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Dephlegmator Needed For London Dry Gin?

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Opinions Wanted!

I've been receiving advice lately to consider having a dephlegmator installed - is it necessary to have one for a london dry (I have botanicals that are macerated in the pot), or would it essentially just strip away some flavor components? 

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Any potstill will do, as long as the resulting distillate is >70% ABV.

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This is a similar point I keep asking about with bubble plates and macceration. Out of interest what vapour temp do people typically stop collecting? I stopped as high as 98c on my last run as I couldn't detect the nutty earthy notes but the final watered down product did have a little too much worthiness for my palate

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I discovered the simpler the better. I had a dephlegmator hooked up, but soon took it off. It slowed the process down too much. Instead, in a basic pot still, I eyeball it to 70ish percent as much as possible and then let it run down until I get bored. By the time I get to the gin stage, I don't have much in the way of heads or tails left on the base spirit anyway. So, while the flavor changes throughout the process, it always seems to taste good for one reason or another which tends to keep me going. I was extremely pleased with my last batch and I have another pending. I'm really enjoying doing gin as it is a very personal beverage to create and present.

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10 hours ago, needmorstuff said:

This is a similar point I keep asking about with bubble plates and macceration. Out of interest what vapour temp do people typically stop collecting? I stopped as high as 98c on my last run as I couldn't detect the nutty earthy notes but the final watered down product did have a little too much worthiness for my palate

I think it really depends on the profile of your botanicals. For my particular recipe, anything after 77% ABV has an undesirable "cooked" tone to it so I usually stop it by then, though in theory there should still be more hearts to collect at that point.

 

3 hours ago, Glenlyon said:

I discovered the simpler the better. I had a dephlegmator hooked up, but soon took it off. It slowed the process down too much. Instead, in a basic pot still, I eyeball it to 70ish percent as much as possible and then let it run down until I get bored. By the time I get to the gin stage, I don't have much in the way of heads or tails left on the base spirit anyway. So, while the flavor changes throughout the process, it always seems to taste good for one reason or another which tends to keep me going. I was extremely pleased with my last batch and I have another pending. I'm really enjoying doing gin as it is a very personal beverage to create and present.

thanks for the input - can you elaborate a bit more on why you chose to remove your dephlegmator? i was told it should help in creating a smoother/higher quality distillate, but i'm wondering if its actually worth my while if i'm already using a good quality GNS. I'm also thinking it could potentially strip away some essential flavor components. What was your experience with it (besides slowing you down)?

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10 hours ago, Glenlyon said:

I discovered the simpler the better. I had a dephlegmator hooked up, but soon took it off. It slowed the process down too much. Instead, in a basic pot still, I eyeball it to 70ish percent as much as possible and then let it run down until I get bored. By the time I get to the gin stage, I don't have much in the way of heads or tails left on the base spirit anyway. So, while the flavor changes throughout the process, it always seems to taste good for one reason or another which tends to keep me going. I was extremely pleased with my last batch and I have another pending. I'm really enjoying doing gin as it is a very personal beverage to create and present.

I was going down to 30% originally, too earthy nutty... last time around i stopped at 45% and whilst it does slow down notably with the same input power it is still a very nice product at the end. In the uk we use NGS so leaving alcohol in the boiler is waster money.. but you have to be strict or the end result whilst the yield is greater is not good at all.

I am using a simple pot still, 50l with 2kw input so it is quite slow (we are only a very small operation) maybe thats why I can go down to 45% abv and it still be acceptable in my final product.

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Just a quick disclaimer: I've only been making gin a few months - so - I'm certain better minds than mine an provide a more in depth insight. But the way we come at it, also being very small: First I macerate the botanical selection in about 100L of approx 60% base spirit. I roughly follow Odin's basic process/recipe but I adjust to taste. I don't use GNS because under my license I'm not allowed to. Therefore, we have already double distilled the spirit before the gin process. I have small 45 L still, very basic, and I'll run the base macerated spirits through in smaller batches. Each batch takes a couple of hours. At the end of the day I'll combine the take and and there is the gin ready for some aging/maturing/resting. Yes, I did get rid of the dephlegmator, which did slow the process down, but provided no better results - (that I could discern). Instead, I replaced it with a carter head which does a great job of getting rid of the juniper oils while preserving the fresh tastes of the botanicals. How far I run it is based entirely on taste. As long as I like what I'm tasting I'll keep going. But I'm always tasting the whole batch as well, not just what's coming off the still. That way there is some comparison happening.  

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