extracts vs liqueurs

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BernardSmith
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extracts vs liqueurs

Post: #289929 BernardSmith
Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:01 pm

Does anyone on this forum know if the only significant difference between an extract and a liqueur is the syrup? Or are the amounts of herbs and spices and nuts and fruits used in extracts different from the amounts used in liqueurs with the same ingredients? Thanks

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Re: extracts vs liqueurs

Post: #289930 Green Aura
Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:48 pm

I think the sugar is the main difference, although they are produced slightly differently too.

A liqueur has sugar - lots of sugar. The fruit etc is steeped in both alcohol and sugar at the same time. The fruit is gorgeous as a dessert.

Extracts are just the herb, fruit or whatever just soaked in alcohol over time. The item is then usually discarded and the extract used for a cooking additive etc e.g. like vanilla extract.

Although if you do make vanilla extract don't chuck the bean - far too expensive. Dry it out and put in a pot of sugar = vanilla sugar - equally expensive!
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Re: extracts vs liqueurs

Post: #289932 BernardSmith
Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:42 pm

Thanks Maggie - Not sure that all liqueurs have their fruits or nuts or herbs /spices steeped in the syrup. I have seen many recipes - I am thinking of Schloss' Home Made Liqueurs, for example, where , if memory serves, he advocates adding the syrup after the fruit etc has been steeped. It is the alcohol that extracts the flavors and not the sugar and the syrup simply serves to dilute the concentration of the alcohol making extraction that less efficient... But my question was more about ratios and time. So, if for an extract I use, say 1/2 cup of almonds to 1 pint of vodka (100g of nuts to 1/2L of vodka) am I using the same ratios if I am making an almond liqueur (say 250 g nuts to 1.5 L of vodka + 1/2 L simple syrup);
and if, for example, for a liqueur I allow the fruit etc to steep for say 4 - 6 weeks, do I steep the fruit etc for the same amount of time to make an extract? I ask because despite the fact that most recipes suggest steeping for months, I would have thought that almost all the flavor is extracted in about 7-10 days at the very most. Is that not true?

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Re: extracts vs liqueurs

Post: #289934 Green Aura
Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:35 pm

I've never used nuts to make a liqueur so I can't advise, I'm afraid, but I can see how sugar wouldn't be much use drawing out any flavour. With fruit though I often use sugar alone in the first instance because it draws out all the juice, then add the alcohol after.
I don't think it should steep for months but I'd leave them for several weeks.
As for ratios, again I'm not ya gal. I more of a "add enough to cover" to keep out the air and then either sweeten to taste or add sufficient alcohol to dissolve all the sugar. I'm sure someone will have the answer though.
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Re: extracts vs liqueurs

Post: #289936 BernardSmith
Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:28 am

Thanks Maggie... I am trying to make a chocolate extract to add to some mead (honey wine) I am making. I have what I think is a reasonably flavored extract (using cocoa nibs) but if the extract should have more nibs or the extraction of flavor significantly changes after 4 weeks then I am looking for advice...

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Re: extracts vs liqueurs

Post: #289937 Green Aura
Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:20 am

Ah, well you'll certainly need to get every last drop of flavour out if you're adding it to something of volume, like mead. I thought you were looking at making a liqueur - with spirit rather than wine.

I'm guessing one of the many mead-making forums will have more answers.
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Re: extracts vs liqueurs

Post: #289940 BernardSmith
Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:56 pm

Apologies for the confusion. I want to add the extract to the mead. I want to use the vodka to extract the flavor from the cocoa nibs and add that extract to the wine. It's not the mead I have any questions about. It's the extract...

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Re: extracts vs liqueurs

Post: #289941 Green Aura
Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:24 pm

I doubt there are any rules. You basically need to decide how much alcohol (spirit) you're prepared to add to your mead and try to get as much flavour into that as possible. I'd be tempted to keep replenishing the cacao nibs until you get super extract ( I have no idea how much that would take though). I'm not sure anyone could give you a definitive formula - too many variables - brand, age, spirit etc.
Time to experiment methinks. Work out your allowable spirit: mead ratio and then make small samples with an increasingly strong extract until you get the blend you like.
Maggie

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Re: extracts vs liqueurs

Post: #289942 ina
Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:27 pm

Do you know what I am thinking, reading all this? Too much fuss! I'd rather nibble the cocoa nibs while drinking a nice glass of cognac with it... ;)

No doubt your liqueur will be really nice, though!
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Re: extracts vs liqueurs

Post: #289944 Brewtrog
Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:39 pm

I've had mixed results in making infused spirits (with and without sugar), and have come to the conclusion taste and see.
For example I found a recipe for black pepper schnapps that called for the alcohol (95% abv spiritus from the local Polish shop) to be left on the pepper for over a month. It ended up far too strong to be enjoyable.
On the other hand the recipe I follow for anise flavoured liqueurs calls for you to check the infusion daily, as some of the herbs only want to be in for a very short length of time.
If you taste it, you'll know if it's where you want it. Although, if you're using it to flavour something else (e.g. your mead) you'll possibly want it a bit stronger than is pleasant on it's own as it'll end up being diluted by the mead

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Re: extracts vs liqueurs

Post: #289947 ina
Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:02 am

Brewtrog wrote: alcohol (95% abv spiritus from the local Polish shop)


Is it legal to sell that here? I used to make cherry liqueur with it in Germany (since cherries - sour ones - have loads of juice it comes out not too strong), but have never been able to get it here. Even the 55% rum I used to use for Rumtopf was a one-off at Lidl's...
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Re: extracts vs liqueurs

Post: #289948 Brewtrog
Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:40 am

Yeah, it's perfectly legal to sell alcohol of any strength in the UK, just not always that easy to come by.

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Re: extracts vs liqueurs

Post: #289951 ina
Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:09 pm

Thanks - I shall keep my eyes open...
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Re: extracts vs liqueurs

Post: #289973 BernardSmith
Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:42 pm

Interestingly, I checked that book by Schloss and for virtually every liqueur he discusses he suggests a week or ten days is the most time you need to extract flavor. He also recommends that you don't keep any of these liqueurs longer than 12 months but what he calls a liqueur and what I call an extract are for all intents and purposes identical (except for the added syrup - and the greater volume of both flavorings and alcohol: He uses a bottle of vodka or rum etc (750 cc) and I use 250 cc; and he uses about 1 cup of flavoring and I use about 1/3 of a cup)..


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