the olives were mouldy, so I had it with a twist of lime zest). I am ashamed to admit that my olive consumption has gone down as a result of being a good dad and husband... :)

Aside from being a bit too cinammony, it's awesome! Next time, and yes, there will certainly will be a next time, I'm going to halve the cinammon, and I think it'll be perfect.

That said, by going deep into the tails, I think more cinammon came through than would have with a good tail cut. When I tasted the distillate coming off at 35%, it was like drinking a cinammon liquer (a la Drakula in Germany). So, maybe the accidental plunge into the tails is the problem.

Who cares... it'll just be another excuse to experiment. :)

Aidas
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vinifera

Post by vinifera » Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:38 pm

I've also noticed the intence flavour of of cinnamon comming through in the gin so use it very spareingly. My recent recipy was very good in a blind test with major brands. I do it like this:

50grams juniper (Juniperus Communis)
50 g coriander
5 g bitter almonds
1.5 g angelica root
2 g calmus root
5 g liquorice root
3 g lemon peel
1 g cardemom
1 ml ground cinnamon

I run this through a mixer and macerate it in ~1 liter pure 95.6% for afew days. Then I distill it in my small essence still made of a pressure boiler. To avoid burning the macerate I have a bowl in the boiler with water around. After an hour or two I have an essence which I dilute to ~8 liter 40% with water and alcohol. Drinking a GT right now and it tastes great.

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