Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Topics Archived Thru Dec 2000:Temperature
By Don_walsh on Monday, October 02, 2000 - 12:06 pm: Edit

Thanks. I try.

By Black_rabbit on Monday, October 02, 2000 - 08:56 am: Edit


Thank you, Don. '...but without the nice banjo accompaniment.' That was beautiful, man.

I am having a bad day at work, but you just made it much better :)

By Don_walsh on Sunday, October 01, 2000 - 09:40 am: Edit

By the way, troll, you haven't impressed anybody with your (lack of) erudition, you haven't exhibited any wit (well, maybe half-), nor can you spell (fourm?) and the grammar is right out of 'Deliverance' but without the nice banjo accompaniment.

All you offer up is petty spite, and that is poor coin indeed for wasting Kallisti's valuable electrons.

So go find a stagnant pond to float belly up in; this one's too lively for the likes of you.

By Don_walsh on Sunday, October 01, 2000 - 09:30 am: Edit

Do I hear the mildly annoying buzz of a tiny gnat?

Go back to sleep under your bridge. Kallisti has plans for your kind. Enjoy your extinction.

By . on Sunday, October 01, 2000 - 09:24 am: Edit

Don, thems big words from an asshole like you. I have been here since the first fourm and will stay till the end. It's so easy to get you to bite.

By Don_walsh on Saturday, September 30, 2000 - 02:59 pm: Edit

Anatomist, you give him too much credit. I see no evidence of any balls at all.

By Anatomist1 on Saturday, September 30, 2000 - 01:27 pm: Edit

I was thinking that maybe the point was a visual representation of his testicles....

By don_walsh on Saturday, September 30, 2000 - 01:21 pm: Edit

Others have accused you of being a period = PMS. I demurr. You are a point. (Although you haven't any.)

A point is a mathematical abstraction.

I don't have anything to say to an abstraction.

Go away, troll.

As for me going somewhere else: don't you wish? Sorry, no will do.

PS I just complied with Kallisti's wishes and finally registered on the Forum.

By . on Saturday, September 30, 2000 - 12:06 pm: Edit

Don you have serious problems. If you don't like it go somewhere else. and rant and rave. :)

By Marc on Friday, September 29, 2000 - 03:46 pm: Edit

"slithering spineless craven reptilian self". Wow.
Don, your experience writing sci-fi is serving you well. I dig it.

By Don Walsh on Friday, September 29, 2000 - 02:01 pm: Edit

Who's hiding?

I'm highly visible. I advise a Thai Senator on foreign affairs. For ten years I held down the post of Bureau Chief for ASEAN for a defense intelligence newsletter out of Washington (until actually, about a month ago.) I operate a $150,000 a year net profit business that I own 100%. That's my direct email address posted below, and that's my real name, I'm not some bushwacking cowardly scum hiding behind a cyber rock and afraid to stand up and be counted. I'm not hiding from anybody. And I have nothing to hide. So take your little provincial attitude and place it elsewhere. Don't sully this Forum with your slithering spineless craven reptilian self. If you have something to say stand forth and identify yourself like a man (or a woman). And if not stay in the shadows where you obviously belong.

By . on Friday, September 29, 2000 - 01:35 pm: Edit

At least we don't run off and hide in another country!

By Don Walsh on Thursday, September 28, 2000 - 10:17 pm: Edit

Oh? That just shows how memorable you are.

Are you carrying some petty animus from a year ago? How sad.

Anyway, in your ear.

By the nephilim on Thursday, September 28, 2000 - 02:54 pm: Edit

Memory is mutable

You had specific dealings with me, under this
same name.
the nephilim

By Don Walsh on Thursday, September 28, 2000 - 12:47 pm: Edit

Nephilim, you want civility, seek it elsewhere. For you I have naught but an icy chill. You elected to break a year's silent lurking by coming down on myself and my partner with both feet. I for one have never (to my recollection) had any dealings with you on the Forum before. Did you think I could be buffaloed so easily?

No, seek your comraderie elsewhere. You made your attitude clear to all. Live with it.

And you owe Ted Breaux an apology.

By Luger on Thursday, September 28, 2000 - 12:39 pm: Edit

"V6 - looks just like a motor, only smaller"

You know why Enzo didnīt allow the "Dino" to be officially called a "Ferrari"?

A: A Ferrari will preferably have 12 cylinders, but never less than 8.


By the nephilim on Thursday, September 28, 2000 - 12:28 pm: Edit

V6 - looks just like a motor, only smaller. ;-)
the nephilim

1970 SS396 Chevelle, 4sp, floor shift,
buckets, console.

By the nephilim on Thursday, September 28, 2000 - 12:26 pm: Edit

Finally, tones of civility. Finally, tones of a real
forum. Thank you, Don, for now coming to the
table in a calm and reasonable manner.

The topic of risk SHOULD be discussed here
at great length. Yes, the dangers and
imperatives should be omnipresent in the
mind of anyone who picks this path. A forum is
useful tool to educate those who wish to learn
about such dangers. This is what this
forum could/should be used for. People of like
minds wanting to help each other out.

By blackjack on Thursday, September 28, 2000 - 09:49 am: Edit

D'OH! How on earth did I put 8 lifters on a V-6? All those litle engines look the same to me.

('72 Cadillac Eldorado--500 cid V-8, the largest production engine ever put in a pasenger car)

By Luger on Thursday, September 28, 2000 - 07:03 am: Edit

I decided to hide some time, but now I have crawled out to give credit to those who deserves so:

Ted said:

"This isn't about 'alchemy', but rather about understanding of certain
things",,, "Funny though how the old distillers
thought of these things. It is only 'alchemy' to the unaware."

I agree completely, and these words were very well chosen. That the distillers of old thought the details out long before they even knew what electricity was is simply amazing.

That Ted has "thought it out" again, after all these years is also very respectable, and I think he deserves credit for that. Things are simple when you understand them completely, but it might not be simple to figure out how things work, that is the hard part.

(Damn, this is my first "me too" post :-) )

Best regards: Luger

By Don Walsh on Thursday, September 28, 2000 - 12:19 am: Edit

Like the scene in ADDAMS FAMILY:

Grandma: "An ax! (sigh.) That brings back memories!"

By Marc on Thursday, September 28, 2000 - 12:00 am: Edit

My fondness for Sebor is not unlike my fondness for the first girl I ever made love to. It wasn't the best sex I've ever had, but, it was the first.
This kind of affection can apply to your first car, your first rock and roll record, your first guitar and your first bottle of absinthe. Don, in your case, it might apply to your first gun, your first cigar, your first set of brass knuckles and your first Hemingway novel.

By Don Walsh on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 09:33 pm: Edit

Marc, forgive me, but you also think Sebor's tastes good. So if I were picking judges for an absinthe contest, I think I'd ask you to be master of ceremonies instead.

I have previously heard of nephilim's absinthes from another forumite also into DIY. By all accounts, he has achieved a certain success. Of that he ought to be proud.

So I am a loss to understand why he argues that anybody could do it. I'm damned sure nephilim didn't find it 'easy'.

Incidentally La Bleue for all its virtues, is a stripped down simplified bootleg absinthe. It is clean tasting because the Swiss bootleggers have left out or skipped all the ingredients and steps which are tricky, and abandoned almost all of the subtleties of flavor found in better products -- and no I don't mean any of the Spanish or the Czechs. I like La Bleue. I drink La Bleue. But it is not a paradigm of absinthe making. It is a Volkswagon Bug of absinthes. Reliable and predictible. But not sophisticated. It has achieved something of a cult following -- which I helped to get started -- because it used to be rather unavailable, and because it is better than the Spanish and the Czechs.

So if as Marc says, nephilim has managed to create something as good as or better than LB, then bravo!

Nephilim seems to think that Ted's procedure is specifically focused on replicating a single old absinthe. Sorry, nephilim. Yes we have replicated E.Pernod. However, the same strategy can be used to replicate ANY old or new absinthe, at will. And doubtless Ted will replicate other old absinthes. As to modern ones, who would bother?

We also have products that, while akin in some ways, are distinctly different than E.Pernod, and are totally novel.

My personal concerns are less about formulation (that's Ted's job) than scaleup to commercial production, something the nephilim wouldn't know about, or probably care, but which has its own set of problems and challenges. Making 100 liters in a 12 hour day, day in and day out, and doing it safely and without any compromise in quality or consistency, is...interesting.

And we aren't bootleggers, we are licensed commercial manufacturers. No ATF looking over our shoulders, and no DEA wanting to know why we are buying equipment.

As someone well acquainted with those agencies, and knowing how they operate, I wouldn't advise anyone to cross them for the sake of a HOBBY. Which is why I advise people that making your own absinthe isn't worth the 'sense of satisfaction' if you have to tell it to the judge.

By Tabreaux on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 08:49 pm: Edit

To place things in perspective what we (Don and I) have embarked on has nothing to do with the Spanish brands, certainly not the Czech garbage, not 'La Bleue', and not benchtop brews. Our sights are set far past that. Sure, we could make another mediocre product (and do it cheaply), but what good would that be? We could just as well make 'La Bleue', but since some of the Swiss are doing a good job with it, let them have their fun.

We are recreating a genre which has since disappeared....completely. FWIW, it takes far more than layman rotovap theory to accomplish this. Don knows exactly the things I am talking about, and I think he was surprised to find all that is involved. This isn't about 'alchemy', but rather about understanding of certain things.....things even an *educated* chemist may not even think of. Funny though how the old distillers thought of these things. It is only 'alchemy' to the unaware.

As far as the 'risks' (which were touched on so briefly), between creating a fire hazard and dealing with the ATF in federal court, it is hard to say which is worse. Even with the former, the latter will follow. Each *will* cost you your house (literally). Funny how this isn't discussed in detail, but then again, drug dealers probably don't like to discuss the gravity of possible consequences either.

Nevertheless, to paraphrase BASF, understanding the 'alchemy' doesn't make the absinthe, it makes the absinthe *better*. And to paraphrase Gallo (no comparisons intended), we will release no absinthe before it is time.

By Don Walsh on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 08:21 pm: Edit

And Merck has about a 5 page fine print key to help translate that into English.

bp17 means boiling point at 17 mm Hg. That's 17 torr. That is relative to 760 torr which is 1 atmosphere. I.e., a very reduced pressure, is 17 torr. A reduced pressure that can only be achieved with a pump.

Aldrich cites same b.p. again at 17mm Hg.

By k on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 07:13 pm: Edit

Merck Entry
9533. Thujone.

4-Methyl-1-(1-methylethyl)bicyclo[3.1.0]hexan-3-one; 3-thujanone. .C10H16O; .mol wt 152.24. .C 78.90%, H
10.59%, O 10.51%. . A constituent of many essential oils; present in thuja, etc. Equilibrium mixture contains
33% .alpha.-thujone and 67% .beta.-thujone: Eastman, Winn, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 82, 5908 (1960). .alpha.- and
.beta.-Thujones differ only in the stereochemistry of the 4- methyl group. Conformation: Hach et al., Tetrahedron
Letters 1970, 3175. Chemistry: J. P. Kutney et al., Bioorg. Chem. 7, 289 (1978); eidem, Can. J. Chem. 57,
3145 (1979); 58, 2641 (1980). Toxicity study: K. C. Rice, R. S. Wilson, J. Med. Chem. 19, 1054 (l976). Review:
J. L. Simonsen, The Terpenes vol. II (University Press, Cambridge, 1949) pp 32-52.

Colorless or almost colorless liquid. uv max (isooctane): 300 nm (.epsilon. 23). Practically insol in water. Sol in
alc and many other organic solvents. LD50 s.c. in mice: 134.2 mg/kg (Rice, Wilson).

Caution: Ingestion may cause convulsions.

l-Form, ..alpha.-thujone.. ..bp17 83.8-84.1 deg. d425 0.9109. nD15 1.4490. [.alpha.]D20 -19.2 deg. LD50 s.c.
in mice: 87.5 mg/kg (Rice, Wilson).

d-Form, .d-isothujone., .beta.-thujone.. ..bp17 85.7-86.2 deg. d425 0.9135. nD25 1.4500. [.alpha.]D15 +72.5
deg. LD50 s.c. in mice: 442.2 mg/kg (Rice, Wilson).

By Marc on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 04:15 pm: Edit

If, as they say, the "proof is in the pudding",
then nephilim's experiments have not been a waste of time. In March of this year, I conducted an absinthe tasting. 80 people attended, including
nephilim. He brought along samples of his homemade absinthe. It was the general opinion of the attendees that of the 14 absinthe's sampled at the tasting,
nephilim's were among the very best, perhaps the best. I have since tasted the results of some of his subsequent experiments. His dedication and hardwork in manufacturing absinthe has paid off.
I don't know much about the craft of making the Green Fairy, but I do know what I like...and I very much like the results of nephilim's handiwork. His absinthe's are intense tasting and yet delicate. They are of the earth, floral and resonant with herbs. After drinking only Spanish and Czezh absinthes, nephilim's brews came as a revelation to me. I have since drunk La Bleue and it comes closest to what nephilim has produced.
The difference is in the herb to star anise ratio. nephilim's product has a much bigger herbal kick, but it is only very slightly bitter.
Very nice stuff.

By the nephilim on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 03:48 pm: Edit


That which I do not know is infinite. So it is for
everyone, everywhere, for all time.

That which I know is zero when compared to
what I do not know, for any number divided by
infinity is zero. So it is for everyone,
everywhere, for all time.

But still we survive and grow. We learn
through comparison, association, and trial
and error. One of the reasons I am engaged in
the interests I have is that the universe unfolds
to me in a myriad of surprising directions. I
learn a wealth of things from seemingly
unrelated spheres, all which come together is
a special nexus. This feeds my spirit and this
feeds my soul. And yet still I know that I know

Amoung the things I do not know:

Distilling at a level of vacuum will decrease BP
and therefore decrease the amount of heat
used on the delicate flavors/scents. How do I
not know this? Reverse thinking about the
need/use of pressure cookers. Pressure
cooking raises the boiling point of water (the
main liquid one cooks with) allowing your food
to cook closer to the level that the water is
boiling at. This keeps meats from drying out
and makes them nice and tender, but you
already didn't know that, too. The inverse
seemed applicable to me, reducing pressure
(vacuum) would lower BP. And so it is. We
both do not know this.

An anti-bumping device inline can trap the
eruptions from the herbmass and prevent
them from contaminating the product. I don't
own one and there is no shame in that. I have
observed that keeping a keen eye on the
difference between vapor temp and bath temp
helps to reduce bumps greatly. You may
counter that this isn't exactly what is going on,
but that is irrelevant as it works none the less.

NEVER use Artemisia absinthium for coloring.
NEVER. blech! (even if you do this it is okay,
because you will have learned something.
Just don't repeat your mistakes ;-)

heating mantles/rotovaps/the boiling point of


There are renowned distillers all around us
that do not have a degree or any exposure to
any of the chemistry sciences. Louisianna's
very own Coe Dupuis (rest his soul) comes to
mind. A simple man.

Everyone. Start. Act. Learn. Grow. TRY!!! If you
fail, try again.If you've done your best you
haven't failed. Just beware of the risks of what
you undertake.

I thank Shine for his input. This isn't the
alchemy you are led to believe it is. Ted and
Don's process may be difficult and
demanding from them, but it is THEIR
process. Their goal is a fixed replication of a
specific product. They need to do certain
things to attain that goal. Theirs is not the
ONLY way. Theirs is not the ONLY possible
result that one could feel proud about. And NO
ONE can tell you that it is the only way to do
something. The only way you can fail is if you
don't even try.

By Tabreaux on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 01:54 pm: Edit

Actually, a Buick 231 V6 has 12 lifters, and Randy Rhoads (1956-1982) was 26 (not 22), but since your errors cancel each other out, you arrived at the right answer (201). I still give you an 'A' for effort.

Email me your physical address, and I'll see what I can scrape up as a reward of sorts.

By blackjack on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 01:34 pm: Edit

1313 mockingbird lane - 1200 + 8 lifters (turbo V6) + 100 - 22 (1956-1982, plane crash) + 1 electron + 1 mole (Avagadro's number (6.022*10^23) is the number of anything in one mole) = 201 degrees

What do I win?

By Tabreaux on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 09:51 am: Edit

Absintheur, the bp numbers listed on that site are correct.....for greatly reduced pressure. This is a simple error, and I know exactly why it happened.

As far as comments with regard to skills and disclosure, there is no 'clique'. Personally speaking, I try not to put myself above anyone else on this BB. I speak up mostly to defeat misinformation and misleading propaganda. I intend this to be of benefit to anyone who finds it useful.

As far as what people know or don't know and their skills, that's their knowledge, and they can do whatever they choose to do or not to do. Some of us have chosen to put our hard-earned knowledge to good use, and are taking risks in doing so. Since I haven't had much in the way of outside contribution to my years of work and investment, there is not a single reason why I am under any obligation to publicly divulge my personal property.

As far as absinthe making, one can make 'absinthe' almost as easily as one can make 'wine' . Anyone can find recipes for both, much in the same way one can find recipes for making cakes and cookies. What you call "absinthe", and what I call "absinthe" however, may be two different things. I am not interested in what is yielded from cookbook recipes.

As far as making a fine absinthe and a fine wine, you won't find the answers to either in 'recipes'. Each is a wonderfully complex art, and certain aspects are absolutely too intricate to be described within the limitations of language. This subject will only seem as complex to you as is the depth of your comprehension of it.

By Absintheur on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 08:44 am: Edit

"Ahem. Mr WW, from what reference did you get the b.p. of thujone(s) and, exactly how did they represent it? Because your stated data is wrong."

It could easily have been here:

Which is actually a fantastic site.

By Bob Chong on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 08:27 am: Edit

The last thing I want to attempt is to imitate a Kennedy.

By shine on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 08:03 am: Edit

see how protective one becomes about their skills. when one finds that another with a different viewpoint, may impose into their click it frightens them. that is the reason for the childish attitudes and insults being reflected here all the time.
i stand by my words making alcohol is easy especially if you start from everclear, no worries, no mess... and making absinthe is not hard, like mr.ww said it the recipe that counts.
no secret temperatures or anything. just time.

if the Kennedy's did it, why can't we?


By Don Walsh on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 04:43 am: Edit

Dear Luger

Fine. I have said all I ever intended to about vodka making (rather off topic here). The other was just a misunderstanding.

End of story.

By Luger on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 04:28 am: Edit

"Luger: I already posted and said that I was refraining from further commentary on you, at the
request of a friend."

"If you choose to continue to snipe at me, publicly, then that deal is off.""

"Is that clear? "

Don! The deal is to end the other now unmentionable discussion.
I am glad that I was wrong about me being the target of the anonymousdiscussion, so no hard feelings there.

*However*, I have never agreed to sit quiet about *everything*. You americans have not firsthand experience about living in a state where it is forbidden to express certain thoughts, and Iīm happy for you because of this. But unfortunately it is not that way in all parts of the world. Certain "democratic" elections are made where governmentofficials is looking over the voters shoulder to make certain that the pawn is doing what he is told to do. That is why I respond when liberty of free and anonymous speech is questioned. Now donīt get me wrong, I am not assuming that you or anyother one on the Forum intends it to be that bad, Iīm just telling you why I am a little bit "stitchy" about this.

As to berserks: I like reading about them, but Iīd like them at distance, and I have got the means to make it that way. I however would rather shake hands instead of claws.

Now however, I hope that my view about all this is clear, and I hope that it will take a long time before I have to post to this forum again.

Best regards: Luger

By Don Walsh on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 03:50 am: Edit

Luger, you seem to think I was aiming at you concerning email-free and anonymous posts.


You are a long time Forum regular and so I don't care whether you post an email address or not.

You are not one of the abusers I had in mind.

Just to set the record straight.

I disagree with some of your remarks regarding the simplicity or complexity of alcohol making.

That is ALL.

And there was nothing personal in that.

You want to make it personal, well come ahead. I'm descended of Cambro-Norman stock and would be happy to go berserker on you.

By Don Walsh on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 03:33 am: Edit

Luger: I already posted and said that I was refraining from further commentary on you, at the request of a friend.

If you choose to continue to snipe at me, publicly, then that deal is off.

Is that clear?

By Luger on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 01:44 am: Edit

Hello friends.

I just want to explain something.
I have previously posted my mailadress, but because of things not directly related to this Forum, or its members, I decided to quit releasing this adress. I have since then, when requested by certain individuals given them my adress. I know perfectly well that this is no shield against any truly determined person. Those who really wants to can find out exactly everything about me, but they will have to sweat some to achieve that, and I think that is perfectly ok.

I stand by my words, and the "abusing", has not as I see it been done by me, but don,e by someone that is so brave to post his adress from the other half of the world and calling names. So who is the abusing part? I however donīt give a damn if I have a picture of that person in my hand, and a complete lifestory typed out. It is the *words* that counts, and I judge persons by these words. What their real names might be is not important to me as long as they can behave themselves. If anyone however donīt like what I am saying, they can easily ignore my posts. I am forcing noone to read them.

If any true scientist reads something written by Acritzko Brzyimnevzslaviski in Azerbadjan, he can reproduce that scientists results, and then accept his words. If he fails with this, it is time for a discussion to find out what differs. But who this guy really is, how he looks, his location is not important.

Abusingly calling people names can be done with or without e-mailadress. Fake e-mailadresses is not hard to get, I could get one if that would make the Forum happy.

Mahatma Ghandi was brave, Sgt York was. Many people am, but namecalling from the other part of the globe is not. As we have seen too well, any e-mailadress is not an antidote against this.

These are just my opinions, and I respect other people to voice their opinions.

Best regards: Luger

By Don Walsh on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 01:15 am: Edit

French Quarter: it's the height of arrogance to make assumptions about what other people do or do not know.

If you re-read my post to Mr Wormwood you will see that I told him that his numbers were wrong. Why would you assume (incorrectly) that I didn't know the right numbers?

I have an Aldrich and a Merck 12th Ed. sitting on my desk. Both of them tell the story. So do CRC and Beilstein and lots of online sources.

Thujone like camphor, menthol, pinene, bornyl acetate etc. has a very high vapor pressure despite the high b.p. and is volatile with steam. The commercial extraction of essential oils from aromatic herbs is by steam distillation, taking advantage of this fact.

Those who want simple answers need to learn a great deal more about the physical chemistry of distillation.

Meanwhile, don't presume to know what others do or do not know. Ted has forgotten more about this subject than most of you will ever know. So have I.

By TimK on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 12:04 am: Edit

So with a bp. of 201 deg @ ambient temp and pa. how do you get thujone in your distillate.

By Don Walsh on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 08:39 pm: Edit

To 'the nephilim':

True ignorance is not even knowing what you don't know.

You just qualified.

To Luger: I told you to take it private because someone asked me, as a friend, not to post against you.

So I won't That's for his sake not for yours.

By Tabreaux on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 06:40 pm: Edit

Actually, it is 201, but you are close enough.

To answer your questions:

Yes, it is possible to have thujone in the final product without having something nasty. It is possible to have other things as well.

Is/was thujone not the 'culprit'? Don't be quick to make that judgement one way or another. Much more testing is needed to make even a circumstantial conclusion.

By Absintheur on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 06:11 pm: Edit

To the best of my knowledge -- and I'll concede, I've only consulted one text, just an hour ago, and this is way outside my area of specialty -- thujone boils at 200 degrees Celcius at ambient temperature and preasure.

Being that this is the case, I'd be interested in hearing from any distiller on the topic -- would it even be possible to get thujone into your distillate without charring your masceration?

Secondarily, the above would absolutely have to bear upon any discussion of thujone content, as most brands did not use Artemesia absinthium in the coloration step, as it would render their product too foul to drink.

So, referring back to the "hegemony of thujone" discussion; is it possible that turn of the century science had precisely the wrong culprit in blaming the deliterious effects of absinthe on thujone? And being that that is, always, a possibility, it would seem likely that modern discussions of thujone as a psychadelic are, at their core, wrongheaded...

I have to say, this certainly piques my interest in the results of any more invasive testing of the constituents of absinthe, classic and modern.

By Tabreaux on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 05:05 pm: Edit

At what pressure, ambient?

If you take "The Munster's" street address, subtract 1200, add the number of lifters in a Buick 231 cid engine, add 100, then subtract the age of former Ozzy Osbourne guitar player Randy Rhoads at the time of his death, add the number of electrons in a hydrogen atom, then add how many moles are equal to Avagadro's number, you'll get the right temperature.

If you want me to be more specific, you can be more specific about your identity. I deserve to know who is addressing me.

By TimK on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 04:46 pm: Edit

sorry i meant Tabreaux not Ted lol : - )

By TimK on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 04:43 pm: Edit

So then ted, whats the boiling point of thujone then, enlighten us

By Tabreaux on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 04:02 pm: Edit

To those of you worthy of a name, see my post in a new topic.

By Tabreaux on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 03:56 pm: Edit

If only I were as ignorant as you'd like to make me out to be, but sorry sir, I am not.

Just because I do not correct every assumption on this BB doesn't mean that I am ignorant, the b.p. of relevent compounds notwithstanding. How presumptious and foolish of you to assume otherwise. But then again, I would expect this from someone who can't post something worthy of a name.

Obviously, you seem quick to try to make me look ignorant, but it is in fact you who is indeed ignorant sir. Rest assured there is quite a bit more to this than one can elucidate from a reference book. Much more.

By FrenchQuarter on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 02:54 pm: Edit

Since Don asked, and since I happened to have a few free minutes in the lab today, I consulted four tables of "characteristics of organic compounds," and discovered two extremely interesting points.

Point 1) the boiling point of thujone and most related thujyl compuonds is in the range of 200 ~ 208C, making it impossible to distill (meaning, one could presume, *all* of the thujone in classic absinthe must have been added in the flavoring step) and,

Point 2) based on previous posts in this forum, Ted and Don did not know this.

By the nephilim on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 01:56 pm: Edit


You arrogance is unmitigated. I've held my
tongue for a long long time because any
response I would make would have been
influenced by pride and that is distasteful. I
reply now because you are attempting to drive
people away from a potentially rewarding and
fulfilling experience (yes, I do understand that
it can be dangerous and it may be illicit),
solely based on your own selfish agenda.

"Those who know ain't telling."

Maybe in your selfish, "fuck the world", "eat it,
looser" mind. I've been very fortunate to have a
number of experiences in a wide ranging field
of topics that the community was more than
willing to help each other for the good of the
respective interests. better communication &
better understanding = better collective
knowledge = better projects for everyone.
I know which world I would rather live in.

"Those that tell don't know."

Wrong again. This pressumes a whole hell of
a lot and shows the arrogance/IGNORANCE
of the poster. To answer a portion of Azee's
original question: heat is a necessary evil in
this process. Flavors and scents (hard to
seperate as they are experienced
simultaneously) are often complex molecules
that can be easily destroyed by heat.

Any good cook knows when to add seasoning.
Sometimes it is in the beginning of the
cooking as heat will help to draw out flavors,
sometimes it is at the end because the long
cook would destroy the seasonings flavors. It
all depends, and the cook has learned and/or
WAS TAUGHT when/how to use their
seasonings appropriately. Heat, in our
instance, is needed to boil liquid to get
through this process. Anything you can do to
put as little heat as possible into the process
is crucial in that it will help you maintain the
highest amount of flavors/scents/essences
without destroying them. Granted, a balance
must be struck between waiting all day for the
end of your run and achieving a tasty result in
significantly less time.

Another aspect of adding too much heat is
seen as an action of you alcohol/herb mass to
kinetically jump/erupt within the heating
vessel. This generally happens, but the
severity of it can be linked to a heat setting that
is too high for your rate of evaporation. These
erruptions can shoot herbmass into your
condesor and ruin you final product. There are
ways to deal with this, but the easiest is to
maintain an equilibrium between the amount
of heat you NEED and the amount of heat
you're putting into the process. You'll still see
smaller eruptions, but they are less likely to
leave the heating vessel and you'll make it
through the run.

To your question as to the range as to which
things happen, I cannot give a definitive
answer. That is not to say I don't know what
I'm doing (as Don will inevitably point out.) I do
know when the process starts to get crucial
(meaning when something is coming over
that I don't want in my final product.) That's the
key, isn't it? You are not going to segment
what you collect and don't collect (i.e. collect
from 78C - 81C, then leave out 82C-86C, and
then keep 87-94C.) No, that is ridiculous! You
are going to collect almost all of the product,
you simply need to know when to stop.

My suggestion, Azee, is that you should read
about cognac making. There are *some*
similarities (not saying that they are identical,
but any intelligent being can compare and
contrast and learn from associated subjects),
especially toward the end of the run (called in
their lingo "the tails"). Our product at this stage
starts to get a heavy/pungent scent/flavor to it.
The distillate at this point will have some
nastier tasting essences in it. Knowing when
to stop the collection of the heart from the tails
is something that I've thought long and hard
about and so should you once you get going.

the cognac making sites *WILL* talk about a
segmented collection. because they are
distilling from a mash, there are some yeast
by-products and alcohols that are harmful and
unwanted in the final consumable liquor.
these alcohols are part of the natural
by-products of yeast and come over first and
need to be seperated out by collecting a small
amount (called the heads) and setting it
aside. the heart, the bulk of the run and what
is wanted, is collected in a continuous flow.
the tails are then collected seperately from the
heart. most DIY absinthe makers aren't
making their own ethyl alcohol from scratch. it
can be easily purchased in the form of
Everclear (95% pure ETOH) or it can be
achieved by redistilling vodka to achieve a
higher proof level. the concerns that cognac
makers, or moonshiners for that matter, have
of methyl alcohols is removed from the
absinthe maker's equation.

"When it comes to absinthe, VERY VERY hard.
If you want a product you can be proud of. And
if not, why bother? "

This should read "When trying to
absinthe, very very hard." The generic term
"absinthe" isn't defined by 100 year old
Pernod. Memérč Desrochers could have
made an absinthe that was as wonderful as
vintage E. Pernod, it just didn't taste like it.
What is difficult for you, amoung other things,
is that you have a super specific goal you're
trying to reach. It is obvious when it is off
target, even by a little bit. But to say that
anything other than your target ideal is not
something to be proud of is complete and
utter bullshit.

Be aware, Azee and everyone, that it behooves
Don for you to think that this process is
someting mystical or so utterly complex that
no one would WANT to try it. Don wants to sell
as many bottles as he can. That is fine,
because he has worked hard. But a
misrepresentation of the truth isn't. Learning
to do this yourself is certainly with in the grasp
of mere mortals to achieve. I'd seriously
question the motivations behind anything Don
has to say here, as they are driven by a green
different than the one that should be
discussed on this forum.

Why does no one else see this? Oh! I see
Luger has.
the nephilim

By Luger on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 01:42 pm: Edit

"Luger, you ever have distilled anything? "

That is illegal

By Luger on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 01:38 pm: Edit

Dear Don.

I have at the moment no access to my mailservice, but I will be home in a few hours, and then I can send you my adress, if *you* want to continue.
But I donīt really understand why it should be private. "Shine" made a statement. You said he was wrong. I believe *you* are wrong. You have your right to your opinion, and you have your right to call me a bullshitter, but unless I am told otherwise I believe this to be *on* topic, and therefore suitable for the forum.
The case is closed if you want it to be.

Best regards: Luger

By Don Walsh on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 01:27 pm: Edit

Dear Luger

If you wish to continue, TAKE IT PRIVATE. My address is posted.

By Luger on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 01:20 pm: Edit

"And for all that making GREAT vodka is 100 times easier than making mediocre ansinthe."

I was replying to your statement about making Vodka, didnīt I?

"The simple directions aren't simple;"

That some people have failed to even add the right ingredients, and then found the thing tasting horrible, doesnīt make the directions complicated.
Some people are simply not bright enough to follow simple instructions. That is not a fault of the instruction.

"the equipment isn't as elementary as the idiotic websites and books
would have you believe."

I have been watching folks doing this,I did not (originally) get it from the web and I can assure you that their equipment didnīt require 10 years of education to handle. Itīs absurd to compare an "art" with something just about any determined guy with some time and $ can do.

"Fractionating alcohol from mash is messy, and getting rid of cogeners isn't easy."

I recommend you to read any of the available texts. It is very easy.
Actually, all the people I have met, who have done this, made it right on their first try. None of them failed, and some of them were not "very bright", but they still did not fail. I think Vodkamaking is very easy.

"You have tasted" but your taste may all be in your ass.

That may be so, but since I am not talking about my own product, I have no reason to tell you anything but the truth as I see it. I am not the only one who has tasted good homemade Vodka. Are there anyone else but me here on this forum who has ever tasted good homemade Vodka? I know guys who are very good at tasting wine, beer, and whisky, and they tell me that tasting vodka is very very simple ( compared to wine/beer/whiskey tasting ). I believe them.

"You haven't done, I do every day all day."

You drink Vodka all day ? :-)

equipment I use the websites can't dream of"

About 100 meters from me now, is a chemical lab with fractional distillers, Rotavaps, and anything I can dream of. The guys who operate these things tell me that homemade equipment can be just as good for making Vodka. I believe them. You donīt have to be a scientist to find someone who can weld stainless or whatever (actually, I think I cpuld do that welding better than most scientists.)
Temperature controllers are cheap and easy to use.
Active coal is cheap and easy to use. Please elaborate about what is so complicated!

"Don't kid yourself and don't bullshit the forum."

Kind words. I simply state that you are wrong. Have you maybe any economical reason to tell us what you know to be wrong?

Best regards: Luger ( yes, best regards, you started using harsh words. I didnīt.
Why am I a bullshitter? Please explain! )

By Don Walsh on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 12:54 pm: Edit

I believe I made the same points although Ted is more a diplomat than I am.

I graduated from the Attila School of Foreign Service. Then did a sabbatical at the Genghis Khan Institute for Strategic Studies.

By Tabreaux on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 12:00 pm: Edit

Vodka and absinthe is apples and oranges. One experienced vodka maker crafted an absinthe still and gave an elaborate account of it on the internet using a widely accepted distillation protocol. When you read the description of the end product, it is obvious that the outcome was a dismal failure. Same goes for a commercial west-coast brandy-maker who attempted the same...a failure.

In fact, vodka is the easiest distilled product anyone could aspire to make. As Mr. Wormwood pointed out, both art and science are involved in the making of a quality product. Of course, you already have access to products which make use of neither, just shop for any of the Czech brands (besides Sebor).

By Don Walsh on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 11:56 am: Edit

The websites selling books and equipment will tell you that making your own alcohol is cheap and easy and just buy their plastic tank fitted with some cheap gaskets and an aquarium heater and you too can be a Real Moonshiner.


Then they'l sell you overpriced yeast and claim it's so much better than baker's yeast.


The fact is that any old yeast works just fine -- to make grain alcohol NOT beer NOT wine NOT whiskey -- so all the sellers of hyper this and turbo that are NOT to be believe about other particulars as well.

The main thing to bear in mind when contemplating the distillation of mash is that what you have is rather concentrated sugar water. Any confectioner will tell you: this stuff LOVES to boil over and then you have a sticky, hot, stinking mess.

I work not with mash but with 95% ethanol and I do so in 100% professional borosilicate glass with thousands of dollars worth or electronics to control everything.

So much for the simple and the easy.

A bottle of vodka gere sells for as little as $5. That's in Thailand and that's US made vodka.

So, forget about saving $$$.

Luger, you ever have distilled anything?

By Don Walsh on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 11:36 am: Edit

And for all that making GREAT vodka is 100 times easier than making mediocre ansinthe.

By Don Walsh on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 11:34 am: Edit

As a practicing chemist and a specialist in this field, I can assure you, Luger, you are wrong.

The simple directions aren't simple; the equipment isn't as elementary as the idiotic websites and books would have you believe.

Fractionating alcohol from mash is messy, and getting rid of cogeners isn't easy. Even so the product requires aging, because our sense of taste can detect cogeners at very low levels.

"You have tasted" but your taste may all be in your ass. You haven't done, I do every day all day. The equipment I use the websites can't dream of, the skills I bring to the bench, the websites can't teach.

Don't kid yourself and don't bullshit the forum.

By Luger on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 09:51 am: Edit

"Making decent vodka from mash is an art and a science"

No, you just follow simple instructions. Not any art, and not any science. Instructions for making decent Vodka can be found at several sites.
Actually, I have tasted several homemade Vodkas that is better than the commercial ones. These were made by ordinary guys, with no access to a magic wand.



Best regards: Luger

By Bob Chong on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 09:07 am: Edit

"Those who can't do, teach"?

Only a smug bastard would ever say this "adage" and truly mean it.

You're right, Don--it's more than a little unfair. I owe a lot of what I know and who I am to some fine people who chose the transmission of knowledge (and culture) as their life's work rather than merely "doing" something as a job. They chose "making a difference" (the most often cited reason why people go into teaching) over making money. I commend them for that.

There are a lot of bad teachers out there, but that does not condemn the profession as a whole. Only in America do we disdain teaching and learning so.

Let flow the whining posts of "my teachers didn't teach me anything."


By Don Walsh on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 07:38 am: Edit

Ahem. Mr WW, from what reference did you get the b.p. of thujone(s) and, exactly how did they represent it? Because your stated data is wrong.

You are welcome to reply privately.

By Don Walsh on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 07:35 am: Edit

The old adage is actually:

Those who can do, do.
Those who can't do, teach.
Those who can't teach, teach teachers.

The first and third lines are mostly true.
The second line is a little unfair.
I know a lot of fine teachers.

By Mr. Wormwood on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 05:46 am: Edit

Some where between the boiling point of ethanol (78°C) and water (100°C). You will boil off Thujones (84-86°C), and a wide varity of other plant derived flavorings with boiling points between 78-100°C. Running a the distillation and finding a recipe that promotes the flavors you want is where the science stops and the art begins. Good luck on your "masterpiece".

Disclaimer: Don't try this at home kids, alcohol is flammable and illegal to distill in most places.

By Don Walsh on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 05:36 am: Edit

Running a still is 'easy'?

However making something worth drinking is most assuredly not. That applies not only to absinthe, but even to the most prosaic of products -- vodka. Making decent vodka from mash is an art and a science.

It's asy to make rotgut.

Anything else is hard.

When it comes to absinthe, VERY VERY hard. If you want a product you can be proud of. And if not, why bother?

By shine on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 04:54 am: Edit

it's the old addage "those who can't do; teach. those who teach; can't do."

it is easy and it is safe, have been doing it for years...

it is to easy, thats why everyone tells you its so hard and dangerous to run a still.

just take time...

By Don Walsh on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 03:09 am: Edit

Those who know ain't telling.

Those that tell don't know.

It isn't simple, and it isn't easy. It also isn't safe and certainly isn't legal unless you are in New Zealand, or Austria.

By Azee on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 01:44 am: Edit

When distilling absinthe just how does temp. have to do with how the flavors come over? At what range does it distill? Can someone elaborate?

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