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Les Trois Clocher

the chlorophyll color issue

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So playing with herbs in liquors tends to lead up to a color problem. Browning...erg... Tradition would say re-distill the product and color it after but I am not happy loosing these flavor components while re-distilling the product. In small amounts of herbs present the browning formed is fine and even looks good but when trying to produce a strong creme de menthe or other liquor macerated with a lot of botanicals, it always gives me a brown color formation over time. I've talked to some of my old professors who suggested it might be caused by the acids in the alcohol base and perhaps I should try and lower the acid level using a small level of KHCO3 however this leads to a beneficial environment for PPO's (active from neutral to slightly alkaline conditions) to cause browning on their turn... thus bad times. I know chlorophyllase might be able to cause a stabilization of the color but I can't seems to find a food grade source of it (not sure if it even exists) and I was told that perhaps a small addition of the copper derivative of chlorophyll might do trick but again sources seems hard to find and I have no experience using this... so I am a little weary

Can any of you help shine some light on this color issue? Is there some sort of trick I am just not aware of... or is this some sort of holy grail that needs to be discovered?

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Chlorophyllase is the enzyme used for the first step in the de-greening of plant material. Unless you are doing some very sophisticated chemistry, it is hard to stabilize color with it.

Yes, it is loss of magnesium or change in its oxidation state that also causes loss of green color. The magnesium ligands in the chlorophyll are responsible for its photoactivity and color. Increased pH and/or addition of magnesium salts can slow this process down, but not stop it.

Metal ion replacement can help, copper being most common, and probably naturally occurs to a limited extent when coloring in a copper pot, as is traditionally done with absinthe.

Definitely, keeping temperature low and avoiding exposure to light will slow it down as well. Hence, my prior posting about choice of bottle: clear to show off green or colored to increase longevity of color.

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