Store bought flavors

Homebrew shop essences talk.

Re: Store bought flavors

Postby Tesla101 » Sun Feb 16, 2020 7:58 pm

5 weeks ago before I joined this forum I didn't have a clue about distilling, other than spending a couple of days with a mate years ago watching him do one run on his T500 and not making cuts. Then flavoring it with store bought essences :o Back then I thought that was the way it was done, who'd have knew any different??

Now even back then I probably even knew more than most of the punters out there who don't really have a clue of what they're drinking. "Another Woodstock mate?"

In the past 6 weeks I have learned a lot. I've learned how to make a very good but affordable wash, how to do a stripping run and then how to do a spirit run and then make cuts. I still have a lot to learn.

I know I don't have the best rig out there, but at least I'm having a crack and learning lots along the way. Even with the rig I have I reckon I still produce a half decent drop, and it's about a quarter of the price of store bought booze.

Yes, I tried one of the store bought essences that came with the kit and without a doubt I won't go and buy the same ones again. I may use some of the premium ones for liqueurs in the future if I feel that way. But right now I'm focusing on just making a really good neutral and learning how to drive the rig I have.

Then when it comes the time to upgrade I know I'll at least have the basics down.
Posts: 144
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:48 pm
Location: Melbourne-ish, VIC
equipment: T500 pot still (Pot Head) & reflux column (Skinny Bitch)
(wish I had a FSD 4" Visualiser)

Re: Store bought flavors

Postby southern45 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:16 pm

Great to hear! None of the store bought whiskey or rum essences I’ve tried have been up to scratch. Some are passable as a mixer with coke for cheap mates who just want the buzz but that’s about it. The sugary liqueur mixes are okay if that’s your bag. I used a black sambuca one that seemed pretty legit (no turbo wash neutral though of course). Not really my thing but others loved it.

My other half doesn’t mind the Still Spirits Top Shelf Elderflower Gin essence mixed into a quality neutral base. I use about half to three quarters of the recommended amount.
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:50 pm
Location: Tasmania
equipment: Four plate 5 Star bubbler, 60L boiler on 2 x 2200W elements.

Re: Store bought flavors

Postby Yonder » Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:29 pm

:text-+1: what he said!
If what yer doing is is running a neutral, tpw, or the like then addin an “essence” and drinkin’it. Well, might as well buy grain neutral spirit from the supply and add your flavor. No different, lots cheaper, an not illegal. I ain’t no purist and judge no man but seems to me a straight forward proposition.
I’ve failed a number of times. Wasted weeks here ‘n there on washes that just went South, but I always learnt something. Success means something. Now when i drink myself silly, alone or with friends, I am proud of the product, Don’t never get hung over and never, ever regret the taste. Never could say that about store bought. Sometimes that stuff hurt like bloody hell the next day. No brag, just fact, an no “smilies“ required . Nothin’ but my opinion, thats all.
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:38 pm
Location: Texas, of course
equipment: 10 gal copper pot w/doubler and a lot of enthusiasm

Re: Store bought flavors

Postby Zak Griffin » Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:19 am

Yonder it certainly isn't cheaper in Australia to buy vodka and flavour it...
Zak Griffin
Posts: 6830
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:34 pm
Location: Radelaide
equipment: "The Heart of Gold" - 4" Bubbler - finally bubbling!
"Zaphod" - 3" Pot - retired
"Agrajag" - 6" Bubbler - midlife crisis build?

Re: Store bought flavors

Postby Yonder » Mon Feb 24, 2020 4:31 pm

Sorry, no offense. Sometimes forget the differences in money, customs, etc. you’d think I would know better having spent 11 years “overseas” with the Army. Here, neutrals like vodka are very cheap (and taste it!). On the other hand the best vodka I ever had was was from Sarapul in the Urals. Damn that was great and cheaper than a coke at a Moscow McD’s. :oops:
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:38 pm
Location: Texas, of course
equipment: 10 gal copper pot w/doubler and a lot of enthusiasm

Re: Store bought flavors

Postby OldPoss » Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:00 pm

Hi Yonder,

Any alcohol is Aus attracts a large amount of tax. Even the cheapest spirits - vodka, whiskey etc are around $30. That's why its an attractive option to make your own and use essences or age on oak.

I am mainly using a CFW and WBAB and have started with essences but next up will be aging on oak dominoes to see how that goes.

I think essences have their place - maybe to use with oak or when using them for liqueurs like Baileys, Kaluha etc.

Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:01 pm
equipment: Air still
2 x 25l fermenters


Return to Essences

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests