Gin & Tonic is a popular drink. It is often used to mix with other drinks such as lemonade or soda water. It is also a popular drink served neat over ice. However, if you like your gin, you have to admit that it is a staple of the alcohol community, so what is it?
Gin is a type of liquor that is distilled from neutral spirits. It is flavored with botanicals and then diluted before bottling.
Gins are often called “compounds” because they contain more than one ingredient. Some of these include herbs, spices, fruits, or roots. These compounds are added to the base spirit to give the drink its flavor.
Gin makers use distillation to create new batches of liquor. The process involves heating up the alcohol until it evaporates into steam. Then the vapor condenses back into liquid form.
Keep on reading to find out more about how to distill gin!
History Of Gin
Gin is an alcoholic beverage made from grain alcohol. The cold climate of the Little Ice Age caused a shortage of grapes, forcing people to make gin out of other types of alcohol.
This precursor to the Gin we know and love was called Genever. It’s still produced today. Older styles of genever had a higher malt wine content for their base, resulting in heavier flavors and a more robust taste.
Newer styles of genever use lower malt wine content, giving them a lighter flavor profile.
Genever was first produced in Holland in 1562. It was made by mixing wine with herbs such as juniper berries.
In 1689, William of Orange became king of England. He liked drinking genever, so other Englishmen followed suit. This led to a huge boom in the production of genever.
William banned the importation of brandy from France in 1689. This allowed the British to make their own gin.
The act for encouraging the distilling of brandy and spirits from corn was passed in 1689. This helped the average person produce their own gin. The end result? A 400% rise in the production of gin in Britain.
Gin is an alcoholic beverage made from distilled spirits (usually grain alcohol) flavored with juniper berries. It is usually clear or pale yellow in color.
In addition to being used as a base ingredient in cocktails, gin is also commonly used as a flavoring agent in other beverages.
Picking Your Gin Mash Ingredients
Gin is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented grains. Grapes are used to making wine, but they’re also used to make gin. Honey is often added to gin to give it sweetness.
Some people think that adding sugar to alcohol makes you drunk faster. But, if you drink too much, your body will produce more insulin, which lowers blood sugar levels.
This means that drinking too much sugar-sweetened alcohol may actually slow down how fast you get drunk.
When discussing how to distill gin, we’re going to start off by making a simple infusion mash. This step is done before adding any other ingredients to your still. You want to make sure that the grain is fully hydrated before adding anything else.
Gin Mash Procedure
Put 5.5 gallons of cold water into your brew pot. Place on a heat source. Heat water up to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn off the heat source once you reach 165 degrees. Immediately add 7 pounds of flaked corn and 2 pounds of wheat malt. Stir continuously for 7 minutes.
The temperature should be checked regularly during the cooling process. Stirring the mixture for 30 seconds every five minutes is necessary to prevent burning.
Once the mixture reaches the correct temperature, add crushed malt and stir for another thirty seconds every twenty minutes. This process takes about three hours by itself but can be sped up by using an immersion cooler.
When you mix the ingredients together, they should be cool enough to handle. Add the yeast and aerate for five minutes. Pour the mixture into the fermenter. You need a bucket, lid, and airlock to do this. Make sure you have everything before you start.
Store your gin mash and let it ferment for 1 to 2 months. You must check it every day to make sure it doesn’t get too sour.
When you do this, use the following method to ensure a successful fermentation process. Take a bit of liquid (without any solids) from the surface of your mash. Place the liquid on a white dish or lid. Drizzle several droplets of iodine onto the liquid.
Iodine reacts with starch to produce an indigo-blue solution. Fermentation produces alcohol, and the alcohol level can be measured with a hydrometer. You should discard your test sample once you get the results.
Straining Your Gin Mash Water
Siphoning mash water is very important when making alcohol. You need to remove all solid material and sediments before distilling your mash water.
This includes any solid material or sediment leftover after straining your mash water using cheesecloth. Solid materials or sediment could clog up your still.
Distilleries use an alkaline wash to remove impurities from their grain before fermentation begins. To do this, they add lime or limestone to their mash water. This lowers the pH of the mash water.
When the mash water is tested, the pH should be around 5.8-6.0. Citric acid can be used to lower the pH and calcium carbonate can be used to raise the pH.
Distilling Your Fermented Gin Mash Water
Distilling your fermented mash water is an important step towards making a high-quality gin. You must also decided which type of still to use. Historically, the Carter head still was a favorite amongst enthusiasts.
Fermenting the mash water first allows you to remove unwanted alcohol before distilling. This makes the distilled product much more potent than if you had made the mash water into gin without fermentation.
Prepping And Cleaning Your Still
Unfortunately, because many people skip the prepping and cleaning steps, it causes their product (distilled spirits) to be subpar in quality.
If you aim to maximize the quality of your distilled spirits, then it’s all about attention to detail. You’ll want to begin prep work by cleaning your still. Here is a great walkthrough by our friends at Barley & Hops Brewing.
Cleaning the still after every batch is important. You should always be cleaning the still after each run. This ensures that you get rid of any impurities leftover from previous batches.
Adding Botanical Mix To Your Still Column
You must clean your still thoroughly before adding your botanical mix. To do this, you will roll copper packing into the bottom section of the still’s column.
Wrap your crushed botanical mix in a folded piece of cheesecloth. Fold the sides of the cheesecloth upwards to form a small satchel. Then tie a string around the top.
Lower your botanical cheesecloth bag into the copper packing. Clamp it under the sight glass section if you’re using a still. Hook up your water input and outlet if you’re using a condenser.
You should use a siphon when adding your mash water into your still because leaving particles and sediments in your mash water will cause the distilled spirit to burn and ruin your products.
Running Your Still
Your still is ready for distillation. Make sure all clamps and domed are secure. Turn on the heat source and raise the temperature of your mash water. Bring your temperature to 150 °F. Turn on the condensing water if your setup has a proper condenser.
The question “how to distill gin” is a very interesting process. You need to know how to control the temperature of your stills.
When you start making gin, you’ll be using a copper pot or a stainless steel pot. Copper pots are more expensive than stainless steel pots. Stainless steel pots are easier to clean because there are fewer places for dirt to collect.
You’re making gin! This is a very simple distillation process. All you need is a pot and some boiling water. Pour your mash into the pot, then add boiling water until the mash reaches about half an inch above the top of the pot.
Let it boil for 5 minutes. Then pour off the liquid and let it cool down. You’ve made gin! (OK, maybe you won’t compete with the likes of Hendrick’s Gin, but at least you made it yourself!)
Collecting Your Gin Distillate
Gin distillation is an art form that requires practice. A new distiller should take notes on how each batch turns out and make adjustments accordingly. Practice makes perfect!
Gin is an alcoholic drink made from distilled spirits such as vodka, whiskey, brandy, rum, etc., flavored with juniper berries (juniper). Juniper berries contain essential oils that give gin its distinctive flavor and aroma. Juniper berries also impart a bitter taste to the final product.
Gin is made by distilling fermented grain mash, usually wheat or barley, with water and flavoring agents such as herbs, spices, fruits, roots, barks, flowers, seeds, peels, bark, or wood chips. Gin is made by distilling juniper berries or other botanicals into an alcohol base.