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Re: Burnt smell/taste in whiskey and carbon filtering

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  • Harry
    ... alcohol, ... smell ... that? ... taste ... it ... an ... Hi Riku, From the book Artisan Distilling by Prof. Kris Berglung pages 84 - 85
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 28, 2006
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      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc" <abbababbaccc@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > Hi all,
      >
      > After my numerous experiments I have few liters of whiskey with
      > that "burnt" smell/taste in it. I can distill it to neutral
      alcohol,
      > but I was wondering whether carbon filtering would remove that
      smell
      > while leaving some whiskey character to the spirit? Anyone tried
      that?
      >
      > I've tried running it through a compound still, but the burnt
      taste
      > gets blended to the heads too much to be completely removed while
      > retaining adequate whiskey flavor. Of course I could try running
      it
      > through the spirall still really slow, but if carbon filtering is
      an
      > easier way ...
      >
      > Need to free up some jars for future experiments :)
      >
      > - Riku
      >


      Hi Riku,
      From the book "Artisan Distilling" by Prof. Kris Berglung
      pages 84 - 85
      http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/

      "Burnt Taste
      With direct heating of stills local overheating (burning) can occur
      especially for highly viscous mashes as well as pulps. The
      decomposition products of sugar thus created (e.g. furfural) give a
      burnt, bitter taste to the distillate which can hardly be removed.
      An activated-carbon treatment can still lead to a partial
      improvement of the product."

      Carbon treatment is time-consuming, fiddly (subsequent filtering),
      can be messy (carbon recovery), and is certainly another unwanted
      expense. But Kris says it may improve things 'partially'.

      If it were me, I'd be more inclined to blend small portions of it
      with your better quality (not scorched) strong malt whiskies. You
      may be able to 'mask' it that way. Furfural (an aldehyde) in parts
      per million (found in nearly all scotch) won't harm you. Try a
      couple of litres this way. If you don't like the result, as you
      say, you can always redistill it to a neutral alcohol.


      HTH
      Slainte!
      regards Harry
    • abbababbaccc
      Hi Dean, No it won t go away with oaking. Some of that stuff has been oaking for over a year now and it has still somewhat unpleasant taste. Could be that 12
      Message 2 of 11 , Jun 28, 2006
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        Hi Dean,

        No it won't go away with oaking. Some of that stuff has been oaking
        for over a year now and it has still somewhat unpleasant taste. Could
        be that 12 years would do the trick but I don't have time for that.

        Yep, that dextrine trick should allow twice as much experiments :)

        - Riku

        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Dean Thomas <deanlil2@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi Riku,
        >
        > I wonder if that burnt smell would mellow if put on oak for a
        couple of
        > months or longer but if you need to free up some jars filtering
        might do
        > the trick, might even try using a plain old Brita filter.
        > Sorry mate but I see some more experiments coming up :)
        >
        > Dean.
        >
        >
      • abbababbaccc
        Hi Harry, Do you have any information how these furfurals behave in distillation? I mean if I were to distill really slowly (like 6 hours for heads removal)
        Message 3 of 11 , Jun 28, 2006
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          Hi Harry,

          Do you have any information how these furfurals behave in
          distillation? I mean if I were to distill really slowly (like 6 hours
          for heads removal) would those furfurals come out with the first part
          of heads? I hade some tainted faints as well, so I could put it all
          together and try to remove those furfurals with my PM still.

          Blending is a bit problematic approach, I'd be afraid of spoiling the
          good stuff. Unfortunately I'm out of the good stuff which gives me a
          good reason to start experimenting again :)

          - Riku

          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:
          >> >
          >
          >
          > Hi Riku,
          > From the book "Artisan Distilling" by Prof. Kris Berglung
          > pages 84 - 85
          > http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/
          >
          > "Burnt Taste
          > With direct heating of stills local overheating (burning) can occur
          > especially for highly viscous mashes as well as pulps. The
          > decomposition products of sugar thus created (e.g. furfural) give a
          > burnt, bitter taste to the distillate which can hardly be removed.
          > An activated-carbon treatment can still lead to a partial
          > improvement of the product."
          >
          > Carbon treatment is time-consuming, fiddly (subsequent filtering),
          > can be messy (carbon recovery), and is certainly another unwanted
          > expense. But Kris says it may improve things 'partially'.
          >
          > If it were me, I'd be more inclined to blend small portions of it
          > with your better quality (not scorched) strong malt whiskies. You
          > may be able to 'mask' it that way. Furfural (an aldehyde) in parts
          > per million (found in nearly all scotch) won't harm you. Try a
          > couple of litres this way. If you don't like the result, as you
          > say, you can always redistill it to a neutral alcohol.
          >
          >
          > HTH
          > Slainte!
          > regards Harry
          >
        • Harry
          ... hours ... part ... .............I doubt it. Furfural has a boiling point of 161°C. Therefore it appears more in the tails. It is very soluble in
          Message 4 of 11 , Jun 29, 2006
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            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc" <abbababbaccc@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Hi Harry,
            >
            > Do you have any information how these furfurals behave in
            > distillation? I mean if I were to distill really slowly (like 6
            hours
            > for heads removal) would those furfurals come out with the first
            part
            > of heads?


            .............I doubt it. Furfural has a boiling point of 161°C.
            Therefore it appears more in the tails. It is very soluble in
            ethanol, not soluble in water. I'd be more inclined to cut tails
            very early. That way you 'may' remove the bulk of it, but of course
            you also remove all the other flavour materials from the whisky.
            What you'd finish up with is reasonably neutral alcohol.

            There's many natural and man-processed foods that contain furfural.
            This article from WHO (World Health Org) gives a full list with
            ppm's. Under normal conditions, there's way more furfural in cocoa
            and coffee than in distilled spirits.

            http://www.inchem.org/documents/jecfa/jecmono/v042je03.htm

            or TinyURL...
            http://tinyurl.com/nlsq7


            Slainte!
            regards Harry
          • abbababbaccc
            Hmm, based on this a very slow distillation run could work while aiming for maximum separation of different boiling point components. Maybe I ll try that when
            Message 5 of 11 , Jun 29, 2006
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              Hmm, based on this a very slow distillation run could work while
              aiming for maximum separation of different boiling point components.
              Maybe I'll try that when I have some extra time in my hands. I'm not
              exactly keen on messing with carbon.

              - Riku


              --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:
              >
              > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc" <abbababbaccc@>
              > wrote:
              > >
              > > Hi Harry,
              > >
              > > Do you have any information how these furfurals behave in
              > > distillation? I mean if I were to distill really slowly (like 6
              > hours
              > > for heads removal) would those furfurals come out with the first
              > part
              > > of heads?
              >
              >
              > .............I doubt it. Furfural has a boiling point of 161°C.
              > Therefore it appears more in the tails. It is very soluble in
              > ethanol, not soluble in water. I'd be more inclined to cut tails
              > very early. That way you 'may' remove the bulk of it, but of
              course
              > you also remove all the other flavour materials from the whisky.
              > What you'd finish up with is reasonably neutral alcohol.
              >
              > There's many natural and man-processed foods that contain
              furfural.
              > This article from WHO (World Health Org) gives a full list with
              > ppm's. Under normal conditions, there's way more furfural in cocoa
              > and coffee than in distilled spirits.
              >
              > http://www.inchem.org/documents/jecfa/jecmono/v042je03.htm
              >
              > or TinyURL...
              > http://tinyurl.com/nlsq7
              >
              >
              > Slainte!
              > regards Harry
              >
            • Sven Pfitt
              I did several sugar washes until I collected 6 gallons of 50% strippage. I added a couple of tablespoons of bicarbonate and let it set a couple of months
              Message 6 of 11 , Jun 29, 2006
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                I did several sugar washes until I collected 6 gallons of 50%
                strippage. I added a couple of tablespoons of bicarbonate and let it
                set a couple of months before doing my final pass.

                I ran a real slow heads take off, over 12 hrs, and collected less
                than a quart of heads.

                When the temp started to go up at the end and I could smell tails I
                cut the run and discarded the rest.

                All in all I got almost 2.5 gallons of 95% very clean product.

                If you have the time (and power) slow will give you more product and
                less heads/tails.

                Sven

                --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc" <abbababbaccc@...>
                wrote:
                >
                > Hmm, based on this a very slow distillation run could work while
                > aiming for maximum separation of different boiling point
                components.
                > Maybe I'll try that when I have some extra time in my hands. I'm
                not
                > exactly keen on messing with carbon.
                >
                > - Riku
                >
                >
                > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@> wrote:
                > >
                > > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc" <abbababbaccc@>
                > > wrote:
                > > >
                > > > Hi Harry,
                > > >
                > > > Do you have any information how these furfurals behave in
                > > > distillation? I mean if I were to distill really slowly (like 6
                > > hours
                > > > for heads removal) would those furfurals come out with the
                first
                > > part
                > > > of heads?
                > >
                > >
                > > .............I doubt it. Furfural has a boiling point of 161°C.
                > > Therefore it appears more in the tails. It is very soluble in
                > > ethanol, not soluble in water. I'd be more inclined to cut tails
                > > very early. That way you 'may' remove the bulk of it, but of
                > course
                > > you also remove all the other flavour materials from the whisky.
                > > What you'd finish up with is reasonably neutral alcohol.
                > >
                > > There's many natural and man-processed foods that contain
                > furfural.
                > > This article from WHO (World Health Org) gives a full list with
                > > ppm's. Under normal conditions, there's way more furfural in
                cocoa
                > > and coffee than in distilled spirits.
                > >
                > > http://www.inchem.org/documents/jecfa/jecmono/v042je03.htm
                > >
                > > or TinyURL...
                > > http://tinyurl.com/nlsq7
                > >
                > >
                > > Slainte!
                > > regards Harry
                > >
                >
              • abbababbaccc
                Hi Sven, The best I ve done is ~40ml heads from 3600ml total alcohol (6kg sugar mash), that was some REALLY disgusting stuff and took overnight to get out at
                Message 7 of 11 , Jun 29, 2006
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                  Hi Sven,

                  The best I've done is ~40ml heads from 3600ml total alcohol (6kg
                  sugar mash), that was some REALLY disgusting stuff and took overnight
                  to get out at 300W. My current setup removes automatically 100ml as
                  compressed heads from similar mash and the rest is pure 95.6% stuff.
                  Well, I leave some 100ml to the boiler as tails but since that's not
                  taken out I won't take it into calculation.

                  - Riku


                  --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Sven Pfitt" <the_gimp98@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > I did several sugar washes until I collected 6 gallons of 50%
                  > strippage. I added a couple of tablespoons of bicarbonate and let
                  it
                  > set a couple of months before doing my final pass.
                  >
                  > I ran a real slow heads take off, over 12 hrs, and collected less
                  > than a quart of heads.
                  >
                  > When the temp started to go up at the end and I could smell tails I
                  > cut the run and discarded the rest.
                  >
                  > All in all I got almost 2.5 gallons of 95% very clean product.
                  >
                  > If you have the time (and power) slow will give you more product
                  and
                  > less heads/tails.
                  >
                  > Sven
                  >
                  >
                • donald holcombe
                  Ive always been told If its burnt it stays burnt. We always stirred the mash till it was boiling before we put the top on the still. Its like beans. The dogs
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jun 29, 2006
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                    Ive always been told If its burnt it stays burnt. We always stirred the mash till it was boiling before we put the top on the still. Its like beans. The dogs dont like burnt beans either.

                    abbababbaccc <abbababbaccc@...> wrote: Hi Dean,

                    No it won't go away with oaking. Some of that stuff has been oaking
                    for over a year now and it has still somewhat unpleasant taste. Could
                    be that 12 years would do the trick but I don't have time for that.

                    Yep, that dextrine trick should allow twice as much experiments :)

                    - Riku

                    --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Dean Thomas <deanlil2@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Hi Riku,
                    >
                    > I wonder if that burnt smell would mellow if put on oak for a
                    couple of
                    > months or longer but if you need to free up some jars filtering
                    might do
                    > the trick, might even try using a plain old Brita filter.
                    > Sorry mate but I see some more experiments coming up :)
                    >
                    > Dean.
                    >
                    >






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                  • Calif Shiner
                    I have a few quarts of the same....seems I had some burned residue inside my stainless pot. Plan to re distill to neutral alcohol. My still looked clean
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jul 11, 2006
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                      I have a few quarts of the same....seems I had some burned residue inside my stainless pot. Plan to re distill to neutral alcohol.
                      My still looked clean (residue was midway around the welds) but had to use commercial (resturant type) ss cleaner and then high citric acid rinse to clean the foul stuff.
                      Would appreciate your feedback on what ever method you use..........Calif Shiner
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: abbababbaccc
                      To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Wednesday, June 28, 2006 11:33 AM
                      Subject: [Distillers] Burnt smell/taste in whiskey and carbon filtering


                      Hi all,

                      After my numerous experiments I have few liters of whiskey with
                      that "burnt" smell/taste in it. I can distill it to neutral alcohol,
                      but I was wondering whether carbon filtering would remove that smell
                      while leaving some whiskey character to the spirit? Anyone tried that?

                      I've tried running it through a compound still, but the burnt taste
                      gets blended to the heads too much to be completely removed while
                      retaining adequate whiskey flavor. Of course I could try running it
                      through the spirall still really slow, but if carbon filtering is an
                      easier way ...

                      Need to free up some jars for future experiments :)

                      - Riku





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