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What a Swede taught me about junipers, which you pick yourself, if the schnapps is not to taste of turpentine
The fruit of juniper - Juniperus communis - is actually not a berry but an cones. The first year they are green, the second year they are dark blue. Only the dark blue cones are used, the green ones have a strong turpentine-like taste.

The cones are harvested in September and allowed to air dry for a few days. Gently pound them in a mortar without crushing them and pour them into a bottle. Pour on alcohol so that it covers and let them stand for a week. Check regularly every day to see if it is necessary to add more alcohol as the cones absorb the alcohol. Fill again to cover the cones. When the week is over, the mixture should be sieved, not filtered. Let the essence stand for a month so that it clears and a sediment forms. Gently decant the essence into a beautiful bottle and mix with vodka for a pleasant taste. It's reminiscent of Gin.

An oily film forms on the surface of the schnapps in the bottle, so you have to shake the bottle before serving. This is the reason why one should not filter through a coffee filter as the essential oils will settle in the filter.


 

ADE Pocket Scales TE 1700 weight
ADE Pocket Scales TE 1700 weight
Purchase of an ADE Pocket Scales TE 1700 weight
I was past Kop & Kande in Næstved Center and found this weight for 149.00 DKK. I had to own it. It has a scale of 0.01 grams and a max weight limit of 100 grams. The protective lid, which is seen in the bottom picture, can be used as a weighing container for the herbs. The lid weighs 24.40 grams. The scale uses 2 batteries CR2032 and 15 mA in power. (With or without light?).

There is of course a TARA function and an on / off button for the built-in light for the display.

Built-in "Unit" function for:

g = Gram - commonly used for us with herbs
ct = Carat - for jewelers
gn = Grain - known by fly fisherman, the weight of the fly line
oz = Ounce - gold is given in ounces
ozt = Troy ounce - see below
dwt = Penny weight - see below

Some of these units of weight are commonly used in jewelery and dental care in Denmark. It is an international scale, but no manual in Danish. Only German - English - Spanish - French - Italian and Polish.

I weighed 10 pcs. cloves to 0.77 grams and 12 pcs. to 1.05 grams. Recommendable.

 
I will show some bottle types, decoction glasses and essence glasses that I use in the schnapps guild.
1 liter glass with lid
It is these 1 liter glasses with lids that I use for extraction. I have chosen this method: Herbs, fruits and spices mixed in alcohol.


 

Swissgold gold filter
Swissgold gold filter
Purchase of Swissgold gold filter
I have long been dissatisfied with using paper coffee filters to filter spice schnapps for several reasons. Depending on what you filter, the coffee filter stops, so you have to change the coffee filter. This causes you to lose a lot of good vodka, as paper absorbs a lot of alcohol.

I therefore searched the web for "Filtration Sieve" and several options came up. I stuck to "Kaffeagenterne" and found this Swissgold gold filter for 199.00 kr.

I also think that you get more flavors in your spice schnapps, as the Swissgold gold filter does not absorb aesthetic oils. Many of these oils will settle in paper filters and the more paper filters one uses, the more flavors will be lost. Swissgold gold filter can be used several times and just needs to be cleaned in hot water. Can also go in the dishwasher if necessary.

I have ordered one and will make a comment once it has been tested.

 

Philips saftpresser
Philips saftpresser
Purchase of Philips juicers
I have long called for a press or centrifuge to get the last juice and vodka out of the pulp on the spice schnapps. Therefore, I searched the web what options there were. All new "juices" cost a fortune. Used on various sites was between DKK 200.00 and DKK 400.00. It was an option. But when I visited the home thrift store, I found a Philips juicer marked with DKK 150.00. That was the case. I came to the checkout and they told me, "Today it's half price". How lucky can you be.

The juicer is cleaned and tested on fruit, works impeccably. However, I need to try it out on spice schnapps as they are still standing and drawing.

I will return with results in early 2018.

Here is the result: It seems impeccable, BUT what a cleaning after each spin. I do not want to do that. For large scale operation it's OK but I got a new idea, see here my Press Pistol.

 

Decanting device with electric air pump


I have made a "Skafot" where the bottles can stand on when the schnapps is to be decanted. This can be done without the sediment following. The scaffold is made of 10 mm X-veneer and glued together with white carpentry glue. Madsen has made the scaffold according to a drawing from Walter. Drawing with dimensions is seen in the bottom picture.

The electric air pump is from HN with order no. 6268 and costs 89, 00 kr.

The hoses are made of silicone with dimensions Ø 4/6 mm 5 meters item no. 038528 and cost DKK 104.00 online at Frederiksen

The white plastic pipes are bought from birthday flags in different places (Rema 1000 - Brugsen), But make sure that the pipe is 4.2 mm thick on the outside to fit the hose. I have seen pipes of 3.9 mm and 5.3 mm (paper flag 10 pcs. DKK 10.00) and 6.5 mm (plastic flag 10 pcs. DKK 20.00)

When the plastic pipe is to be bent, an insulated copper wire (installation wire) is inserted and the plastic pipe is immersed in boiling water. Carefully bend the tube with your hands - wear gloves - and when the bow is correct, hold it in place while immersing it in cold water.

Two 4.2 mm holes are drilled in the capsule that fits the bottle (drill Ø 4.2 mm from XL-Build). The bottle shown is vodka from Netto. The capsule is from Rynkeby's Ginger Shot, as it has a silicone gasket inside. The plastic pipe for the air pump is sealed with two component epoxy (red type). The plastic tube for the receiver bottle is sealed with a 4 mm O-ring on the top and bottom.

Once the long plastic tube is inserted through the capsule, heat the end gently with a fan heater and squeeze the end together with a pair of pliers so that the sides are welded together. Practice first because the plastic pipe melts quickly if the heat gets too high.

The welded bottom is adjusted with a scissors, and approx. 1 cm from the bottom, cut a v half through the plastic tube so that there is a hole of 2 to 3 mm, use a scalpel.

Mount the electric air pump on the bottom, as shown, with 5 cm wide velcrobånd (Velcro straps).

The pump's thin spigots are cut to fit the 4.2 mm plastic pipe. Plugs and plastic pipes are held together and sealed with shrink flex from Biltema. Finally, test the decanter, fill the bottle with water, screw on the lid, insert the hose into the receiver bottle (I use a 3/4 liter carafe), turn on the pump. The pump will now create overpressure in the bottle and the water will start to flow. As soon as the water flows into the receiver bottle, the pump can be switched off.

An alternative would be to turn the pump connections over and suck the receiver bottle empty of air, but then this bottle must be made completely airtight with a rubber stopper. There must then be two holes in the stopper, and this must also be in the bottle with schnapps, because otherwise negative pressure will form in the bottle as the schnapps runs out.
Dekanteringsapparat med elektrisk luftpumpe
Decanting device with electric air pump

 

The 4 Vodkas I use are either from Netto, Rema 1000, Aldi or Lidl
The 4 Vodkas I use are either from
Netto, Rema 1000, Aldi or Lidl

How is vodka made?
The 4 Vodkas I use are either from Netto, Rema 1000, Aldi or Lidl
Netto: OLIOFSKA 37.5% vol. 700 ml is a vodka that has been distilled 4 times. Imported from Fauconnier in France, which among other things makes Polish Vodka. What the vodka is made of is not known, but probably grain. The price is DKK 57.95. Taste assessment points: 6.33.

Rema 1000: POLSKEY VODKA 37.5% vol. 700 ml is a vodka distilled twice. Manufactured by Polini Group Italia SRL. The vodka is made from wheat. The price is DKK 57.95. Taste assessment points: 6.33.

Aldi: ZARANOFF 37.5% vol. 700 ml is a vodka distilled 3 times. Manufactured by Rola Likörfabrik, Rottenburg in Germany. The vodka is made from sugar beets. The price is DKK 57.95. Taste assessment points: 5.66.

Lidl: RACHMANINOFF 37.5% vol. 700 ml is a vodka that has been distilled 3 times. Made in Germany. The price is DKK 57.95. Taste assessment points: 6.00.

Today, Sunday 14 January 2018, I have tastings of the 4 Vodkas I use. The price is the same, so I will try which vodka to use. Basically, a vodka is best when distilled several times. Therefore, OLIOFSKA should be the best. ZARANOFF and RACHMANINOFF in a shared second place and POLSKEY VODKA in a third place. Another factor that also comes into play is the ingredients on which the vodka is made. I'll see. Result:

OLIOFSKA and POLSKEY VODKA shared 1st place, RACHMANINOFF 2nd place and ZARANOFF 3rd place.

 

My Presse Pistol
My Presse Pistol
My homemade "Press Pistol" according to the principle "Caulking gun"
Now I was tired of washing the juicer every time I made a spice schnapps. Therefore, I got the idea to make a small "Press Pistol" for approx. 300 ml herbs / fruits / berries, which were easy to clean after each pressure. So when I saw my silicone Caulking gun in the workshop, I got the idea.

In Biltema I bought: Caulking gun item no. 192796 to DKK 19.90, 10 pcs. nozzles item no. 364835 to DKK 12.90 and a the siev item no. 850069 to DKK 17.90

In Jem & Fix I bought: PP drain pipe in gray Ø 50 mm x 25 cm for DKK 15.95, PP plug Ø 50 mm for DKK 6.95 and PP plug Ø 40 mm for DKK 6.95

The spacer was made from an old 6 mm nylon cutting board. 2 rings were drilled out with a cup drill and glued together.

Start by cutting pipes Ø 50 mm off in the side where the rubber gasket is located on the left. From here, measure the length of the pipe to 20.4 cm and cut off. Use a cutting box because it is difficult to cut straight into pipes. In a plug Ø 50 mm, drill a hole that fits the nozzle, here 17 mm. The flap on the mouthpiece is cut off and glued together with the stopper with a 2-component glue. Red araldite. The siev is cut clean at a height that fits into the stopper. The small plug Ø 40 mm is sawn free of the pipe so that it can be used as a pressure pistol for the Caulking gun. The nylon ring is adapted to the Caulking gun diameter and the hole to the nozzle.

I have tried my Press Pistol and have come to this result: 70 g of herbs - a mixture of roots, stems, leaves and fruit drawed on a 70 cl bottle of vodka. Was sieved and the rest filled in the press. 7 cl of vodka came out, that is 10%. I got a total of 66.5 cl of spice schnapps. Loss of 3.5 cl or 5%. Without the Press Pistol, the shrinkage would be 10.5 cl or 15%. PP container weighs 98 g (without Caulking gun) and is easy to clean. It can only be recommended to make your own "Press Pistol" when the shrinkage can be reduced by 1/3.

 

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