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I use Everclear for the zest (one liter). Then after the first filtering I add one liter of water and 600g of white sugar. After 2 or 3 months I filter again using a funnel with beer straining bag + cotton + pieces of white cloth.

 

If you peel instead of zest take all the white stuff in the back out with your knife. That white stuff makes the Lemoncello bitter.

 

Cheers,

 

- Marcelo

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I wasn't happy with the flavor profile of the blueberry or peach cello I did

 

What was the problem with it? Bad flavor combo, or did the fruits not give up much of their flavor?

 

 

Not enough give on the flavor...the blueberrycello had a decent flavor, there just wasn't as much of it as I had been expecting. There was a point earlier when I was diluting it that it was just right, but I fear I added too much water. It's happened before when adding water to another type of alcohol... :twitchsmile:

 

The peachcello just didn't have the strong peach flavor I was anticipating. The peaches them selves were quite juicy and flavorful when they went in, and I think I should have just let them sit for a few more weeks. When I initially mixed the water in with it was almost sweet enough for my tastes, so I didn't add as much sugar as the blueberrycello. It's not bad, it just has a very subtle peach flavor.

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I've now done a orange-lemoncello & a vanilla-lemoncello. On both, the 2ndary flavors were more pronounced than I planned. Drinkable, but not a huge success across the board w/ our testers...but not a failure, either. :) The vanilla-lemoncello really appealed to me & I wanted to give it a 2nd try to get the right balance of vanilla. On the first batch, I only used the seeds.

 

I was wondering if anyone had tried using the vanilla pods (those beans are dang expensive) or if they would add other unwanted flavors to the cello.

 

Thanks!

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I used one vanilla bean cut along the axis in four pieces, and left together with the lemon zest. Yes, that bean is very expensive (around 6 dollars per piece), but I really liked the after taste. One friend who is a cuisine expert told me that is a very good match for the lemon zest taste...

 

- Marcelo

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Thanks. I've already taken the seeds out (for the previous batch), but I'll throw the rest of the pod in this batch. Hopefully that will be the right amount.

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those beans are dang expensive

 

Depends on where you're shopping. Vanilla.com will rape you for quality vanilla beans. But if you can keep a secret, you don't need to pay $200 for a pound of top grade beans. Shhhh.

 

As for beans, just slice them lengthwise and scrape the beans out with a spoon.

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those beans are dang expensive

 

Depends on where you're shopping. Vanilla.com will rape you for quality vanilla beans. But if you can keep a secret, you don't need to pay $200 for a pound of top grade beans. Shhhh.

 

As for beans, just slice them lengthwise and scrape the beans out with a spoon.

 

VERY nice! Thanks for the link. I wonder if I would be able to taste a flavor difference between the Bourbon & Tahitian beans.

 

Have you tried using the bean pods, Ron? It would be nice to be able to use as much of each vanilla bean as possible. Never hurts to have information confirmed from a couple of different sources (not that I'm doubting you, mgs) :)

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Thanks Ron and Rouver for the ideas..................... my lemoncello was really nice with the vanilla added to it............

 

Cheers,

 

- Marcelo

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I can't remember who said that they got a better extraction when they used vodka (lower % alcohol) vs everclear (higher)....but I know I doubted them. I wanted proof! Thanks to mgs's vanilla supply link, I've found some very interesting sites...one of which supported the above claim (at least for vanilla...I'll concede it's likely you can assume it would be true for other stuff).

 

How to make your own vanilla extract:

http://www.vanillareview.com/make-vanilla-extract/

 

After reading through that, I will DEFINITELY be using the whole bean & not just seeds.

========================================

 

47.5% ethanol is better than 95% ethanol (end of pg 16):

http://www.heilalavanilla.co.nz/images/Reu...atureReview.pdf

 

This study made me wonder if there would be a benefit to heating the beans (and peels) before adding them to the alcohol.

 

 

I haven't read through all of that vanillareview site, nor the pdf file, but it certainly looks like there is helpful information for someone making infusions. I'm very excited. :)

 

It also looks like if you're going for a stronger vanilla flavor, you'll want it to sit on the shelf for 6 months to mellow

Edited by Rouver

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And, IMHO, it is better to steep in alcohol and water mixture (45-50%) than just alcohol (96%) or just vodka (40%), the peels yield everything to the medium strength, while 96% is too strong and does not extract everything.

 

I have switched to spirit proofed to 47.5% and it was giving more body to the liqueur and bringing the aromas quicker.

 

The results showed that there was approximately a 10% higher

yield from the extraction process at 47.5% ethanol than at 95% ethanol. This

suggests that vanillin is more soluble in solution at 47.5% ethanol than at

95%, therefore increasing the total vanillin yields.

 

See, I was telling you.

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And all you would have had to do was point me at that article. :)

 

What's your end alcohol %, after you add your simple syrup? Is there enough alcohol in the end product that you can put it in the freezer without it freezing? That's one of my concerns.

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You have found the article, quite informative, yourself :wave2: Actually, thanks for finding it as vanilla is quite a subject not yet explored to the fullest.

 

I make the syrup just after I get the alcoholate. I have the hot syrup to which I am adding the alcoholate. The mixing of two liquids is quicker and more efficient because of high temperature and the product, at that stage, will not lose transparency* (should you require it for aesthetic reasons; generally limoncinos are semi-transparent to opaque). The end abv is 22-27.5%. I have not spotted any problems with the products at 22% being the lowest abv if put in the freezer. The chilling is very helpful for limoncinos that are 30%+ IMO, the rest can be served in room temperature.

 

*you may diminish the transparency by adding some freshly-squeezed lemon juice (45ml/l more or less), it tightens the fruity aroma a little, but it is still an option, which actually has been invented by my Mum. For quite a long time I preferred limoncino made of alcohol, lemons and sugar syrup.

Edited by Boggy

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it seems that everyone has a different way to prepare lemoncello, usually based on past experience and also on liking what was done.... which is very nice. At the end, I believe that each one should develop your own recipe...

 

I learned with some friends from Palermo, who told me to never heat anything and never add syrup, just plain white sugar... My lemoncello is yellow clear because I filter it twice, first time with a beer strain bag, after the zest (plus vanilla beans) is mixed and get kind of white (after 3-4 weeks), then I add sugar and water, wait 8-10 weeks, and I filter very slowly with a sandwich filter of cloth, cotton and the strain bag.... Then I still let it age for 2-3 months at least before drinking....

 

it is interesting, though, to see so much diversity in preparing lemoncello..... I never tried "other cellos" from other fruits, I will stick to lemon only......

 

Thanks,

 

- Marcelo

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With regard to strength of your macerating solvent:

In Fritsch's New Treatise on the Fabrication of Liquors from awhayback in 1891, he points out a similar phenomenon. It happens to be in the section on absinthe.

 

"Once the bill of ingredients is prepared, one puts it into the still, charged with the necessary quantity of alcohol and half the quantity of water needed for distillation; the maceration will be better as a result, because if all the water was added at once, the alcohol would be diluted too much, its solvent capacity would be notably decreased, and it would capture only part of the useful materials extractable from the plants. It is likewise if the maceration is done with pure alcohol: plants suddenly immersed in high proof alcohol seem to undergo a kind of hardening which, up to a certain point, stalls the development of their aroma."

 

The lemon peels certainly get crispy when I use pure Everclear. My hunch is that the "hardening" is an indicator and not a cause of poor flavor release. The strong alcohol dehydrates the botanicals, so they become crisp. The water-soluble flavor compounds, however, cannot be effectively extracted by the 5% water in Everclear.

 

 

With the Meyer limoncello that I have around currently, I used straight Everclear. Instead of diluting and sweetening it beforehand, I dilute and add honey or a sugar cube to it as it is served. Kind of like with that other booze y'all like. The lemon oil louches quite healthily and creamily. Dee-lish.

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Also, instead of zesting, I use my patented peel-flip-peel technique. I use a potato peeler to remove the entire lemon peel in one big spiral. There is a lot of white pith, of course, so then I flip the peel over and use the peeler to zip the residual pith off lickedy-split. With a lemonsworth of practice you can find the right pressure to apply so that you get down to the oily zest without breaking it and without leaving any pith.

 

It's a lot faster once you get the hang of it. Also, you don't lose much lemon oil. With zesting, you tear apart the zest layer (flavedo or epicarp) and lemon oils spray all over the place. If you're careful, you can direct some of that oil spray toward your collecting vessel, but a lot of it still gets lost. When peeling, there is minimal breakage of the flavedo, so the oils remain and can be happily dissolved into the spirit.

 

"Filtering" out two dozen half-inch wide peels is also a breeze. No coffee filters necessary; a simple strainer, collander, or even just fingers will do. This technique has streamlined many steps in my limoncello making. Better liquor quicker, yes please!

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The lemoncello and orangecello's that I build turn out ok. If left to set in the freezer for a few days there is an oil ring around the inside of the vessel.

I just use a potato peeler and patiently peel the zest and rarely get into the white pith enough to even worry about scraping.

After that is set aside for a week or two in everclear, the zest turns almost white and like yours and are a breeze to strain.

A wonderful sip in this warm weather. :cheers:

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It certainly is a fine summer sipper. Counter-intuitive, perhaps, since it's like sunshine in a glass. With this 115 heat index, I thought I had my fill of sunshine for the week.

 

Mista Bill,

 

Since you have a pedigree for fine cello making, from what I hear, I'd be interested in hearing what you think of a more dilute maceration. I'm too infrequent a celloer to compare batches with any conclusive results.

 

As for peeling, I think your one-swipe method would be best for citrus with a more sturdy skin, like regular Eureka lemons. The Meyers I've been using have fairly thin, delicate skins, so a generous first swipe helps the peel from tearing, then the peel is stabilized by a cutting board for the second swipe. I know I lose some lemon oil onto the board this way, and it adds and extra step, so if the skins were tougher I'd be all about one-shot peeling.

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I don't disagree with what you posted about lower ABV for maceration, I just haven't done it.

 

For something with a thin zest, I did a batch of limes once and that is some really thin zest. I made a batch of lemon-limecello once and decided that oranges and lemons are just fine.

 

I don't reckon I've zested meyer lemons yet. I'll be on the lookout for them and see how they turn out. Variety is a good thing. ;)

 

All this banter about lemoncello is making me thirsty........ 108° today........toasty! :cheers:

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My mom has Meyer lemon trees in her yard.Last year I made lemoncello.I have a green glass lightbulb shaped jug from Naples,Italy.I grated the lemons since the skins were so thin.it was VERY strong and horrible.Not one to waste liquor I tried mixing it with different juices and such.I finally landed on tonic water as a nice mixer.Next time I'll be much more careful with the rind and use the rest for lemonade.

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Meyers are also great for lemon curd or sorbet.

 

Also, since their skin is so bright, sweet, and sunny, it's easy for a 'cello to taste like Mr. Clean. (lemon oil plus solvent? it's essentially the same thing, haha). I like to sweeten with orange flower honey, since I've found it melds well with the Meyer flavors.

Edited by nerologic

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I'm interested to try this sometime. I noticed when I was purchasing a bottle of 'cello that out of the 5 to 7ish brands the liquor store had, only one wasn't artificially colored. :thumbdown: Luckily it was the cheapest one, but still.

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Indeed.

 

Why would you? You talented bastid.

 

And indeed again.

Edited by baubel

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