moonshine still, turbo yeast, wine productionl, alcohol distillation
With your pure alcohol as a base you can then use essences to flavor Citron Vodka, Rum, etc. Gin, most liqueurs, Citron Vodka, Mandarin Vodka etc. are created exactly the same, with the same type of ingredients, and you get a commercial result … sometimes even better, for example if they have chosen a cheaper flavor!
Scotch whisky contains 1300 volatiles which combine to produce the smell and taste, and as it is made with pot distillation of beer, if you move the process somewhere else, it is impossible to copy perfectly. You can make something close to whisky. With cognac, you can make something very close to cognac. You can make an identical copy of rum.
You can always compare the quality of your home brew shop’s yeast, essences and activated carbon by ordering counter samples from Gert Strand AB in Sweden. Only first class quality is sold and their essences, Prestige, (the world’s biggest seller) is only a consumer variety of the essences they sell to distilleries. This is true of Turbo Yeast, as well. Also, the quality of activated carbon is easy to compare with Chemviron or another of their brands.
Quality of the end product is as good as the weakest link in the chain. Use quality throughout and you produce superior quality. A good book or know-how, good yeast, granulated sugar, a good column still (producing 90-95% alcohol), good workmanship, good activated carbon and top quality essences … and you end up with a product comparable with commercial brands (except for whisky, calvados, slivowits and cognac), otherwise you must do it better next time.
When you, in a blind test, occasionally beat commercial brands, you are a good amateur distiller – but not the only one: everyone with quality thinking will do the same.
Liquor and Liqueurs
The pure alcohol you get as a result of good hobby distillation is pure vodka. You can flavor it with vodka essence: it is one of the most commonly sold, but you can also use it as vodka without flavoring. If you want a flavored vodka, why not make a Citron Vodka or Currant Vodka and get a fresh and fruity taste?
You can also flavor your alcohol with fruits and herbs. If you have an old local recipe, use it. But if you want to make commercial quality gin from Juniper berries or even a very easy flavor like citron vodka, you must know some facts.
To make a good gin you need super quality juniper berries from a special area. You cannot simply buy them: the essence … herb … and liquor … industry buys them, often before harvest. And there are more ingredients in gin, many other herbs.
If you try to make liqueur from fruits you end up with a liqueur with limited shelf life. If you extract some herbs you probably do it in your alcohol directly.
The essence manufacturer first buys the best herbs available, then extracts them with a mixture of alcohol and water in another strength and with a certain time limitation. Different strength extracts give different aromas, and there can also be a mixture of 2-3 different extractions of different strengths and extraction times.