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needmorstuff

Bubble plate Gin Stills.. why?

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Call me stupid but why do people run 4 and sometimes 6 bubble plates before a gin basket? 

Is it to ensure the only thing coming through the basket is high proof? 

and whilst we are on it.. how do they get enough botanicals in a basket - seems to me the proportional size of a gin basket for any still would make the basket huge.

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Could be several answers.

Maybe that some of the botanical are in the pot.

Some people stop distillation and add/change the botanicals in the gin basket during a run.

Some do a combo of boiler maceration (juniper_, vapor infusion (cardamom, citrus) in the gin basket and still compound some of the smaller ingredients into the finished liquor.

It would be interesting to know how many people actually start with a base fermentation in the boiler vs low wines.

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in the UK most use GNS/NGS, those few that don't (single estate gins) make their own Vodka first and use that. Chase Distillery for instance make their spirit from their own potatoes.

I think the bubble plate still must almost exclusively use infusion and yes I guess they either have a huge basket (8" floor standing for a 100litre - 200 litre still) or they swap out the botanicals mid run - but swapping a botanical basket mid run would surely call for a a very complicated protocol and lead to variations from run to run.

They wouldnt use bubbe plates with maceration as the bubble plate high abv action would surely strip the flavours.. unless that is the intention.

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On 9/22/2018 at 5:18 AM, needmorstuff said:

Call me stupid but why do people run 4 and sometimes 6 bubble plates before a gin basket? 

Is it to ensure the only thing coming through the basket is high proof? 

and whilst we are on it.. how do they get enough botanicals in a basket - seems to me the proportional size of a gin basket for any still would make the basket huge.

I have stills running 20 plates before the gin basket.  It does not matter how many plates that you run before the gin basket as long as the gin basket is above  or on the final condenser side of the dephlegmator.  The problem would be if the gin basket were before the plates, or dephlegmator as that would be stripping out the flavors after you add them in.  If you want to run gns for gin in my vodka stills, you can bypas the plated columns and run through the gin basket and final condenser, or you can macerate in the pot and bypass all of the plates and the gin basket and run the vapor from the pot strait to the final condenser, or you can macerate in the pot and run the vapor through the gin basket and then to the final condenser.  You can make any spirit with my Ultra Pro Vodka Still with Gin Basket.  

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Yes I get it now.. I just see people running gns through 4 plates to a botanicals basket and think why?

Botanicals in the basket will extract differently at different proof of alcohol vapor.   You are going to proof down the GNS in the still before distillation, so with less rectification you are bringing more water vapor to the gin basket.  That would result in a different botanical extraction than if you had more rectification and thus less water and higher proof alcohol vapor.  

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Plates and reflux allow more control over the temperature and composition of the vapor. Running just a pot still means the vapor temp/composition is determined by the ABV in the kettle charge, but that that changes over the run, and as such as does the vapor. Is it better? Sort of depends what you are trying to do. Does allow you to run to lower kettle ABV.  

 

I can't imagine why you would do this if not for vapor extraction, though.

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This is a neat video showing how to change the gin basket in a carter head during the run.

Your basically just going to full reflux, open the head, switch out the basket, close the head and then turn down reflux for normal running.

easy peasy

 

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If it hasn't been said already, not all NGS/GNS is super clean.  Depending on where you are sourcing it from can dictate if you want it cleaned up a bit before infusion.  I, for one, have had some pretty bad tasting GNS!  And as mentioned already, a lot of people want their spirit crossing the botanicals at a specific ABV.  

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