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Distilling Gin


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#1 Robert (DrinkBoy) Hess

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Posted 01 August 2005 - 01:49 PM

I just recently got back from a trip to London, and more importantly Plymouth England, where I got a bit of a behind the scenes tour of the Plymouth Gin distillery. I thought it might be appropriate here to recount at least one part of this adventure, which is where I met with their head distiller, and he walked me and my little group though a little "mini" distillation of gin.

He provided us with the base components of gin, and a very brief commentary about what to think about when choosing the "recipe" with which to make the gin with. Juniper has to be the predominante flavour, "So you'll want to use no less then three teaspoons of that". And whil the essential oils of orange and lemon are a valueable component, you don't want to use too much, or the gin will cloud up when water is added "So you don't want to use more than a couple of peelings".

In the gin that I made I used Juniper, Orange, Lemon, Cassia, Orris root, cardamom, and angelica root, which is a fairly traditional recipe.

I've attached a couple of shots from the distilling apperatus (which is why I created this post in the "Gizmos" section) that we used. And they even let me bring a flask (which is all that was made) of the gin back home with me... not that it is any great shakes mind you, but it was an interesting little project.

Attached File  Closeup.jpg   33.39KB   45 downloadsAttached File  Apparatus.jpg   27.45KB   41 downloads

#2 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 01 August 2005 - 02:45 PM

That's very cool. The shape of the apparatus is interesting as well.

Did he say anything interesting about the "gin basket" method?

you don't want to use too much, or the gin will cloud up when water is added

So that's what wrong with all this absinthe.

Maker of Marteau Absinthe
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www.absinthemarteau.com
Confessions of an Absinthiste


#3 Robert (DrinkBoy) Hess

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Posted 01 August 2005 - 02:53 PM

Did he say anything interesting about the "gin basket" method?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Plymouth doesn't use it, I think he said that it was only Tanqueray at the moment that does it that way, and he doesn't think it provides enough contact to get the true essence of the botonicals into the distillate, or to actually extract out the essential oils.

One thing I forgot to mention, is that we also had a chance to taste from a bottle of "pre-prohibition" Gin.

Apparently the owner of "Catepiller" tractor company, upon entering prohibition stockpiled several cases of stuff, including a case of Plymouth gin, and sealed it up behind a wall of his house... where he promptly forgot about it... his great granddaughter or whatever was doing some remodeling, and ran across it. She contacted the Plymouth Distilllery to see if they would like their gin, so they traded, case for case.

The bottles weren't stored well, and all were half evaporated.

The resultant liquid was almost all water, but with a bit of a gin flavour to it.

#4 Jack B

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Posted 01 August 2005 - 02:55 PM

My gin recipe would have included Wormwood, Fennel, and Anise with some Coriander and maybe a juniper berry.

#5 G&C

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Posted 01 August 2005 - 03:14 PM

I think that's one juniper berry too much for my recipe

#6 AndrewT

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Posted 01 August 2005 - 03:52 PM

My gin recipe would have included Wormwood, Fennel, and Anise with some Coriander and maybe a juniper berry.

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If more makers did that, I might actually start drinking gin.
-Andrew Thompson

#7 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 01 August 2005 - 04:07 PM

I have some gin that louches. I understand it has a lot of grapefruit peel in it.

Screw absinthe. This is making me want a Gin & Tonic.

Maker of Marteau Absinthe
Master Distiller, Gnostalgic Spirits Distillery
www.absinthemarteau.com
Confessions of an Absinthiste


#8 Nepenthes

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Posted 01 August 2005 - 05:03 PM

I just sinked a bottle of "gin" that had louched when it was diluted. It was still diluted 10 years later. Damn, I wish gin wasn't banned from the house. The wife has severe allergies to juniper.
I don't want to take over the world. Just poke at it, make it twitch.

#9 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 01 August 2005 - 06:24 PM

And most other conifers as I recall?

Maker of Marteau Absinthe
Master Distiller, Gnostalgic Spirits Distillery
www.absinthemarteau.com
Confessions of an Absinthiste


#10 Nepenthes

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Posted 02 August 2005 - 04:05 AM

Sad, but true.
I don't want to take over the world. Just poke at it, make it twitch.

#11 Gordon

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 07:53 PM

I just love gin. My mother used to make me the classic gin and dry vermouth martini. After dad died we would sit together and have dinner and martinis, fond memories. I'm still hooked on them to this day, not to mention the green olives.


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