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What's in your Basket?

So I recently started playing with my new toy the GB4. My first Run had cinnamon sticks in the basket to create a cinnamon style whiskey which went over well. I recently purchased 2 pounds of specialty malt. I plan to fill the basket with the malt and run it with a whiskey that I have already made cuts on. it Will be watered down in the boiler to 15%. Hoping to get a total abv of around 50 55% after running it down to around 10 abv. Very curious on how much flavor will transfer over this way. Yes I could do an all grain mash, but currently I'm only Running UJSM. Any thoughts or suggestions before I run it? I was contemplating on soaking the whiskey in the grain before I run it



  • edited September 2015

    I think you'll need a slightly higher starting abv unless you are running plates as well as the basket.
    Have a look at this thread for some potstill style practical numbers.

    Calculating the Output ABV @ AD

    I found around 28% was right for my setup for a 65% output.

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

  • @popcorn as long as you mill it you will pick up some flavor. On that note, you may want to add a little mesh tube or something to ensure the wet grain doesn't compact block your vapor path.

    It really depends on what flavor profile you are looking for. We have had success steeping specialty malts to about 175F then cooling down a bit before adding in sugar. This brought out some really nice malt character. We have also added malt to wash post fermentation during boil up and distilling on-grain, which brings" out more grain character than malt. I preferred the former but the latter definitely gives a solid whiskey note. Downside Is you also should be using an agitator or jacket due to high risk of scorching.

    Anyway, my basket? KDSC is currently juniper, coriander, mint, marjoram, chinook hops and grapefruit. Currently working on a southwest style using white sage, cactus and other parts of the native diet. Lots of cool things to screw around with here in San Diego


  • edited September 2015

    @Kill_Devil_Spirit_Co said: Lots of cool things to screw around with here in San Diego

    Like Sculpin IPA...

    I'm more like I am now than I was before.

  • It's our play on the westcoast IPA... Valor West Coast Gin. I hate that grapefruit version they do though, there's plenty of fruit character in the original from the 7 varieties of hops :D My buddy George created the original W.A.S.P IPA that Sculpin was designed from, so I may be biased haha

  • I don't get the fascination with grapefruit in IPA either. I like grapefruit and I like IPA - just not in the same glass.

    What next - skittles?

    I'm more like I am now than I was before.

  • I love that the hop variety mimics the flavor, adding in fruit was overboard. People love it but not for me. Ballast did some fairly odd varieties of Dorado for IPA Day (watermelon, mango, etc)

    Grapefruit is an awesome compliment to juniper though

  • I use Murcott tangerine for my citrus peel. Grow it and dry it myownself.

    I'm more like I am now than I was before.

  • I'm trying to grow as much of my botanicals as I can, I also have access to tons of canyon here so I can forage for nice natural wild stuff too. Will probably get some looks after my cactus hunt

  • @Kapea said: I don't get the fascination with grapefruit in IPA either. I like grapefruit and I like IPA - just not in the same glass.

    What next - skittles?

    hush! the Grapefruit is awesome!.... but if you don't like that, they have a habenero version

  • Sounds like we should probably all get together for some brewery/distillery hopping during ADI week.

  • I'm in.

    I'm more like I am now than I was before.

  • Camamill , ginger , spruce , alder and some other stuff GB4 is cool no dought about it .

  • @Kill_Devil_Spirit_Co great info thanks for chiming in. As far as the compacting grains I do believe I had that issue the center of my basket was dry and the outside was like Cement. It definitely brought over a lot of flavor and smell not sure I like the smell but the flavor is so far pretty good curious to see what a little bit of oak will do for it overall.

  • anyone doing some hops?

  • I was wondering if the hops made the spirit to bitter

  • @Unsensibel I listed hops! and yes they do add a nice dry piney flavour. Different hops add different notes, much like they do in beer. Remember when we are distilling were concentrating, thus a little goes A LONG way and even a little too much is just stupidly overpowering. In the gb4 I believe I was using about 3.5g along with the other botanicals. 1 basket change per 10/gal collected, running slowish and higher proof

    @popcorn you may want to experiment with different crushes. You're only going for aroma/flavour so maybe a courser crush could yield similar results without compacting. You also have the wonderfully useful ability to give the basket a quick shake and reinsert during a run, maybe give that a go too

  • @Kill_Devil_Spirit_Co - Mea culpa! I need to put a GB4 on my shopping list eventually... right after my 380L boiler and 6" column...

    How's the flavor coming across? More like a late/dry addition I would think as you're knocking it back down from the vapor?

  • dry is a very good description, along with certain aromatic hints that you can make shine with recipe tweaking much like cooking a good meal. Definitely not quite what I was expecting but it is nice and definitely complimentary to other botanicals.

  • Corsair makes several hopped whiskies in a carter head, really nice...


    800 x 503 - 54K
  • @CothermanDistilling said: Corsair makes several hopped whiskies in a carter head, really nice...


    Love that bottle shape for whiskey. They sell the empty bottles and after shipping I paid about $4 each. Not great but not bad for a guy who just fucks around a bit.

  • Anyone had success with berries? I just inherited about 10 gallons of cranberries. Planning on making a brandy but may also put some in the vapor path? Worth it?

  • In my opinion, everything's game in a gin basket if you are willing to clean up the mess haha. Your cranberries should be fine. Try whole first and if it isn't coming through, half them. A little messy but they will definitely come through. I've had fantastic results with fruit flesh as opposed to just using dry peel. I'm trying dragon fruit tomorrow cos why the hell not?

  • Cool - basket is coming tomorrow so that will be my first experiment. Will report back with results.

  • I'm wondering about bacon in the basket. Thinking cooked or not cooked also.

  • @popcorn I've done this, cooked definitely. The flavours of meat and smoke came through but without the oil the full bacon flavour isn't quite there. Im not stopping you from experimenting further, the varieties of bacon are endless and trust me it makes a difference

  • I can tell what is definitely not in my basket: Caraway. I have tried some Gin with it once, will never do it again.

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

  • @Kill_Devil_Spirit_Co Did you crush the bacon or just throw whole pieces in there?

  • Whole pieces, baked to render a majority of the fat off and not totally crisp. Press with paper towel then chuck right in the basket. I know I was going on about there not being enough fat, I only got that from actual steeping. Maybe the fat essence would carry through? The steeping worked well cos the flavours and mouthfeel balanced and I know from experience that just putting grease in your shine tastes, well, like grease....

  • edited October 2015

    I can't imagine bacon would translate over, not that it's worth trying, but there are some key chemistry issues.

    Bacon, from an experiential perspective, is defined by a number of variables that we know aren't going to distill over well, or at all. Bacon isn't one note, unless we're talking about steamed ham, blech.

    The oily mouth feel and crunch are key to bacon - crunch, not possible, and the mouth feel won't happen without making a mess of a spirit.

    Salty - won't happen through distillation. You can try making a salty spirit base and see how it tastes.

    Umami - Not sure if anyone has attempted to carry over the bacon umami/savory aspects into a spirit. The leading theory behind the umami is that these are driven by g-protein/glutamate receptors on the taste buds. I don't think any of these salts are even remotely volatile.

    I would imagine a bacon spirit would need to contain enough emulsifiers to keep the fat in suspension, would need to have salt added, and would likely need some kind of additional additives on the umami side - hell, maybe even MSG.

    Would imagine the end result would be closer to soup.

    By the way, my wife makes a candied bacon shortbread cookie that is to die for, so I'm not anti-bacon. I think it works so well exactly because of the above. The candying of the small pieces makes them extremely crunchy, you get the salty, you get the mouth feel, you get the umami mixing with the sweet.

  • Damn it now I'm hungry.

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