How to make Gin on the Air Still Pro

How to make Gin on the Air Still Pro


7 minute read

Are you looking to start your journey of crafting gin on the Air Still Pro? We're here to show you the basics of botanicals-infusion using the in-built botanical basket.

To make a crisp and refreshing gin, you'll be using the Air Still Pro, Air Still Essentials Distillation Kit, and one of our Artisan Gin Botanical Packs.

If you don't already have an Air Still Pro, find out more here. Alternatively, you can upgrade your Still Spirits Air Still with the Air Still Pro Head Unit.

Equipment & Consumables 

  • Air Still Pro
  • Air Still Essentials Distillation Kit:
    • 12 L Fermenter with Thermometer
    • Carbon Filter System with Spirit Collector
    • Mixing Spoon
    • Hydrometer
    • Alcometer + Measuring Cylinder
    • Distilling Conditioner
    • Ceramic Boil Enhancers
  • Glass Spirit Bottles (2)

Ingredients

  • Air Still Essentials Distillation Kit:
    • 1 x sachet Pure Turbo Yeast (10 g)
    • 1 x sachet Pure Turbo Yeast Nutrient (78 g)
    • 1 x sachet Turbo Carbon (54 g)
    • 1 x sachet Turbo Clear (65 g)
    • 2.4 kg Dextrose (5.3 lb) (Note: 2.2 kg (1 lb) Turbo Sugar can be used as an alternative) 
    • Air Still Fermentation Pack:
  • 30 g Gin Botanicals (London Dry, Mint, and Rosemary)

Once you have your equipment, consumables, and ingredients, you can begin.

Step-by-step instructions for making gin

First, you’ll be preparing a sugar wash before proceeding with a spirit run in reflux mode to produce a high ABV neutral spirit. Once the spirit run is complete, you'll commence a botanical run in pot still mode with your choice of botanicals.

Note: The method below produces two batches. You'll be able to experiment with botanicals between batches if you want to try making a few different styles.

Making a Sugar Wash:

  1. First, clean and sanitise your fermenter and mixing spoon.
  2. Add 7.5 L (2 US Gal) of water at approximately 30°C (86°F) to your fermenter.
  3. Add 2.4 kg (5.3 lb) dextrose to the water and stir until dissolved. You should now have approximately 9 L (2.4 US Gal) of sugar wash ready for fermentation. 
  4. Add Turbo Yeast and Nutrient sachets. Gently massage the Turbo Carbon sachet and then add to the mix. Stir well.
  5. Leave this to ferment at room temperature - approx. 18-24°C (64-75°F) for 7 days or until the wash has stopped bubbling.
  6. On Day 7, confirm fermentation is complete and test the wash with a hydrometer. The wash has completed fermentation when the Specific Gravity (SG) reading is below 990 and stable for 2 consecutive days.
  7. Once the SG is stable, clear your wash. First, stir vigorously to remove all gases. Once degassed, add Turbo Clear Part A. Stir well then stand for 1 hour.
  8. Next add Turbo Clear Part B whilst stirring. Stop stirring as soon as all of Part B has been added. You must stir very gently, otherwise you will disrupt the clearing process. Stand for 24 hours then carefully remove clear wash for distilling.
  9. You will end up with approx. 8 L (2.1 US Gal) of purified wash ready for distilling.

Spirit Run in Reflux Mode

Please ensure you have followed the Air Still Pro Quick Start Guide cleaning instructions prior to commencing your distillation. You are now ready to distill in reflux mode:

  1. Once settled, the wash is ready for distillation. Pour or siphon 4 L (1.1 US Gal) of the wash into your clean Air Still Pro boiler, taking care to leave behind any sediment. 
  2. Add the Ceramic Boil Enhancers and 1 capful Distilling Conditioner to the boiler.
  3. Fit your reflux distillation tip labelled “R”. (To loosen the tip, turn clockwise using the spanner included. To tighten the tip, turn anticlockwise using fingers only until firm.)
  4. Check that your foreshots collection vial is fitted securely.
  5. Remove the column cap and botanical basket and check the column packing materials (copper and stainless steel saddles) are sitting below the weir. The copper saddles should be above the stainless steel saddles. Firmly press the column cap on.
    Note: the weir is the smaller inner circle when looking into the column from above.
  6. Place a collection jar under the distillation tip. We recommend at least an 800 ml (27 US fl oz) vessel.
  7. Press the mode selector button once to enter standby mode. The button light will glow white.
  8. Push the mode selector button again and release when the button glows green. A pulsing green light and 1 beep will confirm that your reflux mode run has begun.
  9. Allow the Air Still Pro to run until you've collected 500 ml (17 US fl oz).
  10. Let the Air Still Pro cool for at least 20 minutes then remove the Air Still Pro head unit from the boiler, empty the boiler and dispose of the foreshots in the collection vial (do not consume). Rinse and clean your Air Still Pro after use.
  11. Check the ABV of your spirit with an alcometer and measuring cylinder. It should be approximately 90% ABV (180 proof). Dilute to 40% ABV (80 proof) by adding approximately 600 ml of water. Use this calculator to get the precise volume of water to add. 
  12. You may wish to filter your diluted spirit through a carbon filter to polish it. Filtering your spirit will give you a smoother, well-rounded gin and contributes to a better final product. While polishing your spirit, you can distill the second batch of wash, or the remaining wash can be kept in an airtight container for up to a week.

Botanical Run in Pot Still Mode

  1. Once you have polished the spirit, add it to the Air Still Pro boiler. Ensure you have at least 1L (34 US fl oz) of liquid in the boiler diluted to less than 40% ABV.
  2. Check that your foreshots collection vial is fitted securely.
  3. Remove the column cap and botanical basket and remove the packing materials.
  4. Add 30 g of your choice of gin botanicals to the botanical basket, tap it gently on a bench top to remove any lose matter, and place in the top of the column. Firmly press the column cap on. 
  5. Fit your pot still distillation tip labelled “P”.
  6. Place a collection jar under the distillation tip. We recommend using several smaller jars if you are taking cuts. 
  7. Press the mode selector button once to enter standby mode. The button light will glow white.
  8. Push the mode selector button and release when the button glows purple. A pulsing purple light and 2 beeps will confirm that your pot still mode run has begun.
  9. Allow the Air Still Pro to run until the distillate coming out reaches 20% ABV, or until you determine where you'd like your final cut to be. Turn the unit off at the mode selector button or the wall.
  10. Let the Air Still Pro cool for at least 20 minutes then remove the Air Still Pro head unit from the boiler, empty the boiler and dispose of the foreshots in the collection vial (do not consume). Rinse and clean your Air Still Pro after use.
  11. Once you've collected your spirit, use the alcometer and measuring cylinder to check the ABV of your cuts and add the amount of water needed to dilute to 40% ABV (80 proof). Use this calculator to get the precise volume of water to add. 
  12. You can now bottle your gin. We suggest leaving your gin in the bottle for a few days to mellow and let the flavours settle.

We hope you enjoyed learning how to make gin at home with the Air Still Pro and botanical blends. There are many more recipes and helpful articles to explore. Read more here.

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If you have any questions, contact us via social media, leave a comment below, or send us a message directly here.

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