introduction and a few questions
- Hi all, i'm very new to distilling (about 1 month) and am really loving
it so far... this list and homedistilling.org are really helpful.
a few friends and i did one test run with some cheap wine we bought and
ran it though our small homemade pressure cooker pot still, shockingly
the results were acutally drinkable!
now i have a few questions:
1) any general tips on how to operate a small pot still to make brandy?
we made the pot still we have just to see if this was any fun, before we
look into building a bigger one. its made from a small pressure cooker
(~6 litre capacity i think). 2 weeks ago we did a run with 4 litres of
cheap wine just to get used to it. our end result was shockingly good
for how clueless we were, but definitely has some distinct off smells
and tastes in it. we found it hard to get exact cutoffs for the
heads/tails, mostly because we were taking temperatures in the top of
the pot itself (above the wash), so by the time the vapour that we
measured has gotten all the way down to the end the condensor and is
dripping of into our collector the temperature in the pot has already
risen... i imagine this is also pretty tightly tied to the small size of
the wash we can use, if we had 20 litre's the time between the sections
would be longer and easier to determine. i guess the quiestion is, is
it realisitic to expect we will be able to get a decent product from a
still like this, or should we just move straight onto planning a larger
still (which is much more problematic for obvious legal and space reasons)
2) should we be separating our sections of the distillate as it comes
out based on temperature readings, exact timing ("every 5 minutes" ...
our first run only took like 30 minutes), or by volume in the collector?
3) is there any movement to legalise home distilling in the USA? im
still kind of awe struck that we arnt allowed to distill the wine or
beer we make at home here in the "land of the free" ... has anyone
really tried in the past?
4) How does one make whiskey/brandy with a reflux/fractionating still?
i saw references that i was possible on homedistiller.org, but not
exactly how this works. i imagine that going the pot still route if i
dont intend to eve rmake neutral spirits makes the most sense, but im
curious about the other options.
5) anyone ever thought about forming a legally "registered" distilling
collective in order to get around the laws in the USA? this thought
occured to us as we were sipping on our first batch illicit hooch.
maybe incorperate as a non profit to pay the taxes on the still. Is
just any person allowed to operate a legally licensed still, or do the
operators need some form of certification/license. An interesting idea
thanks for any advice you have!