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Jan 3, 2013 08:01 AM

Making limoncello, need advice

i have a batch of limoncello that I made about 3 weeks ago. I micro planed 20 scrubbed lemons and added zest to 2 750ml bottles of 150 proof vodka.
I gave it a shake this am and noticed that the zest looks white. I tasted a spoonful and it did not taste as lemony as I expected. Based on this I have a couple questions...
Has all the lemony goodness been leached out of the zest.. Based on the white color?
If it is in fact done, will the lemon taste intensify once I add the simple syrup mixture.?
At this point should it taste intensly of lemon? If it should, should I add more zest and let steep longer?

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  1. Did it smell lemony? You are correct, I think, in wondering whether your tongue can process much without some sweetness or some other flavor element. Try dosing a small amount with a bit of syrup and see if it works.

    Also, I don't think that microplaned zest should take long to completely infuse out. I've done quick infusions of a few peels that were very finely zested, and I had enough extraction within a couple of hours. So again, it sounds like you're on the right track. How's the color of the liquid?

    1. It does smell lemony.The color seems ok, about medium yellow. I mixed some with the simple syrup and it did have more of a lemon flavor but was still not as much as I was . Now, I am considering added more zest and letting it sit again. Is there any harm that this can cause? I don't think it can become too lemony, do you?I do notice that every recipe calls for 15-18 lemons and I did use 20 all ready.

      1 Reply
      1. re: SimonSaysWoof

        I don't think there is any risk of it becoming "too" lemony -- you can always dilute the result with more booze. Personally I'd naturally increase the number of lemons, thereby decreasing the amount of time that I'd have to wait for my result ... lemons are inexpensive; my time is, in theory, at least slightly more valuable to someone, somewhere. I hope.

      2. Thanks,
        I will Add more lemons and let sit again. I'll post back here with results.

        1. Even though you used 20 lemons, by microplaning you are getting only the best of the zest, so you may need quite a bit more than if you are using a peeler to remove the zest.

          With lemons the pith isn't as bitter as lime or grapefruit, which have very bitter pith, and bitterness in the zest too. So you can be a tiny bit sloppy with lemons and get all the zest and a small amount of pith, and so get more flavor. Same thing with oranges. Although orange/grapefruit crossbreeds like mandarins and such have very bitter pith as well.

          1. Bought 9 more lemons today and will add their zest this weekend. The original zest is now white. Should I remove it before adding the new zest? Or doesn't it matter ?

            2 Replies
            1. re: SimonSaysWoof

              just add the new -- it won't hurt anything.

              1. re: SimonSaysWoof

                If it's white it has released all flavor and color.