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Jun 08, 2022 View:

Gin Maceration Proof

Hello All,

When producing Gin, using the maceration/distillation process, what is the impact of solvent proof on the quality of the final distillate? I would assume the degree of extraction, of individual compounds, will be affected by the proof, owing to the relative solubilities of given compounds to water or ethanol (e.g. salts have a higher solubility in water compared to ethanol, and therefore would be extracted to a greater extent in a low proof solvent compared to a high proof). Obviously salts would be inconsequential as they wouldn't come over in the distillation, but the same concept must hold true for other compounds that are volatile enough to come over. Maybe an add-on to my question should be; Are there any flavor and aroma compounds that can be effected by the proof of the maceration liquor?

Cheers, Ian


Reply:

Hello All,

When producing Gin, using the maceration/distillation process, what is the impact of solvent proof on the quality of the final distillate? I would assume the degree of extraction, of individual compounds, will be affected by the proof, owing to the relative solubilities of given compounds to water or ethanol (e.g. salts have a higher solubility in water compared to ethanol, and therefore would be extracted to a greater extent in a low proof solvent compared to a high proof). Obviously salts would be inconsequential as they wouldn't come over in the distillation, but the same concept must hold true for other compounds that are volatile enough to come over. Maybe an add-on to my question should be; Are there any flavor and aroma compounds that can be effected by the proof of the maceration liquor?

Cheers, Ian


Reply:

I have been macerating at 40% ABV. I think this gets me a good extraction of both alcohol and water soluble components. It also allows me to smell or taste the macerate along the way without having to dilute it, or just dilute with additional 40% ABV. It may also be a "gentler" approach, since high proof alcohol will tend to "dry out" the botanicals and cause further cell wall disruption. That might be a good thing if you are going for maximum extraction, but could be a bad thing in that you might extract more of the less volatile or diffusive components.


Reply:

Between 40-60% ABV depending on style. Most UK distilleries do it at 60%, depending on the botanicals. Personally 60% gives us the best trade off between batch efficiency and flavour profile.

rich..