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Gin vapor infusion question

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Gin vapor infusion question

Postby Fraser » Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:45 am

I've had a few successful runs with my vapor infused gin where I put all my botanicals together in a 6 inch sight glass and place it above the boiler. The only problem is that some of the oils are dripping down into the boiler and caking onto my elements. I think I'm just lucky that there hasn't been any scorching going on there.

So I got a stilldragon gin basket, which comes with two baskets. The problem with that is that all of my botanicals will not fit into one basket (it might actually need 3 swaps), which means I'll have to swap it out mid run. I can do that refluxing the run, not problem.

But doing it this way seems like a bit of a boggle.

My question for anyone that may have some thoughts on the process, is at what point during the run would be the most appropriate time to swap it out? Would it be proportionate to the amount yield expected (ie. if I expect 50 liters total yield of gin I would swap it out when I've collected 25 liters)? Different flavors come over at different ABV through the botanicals, so that makes me wonder if this would screw up my flavor profile I've worked on.

I could just keep doing what I'm doing, of course.

Or I could do a partial maceration with just the juniper and coriander (which make up the largest portion, by volume) and put all the other botanicals in a single basket, which should fit.

Any thoughts are appreciated.
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Re: Gin vapor infusion question

Postby S-Cackalacky » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:39 am

Never done vapor infusion, but I read that a "carter head" is a good way to go. It would seem to at least avoid the problem with the oils falling back into the boiler. Might also make it easier to switch out the baskets.
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Re: Gin vapor infusion question

Postby Fraser » Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:13 am

I think I figured out a simple workaround, it just involves spending more money which is never pleasant. It's a 4 inch gin basket, so I ordered a 4 inch, 12 inch long extension column to sit on top of it. I'll put a screened gasket between the columns and just top everything up and hope for the best. I'll take a photo of it all together when I get the parts and go to run the gin again. I spent some of this morning washing the caked elements in my boiler. It must just be by total luck that it's not scorching, and I can't press my luck again. Plus it's just a pain in the ass cleaning those things.
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Re: Gin vapor infusion question

Postby the Doctor » Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:04 am

I have never used a gin botanical basket in the upward vapour path ...but we do use vapour infusion using a FSD carter head ...our holding time for botanicals in the vapour path is 26 minutes...we prefer a fruity floral gin as opposed to a dry gin....our Saffron martini gin ( gets 34 minutes per basket)..... most gins are good at about the 20 to 30 minute range... our gins are currently holding a number of medals including 2 silvers at this years world cup in San Fran.... having a good way to change baskets is a distinct advantage... and always make it using the cleanest most neutral sprit you can make.
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Re: Gin vapor infusion question

Postby Fraser » Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:25 am

Thanks for the input, Doc. I'm still tweaking my process to make it less problematic setting up, breaking down and cleaning up without altering what I think is a pretty good gin. It'll be awhile before I have any help, so in the meantime it's just me, myself and I running the whole show. I'll post some photos of the new setup once I get the parts I need. For the time being I'm using mostly Still Dragon here in the states. FSD looks great, but the shipping charges from overseas to here would probably kill me.

Congrats on the accolades at San Fran. That's an amazing feat!
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