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Old 04-14-2014, 02:48 PM   #1
Burrito
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Default When using vodka...

I've seen several post a on here about using vodka to sanitize adjuncts before adding but after reading through some of these posts I've become slightly more confused.

I have a lot of mint growing in my backyard and would eventually like to try a mint chocolate stout. Let's say I let the mint soak for a couple days in vodka. Would I then pitch it all (vodka and leaves) into secondary, or just leaves, or just vodka? And why?

I read one persons suggestion that throwing in all the mint leaves could cause an astringent flavor and that got me wondering. Does vodka break down the leaves and carry the mint flavor after a couple days of soaking? So would just pitching the liquid impart enough mintness?


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Old 04-14-2014, 07:42 PM   #2
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That's something I've thought about as I have a large mint bush growing in my yard as well. Definitely curious to see how this turns out.

Maybe set the leaves in a jar full of vodka for a week and do a taste test to see which has a better flavor?


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Old 04-15-2014, 01:21 AM   #3
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With mint leaves, I think I would make a tea (hot water - to sanitize), and steep for as long as necessary to extract flavor, then add the liquid.
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Old 04-16-2014, 03:16 AM   #4
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I'd be tempted to muddle the mint leaves with Vodka.... and just push the vodka into the secondary after a couple of days
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Old 04-16-2014, 01:29 PM   #5
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I think soaking in vodka would work well. Long contact time with the leaves could give you an astringent or vegetal flavor, so I'd say the best bet would be a very "thick" infusion with lots of leaves in a relatively small amount of booze for a relatively short time, maybe a day (taste regularly until it's good) and then filtered. Doesn't need to be a super fine filter, some leaf bits are probably fine. You will also probably get better results with high-proof vodka or Everclear.

My only concern would be that an infusion like this doesn't always have great flavor stability, and may change over time. But I think that's going to be the case with just about any method.
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Old 04-16-2014, 01:55 PM   #6
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I've been considering this process, but with lime (for example with a lawnmower style beer) and the general consensus was to soak lime zest in vodka a few days and add the STRAINED result directly to bottling bucket. I'll admit there is little anecdotal evidence or scientific reporting on the longevity of the resulting beer flavor stability, since this method is typically used with beer styles that are consumed quickly.
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Old 04-17-2014, 05:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calder View Post
With mint leaves, I think I would make a tea (hot water - to sanitize), and steep for as long as necessary to extract flavor, then add the liquid.
Agree.
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Old 04-17-2014, 04:41 PM   #8
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Thanks for the input. I may try a small amount of both (vodka amd tea) and taste test them to determine which have more mint flavor.
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Old 08-29-2014, 06:29 PM   #9
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