Jump to content

Gin Distillation - Color


Recommended Posts

We have distilled our first batches or gin and notice that the distillate has a slight yellowish cast to it. We are using whole botanicals, dried. Has anyone ever experienced this before? Anyone have a solution or remedy?

More importantly, how are you adding the botanicals? Are you macerating and steeping, then separating and distilling? Are you distilling from macerate in the pot? Are you distilling and condensing through a gin basket with botanicals? Especially in the latter case, the color may be coming from the botanicals. In the other two cases, there really shouldn't be any color from the botanicals in any still with any rectification, even an alembic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the drain on the gin basket goes to the condenser (like ours) rather than to the pot (like some other Vendomes) make sure you have the drain closed when you use the vapor basket and open it post-distillation to clean. Vapor will condense on the botanicals and leech color from them (basically a hot masceration) especially at the start of the run when the basket is cold.

We see color on our gin distillations only 1) when the drain is open and 2) at the very last bit of the run, which we redistill.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure what you mean by drain. Our vapor line goes from the dephlegmator to the bottom of the gin basket, and then out the top/side of the basket and into the condenser. There's a water line that's tapped into the vapor line under the basket, is this what you're referring to?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

two questions: 1. what temp/rate are you re-distilling at? and 2. Dephlegmator. Do you also run through a converter? What I'm getting at is the more contact you have, the more potential for influence of prior buildup. But I do like Andrew's answer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

General Gin caveat --->depending on your botanicals<-----

Colour in the distillate is usually only carried over from the pot via vapour entrapment. Most of the colouring agents in the common Gin botanicals are water soluable, so either you boiling out too late (tails cut too late) or, your boil is so strong you are getting wash portions being (kicked or flemmed) carried through.

Try the following;

1: Sample, ad compare the colour in the distillate, every say 20 mins, and try and determine if it is a fractional issues (cutting) or not.

2: Slow the boil, see if this helps.

3: Run bench trials on a lab still with any 'odd' botanical you might be using, over the standard EU top 10.

4: Dare I say..... clean the still well. This is not a rum/whisky residue?

5: Green or unripe junipers will produce a yellow tingein the distillate, but normally appears in the heads, or foreshots.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

How full are you filling your Gin Basket? I was going to do a first run with about 130 gallons of 100 proof. About how many pounds of juniper are people using? Also, are people using some sort of boiling bag within the Gin Basket? It seems like the holes are large enough for the juniper and coriander to get through.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 years later...

HI, Is there anyone still about in this topic?

I have a similar problem. I am doing small runs about 15L total volume.

  • The Basket is full
  • It sits tightly between the pot and the column
  • all the liquid from the reflux drains back through the botanicals and i end up with a dark soup left over
  • I have been using the same heat as I use to make my spirit.
  • I have been using about 30g total botanicals p/l (15g/p/l Juniper)
  • The amount of colour increases as the run progresses but does not seem to affect the flavor until deep into the tails

Any suggestions how reduce the color taint to my Gin?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Davidksa : if it isn't from foam going all the way up your column (solution: use a silicon based antifoam product), it probably comes from one of the botanicals you use. One of the drinks I make is an award-winning distilled absinthe, it comes out with a beer-like yellow color.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...