We're celebrating with gin over here

We're celebrating with gin over here

And just like that, it's 2022 and Carmel Distillery is in business!

After wrestling with licences and permits until late December, my Producers Licence went live at midnight on New Years Eve.

It's been a long process, but looking back on it I realise that I've been able to get it done in only 9 months.

Everything looks clean and stainless in the photo but I can assure you that it's already being used to make delicious spirits.

The first thing I need to make a knockout Gin is a delicious neutral spirit; basically vodka. That means running everything through the still multiple times, and only keeping the hearts of the run.

Spirit distillation (also known as a "run") output has four stages;

1. Foreshots comes right at the start of a run, and it's where the nasty higher alcohols hang out. Think nail polish remover and methanol. This stuff is good for lighting a bonfire or cleaning engine parts.

2. Heads comes right after and goes into what's known as feints. These are spirits that aren't good enough to use, yet, but they have a lot of alcohol so I keep them and run them again.

3. Hearts is the good stuff, this is clean, slightly sweet, and strong! Depending on the type of run this might make up a large part of your output, and I monitor it closely to make sure we only get the good spirit!

4. Tails tastes like it sounds, like wet dog and cardboard. Tails also goes into feints and will be run again at another time.

Once that process is done, I take the hearts, dilute them to around 40% ABV and we're ready to start making Gin!