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Rhonda Weins

Effects on absinthe exposed to high heat?

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Hi all, searched the forum & couldn't find anything quick, and I'm just sick...

Bed bugs...rental....very last minute communication mix-up with the landlord concerning offsite storage....heat treatment today for the entire apartment...

 

Due to all of these things, my absinthe (and all my other booze) will be exposed to close to 140 degrees today for about four hours. Some opened (corked) bottles, and many unopened bottles (My Jade & Marteau stash...) I'm just sick to my stomach about what this is gonna do to my bottles. I'm hoping they're not too wrecked, I've been so careful to store them away from sunlight, at a constant temp, now this. Anyone have any kind of experience with this? My bourbon, rye & liqueurs will probably be fine. I assume the wine is all toast, but I had real money wrapped up in the absinthe.

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I see Grim reading along here, so I'll defer to him. But my guess is that nothing substantial will happen to your absinthe, other than possibly moving some corks up.

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Heat is not generally a bad thing for absinthe. In fact, there was an old method of treating spirits called tranchage that was used, in the way old days, to give more roundness and softness to products made by liquoristes and this centered around the idea of gently heating the stuff to be treated up to around 60°C (140°F). However, this was in a hermetically sealed container with certain special features like a safety valve. The reason it wasn't 20°C or so higher than that, the mixture of alcohol and water may boil.

 

72°/144 proof absinthe isn't going to boil in the bottle, but realize that at 140°F... that bottle is going to get so hot to the touch that you likely can't maintain your hand on it... corks which aren't fast on the bottle, may not be on it when you show back up... but that's if you were sure they were going to get to that temperature. I don't think they will. I doubt your bottles will be affected at all.

 

Why? I really doubt that the heat treatment will need to be at that temperature for the full duration of 4 hours in your apartment. I doubt anything in your apartment will be treated for ½ hour. I also doubt, seriously doubt, that some treatment technician will stand in front of your stored bottles long enough to heat them up through the glass to that temperature. Likely, he'll treat the area where eggs and bed bugs need focus, linen closets, etc. and pass on to the next apartment room in the complex. It'll be fine. You'll be fine.

 

Edit: I don't know much about the heat treatment method, my original thought on how it works may not be valid. If it really is a slow treatment for an extended interval, you may want to put silicone tape around loosened corks/t-corks so they don't pop off.

Edited by Grim

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Worse case scenario, if the corks do pop off, you're not going to lose a tremendous amount of alcohol during the duration you're out of the apartment. Just put the corks back in when you come home. I would think the bottles with the most empty airspace inside them will be the most susceptible to blowing their lids.

 

And I'm with Grim on the drinking and toasting.

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Along with agreeing with the other two gentlemen, a different event occurred here. While playing little Miss Photographer last week, Jules left a bottle of Ridge Blanche outside. She totally forgot about it. The temperatures plummeted to -10. When I found the bottle after it having been left out for several days, I was expecting to see little white floaties from the herbs falling out of suspension. Nothing doing. The absinthe was still crystal clear.

 

Point being, absinthe is more resilient than we sometimes think. Just keep it away from burning sugar cubes.

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But Joe, that was Ridge blanche, not some ordinary run of the still absinthe anyone off the street can buy at the corner store. :laugh:

 

 

 

On a more serious note, does anyone think altitude might affect absinthes tolerance to extreme temperatures?

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