New Gin Basket User - What To Expect?

I mascerate my junoper and corriander seed. Preivosuly the rest of my botanicals were in a bag hanging inside my still but not in the boiling liquid, just suspended. It was a pain to setup so I got a gin basket.

Previously my column was too short and the run would have an earthy smell even if i reduced power, so I added another 18" section of column and was back in business!

I am now concerned that my botanicals (minus juniper and corriander seed) are at the top of the column in a gin basket, as I had concluded that the extra column length meant the heavier "earthy" notes in the run didn't get forced into the collection path.

So I am looking for advice from users on how to run a basket setup.. Do you put botanicals in and run and discard the first portion as always? or is it better to get rid of the first portion of the run and then put the basket in place?

just any general notes from the field really...

thanks guys/gals!

Comments

  • glad you found that. Hope it helps.

    Re doing a heads cut, my advice is to make the best neutral you can for your base spirit. Then you won't have to. Some people like to do a small one as they find the initial juniper notes to be a bit overpowering. Up to you if you do this

  • edited July 19

    Also look for

    The Big Gin Thread

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

  • Ditto - I’m using 96% neutral and there’s no need for a heads cut.

  • I use 96 ngs and always do a heads cut, I just wondered if the.gin basket required special consideration

  • edited July 18

    If you are heavy on the citrus and high "terpene/citrusy/limonene" botanicals (coriander, etc) - the first few ML can run a little bit bitter.

  • Keep in mind though, while they may be bitter in the first fraction, it's because many of the citrus terpenes are bitter in high quantities. So when they are diluted across a full product run, and even potentially with water, they are no longer perceived as bitter.

  • It's the terpenes they smell badly

  • Another question, the basket drain at the bottom.. what do you guys do with the alcohol collected from it? Ditch or use..

  • Ditch it. Have you tasted it ? Its full of ethanol sure but also full of tannins and lignins and heavy juniper oils. Chuck it. You dont need more of this stuff.

  • Cheers buddy, I haven't tasted it, just smelt it. Previously with my just suspending the botanicals in a bag in the headspace.this would have gone into my boiler and presumably some or all of it found it's way into my product so I am keen to see if there is a difference.

  • From what I can tell the botanicals are subject to a stream of hot vapor with water and alcohol. At 90 deg C alcohol is a powerful solvent and it will disolve some of the plant matter, which is what you want to get at the cool flavor compounds. The heavier solids will drop hence the need for a drain at the bottom. When i am doing a run I normally drain that at least once or twice. But i have tasted it a couple of times. Nasty. Lignins and Tanins some Juniper but not a lot. It tastes like dissolved bark ( not that I have ever tasted that). Anyway mate not recommended.

  • i did taste it, the first 2 drains of around 200ml tasted of alcohol, some citrus - both clear in colour. The last was a dull yellow and didn't taste of much tbh. All ditched ;-)

  • Your a winner @needmorestuff. Soon you will have to change your handle to @ needmorespaceformybigdistillery

  • Hopefully dude! Day jobs a bitch.

  • edited August 15

    Yes. I know how that is @ needmorespaceformydistillery. I should redo my my handle @ needmoretimetomakewhiskeyratherthanworkforrockapes

  • edited August 15

    Good day all,

    I'm new on the forum as well and have been reading @crozdog's Gin Manual to get a base-line for ratios to start with in the gin basket. BTW, thank you @crozdog!

    I don't mind learning from trial and error but some pre-knowledge to reduce the error is always a good thing, right?! So here goes...

    Suggested starting is TTL botanicals = 25-40 g/L which I assume this relates to liters in the still at 40%.

    If the basket holds approx. 400g then with a 120L charge math says (120L x 25g = 3,000g TTL/ 400g/basket = 7.5 baskets; or at 40g/L = 12 baskets). This means the baskets need to be swapped 7-12 times during the course of one 120L run. This seems like a high number of basket swaps. Any feedback or guidance is greatly appreciated.

  • @byron in my view, GB is hobby sized. 120L seems to be somewhat above that (~12 cases of finished product). So you’re evaluating against what it wasn’t designed for necessarily

  • It's a 4" basket and suits the 4" stills. Many of my commercial customers use it on 5" stills and the 200l 5" combo is my biggest seller.

    Having said that i don't know the answer to your question but there will be plenty here who do.

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

  • Put the juniper and corriander seed in the boiler, others in basket = no basket swaps.

  • @byron. @ 25 grams per l of finished product your basket will hold enough for about 20 litres of gin. If you have a 200l boiler you might have to go up in size. I got the GB4 and put a 4" x 300mm extension with a 2" exit so I can put in two baskets together and 40l in a run. If I add another 200mm Extension, I can add 3 baskets and 60 litres of gin out a run, and thats about the limit of my 150lboiler. @needmorestuff is correct but I prefer a full vapor infusion and full baskets for the whole run. Its a technique thing and everyone has their own preferences. But thats doing a masceration type of gin. Try a masceration and then vapor infusion if you already have your boiler.

    Making gin is such a personal thing. Work on your recipes. Get a copy of a flavor wheel to help plan where you want your gin to be or if you want your flavours in a certain area. Do 1 litre test runs with a masceration type of test in 1 litre glass flasks, heat cycled. Then do 10 litre runs. Its the cheapest way to work on your recipes.

  • yes it's g of botanicals to litres of finish spirit. The figures are really a guide

    It's really a matter of preference. I like strongly flavoured gins, so prefer to use higher ratios. I know a commercial distiller who uses one on a 200l setup an doesn't change baskets. He has won medals at international comps

    lots of people use 10-15g/l juniper an don't get to 25g/l

    An approach which I don't rally describe is making a strong batch an diluting it down with natural. That works well

  • @crozdog. I hve tried juniper from 10 to 80 grams per litre. Where i am the people here prefer light juniper loads. Ie about 15 grams. In europe you could prbably get away with more. As well it depends if you want to make a sipping gin or mixing. My royal has only 6 botanicals but a heavy juniper load and is a great mixer. My floral gin is very light so less juniper. Gin is such a personal thing. Have fun and experiment.

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