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Glenmorangie Part I (was)Re: Shape of the Distilation Column Affects The Product

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  • Harry
    ... as ... not ... have ... am ... been ... since ... times ... floor, ... and I ... the ... of ... increases ... as ... found ... reflux ... on ... the ...
    Message 1 of 9 , Dec 8, 2005
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      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Sasha"
      <blackrabbit.namespace@h...> wrote:
      >
      > Greetings,
      > I have been spending a lot of time reading everything I can get my
      > hands on about distilation but I cannot say that I am not totally
      > overwhelmed, there seems to be as many theories about distilates
      as
      > there is grains in a field.
      > The goal that I have set is to produce a Scotch whiskey that is
      not
      > disimilar to Glenmorangie (that being my favorite) weather this
      > thesis prove to be possible or not I intend to either succeed or
      have
      > a coffin made of my research data papers. Needless to say I don't
      > need flame-mail on how nieve I probabily am, since I know what I
      am
      > and that is a gromit at distilling.
      > I am not however unblooded when it comes to fermentation, I have
      been
      > making my own malt, brewing my own beer, and making my own wine
      since
      > I was 11, but I have never distilled.
      > I would like to offer my experiences to this group as I breach the
      > world of distilation and perhaps you might re-live your first
      times
      > as I experience mine.
      > As I write this, I have the pieces of my still laying on the
      floor,
      > and in the coming weeks I intend to assemble it and start my first
      > run...however,I don't want to fail before I begin...I read some
      > startling theory on the outcome of flavors on homedistiller.org
      and I
      > quote:
      >
      > "A pinched waist (as though a corset had been tightened around the
      > still), can be seen in The Glenlivet's wash and spirit stills. By
      > reducing the surface area available to the vapours (by about two-
      > thirds at The Glenlivet), a pinched waist initially accelerates
      the
      > progress of vapours into the neck. The subsequent, sudden widening
      of
      > the neck, and relatively cooler temperature, consequently
      increases
      > reflux."
      >
      > There is more, but that I believe is sufficient to pose a question
      as
      > to what my column should look like. At the moment the design plan
      > that I am following is a duplicate of the valved-reflux column
      found
      > at www.moonshine-still.com. My grand plan was to un-tweak the
      reflux
      > column and use it in part as a modified pot-still. However based
      on
      > some of the new readings I am thinking that this perhaps is not
      the
      > best way to continue. I would like some qualified opinions if
      anyone
      > is willing to take the time to offer them. Because this is a
      hobby I
      > am somewhat limited in my budget by my better-half so baring that
      in
      > mind would be appreciated. I have the chance here of modifying my
      > future before I weld it firmly in place so to speak, and I choose
      to
      > wait a minute and find out what more experienced people say, since
      > this may be my only shot until I save some more to manufacture
      > another still-head.
      >
      > Sincerely.
      > Me.
      >



      Welcome to the black arts, Sasha. ;-))
      Well I admire your choice of challenges for your first foray into
      distilling. Making Scotch of whatever flavour is no easy task, even
      for the few among us who have spent some years at it. However, it
      is do-able, and seeing as how you have a background of beer brewing,
      then you have a definite headstart. So, on with the quest... ;-))



      Cloning Glenmorangie
      Part I

      Still design:
      By and large, copying still designs of the old Scotch distilleries
      is not really much use to a homedistiller, unless you've got a lot
      of money, time, metalsmith skills and patience. They don't scale
      well. It is better to understand what the various designs achieve
      in the final product, then build a standard home potstill with a few
      tweaks to mimic the outcome of their much larger cousins.
      Glenmorangie potstills have a neck (column) some 5.5 metres tall,
      quite a bit more than the average, in fact the tallest of the Scotch
      potstills. At the base of the neck, where it joins the boiler lid,
      is a spherical shape known as a 'boil-ball'. The boil-ball and the
      overlength neck have but one purpose; to produce as much reflux and
      separation as possible in a potstill. This brings about an end
      product considerably lighter in congeners compared to other Scotch
      Malts. This, combined with Glenmorangie's much stricter cuts (1/5,
      most others cut 1/3) makes a product that homedistillers should be
      able to duplicate more easily than the heavier malts, as
      homedistillers potstills invariably make lighter spirits than
      commercial stills. At this point I must say one thing.
      Homedistillers reflux stills are NOT potstills. However, it is
      quite possible to use them as potstills if you remove about 3/4 of
      the mesh packing, leaving just a little to increase the separation,
      just as the boil-ball does in the commercial stills. If you already
      have a potstill, you can achieve a similar result by angling the
      lyne arm at the top of the neck to a 45° angle for about 60cm of
      length, then direct it downward to the condenser or worm. The
      suggested tweaking methods for the two still designs will give
      product lighter than the usual, which is the first step in trying to
      duplicate Glenmorangie. By the way, it hasn't yet been decided just
      WHICH Glenmorangie is to be cloned. Is it to be the
      Glenmorangie 10 Years ?
      Glenmorangie 18 Years ?
      Glenmorangie Madeira Wood Finish ?
      Glenmorangie Port Wood Finish ?
      Glenmorangie Sherry Wood Finish ?
      Or just Glenmorangie in general, then worry about the finish later?
      As a famous TV ad from years gone by said "Oils aint't oils, Sol".
      Part II to follow, when I get my second wind.

      Slainte!
      regards Harry
      Moderator
    • waljaco
      Practice aging 90%abv vodka as some 80% of the characteristics come from aging in oak barrels (ex-Spanish sherry, ex-US bourbon). Then take into account
      Message 2 of 9 , Dec 8, 2005
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        Practice aging 90%abv vodka as some 80% of the characteristics come
        from aging in oak barrels (ex-Spanish sherry, ex-US bourbon).
        Then take into account barley quality,peat-dried malt quality, mashing
        technique, yeast variety, distillation technique, water quality.
        But then Glenmorangie never set out to copy anybody - so feel free to
        make yor own house style.
        wal
        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Sasha"
        <blackrabbit.namespace@h...> wrote:
        >
        > Greetings,
        > I have been spending a lot of time reading everything I can get my
        > hands on about distilation but I cannot say that I am not totally
        > overwhelmed, there seems to be as many theories about distilates as
        > there is grains in a field.
        > The goal that I have set is to produce a Scotch whiskey that is not
        > disimilar to Glenmorangie (that being my favorite) weather this
        > thesis prove to be possible or not I intend to either succeed or have
        > a coffin made of my research data papers. Needless to say I don't
        > need flame-mail on how nieve I probabily am, since I know what I am
        > and that is a gromit at distilling.

        >
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