Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits and Grainfather – Part 6 – Steam Distilling

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Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits and Grainfather - Part 6 - Steam Distilling
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Recipe type: Distilling
 
Hi and welcome to episode 517 with Whats4Chow and the 6th in our series serious distilling with Brewcraft, still spirits and Grainfather. In today's episode we're going to convert the Still Spirits Alembic Still to make magnificent batch of steam distilled Cointreau. Cointreau, Triple Sec, and Grand Marnier are all orange flavored spirits and they are excellent drinking as well as key ingredients in classic dishes like duck a 'l orange.
Ingredients
  • 4 Liters 55% ABV vodka from sugar wash
  • 4-5 Oranges
Instructions
  1. In today's episode we're going to convert the Still Spirits Alembic Still to make magnificent batch of steam distilled Cointreau.
  2. Cointreau, Triple Sec, and Grand Marnier are all orange flavored spirits and they are excellent drinking as well as key ingredients in classic dishes like duck a 'l orange.
  3. To start, let's have a quick look at the principal behind steam distilling.
  4. In the regular setup, we have a large heating pot with a dome lid.
  5. The heated alcohol vapors rise and exit through the condenser in the top of the lid. The vapor condenses and drips into a catch bowl.
  6. With steam distilling we're going to add an extra component in the form of a sieve dangling just below the vapor exit.
  7. The vapors pass over the contents in the sieve and are flavored and aromatized in the process.
  8. With that behind us, slice 4 oranges into 4 thick slices each.
  9. Place all of these in a large non-reactive bowl.
  10. Pour in 4 liters of vodka. This is vodka made from distilling sugar wash and the ABV is around 55%.
  11. Cover the bowl with cling-wrap and allow this to steep for 48 hours.
  12. To set up the steam distilling basket, remove the condenser and the threaded nut from the dome lid.
  13. Thread a length of butchers twine through the nut and tie a knot to make large loop.
  14. Take cheap dime store sieve and bend the handle over the sieve.
  15. Create a twin half hitch with the loop of string and attach this to the handle of the sieve.
  16. Screw the nut and condenser back onto the lid and you're ready to go.
  17. Remove the cling-wrap from the bowl and carefully remove the orange slices with a pair of tongs.
  18. Pout the alcohol into the distiller and place 4 or 5 slices of the orange in the hanging sieve.
  19. Turn on the distiller. When the head temperature reaches 40c the first drips will emerge from the condenser. Turn on the cooling water.
  20. All of the foreshots have already been removed from this batch during the first distillation, so all you want to do is collect the product.
  21. At first the alcohol will come out at around 85% ABV and then drop gradually to 40%, and then very quickly to below 20%.
  22. Switch off the still. By this stage you will have collected about 2.5 liters of very robust alcohol.
  23. Dilute this with filtered water to 43% ABV and bottle this in suitable bottles.
  24. If you would like to oak and age the spirit, dilute it to around 64% ABV and add 1 to 2 grams of French oak chips per liter of distillate. Let this age until the coloring is to your liking.
  25. And there we have it.... a perfect batch of orange infused, steam distilled heaven.

 

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