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Help with first Spirit Run for Gin

I have done my first Brandy Run with 12% red wine, I got 4,8 Lit @ 88% of Hearts.
I used 3 bubble plates in my Dash 6, Dephleg (4" x 200mm) and PC ( 2" x 500mm).
I am very pleased with the result and the taste. I have 1.5 Lit of Tails (feints) @ 65%.

I now have done a Pot Still run with a MUMS wash of 45 Lit @ 9% and collected 9.7 Lit @ 40 %.

I would like to do a Spirit Run with the 9.7 Lit of 40% together with the 1.5 Lit of 65% = 11.2 Lit of 43.2%. Then add water to cover the elements for a Spirit Run using say 3 bubble plates, dephleg and PC, collecting Fores, Hearts and Tails?

Then do I use the Hearts only and more water to cover the elements and licquor down to less than 40% for the Gin run?

With the rig set as a pot still with the GB4 Carter Head.


Do I set the rig as full Hybrid 6 bubble plates, Dephleg, PC and Gin Carter Head in between the Dephleg and PC and do the cuts carefully?



  • edited July 2017

    Easier to do two runs, first to create your base spirit, and secondly to turn it into gin (using only the carter head, pot still style). The cuts on the gin run are going to be based on the botanical flavors. Everything I've ever tried and done myself - this seems to be the most efficient use of botanicals and time.

  • Thank you , on the config shall I use just 3 bubble plates and the dephleg and PC like I did on the Brandy spirit run or shall I use the full 6 plate Dash for a cleaner spirit ?

  • I do not use any plates on the gin run, a pot still sends vapor of a varying alcohol concentration though the botanicals, which some believe is beneficial...

  • edited July 2017

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

  • Thought i posted this the other day…. didn't click the post button - doh to make gin, you ideally want the cleanest base you can get to do your gin run with. I do a strip run then a spirit run with 4 plates and a 500mm packed section, only keeping the hearts for gin / vodka

  • Thanks guys,

    I did a strip run only using a 500mm st/st packed section and the 2" PC on the Mums wash I had fermented, so 43 lit @ 9.5% gave me about 9.7 Lit @ 40%. I threw away about 200mls of the fores/heads because it really smelt and tasted bad, as in acetone etc.

    I added 1.5 litres of a (red wine) brandy run feints at 65 %, I then added 3 litres of water to keep above the element. so resultant was about 14 litres at 34%.

    I ran the Dash 6 plate with all the bubble plates and dephleg and PC and collected 5.3 lit @ 88%, some of the hearts were 92% so I was chuffed with that.

    The next day I ran the still with the 500mm packed section, GB4 and 500mm 2" PC. I ran the 4.5 lit of what I considered hearts at 88% with 11 Lit of water. Loads of botanicals and ended up with my first Gin, 4.9 Lit @ 82%, a bit heavy on the aniseed flavour so might cut down the star anise and fennel, the green chilli that my wife said don't put in gave a nice bit of extra heat (I think) Anyway she likes it and I'm just loving this craft. I think you could say I'm addicted to it. Here's to many more experiments and good tasting spirits.

    The brandy run, stripping run, spirit run and final Gin run were ALL my first ever distillations.


  • Congrats! Green chilli? I like it!

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

  • :) Chuffed ??? are you originally from South Africa ?? Very much a word from SA.

  • 1970's Armed forces public schooling I'm afraid !

  • edited July 2017

    Sounds great. Try the water the very clean alcohol down to say 18 to 20 % . Dont use the packed column in the gin run - put the still in pure pot still mode. Collect all on gin run and run it down till you get the final ABV you want straight off the still. I do it in 1 litre bottles and average out the abv across the bottles then mix them all together. That way you wont have to water it down at the end. 82% is dynamite and will have to be cut where you lose some intensity of flavor. My full attack is in the big gin thread but there is many ways to skin a cat and only the final result is important along with being able to do it again when you get it perfected.

  • Thanks for the comments above....most helpful ! Just a quick question on the end cut, I only cut half at the time to 44% and gave it to friends and family to try with good feedback. I have just cut the last few litres to same ABV and the gin has gone opaque ! Any ideas of whats happened.....Reminds of Ouzo of Pernot

  • When I make my gin I start with very clean neutral then collect in 2 l bottles. I measure the abv of each bottle then calculate the average of the lot . This gives me an idea when to stop collecting when I have reached my desired abv average. Then I mix the whole lot together to make my brew and arrive at my desired abv.

    I can only think you did not mix it all together and your last bottles had more oils in it and when you diluted you got cloudy. Mix it all together next time so you got one big batch. If you were trying to make cuts they should have been done during to making of the neutral stage. No cuts are required on the gin run and each bottle will be different due to different extractions across the whole run. There will be different extraction at start of run to end and also different extractions due to abv levels. Ie more water vapour at the end bit will extract different things than higher alcohol at beginning.

    Both temperature and abv come into play with louching. You don't have to do it my way but you should mix it all together to join all the elements together.

  • Different temperatures at play maybe? Was the other half done in summertime/wintertime? If it is very close to louching perhaps temperature could play a role.

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

  • Maybe the jars got mixed up. it's my understanding that there's more oily compounds that come off early.

    I just re-read your process and note you used a lot of star anise. It produce a lot of oils and louches a lot. maybe that is playing a big part especially when combined with @punkin's comment r tmp and different times of the year.

    I agree with @GD50 about mixing it all together - in fact I don't collect gin runs in jars, just 1 big container.

  • Temperature, %ABV/flavoring oils ratio. Our gin is right on the edge of louching, and sometimes different ambient temperature will cause a haze. I take louching gin as a point of pride, like, "This damn Corvette's a bad car - the rear tires keep smoking."

    Of course, if you're all about the visual aspect...

    Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

    my book, Making Fine Spirits

  • If you had mixed it all together then it can only be temperature that caused your louching - but as Zymurgybob said its only a problem if it is a problem.

  • I filter the cloudiness-making compounds out of my spirits with a louchbag... =))

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

  • Sorry, couldn't resist.

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

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

  • Cheers all for the guidance, I did mix all jars together at the end and will definitely liquor down the neutral at the start to aim for a longer vapour path. Yep the first mix to achieve the 44% was at 12C ambient, the next was at 24C using very cold water to water down. That's when it turned cloudy. The star anise flavour is definitely too high so will cut down next time too. Louching it is then gin is smokin and still tastes good ......perhaps we shouldn't always drink with our eyes. Thanks again all !

  • Can adding neutral help to reduce/eliminate the louching?

  • Not without affecting flavour

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

  • I've always thought this was the truth, but I have no proof: was London dry gin typically sold in frosted glass bottles because it louches or tends to louche?

    Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

    my book, Making Fine Spirits

  • Just playing around a bit with botanicals, you may be able to dial back your botanical load to reduce louche without major impacts. I'm finding that it's easy to push well past the upper perception threshold (point at which you notice no difference in flavor and aroma intensity). Increasing the volatiles and oil concentrations with little benefit.

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