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The Big Gin Thread

edited June 2013 in Recipes

the Doctor writes:

Bombay Sapphire quality vapor infusion Gin with
1x pot strip
1x 6 plate bubble cap
1x 2 plate bubble cap / pot hybrid with infusion basket

Which measures of the well known botanicals to start ?

Thanks for any suggestions

Alex

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Comments

  • Not really any experience with Gin so far, as you may already have seen, the SD Gin Basket is not ready yet. Once it hits the market, there surely will be more to chime in.

    StillDragon Europe - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Europe & the surrounding area

  • edited June 2013

    We have a few gin guys here, i'm sure they'll chime in.

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • I am very intrested in making a gin. I have an idea on all the botanicals I wanna use but I am unsure on how muchjuniper to start with. I am doing a vapor infused gin. I am charging my boiler with 5 gallons of 40% abv stripped wash. I have a six plate bubble still. How much Juniper do you recommend starting with?

  • I can't tell you for sure how much juniper to use for two reasons. First, I'm a macerate-and-distill-and-dilute gin-maker, and second, it all depends on how much juniper flavor you want in your gin (Third, I don't know how strong your juniper is). Because the ratios of botanicals should be similar for maceration and vapor infusion (well, sorta), I can give you a starting recipe, and if it's too strong, just dilute it with vodka until you like it.

    80 grams juniper berries 40 grams coriander 8 grams angelica root 8 grams cassia 8 grams liquorice 8 grams bitter almond 1 gram lemon peel 1 gram orris root

    This should get you close, except maybe for total concentration.

    Where are you getting your herbs and spices?

    Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

    my book, Making Fine Spirits

  • Thanks zymurgybob. This gives me an area to start with. I just didnt want to jump into it and ruin a batch. I will be getting all of my botanicals from monterey bay spice company. Do you have a different company that you would recommend.

  • Moutain Rose herbs here,good quality may be a little on pricey side but always good!

    It is what you make it!

  • edited July 2013

    Chef,

    I've never checked out Monterey Bay Spice, but you might look at Penzey's Spice Company. One great selection of fresh strong and inexpensive spices. For the odd herbs (orris root, angelica root, licorice root, grains of paradise, etc.), I also use Mountain Rose.

    Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

    my book, Making Fine Spirits

  • Any ball park figure on the max weight of average botanicals the gin basket will hold and function correctly?

  • from memory 400+g.

    remember not to crush the botanicals.

  • edited January 2014

    I should be getting my gin head tomorrow. I would like to ask though if there is any downside to maceration. What I'm thinking is recycling botanicals that have been used in the gin head, and do a combined run of new dry stuff in the head along with alcohol that has been steeped in used material.

  • edited January 2014

    I do this gin blend, it's from bt1, some may know him. On @olddog's recommendation I use a cotton botanical bag in the neck of my boiler. Run it through 3 plates at 90%, diluted to 48%. It's a Bombay copy, and very nice.

    40-60g dried juniper berries depending on preference for lighter to heavier styles 
    4 almonds
    3-5 strips 2-3 cm of orange peel avoid white pith just the zest 
    3-5 strips 2-3 cm of lemon peel, avoid white pith just the zest 
    2 strips lime peel, avoid white pith just the zest  
    3/4 teaspoon full of angelica root 
    3/4 teaspoon full of Orris root 
    1/2 star anise 
    1/2 teaspoon full of ground coriander 
    Cassia bark 1/2 a scroll or 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder 
    3/4 teaspoon full of ground ginger 
    up to 3 black pepper corns 
    1/4 teaspoon dill tips 
    2 whole cloves
    
  • @Rocky_Creek said: I should be getting my gin head tomorrow. I would like to ash though if there is any downside to maceration.

    I'd think the main downside is a "stinky" boiler that needs cleaning to run anything else. That's one of the advantages of the gin head.

  • edited January 2014

    +1 @jbierling
    A dedicated rig prolly mitigates that if one where to be so lucky to have that kind of demand.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • People kept telling me don't do it in the boiler or the upward side, do it on the downward path to the pc, I have had no trouble with it stinking the boiler.

  • my boiler I use for gin has a removable lid, so I can put my gin basket right above it, as I can get in to scrub it down. If I couldn't do that, I'd definitely use an offset basket like the SD one. I'd also avoid doing macerated gins for the same reason, that some oils are hard to shift and will contaminate whatever you run in the boiler unless you can clean it down after the run.

  • edited January 2014

    @googe said: People kept telling me don't do it in the boiler or the upward side, do it on the downward path to the pc, I have had no trouble with it stinking the boiler.

    I was given that advise and ended up with a big green oily mess in the collection jars. It smelled like gin but all the oils and crap from the botanicals dissolved and ran into the distillate which louched when water came anywhere near it. It was also a massive pain in the arse to clean the still afterwards.

    Ended up being a waste of time, botanicals($) and neutral.

  • No Coriander seed - just the ground stuff in that @googe?

  • edited January 2014

    Sounds like a nightmare @unsub! I've read that a good gin should be a but cloudy because of so many oils carried over? I don't know. Mine is slightly cloudy, nothing like a taily rum etc. I just used dried coriander lucky liqueur. Ground everything in a mortar pestle.

  • Actually I like a heavy hand of coriander (in gin and in cooking).
    Probably just me though.

  • For what it's worth:
    I'm not using a Gin Basket (at the moment) but here's a recent maceration recipe just to illustrate the juniper / coriander seed proportions I'm accustomed to using.
    I feel the more coriander used, the more suitable it is for a martini.

    Macerate the following ingredients in 10L @ 45% for 2 ~ 4 days:

    150 g Juniper
     60 g Coriander Seed
      4 g Angelica
      4 g Cinnamon
      6 g Orris Root Powder
      2 g Grains of Paradise Seed
      3 x Cardamon Pods
    

    Pot still and dilute to 45% ABV
    (I didn't have any citrus peel on hand at the time)

  • @Unsub using a tea ball, mesh basket or cloth bag in the downward vapour path will result in coloured output. The resultant product will be fine to drink but. Try "stretching" the product by adding more neutral if it is too strong.

    @googe - its a nice blend that, some similarities to bombay / saph but also some additions eg dill, black pepper & anise & subtractions eg liquorice root, grains of paradise, cubeb

  • edited January 2014

    @crozdog, if you get past the color, any thing else, like the first bit being bitter or something. Thinking of rigging the GB4 backwards.

  • Sorry @rocky_creek i missed your post. colour is the draw back of using a tea ball, mesh basket or cloth bag in the downward vapour path apart from having to clean the smell out of a few components - flavour is fine.

    What is the idea behind rigging the GB4 backwards?

  • crozdog - Putting it on backwards would allow the vapor to come in from the top and go down thru the botanicals. This would allow any liquids that condense to come on out. May not be worth a damn just thinking about "downward path". A half baked idea at this point.

  • Never know @Rocky_Creek, please give it a go and report back with your results.

  • That would work, but dunno it it adds or subtracts anything. Give it a try & report.

    I have found that upward rising vapour that condenses on the botanicals drops into the bottom of the head because of gravity :-)

  • OK I will. But since I only recently got all my equipment together I am still setting up, cleaning and getting ready to go.

  • Placed here after reading a comment on another thread...

    Here are the Standards of Identity for Gin in the US:

    GIN Spirits with a main characteristic flavor derived from juniper berries produced by distillation or mixing of spirits with juniper berries and other aromatics or extracts derived from these materials and bottled at not less than 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof)

    DISTILLED GIN - Gin produced by original distillation from mash with or over juniper berries and other aromatics or their extracts, essences or flavors

    REDISTILLED GIN - Gin produced by redistillation of distilled spirits with or over juniper berries and other aromatics or their extracts, essences or flavors

    COMPOUNDED GIN - Gin produced by mixing neutral spirits with juniper berries and other aromatics or their extracts, essences or flavors

    Europe has different defs:

    EU Gin Definitions

    All gins are made with ethyl alcohol alcohol flavoured with juniper berries (juniperus communis) and other flavourings. The ethyl alcohol used must be distilled to the minimum standards stated in the EU Spirit Drink Regulations. In all types of gin, the predominant flavour of must be juniper, and they must have a minimum retail strength of 37.5% abv. There are three definitions of gin: gin, distilled gin and London Gin.

    Gin

    This is made from:

    • Suitable ethyl alcohol and flavourings.
    • The ethyl alcohol does not have to be re-distilled.
    • The flavouring can be either approved natural or artificial flavourings.
    • The flavourings can be simply mixed together with the ethyl alcohol to form the gin (compounded).
    • There is no restriction on the addition of other approved additives such as sweetening.
    • Water is added to reduce the gin's strength to the desired retail level, but not below 37.5% abv.
    • There is no restriction on the colouring of gin with an approved colouring.

    Distilled gin

    Distilled gin is made in a traditional still by:

    • Redistilling neutral alcohol in the presence of natural flavourings.
    • There is no minimum strength laid down for the resultant distillate.
    • After distillation, further ethyl alcohol of the same composition may be added.
    • Additional flavourings may be added after distillation and these can be either natural or artificial flavourings.
    • The distillate can be further changed by the addition of other approved additives since there is no prohibition on their use in the definition.
    • Water may be added to reduce the strength to the desired retail level.
    • There is no restriction on the colouring of distilled gin with approved colourings.

    London Gin

    London Gin is made in a traditional still by re-distilling ethyl alcohol in the presence of all natural flavourings used.

    • The ethyl alcohol used to distil London Gin must be of a higher quality than the standard laid down for ethyl alcohol. The methanol level in the ethyl alcohol must not exceed a maximum of 5 grams per hectolitre of 100% vol. alcohol.
    • The flavourings used must all be approved natural flavourings and they must impart the flavour during the distillation process.
    • The use of artificial flavourings is not permitted.
    • The resultant distillate must have a minimum strength of 70% abv.
    • No flavourings can be added after distillation.
    • Further ethyl alcohol may be added after distillation provided it is of the same standard.
    • A small amount of sweetening may be added after distillation provided the sugars do not exceed 0.1 grams/litre of finished product (the sugar is not discernible and is added to some products purely for brand protection purposes).
    • The only other substance that may be added is water.
    • London Gin cannot be coloured.
  • edited February 2015

    And my favourite, although slightly different. Jenever.

  • @Myles said: And my favourite, although slightly different. Jenever.

    where's the damn like button?

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