WHat still is better for Gin production

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Gin-addict
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WHat still is better for Gin production

Post by Gin-addict » Sun Apr 05, 2020 4:37 pm

Hi complete Newbie here.


My aim is to be able to make amazing gin, is there a still that is better for gin? I will mostly like make different types of alcohol once I get experienced but initially its all about the Gin. I have an air still and so far Im a bit disappointed with it :(
Thanks

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Saltbush Bill
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Re: WHat still is better for Gin production

Post by Saltbush Bill » Sun Apr 05, 2020 4:52 pm

Being disappointed with an Air Still is not uncommon.
Ideally for gin you would use two stills.
One a proper reflux still capable of making a quality neutral spirit to use as you base spirit.
The other a pot still for making the gin.
That's just my opinion.....you will get a number of different opinions probably.

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Re: WHat still is better for Gin production

Post by Twisted Brick » Sun Apr 05, 2020 7:13 pm

It is very popular to conduct multiple strips of an all-grain mash or sugar wash using a pot still until one has enough low-wines to reflux. Once the strips have been completed, the low-wines are meticulously refluxed to a very high purity, typically using a packed column. Discriminating cuts are applied to the newmake and the resulting neutral becomes the base for your amazing gin.

You are now at the point where there are many options to achieve your holy grail. The best part is that whether you macerate, gently bathe your botanicals with magical vapors a gin basket, or re-distill your fine neutral with botanicals in the boiler, you get to drink the results! It may take you many, many tests to get to your destination, but the journey is half the fun.

A lot of distillers start with Odin's Easy Gin, but there are many, many approaches conveniently found here on the forum.
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Re: WHat still is better for Gin production

Post by NZChris » Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:44 pm

You should be able to make very good gin with an Airstill, but you have to stop doing whatever it is you are currently doing.

Aim for a base spirit that is a match for your finished gin so that you don't have to have a fancy reflux still to get it to completely neutral.

To make the base spirit, double distil, not being greedy when stripping and when choosing the heart cut.

The gin run should be the third distillation.

Put copper in the boiler for every distillation. I use a loosely wound ball of copper wire in my small stainless steel stills. Winding copper into a tall cone or column could be used to get copper into the vapor path in an Airstill.

Buy and/or grow good quality botanicals.

Start with Odin's Easy Gin, then tweak your recipes and methods as you learn from your results.

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Re: WHat still is better for Gin production

Post by cayars » Mon Apr 06, 2020 1:47 am

What's the wattage of your air still?
There has been a couple different versions and one is better for alcohol vs water use.
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Re: WHat still is better for Gin production

Post by GCB3 » Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:51 am

As Saltbush said:
Saltbush Bill wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 4:52 pm
Ideally for gin you would use two stills
To make awesome gin, you should start with really clean neutrals.The best tool for this job is (arguably) a reflux column. The gin run is typically done in a pot still. I have a 5 L Alembic that is used for this purpose. It will run batches as small as 1 L or as large as 4 L allowing me to experiment with recipes quickly and easily. it is a lot of fun to see how the different botanicals affect the flavor.

You are beginning a wonderful journey.

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Re: WHat still is better for Gin production

Post by cayars » Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:04 am

I use a pot still to strip the mash (I use grains vs sugar).
Then I use a reflux still to make GNS from these low wines. This GNS can be used for Limoncello, Panty Dropper, Vodka, Gin or many other things I make.

The GNS I use for Vodka/GIN gets filtered with activated carbon a couple of times to polish it up. This is optional but the carbon lasts a long time and it's easy!
I then dilute this down to 45% over the course of a few weeks dropping my % a bit at a time to not shock the spirit and cause saponification which can give a soapy taste. I'm one of the people that pick this up right away in spirits, especially whiskey, yuck.
I then run it through AC one additional time.

For gin I macerate my botanicals at 45% (extra dry gin) using my vodka for a couple of days. I use about 3x botanicals as needed by volume.
I then dump this all in the boiler of my small pot still and run it taking "gin cuts".
I then back mix this with vodka to get the level of the botanicals right where I want them.
I then let this rest about a month and bottle it.

A lot of this is covered in Odin's Easy Gin thread. I use a lot more different botanicals but the process is very similar.
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Re: WHat still is better for Gin production

Post by Gin-addict » Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:49 pm

NZChris wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:44 pm
You should be able to make very good gin with an Airstill, but you have to stop doing whatever it is you are currently doing.

Aim for a base spirit that is a match for your finished gin so that you don't have to have a fancy reflux still to get it to completely neutral.

To make the base spirit, double distil, not being greedy when stripping and when choosing the heart cut.

The gin run should be the third distillation.

Put copper in the boiler for every distillation. I use a loosely wound ball of copper wire in my small stainless steel stills. Winding copper into a tall cone or column could be used to get copper into the vapor path in an Airstill.

Buy and/or grow good quality botanicals.

Start with Odin's Easy Gin, then tweak your recipes and methods as you learn from your results.
Thanks, it took 3 distills to get it to drinkable. I used the gin liquid from still spirits and to be completely honest, I couldn't smell any junier berries. So my end result is a citrus spirit not gin. I have already checked out odins gin recipe and going to try it.
thanks

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Re: WHat still is better for Gin production

Post by Corsaire » Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:40 pm

Taste your base spirit before you do a gin run. It should have no bad flavors. If it does, run it a third time with strict cuts to make sure it won't ruin your gin. I don't have a reflux still either, so I run like nzchris describes.
'Drinkable' doesn't sound good. If you need to start from scratch, I've had good results using a variation of rad's all bran using weetabix.

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Re: WHat still is better for Gin production

Post by cayars » Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:05 am

What Corsaire said. If the "vodka" you start with isn't good enough to drink on it's own in something like a vodka martini then it's likely not worth using for your gin base. Good clean vodka is the starting base for a good gin. If the vodka is compromised, your gin will be as well.
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More than a decade working for NASA & FAA Tech with computer code used on Space Shuttles and some airline flight recorders.

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Re: WHat still is better for Gin production

Post by vonmighty » Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:03 pm

Im keen to hear your thoughts re: my intended Gin setup...I only want to make Gin if that helps.

- A mangrove jack 25L boiler with an attached copper column reflux for making the neutral
(https://www.aussiebrewmakers.com.au/pro ... istilling/)

- Then a copper alembic top for distilling the Gin itself
(https://www.discounthomebrewsupplies.co ... condenser/)

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Re: WHat still is better for Gin production

Post by T-Boon » Thu Sep 24, 2020 1:04 am

I've made a pretty good gin through my Airstill.

Steps are,
make a birdwatchers 15l minimum.
Distil 4L taking 1.3l off each run. attempt to take the first 50mls off the stripping runs for foreshots but if you forget don't stress too much.
repeat 2 more times.
Add low wines back into the pot, and macerate gin ingredients(for 2 hours if running with botanicals in the pot) or place them in the botanical basket.
Run and collect in 100ml jars, collect as low as you would like to go (20 or down to 10% if you have time)

Air overnight covered but not sealed and blend conservatively the following day (dilute what you are tasting by approx. half with a good bottled water), dilute using a calculator to preferred ABV (usually 40%) leave for a week or two to mellow, done.

What I actually did was made 50l double distilled the lot used most if it for other things and then did a remainder of wash and feints run and it came out pretty good with conservative cuts.
Gin.jpg

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Re: WHat still is better for Gin production

Post by Saltbush Bill » Thu Sep 24, 2020 1:29 am

I'll give you a hint T-boom...drop the TPW and try SSS recipe, I doubt you will go back.

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Re: WHat still is better for Gin production

Post by GCB3 » Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:23 am

Saltbush Bill wrote:
Thu Sep 24, 2020 1:29 am
...drop the TPW and try SSS recipe, I doubt you will go back.
+1 :thumbup: :thumbup:

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Re: WHat still is better for Gin production

Post by T-Boon » Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:15 pm


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Re: WHat still is better for Gin production

Post by Bushman » Thu Sep 24, 2020 1:03 pm

GCB3 wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:51 am
As Saltbush said:
Saltbush Bill wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 4:52 pm
Ideally for gin you would use two stills
To make awesome gin, you should start with really clean neutrals.The best tool for this job is (arguably) a reflux column. The gin run is typically done in a pot still. I have a 5 L Alembic that is used for this purpose. It will run batches as small as 1 L or as large as 4 L allowing me to experiment with recipes quickly and easily. it is a lot of fun to see how the different botanicals affect the flavor.

You are beginning a wonderful journey.
That is exactly the way I made my gin using two stills.

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