Quick Gin Using Diatomaceous Earth




Introduction: Quick Gin Using Diatomaceous Earth

About: Ugly pirate roaming the seas in search of Treasure.

Have you ever wondered why commercial gin is a transparent industrial pure looking liquid? Unless you are a total spirit geek like me, then probably not! But the answer is very possibly here:

Once upon a time a clever guy at the local gin distillery thought that people would go crazy about a drink that looked pure and clean and still had the flavour of gin. He devised some elaborate modifications to his machinery and ended up putting a large mesh basket in the pipework in which he put the juniper berries and a few other token botanicals. He then took the resulting product to his boss and demonstrated to him that this fine looking spirit still tasted like gin. His boss scoffed at the idea of it as it lacked the 'body' of the regular gin and they would never get the same strength of flavour. However, he took some of it to the board of directors and they thought it was a fantastic 'gimmicky' way of getting ahead of the competition. Soon, all gin throughout the land was made in this way and the days of the old orange stuff were left far behind.

In this very simple but revolutionary recipe we're just going to use a spirit base such as vodka or commercial gin and jazz it up with 25g of dried juniper berries to produce the most incredibly tasty spirit you'll ever come across within about 2 hours start to finish!

Why is it revolutionary? Because it uses Diatomaceous earth for filtration - never before seen on the Instructables website! ...... ¡Viva la Revolución!

Hazards:..........Diatomaceous earth dust harmful

Step 1: Equipment and Ingredients

  • Fine mesh straining bag 22 x 22 cm
  • 1 litre mason / kilner jar
  • 3 litre mason / kilner jat
  • 25g dried juniper berries
  • 1 litre blender / food processor with grinder attachment
  • Weighing scales accurate to 1 gram
  • 1 litre of commercial gin or vodka
  • 2.4 litre water filter
  • 200g calcined Diatomaceous earth / Kieselguhr (hazardous when inhaled)
  • Dust mask

Step 2: Process the Berries

Weigh out 25g of dried juniper berries and grind them up in the food processor grinder attachment for about 60 seconds. Pour this into the 1 litre blender jug, add half the spirit and mix for about 10 seconds. Now top up to 1 litre with more spirit.

Now pour the whole lot into the 3 litre mason jar which has the straining bag attached as in the photo above. The bag acts as a filter which will take out most of the solid components. The straining bag is attached to the rim of the jar with rubber bands in such a way as to form a small hanging pocket. The lid can still be closed with a good seal on the rim. In theory, this jar could then be left to stand for about 3 days for all the cloudiness to disappear to the bottom, but that's not so quick is it?

Step 3: Filtering the Cloudy Gin

The cloudiness can be removed very quickly using the water filter and diatamous earth. The water filter itself won't remove the particles as it's not a proper filter - it contains a lot of ionic exchange resin beads for removing chemicals and metals but little else. Wearing a dust mask, gently pour in the 200g of diatamaceous earth and top up the jar with the cloudy gin. The first batch of fluid will probably not be bright and clear yet, but do not dispare as we will pour this back into the top again until it starts to work. Very soon you will have nice clean looking liquid in the bottom of the filter jug as in the photo above.

Step 4: Tasting Session Video

The first part of this video is tasting my other product, the Sloe Gin, but a little later this is contrasted with the Quick Gin, which seemed to have a better reception!

Step 5: Labels



  • Water Contest

    Water Contest
  • Creative Misuse Contest

    Creative Misuse Contest
  • Metalworking Contest

    Metalworking Contest

16 Discussions

By using the dried berries does this give it a regular gin flavor? Have found so many other recipes using herbs and botonicals which is not what I'm looking for. Also, I live in the Ozarks (Branson) where I have access to certain spirits made locally, if you get my drift. Can they e used? Thanks.

1 reply

Hello William. The dried juniper berries give it a truly amazing flavour. As far as base alcohol is concerned, you can pretty much use anything as the Juniper flavoir overpowers everything else. I have watched the film Winters bone so yes I can imagine spirit would be easily available. Happy brewing!

Another fine instructable from a very wise and intelligent fellow. But are you or are you not Billy Bob Thornton? A bloke in the pub is convinced you are. I'm not so sure...

1 reply

Hello Rustico! Thanks for your encouragement . Yes, I am Billy Thorton ....... How did you work it out?

Diatomaceous earth has been used in the alcoholic beverage industry for a long time. People use it for pool filters, food processing, hundreds of industrial processes, pest control, agriculture and yes, cat litter.

Cat litter is never pure Diatomaceous earth so don't use it for this process.

Thanks for pointing out the basic precaution of the mask.

1 reply

Thanks for your comment David. I came across it about 7 years ago whilst messing about with plate and frame filter machines for filtering biodiesel. You could not buy it on ebay back then!

Ha,ha... Diatomaceous Earth is 'Kitty Litter'. Mechanics use it for absorbing oil spills too. I wonder what sort of flavour you could get using recycled kitty litter?

Of course if you get the finely ground 'food grade' it has other uses but when I first saw your article, earlier that day I'd bought a bag of the stuff for my cat. It's one of the few really good substances that absorb the odours.

I never knew the story of gin BTW. That was a real entertaining bit of writing. Of course being a non-drinker I've never bothered to where the stuff came from as long as it wasn't my house.


1 reply

I would certainly try recycled kitty litter, but unfortunately i dont have a cat! I was never keen on gin myself until recently. When I was 14 I drank too much gin at a party and was very sick, which put me off it for about 30 years! I only drink in strict moderation these days.

Now I know why they make food grade diatamaceous earth. The only other use I found was for pest control

3 replies

I wouldn't use it.....Be very careful your animal doesn't inhale it. They scratch and put their nose into their coats, the very fine powder will coat the lungs & make it sick! Same goes for flea powder! Our Yorkie now has bad lung problems because I used it for flea's & ticks. The vet said NEVER use it around animals, she doesn't know why flea powder is even allowed. (F.Y.I. even the FDA had said you shouldn't use talcum powder on infants and there's a law suit out because of it. Talcum is different but its the same principal.)

Actually, there's 2 types of DE, one is calcined and the dust is harmful and the other is not and is supposed to be ok for animals.

Good on ya matey. I'm a dirt eater. Tbsp of food grade DE a day. Great health benies! Regarding inhalation...common sense, you wouldn't breathe in a cloud of dust or concrete powder. Small amount of DE shouldn't irritate a normal person's lungs.

good call on the dust mask, diatomaceous earth acts as a carcinogen when inhaled! looking forward to trying this out some time!

1 reply

It's quite amazing how well it works. You'd think that throwing a load of white gritty powder into a water filter would just screw it up, but no, it filters done to sub micron levels nice and easy. Also, should take all the parasites out of your water if you lived in the back woods.

¡Viva la Revolución! Totally agreed - and let's inhale that stuff, anyway!