Mary of Orange, the daughter of King Charles I married a Dutchman in 1641. Since genever, the forerunner of gin originally comes from the Netherlands, her marriage helped her popularize the drink in England. After Mary died, the British made it legal for anyone to distill their own gin, which directly led to something we now call “the gin craze”. You might say the "the gin craze" has returned again nowadays with an explosion in Aussie Craft Gins and home Gin Distilling.
London Dry Gin is defined as a gin that is redistilled to an ABV (Alcohol by Volume) of at least 70% (after being originally distilled at over 96% ABV.) After that, it can only be watered down to a minimum of 37.5% ABV and cannot have any artificial ingredients or color added after the fact. It is also only allowed to add a very minimal amount of sweetener. Because of these stringent rules, the taste of a London Dry Gin is primarily that of the juniper berries from which the spirit is made. Mary is our take on a classic London Dry Gin. Juniper forward with classic botanicals and no artificial flavours or ingredients. Give it a try and tell us what you think after you drink and toast Queen Mary of Orange! Lady Genever!
cheers #distilsafely #enjoyresponsibly
Batch & Fermentation:
- Wash Size: 25 Litres
- Est. SG 1.072 FG: 1.002
- Fermentation time: 1 week
- Final Product Approx. 5L
- Standard 40% ABV of 80 Proof
Neutral Base Spirit Ingredients:
Equipment Required: (NB: not included in Recipe Kit)
Water Adjustments (Optimal fermentation pH between 5.0 - 5.5). You will need to buffer the fermentation to raise pH as it will drop quickly. Consider adding sodium bicarbonate or potassium bicarbonate at 1g/Litre (per final volume) to help buffer your fermentation pH back up to optimal pH levels during the fermentation. You will also need to feed your Yeast - Yeast Nutrients and DAP
- Heat 10 Litres of water to 100°C and add to fermenter.
- Dissolve 4.50 Kg of Manufacturers White Sugar – CSR and stir vigorously.
- Add another 12 Litres, of cool or ice water to drop the temperature to 38C (100F). Wash total should be 25L. Stir vigorously or use an oxygen aeration kit to oxygenate the wort prior to fermentation.
- Test the pH of your wash. The ideal pH is 5.0-5.5ph. Use citric acid to bring the pH down and Calcium Carbonate (sold separately, NOT included in Kit) or sodium bicarbonate (Baking Soda) to bring it up.
- Pitch the yeast and Turbo Carbon. Add 20g of Still Spirits Light Nutrient on Day 0 at the start of fermentation. Check the fermentation on Day 1 3 and 5 stirring vigously to degas and check the pH and buffer accordingly. Add another 15g of Still Spirits Light Nutrient on Day 1 or 3 as soon as the SG has dropped by 1/3 and add the final 15g of Still Spirits Light Nutrient 2 days later. This will aid healthy yeast in addition to degassing the wash with vigorous stirring and buffering the pH into the ideal pH range. Watch the pH - Add sodium bicarbonate or potassium bicarbonate at 1g/Litre (per final volume) to help buffer your fermentations.
- Ferment warm at 30-32°C for 3-7 days (Wait for two consecutive days of consistent low Hydrometer readings).
- Once fermentation is complete. Stir the wash vigorously to remove all the remaining CO2. Once degassed, add the contents of Part A of Still Spirits - Turbo Clear stir well, then leave for 1 hour to stand.
- After 1 hour, slowly pour Part B of Still Spirits - Turbo Clear evenly over the top of the wash while stirring gently to help spread it evenly. Do not stir vigorously as this will disrupt the clearing process. Leave to clear for 24 hours. During this time Part B will drop down from the top, taking all unwanted yeast and sediment with it to the bottom. If you have temperature control of your fermenter or an old fridge, feel free to crash chill to assist with clarification of your wash before distillation.
Move the wash to your Boiler and prepare to Distil Happy!
- Before beginning distillation, ensure still is cleaned thoroughly before use
- Complete a stripping run without botanicals first
- While the still is running prepare the botanicals SEE BELOW for infusion options.
- Adjust the heat accordingly, aiming for 3-5 drips per second. Remembering to separate your head, hearts and tails.
- Once completed water down the distillate to 40% ABV with distilled water.
- Your Gin is now ready to enjoy!
Mary Botanical Mix Infusion Options:
Method 1 -
- Complete a stripping run and a distilling run
- Soak the Mary Botanical Mix in at least 50%ABV spirit (remember to shave nutmeg, you can also crush the berries and seeds using a mortar and pestle)
- Leave for 4-5 days depending on the intensity of flavour you like. Shake every hour or so for first day and every now and them for the remainder.
- **NOTE** The longer you leave the more flavour you will extract, however some botanicals could become more prominent then others.
- **RECCOMENDED**This method will also leave your end spirt a yellowish brown so it is recommended to distil again and/or use a carbon filter.
Method 2 -
- Clean the botanicals by either soaking in Spirit above 50%ABV for a couple of hours to overnight or sanitise using Super Kill Sanitiser Spray
- Before commencing the Spirit Run put the Mary Botanical Mix into a Still Spirits Botanical Basket or Air Still Infusion Basket or Muslin Cloth and commence a spirit run taking cuts and noting the different flavour profiles merging.
- **NOTE** Remember to shave the Nutmeg to get the best flavour.
- **ALTERNATIVE** You can simply add the botanicals to the wash without using the basket however you do run the risk of burning the botanicals and the off flavours coming through.
Method 3 -
- Separate the botanicals and macerate them in at least 50%ABV spirit using Kilner Glass Jars.
- Leave for 4-5 days upto several weeks depending on the intensity of flavour you like. Shake every hour or so for first day and every now and them for the remainder.
- Regularly taste till desired flavour is reached, then blend the botanicals together.
- **ALTRERNATIVE** After blending the botanicals together run through the still once more to bind the flavours together and create a clear spirit.
Further Reading and Learning:
How To Make Gin: A Distillers Guide - Mile Hi Distilling
Improve your Mead with Staggered Nutrient Additions | AHA