Ever wondered how to make gin at home? We're here to show you how easy it is to make gin using botanical blends.
You'll be using the Air Still and Infusion Basket to make a London Dry gin which features a blend of juniper, coriander, licorice root, and dried lemon and orange peel. Once distilled, you'll be left with a bright, crisp, refreshing gin with notes of pine and citrus and a warm pepperiness on the palate.
If you don't already have an Air Still, we recommend purchasing the Air Still Essentials Kit, as this kit contains everything you need. Find it at your local home brew shop.
Equipment & Consumables
- Air Still
- 10L Fermenter with Thermometer
- Carbon Filter System with Spirit Collector
- Mixing Spoon
- Air Still Infusion Basket
- Distilling Conditioner
- Boil Enhancers
- Glass Spirit Bottles (2)
- 2.2 kg Sugar (4.9 lb) or 2.4 kg Dextrose (5.3 lb)
- 1/2 Pack 20 g Distiller’s Yeast – Gin
- 55 g (1.9 oz) Distiller’s Nutrient – Light Spirits
- Turbo Carbon (optional)
- Turbo Clear (optional)
- 30-35 g Gin Botanicals
Once you have your equipment, consumables, and ingredients, you can begin.
Step-by-step instructions for making gin
Note: The method below produces two batches. You'll be able to experiment with botanicals between batches if you want to try making a few different styles.
Steps 1 through 15 take you through the initial stripping run, which is where you are going to distill the alcohol from the wash.
Once the initial stripping run is complete, the additional five steps take you through the botanical run, where all the amazing gin flavours are imparted.
Initial Stripping Run
- First, clean and sanitise your fermenter and mixing spoon.
- Add 7.5 L (2 US Gal) of water at approximately 30°C (86°F) to your fermenter.
- Add 2.2 kg (4.9 lb) sucrose or 2.4 kg (5.3 lb) dextrose to the water and stir until dissolved. You should now have approximately 9 L (2.4 US Gal) of sugar wash ready for fermentation. Add Turbo Carbon (if you wish) and stir well – this will adsorb impurities produced by the yeast during fermentation, improving the quality of your alcohol.
- Shake the jar of Distiller’s Nutrient and measure out 55 g (1.9 oz). Add the Distiller’s Nutrient and Gin Distiller’s Yeast to the fermenter at the same time and stir well to dissolve. Now pop on the lid.
- Leave this to ferment at 20-32°C (68-90°F) ambient temperature for approximately 7 days.
- On Day 7, check the Specific Gravity (SG) using a hydrometer, then check again 24 hours later to ensure it has not changed.
- Once the SG is stable, leave the wash to stand for 1-2 days to allow any remaining solids and yeast to settle out. Adding Turbo Clear at this stage will help speed up the clarification process.
- Once settled, the wash is ready for distillation. Pour or siphon 4 L (1.1 US Gal) of the wash into your clean Air Still, taking care to leave behind any sediment.
- Add the Boil Enhancers and 1 capful Distilling Conditioner to the still.
- Fit the nozzle onto the still head and place the lid onto the boiler, ensuring it is airtight. Place a collector that can hold 50 ml (1.7 fl oz) under the nozzle and plug in the still.
- Turn the power on (you'll hear the fan turn on immediately).
- Discard the first 50 ml (1.7 fl oz) of distillate and place another spirit collector under the nozzle, this time one that can hold up to 800 ml (27.1 fl oz).
- Allow the Air Still to run until you've collected 650-700 ml.
- Check the ABV of your spirit with an alcoholmeter. It should be approximately 60% ABV (120 proof). Dilute to 40% ABV (80 proof) by adding water. Use this calculator to get the precise volume of water to add.
- You may wish to filter your diluted spirit through a carbon filter to polish it. Filtering your spirit will give you a smoother, well-rounded gin and contributes to a better final product. While polishing your spirit, you can distill the second batch of wash, or the remaining wash can be kept in an airtight container for up to a week.
- Once you have polished the spirit, add it to the Air Still boiler and dilute it further by adding water until you reach the 4 L (1.1 US Gal) mark. At this point, you should have around 12% ABV (24 proof).
- Add 30-35 g of gin botanicals to the infusion basket and fit the basket to the underside of the Air Still head unit by holding it upright and lining up the dimple on the basket with the notch on the lid. Rotate to secure. Do not turn the lid upside down at any point, or you will block the vapour outlet.
- Turn your Air Still on again and begin distilling as you did in the initial stripping run.
- Once you've collected your spirit, use the alcoholmeter to check the ABV and the calculator to add the amount of water needed to dilute to 40% ABV (80 proof).
- You can now bottle your gin. We suggest leaving your gin in the bottle for a few days to mellow and let the flavours settle.
We hope you enjoyed the process of making gin at home with the Air Still and botanical blends. There are many more recipes and helpful articles to explore. Read more here.
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