Re: [Distillers] is this correct??
--- On Tue, 10/27/09, rarmer7737 <rarmer7737@...> wrote:
Hiya Ron, welcome to the bunch. I'll interject some tidbits in between your questions.
> Hello everyone. I've been a
> homebrewer and winemaking for 10 years.
You've got half the battle behind you already with having those under your belt. The hardest thing for long time brewers to accept is that you don't have to be so uptight with your airlocks and clarifying with a distilling wash as you do with a brew intended for bottling/consumption. There's other bits here and there you have wiggle room on, too, but I won't inundate you with details (yet).
> However I've never distilled befroe. I've been a reading
> your post and I have a couple of questions.
> 1. I was watching a U-Tube video yesterday
As Ken mentioned, it would be helpful for you to post the link to that particular video so we can have a bit of perspective.
> anf the
> fellow was making a sugar wash that was around a 10
> gallon/40l amount.. after he distilled
> everything he got "i think" around 1L of finished
Sometimes stepping back and using a little math for a "reality check" is handy. I'm using arbitrary numbers here because I don't know what the video feller did in terms of wash yield. However, let's use 10% abv in the wash ('cuz the math is easier) based on before and after hydrometer readings. Right away we can deduce that 10% abv in a volume of 10 gallons equals 1 gallon of 100% ethanol in there.
If one is using a reflux still and extracting 90%+ distillate, one could presume that the numbers would come in pretty close. If a pot still is used, more water comes over (and it increases over the duration of the run) and in the end, the first distillation could yield double or more volume (nearly 2 gallons) but at half the strength (i.e. 50-ish% abv).
> he cut it into 6 more 1L bottles..My question
> is..IS this Correct??
Too hard to say. Perhaps the single liter was simply for the sake of demonstration and not the entire batch. Perhaps the yield of the sugar wash was much lower (but in the case of a sugar wash, *why*?). Too hard to guess without seeing the video, and still virtually impossible without knowing what all the conditions were prior to, and after his run. In terms of cutting, you and add 5 liters of water to 1 liter of anything...it may not make anything worthwhile, but it can be done. Even so, if the 1L bottle is as pure as it can be (96%), when it's diluted 1:6, it's still only around 15% in the end. Is this right? Well, if he wants a 15% beverage, then yes...I suppose.
> he never said the proof or anything so
> I'm sorry about not providing more info..and speaking of
> "cutting" is there a proper procedure for that??
There are two schools of thought on this one. You can use a calculation to pre-determine how much water to add to go from percentage A to percentage B...*OR* you can measure what you've got with an alcohol meter (basically a hydrometer that reads <1.0 calibrated in %abv as opposed to those for brewing which read values generally >1.0 ) and then add water a little at a time until the reading reaches the value you're shooting for.
> 2. I read where folks were malting grains.I was at a feed
> and was told that they had a customer buy 50lbs of barley
> to malt it..my problem was that she said said the barley was
> I didnt think you could do anything with grains if they had
> been processed..
Your suspicion is correct. The fellow who went home to malt rolled barley is in for some rotting barley. Like any seed, it'll only germinate whole.
> And I read where kilning the malt was going to be an
> .I know of a fellow who put his malt in a pillow case and
> put it in the dryer!!! and it worked you can also smoke your
Yes, and yes. It's all a matter of whether you're up for the effort. It's a balance of whether or not it's worth the trouble...everybody's got their personal threshold of "not worth the effort" just as with brewing. Even in our hobby, you can go all-grain, partial, extract, sugar, fruit, wine-in-a-box, pre-fab, home-built, yadda, yadda, yadda...
If you haven't already, take a gander at http://homedistiller.org and do some more reading. There's a section that covers just about every question you might have. If you have one that doesn't seem to cover it, c'mon back and we'll give it our best shot.