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Gwydion Stone

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About Gwydion Stone

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  • Birthday 06/05/1957

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    Seattle, WA

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  1. Is it absinthe

    It's definitely not absinthe; absinthe must be distilled. It doesn't taste anything at all like absinthe, which isn't that bitter. Absinthe's primary flavor should be anise, not bitter wormwood. What you have there are wormwood bitters. Pelinkovac, malört, and bäsk are examples of wormwood bitters from Central and Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. Absinthe may still be obscure to the general populace, but there is a lot of accurate information available to those care enough to look. I suggest doing a bit of research before trying to bring a product to market as absinthe. You'll find literally everything you need to know over at the Wormwood Society, especially in the historic articles section.
  2. Sourcing Roman Wormwood

    For future reference, this table is handy. ALL artemisia species are permitted. I once had the specialist kick back a formula that had marjoram in it. They don't do any thinking for themselves; if it's at all unfamiliar to that particular specialist, they'll just kick it back - like your time doesn't matter.
  3. Harvesting Roman Wormwood

    Most of the stuff available in regular US commerce is grown and processed for the medicinal trade, not to maximize flavor and aroma characteristics. You might want to consider growing at least some. I think you'll be glad you did.
  4. Hi from Michigan

    Is it really that much of a stretch to expect someone to understand that my comment about sugar cane was in reference to his mention of rum? I didn't think I'd need to spell that out here.
  5. Are there any good online guides about distilling ?

    In my experience, home distilling guides are good for just that, and don't prepare one for the realities of commercial distilling, which is far more than just scaling up production.
  6. Hi from Michigan

    That's fine, but you can't make rum from beets, which the OP indicated he was interested in making. Rum is made from sugar cane.
  7. Should I powder coat my vessel?

    Pics or it didn't happen.
  8. Bulk Wine

    That's a good price for a resale wine, but a bit spendy for a distiller. The way we look at it, wine is over 85% water, and we have to remove that water. At an optimistic 14% abv, and assuming 75% recovery (loss to usual spillage, heads & tails), that translates to between ~$4.75 and ~$6.50 per 750ml bottle at 40% abv. At 12% it goes up over $7 a bottle. Add in cost of glass, labels, closures, labor and utilities and that's an expensive product.
  9. Collection/receiving Tank

    You mean collecting directly off the still? I've seen everything used from Fusti cans to barrels to Home Depot buckets.
  10. Dunder vs Backset vs Stillage

    Stillage is whatever is left in the still at the end of a run, no matter what the product and no matter what you do with it, re-use it or discard it. Dunder is specifically rum stillage which is allowed to open-ferment and take on specific bacteria and yeasts that result in rum's high-ester profile. It works like a sourdough starter. The funkier the dunder gets over time, the more high-ester the resulting rum. Backset is specifically whiskey stillage (maybe bourbon only?) synonymous with sour mash.
  11. Looking for suggestions on separating grain after mashing

    Try adding rice hulls to your mash. http://www.midwestsupplies.com/rice-hulls.html
  12. Yeast harvesting

    Instead of trying to harvest spent, beat-up yeast, propagate from some of the fresh stuff. It's early for me and my caffeine hasn't kicked in yet, but you can google "propagating yeast culture" and come up with a lot of good information. Good luck!
  13. Harvesting Roman Wormwood

    Where do you live? I'll be right over. Because of the variations in climate, you can't really pin it down to "July / August". With absinthium, it's more about harvesting at the right stage of development, in the early flowering/budding phase. I always harvest pontica twice: once about mid-season and again in late summer; here in the Pacific Northwest, that's September. Depending on your climate you might be able to do the same with absinthium. Pontica—as you've apparently discovered—is incredibly invasive in climates/soils where it thrives. It propagates mostly by spreading via rhizomes. Consider giving it its own raised beds. Seriously, though, where do you live? This is how they harvest pontica in Italy:
  14. Changing pH of wash

  15. Hi from Michigan

    "hopefully utilizing local sugar sources as much as possible" You have people growing sugar in Michigan??