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Grape vine blossoms as gin botanical

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Grape vine blossoms as gin botanical

Postby Fraser » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:25 am

I will have access to grape vine blossoms later this summer that I plan on testing as a botanical for our gin recipe. These blossoms smell like heaven if you haven't had the opportunity to visit a vineyard during the very brief moment they bloom (for us that's usually sometime in mid-June). I'll be able to safely harvest enough without compromising the best fruit sets on the best vines, which is of concern.

I'm sure it's a bit of an esoteric botanical to use and a long shot to ask, but has anyone ever used this before? Any general advice for creating an infusion with flowers? My basic plan is to have a volume of high proof, grape based neutral on hand to immediately create an infusion with these blossoms. How many to use I have no idea and will have to just give it a try. I'll soak the flowers to create the infusion, and then add in small volume of that infusion for taste and aroma to a finished gin.

Anyone have experience with this general process?
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Re: Grape vine blossoms as gin botanical

Postby The Baker » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:10 am

Just a thought
--
how about orange (citrus) blossom?
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Re: Grape vine blossoms as gin botanical

Postby RefluxEd » Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:04 pm

I use rose buds in gin. The rose oils come through when the ABV is between around 25 down to 20%. I used to save that as a cut to add to normal gin to make it like a Hendricks gin.
I'd guess that the oils from a grape flower would most likely behave the same way.
One problem with taking a cut is that none of the orris root or angelica root that is used to fix the volatiles and flavours is present at such a low ABV, so after about 6 months there is no rose discernible in the cut.
For this reason it is best to do the whole batch as a rose (or grape etc.) run so that the orris or angelica root can do their job.
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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.
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Re: Grape vine blossoms as gin botanical

Postby Fraser » Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:26 am

I don't have access to blooming orange blossoms, but I will have access to the grape blossoms. I'm also going to be trying to focus on making grape based spirits, so this may be an extra bonus if it has a good element to add to the overall profile.

Ed- thanks for your input. It makes sense that a rose bud may behave similarly to another flowering blossom. And the abv cuts to get those oils out does sound problematic to keep them separately long term.

Not knowing how strong the aroma may be, it would be ideal to have it cut into a separate container as you say. So, on further thought, maybe I could soak a necessary measure of angelica root (or orris root) in that high abv neutral and then add in the raw flowers from the field long enough to extract their essence. That volume should theoretically be stable and could then be measured out and blended into the distilled gin later. I'd just have to figure out how much I'd need per liter without being too much.
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Re: Grape vine blossoms as gin botanical

Postby the Doctor » Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:58 am

I have never used Grape Blossom ...but we use rose, lavender, elderflower a lot and love what the florals bring to the gin...we do most of our floral infusions using a Carter head... I see no reason why Grape blossoms would not work in your Gin, It sounds like it would be good.
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Re: Grape vine blossoms as gin botanical

Postby RefluxEd » Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:38 am

Fraser wrote:...So, on further thought, maybe I could soak a necessary measure of angelica root (or orris root) in that high abv neutral and then add in the raw flowers from the field long enough to extract their essence. That volume should theoretically be stable and could then be measured out and blended into the distilled gin later. I'd just have to figure out how much I'd need per liter without being too much.


That's a great idea Fraser, I'll give that a try with my next batch. Thank you. :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: Grape vine blossoms as gin botanical

Postby Fraser » Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:50 am

Ed- This is all theory to me at this point, as I have never made an infusion out of anything. But I have been reading up as much as possible on all the techniques I may use going forward. I have this book titled The Artisans Guide to Crafting Distilled Spirits (by Bettina Malle & Helge Schmickl). While it is mostly about making fruit Schnapps (which I will not likely be making) there are some very useful bits of information in there.

I would have to believe that soaking anything in a high ABV neutral may create a much stronger scent and flavor compared to whatever may be yielded from a vapor infusion.

I'll certainly check back in later this year to report back how the grape blossom infusion goes.

Thanks for all the feedback. Much appreciated.
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