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The Great Limoncello Filter Debate

a
aal00 Dec 7, 2012 12:54 PM

I've been interested in making some of my own limoncello for a while now, and have been combing Chowhound for info for the past few days. I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what I'll be doing for everything except for the initial filtering of the 151-proof Everclear (prior to infusing the lemon zest).

Filtering seems to be somewhat contentious around here; some users (most notably the proprietor of limoncelloquest.com) swear forwards and backwards that filtering the liquor in advance leads to noticeably smoother / mellower results. Others insist that filtering is redundant because the liquor is a neutral grain spirit in the first place.

Assuming I go with the first camp, there's also the matter of HOW to filter the alcohol safely. Brita is often mentioned, but the concerns I've seen raised about using Brita's plastic containers and filters with such high-proof liquor appear sound. I assume the most reasonable alternative would be food-grade activated charcoal, but there doesn't appear to be much discussion of the stuff on this board, and I have no idea where I'd begin looking for it (much less the valid way to use it).

Does anyone have any concrete information as to whether or not filtering is worthwhile? And if it is, do you have any recommendations for the filtering process?

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  1. JMF RE: aal00 Dec 8, 2012 07:26 PM

    As a professional distiller I say filtering is nonsense. As would anyone in the field.
    As for limoncelloquest.com I can find no info that this is a professional lemoncello producer. Just someone who is an avid amateur.

    1. t
      thimes RE: aal00 Dec 11, 2012 09:09 AM

      No concrete information (I don't filter when I make mine) but that said . . .

      If you really wanted to filter but were concerned about using the plastic - you could also break open the Brita filter to get the charcoal out, sourcing issue solved. Put the charcoal in a coffee filter and filter away.

      1 Reply
      1. re: thimes
        c
        chloebell RE: thimes Dec 11, 2012 09:15 AM

        We've made Lemoncello many times. Never filtered the alcohol. And it's 151 proof - why would anyone filter that? It's crazy!

      2. s
        Salocin RE: aal00 Apr 10, 2014 08:56 PM

        seems insane. The question is: do you filter at the end of the process?

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