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Old 16-03-2015, 00:17   #331
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Re: Gin Tankage?

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Originally Posted by Cowboy Sailer View Post
Wow, I even misspelled cinchona. I have read all of the posts and would like to try making my own. I will be careful. Not having to get up at night and walk out a painful cramp or soak my hands in really hot water to relieve a hand cramp is a real blessing. It took me several trials to determine the minimum dose to be effective.
Tried Magnesium ?Cures the leg cramps for me.
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Old 19-03-2015, 00:48   #332
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Re: Gin Tankage?

RED ALERT!

Dockhead - here's the answer to all your problems


Feds Approve Powdered Alcohol | Palcohol
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Old 19-03-2015, 20:45   #333
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Re: Gin Tankage?

is a nice way to go.i makeWhy not distill your own? I do and I save heaps on deal. I've a 30lt still on land and a 5lt still aboard. Mostly I make rum and gin but have black sambuca, irish type whisky, coconut rum, Melon liquor, lemoncello and creme de menthe aboard, all made by me. I keep some 'display' bottles in a rack but the bulk is stored in the bilge in 1.25lt plastic soft drink bottles. Probably have about 30lt abiard all up at any one time - makes good trade goods with other yachties too!
Got to say that 2 drinks a day in port and dry at sea is not my cup of tea, moderation in all things but a couple of sundowners underway and rum in your coffee during the dog watch is a nice way to enjoy life at sea.
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Old 20-03-2015, 05:18   #334
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Re: Gin Tankage?

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is a nice way to go.i makeWhy not distill your own? I do and I save heaps on deal. I've a 30lt still on land and a 5lt still aboard. Mostly I make rum and gin but have black sambuca, irish type whisky, coconut rum, Melon liquor, lemoncello and creme de menthe aboard, all made by me. I keep some 'display' bottles in a rack but the bulk is stored in the bilge in 1.25lt plastic soft drink bottles. Probably have about 30lt abiard all up at any one time - makes good trade goods with other yachties too!
Got to say that 2 drinks a day in port and dry at sea is not my cup of tea, moderation in all things but a couple of sundowners underway and rum in your coffee during the dog watch is a nice way to enjoy life at sea.
Tell us more about your distilling techniques and equipment. Sounds interesting.

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Old 20-03-2015, 10:42   #335
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Re: Gin Tankage?

Is it legal to distill your own liquor in the land down under? It is not legal in the USA.
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Old 20-03-2015, 17:08   #336
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Re: Gin Tankage?

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Tell us more about your distilling techniques and equipment. Sounds interesting.

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And how much energy/power it takes to do it.
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Old 20-03-2015, 17:13   #337
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Re: Gin Tankage?

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Is it legal to distill your own liquor in the land down under? It is not legal in the USA.
Who cares about legal? Folks in Colorado can now go weed shopping. I never dreamed that possible when I was 15. Times sure do change.

Speaking of tankage, I got pretty tanked last night. Still feeling a little tanked.
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Old 20-03-2015, 17:29   #338
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Re: Gin Tankage?

Perhaps it is OK beyond 9 miles.
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Old 20-03-2015, 17:29   #339
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Re: Gin Tankage?

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Is it legal to distill your own liquor in the land down under? It is not legal in the USA.
An internet search says it is illegal to distill alcohol without a licence in most countries.

But on the high seas?

There certainly is no tax .

Does the flag country's law have jurisdiction over crimes like this?

How academic is this issue? it's going to be rather hard to enforce of course and it raises the bigger question of how the laws of the land are enforced at sea. A new thread?
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Old 20-03-2015, 17:47   #340
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Re: Gin Tankage?

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Originally Posted by Cowboy Sailer View Post
Is it legal to distill your own liquor in the land down under? It is not legal in the USA.
In Oz, its legal if your still is 5 litres or less and IIRC correctly, the product is not excisable. So small quanities of lavender oil or undrinkable alcohol is fine

I think it is the same in the UK.

In NZ, there is no restriction on still size but I unsure about what products can be distilled (ie excisable or not) however I sort of remember than in NZ you can brew anything legally.

As Johnno has posted elsewhere, the process is simple and straighforward and for pure drinking alcohol, all you need is water, sugar, some brewers yeast (type of yeast is somewhat optional), a heat source and a still (home made or bought). A simple still will work but a reflux is better (quicker).

And dirt cheap to boot; a couple of bucks a bottle!
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Old 21-03-2015, 04:01   #341
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Re: Gin Tankage?

OK Ya All!, distilling at sea!
NEED
AC power supply 240v/110v for 3 – 4 hours (great if you are alongside with shore based power)
10lt plastic drum with a wide mouth
1 fermentation air lock – (home brew shop)
5lt still complete with condenser and thermometer (home brew shop)
4kg refined sugar
½ pkt 48hr brewer’s yeast (home brew shop)
Alcometer (home brew shop)
1 Z Type filter from a home brew shop
Z Filter activated charcoal
1 Diverter Y Valve
Cheap 12v water pump with strainer
Cheap On/off water tap
½ in dia tubing

METHOD

· Dissolve the sugar in 3 litres warm water, once dissolved, add cold water to make 9lt (leaving space for fermentation.
· Add the yeast and stir o mix thoroughly ensuring that the water is not hot or the yeast will die.
· Screw lid on tightly and insert fermentation lock through a tight fit hole drilled in the lip. Fill the fermentation lock with water which acts as a one way valve during fermentation.
· Secure the fermenter to ensure it remains vertical during the fermentation process. Use a spare cabin or spare head.
· Fermentation should take 4-5 days under normal Australian spring/summer/autumn temperatures. In winter ensure the fermenter is in a warm space (engine room?)
· When fermentation ceases, ie: the air lock is no longer bubbling, leave for a further 24 hours then commence the distillation process.

· Distillation – fit the Y Valve and strainer to a raw water inlet line (use a T piece?)
· Connect the plastic tubing to this water strainer and the 12v pump
· Install the on/off tap between the 12v pump and the Still ensuring that there is a
· Simple 12v Switch for the pump.
· Connect the plastic tubing from the pump to the condenser inlet on the still and run the outlet into a sink to drain away during the process.
· Fill the still with the fermented wash, seal, insert the thermometer as per the still instructions (stills differ in thermometer placement) and turn on to 240v power supply
· The still now has a raw water inlet to the condenser, raw water from the condenser to a sink and the distillation outlet from the condenser running into a clean plastic bucket or 4lt plastic bottle.

· Before the temperature reached 50 degrees, commence water flow using the tap in the raw water plastic tubing. This flow should only be a trickle at first at around 400ml per minute, increasing as the temperature rises to keep the temperature under 92 degrees.
· As the temperature rises, distillation will commence.
· What we want for drinking is ethanol not methanol! Methanol is a poison. Using a sugar based wash basically eliminates methanol. Therefore there should be minimal to no methanol in the wash, however to be on the safe side and as methanol distills at a lower temperature than ethanol, discard the first 50 ml. After that continue to collect the distillation and you should collect around 2.25lt of ethanol.
· Bear in mind that with a 5lt still and a 10lt fermenter, you will need to run the process twice.
· After distillation test your spirit with an alcometer, the spirit should be around 75 - 80%. Break this down to 40% by gradually adding water and retesting until 40% is reached. (there are tables for the water to spirit ratio but it is just as simple to add small amounts of water and retest.
· When finished, you should have around 4lt of 40% spirit. Yow now have to commence the filteration process.

Filteration

· Fill the Z Filter with the correct grade of activated charcoal. (home brew shop will tell you what to use) Set up the filer vertically with a top container and a collection container at the bottom connected to the filter with plastic tubing. Install a cheap plastic tap in the line between the filter and the collection contained and adjust this to allow the spirit to drain through the filter at around 2 drops a second.
· Filter the entire production run (approx 4lt) six (6) times to ensure a clean tasting spirit. Use the same charcoal for the 6 turns through the filter. Then discard the charcoal. Use fresh charcoal for each production run.
· You should now have a base spirit ready for flavouring. Talk to tour home brew shop for the appropriate products you wantto create. The possibilities are endless. You can add 5ml of glycerine per 1lt of end product to give it a good mouth feel. Use ellow Oak Essence for products which would normally be aged in oak barrels such as Rum, Whiskey, Brandy, etc.
· From now on it’s up to you! Happy Distilling!
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Old 01-04-2015, 16:22   #342
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Re: Tonic syrup (trials 2 & 3)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
WOW! What a difference between soaking the cinchona in cold water and boiling it. Not subtle at all!

I soaked one lot of bark in cold water for 64 hours, then deciding it had had enough time soaking, I boiled up a second batch for 30 minutes (using an extra cup of water, as I knew a fair bit would be lost to evaporation).

Firstly, the appearance was very different. The one soaking for almost 3 days had become murkier with each shake and the colour was orangy-brown with just a tinge of red. The boiled lot was crystal clear with a brighter reddish colour.

The difference in smell could instantly be identified before the taste test. Miles nicer for the boiled lot. There was also a dramatic difference in taste between the two. The underlying bitterness was about the same, but the rest of the flavours were rounder and richer when boiling. And the flavour was "right" (ie what my taste buds expected in tonic, the other was quite unpleasant in comparison). You really need to try this to appreciate it.

Boiling wins hands down!
I processed the rest of the ingredients optimally for each, as mentioned in my previous post. This worked well and was not onerous.

The recipe may need a bit of playing with still (I'll experiment to see how much boiling is ideal), but the result is good as is. I will wait now until I have used up this lot before making any more. I think at this stage the ideal method and exact quantities are up to individual tastes, so just experiment and see what suits you. Lots of botanicals used in gin could probably successfully be added in small quantities to add a subtle complexity to the mix.

I also think if you don't want to fuss with sourcing and storing a lot of ingredients, simply cinchona, lime and/or lemon rind, citric acid and sugar syrup would make a perfectly acceptable mix if the technique outlined below is used. This would roughly reproduce the original ingredients used by British officers in India to make quinine palatable and I think would still give a vastly better drink compared to sugary bought tonic that doesn't have any depth to it anyway.

In the quest for a perfect tonic, I have now deviated significantly from the technique used by half dozen other recipes found online. Here is the method I used :

TONIC SYRUP (trial 3 - best by far)

5 cups water
¼ cup cut cinchona bark
3 whole cardamom pods, split open and seeds scraped out
4 whole allspice berries, bashed with a hammer
1 teaspoon dried lemongrass
½ teaspoon dried lavender flowers
¼ cup citric acid
¼ teaspoon salt
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
Finely grated rind of 1 lime

Sugar Syrup
¾ cup ordinary white sugar
¾ cup boiling water
(you may need more, as most recipes called for at least 2 cups of sugar)

½ cup gin (to increase the keeping quality)

- Bring the water and cinchona to boil, simmer 30 minutes
- Meanwhile mix the sugar and boiling water together and put aside to dissolve and cool
- When the cinchona is nearly done, throw in the cardamom pods & seeds plus allspice and continue simmering a few minutes
- Take off heat, cool a few minutes, add lemongrass and lavender and leave 10-15 minutes (definitely no longer).
- Strain using a sieve then a tea strainer
- Add the citric acid and salt and stir to dissolve
- When lukewarm, add the finely grated lime and lemon rind
- Let sit half an hour or so, strain with a tea strainer, give it a few minutes for any sediment to sink to the bottom so that it doesn't clog the paper filter early, then filter using a coffee filter and funnel
- Add sugar syrup to taste (I used not quite all the sugar)
- Add half a cup of gin (optional) and bottle.

Dockhead, thanks not only for the bark, but for initially posting the idea of making tonic syrup.

Cheers all .
SWL
So, I have made a batch of this, carefully following SWL's recipe.

I am drinking my first one, as I write this.

This is absolutely unbelievably delicious!!! !!!

This is absolutely marvelous, an incomparably more complex and delightful taste than store-bought tonic. It's also less sweet -- something I have always longed for in tonic -- and with more barky, woody, spicy tones to the taste. It's just the right amount of bitter. The cardamom taste is quite prominent, and good so. I found fresh lemongrass, but don't really taste that.

All I can compare it to is -- it's like fresh squeezed orange juice, squeezed right into your cup, compared to Tang. Or -- fresh roasted, fresh ground coffee, compared to instant. I'm spoiled forever -- how will I ever drink store-bought tonic again? I didn't even imagine that it could turn out like this.

I used store-bought highly carbonated soda water. I don't like undercarbonated carbonated drinks, so I have decided against a regular siphon. I think it's back to the Sodastream. Now I know to what a grandiose extent it's worth it -- thanks SWL!

I'm going to get drunk tonight
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Old 02-04-2015, 00:29   #343
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Re: Tonic syrup (trials 2 & 3)

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
So, I have made a batch of this, carefully following SWL's recipe.

I am drinking my first one, as I write this.

This is absolutely unbelievably delicious!!! !!!

This is absolutely marvelous, an incomparably more complex and delightful taste than store-bought tonic. It's also less sweet -- something I have always longed for in tonic -- and with more barky, woody, spicy tones to the taste. It's just the right amount of bitter. The cardamom taste is quite prominent, and good so. I found fresh lemongrass, but don't really taste that.

All I can compare it to is -- it's like fresh squeezed orange juice, squeezed right into your cup, compared to Tang. Or -- fresh roasted, fresh ground coffee, compared to instant. I'm spoiled forever -- how will I ever drink store-bought tonic again? I didn't even imagine that it could turn out like this.

I used store-bought highly carbonated soda water. I don't like undercarbonated carbonated drinks, so I have decided against a regular siphon. I think it's back to the Sodastream. Now I know to what a grandiose extent it's worth it -- thanks SWL!

I'm going to get drunk tonight
I am so glad you enjoyed that .
It is really worth the effort of chasing down the ingredients. The added beauty is apart from the citrus (and this is easy to get) all the ingredients can be easily stored on board long term (a year or two's worth of supplies is not a huge amount) so this is an infrequent chore.

To give you some feedback re longevity:
It has been nearly 3 weeks since I made that third batch. It is unaltered in appearance (no cloudiness) despite being unrefrigerated and despite some recipes indicating a life of only a couple of weeks (the gin probably helps, as well as not cold soaking the mix for days). It has actually mellowed and improved a little on standing.

I am about ¾ through the bottle. It is still a bit too cold here for cold drinks so I have mainly used a couple of shots of it straight up as a sundowner on nights when I don't want any alcohol. The taste is quite addictive .

Given its improvement with time, I am about to mix up a second batch so it is ready to drink when this lot is finished. I will play a little more with the recipe, but it needs nothing major now. Some recipes called for less boiling, so I thought I would try 20 min this time and leave it sitting covered for 10. This means less gas needed and less steam produced. Also, lemon verbena is used as one of the botanicals in some gin. It is readily available here, sometimes growing wild (Greeks call it Louisa and use it as a herbal tea). It has a lovely fragrance so I will try adding a crushed teaspoon of that in with the lavender and dry lemongrass.

SWL
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Old 02-04-2015, 03:44   #344
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Re: Tonic syrup (trials 2 & 3)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
So, I have made a batch of this, carefully following SWL's recipe.

I am drinking my first one, as I write this.

This is absolutely unbelievably delicious!!! !!!

This is absolutely marvelous, an incomparably more complex and delightful taste than store-bought tonic. It's also less sweet -- something I have always longed for in tonic -- and with more barky, woody, spicy tones to the taste. It's just the right amount of bitter. The cardamom taste is quite prominent, and good so. I found fresh lemongrass, but don't really taste that.

All I can compare it to is -- it's like fresh squeezed orange juice, squeezed right into your cup, compared to Tang. Or -- fresh roasted, fresh ground coffee, compared to instant. I'm spoiled forever -- how will I ever drink store-bought tonic again? I didn't even imagine that it could turn out like this.

I used store-bought highly carbonated soda water. I don't like undercarbonated carbonated drinks, so I have decided against a regular siphon. I think it's back to the Sodastream. Now I know to what a grandiose extent it's worth it -- thanks SWL!

I'm going to get drunk tonight
Dockhead

I shall look forward to tasting this may 1st when we go sailing - make sure you have several liters on hand
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Old 02-04-2015, 03:53   #345
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Re: Tonic syrup (trials 2 & 3)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
I am so glad you enjoyed that .
It is really worth the effort of chasing down the ingredients. The added beauty is apart from the citrus (and this is easy to get) all the ingredients can be easily stored on board long term (a year or two's worth of supplies is not a huge amount) so this is an infrequent chore.

To give you some feedback re longevity:
It has been nearly 3 weeks since I made that third batch. It is unaltered in appearance (no cloudiness) despite being unrefrigerated and despite some recipes indicating a life of only a couple of weeks (the gin probably helps, as well as not cold soaking the mix for days). It has actually mellowed and improved a little on standing.

I am about ¾ through the bottle. It is still a bit too cold here for cold drinks so I have mainly used a couple of shots of it straight up as a sundowner on nights when I don't want any alcohol. The taste is quite addictive .

Given its improvement with time, I am about to mix up a second batch so it is ready to drink when this lot is finished. I will play a little more with the recipe, but it needs nothing major now. Some recipes called for less boiling, so I thought I would try 20 min this time and leave it sitting covered for 10. This means less gas needed and less steam produced. Also, lemon verbena is used as one of the botanicals in some gin. It is readily available here, sometimes growing wild (Greeks call it Louisa and use it as a herbal tea). It has a lovely fragrance so I will try adding a crushed teaspoon of that in with the lavender and dry lemongrass.

SWL
A few questions:

1. Are you mixing the syrup with soda water right in the glass, or beforehand? What proportions are you using? I put in about three tablespoons and realize it was probably a bit too much.

2. Would it make sense to bottle this stuff in smaller bottles with no air in them? Would they last longer that way, do you think?

3. I wonder if it would make sense to try making a tincture out of the Cinchona, using vodka instead of boiling water? Wonder what that would taste like?

4. How can I preserve the lemongrass for the next batch -- freeze it? What do you think? I could vacuum seal it I guess, and freeze it.


And one comment:

The only thing I don't like about the taste is that I think there is about double the right amount of citric acid -- a really strong acid taste which overpowers the other elements a bit. Maybe I didn't measure right. Did you have this, or not?
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