Homemade Absinthe Thread (cont again & again)

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archive Thru March 2002: Archive thru February 2002:Homemade Absinthe Thread (cont again & again)
By Pablo on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 02:41 am: Edit

If any of the dancing girls are still alive by then, it will be done. An LA fairy fest is a must. We will have to keep that in mind. Give the west coasters a chance to get freaky!

By Artist on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 02:32 am: Edit

Alas, I will not be there...Maybe you could study how it is done, then hook up with some dancing girls and do one in L. A.?

By Pablo on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 02:29 am: Edit

Hmmmm. You going to the NY get together? If so, try and bring some.

By Artist on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 02:04 am: Edit

Interesting in a good sense...but my friend thinks it needs some fine tuning in the taste department...

It has a rather unorthodox taste (not like other absinthes I have had).

By Pablo on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 01:31 am: Edit

Interesting isn't necessrily a glowing recomendation. Any good?

By Artist on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 01:00 am: Edit

No, I didn't make...a friend in another state where it is legal did.

It has a very interesting taste...

By Pablo on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 05:41 am: Edit

Make it as in make the drink, or make it as in survive the drink?

By Wolfgang on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 05:27 am: Edit

Did you make it ?

By Artist on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 01:16 am: Edit

Speaking of puns...

We've all heard of La Blue (Bleue)...

What about La Purple?

(Hopefully this will not be seen as blasphemy *grin*)

La Purple La Purple Louche

By Artist on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 12:32 am: Edit

Not the foulest thing in the world...actually doesn't taste half bad...tastes a little minty and reminds me of "Old Way"...

I believe it is Pontica...

(I brought the plant in next to the monitor and compared carefully...the leaf shape matches the AP and not the AA.)

By Wolfgang on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 08:26 pm: Edit

Ho! and for the picture ...taste it. if it's the foulest thing in the world it's A.A. ...;-)

By Wolfgang on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 08:22 pm: Edit

The color change within the season, you should look for the shape. I agree it's difficult to say with only a picture and I'm not 100% sure myself.

Re-distilled ?

Yes, if you have a bunch of bad experimental batchs you can put it in your pot, add some water and slowly redistill the whole mess. What you will get is another mess with less (bad or good) taste and more alcohol concentration. You can use it to make some absinthe again. The problem is you won't be able to reproduce the same product again. It's only usefull if you prefer to drink it rather than throwing it down the sink.

If you make absinthe with such a recuperated alcohol, you should use maybe about 1/2 anis and a little bit less of the other herbs.

It won't do a miracle but it may be at least drinkable, at best interesting.

By the way, I used A.A. from Frontier (the one without flower buds) to make that recuperation and the effect is maybe 1/2 as strong as with the nice A.A. I get from my local herb shop... It does make a difference.


Ho and by the way, why not give a little trick... When your absinthe distillation is finished, why should you collect the tail while burning the herbs ? No reason. When it's over, it's over. turn off the stove, remove the herbs (filter it out/whatever) and distill the tail later without herbs...

By Artist on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 07:54 pm: Edit

Hmmm...re-distilled? Sounds like a friend of mine...

Wolfgang, help me out here...if not AP, AA?

(But it is more silvery, and not very green...)

By Wolfgang on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 07:17 pm: Edit

I just re-tasted my re-processed #4 (#4b)without sugar and with 1:7 !!! water ratio and I was telling to myself "hummm, it have a milky texture"... I think the fact that I used re-distilled old batch as a base alcohol made for a too intense absinthe (unfortunately too much anis too...). There's also too much sage in the coloring. Weird but not bad at all without sugar if I dilute enough to tame the bitterness without the need for sugar. IT's strange that I prefer it not too cold...It's also the first absinthe I made exactly to 72% and with a proper coloring process...

Anyway, it's not an official wolfsinthe, it's a one of a kind experimental batch and it's gonna disappear very fast even if it's not perfect :-)

Let's have another glass...

By Wolfgang on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 07:13 pm: Edit

I don't think it is...

By Artist on Monday, February 04, 2002 - 12:14 pm: Edit

Aha. Must be Pontica...

By Wolfgang on Monday, February 04, 2002 - 10:07 am: Edit

Plant pictures...

By Artist on Sunday, February 03, 2002 - 09:47 pm: Edit

...

By Artist on Sunday, February 03, 2002 - 01:38 pm: Edit

(Tried to post this in the "test" thread but the thread will not "come to the top")

I happened to find this growing...is it what I think it is (which would this be, A. A. or A. P.)?

By the way, I found this in a lovely little shopping/eating district in Los Angeles...

What is this?

By Don_Walsh on Friday, January 25, 2002 - 06:49 am: Edit

By the way, lnow what 'carminative' means?

It means a substance that makes you less flatulent.

Damn. Some folks might disappear altogether.

By Don_Walsh on Friday, January 25, 2002 - 06:46 am: Edit

As in: Cedar leaf oil, but of course T.occidentalis isn't really a cedar, although it does get called 'white cedar' that's a misnomer.

It is Arbor-vitae.

Commercially, cedar leaf oil is a substitute for lavendar oil, itself described as a flavor and fragrance. But, lavendar oil contains no thujone, while of course, arbor-vitae does.

As the main component is a-pinene, Van Gogh would have approved. He liked to eat turpentine. Do you?

By Artist on Friday, January 25, 2002 - 02:42 am: Edit

Anyone heard of Thuja Leaves (Thuja occidentalis) in absinthe?

By Petermarc on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 04:01 pm: Edit

true, but i had to think of something to say...

By Head_Prosthesis on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 03:59 pm: Edit

They don't count now do they? What they make, is not what they say they sell.

By Petermarc on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 03:58 pm: Edit

tell that to the czechs!

By Head_Prosthesis on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 03:56 pm: Edit

There's no edit function after coloring though.
PeterCheater

By Petermarc on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 03:55 pm: Edit

ha!

By Head_Prosthesis on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 03:55 pm: Edit

Precision my friend...

By Petermarc on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 03:53 pm: Edit

oh! that was quick...

By Head_Prosthesis on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 03:52 pm: Edit

HR Giger

By Petermarc on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 03:51 pm: Edit

the swiss run on precision...distilling (in most cases) is precision...the coloration step is an art...quick, name a swiss artist! other than h r giger

By Artemis on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 03:11 pm: Edit

"It's very present in my blanche but I somewhat lose some of it when I try to color it"

Everybody runs into that problem. If you manage to obtain a fragrant, clean product, it might be a good idea to keep some of it clear, just so you don't come out with nothing at all if you botch the coloration. In fact, coloration is far more likely to make the product worse than better. I firmly believe this is why the Swiss don't bother with it.

As for Pontica, it will probably only complicate that particular problem.

By Wolfgang on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 05:34 am: Edit

"the fine, musky scent of wormwood" That's what I was talking about.

It's very present in my blanche but I somewhat lose some of it when I try to color it... Of course I don't have A.Pontica yet, that doesn't help.

Up to now I have used sage, veronica, mint, hyssop and fir (not all in the same batch mind you).

By Artist on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 01:45 am: Edit

Okay...

My best description:

After taking a small amount of the absinthe on the tongue, then swirling it around, then sucking the tongue up to the roof of the mouth and forcing the absinthe down...the resultant flavor in the mouth when exhaling is woody/woodsy (maybe similar to a very oaky chardonnay - like Acacia or Fetzer Barrel Select)...

This also could be construed as a very full, round in the mouth flavor as well, I guess. It almost reminds me of camping and the feeling of being in the forest.

a.

By Aion on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 09:47 pm: Edit

True, true!
And if you taste several products (not only
absinthes) side by side you´ll get also
very different results from tasting each
one alone.
A.

By Artemis on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 08:01 pm: Edit

There's also the problem of the Green Fairy playing tricks on you. You sip, smell, sip, smell, take notes, guzzle, take notes. You think you've quantified it. A week later, you taste the same product, look at your notes, and think "why did I write that shit? It's nothing like that!" I know I don't imagine this because other people tell me it happens to them. I've had the same bottle of La Fee go from totally mint to totally muddy (and back) on me.

By Mr_Carfax on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 07:55 pm: Edit

Wolfgang

I'm not sure if we are talking about the same flavour here....

(here we go, dancing about architecture again....)

...but there is a nice "mineral" taste (best description I can find) I can detect.

I've tasted it in a bottle of La Bleue and in the Jade variant I had at Don's.

It's not a "salty" mineral taste though, and it is isn't the copper-button-in-the-mouth-taste either. I haven't tasted anything like it in any Spanish variety yet...

By Heiko on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 07:55 pm: Edit

What I'm still wondering about is: why could I smell this special taste (at least the one I'm thinking of) in Neuchatel Blanche? That one wasn't supposed to be absinthe, but who knows?

Then I smelt (only smelt and did not taste it) in the vintage Berger.
I guess we're all talking about something different...

By Artemis on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 07:42 pm: Edit

I didn't answer Artist's question about the origin of the "woody" taste precisely because there's no way to know for sure what he's talking about, especially since he referred to La Bleues, which may vary all over the place, as opposed to the commercial stuff, which even if nasty is fairly consistent.

Many moons ago in this forum, the term "woody" was used quite a bit in reference to the few products that were available at the time (Deva and MM being the two foremost of them). I assumed the reference was to wormwood. When I got to taste those products, I tasted a muddy, swampy quality (which as Don pointed out, betrays a deficient process). But not knowing that at the time, I put two and two together and assumed this "swampy" thing must be the "woody" thing the other tasters had noted. And that this must be wormwood. See how ignorance prospers? In reality, the fine, musky scent of wormwood, which is the signature of good clean absinthe, is almost absent in those products, being masked by other smells. It's possible the original taster smelled wormwood (but I doubt it) and I now consider it unlikely that's what he was calling woody. In any case, the term woody is still with us.

So I understand where Don's coming from; I also understand where Wolfgang is coming from. That project of Ted's is sorely needed indeed.

By Tabreaux on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 06:30 pm: Edit

"Ted, where you not talking about proposing some kind of evaluation chart or something ?"

It's finished. You'll see it fairly soon.

By Wolfgang on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 06:11 pm: Edit

It's indeed very difficult to talk and write about smell and taste. We would need at least some kind of official code.

Ted, where you not talking about proposing some kind of evaluation chart or something ?

By Timk on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 04:59 pm: Edit

oh, the woes of verbal (and nonverbal) communication,,

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 04:50 pm: Edit

Wolfgang, you may well be right, naturally I can't know what taste you were referring too, I may have read too much into your choice of adjective.

By Wolfgang on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 04:43 pm: Edit

I`m not sure we are talking about the same thing... What I call the "woody absinthe taste" was present in Jade Edouard and was very good...

Where are those "scratch and lick" screen ?

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 03:19 pm: Edit

Wolfgang, it's the taste of an improperly distilled steep. That it is common in commercial as well as hausgemacht products is immaterial; when you get it right it won't be there even in an uncolored product.

And the color step done right 'masks' nothing, it contributes to the harmony and neither blocks nor diminishes anything else.

By Wolfgang on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 06:55 am: Edit

It's the taste of distilled wormwood.


Very apparent in a good blanche but easily masked by a coloration step (but then again, I'm far from mastering it...)

By Heiko on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 01:41 am: Edit

Maybe it's just a taste that comes from distilling plants in general? I can imagine there's a "woodsy" taste hidden in many plants.

By Artist on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 01:25 am: Edit

Adding, that's ADDING, DAMNIT!!!

By Artist on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 01:24 am: Edit

Heiko,

I do find the taste in Segarra, but to quite a lesser degree...

I'm wondering if it is related to addint much more Fennel?

By Heiko on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 01:17 am: Edit

Artist, do you find that taste in Segarra as well?

I think either distilled anise or distilled wormwood (or both together, distilled) give this kind of taste you could call "woodsy".
If we're talking about this, it's the taste that makes Segarra a real absinthe, something you can't find in any of the oil mixes.

By Artist on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 12:45 am: Edit

Anybody know (and be willing to share) what give La Bleues their "woodsy" taste ("woodsy" for lack of a better description)?

By Artist on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 12:43 am: Edit

Hmmmm.

Drip.Drip.Drip.

vs.

Drip...Drip...Drip...

Oui?

By Wolfgang on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 10:36 am: Edit

What I mean is there's an important step to do that is not clearly stated anywhere on any online or book recipes i saw. Sometimes it's almost said but is easily misinterpreted. Sometimes the quantities are just plain wrong. It is not so much of a big mystery and any homebrewer should eventually understand it after some trial and error (and waste of $$$ and time). I'm sure some people here know what I'm talking about.

Doing this step properly gives the following advantages:

- reduce the chance of an overcooked flavor
- permit the usage of a larger quantity of herb wich lead to a "thicker" full bodied absinthe.

The only drawback is it takes more time to produce a given quantity of say, 72% absinthe.

enough said.

By Artemis on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 10:03 am: Edit

"i just get to taste alot and act like i know something about it"

!!!!!

"is it really more fun as an absinthe-snob?"

I used to think so, then it started to weigh on my conscience.

"Everything you've read is wrong."

If you believe that, you're not reading the right things.

"Rethink everything."

That's a good daily practice. Pisses some people off when you say it here, though.

"Forget about all so called "old recipe" online or in the books."

That's not true, either. But neither is it true that there is a "Bible" out there somewhere. Nor is there any one "secret" or "riddle" to be answered. As Wolf is learning, it is practice that makes perfect.

By Petermarc on Monday, January 21, 2002 - 01:40 pm: Edit

i don't make absinthe, so i don't need the berries, but thanks... i just get to taste alot and act like i know something about it (is it really more fun as an absinthe-snob?) 'what? portugese? hurrumpph!' 'excuse me, but your louche is a little light'...'star anis? more like star anus!' 'hills? never tried it, it's only for easily impressed actors'
'hausgemacht? pardon me, but i only drink 'artisanal' products'
(insert sarcastic, self-effacing smiley faces here)

By Wolfgang on Monday, January 21, 2002 - 01:17 pm: Edit

Thanks, I already used a small amount of gentian roots in #2 and #4. I don't remember the cost but Richters Bulk Dried Roots cost is 55can$/Kg. Way more affordable than the seeds.

So I guess you meant that gentiane root is an exception to what I wrote earlyer today...

Juniperus berries cost me less than 10can$/100g(I don't remember the exact price, maybe 5-6$). Maybe you should mail order it from America...

By Petermarc on Monday, January 21, 2002 - 12:39 pm: Edit

no, i don't think so, but the plant grows a very, very long root, which is distilled...it has a flowered top, but, in my experience, is not used...gentiane root is not very expensive here in paris (at least, compared to genepi!) but the rights to dig up the root and at what time of year in the franche-comté is quite strict (at least, if anyone is looking) wolf, ask for dried root, instead, it may be cheaper, if not, i'll see what i can do...
gentiane
root

By Wolfgang on Monday, January 21, 2002 - 11:36 am: Edit

And there I am, picking up the hint and looking on the Richters catalog for gentian seeds ... WHAAA!!!! it's crazy ! 200 can$ for 100g !

Do those plant produce only one seed every 10 years or what ?

Wolf-banging head on his desk.

By Petermarc on Monday, January 21, 2002 - 10:31 am: Edit

tell that to mr. gentiane...

By Wolfgang on Monday, January 21, 2002 - 10:15 am: Edit

Not related to the previous post...


I got my horribly expensive bag of angelica seeds (from Richters). As soon as I opened the bag I understood that it was worth the price tag. The seeds are exuberantly fragrant. One seed on your tongue and you can taste it for 15 minutes. Very pleasant. I will use some in the next batch and forget about the roots. Roots are for worm and rodents, fairies prefer seeds and flowering top.

Yummy.

By Wolfgang on Monday, January 21, 2002 - 07:01 am: Edit

Riddle riddle... I'm laughing my ass off !

#4 done.

Small bottle kept for drinking while waiting big magnum bottle to age.

Thick louche, perfect color and many things understood while experimenting with that one, improving my apparatus and testing %alc... % in, % out... hahaha the dominos have fallen !

Everything you've read is wrong. Rethink everything. Forget about all so called "old recipe" online or in the books.

When you seriously think about it, the answer is so obvious I can't belive I didn't saw it before.

#5 will be THICKLY magnificiant and probably worthy for sample exchanges in april.

Now I can concentrate my efforts on the coloration step.

Riddle riddle, I won't spoon feed the answer ;-)

By Dr_Ordinaire on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 03:02 pm: Edit

The Doctor bites his tongue, takes a deep breath, and stops distracting Jade from making the best abstinthe in the world.

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 01:09 pm: Edit

Says Dr Asshole, slitheringly.

Isn't it uncomfortable, being under a rock most of the time?

By Dr_Ordinaire on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 12:31 pm: Edit

It's not my tongue that's wrong....Don.

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 12:30 pm: Edit

You really ought to do something surgical about that fork in your tongue, Ordinary. Either have it sewn up or get a hare lip cut, so you can let it out to sample the air, like the reptile you are.

By Dr_Ordinaire on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 12:23 pm: Edit

"One of the most entertaining aspects of the forum is Don and Dr.Ordinaire going at it. I love it.
Its a guilty pleasure"

You're welcome, Marc. And it was so easy. All I had to do was to compliment his alchohol...

By Wolfgang on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 08:49 am: Edit

I wouldn't be surprized if they order it from Richters in Ontario.

By Zman7 on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 08:31 am: Edit

Wolfgang,
Most of the A.A. available in US herb shops is sourced from Frontier. If your local herb shop has AA it might be interesting to see where it is sourced/supplied from. I have alot of AA in my garden (grown from seed)but it is mostly just for curiosity not hausgemachte, the a.pontica, on the other hand, that I have growing is another matter. More on pontica later.

By Wolfgang on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 07:29 am: Edit

Yes and there's no flower buds at all with it. The herbs are freshly dryed, fine, but just not harvested at the right time.

I checked the order confirmation and it was clearly marked "ground" fennel and "ground" anis. For those one it was my mistake.

By Zman7 on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 07:04 am: Edit

Wolfgang,
Was the A.A. sourced from Frontier Herb?

By Wolfgang on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 05:46 am: Edit

I got some herbs I ordered from Gaines Nutrition, A.A, green anis and fennel.

The anis and fennel came already ground and of course I was expecting whole seeds. I will have no problem using the anis before it's all evaporated but there will be a waste of fennel for sure.

The A.A was not harvested at the right time. Garbage. It's usable of course but I wont waste my time with that when I can find exceptional wormwood at my local herb shop. Maybe I should start selling absinthe kit on ebay to get rid of it (i have a whole pound damn it!).

Bad bad bad.

By Wolfgang on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 05:37 am: Edit

It's the same kind of pleasure as going to a corida ;-)

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 04:11 am: Edit

Marc, I am happy that you are amused.

By Marccampbell on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 03:20 am: Edit

One of the most entertaining aspects of the forum is Don and Dr.Ordinaire going at it. I love it.
Its a guilty pleasure.

By Verawench on Wednesday, January 16, 2002 - 06:04 pm: Edit

I've given birth to a four-threaded beast...

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, January 16, 2002 - 02:47 pm: Edit

Amen, brother, amen.

By Tabreaux on Wednesday, January 16, 2002 - 02:42 pm: Edit

> Of course, Ted, there is an "altogether different" thing that you and Don do and we Hausgemachterts do: we make absinthe. You jerk off.


I pity you.

By Admin on Wednesday, January 16, 2002 - 02:26 pm: Edit

Phew!

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