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Diluting Multi-Shot Gin Method with NGS

edited January 2017 in General

When it comes to diluting a multi-shot method gin with NGS, do you just add the NGS at its highest proof or do you water it down before hand?



  • edited January 2017

    Ideally, you shouldn't need to add GNS after distillation, unless you made a mistake and proofed too low during dilution.

    If your botanical extracts are very concentrated, and what you are doing is flavoring a neutral/vodka base - it could be argued what you are really doing is compounding gin. But, unless you are commercial in a jurisdiction that has rules about this, it probably doesn't matter.

    But, it shouldn't matter the order. Ultimately you'll be gauging and proofing down on the final blend anyway. I could see it being advantageous to get to gns proofed down and in the ballpark (but over bottle proof) - as you lower the risk of shocking the blend and dropping oils out/clouding.

  • Thanks @grim Yeah I would be creating a concentrate. The gin craze over here is being fuelled by the multi-shot method (smaller stills, smaller setup costs, same amount of product).

    I was interested in giving it a go.

  • edited January 2017

    Heck, even if you did individual botanical distillations, or grouped distillations (light flavor aroma vs mid vs deep/dark), even something like a small 200l still could create a significant amount of gin in a week. I would imagine this would give you a good amount of control (which the multi-shot purports to provide).

    You could easily process a drums worth of gns a week in a 200l still doing individual/grouped distillations, this is nearly 600 bottles a week.

    You aren't even talking about needing plates - just run pot still style through the carter head.

  • I agree. A few places here only have 30-100 litres stills and are needing to produce a fair amount, so they opt for the multi-shot method compared to getting another still.

    I like the idea of the one-shot method, but less scaleable in some ways.

    Say if I had a 100 litre (Alembic or pot still), how much could you roughly get when using NGS, if you were to do a one-shot method (individual botanical distillation). What sort of cuts would you make?

    I was thinking about getting a 100 litre still and possibly have a SD 4" Copper Helmet on top or maybe a copper alembic still.

  • There is a lot of "have a go" commercial gin making happening here in the U.K. right now. There are 5 small gin makers near me and the best of the bunch is buying supermarket vodka, distilling with botanicals in a detuned T500 to make an essence, and then diluting with more store bought vodka.

    It's really putting me off gin...

  • How the fuck do you make a profit doing that?

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

  • I agree, I don't believe in that, but there are some legitimate people out there doing a good job with smaller stills using the multi-shot method. There is def a discussion based around it i'm sure :)

  • edited January 2017

    Shrug, out here is the states a 55g drum of GNS is $300, that's more than 600 bottles worth.

  • @grim said: Shrug, out here is the states a 55g drum of GNS is $300, that's more than 600 bottles worth.

    600 x $40 = $24,000

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • Fairly similar to here then. Just wondering then, do you find that the heads and tails cut is a lot less with GNS?

  • A distiller here once told me that the neutral he bought was cheaper than the water he used to cut it with.

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

  • I'm not exactly sure about the "one-shot" and "multi-shot" definitions, but we make commercial gin by macerating our botanical bill in 50% for 21 days, and distilling an essence in (for the time being) a 5-liter glass still, and mixing that 1:8 with 40% cut from our vodka still. Yes what goes out the door is right at the edge of louching, and temperature changes can change the amount of louching visible, but people are loving the flavor, and we've explained the cloudiness in terms of flavor content, and it sells well.

    Are we fully into major production? No, but the gin's great, and we can expand the process later.

    Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

    my book, Making Fine Spirits

  • Here in Argentina I can get neutral for about 50 cents a litre. I dont know how much I can get distilled water for but the neutral is really cheap. I was thinking about making my own neutral here but it never made sense. The cheapest I could make it for here was about US$1.25 a litre.

  • @zymurgybob - you are doing multishot

  • edited January 2017

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

  • edited January 2017

    I still think you can gain better control by doing individual or grouped botanical distillations - so single pass process, but with the ability to adjust the botanical profile as necessary.

    Aligns very much with "craft" as major producers couldn't possibly manage such a manual process.

    It also aligns with using a smaller still, as each pass is only a fraction of the total batch size.

  • @punkin said: How the fuck do you make a profit doing that?

    He claims all he needed to setup was a tiny inexpensive still and some form of low level distillers license. Duty paid cheap vodka is £9 a bottle. A few hours of work and a craft gin label and he sells it for £40 a bottle.

    He claimes his license would only cover duty paid GNS which would be almost £10 a litre at 95% and they would only sell it to him in 1000L IBCs.

    I guess one of those doesn't fit in the kitchen... 8-|

    I haven't looked into any of this though, what about you @zizther? Do you know much about the uk licensing?

  • edited January 2017

    @mark85 said: I haven't looked into any of this though, what about you zizther? Do you know much about the uk licensing?

    He must be working under a Rectifiers Licence.


  • Excise Duty on 95% in UK is £27.66 per Litre plus the cost of the Grain Spirit (gets cheaper the more you buy) small volume at 25L is £4.70 per Litre plus about £100 delivery charge

  • That's surprising. So after paying duty small scale GNS is actually quite comparable to a cheap bottle of vodka.

  • edited January 2017

    Cheap bottle of mass market vodka probably has a physical product cost of $2 less excise. Probably under a dollar for glass, label, closures, seals. Probably less than 40 cents for the liquid. Remainder is labor and losses.

    For a mass market vodka, I believe you actually pay more towards the marketing budget when you buy a bottle, than you do for the actually bottle and liquid itself. Physical distribution cost probably a similar amount. Everything else is mark up from distributors onwards - obviously overhead, cogs, etc all apply - so an oversimplification from a business perspective.

    I don't see how it's cheaper to buy vodka off the shelf vs GNS, unless you simply don't have the cash to afford the bulk GNS.

    But there is no way that bulk GNS is going to be more expensive than taxpaid vodka on the shelf.

  • edited January 2017

    Yeah, I am working under a rectifiers and compounders license, I have been looking into getting my full distillers license as it is much easier now and no need for a huge still. So if you wanted, you could be making moonshine with a 50 litre still, just depends if it is viable and the product is worth being to market.

    The main problem is the duty, which is £27.99/litre, but you can pay that after you sell your product. As mentioned above, and I am sure with everywhere, it does get cheaper to buy NGS the larger bulk you buy it in. I can get a 25litre container for 3.44/litre, down to £1.70 for a 1000 IBC, then cheaper again for a lorry load. In the UK we mainly do wheat, barley or molasses NGS, if you wanted corn you would have to look in Europe, I have not been able to find a distillery offering corn NGS in the UK yet.

    Licensing is becoming a whole lot easier over here in general, we had some laws changed a few years back which allowed the "craft" gin boom currently happening, other laws changed in August this year meant that our older laws are now becoming outdated, however that has not been said out loud. No longer do you need a 1800 litre still to distill your own spirit, and nor does the HRMC (Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs) have grounds to deny anyone a license (they just make it difficult).

    Speaking to an ex-HRMC staff member, they said that they HRMC have no clue what they are doing, and that they don't understand the laws themselves. The new head of the HRMC even set her team the challenge of setting up a distillery, so they could see how the process worked. They had to give up, highlighting how difficult, complicated and archaic the process is.

    2020 is meant to be another big law changing year in the UK with regards to a big overview in general, and hopefully getting a license will be made easier as part of that. This could be a bad thing as well, as any tom, dick and harry making something could have a negative effect.

  • So what do you do, buy duty-paid spirits at retail and then request some sort of rebate? Then again pay the duty when you sell?

  • edited January 2017

    If that GNS is wheat - 3.44 pounds per liter in a 25 liter quantity is a pretty good price.

  • Either way you only pay duty the once. If i get NGS, then i will only pay the duty on what i sold. If i purchase a bottle from the shop, that cost is taken into consideration.

    Price wise NGS here is good, 200litres or 1000litres is def the best way to buy it in though. Ideally i hope to be turning around 500-700 bottles a week, so basing it off 200litres can get ~600 bottles, it gives me my rough amounts.

  • @punkin said: A distiller here once told me that the neutral he bought was cheaper than the water he used to cut it with.

    How is that possible when excise is around $70 litre and I believe that is going up?

  • edited January 2017

    He was stalking about the cost of the product, not the tax applicable. You pay the tax whether you make it yourself or buy it, the tax cost is the same.

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

  • I spoke to Tarac. 5.90 per LAU. Excise is around $80 LAU. BLOODY GOVERNMENT.

  • Holy shit batman. AUD$80 per litre. I feel better about setting up in Mendoza. The excise is 5% of whatever you sell it at.

  • The difference between our government and your government is our government sucks c#^&*s.

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