Use of powders vs root

Hi guys.

We're making a gin and are using liquorice root powder and orris root powder.

Obviously orris isn't there for flavour, however the liquorice is. Now I'm the distiller (very amateur though) and to my awareness using powders makes no difference, except in concentration when using the same weight. However my project managers seem to be worried about the powder coming out of the muslin bag and as such not being able to be extracted from the liquid at our set Maceration time.

They seem to be worried about 2 issues:

  1. being that the powder will continue to affect the flavour and
  2. that when coming into contact with the elements in the still the powder will stick and char.

I think (2) is unlikely as the liquid when heated is constantly moving and so would the powder. However not sure on (1)

Can anyone advise?


  • Interesting topic for sure, I haven't heard about the use of powder before. I guess there is no other way than to try if the powder can escape the mentioned muslin bag, it surely will depend on the fabric.

    About (2), as long is it's not a sticky mash an agitator should prevent scorching if heated directly with immersion heaters, though if the powder concentration is low enough even the liquid movement from heating could be enough.

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  • More importantly to me at least, is that powder is more stale, unless you grind it on the spot...

    Make the apple pie moonshine and try both powedered cinamon and stick... you will notice...

  • But surely if you got two sticks of cinnamon harvested on the same day and ground one down, surely they would be as stale as each other after 3 weeks?

  • do you or anyone you know make espresso? 24 hours changes ground coffee, 2 weeks changes beans if not vacuum packed in the freezer...

    also, ground will add more tannin, much like using toasted oak 'sawdust' is not nearly as good as using a barrel to age spirits..

    finally, as you discuss, you can remove things that are larger chunks with just a simple strainer or mesh bag...

  • I work with coffee and you are right @CothermanDistilling. Ground coffee should be used immediatly otherwise loses its values (aroma, taste, smell...) in short time.

    Espresso made with freshly ground coffee and one made with ground coffee old one hour are two totally different drinks.

    It must be similar with all other ingridients.

  • the crema on an espresso is how I tell if the beans are still good, I get them locally the day they are roasted, air for 24 hours, freeze the foil 5lb bags, and 6 months later, thaw slowly, unseal, and crema as good as fresh...


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  • I am working with freshly roasted blends and single origins. Sometimes roasted coffee tastes better after three weeks than the day after roasting... It depends on coffee. Each one acts different. What is more important is to prepare coffee immediatly after grinding.

    Maybe it's the same with ingridients...

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