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Absinthe Distillation

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  • Maxime Belair
    Hi again, I m now ready to try some recipes whit my pot still. I found a very interesting recipe of absinthe : Swiss absinthe of Pontarlier . It seems to be
    Message 1 of 27 , Jun 29, 2004
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      Hi again,

      I'm now ready to try some recipes whit
      my pot still. I found a very interesting recipe of
      absinthe : "Swiss absinthe of Pontarlier". It seems to
      be the original recipe from Pernod in the 1850-1915.

      The recipe says : "Macerate the ingredients with the
      alcohol for
      twelve hours or less in a double boiler, then add 45
      liters of water heated to 60-80 degrees, and distill
      slowly, preferably with steam"

      Anyone has a clear idea of what means a double boiler?

      And it says "distill slowly, preferably with steam"
      Does it mean steam distillation like Bombay Sapphire
      Gin where the herbs are placed over the boiling
      alcohol in the pot still? Or it means that the pot
      still is heated with steam?

      I hope someone can help,

      Maxime Belair

      __________________________________________________________
      Lèche-vitrine ou lèche-écran ?
      magasinage.yahoo.ca
    • davis668
      I wonder would Maxime Belair post the recipe for Pernod that she has In reply ,Maxime ,,,,it means to have all ingredients in the still and distill from the
      Message 2 of 27 , Jun 29, 2004
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        I wonder would Maxime Belair post the recipe for Pernod that she has
        In reply ,Maxime ,,,,it means to have all ingredients in the still and
        distill from the pot not the column

        I think/
        ?
        --
      • Maxime Belair
        Here s the recipe http://www.feeverte.net/recipes.html#27 And what do you mean by distill from the pot instead of from the column? Maxime ... I wonder would
        Message 3 of 27 , Jun 29, 2004
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          Here's the recipe
          http://www.feeverte.net/recipes.html#27

          And what do you mean by distill from the pot instead
          of from the column?

          Maxime

          -----------------
          I wonder would Maxime Belair post the recipe for
          Pernod that she has
          In reply ,Maxime ,,,,it means to have all ingredients
          in the still and
          distill from the pot not the column

          I think/
          ?


          __________________________________________________________
          Lèche-vitrine ou lèche-écran ?
          magasinage.yahoo.ca
        • Andrew Forsberg
          Hi Maxime, ... Instead of heating the pot directly (e.g., a fire underneath the boiler) they are recommending that you heat a vessel that encloses the still s
          Message 4 of 27 , Jun 29, 2004
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            Hi Maxime,

            >Anyone has a clear idea of what means a double boiler?
            >
            >
            Instead of heating the pot directly (e.g., a fire underneath the boiler)
            they are recommending that you heat a vessel that encloses the still's
            boiler. If you can imagine a smaller boiler inside your still's boiler
            where you heat the outer boiler, but your wash is contained by the
            inside one.

            >And it says "distill slowly, preferably with steam"
            >Does it mean steam distillation like Bombay Sapphire
            >Gin where the herbs are placed over the boiling
            >alcohol in the pot still? Or it means that the pot
            >still is heated with steam?
            >
            >
            Since they're using a double boiler it'll mean the outer vessel is
            heated by hot, pressurized, steam. Not something you'll be wanting to
            try at home, I imagine. :-) The other method is to inject steam into the
            wash -- ask Johan about that one, he's used that method a few times with
            his grain batches.

            Cheers
            Andrew
          • Maxime Belair
            Thanks Andrew for your reply, Things are more clear now. I would like to try it on simple dry heat (medium-low), I guess it will work just as great.
            Message 5 of 27 , Jun 29, 2004
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              Thanks Andrew for your reply,

              Things are more clear now. I would like to try it on
              simple dry heat (medium-low), I guess it will work
              just as great. Otherwise, it seems a bit
              complicated...

              Cheers,

              Maxime Belair



              __________________________________________________________
              Lèche-vitrine ou lèche-écran ?
              magasinage.yahoo.ca
            • davis668
              I mean to put ingredents in the still and don`t suspend them in the column for the distillate to go through --
              Message 6 of 27 , Jun 29, 2004
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                I mean to put ingredents in the still and don`t suspend them in the column
                for the distillate to go through
                --
              • davis668
                Where do I get ``hysopp`` in Australia --
                Message 7 of 27 , Jun 29, 2004
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                  Where do I get ``hysopp`` in Australia
                  --
                • lemnian2000
                  ... try http://australherbs.com.au/merchant2/merchant.mvc? Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=AH&Category_Code=HYSS
                  Message 8 of 27 , Jun 29, 2004
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                    --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, davis668 <davis668@d...> wrote:
                    > Where do I get ``hysopp`` in Australia
                    > --

                    try http://australherbs.com.au/merchant2/merchant.mvc?
                    Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=AH&Category_Code=HYSS
                  • Sven Pfitt
                    Maxime, Read the files in the file section called Absinthe and Absinthe2. They were extracted from an old internet site (crashed and burned last year) that had
                    Message 9 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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                      Maxime,

                      Read the files in the file section called Absinthe and Absinthe2.
                      They were extracted from an old internet site (crashed and burned
                      last year) that had a lot of good information on making Absinthe.

                      The original distilleries used steam to heat the pot stills which
                      were of the Alambic style.

                      A basic pot still will work, but you need to put it in a water bath
                      so as not to overheat the herbs in the pot-still. any large pot can
                      be used for the hot water bath, so long as you can mount the pot-
                      still so that it does not touch the bottom of the outer pot. Keep the
                      water in the outer bath at least one inch up the side of your Pot-
                      Still, and don't let it boil dry as you make your run.

                      Use slightly more water added to the maceration before distilling. I
                      would recomend adding 850ml of water to a 1L batch. Macerate for at
                      least 12 hours, not less. The text was translated incorrectly
                      acording to several other text translations. 24 hours is good. Thou
                      shalt not macerate for 23 hours, and 25 hours it right out.

                      The coloration amounts do not scale exactly. for 1L of Absinthe I
                      would recomend changing to :

                      2gr A.Pontica
                      2gr Lemmon Balm
                      2gr Hyssops

                      Not that I would know anything about distillation from personal
                      experience. I just slept at a comfort Inn last night.

                      Sven
                      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Maxime Belair <maxime_belair@y...>
                      wrote:
                      > Hi again,
                      >
                      > I'm now ready to try some recipes whit
                      > my pot still. I found a very interesting recipe of
                      > absinthe : "Swiss absinthe of Pontarlier". It seems to
                      > be the original recipe from Pernod in the 1850-1915.
                      >
                      > The recipe says : "Macerate the ingredients with the
                      > alcohol for
                      > twelve hours or less in a double boiler, then add 45
                      > liters of water heated to 60-80 degrees, and distill
                      > slowly, preferably with steam"
                      >
                      > Anyone has a clear idea of what means a double boiler?
                      >
                      > And it says "distill slowly, preferably with steam"
                      > Does it mean steam distillation like Bombay Sapphire
                      > Gin where the herbs are placed over the boiling
                      > alcohol in the pot still? Or it means that the pot
                      > still is heated with steam?
                      >
                      > I hope someone can help,
                      >
                      > Maxime Belair
                      >
                      > __________________________________________________________
                      > Lèche-vitrine ou lèche-écran ?
                      > magasinage.yahoo.ca
                    • Maxime Belair
                      Thanks for the good info, ====== A basic pot still will work, but you need to put it in a water bath so as not to overheat the herbs in the pot-still. ======
                      Message 10 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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                        Thanks for the good info,
                        ======

                        A basic pot still will work, but you need to put it in
                        a water bath
                        so as not to overheat the herbs in the pot-still.

                        ======

                        Are you sure this is necessary? When distilling gin I
                        think this is not required and gin contains herbs like
                        absinthe do. Why would it be different? I'll try it on
                        low dry heat and I'll post back some news.
                        ======

                        The coloration amounts do not scale exactly. for 1L of
                        Absinthe I
                        would recomend changing to :

                        2gr A.Pontica
                        2gr Lemmon Balm
                        2gr Hyssops
                        =====
                        Well, this I'm happy to learn it as my 4 plants of
                        Artemisia Pontica may not wheight more than 75-100gr
                        dried.
                        ======

                        Not that I would know anything about distillation from
                        personal
                        experience. I just slept at a comfort Inn last night.
                        ======
                        Really???

                        Cheers,

                        Maxime Belair

                        __________________________________________________________
                        Lèche-vitrine ou lèche-écran ?
                        magasinage.yahoo.ca
                      • Rik
                        ... Hyssop = Hyssopus officinalis In the mint family. Substitute some mint or other, if you can t find it. Rik
                        Message 11 of 27 , Jul 4, 2004
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                          At 02:18 PM 6/30/2004 +1000, davis668 wrote:
                          >Where do I get ``hysopp`` in Australia

                          Hyssop = Hyssopus officinalis

                          In the mint family. Substitute some mint or other,
                          if you can't find it.

                          Rik
                        • Rik
                          ... Do the first maceration with the strongest alcohol you can get ahold of. Water will extract some undesirable things. Break the herbs up a bit, but not to
                          Message 12 of 27 , Jul 4, 2004
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                            At 05:59 PM 6/29/2004 -0400, Maxime wrote:
                            >Things are more clear now. I would like to try it on
                            >simple dry heat (medium-low), I guess it will work
                            >just as great. Otherwise, it seems a bit
                            >complicated...

                            Do the first maceration with the strongest alcohol you
                            can get ahold of. Water will extract some undesirable things.
                            Break the herbs up a bit, but not to powder (if you intend to strain)
                            A couple of weeks should do the job.

                            Filter roughly--a kitchen colander or strainer is fine. Press
                            well. Rinse marc with a little strong alcohol. Strain and press well.
                            *Maybe* soak marc in water for a few MINUTES at the most, strain
                            and press well.

                            Be sure to add enough water to the still, so there is something left,
                            after you distill off the Absinthe base. You could also dispense with
                            straining, and throw the herbs into the still as well--might be a bit
                            of a mess to clean up afterwards, though.

                            Distill off the Absinthe base in a pot still, being careful
                            with your cuts. Some of the tails are truly foul.

                            Macerate the finishing herbs in the base for a few days. Strain and
                            press as best you can--there will be a lot still in the herbs. 8o(
                            Rinse marc with a little strong alcohol. Strain and press some
                            more.

                            DO NOT even THINK about getting more out by rinsing/soaking
                            with water--unless you add this to the wash of your next batch.

                            Dilute with water to desired level. If you wish to sweeten, dissolve
                            sugar or honey in the dilution water.

                            All this talk of double boilers and steam distillation, is just the
                            industrial process that that particular Absinthe distillery used.
                            What is most economical for an industrial plant is seldom
                            the most economical for a home distiller.

                            Rik
                          • the1foy
                            The reason double boilers/water baths are used is simply that you do not want to scorch the herbs in the pot, which is much easier to do with direct heat. For
                            Message 13 of 27 , Jul 4, 2004
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                              The reason double boilers/water baths are used is simply that you do
                              not want to scorch the herbs in the pot, which is much easier to do
                              with direct heat. For example, when you melt chocolate, you use a
                              double boiler, because otherwise you'll burn it and it will turn out
                              poorly. If you burn the herbs, that flavour will carry over and
                              taint the absinthe. I suppose that it could be possible to use
                              direct heat successfully, but it seems like one would have to be
                              VERY careful. But it's really not hard to use a double boiler/water
                              bath.

                              I still don't think that I have a clear answer as to whether to use
                              95% alcohol or 85% alcohol, as the historical recipies say. As most
                              people here know, it's not that hard to produce circa 95% alcohol,
                              so I'm just assuming that they went for 85 due to the grape alcohol
                              being used, and they wanted to keep some of the flavour. So unless
                              using grape spirits, stronger is better? I don't really know.

                              Also, as I understand it, it is best to keep the herbs in the pot
                              during distillation, because when heated they release more oils and
                              whatnot that help the flavour. Another reason for the double
                              boiler. And it's really not that messy, if you heat slowly.

                              And I don't know about leaving the colouring herbs in the liquor for
                              a few days, most recipies I have seen say to soak them in the
                              alcohol, heat indirectly to 50C or so, and then allow to cool for a
                              while (say, an hour) and then filter off (and I know for a fact that
                              this works very well). And there shouldn't be much alcohol left in
                              the herbs, because the herb mass should be rather minute. The
                              colouring herbs don't scale the way the rest of the recipie does.
                              And you can always carefully squeeze it out, a little bit of
                              sediment never hurt anybody.

                              > Do the first maceration with the strongest alcohol you
                              > can get ahold of. Water will extract some undesirable things.
                              > Break the herbs up a bit, but not to powder (if you intend to
                              strain)
                              > A couple of weeks should do the job.
                              >
                              > Filter roughly--a kitchen colander or strainer is fine. Press
                              > well. Rinse marc with a little strong alcohol. Strain and press
                              well.
                              > *Maybe* soak marc in water for a few MINUTES at the most, strain
                              > and press well.
                              >
                              > Be sure to add enough water to the still, so there is something
                              left,
                              > after you distill off the Absinthe base. You could also dispense
                              with
                              > straining, and throw the herbs into the still as well--might be a
                              bit
                              > of a mess to clean up afterwards, though.
                              >
                              > Distill off the Absinthe base in a pot still, being careful
                              > with your cuts. Some of the tails are truly foul.
                              >
                              > Macerate the finishing herbs in the base for a few days. Strain
                              and
                              > press as best you can--there will be a lot still in the herbs. 8o(
                              > Rinse marc with a little strong alcohol. Strain and press some
                              > more.
                              >
                              > DO NOT even THINK about getting more out by rinsing/soaking
                              > with water--unless you add this to the wash of your next batch.
                              >
                              > Dilute with water to desired level. If you wish to sweeten,
                              dissolve
                              > sugar or honey in the dilution water.
                              >
                              > All this talk of double boilers and steam distillation, is just the
                              > industrial process that that particular Absinthe distillery used.
                              > What is most economical for an industrial plant is seldom
                              > the most economical for a home distiller.
                              >
                              > Rik
                            • davis668
                              Ok RIK Thanks for the mint bit, where do I get wormwood, do you have any idea what it tastes like? Thanks Pete --
                              Message 14 of 27 , Jul 4, 2004
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                                Ok RIK
                                Thanks for the mint bit, where do I get wormwood, do you have any
                                idea what it tastes like?

                                Thanks Pete
                                --
                              • Rana Pipiens
                                Pete, Wornwood is bitter. I:think that I read that it is one of the most bitter herbs. Here in the US I was able to find wormwood in a nusery and it is
                                Message 15 of 27 , Jul 4, 2004
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                                  Pete, Wornwood is bitter. I:think that I read that it is one of the most bitter herbs. Here in the US I was able to find wormwood in a nusery and it is available dried through some herb suppliers and in some homebrew shops. The plants I got a few years back have gotten fairly big (4-5 feet) and have showed up where some seeds got spread with compost. I found hyssop in a nusery and have seen it available through herb sellers. I also found a source for roman wormwood plants. Probably some similar suppliers in Aus. Rana

                                  davis668 <davis668@...> wrote:Ok RIK
                                  Thanks for the mint bit, where do I get wormwood, do you have any
                                  idea what it tastes like?

                                  Thanks Pete
                                  --




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                                • Rik
                                  ... Well.............that s the key ingredient, so you ll just have to find it somewhere. Have you tried to find live plants at a local nursery? What you want
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Jul 4, 2004
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                                    At 07:13 AM 7/5/2004 +1000, Pete wrote:
                                    >Ok RIK
                                    > Thanks for the mint bit, where do I get wormwood,

                                    Well.............that's the key ingredient, so you'll just have to find it
                                    somewhere.
                                    Have you tried to find live plants at a local nursery?

                                    What you want is Artemisia absinthum. You can also use the "Powis Castle"
                                    hybrid. For finishing, Artemisia pontica is the best choice, but lesser
                                    amounts
                                    of either of the other two could suffice, in a pinch.

                                    >...do you have any idea what it tastes like?

                                    It tastes very bitter, and kind of...................wormwoody. 8o)
                                    There's no substituting anything else--the wormwood has the thujone,
                                    that makes Absinthe what it is.

                                    Rik
                                  • Rik
                                    ... Try it both ways, and let us know the outcome. If you can t tell the difference, is there one? ... Sounds like another good side-by-side experiment. ...
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Jul 4, 2004
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                                      At 09:03 PM 7/4/2004 +0000, "the1foy" wrote:
                                      >I still don't think that I have a clear answer as to whether to use
                                      >95% alcohol or 85% alcohol, as the historical recipies say.

                                      Try it both ways, and let us know the outcome. If you can't tell
                                      the difference, is there one?

                                      >Also, as I understand it, it is best to keep the herbs in the pot
                                      >during distillation, because when heated they release more oils and
                                      >whatnot that help the flavour.

                                      Sounds like another good side-by-side experiment.

                                      >And I don't know about leaving the colouring herbs in the liquor for
                                      >a few days, most recipies I have seen say to soak them in the
                                      >alcohol, heat indirectly to 50C or so, and then allow to cool for a
                                      >while (say, an hour) and then filter off (and I know for a fact that
                                      >this works very well).

                                      Certainly quicker for commercial production, though a bit more of a hassle.
                                      Here's another variable to test.

                                      >And there shouldn't be much alcohol left in the herbs, because the herb
                                      >mass should be rather minute.

                                      I suppose that all depends on what size batch you make. I like to make several
                                      bottles at a time, and the marc can be around a gallon, or so. I suppose
                                      I'm just
                                      being cheap, but I like to get as much out as I can.

                                      Rik
                                    • the1foy
                                      A decent source for herbs online is www.mountainroseherbs.com They have most of the stuff you ll need. The hardest things to find are Florence Fennel (as
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Jul 4, 2004
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                                        A decent source for herbs online is www.mountainroseherbs.com

                                        They have most of the stuff you'll need. The hardest things to find
                                        are Florence Fennel (as opposed to the much more common Sweet
                                        Fennel) and Roman Wormwood. I have heard that Powis Castle can be
                                        used in colouring if roman is unavailable, but I'd hesitate to use
                                        Grand Wormwood, as it is VERY bitter. Just taste some, it's foul.
                                        But live plants are really the best way to go, as Rik said.

                                        > >Ok RIK
                                        > > Thanks for the mint bit, where do I get wormwood,
                                        >
                                        > Well.............that's the key ingredient, so you'll just have to
                                        find it
                                        > somewhere.
                                        > Have you tried to find live plants at a local nursery?
                                        >
                                        > What you want is Artemisia absinthum. You can also use the "Powis
                                        Castle"
                                        > hybrid. For finishing, Artemisia pontica is the best choice, but
                                        lesser
                                        > amounts
                                        > of either of the other two could suffice, in a pinch.
                                        >
                                        > >...do you have any idea what it tastes like?
                                        >
                                        > It tastes very bitter, and kind of...................wormwoody.
                                        8o)
                                        > There's no substituting anything else--the wormwood has the
                                        thujone,
                                        > that makes Absinthe what it is.
                                        >
                                        > Rik
                                      • Maxime Belair
                                        Wow! If the marc is around a gallon, what s the size of the whole batch? ======= I suppose that all depends on what size batch you make. I like to make
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Jul 4, 2004
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                                          Wow! If the marc is around a gallon, what's the size
                                          of the whole batch?

                                          =======
                                          I suppose that all depends on what size batch you
                                          make. I like to make several
                                          bottles at a time, and the marc can be around a
                                          gallon, or so. I suppose
                                          I'm just
                                          being cheap, but I like to get as much out as I can.



                                          __________________________________________________________
                                          Lèche-vitrine ou lèche-écran ?
                                          magasinage.yahoo.ca
                                        • the1foy
                                          ... 8o) ... thujone, ... There is a lot of evidence to support the theory that thujone is pretty much a marketing ploy to get people who are into drugs to buy
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Jul 4, 2004
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                                            > It tastes very bitter, and kind of...................wormwoody.
                                            8o)
                                            > There's no substituting anything else--the wormwood has the
                                            thujone,
                                            > that makes Absinthe what it is.

                                            There is a lot of evidence to support the theory that thujone is
                                            pretty much a marketing ploy to get people who are into drugs to buy
                                            cheap, pseudo-absinthe, thinking they'll get more fucked up. Thus
                                            the 35 mg/l or so claims on some of the stuff. However, vintage
                                            Pernod fils has been found to only contain 6 mg/l. Also, sage has
                                            thujone in it, and no one seems to report "secondary effects" from
                                            sage. Granted, I'm not sure how much is in it, but still. And I'm
                                            not denying that absinthe does have these secondary effects, but a
                                            chemist better educated than I has described it as something of a
                                            push me/pull me effect from all of the herbs combined. So again,
                                            thujone seems to be more of a buzz word than anything actually to be
                                            taken seriously.

                                            For more information, try this article (and the whole site, really)
                                            http://www.feeverte.net/thujone.html
                                          • Rik
                                            ... Have you read the Absinthe/Artemisia absinthum entries in Ott, Jonathan. 1993. Pharmacotheon: Entheogenic Drugs, Their Plant Sources and History. Natural
                                            Message 21 of 27 , Jul 4, 2004
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                                              At 01:52 AM 7/5/2004 +0000, "the1foy" wrote:
                                              >There is a lot of evidence to support the theory that thujone is
                                              >pretty much a marketing ploy to get people who are into drugs to buy
                                              >cheap, pseudo-absinthe, thinking they'll get more fucked up.

                                              Have you read the Absinthe/Artemisia absinthum entries in
                                              Ott, Jonathan. 1993. Pharmacotheon: Entheogenic Drugs, Their
                                              Plant Sources and History. Natural Products Co. ?

                                              "I recently verified by self-experimentation that A. absinthum
                                              leaves are also psychoactive when smoked." (393)

                                              ...and that the principle active constituents of absinthe seem to
                                              have been alcohol and thujones. (390) from:

                                              Vogt, D.D. 1981. "Absinthium: A nineteenth-century drug of abuse"
                                              Journal of Ethnopharmacology 4(3): 337-342.

                                              ...........of course, none of this "proves" that thujone is psychoactive
                                              orally in doses likely to be encountered in an evening's Absinthe drinking,
                                              any more than the Ian Hutton article at: http://www.feeverte.net/thujone.html
                                              "proves" that it is not.

                                              >However, vintage Pernod fils has been found to only contain 6 mg/l.

                                              I hardly think the testing of ONE bottle of a HUNDRED year old
                                              Absinthe "proves" that all Absinthe had very low levels of thujone
                                              during the "classic period."

                                              >Also, sage has thujone in it, and no one seems to report "secondary
                                              >effects" from sage.

                                              Actually, they do. See Ott, 1993 (389), cited above.

                                              I suppose you could make a batch with the Artemisias, and one without,
                                              and see if you notice a difference in their effects. After all, "the proof of
                                              the pudding is in the tasting."

                                              As an interesting aside, the government of Switzerland re-legalized
                                              Absinthe, a couple of weeks ago, after nearly a hundred years of
                                              proscription. Perhaps is wasn't quite as evil as the prohibitionists
                                              claimed.

                                              Absinthe, on a winter evening,
                                              Illumines the smoky soul in green.
                                              --Charles Cros, "With Flowers and with Women"
                                              Rik



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                                            • davis668
                                              What part of the wormwood do I use --
                                              Message 22 of 27 , Jul 5, 2004
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                                                What part of the wormwood do I use
                                                --
                                              • Rik
                                                ... The leaves. If you were desperate, you could use some of the stalk, as well. I m sure the cut and sifted dried herb one can purchase, has stalks in it.
                                                Message 23 of 27 , Jul 5, 2004
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                                                  At 03:51 AM 7/6/2004 +1000, you wrote:
                                                  >What part of the wormwood do I use

                                                  The leaves. If you were desperate, you could
                                                  use some of the stalk, as well. I'm sure the
                                                  cut and sifted dried herb one can purchase, has
                                                  stalks in it.

                                                  Rik
                                                • the1foy
                                                  And if you re lucky enough to get any, use the flowers/blossoms as well.
                                                  Message 24 of 27 , Jul 5, 2004
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                                                    And if you're lucky enough to get any, use the flowers/blossoms as
                                                    well.

                                                    > >What part of the wormwood do I use
                                                    >
                                                    > The leaves. If you were desperate, you could
                                                    > use some of the stalk, as well. I'm sure the
                                                    > cut and sifted dried herb one can purchase, has
                                                    > stalks in it.
                                                    >
                                                    > Rik
                                                  • the1foy
                                                    ... I think that I had heard about that report but had forgotten about it...probably because it doesn t jive with my beliefs... ... psychoactive ... drinking,
                                                    Message 25 of 27 , Jul 5, 2004
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                                                      > Have you read the Absinthe/Artemisia absinthum entries in
                                                      > Ott, Jonathan. 1993. Pharmacotheon: Entheogenic Drugs, Their
                                                      > Plant Sources and History. Natural Products Co. ?
                                                      >

                                                      I think that I had heard about that report but had forgotten about
                                                      it...probably because it doesn't jive with my beliefs...

                                                      > ...........of course, none of this "proves" that thujone is
                                                      psychoactive
                                                      > orally in doses likely to be encountered in an evening's Absinthe
                                                      drinking,
                                                      > any more than the Ian Hutton article at:
                                                      http://www.feeverte.net/thujone.html
                                                      > "proves" that it is not.
                                                      >

                                                      True enough

                                                      > >However, vintage Pernod fils has been found to only contain 6
                                                      mg/l.
                                                      >
                                                      > I hardly think the testing of ONE bottle of a HUNDRED year old
                                                      > Absinthe "proves" that all Absinthe had very low levels of thujone
                                                      > during the "classic period."

                                                      No, but to dismiss it outright would also be bad. Coupled with the
                                                      tests of newer varieties (some made in the traditional fashion), I
                                                      find it somewhat compelling. I also found this study,
                                                      http://www.emmert-analytik.de/absinth.htm which seems to agree with
                                                      the previously posted one. It's in German, but the table is easy
                                                      enough to read. Also, the method used to measure thujone amounts
                                                      sometimes mistook a different substance for thujone, which is why
                                                      some of the values listed have (0,0) beside them, which is the
                                                      corrected value using the proper method.

                                                      > >Also, sage has thujone in it, and no one seems to
                                                      report "secondary
                                                      > >effects" from sage.
                                                      > Actually, they do. See Ott, 1993 (389), cited above.

                                                      I stand corrected, I was unaware of this.

                                                      > As an interesting aside, the government of Switzerland re-legalized
                                                      > Absinthe, a couple of weeks ago, after nearly a hundred years of
                                                      > proscription. Perhaps is wasn't quite as evil as the
                                                      prohibitionists
                                                      > claimed.

                                                      It seems that this is a growing consensus (in regards to the
                                                      supposed dangers of absinthe consumption).

                                                      I would also like to add that, regardless of the effects or lack
                                                      thereof of thujone, I hope that we can both agree that most of the
                                                      brands marketing their absinthe on high thujone content are not
                                                      focusing on making quality absinthe. None of the highly rated
                                                      absinthes that I know of even mention thujone in their marketing,
                                                      and quite a few of the ones that I know to be bad do.
                                                    • Sven Pfitt
                                                      Historically, the entire stem/leaf/flower was used. Just use the C&S if that is all you have available. If you are using fresh A.A., let it dry well before
                                                      Message 26 of 27 , Jul 6, 2004
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                                                        Historically, the entire stem/leaf/flower was used. Just use the C&S
                                                        if that is all you have available. If you are using fresh A.A., let
                                                        it dry well before using. Chop it up and use the whole plant. The
                                                        flowers tend to give more aroma/flavor than the leaves, and the stems
                                                        contribute the least flavor and aroma. The stems contribute the
                                                        greater portion of thujon if you are interested in it, although I
                                                        place little emphasis on it personally (ie, I'm not about to use just
                                                        stems).

                                                        Sven

                                                        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "the1foy" <the1foy@y...> wrote:
                                                        > And if you're lucky enough to get any, use the flowers/blossoms as
                                                        > well.
                                                        >
                                                        > > >What part of the wormwood do I use
                                                        > >
                                                        > > The leaves. If you were desperate, you could
                                                        > > use some of the stalk, as well. I'm sure the
                                                        > > cut and sifted dried herb one can purchase, has
                                                        > > stalks in it.
                                                        > >
                                                        > > Rik
                                                      • Rik
                                                        ... It s amazing how many things can have some psychoactive properties, if you take *enough* of them. Unfortunately, for most folks, the body load usually
                                                        Message 27 of 27 , Jul 6, 2004
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                                                          At 01:13 AM 7/6/2004 +0000, the1foy wrote:
                                                          > > >Also, sage has thujone in it, and no one seems to
                                                          > >>report "secondary effects" from sage.
                                                          > > Actually, they do. See Ott, 1993 (389), cited above.
                                                          >
                                                          >I stand corrected, I was unaware of this.

                                                          It's amazing how many things can have some psychoactive properties,
                                                          if you take *enough* of them. Unfortunately, for most folks, the body
                                                          load usually outweighs these effects.

                                                          >I would also like to add that, regardless of the effects or lack
                                                          >thereof of thujone, I hope that we can both agree that most of the
                                                          >brands marketing their absinthe on high thujone content are not
                                                          >focusing on making quality absinthe.

                                                          Unfortunately, I've been unable to sample very many of the "new" Absinthes.
                                                          Instead, I've been trying various recipes--all of which wind up tasting
                                                          pretty similar.

                                                          >None of the highly rated absinthes that I know of even mention thujone in
                                                          >their marketing,

                                                          Probably don't have to. Their market is educated enough to know
                                                          what's in it, without having to be told.

                                                          >....and quite a few of the ones that I know to be bad do.

                                                          If you've got a bad product, you've got to depend on marketing to generate
                                                          sales.
                                                          Convince the suckers that "bad" is "good," and continually bring in fresh meat,
                                                          to replace those gravitating towards other's quality products.

                                                          "Absinthe, mother of happiness, O infinite liquor,
                                                          you shimmer in my glass pale and green like the eyes
                                                          of the mistress I once loved...."
                                                          -- Gustave Kahn, "Absinthe"

                                                          Rik
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