Great Beginners Gin Recipe

Great Beginners Gin Recipe

Postby nickT » Thu Jul 06, 2023 8:12 am

Thought I would share my experience with my first gin, in case there are others out there also beginning their journey into gin making. This turned out way better than expected, and was really quite easy. Highly recommended.

I made extra wash in the batch I fermented for my sacrificial spirit runs, using TFFV, so I could do an initial small batch of vodka or gin. Had about 20 extra litres at 10% to play with, so I ran it through my boka. After cuts and proofing down I had 1.95L at 54%. Wasn't thrilled with a slight butterscotch undertone (and I did do a diacytal rest) so decided to turn it all into gin.(I was wondering if the knob of butter I put into the boiler to control foaming was the culprit).

Decided to use Jessies basic recipe, it is so simple and easy. For my 1.95L at 54% neutral I scaled his recipe up as:

42g crushed juniper
42g uncrushed juniper
8g lightly crunched coriander seed
2g angelica root
22g lemon peel

As per Jessie's video, I heated up the neutral in my Airstill to 50 degrees, and macerated everything other than the lemon for 2 hours. Then stuffed the lemon peel into the gin basket (funny, it's the only gin basket that I have seen that actually looks like a basket ;-) ). Ran it, took off the first 20ml, kept going until it was coming off at just under 50% with very little taste. Ended up with about 1.2 - 1.3 L at 75%. There was still a bit of butterscotch aroma lurking, was slightly disappointed at that stage...

Started proofing down, wanted to get to about 43%. Added 800ml water, got to 47.6%, then added another 50ml, and it louched! Went cloudy, but let off a huge lemon aroma. Butterscotch disappeared as did my slight disappointment. Added another 200mm to get to 42.2%, it smelt beautiful, and tasted fantastic.

Decided for fun to try and remove the cloudiness, so threw a litre of Smirnoff into the airstill and ran it, got 420ml at 73%, which I added to my cloudy stuff, it cleared up instantly and I now have just under 1.6L of gin-clear gin at 48.2%.

Well, not quite 1.6L anymore, left it in a warmish space for a couple of days, and we tried it last night. Wife declared that it was better than a lot of the commercial stuff we get. It has a really nice London Dry taste and aroma (I like strong flavours). Really, really pleased with it and pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out (and how easy it was), especially given it was only meant to be a quick and dirty first go with some left-over wash. (Main aim is to make some with the sacks of wheat I now have in the garage).

So if you are thinking of getting into gin, I highly recommend this recipe!

Full video at Jessie's channel below, he does both this recipe and a seaweed one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-E5dOVMInOA

Have fun!


PS why are there separate gin discussion channels in the 'Gin Yummy Community' for every state other than Far East Australia? :razz:
nickT
 
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Re: Great Beginners Gin Recipe

Postby howard » Thu Jul 06, 2023 1:31 pm

what kind of airstill have you got, one of those new 'reflux' models or the old school?
did you strip the 10% wash up to low wines, then do a reflux run first?
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Re: Great Beginners Gin Recipe

Postby nickT » Thu Jul 06, 2023 2:37 pm

howard wrote:what kind of airstill have you got, one of those new 'reflux' models or the old school?
did you strip the 10% wash up to low wines, then do a reflux run first?

Hi Howard, I just have the basic 'old-school' Airstill. In this case I just ran the 20-odd litre wash through my Boka reflux column (30 lite grainfather with boka on top) as a 'one and done' without a stripping run, then took the results of that and ran it as-is through the Airstill with the botanicals.
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Re: Great Beginners Gin Recipe

Postby ginandtonic » Thu Jul 06, 2023 4:03 pm

Great stuff Nick,
Just got an air still for the same reason ( testing ), and am about to run pretty much the same recipe.
Do you know what causes the cloudiness ? and would it settle over time ?
How are you testing % during the run ?
Parrot ?- other,
Cheers,
G&T
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Re: Great Beginners Gin Recipe

Postby nickT » Thu Jul 06, 2023 5:23 pm

ginandtonic wrote:Great stuff Nick,
Just got an air still for the same reason ( testing ), and am about to run pretty much the same recipe.
Do you know what causes the cloudiness ? and would it settle over time ?
How are you testing % during the run ?
Parrot ?- other,
Cheers,
G&T

Hi G&T, disclaimer, I am new to this (but an experienced beer brewer) - so as I understand it, ethanol is a solvent, all the oils from the junipers and lemon peel are dissolved in the alcohol. If there are a lot of oils then (as it can only hold so much at a certain concentration) as you dilute it the oils come out of solution and cause the cloudiness. Won’t happen if you don’t have as much flavouring (ie the botanicals which are oily) in the gin. My lemon skins were very soft and ‘fat’ so I suspect they had overloaded the alcohol, and presumably why I got a big lemon aroma hit with the cloudiness. Makes no difference to the taste and drinkability of the gin, in the video Jessie says he doesn’t bother trying to get rid of it (by adding some higher strength ethanol). He says it is a mark of flavourable gin. I think it might also be why some gins are bottled at higher strengths.

If the gin has louvhed my understanding is that it won’t settle over time (unlike the small air bubbles that do form when you start to proof it down, they go after a minute or so.

Re measuring, I splashed out and got an EasyDens. If I didn’t have that I would have probably gone with a refractometer.
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Re: Great Beginners Gin Recipe

Postby howard » Fri Jul 07, 2023 4:45 pm

nickT wrote:
howard wrote:what kind of airstill have you got, one of those new 'reflux' models or the old school?
did you strip the 10% wash up to low wines, then do a reflux run first?

Hi Howard, I just have the basic 'old-school' Airstill. In this case I just ran the 20-odd litre wash through my Boka reflux column (30 lite grainfather with boka on top) as a 'one and done' without a stripping run, then took the results of that and ran it as-is through the Airstill with the botanicals.

if you're happy with the outcome, carry on :smile:
but the airstill is just a small pot still and you are just using a one & done run through it (which you said had strange smells)
i guess the strange smells would probably be a smeared product.
personally to make gin i do 3 or 4 FFV washes, each one is stripped to low wines, then combine the low wines to do 1 x reflux run.
this gets me very good neutral, which is the key to good gin IMHO.
then i do a 3rd pot still distillation with the macerated botanicals to produce my gin.
i have a small 5L glass laboratory set specifically for the 3rd distillation of gin, the airstill will do the same job.
BTW i like your set up with the boka-on-wheels.
howard
 
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Re: Great Beginners Gin Recipe

Postby nickT » Sat Jul 08, 2023 7:26 am

howard wrote:BTW i like your set up with the boka-on-wheels.

Thanks Howard, I also have a “pot still on wheels”:

2910E67D-B4A5-4465-9B4F-38CB22621783.jpeg
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