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Home Made Gin: Tips?

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@RianC
RianC started a discussion

For a Mother's day treat I've got my better half some gin spices, vodka and nice bottle to decant the finished product into. I think the spices come with the usual suspects; juniper, corriander, cinnamon, cardamon etc.

She loves her gins and likes to experiment so I thought this would be a nice little thing for her to do.

I have the general idea on how to make the gin but has anyone done this before and, if so, have any tips you may want to share?

Thanks

6 years ago

14 replies

@Victor
Victor replied

@RianC, you are just doing infusions with your vodka, right?

I've never messed around with this myself, though my sister does some infusions occasionally, though usually not with a vodka base. I think that she is more likely to modify a pre-existing gin. This project is mostly experiment and trial and error.

If I were doing the experimenting I would probably use black pepper and lemon rind, in addition to those you mention. Why black pepper? I was amazed when I tried Ophir Gin which is heavily black peppered. I would also enjoy making home made sloe gin, if I could get a source of the sloes, aka blackthorn fruit, or prunus spinosa. I have very much enjoyed some of the commercial sloe gin which I have tried.

6 years ago 2Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@Victor - Thanks! Yes, just some infusing. The black pepper is a good idea as is the peel. I'm sure she'll have her own ideas as well but always good to at least sound/look like you know what you're doing ;)

I'm guessing a 24 hour period is enough for the herbs to infuse? Would you/has she cracked the pepper, juniper etc before steeping - seems an either or but you'd get more flavour, I presume, from cracking them slightly, but would it then be too much? Trial and error, as you say . . .

6 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor replied

@RianC, most of the people with whom I have spoken who infuse do so for much longer periods than 24 hours. Typically people will leave the infusion alone for a week, often two weeks. You can of course always sample what you have infusing and adjust course, so there is no real pressure or deadline.

I think that @Nock has done a few infusions. He is in Scotland right now, on Islay today, I think, so he probably won't respond immediately.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Hewie
Hewie replied

My only experience was making sloe gin (using gin as the base) and that steeps for months! What a cool gift idea though. There is almost no end to the possible botanically you could use. I think half the fun would be sampling it at regular time intervals to check on its progress. I have heard of people using a sous vie (spelling?) machine to speed up the process too. All the best with it

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@Hewie - Thanks! I think she'll be made up to be honest.

Yes, maybe leave it for 24 hrs, check, and then go from there I guess? Cracking the herbs would no doubt speed the process up. We have quite a few herbs in the 'garden', sage, thyme, bay and such.

My suggestion will be to make a 'traditional' one with the bought herbs and then go for a 'garden' gin (maybe with some juniper) . . . hang on, whose the present for again? laughing

Could you infuse pine needles? I'm guessing that would be OK and could give an unusual note to it?

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Robert99
Robert99 replied

@RianC We have a gin here in Quebec call Thuya (Cedar) and it tastes as if they plunge the whole tree into the alcohol. So I think you can use a few pine needles. I would also use cucumber (probably with mint, coriander and black pepper) but that's just me. Have fun with it.

6 years ago 2Who liked this?

@cricklewood
cricklewood replied

@RianC What a fun and thoughtful experiment, I would definitely steep longer than 24hrs and sample regularly until you are happy with the taste (for scientific purposes only!) stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

If you like the experiment, I can suggest trying to infuse small quantities of different botanicals separately (in mason jars for example) to then blend them together to your tastes. It's more work but you get to control the balance of each elements and also makes for fun discoveries.

I often used to make a kind of gin & tonic with spruce beer & tonic water it's quite tasty, the conifer thing works well with gin.

@Robert99 you've mentionned Thuya gin before, I will have to look into it.

6 years ago 2Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@Robert99 - Thanks! That gin sounds most intriguing! Now I think about it more, I'm sure she had a gin at xmas that had been infused with pine needles, and myrrh come to think of it. I imagine the possibilities are pretty endless . . .

Cheese gin, anyone? wink

6 years ago 0

@RianC
RianC replied

@cricklewood - Thanks! If she gets the bug,which I think she will, (I have a feeling her Mum will follow suit as well) that sounds like a good way of proceeding!

6 years ago 0

@Robert99
Robert99 replied

@cricklewood Thuya is a bit extreme. If you like extreme gin, there's the Dandy Gin which is too sweet and with a ton of pepper, I am surprised the gin is not black. Thuya is good, Dandy is not palatable IMHO.

6 years ago 0

@YakLord
YakLord replied

Attempting to make some Nocino. Yes, I know it's supposed to be done with unripe green walnuts, but it's fall, so they aren't available, so I'm using shelled walnut pieces and black walnut bitters.

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

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@Timp
Timp replied

@YakLord Good luck. Here is my version and black as the day it went in the bottle. I like it but it’s definitely mellowing over the years. Just had a nip now and most of the bitterness has been rounded off. Be interested to see what yours turns out like. Let us know.

Ps I know the label is misspelled grinning

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@YakLord
YakLord replied

@Timp Did you use green walnuts?

about one year ago 0

@Timp
Timp replied

@YakLord yes I did. Steeped in high strength vodka in direct sunlight for eight to ten weeks I think, until it turned black, then walnuts removed, two sticks of cinnamon added, some sugar and left alone for a year or so. Can’t remember when I bottled it…

Sorry for the long “Yes” grinning

about one year ago 2Who liked this?