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Good morning all,
First of all please excuse my English that I don't speak (I use Google Translate and there may be some translation errors).
In order to produce a Gin, I macerated the juniper and distilled it with a still that has 4 rectification trays. In the aromatic basket there were other plants.
In the end, the distillate only tasted like the plants that were in the aromatic basket.
So it was nothing like a Gin since no taste of Genevrier.
Moreover, the distilled alcohol did not have depth. A very good flattering taste at the start of the mouth, then more (that's why I wanted to carry out a preliminary maceration).
What is your advice in order to be able to optimize the maceration and gain in depth?
Thank you for your feedback.
Hi @Jean my advice is:
thank you very much @Crozdog,
so if I understood correctly you do:
a distillation with the trays and the basket.
A new distillation but without the trays (with the dephlegmator?)
Do you agree with me that using only the aromatic basket we do not have 'depth'.
It might be useful to know exactly how you prepared the distillation
Do you want to individually list your botanicals and their individual weights
I'm sorry @richard but I don't understand the purpose?
It's a bit long :
It is only a test for the moment and the objective is to find the macerated perfumes and the perfumes of the tank.
Again, the macerate was very aromatic with a good taste of juniper before distillation.
Personally I think you are overdoing the number of botanicals. Beyond 7 or 8, you will confuse the pallet and are not achieving anything.
Yes it is quite possible. Thanks for the advice, but I wanted to see if that solved this 'depth' problem. This is not the case, but that still does not answer my question.
How to have as much depth as possible?
Working only with the aromatic basket seems very practical to me, but it is not qualitative enough, but macerating plants to obtain no taste is not very smart.
How do you proceed on your side?
Everyone has their own way.
My way; Macerate Juniper and Coriander in still at 60% ABV for approx 12 hours.
Then dilute to 30% and add balance of botanicals. Balance of botanicals split between vapour path and or direct in still
The mass ratio of botanicals used, differs with everyone
but you keep your trays to distill your macerate?
NO, the plates will start to remove flavour and also will hold tails back. You want a little bit of tails smearing.
How about just trying a straight vapor infusion. I do all my gin with direct vapor infusion and you can dial in the recipe so that you get 40% gin straight out of the condensor. And I absolutely agree on the botanicals. More than 8 most people wont pick up more than that when they are tasting it. If you look at the recipe table of the top gins most of them dont have more than 8 to 10 botanicals.
Trays/plates only do something if there is is reflux. If you don't want to use the trays (which will remove flavor as has been said) and can't remove them, don't reflux (depending on the still type, turn off your dephlegmator) and/or increase power.
Thank you @DonMateo and @jbierling.
@DonMateo, if I understood correctly you only use the aromatic basket?
Don't you think it's very flattering at first but doesn't hold in the mouth?
that is what I also don't understand. Why would someone want to add flavor first and the remove it with the the bubble sections.
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I dont know what you mean about very flattering,etc. Yes I just do straight vapor infusion. My gins are pretty good in my opinon and the opinion of lots of people who have bought and or tried them. There is nothing wrong with straight vapor infusion. You need to take the plates out of your column. Making Gin is very simple if you dont get in the way.
the only thing I criticize about steam is that there is no consistency: the entry is very good and then nothing quickly. but maybe by removing the trays and working on a larger alcohol range the result is better.
thank you @DonMateo for the info anyway
Try macerating your juniper at 45-50%abv for 12-18 hours in the still. Then try adding your remaining herbs into the gin basket during distillation.
Run your still in “pot still” setting with no plates.
You may have to change your gin basket herbs during the run.
As for depth of flavor and complexity. Less is more. Complexity seems to me comes from being able to identify between three and four flavors during drinking. If you could get four really prominent flavors to develop on the palate, then I’d say that was complex. If those flavors were juniper, citrus, earth, floral it would be quite an accomplishment.
I’m still learning gin myself. It is a lot of fun and distilling technique is pretty important to flavor profile even with the exact same herbs.
@jean. One things that I have learnt in my journey learning how to make distilled spirits is to listen to the elders so to speak. There is a massive amount of experience on this board that the owners of which are more than happy to share. Many guys here make distilled spirits for a living. I am close to getting there but I learnt most of the technical aspects of it by reading the information on this board. Often when I deviated from the advice to to screwups or mistakes I didnt get a decent product. But when I follow the advice from guys who do it every day. I made great stuff.
On the masceration vs vapor infusion that argument will go on as long as people are making gin. Commercial producers mostly mascerate, because its easier and more efficient. Smaller craft and hobby gin makers often will do vapor infusion as you get more florals and lighter flavors at the end of the run. Not everything will have been bathed in Juniper oils at the end of the run. But its not as efficient as you lose a lot of space in your botanical basket to the Juniper. So you need either bigger basket or more runs. For a smaller producer focussed on quality thats what you want. For a commercial producer Masceration is the way to go. I have tried both. I prefer vapor infusion, mainly for the lighter floral notes you get at the end of the run. I met a couple of guys that run a 100% gin production company in Buenos Aries. They make and sell, or did before the pandemic 12000l a month. They do masceration and use a third party distiller to make it. The day I had them at my place trying my gins, my mate pushed them to answer the question which is better masceration of vapor infusion. After some humming and haaing. They said look Vapor infusion for flavor, but if your making it commercially masceration is the most efficient. Juniper occupies about 70% of the volume in your botanical basket. You take out that volume and put it in your still you get three times the amount of the other botanicals and therefore make 3 times the amount of gin, ie do one runs as opposed to three. But in my gins, and I am not in commercial production now, I do vapor infusion because I want the full spectrum of flavors. Thats just me. Try both methods and see which one you like. But take the plates out of your column before you do. Distilling really is a personal taste thing and only you know what is right for you. Go for it.
I agree, I prefer less is more style gin.
One thing I talked about here was this concept of high fidelity gin - clearly distinct botanical flavors with no muddiness that obscures the flavor profiles into one big blob. You would think this is simple, it’s not.
+1 but a correction, you get more flavour from within the still (x10 at least). Yes in a carter head for real delicates. Ideal is to have all options available. In the neutral, in the vapour chamber above the level and finally right up at the top in a carter head. But @DonMateo is 100% correct, this is will never be decided upon.
If you put coriander and Juniper within the boiler, you free up carter head space / volume. Just remember though to do a good juniper oils cut right in the beginning.
Only solution is to try all and enjoy the ride.
Warning - I have not done what I'm about to suggest. Take it for what it's worth.
You may want to consider doing two runs, double the ingredients as "normal" in each run. One run macerate with the higher quantity herbs, juniper and coriander. Another run with the delicates only placed in the basket. You could then blend the two runs together to get the flavor profile/balance you want between the two. Maybe the best of both worlds?
thank you all! it is exciting !
everyone seems to agree to remove the trays.
which is better: to leave the column (without the trays) or to remove it?
Regarding the number of plants, I agree not to have lots of flavors in all directions. but I think some flavors can be work together (by family) for example rather than using 10g of thyme, it may be interesting to use 4g of thyme, 4g of rosemary and 2g of hyssop. we have the same kind of taste, so we don't change everything but we will have a little more complexity.
but that is only the opinion of a beginner.
thank you all
Another datum: We macerate in 80 proof very clean neutral for 20 days, and then potstill, collecting all heads and to a head temperature of 96C. Because we do not want gin flavors tainting our whiskey/brandy stills, we use a 19-liter copper alembic (only) for this process which produces a strongly flavored essence, which we then dilute with clean neutral.
Although it is by no means a delicate gin, it is a best seller, and perhaps 1 in 5 or 6 of those who say, "I don't like gin, so I won't taste it", after smelling (and then tasting) buy it.
Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller
my book, Making Fine Spirits
I first ensure my neutral spirit is very clean. If I make it myself I use all my plates + packing (no basket) and take tight cuts. The hearts is then carbon filtered before making gin.
When I make gin, I personally don't macerate, I only do vapour infusion with the gin basket, no plates and no dephleg.
I don't have an issue with my vapour infused gins lacking "depth".
I also agree with the other guys, no need for lots of botanicals.
As a matter of interest, if you consider cost of material, energy and time, how does this self made spirit compare to that of purchased neutral
Where I am I can get 98% ethanol for about US$1.2. My process is not that efficient so it costs me about US$2 to make it. But I live in Argentina where they produce billions of dollars of grain every month and ship it to the world. NGS that you get is very good and very neutral and cheap. If I was in Europe I would be making it myself. As well too NGS here carries almost no excise tax. In Australia and the UK NGS costs a lot most of it is tax.
You are lucky. I bought some Neutral the other day. Of the cost, approx. 89.2% is excise and 10.8% is alcohol. Good enough reason to make it oneself.
Sure mate. But I have to live in Argentina. Communism for everyone, whether you like it or not. Still your in SA. Not to far off that.
Tell me about it..... Continual hand out to the other side. Yes we are as a result now a failed country.