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macerating Bottanicals

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Re: macerating Bottanicals

Postby the Doctor » Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:55 pm

I have not tried this method but I do make Bitters which can have up to 30 botanicals...my experience is that they are either floaters..like Lemongrass or sinkers like juniper...you rarely find anything in between so I think you would be OK depending on the botanicals.
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Re: macerating Bottanicals

Postby chill » Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:26 pm

As long as the water level is over the element, they should not get hotter than boiling water. I don't think that boiling plants will burn on the element. It will probably take a couple of rinses to get them all out again.

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Re: macerating Bottanicals

Postby the Doctor » Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:36 pm

What exactly is it you are trying to make Coop's
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Re: macerating Bottanicals

Postby UZGin » Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:31 am

Cooperville wrote:Hey Guys

is it possible to soak/macerate herbs and spices in the boiler over night and then run them through the still with out removing the herbaceous solids in an electric boiler like a sanke style boiler?

Or will i end up burning the herbs on the element?


Yes, entirely possible, and is the process utilized by a number of large distilleries in the UK.

Alternatively, many macerate the botanicals in 96% inside a 'hop bag'. After 24-48 hours, they remove the hop bag, and reduce to 20% before redistillation. A very common and high end method. Before using a Gin basket, it's what I'd do.
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Re: macerating Bottanicals

Postby the Doctor » Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:35 am

UZGin wrote:
Cooperville wrote:Hey Guys

is it possible to soak/macerate herbs and spices in the boiler over night and then run them through the still with out removing the herbaceous solids in an electric boiler like a sanke style boiler?

Or will i end up burning the herbs on the element?


Yes, entirely possible, and is the process utilized by a number of large distilleries in the UK.

Alternatively, many macerate the botanicals in 96% inside a 'hop bag'. After 24-48 hours, they remove the hop bag, and reduce to 20% before redistillation. A very common and high end method. Before using a Gin basket, it's what I'd do.


Uz Gin would your final distillation be through a pot still to keep as much of the botanical/herbal flavours as possible. Considering the nastier congeners have already been eliminated. Or would you recommend a moderately plated still such as a 2 plate to 4 plate....I am interested to know your thoughts.
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Re: macerating Bottanicals

Postby Al Q » Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:35 am

Doc, I know your question was aimed au UZ, (and I'm interested in his response). I find with distilled gin the flavour profile plays out similar to vapour infused. An oily first portion working down to a more floral portion that you probably want to quit somewhere between 20-30%, works great on the pot still.

For the maceration you need larger quantities of botanicals compared to vapour infusing (I do it at 30% ABV, it may be more efficient with higher proof), and the length of time you do the maceration for also affect the flavour. I've experimented with periods from 12h to 3 days.

I have no experience of plated stills, but can't imagine them being of any benefit in this scenario. The base spirit as you pointed out is already free of off tastes, and the very very small cuts on a gin run are to keep some of the oils out from the start (that can make it go cloudy in my experience) and some unappealing flavour notes at the very end of the run. I don't see the need to pull any higher an ABV than using a simple pot still, and I can't see how the refluxing of the flavoured spirit would be of benefit, and seems intuitive to me that it would actually be detrimental to the run, but as I said, I have no experience of trying this, just my feelings on the matter.
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Re: macerating Bottanicals

Postby UZGin » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:51 pm

the Doctor wrote:
Uz Gin would your final distillation be through a pot still to keep as much of the botanical/herbal flavours as possible. Considering the nastier congeners have already been eliminated. Or would you recommend a moderately plated still such as a 2 plate to 4 plate....I am interested to know your thoughts.
Doc


I've used both before, and I actually prefer a plated column still.

If you go down to 4 plates, it's entirely reasonable, you can even run it through quickly, with minimal reflux, we aren't purifying here. I genuinely like this, because of the StillDragon copper components clearing out some reduced sulphur compounds that are extracted in the maceration. Furthermore, I find it a good way to control the process.

Organoleptically, you might have created a very potent Gin maceration, you can tame it with controlled reflux. This gives the maceration step a degree of forgiveness and ease. You can then rely on the still (and the operation of the still) to ensure a more delicate flavour.

I find the process of distilled Gin and vapour infusion quite comparable, especially if the producer knows what they're doing. The advantage of distilled gin, is the capability of creating a 'bigger', more flavoursome style of Gin (Gordon's anyone?). This isn't a bad thing, almost every blind tasting i've witnessed, distilled gins are consistently up there, alongside vapour infused w/ compounded (Hendrick's).

I should also mention the more 'artistic' use of heads and tails here...many of the aroma molecules have vapour pressures outside of ethanol, some more, some less. It's crucial to push the still pretty hard with distilled gin, to get all aromas out, even the heavy ones (Orris and Angelica). Then comes to fun part of blending.

I liken it to separation of the individual components out of the maceration. The distillation process softens and integrates the components. In my learned opinion, it's a complexing process.

EDIT: I should also mention my bias towards 'floral' gins. Hence the 'reduced sulphur' comment, for sharper, citrus-driven gins, I prefer the keep reduced sulphur compounds, it defines the nose a bit more.
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Re: macerating Bottanicals

Postby FullySilenced » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:51 am

1: being, affecting, or relating to qualities (as taste, color, odor, and feel) of a substance (as a food or drug) that stimulate the sense organs <organoleptic research>
2: involving use of the sense organs <organoleptic evaluation of foods>

— or·gan·o·lep·ti·cal·ly adverb


Quick someone send Uz a check he just used a 5 dollar word...

had to look it up

Thanks UZ

beginning to think I need to come work for UZGIN for a week or two to wrap my head around gin making... little hands on is worth a million words
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Re: macerating Bottanicals

Postby UZGin » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:54 am

FullySilenced wrote:1: being, affecting, or relating to qualities (as taste, color, odor, and feel) of a substance (as a food or drug) that stimulate the sense organs <organoleptic research>
2: involving use of the sense organs <organoleptic evaluation of foods>

— or·gan·o·lep·ti·cal·ly adverb


Quick someone send Uz a check he just used a 5 dollar word...

had to look it up

Thanks UZ

beginning to think I need to come work for UZGIN for a week or two to wrap my head around gin making... little hands on is worth a million words


You're certainly welcome to come for a play! I'd welcome anyone here to visit...

You'll be 'working with' not 'working for' :P
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Re: macerating Bottanicals

Postby Odin » Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:43 am

Boiling with herbs in the boiler gives a very heavily bodied gin/geneva. But it will cause problems to an internal electrical heating element. 12 to 24 hours is great. Heat with gas or on a hotplate or in an au bain marie still.

Or macerate in 43% for up to two weeks.

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Re: macerating Bottanicals

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:59 am

I macerate with 45% ABV, in a quart Mason jar, with the amount of botanicals equal to perhaps one-half of the jarful. I put 2 of those jarsfull in my little coffeepot stovetop still, and distill (on teh botanicals) way out into where tails should be, but there are no tails from a flavor standpoint. The final flavor note is a steadily-thinning cinnamon note, but it's flavor is ok.

This makes a powerfully-flavored gin essence, which I mix 1:8 with neutral for a strongly flavorful, juniper-forward gin.

I've got a macerating jar that I loaded a couple of years ago, that I'd like to distill, but I'm not sure if I'll get bad flavors from it sitting so long. Has anyone tried this?
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Re: macerating Bottanicals

Postby Odin » Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:39 am

My experience is that it depends on the berries. In general fresher ones can be macerated longer. Relative dried out berries give of tanin like bitterness over time. The taste seems to fade out after a few weeks (but I never macerated as long as you did, Bob!), but smell is still there.

I would say: just try it.

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Re: macerating Bottanicals

Postby UZGin » Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:31 am

Odin wrote:Boiling with herbs in the boiler gives a very heavily bodied gin/geneva. But it will cause problems to an internal electrical heating element. 12 to 24 hours is great. Heat with gas or on a hotplate or in an au bain marie still.

Or macerate in 43% for up to two weeks.

Odin.


We use an agitator to avoid burning the botanicals.

It's also still-dependent. If you have internal elements (like we do), they need to be mounted in such a way as to not be in contact with much of the botanicals. It's inevitable that it will happen though.

Juniper and Coriander seed tend to float on the top, whilst other constituents sit at the bottom, you need to find that middle ground for your elements to sit, with a Gin boiler.

This is where other methods have their advantages:

1 - Carter-Head / Gin-Head Distillation
2 - Soak and Strain (same as macerating, just grab a strainer and remove the bulk botanicals pre-distillation) - This is far easily achieved with the use of a hop-bag.
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Re: macerating Bottanicals

Postby FullySilenced » Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:46 am

And i thought UZGIN didn't love us here anymore... I am glad he is back... :D

I know its springtime there and i would bet he has been doing some long hours...

Please don't be a stranger UZ
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Re: macerating Bottanicals

Postby Odin » Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:28 pm

+1 uzgin! With an element, macerate & strain!

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Re: macerating Bottanicals

Postby UZGin » Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:40 pm

FullySilenced wrote:And i thought UZGIN didn't love us here anymore... I am glad he is back... :D

I know its springtime there and i would bet he has been doing some long hours...

Please don't be a stranger UZ


I'm not a stranger! I swear!

Just INCREDIBLY run off my feet!

Got lots to report soon!
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Re: macerating Bottanicals

Postby FullySilenced » Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:28 am

Thank U for the update UZ not hoping things slow down for you, but just that things will run smoothly... 8-)
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Re: macerating Bottanicals

Postby Lucky Liqueur » Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:43 am

Just INCREDIBLY run off my feet!

That's good and bad to hear UZGin.

I'm in Melbourne and don't work full-time; always keen to lend a hand where I can ;)

Send me a PM if you need an Assistant.

Regards
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