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Cloudiness

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  • John Wisbey
    Hi, Harry, I read your notes about cloudiness in high abv distillate and found it very interesting. Do you have any information on cloudiness after sugar has
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 4, 2004
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      Hi, Harry,

      I read your notes about cloudiness in high abv distillate and found it very interesting. Do you have any information on cloudiness after sugar has been added to things like limoncello. I recently had a go at a type of Sambucca and although it was perfectly clear after filtration, upon adding the sugar syrup it tuned cloudy. Having said that about limoncello, every restaurant around here in the Langhe always offer a glass of the limoncello, on the house, as a digestive, and that is always cloudy. It does not affect the taste however.

      John Wisbey


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Harry
      ... found it very interesting. Do you have any information on cloudiness after sugar has been added to things like limoncello. I recently had a go at a type of
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 4, 2004
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        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "John Wisbey"
        <johnwisbey@l...> wrote:
        > Hi, Harry,
        >
        > I read your notes about cloudiness in high abv distillate and
        found it very interesting. Do you have any information on cloudiness
        after sugar has been added to things like limoncello. I recently had
        a go at a type of Sambucca and although it was perfectly clear after
        filtration, upon adding the sugar syrup it tuned cloudy. Having said
        that about limoncello, every restaurant around here in the Langhe
        always offer a glass of the limoncello, on the house, as a
        digestive, and that is always cloudy. It does not affect the taste
        however.
        >
        > John Wisbey



        Hi John,
        There are several sources of cloudiness in fruit liqueurs.
        1. The alcohol (fatty acids)
        2. The zest (essential oils)
        3. The sugar syrup (heat)
        4. The water (minerals)

        When you dilute alcohol below about 50% ABV, it loses it's solvent
        properties and anything in it that can cause cloudiness will show
        up. This is not usually a problem with cane sugar based alcohol.
        It's much more likely in grain alcohol (from fatty acids).

        Limoncello, and many other fruit liqueurs use the 'zest' or outer
        rind of the fruit for flavouring (never the white pith, it's very
        bitter). This zest contains colouring, acids and oils. The
        essential oils sometimes make the low ABV blend cloudy. With
        Limoncello (lemon zest) this is the usual cause. However, there is
        one more cause that many people overlook. The sugar syrup, or more
        precisely, how it's prepared.

        Sugar syrup:
        Also known as Simple Syrup, Gomme Syrup and Sirop de Gomme.
        Three grades are used for liqueurs, depending on tastes.
        Light- 3 parts water to 1 part sugar.
        Medium- 2 parts water to 1 part sugar.
        Heavy- equal parts water and sugar.

        For Limoncello, it should be prepared medium weight at a 2:1 ratio,
        i.e. 2 volumes distilled water to 1 volume white sugar. Using
        distilled water eliminates the possibility of dissolved minerals
        contaminating and clouding your liqueur (number 4 above).

        To prepare sugar syrup, gently heat the water in a stainless pot
        over a low heat. Bring to simmer, DO NOT BOIL. When it's about
        coffee hot, add the sugar and stir constantly until the mixture is
        completely clear and all the sugar is dissolved. Again, DO NOT
        BOIL, as this will cause sugar crystals to form on cooling and may
        also discolour your syrup. If this happens, discard it (put it in
        your next wort) and start over making the syrup.

        Allow the syrup to COOL COMPLETELY before adding to your liqueur.
        This is very important as any residual heat will cause the alcohol
        to cloud.

        A note on liqueur thickness:
        If a thicker liqueur type is needed, without making it too sweet,
        add glycerine (about 1 tbl/sp : 1 litre).

        Finally, remember Limoncillo should always be served chilled. Enjoy!

        Slainte!
        regards Harry
      • John Wisbey
        Hi, Harry, Many thanks for that most interesting and informative posting on cloudiness. I will give you suggestions a try next time. Ciao for now John Wisbey
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 4, 2004
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          Hi, Harry, Many thanks for that most interesting and informative posting on cloudiness. I will give you suggestions a try next time.

          Ciao for now

          John Wisbey


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • kalag02
          Gday Harry, What about if making caramel for colouring, what can you recomend to avoid the sediment? Yhanks for your help. Ken ... Enjoy!
          Message 4 of 5 , Apr 6, 2004
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            Gday Harry,
            What about if making caramel for colouring, what can you recomend to
            avoid the sediment?
            Yhanks for your help.
            Ken

            > Hi John,
            > There are several sources of cloudiness in fruit liqueurs.
            > 1. The alcohol (fatty acids)
            > 2. The zest (essential oils)
            > 3. The sugar syrup (heat)
            > 4. The water (minerals)
            >
            > When you dilute alcohol below about 50% ABV, it loses it's solvent
            > properties and anything in it that can cause cloudiness will show
            > up. This is not usually a problem with cane sugar based alcohol.
            > It's much more likely in grain alcohol (from fatty acids).
            >
            > Limoncello, and many other fruit liqueurs use the 'zest' or outer
            > rind of the fruit for flavouring (never the white pith, it's very
            > bitter). This zest contains colouring, acids and oils. The
            > essential oils sometimes make the low ABV blend cloudy. With
            > Limoncello (lemon zest) this is the usual cause. However, there is
            > one more cause that many people overlook. The sugar syrup, or more
            > precisely, how it's prepared.
            >
            > Sugar syrup:
            > Also known as Simple Syrup, Gomme Syrup and Sirop de Gomme.
            > Three grades are used for liqueurs, depending on tastes.
            > Light- 3 parts water to 1 part sugar.
            > Medium- 2 parts water to 1 part sugar.
            > Heavy- equal parts water and sugar.
            >
            > For Limoncello, it should be prepared medium weight at a 2:1 ratio,
            > i.e. 2 volumes distilled water to 1 volume white sugar. Using
            > distilled water eliminates the possibility of dissolved minerals
            > contaminating and clouding your liqueur (number 4 above).
            >
            > To prepare sugar syrup, gently heat the water in a stainless pot
            > over a low heat. Bring to simmer, DO NOT BOIL. When it's about
            > coffee hot, add the sugar and stir constantly until the mixture is
            > completely clear and all the sugar is dissolved. Again, DO NOT
            > BOIL, as this will cause sugar crystals to form on cooling and may
            > also discolour your syrup. If this happens, discard it (put it in
            > your next wort) and start over making the syrup.
            >
            > Allow the syrup to COOL COMPLETELY before adding to your liqueur.
            > This is very important as any residual heat will cause the alcohol
            > to cloud.
            >
            > A note on liqueur thickness:
            > If a thicker liqueur type is needed, without making it too sweet,
            > add glycerine (about 1 tbl/sp : 1 litre).
            >
            > Finally, remember Limoncillo should always be served chilled.
            Enjoy!
            >
            > Slainte!
            > regards Harry
          • Harry
            ... to ... Try using less heat when making your caramel. It doesn t need to be boiled. This only burns the sugar and gives it a very acrid taste. If you re
            Message 5 of 5 , Apr 6, 2004
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              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "kalag02" <kengrady@d...>
              wrote:
              > Gday Harry,
              > What about if making caramel for colouring, what can you recomend
              to
              > avoid the sediment?
              > Yhanks for your help.
              > Ken

              Try using less heat when making your caramel. It doesn't need to be
              boiled. This only burns the sugar and gives it a very acrid taste.
              If you're getting sediment from colouring, there's really only two
              ways you can go.

              1. Buy a commercial caramel colouring agent (E150).
              2. Make your own, colour your alcohol, let it settle out in the
              bottle, decant the clean stuff & throw the dregs back into your next
              brew.

              Slainte!
              regards Harry
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