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I get that residue fairly frequently. Unless yours looks very different from mine, I don’t think it’s actually mold. I think it’s impurities in the ingredients that rise to the surface after sitting for a while. I’ve found that careful filtration can remove most of this but sometimes it’s difficult to get rid of it completely. You can just shake the bottle and that makes it dissipate but it’s a little off-putting to drink it after doing that.Reply
Great web site you’ve got here, just found it today. I’ve been making cello for a little over three years now and still find this site to be very informative. Reading through all of your “batch” entries and their corresponding comments was just so interesting. I’m in the process of making a coffee cello and will be sure to post the results, good or bad, as soon as it’s ready for consumption.
One of the biggest items that I was unaware of was the filtering of the grain or vodka prior to infusion. Based on your test results this is a process that I will definitely include in my next batch. The question is, do you still use a Brita? There seems to be some words of caution because of the plastics.
Thanks in advance for your time,
I’m currently searching for another cost-effective method other than Brita. There are carbon filtration systems for this purpose but they are quite expensive. I’m still looking for another viable alternative.Reply
What size of bottle of Everclear did you use? The company makes both 0.75 L and 1L varieties.Reply
a few comments from someone who makes over 20 batches of 1.75ml grain per batch in a year. I don’t think there is any commercial maker who make their cello natually. They use checmicals for flavor and coloring. Second, I use twice the water you listed for1.75l of 190 proof grian and mine is still very strong. Your’s must be like rocket fuel. It should have a slght burn after swollowing.Reply
Question: Can you use pure cold pressed lemon oil and save the trouble of the peeling and/or zesting? Just wondering.
I am making my first batch now and all seems to be going well, but it is only 11 days in. I did a combination of peeling and zesting and the color is a beautiful yellow.
RE: Mike’s experience with what he thought was mold. I’ve been making liqueurs for many years. What Mike found was a typical byproduct of mixing fruit and alcohol. This residue he found was not mold. Mold can not exist in 95% alcohol. What he saw were pectin fibers, the stuff jelly is made of. Pectins are not readily soluble in alcohol. After fruit is mascerated in alcohol the pectins, which are soluble in H2O, precipitate out in the alcohol and are harmless. You will see them accumulate, suspended in the liquid, as little clouds. They can be filtered out or permitted to settle to the bottom of the bottle. The clear liquid above can then be racked off. You must be patient and move slowly so as not to disturb them.
Hope this clears up what happened and is of some help.
Hi Again, I just read TTrombetta’s comments. I calculated the proof of the LimoncelloQuest basic recipe in this blog. It is 35% -(70 proof). FYI: There’s a great site which has different proof calculators for homebrewers etc. He sells all sorts of products for folks like us. I use it very frequently for my stuff. Take a look. I just copied the url below
He also has a good mix of products. Very useful
Have to second what ttrombetta above has noted regarding alcoholic strength. In your recipe it appears you may have assumed that 5 cups water plus 3.5 cups sugar equals 8.5 cups liquid. If it did then your product would be the approximate 64 proof you estimate. However I think you’ll find that dissolving said amounts of sugar and water actually produces about 6.75 cups liquid = 73 proof. When dissolved, the sugar molecules fit in between the water molecules so volumes of solution formation are not directly additive.
Thanks much for your site, it’s the best guide I’ve found for making a quality limoncello.Reply
I’ve never tried that but it seems like an interesting experimentReply
Many thanks Dick, that’s the best explanation I’ve seen of this phenomenon. I’ve always known that film was not mold and was basically harmless but that’s a great explanation.Reply
RE: Volume related to disolved sugar. Mike’s got the formula right. If you take a cup of water heat it and disolve a cup of granulated sugar in it. After it cools to room temperature you will note that your result is a little bit more than a cup and a half in volume. 3.5 cups of sugar disolved equates to 1.75 cups in volume.Reply
Ben, re: your search for a less costly filtration medium than Britta. Click on the Brewhause link above. On the right side of the page that comes up, click on “activated carbon”. There are a number of selections to chose from. His offerings are very inexpensive.Reply
I really would love to try the cold pressed 100% lemon oil, but I can’t imagine what the ratio would be. Is there anything that would tell how much oil comes off the average sized lemon?
If the pure lemon oil worked it would make it a heck of a lot easier.
18 days and my yellow baby is looking beautiful! Thanks again.Reply
If anyone wants to make limoncello to a specific proof here’s an equation you can use:
Sv = (Lv * (Lp / 200) / (Pp / 200)) – (Lv * Lp / 200) – (Lv * (200 – Lp) / 200)
Lp = Proof number of the liquor used
Lv = Volume of the liquor used
Pp = Limoncello product proof desired
Sv = Volume of syrup to use*
*The syrup volume will be in the same units as those used for Lv
To make a specific volume of the syrup used in Ben’s recipe:
Water Volume = Sv * 0.74
Granulated Sugar Volume = Sv * 0.518
(Note: Actual volume obtained will vary slightly depending on numerous factors including: temperature, coarseness of sugar and magnitude of total volume)
Here are some examples of Sv for 1 750 ml bottle of 151 proof Everclear:
(values rounded to nearest fluid ounce and nearest 10 ml)
70 proof = 3 cups, 5 oz. (870 ml) Syrup
= 2 Cups, 6 oz. (640 ml) Water + 1 Cup, 7 oz. (450 ml) Sugar
60 proof = 4 cups, 6 oz. (1140 ml) Syrup
= 3 Cups, 4 oz. (840 ml) Water + 2 Cups, 4 oz. (590 ml) Sugar
55 proof = 5 cups, 4 oz. (1310 ml) Syrup
= 4 Cups, 1 oz. (970 ml) Water + 2 Cups, 7 oz. (680 ml) Sugar
50 proof = 6 cups, 3 oz. (1510 ml) Syrup
= 4 Cups, 6 oz. (1120 ml) Water + 3 Cups, 3 oz. (790 ml) Sugar
(I offer above in appreciation for the great guidance on this site, Thanks again.)Reply
Sorry for the above unnecessarily long equation, it is correct but can be simplified to:
Sv = Lp * Lv / Pp – Lv
Lp = Proof number of the liquor used
Lv = Volume of the liquor used
Pp = Limoncello product proof desired
Sv = Volume of syrup to useReply
Ben Im making a first batch at home, and wondering if I can store in my wine room. The room is kept at 63 degrees F. and is relatively kept pretty dark. Will this work for storing during steeping process?Reply
Hi Kevin, limoncello is nowhere near as sensitive as wine, either while making it or while storing the finished product. A wine cellar is more than adequate for the task. Also, I’m jealous of your wine cellar. 😉Reply
I want to make limoncello but I cant print your recipe and your tips—can you suggest what I should do? ThanksReply
In regard to comments about a filter alternative to Brita, has anyone tried the Gray Kangaroo (http://graykangaroo.com)? They claim that it is made of liquor-safe plastics and does not contain any of the potentially harmful chemicals in a Brita. It’s apparently been on the market for a few years now. Looks like a good, cost-effective alternative to a Brita filter.Reply
I am sorry but I have read your instructions in detail but I am not sure about quantities please.Reply
I am filtering out my very first batch of limoncello. It has been resting in the closet for 48 days.
The color is more pale reddish orange than yellow. Any clues as to why?
My comment is to Dick…thank you for explaining the residue on my limoncello. I have been worried after all the work it took to make it. I have a couple more weeks left until it is ready to be enjoyed! Thank you again.Reply
I just bottled some limecello that was filtered using a gold coffee filter. It was crystal clear going in the freezer, but now has the cloudy blobs floating around! Pectins, you say? So they’re harmless to drink? Could I defrost and filter it again? It’s so unappealing looking, bummed I can’t gift those bottles.Reply
I found your site after I started making 2 batches (with a recipe that resembles your basic recipe) – one with lemon zest and one with orange zest. I notices the film on the top of the orange bottle and searched looking for info on if that was mold- thanks for all of the comments above regarding pectin- I am 2 weeks in so 30 more days to go. Here is my question- The recipe that I found states that after 45 days, you should add the simple syrup and allow the mix to sit for 45 additional days– then filter. What is the difference in filtering before adding the sugar and after? Just curious. Thanks for all of the great info.Reply
The residue we are seeing is black is not clouds . On a paper towel it has almost a greenish hue to it. Wish I could add a photo. Our alcohol we used was 70% all we can get in Florida for grain alcohol. Think it’s mold? It’s a very thin layer on top almost looks like an oil slick . We had made so much we strained the peels out on this last batch but did not make another batch of simple syrup for it yet. It was kept in the fridge for one week. We took it out to make the syrup and bottle it and saw the scum. It was in a 2 liter mason jar.Reply
I recently made a batch of limoncello. I followed a simple recipe given to me by a family member years ago. 750ml 95% grain alcohol the zest of 7-10 lemons, mixed with simple syrup made with 750ml water and 500 grams of organic sugar. once it was done I carefully poured it into two different bottles, one the everclear bottle which I rinsed pretty well using near boiling water and one a scotch bottle rinsed the same way, I place one in the freezer and one in the liquor cabinet. the next day I tasted the one that was in the freezer and it was very good. Two days later both bottles seem to have mold growing in them which is floating near the top of the bottle. the frozen bottle has very minimal growth but the room temperature bottle had a fairly large amount in it. I spilled some of the liquor down the drain and removed most of the growth and placed it back in the closet, to see if it will grow more in another day. First why did this happen? 2nd how can i prevent this in future batches? 3rd can i try to remove the mold and drink the limoncello?Reply