Welcome to the Straightbourbon.com Forums.
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13
  1. #1
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Columbia. South Carolina
    Posts
    885

    Interesting Bourbon Infusion Experiment

    I love Bourbon Infusions, so I made one with apples, cinnamon sticks, and bourbon. I used 80 proof bourbon (tested before and after). The final results was an infusion that was around 52 proof. The volume hadn't changed significantly, so I must conclude that the apples absorb the alcohol while the bourbon got apple juice from the apples.

    What do you think?

  2. #2
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Sutton, Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,263

    Re: Interesting Bourbon Infusion Experiment

    This is a really interesting question.

    If I understand you correctly, you added (sliced/diced?) apples, cinnamon sticks, and 80 proof bourbon, and after you strained it, you total volume didn't change much and you ended at 52 proof.

    Generally speaking if it was pure dilution and assuming you started with 750ml bourbon, you would need 404ml water additional to go from 80 to 52 proof (35% diluted). But then your total volume would be over 1.1L.

    If it was pure dilution, I read on the 'net that about 1 kg of apples has about 700ml of juice. So again assuming pure dilution, you'd need over a pound of apples to get 35% dilution (and again, your volume would have increased). I assume you didn't add that many apples, and given you weren't crushing them like in a cider press, your juice yield would be lower (requiring even more apples).

    So...I think you are correct. It had to go somewhere, so a combination of the diluting effect of the apple juice and the absorption (or adsorption) of alcohol by apples, apple skin, pectin, cinnamon bark, etc ... I would assume the cells in the apples and cinnamon sticks would at least be semi-permeable to alcohol, and you would get transport across the cell membrane to a lower alcohol concentration region (inside the cells). We need a chemist ... or a biologist ... or both!
    Last edited by sutton; 03-22-2012 at 11:27.
    Mark

  3. #3
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    1,447

    Re: Interesting Bourbon Infusion Experiment

    Whatever the science behind it, the results sound delicious! I may have to copy that sometime. What quantities of each did you use?
    -Brian-

    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."
    -Agent Kay

  4. #4

    Re: Interesting Bourbon Infusion Experiment

    sounds good. What amount of apple and cinnamon did you use. How long would you recommend for the infusion?

  5. #5
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,036

    Re: Interesting Bourbon Infusion Experiment

    What did you use to check the ABV, is there a kit you can buy?

  6. #6
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Columbia. South Carolina
    Posts
    885

    Re: Interesting Bourbon Infusion Experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by gblick View Post
    What did you use to check the ABV, is there a kit you can buy?
    I use an alcohol hydrometer calibrated for liquor (higher proofs) and a graduated cylinder. Local abc agents use them in bars to check for watering. You can purchase them at most wine/beer making supply stores. Just make sure it is one for spirits and not beer or wine.

  7. #7
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Columbia. South Carolina
    Posts
    885

    Re: Interesting Bourbon Infusion Experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by sutton View Post
    This is a really interesting question.

    If I understand you correctly, you added (sliced/diced?) apples, cinnamon sticks, and 80 proof bourbon, and after you strained it, you total volume didn't change much and you ended at 52 proof.

    Generally speaking if it was pure dilution and assuming you started with 750ml bourbon, you would need 404ml water additional to go from 80 to 52 proof (35% diluted). But then your total volume would be over 1.1L.

    If it was pure dilution, I read on the 'net that about 1 kg of apples has about 700ml of juice. So again assuming pure dilution, you'd need over a pound of apples to get 35% dilution (and again, your volume would have increased). I assume you didn't add that many apples, and given you weren't crushing them like in a cider press, your juice yield would be lower (requiring even more apples).

    So...I think you are correct. It had to go somewhere, so a combination of the diluting effect of the apple juice and the absorption (or adsorption) of alcohol by apples, apple skin, pectin, cinnamon bark, etc ... I would assume the cells in the apples and cinnamon sticks would at least be semi-permeable to alcohol, and you would get transport across the cell membrane to a lower alcohol concentration region (inside the cells). We need a chemist ... or a biologist ... or both!
    I agree, I think it is a combination of apple juice entering the bourbon at the same time alcohol entering the apple slices. The volume in the jar does not change (it shouldn't because the jar is sealed). It seems to me that if only apple juice left the apple slices then they would shrivel but they don't. I thought the slices would taste great but the don't. In fact quite strong and nasty.

    I basically cut up a red delicious apple and place in a jar with one cinnamon stick, pour enough bourbon over it to completely cover apples, and let it sit for three days. Remove apples and drink. I think it taste wonderful.

    My favorite for this is VOB 90 proof (the only VOB sold around here). It is inexpensive and strong enough not to be overwhelmed by the apples or cinnamon. I have used more expensive bourbons but the actually didn't taste as good to me.

    At Christmas, I make several liters of it and use a Woodford Reserve (4.5 liter) infusion bottle I won at the Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ festival. I leave the apples in and it is always a hit at my mother-in-laws Xmas weekend.
    Last edited by Enoch; 03-23-2012 at 06:50.

  8. #8
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN
    Posts
    1,317

    Re: Interesting Bourbon Infusion Experiment

    What kind of bourbon did you use?
    Life's too short, and there's too much good whiskey within reach.

  9. #9
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Columbia. South Carolina
    Posts
    885

    Re: Interesting Bourbon Infusion Experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by Brisko View Post
    What kind of bourbon did you use?
    This time I used some cheap older (mid-1980s) Ezra Brooks Gold Label (80 proof) because I wanted to see if I could tell that much difference. It was good but I still like the VOB better. I have a lot of this old Ezra Brooks and don't really care for it that much. The later 80s black label EB (90 proof) is much better.

  10. #10
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Sutton, Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,263

    Re: Interesting Bourbon Infusion Experiment

    [quote=Enoch;280411]I agree, I think it is a combination of apple juice entering the bourbon at the same time alcohol entering the apple slices. The volume in the jar does not change (it shouldn't because the jar is sealed). It seems to me that if only apple juice left the apple slices then they would shrivel but they don't. I thought the slices would taste great but the don't. In fact quite strong and nasty.
    quote]

    It makes sense - it's probably the same mechanism as when you use a brine in cooking.

    I think I'll give this a try - I can see this being a nice little sipper around the Holidays...
    Mark

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Bourbon Cherries Experiment
    By mosugoji64 in forum Bourbon and Food
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 03-31-2012, 04:25
  2. Interesting bourbon list
    By Jono in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 12-19-2007, 11:48
  3. Interesting ramblings about bourbon and life
    By Nebraska in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 10-20-2006, 17:33

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Back to top