whether to go for sweet or dry?

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sloeshed
Posts: 2
Joined: 24 Nov 2015, 10:58

whether to go for sweet or dry?

Post by sloeshed » 24 Nov 2015, 21:04

Hello to all with a first post from a sloe gin first-timer having put together about 5 litres of the stuff a couple of months ago and now needing some advice on finishing.

We used what appear to be typical gin/sloe ratios but remained conservative with the sugar in fact even leaving sugar out of one of the 1-litre brews after reading Sipsmith’s advice intending, as they suggest, to add a suitable quantity of prepared sugar syrup after decanting the liquor.
I had a sneaky teaspoon of the sugarless drink and actually thought it had merit as a dry drink. Would that be a heresy amongst seasoned sloe-gin drinkers? Is it madness to drink it like that?

I get the impression that for 1 lb sloes to 1 litre gin, 8 ozs of sugar is a popular measure but after tasting a sample of one of our other 4 litres which have only 3 ozs of sugar, I don’t think I would describe it as overly dry. The commercially produced stuff which usually turns up at Christmas is quite syrupy although it’s certainly palatable. What do seasoned brewers feel about that syrupy concoction? Do other brewers ever stick with a dryer tipple?

Another couple of quickies.
By siphoning off the liquor into a wide stainless steel saucepan prior to adding sugar syrup is there likely to be a significant loss of alcohol through evaporation if the sweetening operation is completed within 15 minutes or so?
There’s a slight bitterness in the taste. Is that something that mellows naturally over time or is that perhaps a good reason to use more rather than less sugar?
Much obliged for any feedback….

Phil
Posts: 27
Joined: 03 Sep 2011, 19:47

Re: whether to go for sweet or dry?

Post by Phil » 25 Nov 2015, 09:30

I usually start with a minimal amount and then add a little more later. Probably end up with around 3 desert spoons of sugar per litre/ Personally, I think most of the recommended amounts must taste like an awful, sticky gloop....

The real answer is to simply go with what works for you.
Phil

sloeshed
Posts: 2
Joined: 24 Nov 2015, 10:58

Re: whether to go for sweet or dry?

Post by sloeshed » 28 Nov 2015, 12:50

- thanks for your timely advice without which my co-brewer would have pushed for the very sweet option. In fact I had a taste of the Gordon's brand just a couple of days ago. It's really very sweet indeed but I think they avoid the syrupy gloop tendency by upping the acid content quite significantly (assuming they can use other than naturally occurring ingredients). In the event we've gone for a more moderate sugar content perhaps just a notch up from yours.

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