Create Bombay Sapphire style Gin with this Instructable.

I don’t drink gin myself but when I built my still a lot of friends asked me if I could make Gin so I did some research and found out how to do it and even the exact ingredients used in Bombay Sapphire as this was the Gin they wanted.

Now there are 2 ways that Gin makers make their Gin, Steeping and Vapour Infusion, this instructable uses the same method that Bombay Sapphire use which is Infusion.

Botanical's : what does this mean? Well it’s the plant matter and spices that are used to flavour the Gin.

What is a Steeped Gin, to make a steeped Gin, which is the most common way to make Gin, the Gin makers put their botanicals in the still boiler along with the spirit and then leave it for 24 hours. After that they boil it with the botanical's still in it to get the spirit from it.

Vapour infused Gin is different what they do is they have a special basket which they put the botanical's and then they pass the spirit vapour over it and the vapour picks up the flavours on the way.

Step 1: What You Need

For this instructable you will need a Pot Still, here is my instructable on how to build one.


the other bits you will need are

for the Spirit

5 KG White Sugar

1 X Tube of tomato puree

1 X Lemon

50 g of baker’s yeast, You could use a couple of packets of baker’s yeast but it will take longer to ferment but the result will be the same.

Clean water

The Botanicals

some of these might be tricky to get hold of, and some of them are very expensive.

20g Juniper Berries

10g Coriander Seeds

2g cubeb berries (this is an African pepper corn)

2g Grains of Paradise

2g Cassia Bark ( you could use a cinnamon stick but i would use much less of it if you do)

2g Powdered Liquorice root

2g Angelica root

2g Bitter Almond, now in the UK and US  this is a listed poison due to the cyanide content, if you can get them you can use bitter peach kernels if not then you will have to do what I did and use a splash of Almond Extract but make sure it was made with bitter almonds. I also threw in some regular almonds for good measure.

Lemon peel (get an unwaxed lemon if you can)

0.2g - 0.3g of orris root powder

if you want to make Bombay Sapphire east then add the following as well

0.2g black pepper corns

0.2g lemon grass

other equipment

a tub for the botanical's to go in

a pestle and mortar to mash the stuff up, you don't want to turn it in to powder so don't use an electric grinder, you could use a bag and a wine bottle if you are stuck.

a Hydrometer that is for spirits

a Wine Hydrometer

a testing / ample tube

a 25L Fermentation vessel with an air lock

a long spoon


some glass jars

a glass demi john or a couple of 2 litre bottles to store the distillate in afterwards
<p>Hi, about to do my first go! just waiting for my wash to finish ! </p><p>my question is, instead of adding water at the end, could you add several litres of pure water to the 3 or so litres of spirit before you put it in for the second distill?</p><p> would this mean it would then come out at more like 40% and then not need to be watered down? </p>
i only put water in to make sure my element is covered in my still this does not effect the % that comes out, how you run your still effects the % that comes out of it and you want it to come out slightly stronger than drinking strength.
<p>Thanks for getting back to me so promptly! I'll let you know how I get on.</p><p>Lastly, for the moment, I spotted that you have suggested halving the botanicals. Would this still be the case?</p>
Yes, I don't drink gin but the reports I got back were that the flavour was way too strong
<p>Hi. I've been distilling alcohol through a Reflux Tower for some years and am getting a really good result [at least, I think so!]. I recently acquired a Pot Still to attach to the boiler and have been puzzling over how to make gin from the botanicals, as opposed to simply adding the commercially available essences. Your instructable has inspired me! </p><p>Currently, from a 20 litre sugar/yeast wash, I'm getting around 4.5 litres at 93%ABV which I then water down to around 45%ABV before filtering the resulting 9-10 litres through activated carbon.</p><p>Would you suggest that I then add water [or perhaps the tails from the original wash] to bring this back to 20 litres and run the lot through the Pot Still [and the botanicals], discarding the first 150mls as usual?</p><p>The Reflux Tower runs at a steady 72C and when the temperature rises by 2 degrees, I stop collecting. I'm assuming that the Pot Still will operate in much the same way and I'll be looking for the 2 degree rise in temperature as the switch off point.</p><p>CLIVE</p>
I would add the tails and any heads and take off a bit from the start but I would judge it by taste as most of the methanol will have come off on the first run. <br><br>I only water mine down to cover the element
Hey, I haven't tried it yet but I am about to do it. Your instructables are awesome. I am very glad you post them. The still I built two years ago is mainly inspired by your design with some personalisation. <br>My sugar wash is simular to yours but I use 20 gram of turbo yeast for 25 liter which I grow for 2-3 days in a bottle before making the mash and adding it. This way I can get around 18-20% of alcohol without the taste of all these yeast nutrients.<br>My question: why do you add the tomato paste? Is it for the taste? I assume the lemon is for PH value?
The tomato paste is just in replacement of yeast nutrient. If your making this gin the halve the botanicals I got feedback that the flavour was way too strong
just found the answer in your rum instructable. For anybody else: it's his special yeast nutrient.
<p>Hi, I found bitter Almonds on eBay. Do they need to be crushed up or can they be put in whole? Hopefully by this time next week I should be well on my way to my first batch of home made Gin. I will post back my success or failure </p>
they will need to be cut up so they can release their flavor.<br><br>i would expect that if they are on ebay they are probably listed as bitter almonds but are not, unless they are coming from another country other than the UK.
Just started exploring distilling and have a good concept of how to do it. One thing I haven't been able to find is the timeframe from distillation to consumption. Do you let it sit for a month, etc or is it ready to drink right away?
it depends on what you are making, if you are making Gin, Vodka or white Rum then no you don't have to wait for it to sit. if you are making a Whisky, Whiskey or Golden Rum then you would need to put it on oak which can take years if its done right, but there are ways to speed it up by having more surface area on the oak then it can be done in months but the long you leave it the better.
<p>Ok I am reading your last part here and I have an answer for you on the clear water and clear gin but when you mix them they get cloudy. This is because you still have some oils in the Gin. Its most dominant when you add star anise to your botanicals. The effect is similar to what happens when you drink Greek Uzo and you mix the Uzo with water. Best thing to avoid it is to ensure the Gin is completely cooled down. Gin and water must have same cool temperature at best to prevent the cloud. </p>
yep you are totally right too many oils, I am using too much botanicals for the wash I am doing, I found if I cut them down this doesnt happen
<p>I was wondering, since the alcohol level is reduced each time you run it through the still, would you be able to reduce it enough through one or two more runs and thus not need to add the water?</p>
<p>the alcohol increases with each run not decreases e.g you pick up a little water each run so you need to add some to bring it down to a level where you can drink it</p>
I am thinking about having a go at making gin but have never done any home brewing before so I would like to find out a bit more about the basics before I attempt to follow these instructions, which seem to be excellent and detailed but I feel I need some more basic information first. I have a degree in chemistry so that should help with some of the terms. Any suggestions for a book or website where I can start would be greatly appreciated. Thank you ?
Thank you
<p>Thnx for sharing this information ;-)<br>One question .... for how much liter is the recipe?</p><p>grtz,</p><p>Kurt</p>
I orginally used a 23L wash for the vodka, but I found later that the taste was too strong so I halved the botanicals
<p>i try out it this evening :D<br><br>i make my wash with this yeast .</p>
<p>Hi Thanks for taking the time to reply.Ok ,Will do.<br>Cheers<br>Geoff</p>
<p>Hi all, sorry I have worded my question poorly. I have done the same as you and run 23L of wash on the first run. My question relates to the second run however. I am sure we all got a different amount of alcohol of the first run 3 to 5L? Then you have added some tails (how much?) plus water to cover the element. This is the liquid quantity to botanicals I am after. First run of alcohol plus tail plus water to botanicals. This seems very important as by reading some of your comments it is quiet easy to over do the botanicals.</p><p>hav</p>
ok well if you are running the same batch size as me just halve them.<br><br>also you don't need them on the first run, just the second run, I don't recall how much tails I used, I just dumped what I had in the boiler, was probably about 2L of very low alcohol vodka.
<p>Hi all, I am new to this and have been following The Instructable list carefully (thank you, its very well written and easy to follow). I have hit an obstacle though, when it comes to infusing the botanicals at the ratio laid down i.e. 20g juniper, 10g coriander, 2g cubeb etc. it doe not give an amount of fluid, it just says put the previously distilled spirit plus water and any tails in you may have. I would think the ratio of fluid to the weight of instuctables would be critical. Too much and to strong, too little and no flavour. Can you please help me with some guidance here. This quantity of instuctables to X litres of....</p><p>Cheers</p><p>Geoff. </p><p>coriander, 2g cubeb quantity of </p>
hi, i was using about 23L of wash, however I would half the botanicals I found them to be strong, I havent got around to updating the instructable yet
<p>Thanks for the instructions. I have been making Gin for years but always too afraid of making my own alcohol so i have been using a forms of steep method but I buy a bottle of Absolut Vodka (100proof) and add the botanicals to that for about 2 weeks before distilling it on my stove in a lobster pot which has a small bowl inside thats raised from the bottom and the pot is closed off with an aluminum bowl packt with ice water. The resulting infused alcohol is then watered down with Fiji water. Anyhow, my question is about the first 100ML. How do you know its the 100ml? is this based on the size of your wash? so would it be 50ml if i make a wash half your size or is this 100ml standard to some extend?</p>
its an estimate which is over estimated, often you can smell the methanol and taste it so you will know what to throw out. best to throw out too much than not enough if you are unsure.
<p>If you press down your botanicals too hard in the infuser, and the alcohol vapor can't reach the Liebich cooler, wouldn't the pressure build up? Is it a good idea to install a simple pressure valve in the cag of my homemade still for safety? </p>
potentially yes, which is why you put them in loosely and use the scrubbers to hold them in. you would have to pack them in fairly hard to cause full blockage
Hi looks awesome but I was going to use the steeping method. Are all weights/measurements for 25 litres? Thanks
yes, but I found the flavour too strong so halve the quantitys
That's great thanks I tried one my self before I seen this thread. And same I put far to much cloves in overpowering to say the least. Thanks for response much appreciated
<p>Sounds like a nice recipe. One question though, why do you put all the botanicals in a little bag? why not just mix them in with the spirit/water solution and distill the lot?</p><p>Also just as an FYI be reason the solution goes cloudy when you mix alcohol with water is because alcohol isnt really soluble in water. Its a largely non polar molecule however being that its an alcohol the OH functional group at the end of its chain is polar so its because of this that its able to mix with water however somewhat reluctantly. Initially you kind of get an emulsion with little beads of alcohol mixing with the water making it appear white.</p>
the reason is because this is a Vapour infused Gin, if you want to mix it all in the boiler then you would have to leave it to steep for 24 hours and you would lose flavour.<br><br>the reason it goes cloudy is because there are too many oils as I was using too many botanicals, if I did it again I would halve my botanicals.
<p>ah ok, so basically they came out of solution when you diluted the alcohol?</p><p>Do you lose flavour via steeping because the volatiles oxidize or do they just remain in the liquid of the still? I would have thought steeping it would enhance the flavour? so basically you put all the ground botanicals in a wide containter like a tea bag and sit it somewhere above the liquid so it will become infused by the steam.</p><p>Thanks for your help. </p>
<p>steeping will reduce flavour, i dont know the science of why. its the method used by cheaper gins such as Gordons and Beefeater<br><br>the bag or net would be in the column as described in the instructable</p>
<p>So do the botanicals not block the vapor from rising trough the head? Seems like a pretty condens pack of herbs to go through? </p>
<p>no they don't, you don't pack them in tight, just put them in loose then put the packing in behind them to hold them there.</p><p>the steam finds it way around them and through them</p>
<p>awesome thanks. </p>
<p>Hi,</p><p>Where did you get your fermenter? I'm struggling to find a decent one...</p>
I'm in the UK and I just bought mine in WIlkos, but you can get them in homebrew shops or on ebay. mine is a 23L bucket fermenter.
<p>Out here in the Pacific Northwest of the USA they make a gin using Douglas Fir branch tips and I've heard of them doing the same with spruce tips (the new growth in early spring) Would you just use a few tips in place of your juniper berries? </p>
I have no idea to be honest, I have never heard of it, but I would assume it would be an extra to the berrys
<p>I have an air still for distalation, (http://stillspirits.com/products/turbo-air-still) do I still need to throw away the first 100ml or does the air still get rid of the methanol and acetone, etc?</p><p>Great instructions by the way, thanks.</p>
no it wont take it out as far as I am aware
<p>I am experimenting with Gin production and have expirienced loching which is dissapointing to see after all the effort. The link below might be of help</p><p><a href="http://adiforums.com/index.php?showtopic=2366" rel="nofollow">http://adiforums.com/index.php?showtopic=2366</a></p><p>good luck</p>
<p>Just to let you know, I believe the cloudiness is due to louching (to cause something to louche). That's the term for when the essential oils in absinthe mix with the water you add to it before you drink it. It's basically an emulsion forming. The gin should also have essential oils in it from all the botanicals. </p>

About This Instructable




Bio: One day I shall own a Delorean.
More by n1cod3mus:Giant Wooden Connect Four Butterfly Coat Rack from off cuts Silcone Matrix Mould / Cavity Mould 
Add instructable to: