Do you want to take your spirits to the next level? Step up your moonshine game with a DIY gin basket.
Making your own spirits is a great hobby for anyone who wants to spend less money at the liquor store and have more control over the quality of their spirits.
What is a Gin Basket Used For?
A gin basket is a handy little add on to your moonshine still which allows you to infuse flavor into your spirits.
A gin basket is so named for its use of infusing botanicals to flavor gin. However, you can use a gin basket in any type of spirit to infuse any desired flavor.
Many moonshiners will even make a fruit-based shine and then infuse yet another flavor during distillation to truly make their own unique combination.
Adding flavor during the distillation process is an easy way to add a depth of flavor to your final product.
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How Does a Gin Basket Work?
One of the most popular techniques for distilling gin is a vapor infusion. This technique requires the vapor to pass through the botanicals before condensation.
By the vapors passing through the additions to your mash, you can add flavor to your final product.
This vessel for holding the additions is called a gin basket because of the necessity to add juniper berries and botanicals in order to achieve the unique flavor of gin.
Of course, you can also simply infuse your spirits with flavor after it is distilled. However, this process is not ideal if you want to maintain clear spirits consistent with those that are distilled in a commercial setting. Adding a gin basket is a great way to really take your moonshine to the next level.
What Can I Put in a Gin Basket?
While the name may imply a gin basket is only used for additions that are used specifically for making gin, this is simply not true.
The purpose of using a gin basket is to add flavor to your spirits and when it comes to moonshine, the options are endless.
Popular options are botanicals, fruit and spices. Gin baskets are also a great option to be used when making fruit-based moonshine to add even more flavor to your final product.
Often the question isn’t what to put in the gin basket but how much. Many options that are commercially made do not have the capacity to be used in many recipes. Fortunately, there are many options for flavoring your moonshine that don’t require a gin basket.
Where Do you Put a Gin Basket in a Pot Still?
When placing your gin basket it is important to make sure that it is directly in the path of your vapors BEFORE the condenser. In a pot still some commercially made options will screw into the lid of the pot.
If you have a pot still but don’t have a gin basket there are still great options for flavoring your shine. Of course, you can always flavor your shine after distillation, but that is not your only option.
Our Magnum all in One Moonshine kit comes with a cheese cloth bag that can easily be filled with any flavor addition of your choice and can be placed around the sides of the pot and then held in place with the built in clamps.
This is a simple no cost way to add flavor to your shine just as effective as a costly add-on. This also allows for a larger amount of flavoring to be added because you do not have to operate under the constraints of a gin basket.
Where Do you Put a Gin Basket in a Reflux Still?
The gin basket can be placed anywhere before the condenser. Sometimes this is determined by the design of the gin basket. The most important thing is to ensure that your gin basket allows your additions to be fully embraced by your steam.
If you are seeking a more subtle flavor, you can put the basket at the bottom of the rectification column. This will draw the heavier flavors from the botanicals in a subtle flavor.
For a more enhanced flavor, you can place the basket higher up, even in the middle of the column.
If you own a reflux still but don’t have a gin basket you can still add flavor during distillation. Of course, you can always add flavor by using a cheese cloth bag at the top of your still, but there is also a second option.
Using a piece of cheesecloth and a string, you can add some flavor to the middle of a cheesecloth, secure it with a string and insert it into your column.
Is it Hard to Make Gin?
Before you consider adding a gin basket, you may want to consider whether you enjoy this type of spirit or flavored spirits at all. After all, you are adding extra work for yourself so you want to make sure you are spending your time wisely!
Like many spirits, gin simply requires an extra step to prepare. While this could seem overwhelming to a brand new moonshiner, it is often the extra challenge that keeps a more seasoned shiner coming back mash after mash.
What are the Three Key Ingredients in Gin?
Of course, the key ingredient in any spirit is ethanol. When making moonshine, ethanol is the ‘hearts’ or part of the distillation which we want to keep and consume.
Gin gets its unique taste from the addition of botanicals. This is what is used in gin for creating its flavor profile.
The key botanicals used in gin are juniper, coriander and angelica.
How to Make Gin with a Mason Jar
Gin can also be achieved by simply infusing your distilled spirits with juniper berries and botanicals. This is an easy way to add flavor to any spirit. All you need is a mason jar, your distilled spirits and juniper berries.
All you need to do is crush your juniper berries, add them to your spirits and allow the flavor to infused over a few weeks. Periodically you can check the flavor of your gin to decide when it is ‘done’.
DIY Gin Basket
If you have welding skills and the desire, you can try this DIY gin basket below.