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How to prevent louching in Gin.

gin louching

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#1 Ben Capdevielle

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 12:26 AM

Greetings,

Does anyone have any tips on how to prevent our gin from louching. We have distilled a 100 gallon batch of 100 proof base with botanicals in the pot into 36 gallons of on average 167 proof. We are smithing to between 90 and 94 proof. We haven't had this problem till our most delicious batch!!

Thanks,

Ben Capdevielle
Captive Spirits
Seattle, WA

#2 ViolentBlue

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 08:33 AM

preventing louche with a macerated gin is a balancing act. you need to have enough botanicals for the flavor, but not so much as to cause louche.
it will take some experimentation.
also the heavier oils come over in the last part of the run. if you cut that bit from your spirit and add it back to your next batch, you can reclaim the ethanol but eliminate the heavy oils that contribute to the louche. But be sure that these oils aren't integral to your flavor profile before you remove them. these heavier oils could be why you found the batch so delicious as there is deep juniper flavor in them.

Many Gin producers use vapor infusion to make their Gin rather than direct maceration, Louche is one of the reasons for this. you can pull a very flavorful gin with much less likelihood of louche with the vapor infusion method.

#3 Ben Capdevielle

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 04:21 PM

Thank you ViolentBlue. We filled a few cases of court jars at the end of the batch. I am working my way through those jars to find where the problem begins. I will continue to report on the issue.

#4 Ben Capdevielle

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 10:56 PM

Upon further experimentation we found that the heads were much more responsible for louching than any part of the tails. Very interesting. More test results tomorrow.

#5 blair

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:27 PM

Can you explain louching? I am not familiar with that term. Is it precipitation of the heavy oils, development of cloudiness, or what?

#6 ViolentBlue

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 08:58 AM

Upon further experimentation we found that the heads were much more responsible for louching than any part of the tails. Very interesting. More test results tomorrow.

Glad you figured that one out. from the direct experience I've had, deeper into tails you went the more likely to louche.
while making an "orange spirit" the orange oil comes on heavy and strong at the beginning, making a louche if mixed with the main body of the spirit.
so your experience makes perfect sense. I had assumed the Juniper was the culprit since it comes in so late in the spirit, but could easily been the anise or one of the lighter oils that come early.


Can you explain louching? I am not familiar with that term. Is it precipitation of the heavy oils, development of cloudiness, or what?

its the precipitation of heavy oils when diluted with water. causes a cloudiness. its more commonly associated with absinthe.

#7 cannibalpeas

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 12:37 PM

Glad you figured that one out. from the direct experience I've had, deeper into tails you went the more likely to louche.
while making an "orange spirit" the orange oil comes on heavy and strong at the beginning, making a louche if mixed with the main body of the spirit.
so your experience makes perfect sense. I had assumed the Juniper was the culprit since it comes in so late in the spirit, but could easily been the anise or one of the lighter oils that come early.


Exactly. This has been the case in my experience both with Gin and Absinthe.

Here's some information on how this works in the context of Absinthe.

As far as louching goes Ben, I have worried quite a bit about this and how it would appear to a customer or bartender when they pour a drink that suddenly goes milky. Certainly not the best time to "educate" the customer. Louche is pretty easy to control, however with the addition of more spirit. This may run afoul of the TTB definition interpretation of "distilled gin". However, it would help you determine scaling for the next batch based on how much you add. Do it on the smallest scale possible and make adjustments.

#8 Edwin

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:28 PM

The louching is too much oils. It doesn't solve. Especially when cutting down abv. If you make a small "fores" cut, you will see lots of oils are there. In the very, very first part of the run. You may decide to discard them. And even then, you might end up with a fog. Not a bad, just something that needs fixing: add enough neutral to make the louche clear. You will see it happen in seconds. That's the point of maximum tasty oils in your drink. At room temp.

Edwin.

#9 whiskeytango

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 12:05 AM

So if im understanding this right, the oil can come over in the beginning and the end of the run? Mostly Citrus in the front and Juniper at the end?

Does Vapor infusion impart less oil into the run? VS a maceration?

#10 Edwin

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 02:42 PM

Distilling with herbs will give off most oils. Maceration will give less oils. VI will give least. But louching is not a bad thing. I just means you got more of the taste over. The maximum. From that point onward, it is just a question of diluting with maltwine or neutral that hasn't been "ginned". Like that you will achieve maximum taste and have better control over that taste as compared to when you use less herbs. First small cut gets rid of excessive juniper oils. Later part of the run, abv drops and so does the amount of soluble oils that get over. And you will get harsher tones, more "earthen", "tired" in taste nature.

Edwin.

#11 whiskeytango

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 10:16 AM

Is adding neutral spirits after distillation permitted by the TTB?

#12 bluestar

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 07:27 AM

Is adding neutral spirits after distillation permitted by the TTB?

Put it in the formulation.

#13 whiskeytango

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 05:47 PM

Would it still be considered a distilled gin If your having to ad in neutral after distillation?

#14 fldme

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 09:54 AM

In good gin, this is normal, it is removed by filtration prior to bottling.

#15 tl5612

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 12:05 PM

Filtration can/will remove essential oils from gin. The same essential oils that you wanted in your gin in the first place! And for that reason, isn't needed (except a sediment filter on the bottling line).

Louching is the result of too much essential oil. Simply cut down the botanical mass to avoid it (or add neutral spirit to dilute it down). Less is more :)

Most multinational commercial gin producers do the latter, making a gin concentrate to save costs. Most micros probably go for a one-shot gin, where no neutral is added at all. Others might choose a two-shot gin (dilute with 100% more neutral) etc. etc. Whatever floats your boat.

That said, maybe you want a louche. Cloudy gin could be a selling point? Maybe not.

#16 bluestar

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 12:31 PM

Would it still be considered a distilled gin If your having to ad in neutral after distillation?

OK, run your NGS through the still with two juniper berries.

#17 Wood's

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 04:25 PM

Hi Gang,

I'm a relative Newb to this forum and to the industry. I released Jinn Gin on July 27th at my distilleries grand opening here in CO.
I struggle with the Louching effect based on temp. When its a nice warm evening there's nice clear gin in the tasting room...but when the evening temps drop below 65 degs it start to see louching.

I have been adjusting the gns "blending" to try and find that ideal balance. I am OK with Louching when its pored into a G&T or the like, but need to keep it clear for market appeal as it travels in winter up to the ski slopes.

One thing I have considered but not yet tried is if working on a shorter maceration time would reduce the oils in solution and thus carried over. I'll give it a try in the next week or two and let you know how it works.

K John

#18 rhynorange

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 10:15 AM

What is the final proof of your product? What are you using for proofing?

#19 tl5612

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 09:24 AM

Maybe try:

Going Plymouth Gin style - no maceration at all. Bring straight up to temp.

Cutting your botanical mass in half (at least!).

Making more aggressive cuts of heads.

Just some ideas...

#20 bluestar

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 01:28 PM

Maybe try:

Going Plymouth Gin style - no maceration at all. Bring straight up to temp.

Cutting your botanical mass in half (at least!).

Making more aggressive cuts of heads.

Just some ideas...


Bottle at Navy Strength!





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