--- In email@example.com
, "David and Melissa"
> I have been home brewing for years and am now turning my attention to
> making my own absinthe. All recipes I have come across call for using
> either grain or grape neutral spirits macerated with the appropriate
> herbs and then distilled. My question is, can a counter top water
> distiller be used for this?
My first instinct is to say no, but I don't quite know pertinent
details of this distiller. How is it filled? Is there just a small
opening to pour water in, or does the entire top come off? Is the
inside plumbed with copper pipe/tubing, or is there plastic anywhere
in the process (most concerned about in the path of the vapor)?
First off, to do absinthe properly, you start with your base spirit
(grape, grain, sugar...I find little difference) and you will add your
first herbs. Depending on the recipe, you may let them macerate for a
while or you might fire off the batch right away. Either way, you'll
need to get the herbs in with the alcohol WHILE distilling. It won't
be the same if you macerate and then filter out the herbs and distill
the filtered alcohol. Also, since you're starting with a rather strong
concentration of alcohol, the resulting distillate initially comes out
quite potent (starts around 90% depending on your heat input). This
concentration will destroy any plastic tubing in your apparatus
(though silicone might hold up). However, it does come out intensely
flavored which is why I don't find much difference with the different
styles of base spirit...any subtle difference are heavily masked.
I'd recommend assembling a simple pot still and use that.