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Brewing - How to distill poitin

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by Decstar, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. Decstar

    Decstar Newbie

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    A little leprechaun told me of a traditional Irish illicit spirit called poitin (sometimes spelled 'poteen' or 'potcheen') that was once common in Ireland and is still distilled in some places even today. This little leprechaun didn't know how to actually make poitin and doesn't know anyone who makes it. This little leprechaun has a pot of gold waiting for me at the end of the rainbow if I can find out for him how make it, so that he can well and truely 'drown his shamrock'.

    Sláinte!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2017
  2. Sven99

    Sven99 Palladium Member

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    What is it you need to know? A recipe, or a full description from start to finish? Do you already know how to brew or distil? Do you have any distillation equipment?
     
  3. Decstar

    Decstar Newbie

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    The little leprechaun doesn't know a thing about distilling poitin, except that he thinks it is made with potatoes. He doesn't have any distillation equiptment.
     
  4. bcubed

    bcubed Gold Member

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    Just out of curiosity, what's the difference between poitin and potato vodka? FWIW, here's Lizard's recipe for potato vodka.

    1. Take a bunch of potatoes
    2. Cut 'em up and boil the hell out of 'em
    3. Cool down below 80C, then add malted grain/amylase to convert the starches to sugar
    4. Cool below 35C, add yeast, pour mixture into a 5-gal carboy and put airlock in place
    5. Let ferment ~5 days until bubbling stops and yeast drops to bottom
    6. Siphon off top 80% and add to still boiler
    7. Distill with sufficient reflux to produce product of >= 85% ABV (170 proof). (If using potstill, distill multiple times...at least 3X...until 170 proof reached).
    8. Toss out first 5% produced, and ~last 1/3 (this varies by taste)
    9. Cut w/ distilled water to taste

    (Usually, lizard will get up to 50% of his sugar from sucrose...doesn't have a very big effect on taste, so long as it's at least half potato.)
     
  5. Decstar

    Decstar Newbie

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    My little leprechaun doesn't know. Its probably the same thing except one is Irish and the other is Russian. But my little leprechaun tells me that it is a slightly different flavour, more like rum, and it is very strong.
     
  6. Sven99

    Sven99 Palladium Member

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    The strength of any spirit is arbitrary depending on how much you distil it and how much you dilute it afterwards.

    Poitin just means 'little pot' - you can make it out of almost anything, but i've seen recipes for using potatoes and oats. Nowadays the cheapest and easiest option is sugar, but if you want the traditional taste go for one or the other.

    Mashing, brewing and distilling is a complex process. You'd be best doing a search for home distilling information, as there are plenty of good guides out there and I'm not going to explain the entire process from scratch.
     
  7. Potter

    Potter Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Nobody looked at some other sites that claimed to have instructions for this. At least one MB had soemthing that was utter BS, didn't include any distillation, had all sorts of errors in their alcohol content, over all a mess. Just saying, make sure you get more the one recipe.

    As for learning to distill, we live in a wonderful time where good information on the subject is easily availible and very well documented. The best site has a message board on it, so it can't be posted, but it's easy to find, and they cover damn near every aspect of the process.

    And from further notes on the above
    And for more on using potatoes, the following is quite detailed:

    So that should be a damn good start. In order to bring your recipe as close to traditional as possible, it would be best to research the varieties of potatoes grown in Ireland and attempt to secure on of them, especially if you can find an heirloom variety, sure it may take a season to grow them but if you want it to be accurate...

    Now nobody's wondering if there strain that was wiped out during the famine is still around anywhere, that would be awesome to be growing again.