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Gillman
11-21-2012, 19:22
I just completed a most interesting experiment. Some years ago I bought a craft vodka, one of the early efforts. Despite the name vodka on the label, it had odors I'd call congeneric with an almost solvent-like taste. I really couldn't use it in this form. I decided to put it through the Brita I use to filter water for coffee. The first effort reduced the objectionable taste and smell by about 70%. The second run took out about 20% more. Interestingly, the texture on the first run was better, smoother and more aromatic/tasty. The second run made it a little angular in texture and a little unbalanced, but that's okay, it is otherwise very close now to neutral vodka which is what I wanted.

Activated charcoal treatment clearly works to remove or reduce significantly off-smells and tastes in white spirit. The reason I say white is, any brown spirit put through this will clearly lose a lot of color and barrel taste, so I wouldn't try it with that. But the Brita is brilliant with a congeneric white spirit. I'd advise it for any white whiskey you have around too that you can't drink on its own, or even brown spirits possibly where you want a more neutral taste and aren't fussy about the color and oaky taste.

True, I could have bought a commercial vodka for half of what I paid but this way I salvaged a bottle I otherwise would not have used.

Gary

wadewood
11-21-2012, 21:13
BTOY 2011 - Vodka is Vodka; once you m ix it with a little juice or whatever, your filtration is unnecessary.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO077nu2m5E

Gillman
11-22-2012, 07:52
I was referring to neat drinking, where the difference is rather noticeable, IMO. I'll bring some minis with "pre" and "post" for your opinion, Wade, the next time we can get together.

Gary

T Comp
11-22-2012, 09:03
BTOY 2011 - Vodka is Vodka; once you m ix it with a little juice or whatever, your filtration is unnecessary.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO077nu2m5E

Whats barturtle doing in that video pretending to be Jaime the Russian literature expert :grin: ?

Bourbon Boiler
11-22-2012, 10:23
I've done this simply using a cheap aquarium filter. It undoubtedly reduces the "sharpness" of the vodka.

stevegoz
11-22-2012, 10:29
I've done this simply using a cheap aquarium filter. It undoubtedly reduces the "sharpness" of the vodka.

But oh, the fishiness it imparts! :grin:

Bourbon Boiler
11-23-2012, 08:55
Maybe I should have included the word "unused" in my post above. :lol:

BourbonGuy
01-01-2013, 14:18
I saw a TV show where they had a vodka sommelier. They took cheap vodka, passed it thru a Brita filter a few times and then had premium vodka. I was amazed; the guy picked out the original cheap vodka, then call the Brita filter passes and then the premium vodka. May have made the vodka drinkable, but not as good as if you have purchased a better vodka.

squire
01-01-2013, 15:44
Amazing how quick that bottom shelf stuff can leap to the top.

Kalessin
01-02-2013, 12:33
I saw a TV show where they had a vodka sommelier. They took cheap vodka, passed it thru a Brita filter a few times and then had premium vodka. I was amazed; the guy picked out the original cheap vodka, then call the Brita filter passes and then the premium vodka. May have made the vodka drinkable, but not as good as if you have purchased a better vodka.

This is the same result some friends of mine and I got when we threw a really big party at a convention, and as one of the party games, we featured the Brita filter test with Rubinoff vodka as the bottom-shelfer, Absolut as the mid-shelfer, and Grey Goose as the luxury-priced top end. Most people could pick out the distinctive nastiness of the unfiltered Rubinoff, but after three Brita filter passes, it was indistinguishable from Absolut, and only some could pick out the Grey Goose.

(Rubinoff Vodka is a proud product of Somerville, MA, available for about $5.99 for a 750, but more often found in the $11.99 1.75 liter plastic bottle. Urban Dictionary has this to say about it: "Horrible alcohol from Slummaville. Tastes like nail polish remover going down. Gives you a full body hangover and makes you feel like someone threw you down a flight of stairs.")

Gillman
01-02-2013, 12:53
This was similar to my own experience described earlier, however I should add that when I placed the bottle in the freezer the liquid froze, something vodka never does.

I was only able to reverse it by mingling the filtered vodka with regular vodka and even then I had to try twice, ie. add enough of the non-filtered stuff (maybe 1/3rd).

What I am wondering is whether the filtering may trap some ethanol molecules and could the smoothness possibly derive, at least in part, from a greater water content?

Gary

smokinjoe
01-02-2013, 12:55
This is the same result some friends of mine and I got when we threw a really big party at a convention, and as one of the party games, we featured the Brita filter test with Rubinoff vodka as the bottom-shelfer, Absolut as the mid-shelfer, and Grey Goose as the luxury-priced top end. Most people could pick out the distinctive nastiness of the unfiltered Rubinoff, but after three Brita filter passes, it was indistinguishable from Absolut, and only some could pick out the Grey Goose.

(Rubinoff Vodka is a proud product of Somerville, MA, available for about $5.99 for a 750, but more often found in the $11.99 1.75 liter plastic bottle. Urban Dictionary has this to say about it: "Horrible alcohol from Slummaville. Tastes like nail polish remover going down. Gives you a full body hangover and makes you feel like someone threw you down a flight of stairs.")

What happens when you mix it with Malort? :D

squire
01-02-2013, 13:59
Wonder how that reviewer knows what nail polish remover tastes like.

cowdery
01-02-2013, 14:13
This was first done several years ago. The experimental results were logged and posted, and very funny. The conclusion of most who have tried it is that, yes, it works, but adding the cost of the Brita filter to the cost of the cheap vodka brings you easily into the range of a vodka comparable to what the filtering will produce, so it's not really cost effective. The reality of vodka is that while something like Rubinoff is pretty vile, you can get something like Smirnoff or Svedka for not a lot of money and the only difference between that and something like Grey Goose is pretension.

How do vodka makers get from raw GNS to something palatable? The same way, charcoal filtering. So it's no mystery.

'vodka sommelier'? Really?

squire
01-02-2013, 14:17
Must be a graduate of the vodka university.

Kalessin
01-03-2013, 14:37
What happens when you mix it with Malort? :D

Get me a bottle of Malort and some college students, and I can probably run that experiment at the next big shindig.. :D

Jfevre
01-29-2013, 15:23
Classic. This post brings back memories. When I was in college we did this on recommendation from my chemistry prof. We would run it through the filter 3 or 4 times. It worked good enough for college drinking. We would get Mohawk or 5 o'clock to start and leave the finished product in the Britta, it made for some confused house guests in the a.m.