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Old 01-11-2013, 02:13 PM   #1
cmhblake
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Default Moonshine Flavor Extraction

Hi All,
I plan on brewing a 10 gallon batch of porter this weekend and will be splitting it off into two 6.5 gallon fermeters. I will make one 5 gallon a coconut porter and the other a vanillia porter. My question is in reguards to the vanilla porter, i've seen a lot of people putting vanilla beans scrapped and diced up in a shot of vodka to extract the flavor. well a co-worker of mine heard that i brew beer and last week brought me a pace salsa jar with indian reservation moonshine in it, while i like the show moonshiners, i'm not that into the hard stuff, i did take it and thanked him and the following day repayed him with some homebrewed stouts. SO my question IS.... can i use a shot of the moonshine the same as vodka to extract the vanilla bean flavoring, my only worry is additional off flavors, this stuff is crystal clears but smells like a mixture of rubbing alcohal and paintthinnner i also have no idea the proof of this stuff or have a tasted it, lets just say it "smells" like it would burn? Let me know what you think? maybe some sort of moonshine porter name can be created from this.

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Old 01-11-2013, 02:28 PM   #2
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Hmmmm...my initial thought is if it smells like cr@p, I probably wouldn't add it to my beer. I've tried some at a party once and it was about the same...tasted ok but smelled like paint thinnner. That said, it won't take much if you're just using it to extract the vanilla flavors, so the smell may not carry through to your beer.

You might try running it through a charcoal filter a couple times to clean it up a bit. The Brita water pitchers are supposed to work well for this. There was a show on G4 back when it was TechTV where they ran some cheap vodka through charcoal filters. After a few times through even vodka connoisseurs couldn't tell the difference between the cheap stuff and the top shelf vodka.

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Last edited by microbusbrewery; 01-11-2013 at 02:29 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:31 PM   #3
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It depends how well the shine was made. Some is pretty flavorless and would suit your purposes pretty well, other has some flavors I wouldnt want to add to my beer.

Give it the taste test, and if it tastes pretty neutral Id say go ahead and use it.

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Old 01-11-2013, 02:32 PM   #4
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"indian reservation moonshine" ???
No label with proof ??

Could be paint thinner for all you know. I'd rather use some cheappo vodka than risk the consequences of adding an unknown substance.

I've tried LEGAL moonshine that was diluted to about 80 proof and it tasted like a very slightly sweet vodka. I don't think adding MOONSHINE would add anything to your beer.

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Old 01-11-2013, 02:42 PM   #5
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^if legal shine is all you've tried before, you ain't had shine

i have nothing useful to contribute to the OP.

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Old 01-11-2013, 02:55 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input everyone, i think rather than risk any off flavors or possily adding actual paint thinner to my brew i'll buy some cheapo vodka. Thanks again everyone

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Old 01-11-2013, 02:57 PM   #7
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Just use a mini bottle or two if you dont drink hard liquor, or dont have people coming over who do.

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Old 01-11-2013, 03:06 PM   #8
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Surprisingly I have found very poor flavour extraction using very high proof "moonshine". You'd need to keep it under 45ish% or under 90 proof for really good extraction.

The above is based on very limited experience as follows, I tried flavour extraction of vanilla with 190 proof and 80 proof side by side with the same volumes and vanilla bean count/weight. Six weeks later the 80 proof had darker colour, stronger aroma and flavour.

So personally, I'd stick with the vodka.

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