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Infusions & Tinctures at Home: The Topic


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#451 Hassouni

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 03:56 PM

Giving the Pur another attempt:

 

iSi infusion of dried fruit in brandy...somewhat cloudy. Thru the grain bag it went, then into the Pur, filtered in no time at all. Not crystal clear but not mucky at all. Looks decent in a stirred cocktail.

 

It does however lighten the color noticeably (not surprising), and also would appear to suck some flavor out.

 

 

Hmmmm


Edited by Hassouni, 26 September 2014 - 03:58 PM.


#452 pto

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 05:37 AM

Decided to make my first infusion, standard 80 proof vodka infused with walnuts. I'm following a recipe that's actually for walnut liqueur, but then I got to thinking: Why put the sugar in it? Why not just leave it as walnut infused vodka and add simple syrup to cocktails that I make with it as I see fit? Even if I wanted to drink it as a liqueur, I could add the desired amount of SS at the time of drinking. Does that make sense or is there a reason why it would better to add the sugar to the whole batch?

 

Also, how long would you infuse with the walnuts? (I used around 1 and 3/4 cup walnuts for 750ml vodka).



#453 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 08:40 AM

 

Also, how long would you infuse with the walnuts? (I used around 1 and 3/4 cup walnuts for 750ml vodka).

I did a walnut infusion in rum and let the walnuts infuse for 5 days. If you wait too long, it becomes unpleasantly tannic.



#454 Hassouni

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 05:54 PM

More updates - the Pur rocks for clarifying vermouth, but I think the fruit infused brandy clogged it the hell up - I had to change filters. For doing very murky stuff, I think each filter has a functional lifespan of maybe a gallon or two.



#455 Rafa

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 10:47 AM

In the new issue of Imbibe Dave Arnold recommends Pectinex Ultra SP-L for clarifying fruit infusions. You can buy it here.


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#456 haresfur

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 02:58 PM

In the new issue of Imbibe Dave Arnold recommends Pectinex Ultra SP-L for clarifying fruit infusions. You can buy it here.

 

Interesting.  I wonder if it would work to promote dissolving marmalade into drinks. Save a lot of shaking but maybe lose some mouth-feel? 


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#457 bostonapothecary

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 11:56 AM

Interesting.  I wonder if it would work to promote dissolving marmalade into drinks. Save a lot of shaking but maybe lose some mouth-feel? 

 

I'm pretty sure that one of the products of these enzymes breaking down pectin is methanol and this is one reason they are not used in wines make for distillation. in the context of a fruit juice or even a table wine it is absolutely not a big deal, but in an nth degree scenario like a marmalade, it might not be something you want.

 

I recently visited Greenhook Ginsmiths where they make a really cool beach plumb liqueur. beach plumbs have an extremely high pectin content but they don't use a pectic enzyme on it, they use other fining agents which are enough to precipitate enough of the pectin which floats to the top as a scum. it is then scooped out leaving far less to clog the filters.

 

if you are working with a fruit where pectin is a big concern but you want to be less invasive, you can perform your infusion at a very high proof which is often enough to precipitate much of the pectin. after that you can cut it down to your desired %. you might also just be over infusing by using too much contact time.

 

I think bar fabrication is going to go through a phase where people use all sorts of invasive techniques then eventually retreat back to less invasive techniques once everyone gets a better handle on all their options. I filter far less than other people. some of the recipes I tried from the Booker & Dax catalog seemed pretty much stripped of flavor to me.


Edited by bostonapothecary, 29 October 2014 - 12:02 PM.

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#458 haresfur

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 11:02 PM

I'm pretty sure that one of the products of these enzymes breaking down pectin is methanol and this is one reason they are not used in wines make for distillation. in the context of a fruit juice or even a table wine it is absolutely not a big deal, but in an nth degree scenario like a marmalade, it might not be something you want.

 

Well, that's good to know. 


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#459 Kerry Beal

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 05:45 PM

Finally got around to finishing my green and yellow chartreuse - formulae from 'A Treatice on the Manufacture and Distillation of Alcoholic Liquors'.  

 

IMG_1717.jpg

 

My green colouring is a little off - a bit too much blue!

 

Requires some aging to round out the sharpness - but the green is pretty close to the original - don't have any yellow to compare to though.  


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#460 Hassouni

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 06:33 PM

What's the blue in question?



#461 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 07:04 PM

I am guessing brilliant blue, based on the previous discussion about creme de violette.



#462 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 08:02 PM

I doubt the monks use brilliant blue.



#463 Kerry Beal

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 12:20 PM

It was just standard primary blue and primary yellow from Chef Rubber - the water based colouring.  Monks probably used indigo or prussian blue, and saffron or caramel for the yellow. 


Edited by Kerry Beal, 04 November 2014 - 12:23 PM.


#464 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 10:17 PM

I am sort of interested, the chartreuse website says:  "Green Chartreuse is the only liqueur in the world with a completely natural green colour."  I've never noticed a color additive notice on the label.

 

Is it possible the green color is just chlorophyll?  But then the color would probably not be light stable.



#465 Kerry Beal

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 02:23 PM

The formula suggests not colouring with plant material as it will discolour quickly.  I think indigo and saffron are considered natural.



#466 lesliec

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 04:49 PM

My experience with bay leaves is that they give an astonishing initial green, but it fades to brownish over the following few weeks/months.  So yes, chlorophyll isn't ideal.


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#467 Kerry Beal

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Posted 06 November 2014 - 06:54 PM

Tasted the yellow Chartreuse against the real thing.  The smell was similar, mine was a bit cleaner and less musty tasting.  Pretty close considering it has probably 20 herbs against the greater than 100 in the monk brewed version.  



#468 Quesmoy

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Posted 09 November 2014 - 11:05 AM

 

I have a couple questions about infusing alcohol, and I will apologize if they have already been covered in this topic but the 16 pages got a little overwhelming to read through.  First I am planning to infuse some blackberry into vodka, and was wondering if it would also work in other alcohol such as a white tequila (like Patron) or even rum.  I have also seen different opinions on adding sugar, would it taste better with without.

 

 

I am also considering trying to infuse some pomegranate, any suggestions on what is the best way to accomplish this?



#469 Hassouni

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Posted 09 November 2014 - 11:26 AM

You can infuse pretty much anything into anything else sufficiently alcoholic. No guarantees for how it'll taste, but yes, you can infuse blackberries into tequila and rum.

 

If adding sugar, I would not add it until the infusion is finished and filtered, and then your end product is a liqueur rather than an infused spirit. If you plan to use the infusion as a base spirit, don't add sugar. If you plan to use it as an accent to another spirit, then sugar is OK, but in that case you might want to raise the ratio of blackberries (in this case) to booze when making the infusion.

 

As for pomegranate....a pomegranate aril ("seed") is mostly juice, so I'm not really sure what benefit infusing the whole arils would be - I would probably just juice the pomegranate, add it to the spirit, and add sugar to make a pomegranate liqueur. The only real other way I can see would be to distill pomegranate into an eau-de-vie, but that's a lot more work, to say nothing of being illegal in the US.



#470 blue_dolphin

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Posted 09 November 2014 - 02:28 PM

 

I have a couple questions about infusing alcohol, and I will apologize if they have already been covered in this topic but the 16 pages got a little overwhelming to read through.  First I am planning to infuse some blackberry into vodka, and was wondering if it would also work in other alcohol such as a white tequila (like Patron) or even rum.  I have also seen different opinions on adding sugar, would it taste better with without....

As Hassouni said, you can certainly infuse flavors into any sort of alcoholic base.  I've followed the recipe here for tequila por mi amante (strawberry infused tequila) and it is delightful to sip or mix with.  Although with all those perfect berries giving their all, I usually sip it rather than mix and dilute their effort.   I bet the blackberries would make a beautifully colored infusion.

 

If I had a wealth of blackberries, I think I'd try Katie Loeb's suggestions for Blackberry Shrub.  I think the sweetness of the berries would appreciate the hit of tartness from the vinegar in a shrub.

 

If you decide to go with a straight infusion, I think I'd include the zest of a lemon for a bit of brightness.



#471 Quesmoy

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 02:33 PM

Thank you for all the information, I can’t wait to get started.  I am getting the alcohol and should be able to start the process this week!!



#472 Quesmoy

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 06:24 PM

I have a couple more questions.  If I do not add sugar do I need to keep it in the refrigerator while making and also afterwords, or will it be okay if I just keep it out of sunlight in a cool area?



#473 Hassouni

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 06:27 PM

If it's a full strength spirit, then no, there is no need to refrigerate, either during or after the infusion. In fact, heat can help speed up the infusion, but don't worry about that for now. 



#474 Quesmoy

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 02:01 PM

image.jpg

 

 

Thank you everyone for all your advice; I was able to get the infusion started yesterday.  I ended up doing some blackberry and some huckleberry.  Hopefully in a few weeks I will have some nice tasting alcohol, as long as I didn’t somehow manage to screw it up.



#475 Hassouni

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 11:50 PM

Berries are quite delicate, I would check the infusions every couple days at least - they might be ready sooner than a few weeks.  Otherwise, looks good!