5 Benefits of Using GNS

I know, I know, we are in the craft spirits industry, and buying neutral is just faking it and is cheating. The thing is, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions and it is wholly possible to include Grain Neutral Spirit (GNS, or NGS, or just “neutral”) into a successful business model. Grain to glass is a wonderful practice and quality products almost always have quality ingredients but we all have different restraints, focuses, and budgets. The craft of distilling should be respected but we are running businesses and in certain cases, it can make sense to be creative and work with what you’re got. SO without further ado, let’s dive into five ways that GNS can add to your distillation program.

1. Depending on the operation it can eliminate the need for fermentation all together

If you are making a Gin or other flavored spirit starting with GNS as your base can save a ton of labor and raw material costs that a fermentation program will need. By outsourcing this part of the process you do lose almost all control over the initial input to your production process but unless you are farming your own grain you probably don’t have that level of control anyway. 

2. GNS is a blank pallet and a great starting point to add flavor

If you’re going to be adding flavoring to your final spirit through vapor infusion, maceration, or any other means then using a high-quality neutral spirit gives you a blank canvas to work with. It’s very difficult to get all the residual flavor out of spirits by distillation alone, it can take filtration or additional processing to get a truly neutral spirit. By having someone else take this part of the production process off your hands you can focus on other aspects of making a wonderful spirit.

3. Lower barrier to entry since it doesn’t need as much equipment

Depending on the quality of neutral you source you may only need to do a limited amount of processing to add in the flavor profile you’re looking to make a wonderful spirit. To make a neutral spirit from scratch you’ll need a very tall column, normally 18 plus plates, and potentially a filter of some kind to remove any residual flavor in the spirit. This can free up some of your equipment budgets to focus on other spirits or maybe get you that bigger gin basket you’ve had your eve on.

4. Lower price point 

Neutral spirits are actually cheaper than water in many cases. Buying neutral spirits and cleaning them up can actually save money on grain and labor costs versus making the vodka yourself. That being said, there is no substitute for experience, you’re just gaining a different kind of experience by going this route. 

5. Gaining experience

Starting with GNS as a stepping stone before you start a full neutral spirit production facility can help you have hands-on experience so that you can have an idea of how much neutral you need to meet your production demands and you can size your equipment accordingly. 

Hopefully, this guide has helped you think about different ways to incorporate GNS into your production plans and think about different ways to structure your business. While making every product on your line from scratch is a noble idea, sometimes you have to make a decision on where your resources are best spent and keep an eye on the long term. We’re happy to help with your business planning and if you have any questions please give us a call!