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In a word, smoothness. It is impurities in the liquor that produce harshness in the flavor of the finished product. The cheaper the liquor, the more impurities. Actually, I’ll be posting the results of the next batch soon and it was a 50/50 split with the only difference being liquor filtration and you’ll see that it does make a difference.Reply
Hardly necessary. With grain alcohol, my estimate is that within 10 days all flavor from the lemon zest is removed. Have you tested this?
I did 10 days and, after removing the grain alcohol, the rinds turned sort of crackly and tasted like alcohol (and not lemon) — my assumption was that the flavor had transitioned out.
Cutting a month out of the process would certainly make this a more attractive recipe.Reply
After 10 days there is still yellow in my peels, which I use as the gauge for whether the infusion is complete. I should test it though, it would make the recipe more attractive if it works. I wonder if it takes longer with vodka. I have a batch of arancello that is about 10 days old and made with vodka. There is still a lot of color in the zest on that batch.Reply
I suspect that the infusion would take less time with zest than it would with peels, simply because of the zest’s greater surface area. If you really want to use peels and are trying to shorten the infusion time, then I suggest using more lemons.
For my first batch of limoncello, I used peels from 20 lemons and 1L of 160-proof vodka. Simple syrup was 1.5L filtered water with 1.5c sugar. I gave the infusion 22 days, removed peels, added simple syrup, filtered twice, then bottled. A few weeks after bottling, the result is pretty good- although there is a slightly bitter aftertaste. For my next batch I’m planning to zest the lemons for better pith control.Reply
I came across your site while I did a search on Google for alcohol stats and your article on Batch #2 Results was informative.Reply
I’m on my first trial run of making lemoncello with the lemons from my backyard tree. I didn’t filter the liquor, however. I couldn’t find Everclear (think it’s illegal in CA), so am using 100 proof vodka. What is the benefit of liquor filtration?Reply