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OfflineKnight_Templar
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Registered: 12/18/04
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Re: Makin' Absinthe [Re: spudamore]
    #3693773 - 01/28/05 11:12 PM (18 years, 13 days ago)

About as long as yourself.
Wormwood grows all throughout New England, and is considered a "pest" plant. There is no shartage of it at all.
I have tried to optimize a process which is FAST and simple.
I object to adding water to the extract as this increases the temperature unnecessarily and increases distillation time.
Distillation for the wormwood only. The flavoring ingredients can simply be boiled as a tea and added to the distillate later. This way, distillate can be on-hand separately, and I can mix it "to taste" depending on the situation. Many people do not like anise. I usually leave this out.
This is not the traditional approach, I know that, but, I am interested mainly in "effect" rather than tradition.


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Invisiblespudamore
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Re: Makin' Absinthe [Re: Knight_Templar]
    #3695515 - 01/29/05 05:44 AM (18 years, 13 days ago)

I object to adding water to the extract as this increases the temperature unnecessarily and increases distillation time.

it doesn't add to the increasing temp. if you don't run the water properly through your condensor it will happen but the added water to the distillation doesn't contribute.


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Offlineneuro
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Re: Makin' Absinthe [Re: spudamore]
    #3695605 - 01/29/05 06:05 AM (18 years, 13 days ago)

changing the concentration ratio of alcohol to water in distillation will change the temperature at which your mixture boils. Read my thread about distillation, if you guys haven't already i've noted temperature changes and other such things.


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OfflineKnight_Templar
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Re: Makin' Absinthe [Re: neuro]
    #3695879 - 01/29/05 07:30 AM (18 years, 13 days ago)

Neuro,
Very good presentation and nice photography.
My set-up is a little simpler.
I extract with as pure alcohol as possible, although, in a pinch, I have used regular 80-proof, which works well, also. I extract under heat for a few hours. I have a separate extraction vessel, which is an antique 5L Pyrex beaker. Heating greatly reduces extraction time. After filtering plant material, extract is placed into Silex coffee beaker for distillation. Adding water does increase boiling temp, as water has a higher boiling point than alcohol--this is a scientific fact.
I have tried many distillations using varying amounts of water, but, there has never been any change in amount of oil collected in distillate or the final potency of distillate. As I am dealing with only a-hol, there is no need to use a thermometer. Makes things simpler. Samples are taken of the distillate throughout process. Adding a few drops of water to sample will produce the well-known cloudiness when oil is present. I continue distillation until no more oil comes over to the other side.
If I am distilling straight from an 80-proof extract, I simply mark the receiver bottle (1L) at the 400ml point. When the distillate level approaches this, I know that water is soon to come. Change in boiling-stone noise, also, is an effective alert.
I never boil down into the muck. Again, this only causes the temp to increase and slows down the process. If I am still getting oil, and the level is low, I will add more a-hol after letting it cool down. I will also use this cool-down as an opportunity to pass solution through filter again. Most often, though, there is little or no oil left in the muck, as this is composed of what little water there is in the system and plant matter. Nearly all the oil will pass through with the a-hol. Little, if any, is left by the time you hit mud.
While I have no scientific proof of this, I do believe that a cooler distillation produces stronger distillate. Thujone is an organic molecule, and, only damage to it can occur at high temps.
I always, always distill twice. Always. There is a great difference in taste. The second distillation goes very quickly.


Edited by Knight_Templar (01/29/05 07:44 AM)


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Invisiblespudamore
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Re: Makin' Absinthe [Re: spudamore]
    #3714002 - 02/02/05 12:19 AM (18 years, 9 days ago)

picture of still



:wink:


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OfflineKnight_Templar
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Re: Makin' Absinthe [Re: spudamore]
    #3715924 - 02/02/05 05:56 AM (18 years, 9 days ago)

Wow! What a beauty!  :eek:
Is that the new one?
Mine is much simpler, and, not nearly as impressive:

The condensor is simply a copper coil run through
a plastic tub filled with water.
The whole set-up cost me about $20.
I find the Silex coffee maker bowl to be ideal.
The extraction beaker is much larger.
I do my extraction a little differently than what they talk about on the internet.
The beaker holds 3.5L.
I fill it about halfway with wormwood and then add about 3 liters alcohol.
I heat this for 4 hours, just below boiling point, and hook it up to the condensor. Of course, this is much too much wormwood for the amount of alcohol. Only so much oil will go into solution. Heating it will bring out more oil.
After I filter and distill that batch, I will put more alcohol into the beaker and do a second extraction.
In the winter, when I am working off reserves, I will do a third extraction. If the third distillation is not producing enough oil, I'll replace the wormwood and do a fresh extraction.
This way, I don't have to be very concerned with weighing-out wormwood.
Since the plant is so plentiful around here, I don't have to be very concerned with efficiency.
Heating during the extraction does help. Lettingt it sit for two weeks in a container is just a waste of time.


Edited by Knight_Templar (03/13/05 01:51 AM)


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Invisibleflowstone
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Re: Makin' Absinthe [Re: neuro]
    #3717095 - 02/02/05 09:43 AM (18 years, 9 days ago)

this thread is great, I went to page two and had a few questions.. if someone already answered it just tell me and I will read the whole thing :smile:

Does the quality of the vodka used to extract have a significant effect on the quality. As in, would it be worth buying expensive vodka ?. I guess if you are rich, sure.. but for the average joe...:confused:

also, what would have happened if you let the stuff extract for let's say two weeks each. Also, what is the dose-age for a good worm word experience, if there is even such a thing..


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Invisiblespudamore
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Re: Makin' Absinthe [Re: Knight_Templar]
    #3717272 - 02/02/05 10:39 AM (18 years, 9 days ago)

i like the small setup but just dpeends how much quantity you want to do. that one i have is a 25ltr 3 in 1 "fementer" with a super reflux condenser which can be turned into a pot still by taking out ceramic peices that sit in the right hand chamber. it has a 1000watt heater in it and makes up to 5-7 ltrs of 80%+ alcohol. and around about the same time. haven't had the chance to use it yet but can't wait too.


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Offlineneuro
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Re: Makin' Absinthe [Re: flowstone]
    #3718181 - 02/02/05 05:14 PM (18 years, 9 days ago)

>>Does the quality of the vodka used to extract have a significant effect on the quality. As in, would it be worth buying expensive vodka ?. I guess if you are rich, sure.. but for the average joe...


Don't use vodka at all, too much water in it. Thujone isn't very soluble in water either. You'll have a poor extraction of the thujone from wormwood plus a good extraction of an extreme amount of bitter compounds too, giving you a foul tasting drink in the end.

Use ever clear or some very high proof alcohol.


>>also, what would have happened if you let the stuff extract for let's say two weeks each.

Not to much different, with solvents in extractions two things occur, saturation of the solvent, or equilibrium between the concentration in the solvent and what's left in the leaf matter. Adding more time won't change anything. Adding heat will though.

Any of the time's i've drank absinthe I've been contented with 2 glasses. 1 shot of absinthe to 5 shots water.


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OfflineKnight_Templar
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Re: Makin' Absinthe [Re: neuro]
    #3718501 - 02/02/05 07:21 PM (18 years, 9 days ago)

Do not waste your money on expensive vodkas.
Alcohol is alcohol.
Run 80-proof through your still to get it as pure as possible before extraction.
I have made what I call "lazy absinthe" from 80-proof.
You can get good results, but, you've got to give it the heat.
Cook at just below boiling for several hours.
The water content is a real pain in the ass, but, in a pinch, you certainly can do this.
As far as dosage, if you've done everything right, 4 oz. of distillate will give you a good buzz. 6 oz. is plenty enough for me on a Saturday night. This is usually my cut-off point. 8 oz. and you're into Danger Land (seriously.) Be very careful with this stuff. I've been to the edge with it on many occassions, and it can get kind of scary.


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OfflineKnight_Templar
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Re: Makin' Absinthe [Re: spudamore]
    #3718570 - 02/02/05 07:42 PM (18 years, 9 days ago)

Quote:

spudamore said:
i like the small setup but just dpeends how much quantity you want to do.  that one i have is a 25ltr 3 in 1 "fementer" with a super reflux condenser



25L  :eek: :eek:
Wow!!
That's something!
The small set-up may not look like much, but, will produce quite a bit of product.
Also, when broken down into its component parts, it is very compact and doesn't look like anything at all.
How is the wormwood supply in your country?


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OfflineKnight_Templar
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More Comments on Water [Re: Knight_Templar]
    #3718858 - 02/02/05 08:52 PM (18 years, 8 days ago)

There are four components to the extract:
Water
Alcohol
Oil
Dissolved plant solids
The dissolved solids have a much greater affinity for water than they do for alcohol. If your hands are dirty, for example, you will get them a lot cleaner a lot faster by washing them in water than in alcohol.
The same is true in distillation.
If there is a lot of water in the extract, the solids like to "hide" here rather than in the a-hol. If you have (nearly) all a-hol in your extract, the solids will tend to settle more quickly to the bottom of the vessel. With water, the solids will tend to remain more in solution, producing a "muddy" appearance. "Watery" extracts will cook with a very dirty, grimy appearance. 100% a-hol extracts cook a lot cleaner. "Watery" extracts also have more smell to them.
Some people think that adding water to the extract "forces" the oil into the a-hol, but, it doesn't really work that way. The main goal of distillation is to remove the dissolved plant material, and, since this material likes to dissolve in water, water should be left out of the mix as much as possible. I know there are websites which recommend this, but, in practice, it is a mistake.
If you want to test this, you can see for yourself:
Add water to extract and distill.
Now, distill again, and notice all the crud left over from the first distillation.
Next, distill extract without adding water; then, distill again.
You will notice that this time there is very little crud left over.
The all-alcohol distillation is much cleaner and carries over fewer solids.


Edited by Knight_Templar (02/02/05 08:57 PM)


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Invisiblespudamore
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Re: Makin' Absinthe [Re: Knight_Templar]
    #3719447 - 02/02/05 11:25 PM (18 years, 8 days ago)

Quote:

Knight_Templar said:
How is the wormwood supply in your country?





i have a little plant of artemisia but its not going to well. the price of the herbs is too much and haven't found any wild plants growing anywhere.


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OfflineKnight_Templar
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Re: Makin' Absinthe [Re: spudamore]
    #3720289 - 02/03/05 02:41 AM (18 years, 8 days ago)

There's supposed to be some of it in Australia.
Are you sure you can't find any of it?
It grows vigorously on landfill, and prefers fast-draining soil with lots of sun. No other plants grow with it.
Easy to distinguish.
It's very rare to find only ONE plant.
They crowd out other vegetation and grow in large numbers.


Edited by Knight_Templar (02/03/05 02:46 AM)


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Invisiblespudamore
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Re: Makin' Absinthe [Re: Knight_Templar]
    #3720338 - 02/03/05 02:54 AM (18 years, 8 days ago)

will have another look but still haven't seen any as of yet.
sounds like i need to change over the soil.
cheers.


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OfflineKnight_Templar
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Re: Makin' Absinthe [Re: spudamore]
    #3722852 - 02/03/05 09:29 AM (18 years, 8 days ago)

Post deleted


Edited by Knight_Templar (03/13/05 01:50 AM)


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Invisiblespudamore
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Re: Makin' Absinthe [Re: Knight_Templar]
    #3722912 - 02/03/05 09:40 AM (18 years, 8 days ago)

yup brought artemisia absinthium. have you ever tried or seen thuja (Thuja occidentalis) used? it has high content of thujone 60%


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OfflineKnight_Templar
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Thuja occidentalis [Re: Knight_Templar]
    #3722952 - 02/03/05 09:53 AM (18 years, 8 days ago)

Plentiful up here, but, I never heard of anyone making a drink from it.
Have you?


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OfflineKnight_Templar
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Growing [Re: Knight_Templar]
    #3722963 - 02/03/05 09:55 AM (18 years, 8 days ago)

Oh, and definitely put the plant you have in sandy soil.
Damp potting soil will kill it. Needs to be fairly dry,
and fast-draining. It should grow very quickly.


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Invisiblespudamore
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Re: Growing [Re: Knight_Templar]
    #3723450 - 02/03/05 12:32 PM (18 years, 8 days ago)

yeah since i have had the plant it hasn't grown just stayed the same size and its been well over a month.

do you have a mixture for fast draining soil?


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