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First Gin run, question

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First Gin run, question

Postby Fraser » Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:09 am

I made some gin yesterday, and I have a question for you gin heads out there with more experience. This was my very first try.

I'm using a 5 gallon boiler with a 2" sight glass on top of the boiler, with a 2" column (unpacked and open for the gin run), into a shotgun condenser. (1) 1500W electric element.

I first ran 4 strip runs of about 9 liters each of chardonnay to make my LW. I took those LW ran that for neutral with a packed section above the sight glass of copper mesh, and topped it up into the reflux condenser with raschig rings.

I took off about 3/4 of a gallon at around 95%. Not too bad!

I diluted it down to about 30% in my boiler. I had to add some extra water in there to make sure I had enough to keep my element covered, but I think that was a pretty good abv to run for gin.

Instead of packing my column with a home made gin basket, I cut out some fine stainless steel mesh screen and laid it down on top of a screened seal on the bottom of the sight glass. I laid down all my crushed herbs on top of that.

When it started really heating up, it started to look like a rock tumbler in the sight glass. It foamed up pretty hard (not ever going above the sight glass), and all the herbs were being sloshed around in there constantly the whole run through.

I took it all the way down to about 25%, then shut it down. After blending it all together and diluting it to 45%, I ended up with a little more than 5 liters of very nice smelling and tasting gin. I have to say I really really like it and consider it a success. But then again, this is my first try.

My question is whether this method of flavor extraction works better (or worse) than containing all the herbs more tightly in a meshed packet inside the column. There was very little smell left in the boiler, or in the remaining pieces of herbs. So I'm guessing I got it all out?

Anyhow, any thoughts or advice is appreciated.

Thanks!
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Re: First Gin run, question

Postby S-Cackalacky » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:11 am

Sounds like you had a successful run and your method seems good. I'm not sure it would make any difference at all if you decide to put the botanicals in a bag. It might help with the cleanup. There are many different ways to do it. Some folks even make gin concentrate and mix it with neutral when bottling it. Seems like a good way to have lots of gin on hand with less stilling time.

I've also made gin only one time. I used a much different method. I macerated the botanicals in neutral hearts for a couple of weeks, put the strained neutral in my thumper and charged my boiler with plain water. I ran it off into one container (1 gallon jug) until the total volume of gin reached 45% - takeoff started at around 65%. It was easy and produced a very nice gin.
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Re: First Gin run, question

Postby Fraser » Fri Oct 28, 2016 5:49 am

Cleanup wasn't too bad, but I have to make sure my boiler is scrubbed out of any residual oils. The smell in my garage was great, but that's all I could smell for a couple of hours. I'll know later how well I was able to clean it out when I stick my nose in there.

This method seemed to work just fine. Takeoff here was about 88% and steadily dropped down for a bit more than an hour. I used a pretty good cut of neutral hearts. I like the idea of maceration. I may give that a go with the same ratio of botanicals to see if there's a difference.
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Re: First Gin run, question

Postby S-Cackalacky » Fri Oct 28, 2016 7:30 am

This is the maceration recipe I used - http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... 14&t=48668 . I followed it pretty close with the exception of using my thumper and some variation in the botanicals I used. If nothing else, it gives a good guideline for the proportions of different botanicals in doing your own recipe.
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Re: First Gin run, question

Postby Otago Elvis » Fri Oct 28, 2016 9:25 am

Sounds like you had a good result. Your method seems solid. The proof is in the tasting.

I find Gin to be something that can constantly be tweaked.

Look for recipes that others have used successfully and tweak it to your taste.

This is one of my fav's

Stubbys Gin

This makes a gin very comparable to bombay sapphire, if not better :handgestures-thumbupleft:

for a 2l boiler charge you need these ingredients

30g of juniper berries
15g of corriander seed
2g of angelica root
2g of Cassia bark ( not cinnaman sticks )
2g of liquorice root
4-6 drops of almond essence
2g of grains of paradise
2g of cubeb berries
0.2g of lemon/lime zest
0.2g of orris root powder

grind the above in a spice grinder ( medium to course )
place grounds in 1 ltr of GOOD CLEAN neutral that is 45%abv. ( I do it in a 5 lltr demi-john ) for 24 hrs , shaking it up occasionally
after 24 hrs add another 1 ltr of the neutral ( @ 45% abv. )
give it a bit of a shake up
pour into the lil boiler and distill

chuck out the first 50-75 ml and collect the rest, cutting off when the oily streaks are visible in the distillate and before the oils start to make a cloudy appearance in the jar ( small jars are good for this )
dilute it down to 43%abv. bottle it , and sit on a shelf until it clears ( it can get a cloudyness to it when first broken down ) this can take up to 3 weeks ( well it has for me anyway, and it's like most things , leave it longer and the better it is, but I have a minimum of 8 -10 days , it is a lot smoother than consumed straight away )
once clear , enjoy it any way you like , I like it in tonic with a slice of lime and plenty of ice :handgestures-thumbupleft:

Fraser, this is a great gin.

Good luck man
:obscene-drinkingcheers:
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Re: First Gin run, question

Postby RefluxEd » Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:51 am

It looks like you did really well. I'd say you almost did a hybrid steep/vapour basket run for your first try.
The steeping method is where the botanicals are left in the boiler charge for the run. This method can give a more powerful taste with almost woody overtones.
The vapour method gives a lighter result with a more delicate and flowery gin.
Try putting your sight glass with the botanicals further up the column on your next run and do an AB comparison with your first run. You might get an interesting result.
The great thing about gin is that there are so many ways to make it. :handgestures-thumbupright:
2 inch BOKA/LM/VM
Bubbler with 14 4x3x4 inch tees and 15 bubble plates under a 4 inch section under the dephlagmator (RC).
2 inch Pot still.
2 inch to 4 inch Gin head.
2x 1.2 mtre Leibig condensors.
2 inch x 800 mm shotgun condenser.
Love it!
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Re: First Gin run, question

Postby Fraser » Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:37 am

Thank you all for the great input everyone. I have a lot to think about.

If anything, I think I need to up the amount of botanicals I used. On second day tasting it's a bit more timid than I want.

I used juniper, coriander, grains of paradise, star anise, fennell, cardamom, grapefruit and lime peel.
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Re: First Gin run, question

Postby Otago Elvis » Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:13 am

What was your botanical ratio? ie how much juniper used etc

Also it pays to remember that gin can take a few weeks to sort itself out after you've cut it to drinking strength.
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Re: First Gin run, question

Postby RefluxEd » Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:09 am

Fraser wrote:Thank you all for the great input everyone. I have a lot to think about.

If anything, I think I need to up the amount of botanicals I used. On second day tasting it's a bit more timid than I want.

I used juniper, coriander, grains of paradise, star anise, fennell, cardamom, grapefruit and lime peel.


It always takes a few days for all the oils to settle down and some of the flavours, especially citrus and pepper.
One thing you don't have in your recipe is a fixer. Without this your gin will lose a lot of flavour in a few months. Orris root is used by most gin makers but it has some allergenic properties that can give some a bad case of indigestion. Another fixer you can use is angelica root. Since changing to that no one complains about my gin.
2 inch BOKA/LM/VM
Bubbler with 14 4x3x4 inch tees and 15 bubble plates under a 4 inch section under the dephlagmator (RC).
2 inch Pot still.
2 inch to 4 inch Gin head.
2x 1.2 mtre Leibig condensors.
2 inch x 800 mm shotgun condenser.
Love it!
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Re: First Gin run, question

Postby S-Cackalacky » Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:28 pm

RE, thanks for the info about a "fixer" - Orris/Angelica root. Learn something new everyday.
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Re: First Gin run, question

Postby Otago Elvis » Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:18 pm

RefluxEd wrote:
Fraser wrote:Thank you all for the great input everyone. I have a lot to think about.

If anything, I think I need to up the amount of botanicals I used. On second day tasting it's a bit more timid than I want.

I used juniper, coriander, grains of paradise, star anise, fennell, cardamom, grapefruit and lime peel.


It always takes a few days for all the oils to settle down and some of the flavours, especially citrus and pepper.
One thing you don't have in your recipe is a fixer. Without this your gin will lose a lot of flavour in a few months. Orris root is used by most gin makers but it has some allergenic properties that can give some a bad case of indigestion. Another fixer you can use is angelica root. Since changing to that no one complains about my gin.

Hi REd, just curious about the fixer.

How does that work?

Cheers
OE
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Re: First Gin run, question

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Sun Oct 30, 2016 3:58 am

My recipe didn't include a "fixer", and with amateur efforts and almost non-existent testing, I never really noticed or felt the need for it. Now that we're making gin commercially, I include orris root, just to be safe.

In-yer-eye, scientific method!
Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller http://www.kelleybarts.com/zymurgy-bob-books/making-fine-spirits/

You can make whisky in a reflux still, you can make vodka in a potstill,
and you can eat chicken noodle soup with a crescent wrench. But..
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Re: First Gin run, question

Postby Fraser » Tue Nov 01, 2016 12:10 am

This is why I love this place, because I had absolutely no idea about using a fixer in my recipe. Nothing like that ever popped up in my reading on gin. I'm sure it wouldn't have been a big deal if I were just aiming to just make it for myself and friends, but since I'll be making this for sale next year I think it's wise to include it. Thank you very much for the helpful information, Ed. And a big thanks to everyone being very generous with their time to give helpful advice.

Once I get started i think some bottles shipped out to all you helpful folks are in order.
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Re: First Gin run, question

Postby RefluxEd » Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:59 pm

Here's my recipe using Angelica root:
for 45 litres of spirit @ 45% in still

150g juniper
40g coriander seed
10g angelica root
1g dill tips
5 cardamom pods crushed
3g black peppercorns (or 50-50% with pink peppercorns)
Pinch of carroway
1/2 tspn lavender flowers
1 big basil leaf
1/2 tangello zest
1/2 lemonade zest
1/2 lisbon lemon zest
1.5 stick cinnamon
3g Rose buds (optional)
2 inch BOKA/LM/VM
Bubbler with 14 4x3x4 inch tees and 15 bubble plates under a 4 inch section under the dephlagmator (RC).
2 inch Pot still.
2 inch to 4 inch Gin head.
2x 1.2 mtre Leibig condensors.
2 inch x 800 mm shotgun condenser.
Love it!
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Re: First Gin run, question

Postby Fraser » Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:20 am

Thanks Ed! I will try a variation on this when I make my next run. I appreciate the input.
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Re: First Gin run, question

Postby Boardy62 » Sat Nov 05, 2016 4:29 pm

Postby Boardy62 ยป Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:05 pm

I thought I would add this to maybe encourage those with this type still to give gin a go,and I am sure adding/ swapping other ingredients using this method will also bring great results. This gin is a very full bodied flowery recipe cut it down or swap out stuff to your liking,the girls love this one

Wash 23 litres ( Bwko 13 litres Teddys turbo wash 10 litres all previously stripped )

It makes a very aromatic and complex gin play with the botanicals to adjust to taste.


Ingredients
Juniper 60 Gm
Almonds x 6
Angelica 3/4 tsp
Orris root 3/4 tsp
Star anise. Half full one or 4 pieces of star bit!
Coriander. 1/2 tsp
Cloves 4 only
Cardomom pods x 2
Rose bud x 2 petals x 8 I used fresh dried is ok
Orange peel 5 strips
Lemon peel 4 strips
Lime peel 4 strips
Cassia powder 1 tsp
Ginger. 3/4 tsp
Peppercorn. 6 whole
Dill tips. 1/4 tsp
Lavender flower. 1/4 tsp
Grevillea stamens Golf ball size bunch

(The juniper ,almonds,peppercorn I lightly crushed )



My basket was made up of a teapot strainer and a sieve tied up with copper wire as in the photo.

All ingredients that fitted went into the basket (powders I put in a soak bag, the rest around the bag in basket). I put juniper into boiler rest fitted in basket but I am sure peels would be ok in boiler as well!




The run started at 1230 and with my controller set on 2/3 it ran nicely top temp 80 bottom temp 59 (on my t500 this was a nice slow drip, I have seen others go down to 50 bottom temp but mine will not do that)
As you progress as everyone says the different flavours and smells that come through in the process of a run is fantastic,a lot of fun to do! At about 430 I had 16 jars ( about 250 ml ) collected and the temp was starting to rise bottom temp was 66 deg , I did then adjust water to lower temp back to 60 deg (after that I left temp to rise not interfering to allow those botanicals that require the top end temps to come through)the run progressed in total collecting 28 jars ABV on the run was 94% to about the 16 th jar then gradually dropped to 90% at 20 th jar and so on great fun a good learning process and a great drop to drink, you can pick the eyes out of it and mix different jars to get a milder gin or as I did after testing them all, all but first two jars after fores, and the last 4 jars went in together, missus happy that's all that counts I will experiment with a down played version in the future as after moving house I am only just getting stocks and wishes going again.


Ended up with a nice 5.5 litres at 92%

As a side note the water where I am is pure water straight from the mountain in the photo untreated a bonus I believe :obscene-birdiedoublered:
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Re: First Gin run, question

Postby Stilman » Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:25 am

Hi...I am a new guy and each run is a new experiment for me.
I just ran an infusion herbs and peels in my T500 tied under the lid as in your picture. I had it above a full load of stripped rum into my alembic dome pot still. Are you running yours into a reflux column? I assumed the packed column would remove all the flavor....does an infusion come through a packed reflux still as flavor? I figured I would use the column to make my neutral and macerate in it. thanks for help and suggestions.
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Re: First Gin run, question

Postby RefluxEd » Thu Dec 22, 2016 10:32 am

I get a consistent gin by first making a clean neutral which I dilute to 45% for the gin run. The gin run is done in a 4 inch diameter gin basket in the widened column of a pot still.
This way you can play with the botanicals without having to worry about cuts. I stop the run at 20%, that's generally about the finish of the rose oils coming through if doing a Hendrick's style gin.
Everybody loves it. :handgestures-thumbupright:
2 inch BOKA/LM/VM
Bubbler with 14 4x3x4 inch tees and 15 bubble plates under a 4 inch section under the dephlagmator (RC).
2 inch Pot still.
2 inch to 4 inch Gin head.
2x 1.2 mtre Leibig condensors.
2 inch x 800 mm shotgun condenser.
Love it!
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Re: First Gin run, question

Postby Fraser » Sat Dec 31, 2016 3:50 am

I just got the best Christmas gift ever. My local township approved my building permit to construct my distillery (all 250 square feet of it, lol). Didn't have to put in sprinklers. But I've got to put in 2 layers of 5/8 drywall on each side of the dividing wall to create a firewall between the rest of the garage. Gonna be a bear to lift it all, but thankfully I can get it all done pretty much on the cheap. Just put in for my PA state license for prior approval now that I have that permit. All systems go here. Should be up and running by April at the latest.
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Re: First Gin run, question

Postby kimbodious » Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:47 am

wow, great news, congratulations!
--
50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
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