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Grinding Juniper Berries

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Do you grind or crush your juniper and other botanicals you macerate? Have you noticed a substantial difference in flavor if you have tried both grinding and not? Thanks.

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I don't grind the juniper cones because I would worry about too much astringent flavors being released. I tend to just macerate them for a few days. I notice after about 3 or 4 days they develop a slightly sweeter aroma and that's when I like to move the process along.

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*DON'T* grind 'm, ever. Crushing can be done but the result won't be reproducable. You can save on juniper (at the expensive of having to wait 1 or more days) by macerating as Glenlyon suggested. I don't.

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We crush using corona mill that we motorized with an el cheapo HF electric drill. It effectively "rolls and smooshes" them as you would if you pinched them between your fingers. Gap between plates is about 3/16"  Highly reproducible.  Astringency comes from the pip which never (that we've seen) is split / ground.  Here's a handful I just did.

IMG_20180820_145705.resized.jpg.b6d3104bb84c8813c335cc44d0b3c7e1.jpg

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About 3 months ago I was experimenting with getting more flavor out of my Juniper. I did a run (200 liters) with Juniper berries ground up with a food processor. Because I had never read anything about it, I had no idea and yes, I came out super astringent. 

I had an empty stainless barrel so I just put it in and sealed it up, thinking that I would do something with it later on. I realized the astringency after I had proofed it so it's been sitting in there sealed at 45% abv.

Reading this thread made me think of it.... Do you think its better to redistill it? or do you think that if I just leave it open, that astringency will dissipate and eventually go away? 

Also, someone mentioned somewhere about possible pesticides being the cause of astringency. If that was the case, which I doubt, but you never know.... Would you ever be able to distill that out safely? How could you know for sure?

Thanks in advance, if anyone has an opinion....

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