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Everything posted by axwaldman

  1. p.p.s-- i just combined the anise-heavy mixture 3:1 with one of my cranberry tinctures and i must say it's getting closer...
  2. fellow bitters makers: a question, or rather a recurrent situation which, if properly solved will help me (and i would imagine others) understand something which presently confounds me: i'm attempting a peychaud's substitute (among other things), we'll use this as our example- here's my first attempt: 20.75g caraway 20 anise 20 fennel 20 hibiscus 15 coriander 15.55 lemon peel (good amount of pith) 15 orange (good amount of pith) 2.9 gentian 3.1 nutmeg .8 white cardamom seeds (no husk) no added sugar this mixture was steeped in an 80%abv (500ml 96% + 100ml water) solution of ethanol and water for 2 weeks. the solids were strained/squeezed (425ml of 80% menstruum set aside) and simmered in 800ml water for 10 mins, then steeped for an additional week. this is a standard method with which i'm sure you're all familiar. after the week of water/solids steeping, i combined 425ml of 80% menstruum with 255ml of tisane (this would result in a solution of 50%abv). this mixture was shaken to combine and left undisturbed for 5 days. as is typical, a large gelatinous floating layer arose. the jar was placed in a freezer for several hours and then filtered through double cheesecloth. the resulting liquid measures 530ml, is crystal clear, and the desired shade of rose. i assume that the gelatinous layer are oils and perhaps pectin that have precipitated out of solution-- my question is: out of which liquid have they emerged? the answer is probably both, but is there a bias? has more oil/pectin come out of the water solution or the alcohol solution? the piece of information i'm trying to nail down is, what is the %abv of this 530ml resulting liquid? if i assume that all the gelatinous material precipitated from the water, the math is easy-- 425ml @ 80% + 105ml water @ 0% = .64%abv if it's all from the alcohol then- 295ml @ 80% + 255ml @ 0% = 45%abv if it's an even split, then the abv is hovering in the 50% range. vinometers don't measure abv this high, and normal spirit alcohol meters are flummoxed by anything more than ethanol and water. how do i determine the abv of these resulting solutions? my nose and tongue tell me that the solution is at least 50%, but any additional information or experience that y'all could provide would be much appreciated. cheers, alex p.s.- the resulting flavor is much too anise-heavy, i need to balance the anise and add more fruitiness (cherry or cranberry?) to get closer to peychaud's. and yes, i understand that the original is fine just the way it is, but i'm in istanbul and the likelihood that peychaud's will ever be imported to turkey is practically nil. hell- we don't even have angostura yet.
  3. thirtyoneknots-- the dried orange and lemon peels that i'm using have a good portion of the pith as well as the outside oily layer. i should've shot a picture to explain more thoroughly, but in the final separation stage of my orange bitters (lemon too) the water and alcohol are combined (totalling maybe 800ml), left to sit undisturbed after 2 days the top 350ml is a gelatinuous mush that according to the recipe is to be skimmed off and discarded. after the layers have separated i stick the jars in the fridge overnight to set the jelly even more for easy separation. so the question remains, if this gelatinous material is not pectin then what is it?
  4. hello, my name is alex waldman. i'm a bartender (craft cocktails) in istanbul. out of both curiosity and necessity i've been making my own bitters for a while now. i've got a question about Regans' Orange #5, and by proxy all bitters containing fruits, i suppose. i'm sure you're all familiar with the recipe. in the final stage of the recipe- after the macerated alcohol has been combined with the macerated water- there is a separation stage where a large layer floats to the top and is subsequently skimmed off before final fine filtering, diluting, and bottling. my questions are these: 1) is the stuff i'm skimming off pectin from the fruit peels? 2) does pectin (or whatever the jelly is) bind more readily to water or alcohol- and thereby is the liquid in the jelly mostly alcohol or water? 3) wouldn't this jelly be useful for something? thanks, alex
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