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edited December 2020 in Recipes

Tried a new laboratory recipe distillation yesterday where I slightly crushed the juniper berries so as to get max oil out as well as adding extra citrus. Also went too close to botanical mass to volume.

Any case it tastes really nice, but pity about the louching.



800 x 577 - 60K
350 x 800 - 24K


  • Did you try barrier filtering it? I've found that doing that to .5 microns reduced louching. I think it reduces some of the really long chain esters/oils. It will still louch but not quite as much. No change to flavor. Its kinda hard to do on a test scale.

    Also that's an awesome chart. I probably will be stealing that.

  • ;). No interest in trying to filter it out. Lesson learned.... Don't crush the juniper. Way too much oil came through.

    The finished diluted batch for this test was only 0.6L. Still tasting good, so no train smash.

  • Have you tried stretching it a bit by adding more neutral at the same ABV?

  • No have not bothered as the final 43% diluted test batch was only 630ml. Not worth the effort. I was more interested to see how much louching (if any) would occur for when the Juniper was crushed. I will not do that again.

    Louching as far as I am concerned is not a negative. Rather it shows that a large amount of taste transfer has occurred. Obviously resale commercial, this is not necessarily applicable / acceptable unless it is intended and or explained.

  • Just means you've got better utilisation so can get away with less juniper. (Or just bottle it at navy strength and the problem goes away :D )

  • edited December 2020

    I had good luck with a good smashing. Break all the berries. (I put them in a small blender batches and hit it for four seconds) At 10g/l soaked in 42% during the soak I got no louching when distilled and diluted to 43%.

    Got a balanced juniper flavor with the citrus and coriander. If you are a juniper person this would not have been enough for you. If you were a citrus or floral it would have been nice.

    Just a data point for you to use.

  • In the above I worked on 30g/L when diluted at 30% in the still and this I feel put me over the edge. Normally I am at 25g/L.

    But that said, I feel that this is still too high and am looking to reduce it lower for a more subtle taste.

    It was quite interesting, I checked on the Brix level of Tanqueray Sevilla last night and it sits at 20 Brix (43% ABV). This has a nice taste, is quite smooth and has a great citrus flavour. My Gin presently sits at 14.5 Brix.

    Where this comment is going is that the next step is to produce either an orange extract at 43% ABV for blending in or, to further distill this extract for an essence and then blend it in. The essence is colourless whilst the extract has a slight cloudiness to it.

  • edited December 2020

    If you are going to distill your citrus extracts separately, research deterpenation processes and learn the steps to remove the bulk of terpenes from the citrus extracts, this will significantly reduce clouding and louching from that component.

    You can deterpenate other botanical extracts as well, which will help increase stability, clarity, etc. Unless, of course, the terpene is what you are looking for.

    In citrus though, Limonene is the dominant terp, but keep in mind, that's not what gives each type of citrus it's distinctive smell, it's the component of the flavor/aroma that makes them all taste similar. I talk about high definition gin - this is one of the processes. Citrus oil extract from mandarin smells like citrus, deterpenated mandarin is undeniable mandarin. Grapefruit, different lemon varietals, etc etc. Post deterp, you can readily identify the source citrus.

    Reduce the limonene, and you supercharge your citrus extract to be even more distinctive towards your citrus varietal, and the benefit is, you significantly improve shelf life, as limonene is the easiest component oxidized, it's also one of the first to precipitate.

    You can do this through simple distillation, though vacuum distillation is going to be preferred to protect temperature sensitive components. Lots of trial and error is required, as fractionating for the terps is not so obvious.

  • @grim Many thanks. Ultimately I have a 90L max extraction vessel that has a variable volume that I can adjust. It is this that I will use and load citrus into and recirculate. But for the time being whilst testing I will be doing this in a lab scale Soxhlet.

  • Don't believe you can deterp in a soxhlet - that's kind of an extract everything proposition. Could be wrong, never looked into that.

  • Wonder what it looks like at 57%?

    Obviously you would need to distil again.

    My 57% navy strength gin is cloudy at 42%.

  • A quick follow up. I had 500ml of the original louched and blended distillation left over at 43%. I prepared another 500ml of 43% diluted neutral.

    Started to add the two together. At about 250ml addition of the diluted neutral, the louch cleared.

    I continued to add the remainder of the diluted neutral so in effect, halving the distilled botanical amounts. Oh hell me, did it really start to taste ever so much better. Before it was really great tasting but now ever so much more pleasant and quaffable.

  • When you said 30 grams per litre I thought wow, thats a lot of Juniper When I get my last shipment of Juniper berries I did a 1 litre test batch at 10, 15 and 20 grams per litre with the same london dry basic recipe of other botanicals to find out which was best. With these berries 15 grams was the best for a normal gin, if I want a very light floral I have gone as low as 8 grams. Anyway this is just an anectodote to say experiment with your Juniper load.

  • edited December 2020

    @DonMateo this falls right in line with Odins easy gin recipe. It’s actually a really really solid starting point and gave me success using local sources within 5 batches in the lab glass and all 5 were totally drinkable.

    It would be super easy to expand and experiment from there by adding earthy elements and working on creating a high definition gin as grim discusses.

  • @DonMateo said: When you said 30 grams per litre I thought wow, that's a lot of Juniper

    NO, that's a designed total botanicals bill quantity. Prior with the louching and before the ultimate dilution, the Juniper was at 18 g/L.

  • @richard, great to hear stretching worked. it's a top trick.

    18g/l is still a solid juniper rate for most people.

  • @crozdog said: 18g/l is still a solid juniper rate for most people.

    My personal opinion is that it louched primarily because of having slightly crushed the Juniper and not because of the 18 g/l Juniper.

    Something else that is observed when you look at other people's recipes with respect to Coriander. Ratios suggested for it is half of Juniper.

    So call this X/2. When looking at other people's recipes, I see something like X/3, X/4 etc.

  • I am at about 18g/l and 7g/l, I hit the juniper with a 2-roller mill at about 3-4mm, and the coriander through a 3-roller mill at 1-2mm, and then send the coriander through the juniper mill to try to clean some of the stickies off...

  • I am at about 15g/l for Juniper and 6 for Coriander, which is closer to 2.5x juniper. But it really depends on what recipe I am doing. If I want other botancials lower both Juniper and Coriander.

  • I saw one distiller that was using in excess of 30g for juniper alone. But he would only soak it overnight in cloth bags that would float without any agitation, so his extraction rate was extremely low. Considering how far the berries travelled it was both super expensive and super wasteful.

    That whole operation was brute force. Just a new wannabe distiller throwing money at problems without any consideration for profitability or efficiency. With less than a year of distilling under his belt he always new how “everybody” was doing things and what the “absolute best way” was to make something. God I wish I knew as much as he did. Lol.

    Anyway. He’s just starting the second year of the three year destruction cycle for Fiji foreign investor businesses. They always know better than the last guy but never bother to ask.

  • hey @fijispirits. How did you fare in they cyclone that went through? OT I know but I hope you and your family survived without too much damage.

  • edited December 2020

    Yesterday afternoon was a great afternoon. Dived into my recent diluted / blended gin (prior louched) together with the family. It's unbelievable ... even with tonic added there is still slight louching. There has to have been one hell of a lot of oils that came through.

    That said, this classic Gin has to be one of the finest that I have tasted and it's just over a week old. I compared it as well to a few other gins as well and its still at the top.

    Crazy how things turn out. So the dilemma now going forward is .... do I keep the recipe as was / is ... louched and then blend again with neutral at same strength ???

  • edited December 2020

    14g/l juniper, 5g/l coriander, 22g/l total. Uncrushed, all vapor extracted, no louche at 80pf.

  • @grim, Well thats what I do, or pretty close. I think I learnt that here, and I have never had any louching. Vapor infusion, 22% charge and 40% bottle strength straight out the spout.

  • edited December 2020

    I think that the other difference may be that I macerated for approx 8-12 hours and distilled within the kettle.

  • @DonMateo said: hey fijispirits. How did you fare in they cyclone that went through? OT I know but I hope you and your family survived without too much damage.

    All good my side on the main island but my families farm was flattened and i lost all My ducks.

  • holy snapping duck bills @fijispirits. No roast ducks for Christmas or new years. Youll just have to have some fish.

  • Lol. I had McDonald’s when I went into the city.

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