Personal pages/Season 2021/Gin making
Being about halfway through distilling the 2020 mashes, the 25 litre glass bottles are filling up. Two full, a third going. Originally I wanted to keep the output from the same fruit separate, and then make a second run, but I screwed it up and accidentally mixed the outputs. I had hoped to have "clean" schnaps from Schneider, Golden, Boskoop etc.
Well, I don't. Not this time anyway. So instead I'll be making gin. I have studied the topic a little, watched some videos etc. There are two-three ways of adding flavour -
vapour infusion / gin basket.
combined, macerate the 'hard', infuse with the soft (fruit, peels etc).
I have also seen someone mention that keeping the macerated mix at 70C over night made for more intense flavours.
Odin's Easy Gin
One recipe I came across on my internet ravels - "Odin's Easy Gin":
Per 1000ml of 45% ethanol: 14g juniper, 3g coriander, peel of one tangerine orange.
Macerate/soak for two weeks, filter out solids, then distill. (with immersion heater)
Macerate/soak for 24 hours, then distill. (indirect heating).
New still I want to build a new, but smaller still for working on flavours. If I make ten 1000ml mixes, it has to be easy to process them. I think a 3litre pot will be a good option - 1000ml of mash, 1000ml water. I have two straight Liebig coolers, the 29/32 ought to work. Adding a gin basket might not be so easy though - unless I use one of the pasta cookers I have. Might be something to experiment with.
I guess I'll need to use 12mm copper tubing, otherwise I have difficulty getting the fittings.
2021/08/20 Went to Bauhaus in Schlieren and did find some 10mm fittings, but no tubing.
2021/09/07 Have drilled/filed the 16mm hole in the pot lid, can now attach the copper tube.
Clean ethanol for making gin I currently have 2-3 x 25 litres of low-grade ethanol at 30% and 35%, respectively. I also have two 5 litre bottles of methylalcohol, that has been slowly evaporating over the years. For producing a clean higher volume ethanol, I intend to take 12 litres of the ethanol, add some of the methylalcohol and maybe 10 litres of water. Total volume about 25 litres, should make decent material for three-four runs. Maybe wait to finish the 2021 distillations, there are five 100 litre vats still to go. 5 x 3 x 1.5 = 22.5 litres. In principle, the methanol should come right back out, but when I did the first gin run, I did not get as much out as I put in.
2022/09/27 I have distilled a lot of the low-grade stuff, I think I have about 15litres at 80%.
Apart from the botanical recipe, there are a few more variables to consider:
- maceration time, 1-2-3-4-5 days.
- maceration in heated ethanol (60-70C) ?
- macerate the 'hard' ingredients, infuse the 'soft' ditto?
I think I will only do the distillation with the botanicals in, i.e. not remove beforehand.
Possible botanicals: aniseed (got some), banana (dried?), taragon (dried?), birnel?
The still I am building is a pot still, without thumper. To repeat the process on a larger scale, I would need to bypass/disable the thumper. I guess a copper tube direct from the boiler to the condenser? Need 10mm tubing.