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Fwd: Botanicals for Gin

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  • waljaco
    Dick, Valuable to read personal experiments. Regarding Plymouth Gin, here are some references: Spirits & Cocktails Dave Broom - The gin still at Plymouth
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 4, 2002
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      Dick,
      Valuable to read personal experiments.

      Regarding Plymouth Gin, here are some references:
      "Spirits & Cocktails" Dave Broom -
      "The gin still at Plymouth distillery, though, has a more
      unconventional shape, with a relatively short neck and an exaggerated
      curve on the lye pipe. This could account for Plymouth's
      characteristic richness of body - although that distillery also makes
      a great play of the fact that it uses spring water which has run
      through granite and peat to first dilute the spirit in the still.
      Other distilleries have to clean their water before use. (The
      dilution, by the way, is necessary otherwise the still would be in
      danger of blowing up.)"
      From http://accordwines.8m.com/gin.htm -
      "All brands use juniper and coriander,.....Plymouth's 7 botanicals
      include sweet (rather than bitter) orange and cardamon;....."
      So a possible list of 7 botanicals for Plymouth could be:
      juniper
      coriander
      cassia bark (in US sold as cinnamon)
      orris root
      angelica root
      cardamon
      sweet orange peel

      A pot still or an adjusted reflux still would effect the intensity of
      flavor too.

      Wal

      --- In Distillers@y..., Dick <dick@l...> wrote:
      Continuing my search for a flavouring to match the perfect (a.k.a.
      Plymouth)
      Gin I thought the results of a couple of my trials might be of
      interest to the
      group.

      1. Roughly following the recipe in John Stone's 'Making Gin & Vodka' &
      using the following ingredients:

      35gm dried juniper berries
      1gm cinnamon bark
      1gm orris root powder
      1gm cardamom seeds
      1gm dried angelica root
      1gm dried cassia*
      zest of ½ lemon

      I finely ground the dry ingredients in a coffee mill and added them +
      lemon
      zest to 350ml cold water & left to steep for 48hrs. I repeated the
      above
      procedure with the same ingredients but steeped the 2nd batch in 50%
      ABV
      neutral spirit.

      After 48hrs I distilled both batches in my botanical still,
      collecting only the 1st
      70ml in both runs as I was only primarily interested in the most
      volatile oils.

      Results:

      Batch 1 - Water Steep
      Initially a slightly cloudy/milky liquid that separated out to what
      appeared to
      be an oil/water mix (emulsion) on top of clear liquid (water??) - not
      very
      attractive looking & something I'd be reluctant to put in any gin I
      proposed
      drinking !!!! Although not initially smelling strongly of juniper
      the liquid smell
      did intensify a little as the mixture separated out. However it was
      not the
      intense juniper aroma I was looking for.

      Batch 2 - 50% ABV Steep
      A clear liquid with a very strong juniper aroma.

      As I was loath to loose the results of Batch 1 I mixed both Batches
      up with
      more 50%ABV and redistilled, collecting the 1st 3 x 70ml to come over.
      Adding 5ml from each 70ml to 1l of gin made up using gin essence
      produced
      a super 'junipery' gin !!

      *cassia angustifolia is not the cinnamonium cassia (Chinese cinnamon)
      required to flavour gin. Cassia angustifolia is better known senna,
      however
      I'm pleased to report that using it by mistake in a gin flavouring
      didn't seem to
      produce the traditional results !!!!!!!

      2. Taking the 3 x 70ml samples I produced above I added 3 drops of
      each
      to neutral spirit of various % ABV. From 93% - 49% ABV the drops
      dispersed
      and left a crystal clear liquid. At 42% ABV drops from the first
      sample
      produced what looked like 'specks' or very small droplets in the
      clear alcohol
      but this quickly dispersed on shaking, the drops from the 2nd & 3rd
      samples
      seemed to have no effect. At 38% ABV drops from the 1st sample turned
      the
      clear spirit slightly (& permanently) milky. At 36 %ABV the clear
      spirit turned
      definitely & permanently cloudy. All these check were carried out at
      16°C

      This last sample cleared on warming to 45° C but turned cloudy again
      on
      cooling back to 16° C.

      Conclusions:
      1. If you're making gin botanicals use a neutral spirit to steep the
      ingredients
      rather than water.

      2. If you add gin botanicals (almost certainly predominantly juniper
      oil) to <
      42%ABV spirit you possibly run the risk of clouding the spirit.

      3. Make sure you get the right cassia.
      --
      Dick
      Fra' Auld Reekie
      --- End forwarded message ---
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