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jrshaul

Everclear alternatives?

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While reading the Cooking Issues blog, I noted that the authors recommended the use of food-grade lab ethanol in lieu of everclear. The quality and speed of many infusions can be greatly improved by using high-proof alcohol, but the overtones of engine degreaser just aren't worth it. The supplier they prefer is now up to ~$70/liter, but I wonder if there might be another alternative at a more reasonable price point.

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While reading the Cooking Issues blog, I noted that the authors recommended the use of food-grade lab ethanol in lieu of everclear. The quality and speed of many infusions can be greatly improved by using high-proof alcohol, but the overtones of engine degreaser just aren't worth it. The supplier they prefer is now up to ~$70/liter, but I wonder if there might be another alternative at a more reasonable price point.

In some states and at some duty free stores you can buy the 190 proof ethanol - Clear Spring or Everclear. I think the last litre of it I bought cost me $18.

Back when I used to work in a medical lab in the military we'd order an extra bottle of the lab grade stuff several times a year - then we'd have it to make our liqueurs come Christmas time. I don't really detect any big difference between the lab stuff and the Clear Spring. Both pretty harsh right out of the bottle, but once they age with ingredients and get diluted they smooth out.

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For the home consumer, I don't know of any other alternative in a high proof neutral spirit other than the Boyd & Blair 151 proof potato vodka, but it's (sit down before reading the rest of this sentence) $52.99 a bottle.

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If you can find it in your area, there's 190 or maybe it's 192 proof Spirytus from Poland. I see it in Polish neighborhoods around NYC. Haven't tried it myself.


Edited by David A. Goldfarb (log)

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I've been using the everclear, but it's not very good. The Spirytus might be a viable option.

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Didn't someone suggest running the everclear through the Brita water filter to smooth it out?

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Inexpensive 151 proof vodka is filtered and a good sub for Everclear.

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If you can find it in your area, there's 190 or maybe it's 192 proof Spirytus from Poland. I see it in Polish neighborhoods around NYC. Haven't tried it myself.

Spirytus also comes in 151 for states that cannot buy high proof spirits such as Massachusetts (high being anything over 80% ABV or so since we can get Stroh 80 rum). I know this is what the Bittermens were using when they were producing here in Massachusetts. It is not widely available on shelves though and I have only seen it in a store or two in state. I get my Everclear (190/195 proof or so) from Rhode Island for about $20 per 750.

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While reading the Cooking Issues blog, I noted that the authors recommended the use of food-grade lab ethanol in lieu of everclear. The quality and speed of many infusions can be greatly improved by using high-proof alcohol, but the overtones of engine degreaser just aren't worth it. The supplier they prefer is now up to ~$70/liter, but I wonder if there might be another alternative at a more reasonable price point.

What brand is it that they recommend? You have a link by chance?

Mike

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I would, but I have a 215sq. ft. apartment. I'd have to live on my balcony.


Edited by jrshaul (log)

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I would, but I have a 215sq. ft. apartment. I'd have to live on my balcony.

according to the amphora soceity's website, the pda-1 disassembles and fits into a small handgun case. i've seen it mounted onto small pressure cookers. and the coolent source is allegedly a small hose connected to your kitchen faucet. i hear there are exquisite recipes that scale down as small as 500ml. they tell me you can construct the still, execute a small recipe, and deconstruct in as little time as a half hour.. supposedly there is even a book on the subject coming out soon called "advanced nano distilling basics" which explores the limits of how well quality beverage distillation can scale down.

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Interesting. I might just try a pot still, though; I've seen some reasonable setups produced from pressure cookers.

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