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47719Re: Making Gin

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  • tgfoitwoods
    Feb 7, 2011
      Whoof! A guy's gone for a few days and the group explodes!


      Part of your confusion comes from the fact that there is no one single way to make gin. Some distillers use a "berry head", which holds the botanicals while the hot ethanol/water vapor passes through them, while some distillers simply add the botanicals to the boiler with clean neutral alcohol, and collect the distillate.

      It looks like Bryan and I both use variants of the latter method. In my case, because I was afraid of the very strong gin flavor"poisoning" the copper of my whisky/brandy/rum still, I use less neutral and get a very strong gin concentrate, which I dilute later with neutral.

      It also looks like I got my botanicals list from the same source as Bryan, a list that Wal posted here a few years ago. I'll include the text of that list and at the very end is my recipe and procedure for making gin.

      Just to confuse the issue, I just tasted a couple of gins from New Deal Distillers that were juniper-only, and they were excellent.

      Whatever route you choose, Bryan's method and mine will both give you fine gins, but slightly different gins.

      Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

      ***************INCLUDED GIN TABLES AND BOB'S RECIPE***************************

      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "waljaco" <waljaco@h...> wrote:

      I have also found the botanicals used for the French Citadelle Gin.
      This 1771 recipe from Dunkirk has 19 botanicals which is the biggest
      number among current gins.

      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "waljaco" <waljaco@h...> wrote:

      >> Just found the botanicals for a Dutch gin - Van Gogh Gin.
      >> --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "waljaco" <waljaco@h...> wrote:
      >>> > Msg 13359 has commercial gin recipes mainly from the 19th


      >>> > This gives an idea of the botanicals and their quantity used.
      >>> > With the aim of formulating a standard model for gin botanical

      quantities for the homedistiller, here is a table of the botanicals
      used in 10 modern gins:

      >>> > 1)Tiger Gin
      >>> > 2)Gordon's Distilled London Dry Gin
      >>> > 3)Beefeater London Distilled Dry Gin
      >>> > 4)Plymouth Gin
      >>> > 5)Bombay Distilled London Dry Gin
      >>> > 6)Bombay Sapphire Distilled London Dry Gin
      >>> > 7)Mercury Gin
      >>> > 8)Juniper Green London Dry Gin
      >>> > 9)Van Gogh Gin (Holland)
      >>> >10)Citadelle Gin (France)
      >>> > Botanicals used-------Gin Brand (see above)
      >>> > ---------------------1---2---3---4---5---6---7---8---9---10---
      >>> > Juniper-------------yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-
      >>> > Coriander-----------yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-
      >>> > Angelica root-------yes-----yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-
      >>> > Cassia--------------yes-yes-yes-----yes-yes-yes-----yes-yes-
      >>> > Cinnamon------------yes---------------------------------yes-
      >>> > Liquorice-----------yes-----yes-----yes-yes-yes-----yes-yes-
      >>> > Bitter almonds----------------------yes-yes-yes-----yes-yes-
      >>> > Grains of Paradise----------------------yes---------yes-yes-
      >>> > Cubeb berries---------------------------yes---------yes-yes-
      >>> > Bitter orange peel----------yes-----------------------------
      >>> > Sweet orange peel---yes---------yes---------yes---------yes-
      >>> > Lemon peel----------yes-----yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-----yes-yes-
      >>> > Ginger------------------yes---------------------------------
      >>> > Orris root----------yes---------yes-yes-yes-yes-----yes-yes-
      >>> > Cardamon------------yes---------yes---------------------yes-
      >>> > Nutmeg--------------yes-yes-----------------------------yes-
      >>> > Savory------------------------------------------yes-----yes-
      >>> > Calamus (sweet flag)----------------------------------------
      >>> > Chamomile---------------------------------------------------
      >>> > Violet root---------------------------------------------yes-
      >>> > Cumin---------------------------------------------------yes-
      >>> > Aniseed-------------------------------------------------yes-
      >>> > Fennel seed---------------------------------------------yes-

      >>> > The total amount of botanicals used is about 20-35 grams/litre.
      >>> > If we take the dominant botanical juniper as 'x', the proportions

       of the botanicals used is:

      >>> > x = juniper
      >>> > x/2 = coriander
      >>> > x/10 = angelica, cassia, cinnamon, liquorice, bitter almonds,
      >> grains  of paradise, cubeb berries
      >>> > x/100 = bitter & sweet orange peel, lemon peel, ginger, orris

      root, cardamon, nutmeg, savory, calamus, chamomile, fennel, aniseed,
      cumin, violet root.

      >>> > If we use x = 20g then x/2 = 10g, x/10 = 2g, x/100 = 0.2g (200mg)
      >>> > Some current gins do not have a pronounced juniper character as

      they are used for cocktails and are more of a flavored vodka - for
      this type of gin for 'x' use equal quantities for juniper &
      coriander  (i.e. x = 20g composed of 10g of juniper & 10g of

      >>> >
      >>> > The botanical are macerated in 45%abv neutral alcohol (usually

      for 24 hours), redistilled and then diluted to 42%abv which is an
      optimal strength for holding the flavour of the botanicals. Only the
      middle run (80-85%abv) is used to produce a high quality gin.
      Plymouth Gin also comes in a 57%abv 'Navy Strength' and which is also
      the British 100 proof strength.

      >>> > Bombay Sapphire Gin uses a Carterhead Still which contains a 

      botanicals basket through which the vapour passes, a technique which
      gives a lighter flavour.

      >>> > All gins include juniper and coriander as an ingredient along 

      with other botanicals. Typically a fine gin contains 6-10 botanicals,
      although the Dutch Damask Gin has 17, and the French Citadelle Gin
      has 19 - but this could be more for marketing reasons and has been
      criticised  for lacking direction.

      >>> > Some American gins mention chamomile as a botanical which would

      give a blue tinge to the gin.

      >>> > Botanical names:
      >>> > juniper - juniperis communis
      >>> > coriander - coriandrum sativum
      >>> > angelica - archangelica officinalis
      >>> > cassia - cinnamonum cassia
      >>> > cinnamon - cinnamonum zeylanicum
      >>> > liquorice - glycyrriza glabra
      >>> > bitter almond - prunus dulcis, amara
      >>> > grains of paradise - afromumum melegueta
      >>> > cubeb berries - piper cubeb
      >>> > bitter orange - citrus aurantium
      >>> > sweet orange - citrus sinensis
      >>> > lemon - citrus limon
      >>> > ginger - zinziber officinalis
      >>> > orris root - iris florentina
      >>> > cardamon - elletaria cardamomum
      >>> > nutmeg - myristica fragrans
      >>> > savory - satureja hortensis
      >>> > calamus - acorus calamus
      >>> > chamomile - matricaria chamomilla
      >>> > violet root - viola odorata
      >>> > cumin - cuminum cyminum
      >>> > aniseed - pimpinella anisum
      >>> > fennel - foeniculum vulgare
      >>> >
      >>> > The usual mash for English gin is 75% maize, 15% barley malt and

       10% other grains, although rectified spirit from molasses is also

      >>> > Dutch gin originally was made from 1/3 malted barley and 2/3 rye

      meal, although these days the proportions given is 1/3 malted barley,
      1/3 rye, 1/3 maize.

      >>> >
      >>> > Wal
      >>> > (Keep in mind the suggested formula has been based on published
      >>> > material and not on experience.)


      In quart jar, put:

      Juniper, 1 level cup, 80 grams
      Coriander, heaping half cup, 44 grams
      Cinnamon, 4 grams (62 grains)
      Pepper cracked, .3 grams (5 grains)
      Lemon peel, .8 grams (12 grains) ~1 1/4" strip
      Cardamom pods, .8 grams (5 pods)

      Cover with 40% abv "vodka".

      Let stand 10 days.  Distill in wee stovetop still until most of the flavor stops comming across (cinnamon flavor will be last).

      Use one part distillate to 8 parts neutral EtOH, or vodka.

      ***********************END INCLUDED TEXT*************************************
      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "eyendall" <eric_yendall@...> wrote:
      > I would like to try my hand at making (distilling) gin but am a bit confused from my search of the posts as to the actual technique. I don't want to simply add a commercial essence to my distilled neutral spirit.
      > Am I right in assuming that I first distill to a neutral alcohol; steep various botanicals in this for some specified period; then finally redistill the resultant liquid?
      > Could someone walk me through the process i.e. best formula (grains, sugar or what) for the original wash; tried and true botanicals recipe; duration of maceration in what % alcohol; when to make the correct cuts of the secondary distillation etc. Have I got the steps more or less correct? I have tried to find this information through the search function but must not be using the correct search terms.
      > An apparent alternative is to distill one's own concentrated essence for adding to neutral alcohol. Which is the preferred and most efficient technique?
      > Thanks to all for your help.
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