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  1. Delta H: Water: is always RO water, it tastes good; all metal parts of still were obsessively cleaned (acetone, scrubbing, acid, base, steam, sacrificial alcohol runs). Would a simple reflux column and carbon filtration be insufficient for improvement? Glenlyon: Yes the base spirit seemed "acceptable", however the base spirit certainly could be improved, it's noticeable when tasted next to premium bottled vodkas that the spirit has room for improvement. I question the ground vs crushed vs solid botanical question. Wouldn't maceration and the heat from distillation extract the entire profile of compounds regardless of grinding? I would think the grinding would accelerate or improve the efficiency of extraction but not fundamentally change the taste (at equal concentration extracted). SpiritedConsultant: I know about pith, perhaps too much residual exists. "Low quality caraway" That's an interesting tip! How does one judge caraway quality? Would extracts from different caraway sources need to be created? Pot still; combination of stainless steel and copper parts; submerged electric coil; 55%; crushed and macerated for 3 days. What is a reasonable duration for a given volume of spirit (or boiler)?
  2. But rye is a nice warm zesty pleasant spicy. I'm talking an astringent, harsh, almost chemical or metalic, bitter burning flavor. It may very well be one or any of the factors mentioned thus far: base spirit, lemon pith, ground juniper, or excess "lighter botanicals". I'd be very curious to see a chart or article describing what "lighter botanicals" are and where they predominantly come through in a run, such a diagram could help narrow things down. From observations it seems the aromas of pine, menthol, flowers, are first with lemon and cardamom close behind.
  3. Interesting that wheat should have those characteristics. Removing oils? as in discarding heads? Botanical basket! So you are not doing a pot still with maceration, or are you doing both?
  4. Thanks for the reply. delta H: For me the neutral is purchased. The spicy run was with some wheat spirit. The wheat alone, diluted to vodka strength has a rather spicy astringent finish to begin with. Perhaps cleaning it with extra run in the still or some carbon filtering would help? For the spices, there aren't any of those listed at the moment, the closest is cardamom. Can any others become harsh? adamOVD: For me, the astringency seemed like it coming through strongly during the beginning of the run, but very noticeable until maybe 15-20% through. But cutting the heads seemed to harm the good characteristics of the aroma and finish too much. Reading Odin's posts I've seen the familiar ratio chart from another website. Some of the X/100 herbs I break the rule, particularly lemon peel, orris root and flowers, I found X/100 far too weak. Peels and Orris root I'm more like X/30 each.
  5. Hello, Without going too much into the specific recipes, I'm trying to determine variable sources of harsh, hot and astringent flavors in gin distilling. What are some adjustments you discovered that made the final product more or less harsh? Some specific I wonder the relative impact of: character of neutral base spirit, heads and tails cut point, maceration time, temperamental or normally hot/harsh/spicy herbs. In terms of herbs, I'm curious of which can become culprits for imparting "harshness" if used improperly, some I'm suspicious of: juniper, citrus peel, angelica, cassia, cinnamon, rose, black pepper, cubeb, caraway, cardamom, licorice... I'd love to hear some experiences.
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