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Re: Too smooth?

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  • David Eastham
    Thanks Ken, yes I think I ll be going down this method in the future.Only thing I m now thinking when I give to friends they ll think its not as strong even
    Message 1 of 18 , Dec 27, 2012
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      Thanks Ken, yes I think I'll be going down this method in the future.Only thing I'm now thinking when I give to friends they'll think its not as strong even though at 40% its actually stronger than the norm 37.5%
      Cheers Dave E

      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "KM Services" <km_services@...> wrote:
      >
      > Dave,
      >
      > What you have achieved is to my mind perfect vodka. By carbon filtering you
      > have polished the spirit and removed the rough harsh bite which I have never
      > enjoyed where as the smoothness in the mouth and slight burn at the back of
      > the throat as you swallow is to my mind is perfection. I have on occasions
      > had a blind tasting with my Vodka and commercial and find that friends have
      > rate mine as the best! Which many of the top brands with sharp bite as the
      > home made
      >
      >
      >
      > Ken Mc (This is my opinion and if I am wrong I will be corrected I am sure)
      >
      >
      >
      > _____
      >
      > From: Distillers@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Distillers@yahoogroups.com] On
      > Behalf Of David Eastham
      > Sent: Friday, 28 December 2012 12:17 a.m.
      > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [Distillers] Too smooth?
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > I've just finished a batch of spirits using vodka star turbo yeast. I've
      > taken generous cuts of 14% heads, 24% tails. Then I've filtered (50:50
      > dilution) for the first time. The spirit comes off my still at 93/94%,then
      > after the filtration I've diluted to 40% to make vodka. Trouble is there's
      > hardly any kick when I drink the vodka, though there is the same warm
      > feeling on going down the gullitt. I retested the strength and it is indeed
      > 40%. I can't believe how smooth this product is, and am almost inclined to
      > add some tails to sharpen it back up again to give it a kick. Has any body
      > else experienced this?
      > Dave E
      >
    • Robbie Mabry
      Dave, Would you explain what you mean by 14% heads and 24% tails. Are those percentages of the total amount distilled? Thanks, Robbie PS No such thing as
      Message 2 of 18 , Dec 27, 2012
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        Dave, Would you explain what you mean by 14% heads and 24% tails.  Are those percentages of the total amount distilled?

        Thanks,
         Robbie     PS No such thing as Too Smooth

        On Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 3:06 PM, RLB <last2blast@...> wrote:
         

        I would agree that you created a near perfect vodka.  For me, my goal is smooth beverage and in most cases a great flavor.  Congratz.

        Robert




        From: David Eastham <planetgong0@...>
        To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2012 6:17 AM
        Subject: [Distillers] Too smooth?

         
        I've just finished a batch of spirits using vodka star turbo yeast. I've taken generous cuts of 14% heads, 24% tails. Then I've filtered (50:50 dilution) for the first time. The spirit comes off my still at 93/94%,then after the filtration I've diluted to 40% to make vodka. Trouble is there's hardly any kick when I drink the vodka, though there is the same warm feeling on going down the gullitt. I retested the strength and it is indeed 40%. I can't believe how smooth this product is, and am almost inclined to add some tails to sharpen it back up again to give it a kick. Has any body else experienced this?
        Dave E




      • Ion Brown
        Begin forwarded message: I was getting the bite in the after taste of my ethanol, something I don t like as I make Vodka, Gin, Limoncello etc. So I applied
        Message 3 of 18 , Dec 27, 2012
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          Begin forwarded message:
          I was getting the bite in the after taste of my ethanol, something I don't like as I make Vodka, Gin, Limoncello etc.
          So I applied that old trick called " patients ".... Became more particular about the cuts and speed of the take off,
          of both the heads, hearts and tails. This gave me hearts at 96% abv, and an extremely smooth spirit, which suits my taste.
          You have to be careful with this as the smoothness belies the strength of the spirit .
          Each to their own.

          trust everyone had a merry xmas
          Ion
        • RLB
          Yes, that was a little confusing.  If your wash is 100% and you produced 14% alcohol, you would have 86% waster and solids remaining.  If your 100% is of
          Message 4 of 18 , Dec 28, 2012
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            Yes, that was a little confusing.  If your wash is 100% and you produced 14% alcohol, you would have 86% waster and solids remaining.  If your 100% is of your 14% Ethanol, then your head was 14%, heart was 62%, and your tail was 24%.

            If your heart was 62% that would be an extremely deep heart cut that seems to defy smooth reasoning.  One would reason that a head would be 14%, heart 24%, and a tail of 62% seems more reasonable.  From my readings, they suggest head cut off at 180 F (80% abv.) and tail cut off at 200 F (60% to 65% abv.)  Some suggest a striping run down to 30% abv., but that still leave a quantity of Ethanol in their wash.  My interest is in spirits and industrial Ethanol, so I will be looking at some extreme tail cuts. 

            How much water did you use?
            How much sugar did you start with?
            What were your temp cut offs?

            Robert



            From: Robbie Mabry <robbie46@...>
            To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2012 5:13 PM
            Subject: Re: [Distillers] Too smooth?

             
            Dave, Would you explain what you mean by 14% heads and 24% tails.  Are those percentages of the total amount distilled?

            Thanks,
             Robbie     PS No such thing as Too Smooth

            On Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 3:06 PM, RLB <last2blast@...> wrote:
             
            I would agree that you created a near perfect vodka.  For me, my goal is smooth beverage and in most cases a great flavor.  Congratz.

            Robert




            From: David Eastham <planetgong0@...>
            To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2012 6:17 AM
            Subject: [Distillers] Too smooth?

             
            I've just finished a batch of spirits using vodka star turbo yeast. I've taken generous cuts of 14% heads, 24% tails. Then I've filtered (50:50 dilution) for the first time. The spirit comes off my still at 93/94%,then after the filtration I've diluted to 40% to make vodka. Trouble is there's hardly any kick when I drink the vodka, though there is the same warm feeling on going down the gullitt. I retested the strength and it is indeed 40%. I can't believe how smooth this product is, and am almost inclined to add some tails to sharpen it back up again to give it a kick. Has any body else experienced this?
            Dave E






          • KM Services
            Dave, If it is of any help this is how I operate my still is from my files section in New Distillers RUNNING A REFLUX STILL. Here is a basic run down on what I
            Message 5 of 18 , Dec 28, 2012
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              Dave,

              If it is of any help this is how I operate my still is from my files section in New Distillers

               

               

              RUNNING A REFLUX STILL…

              Here is a basic run down on what I do ….hope it helps.

              When you come to running the still cuts are the key to quality and you should not be

              getting “Lower Grade” alcohol as these are heads and tails and should be kept for

              redistilling as the good drinkable is ethanol and it here is a guide to basically getting

              good ”heart” to drink. The cuts consist of basically 4 components and if making

              neutral alcohol, then only the ethanol should be kept (also called the middle run or

              "hearts") - this requires a reflux still.

              1st cut is the foreshot which is 50mls and is thrown away or used as a fire starter and

              consists of and yes is potential for some methanol produced in all fermentations -

              more so in grains and fruit musts, worts or mashes and less in sugar washes

              ( Do Not Freak Out See Note Below).

              Comment From Harry: Not all washes contain "methanol" per se. Only grain & fruitbased

              washes have that "potential". But all washes DO contain low boiling point

              "contaminants". methanol is but one of many possibilities.

              And in these minute quantities it is (if present at all) way less than you will find in a

              glass of ordinary orange juice, and WAY less than you will find in commercial spirits

              There is are some acetone (nail polish remover), ethyl acetates and other

              contaminating compounds in the Foreshots and Heads which are the lower

              boiling point contaminates and alcohols.

              Acetone 56.5C (134F)

              Methanol (wood alcohol) 64C (147F)

              The fore shots should be taken very slowly (at 1>2 drops per second) by cranking up

              the water flow to slow it down if running a CM Head as I do.

              2nd cut is the Heads which for you still will be around 100mls to 200mls and is kept

              and added to the next distil if you want neutral and primarily a fruity smelling alcohol

              Ethyl acetate

              77.1C (171F) and within 1Deg C of ethanol (the good stuff)

              3rd cut is the Heats or Middle which depends on how fussy you want to be with this

              take and slower is better and try and keep the Head at around 78C to 80C for this

              collect (the ethanol range) and collect say 2 litres then collect in 250ml increments

              and if you can not control the head temperature or smell changes then collect the

              balance as tails in a separate container (added to the heads for later redistilling)Also

              monitor the Abv and do not collect below 70% ABV if going for neutral for

              flavouring or if I want really good Vodka I cut at about 90% ABV and collect the rest

              as Tails

              4th cut is the Tails and there is still plenty of ethanol in the cut but has lots of flavour

              and smell which if you are using a grain mash for whiskey is collected in small

              containers and blended to flavour, however, if making white spirits needs to be cut out

              and the higher temp ones tend to smell of old wet socks!and this contains the

              following alcohols

              2-Propanol (rubbing alcohol) 82C (180F)

              1-Propanol 97C (207F)

              Water 100C (212F)

              Butanol 116C (241F)

              Amyl alcohol 137.8C (280F)

              Furfural 161C (322F)

              The heads and the foreshots is the “Hangover Zone” so care with this cut makes a

              better morning and the tails cut gives the clean good tasting alcohol.

              A golden rule is “do not be greedy” because that extra alcohol may well contaminate

              the rest of the hearts take hence the reason for collecting in smaller container when

              nearing the tails cut.

              Filtering will greatly improve any neutral, but the key is to cut it to 50%ABV as

              carbon doesn’t work at higher ABV’s and the carbon must be saturated with water not

              merely wetted.

              I use a Z filter and will rinse for 15 minutes the place my filled filter in a bucket of

              water (weighed down) over night to completely saturate and then run my grog through

              at least 3 times then cut to 37% to 40%ABV for drinking as Vodka or flavouring?

              Aging etc.?

              Have Fun with this all engrossing hobby

              Cheers Ken Mc

               

               

              cheers  Ken Mc

              Moderator :  Y! new_distillers    Y! Distillers

              Forums Info:  FAQ    Policy    Settings

               


              From: Distillers@yahoogroups.com [mailto: Distillers@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Robbie Mabry
              Sent: Friday, 28 December 2012 11:13 a.m.
              To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [Distillers] Too smooth?

               

               

              Dave, Would you explain what you mean by 14% heads and 24% tails.  Are those percentages of the total amount distilled?

               

              Thanks,

               Robbie     PS No such thing as Too Smooth

              On Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 3:06 PM, RLB <last2blast@...> wrote:

               

              I would agree that you created a near perfect vodka.  For me, my goal is smooth beverage and in most cases a great flavor.  Congratz.

              Robert

               

               


              From: David Eastham <planetgong0@...>
              To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2012 6:17 AM
              Subject: [Distillers] Too smooth?

               

               

              I've just finished a batch of spirits using vodka star turbo yeast. I've taken generous cuts of 14% heads, 24% tails. Then I've filtered (50:50 dilution) for the first time. The spirit comes off my still at 93/94%,then after the filtration I've diluted to 40% to make vodka. Trouble is there's hardly any kick when I drink the vodka, though there is the same warm feeling on going down the gullitt. I retested the strength and it is indeed 40%. I can't believe how smooth this product is, and am almost inclined to add some tails to sharpen it back up again to give it a kick. Has any body else experienced this?
              Dave E

               

               

            • David Eastham
              Robbie After initial stripping run I ended up with 9 litres of 38% ethanol. From this I got 510ml heads, 2.28 litres middles and stopped after 750ml tails
              Message 6 of 18 , Dec 28, 2012
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                Robbie

                After initial stripping run I ended up with 9 litres of 38% ethanol. From this I got 510ml heads, 2.28 litres middles and stopped after 750ml tails collected (880ml theoretical amount)This adds up to 3.54 litres of 93% spirit, approx 14% heads, 62% middles and 24% tails.This was from a wash of 27 litres with 6.5kg sugar. Theoretical alcohol from the initial sg of 1.09 to final sg of 1.0 gives 12.2% alcohol in the initial wash (this equates to 12.2/100x27 = 3.29l of 100% or 3.54 litres of 93% ethanol)
                Cheers
                Dave E





                --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Robbie Mabry <robbie46@...> wrote:
                >
                > Dave, Would you explain what you mean by 14% heads and 24% tails. Are
                > those percentages of the total amount distilled?
                >
                > Thanks,
                > Robbie PS No such thing as Too Smooth
                >
                > On Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 3:06 PM, RLB <last2blast@...> wrote:
                >
                > > **
                > >
                > >
                > > I would agree that you created a near perfect vodka. For me, my goal is
                > > smooth beverage and in most cases a great flavor. Congratz.
                > >
                > > Robert
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > ------------------------------
                > > *From:* David Eastham <planetgong0@...>
                > > *To:* Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                > > *Sent:* Thursday, December 27, 2012 6:17 AM
                > > *Subject:* [Distillers] Too smooth?
                > >
                > >
                > > I've just finished a batch of spirits using vodka star turbo yeast. I've
                > > taken generous cuts of 14% heads, 24% tails. Then I've filtered (50:50
                > > dilution) for the first time. The spirit comes off my still at 93/94%,then
                > > after the filtration I've diluted to 40% to make vodka. Trouble is there's
                > > hardly any kick when I drink the vodka, though there is the same warm
                > > feeling on going down the gullitt. I retested the strength and it is indeed
                > > 40%. I can't believe how smooth this product is, and am almost inclined to
                > > add some tails to sharpen it back up again to give it a kick. Has any body
                > > else experienced this?
                > > Dave E
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
              • David Eastham
                Hi Robert just answered the figures in previous post. I kept the temp steady at 78.1-78.2c throughout up to the tails which started at 78.2c and ended at 78.4c
                Message 7 of 18 , Dec 28, 2012
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                  Hi Robert just answered the figures in previous post. I kept the temp steady at 78.1-78.2c throughout up to the tails which started at 78.2c and ended at 78.4c when I stopped the still. I ran take off at about 550ml per hour throughout.
                  Cheers
                  Dave E

                  --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, RLB <last2blast@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Yes, that was a little confusing.  If your wash is 100% and you produced 14% alcohol, you would have 86% waster and solids remaining.  If your 100% is of your 14% Ethanol, then your head was 14%, heart was 62%, and your tail was 24%.
                  >
                  > If your heart was 62% that would be an extremely deep heart cut that seems to defy smooth reasoning.  One would reason that a head would be 14%, heart 24%, and a tail of 62% seems more reasonable.  From my readings, they suggest head cut off at 180 F (80% abv.) and tail cut off at 200 F (60% to 65% abv.)  Some suggest a striping run down to 30% abv., but that still leave a quantity of Ethanol in their wash.  My interest is in spirits and industrial Ethanol, so I will be looking at some extreme tail cuts. 
                  >
                  > How much water did you use?
                  > How much sugar did you start with?
                  > What were your temp cut offs?
                  >
                  > Robert
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ________________________________
                  > From: Robbie Mabry <robbie46@...>
                  > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                  > Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2012 5:13 PM
                  > Subject: Re: [Distillers] Too smooth?
                  >
                  >
                  >  
                  > Dave, Would you explain what you mean by 14% heads and 24% tails.  Are those percentages of the total amount distilled?
                  >
                  > Thanks,
                  >  Robbie     PS No such thing as Too Smooth
                  >
                  >
                  > On Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 3:06 PM, RLB <last2blast@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > > 
                  > >I would agree that you created a near perfect vodka.  For me, my goal is smooth beverage and in most cases a great flavor.  Congratz.
                  > >
                  > >Robert
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >________________________________
                  > > From: David Eastham <planetgong0@...>
                  > >To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                  > >Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2012 6:17 AM
                  > >Subject: [Distillers] Too smooth?
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > 
                  > >I've just finished a batch of spirits using vodka star turbo yeast. I've taken generous cuts of 14% heads, 24% tails. Then I've filtered (50:50 dilution) for the first time. The spirit comes off my still at 93/94%,then after the filtration I've diluted to 40% to make vodka. Trouble is there's hardly any kick when I drink the vodka, though there is the same warm feeling on going down the gullitt. I retested the strength and it is indeed 40%. I can't believe how smooth this product is, and am almost inclined to add some tails to sharpen it back up again to give it a kick. Has any body else experienced this?
                  > >Dave E
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                • David Eastham
                  Cheers Ken, I never take off middles above 78.2c, my still maintains this temp for 4-6 hours till the tails arrive. Thanks for sharing your figures. Dave E
                  Message 8 of 18 , Dec 28, 2012
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                    Cheers Ken, I never take off middles above 78.2c, my still maintains this temp for 4-6 hours till the tails arrive. Thanks for sharing your figures.
                    Dave E
                    --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "KM Services" <km_services@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Dave,
                    >
                    > If it is of any help this is how I operate my still is from my files section
                    > in New Distillers
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > RUNNING A REFLUX STILL.
                    >
                    > Here is a basic run down on what I do ..hope it helps.
                    >
                    > When you come to running the still cuts are the key to quality and you
                    > should not be
                    >
                    > getting "Lower Grade" alcohol as these are heads and tails and should be
                    > kept for
                    >
                    > redistilling as the good drinkable is ethanol and it here is a guide to
                    > basically getting
                    >
                    > good "heart" to drink. The cuts consist of basically 4 components and if
                    > making
                    >
                    > neutral alcohol, then only the ethanol should be kept (also called the
                    > middle run or
                    >
                    > "hearts") - this requires a reflux still.
                    >
                    > 1st cut is the foreshot which is 50mls and is thrown away or used as a fire
                    > starter and
                    >
                    > consists of and yes is potential for some methanol produced in all
                    > fermentations -
                    >
                    > more so in grains and fruit musts, worts or mashes and less in sugar washes
                    >
                    > ( Do Not Freak Out See Note Below).
                    >
                    > Comment From Harry: Not all washes contain "methanol" per se. Only grain &
                    > fruitbased
                    >
                    > washes have that "potential". But all washes DO contain low boiling point
                    >
                    > "contaminants". methanol is but one of many possibilities.
                    >
                    > And in these minute quantities it is (if present at all) way less than you
                    > will find in a
                    >
                    > glass of ordinary orange juice, and WAY less than you will find in
                    > commercial spirits
                    >
                    > * There is are some acetone (nail polish remover), ethyl acetates and other
                    >
                    > contaminating compounds in the Foreshots and Heads which are the lower
                    >
                    > boiling point contaminates and alcohols.
                    >
                    > * Acetone 56.5C (134F)
                    >
                    > * Methanol (wood alcohol) 64C (147F)
                    >
                    > The fore shots should be taken very slowly (at 1>2 drops per second) by
                    > cranking up
                    >
                    > the water flow to slow it down if running a CM Head as I do.
                    >
                    > 2nd cut is the Heads which for you still will be around 100mls to 200mls and
                    > is kept
                    >
                    > and added to the next distil if you want neutral and primarily a fruity
                    > smelling alcohol
                    >
                    > Ethyl acetate
                    >
                    > * 77.1C (171F) and within 1Deg C of ethanol (the good stuff)
                    >
                    > 3rd cut is the Heats or Middle which depends on how fussy you want to be
                    > with this
                    >
                    > take and slower is better and try and keep the Head at around 78C to 80C for
                    > this
                    >
                    > collect (the ethanol range) and collect say 2 litres then collect in 250ml
                    > increments
                    >
                    > and if you can not control the head temperature or smell changes then
                    > collect the
                    >
                    > balance as tails in a separate container (added to the heads for later
                    > redistilling)Also
                    >
                    > monitor the Abv and do not collect below 70% ABV if going for neutral for
                    >
                    > flavouring or if I want really good Vodka I cut at about 90% ABV and collect
                    > the rest
                    >
                    > as Tails
                    >
                    > 4th cut is the Tails and there is still plenty of ethanol in the cut but has
                    > lots of flavour
                    >
                    > and smell which if you are using a grain mash for whiskey is collected in
                    > small
                    >
                    > containers and blended to flavour, however, if making white spirits needs to
                    > be cut out
                    >
                    > and the higher temp ones tend to smell of old wet socks!and this contains
                    > the
                    >
                    > following alcohols
                    >
                    > * 2-Propanol (rubbing alcohol) 82C (180F)
                    >
                    > * 1-Propanol 97C (207F)
                    >
                    > * Water 100C (212F)
                    >
                    > * Butanol 116C (241F)
                    >
                    > * Amyl alcohol 137.8C (280F)
                    >
                    > * Furfural 161C (322F)
                    >
                    > The heads and the foreshots is the "Hangover Zone" so care with this cut
                    > makes a
                    >
                    > better morning and the tails cut gives the clean good tasting alcohol.
                    >
                    > A golden rule is "do not be greedy" because that extra alcohol may well
                    > contaminate
                    >
                    > the rest of the hearts take hence the reason for collecting in smaller
                    > container when
                    >
                    > nearing the tails cut.
                    >
                    > Filtering will greatly improve any neutral, but the key is to cut it to
                    > 50%ABV as
                    >
                    > carbon doesn't work at higher ABV's and the carbon must be saturated with
                    > water not
                    >
                    > merely wetted.
                    >
                    > I use a Z filter and will rinse for 15 minutes the place my filled filter in
                    > a bucket of
                    >
                    > water (weighed down) over night to completely saturate and then run my grog
                    > through
                    >
                    > at least 3 times then cut to 37% to 40%ABV for drinking as Vodka or
                    > flavouring?
                    >
                    > Aging etc.?
                    >
                    > Have Fun with this all engrossing hobby
                    >
                    > Cheers Ken Mc
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > cheers Ken Mc
                    >
                    > Moderator : <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers> Y!
                    > new_distillers <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/> Y! Distillers
                    >
                    >
                    > Forums Info: FAQ
                    > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/F.A.Q.> Policy
                    > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/ADMIN/Group-Policy.html>
                    > Settings
                    > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/ADMIN/Group_Settings.htm
                    > l>
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > _____
                    >
                    > From: Distillers@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Distillers@yahoogroups.com] On
                    > Behalf Of Robbie Mabry
                    > Sent: Friday, 28 December 2012 11:13 a.m.
                    > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                    > Subject: Re: [Distillers] Too smooth?
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Dave, Would you explain what you mean by 14% heads and 24% tails. Are those
                    > percentages of the total amount distilled?
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Thanks,
                    >
                    > Robbie PS No such thing as Too Smooth
                    >
                    > On Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 3:06 PM, RLB <last2blast@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > I would agree that you created a near perfect vodka. For me, my goal is
                    > smooth beverage and in most cases a great flavor. Congratz.
                    >
                    > Robert
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > _____
                    >
                    > From: David Eastham <planetgong0@...>
                    > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                    > Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2012 6:17 AM
                    > Subject: [Distillers] Too smooth?
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > I've just finished a batch of spirits using vodka star turbo yeast. I've
                    > taken generous cuts of 14% heads, 24% tails. Then I've filtered (50:50
                    > dilution) for the first time. The spirit comes off my still at 93/94%,then
                    > after the filtration I've diluted to 40% to make vodka. Trouble is there's
                    > hardly any kick when I drink the vodka, though there is the same warm
                    > feeling on going down the gullitt. I retested the strength and it is indeed
                    > 40%. I can't believe how smooth this product is, and am almost inclined to
                    > add some tails to sharpen it back up again to give it a kick. Has any body
                    > else experienced this?
                    > Dave E
                    >
                  • David Eastham
                    Hi Rob I ve added my spreadsheet/method to the file section called trial vodka its an excel spreadsheet hope its of some use. Regards Dave E
                    Message 9 of 18 , Dec 28, 2012
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Hi Rob I've added my spreadsheet/method to the file section called trial vodka its an excel spreadsheet hope its of some use.
                      Regards
                      Dave E

                      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, RLB <last2blast@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Yes, that was a little confusing.  If your wash is 100% and you produced 14% alcohol, you would have 86% waster and solids remaining.  If your 100% is of your 14% Ethanol, then your head was 14%, heart was 62%, and your tail was 24%.
                      >
                      > If your heart was 62% that would be an extremely deep heart cut that seems to defy smooth reasoning.  One would reason that a head would be 14%, heart 24%, and a tail of 62% seems more reasonable.  From my readings, they suggest head cut off at 180 F (80% abv.) and tail cut off at 200 F (60% to 65% abv.)  Some suggest a striping run down to 30% abv., but that still leave a quantity of Ethanol in their wash.  My interest is in spirits and industrial Ethanol, so I will be looking at some extreme tail cuts. 
                      >
                      > How much water did you use?
                      > How much sugar did you start with?
                      > What were your temp cut offs?
                      >
                      > Robert
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > ________________________________
                      > From: Robbie Mabry <robbie46@...>
                      > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                      > Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2012 5:13 PM
                      > Subject: Re: [Distillers] Too smooth?
                      >
                      >
                      >  
                      > Dave, Would you explain what you mean by 14% heads and 24% tails.  Are those percentages of the total amount distilled?
                      >
                      > Thanks,
                      >  Robbie     PS No such thing as Too Smooth
                      >
                      >
                      > On Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 3:06 PM, RLB <last2blast@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > > 
                      > >I would agree that you created a near perfect vodka.  For me, my goal is smooth beverage and in most cases a great flavor.  Congratz.
                      > >
                      > >Robert
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >________________________________
                      > > From: David Eastham <planetgong0@...>
                      > >To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                      > >Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2012 6:17 AM
                      > >Subject: [Distillers] Too smooth?
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > 
                      > >I've just finished a batch of spirits using vodka star turbo yeast. I've taken generous cuts of 14% heads, 24% tails. Then I've filtered (50:50 dilution) for the first time. The spirit comes off my still at 93/94%,then after the filtration I've diluted to 40% to make vodka. Trouble is there's hardly any kick when I drink the vodka, though there is the same warm feeling on going down the gullitt. I retested the strength and it is indeed 40%. I can't believe how smooth this product is, and am almost inclined to add some tails to sharpen it back up again to give it a kick. Has any body else experienced this?
                      > >Dave E
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      >
                    • Robbie Mabry
                      Thanks Robert, That helps clear it up. This is a long way from the way my Father and Grandfather use to make it when I was a kid. Their interest was to
                      Message 10 of 18 , Dec 29, 2012
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                        Thanks Robert,  That helps clear it up.  This is a long way from the way my Father and Grandfather use to make it when I was a kid.  Their interest was to supplement our income, so everything that came out of the still past the first pint was sold.  Scares me to think about it!

                        On Fri, Dec 28, 2012 at 10:54 AM, RLB <last2blast@...> wrote:
                         

                        Yes, that was a little confusing.  If your wash is 100% and you produced 14% alcohol, you would have 86% waster and solids remaining.  If your 100% is of your 14% Ethanol, then your head was 14%, heart was 62%, and your tail was 24%.

                        If your heart was 62% that would be an extremely deep heart cut that seems to defy smooth reasoning.  One would reason that a head would be 14%, heart 24%, and a tail of 62% seems more reasonable.  From my readings, they suggest head cut off at 180 F (80% abv.) and tail cut off at 200 F (60% to 65% abv.)  Some suggest a striping run down to 30% abv., but that still leave a quantity of Ethanol in their wash.  My interest is in spirits and industrial Ethanol, so I will be looking at some extreme tail cuts. 

                        How much water did you use?
                        How much sugar did you start with?
                        What were your temp cut offs?

                        Robert



                        From: Robbie Mabry <robbie46@...>
                        To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2012 5:13 PM
                        Subject: Re: [Distillers] Too smooth?

                         
                        Dave, Would you explain what you mean by 14% heads and 24% tails.  Are those percentages of the total amount distilled?

                        Thanks,
                         Robbie     PS No such thing as Too Smooth

                        On Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 3:06 PM, RLB <last2blast@...> wrote:
                         
                        I would agree that you created a near perfect vodka.  For me, my goal is smooth beverage and in most cases a great flavor.  Congratz.

                        Robert




                        From: David Eastham <planetgong0@...>
                        To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2012 6:17 AM
                        Subject: [Distillers] Too smooth?

                         
                        I've just finished a batch of spirits using vodka star turbo yeast. I've taken generous cuts of 14% heads, 24% tails. Then I've filtered (50:50 dilution) for the first time. The spirit comes off my still at 93/94%,then after the filtration I've diluted to 40% to make vodka. Trouble is there's hardly any kick when I drink the vodka, though there is the same warm feeling on going down the gullitt. I retested the strength and it is indeed 40%. I can't believe how smooth this product is, and am almost inclined to add some tails to sharpen it back up again to give it a kick. Has any body else experienced this?
                        Dave E







                      • RLB
                        The only thing that needs commenting about is temps.  Yes,Acetone 56.5C (134F) andMethanol (wood alcohol) 64C (147F) boil at these temps in a perfect world,
                        Message 11 of 18 , Dec 29, 2012
                        • 0 Attachment
                          The only thing that needs commenting about is temps.  Yes, Acetone 56.5C (134F) and Methanol (wood alcohol) 64C (147F) boil at these temps in a perfect world, but they are combined with water and other chemicals as you described.  This is where it gets crazy because water increases those boiling points.  Methanol in water should boil somewhere around 173 F, and the good stuff on the list boils at 171 F.  Other than temps, everything I have read agrees with this list.  My interest in temps had me thinking that I could set the temp at say 173 F and extract all of the Methanol before doing a heart cut.  The sad truth is that the more Methanol and Ethanol you remove from you wash, you need higher temps to remove the same amount of Methanol and Ethanol.  By no means am I a chemist, but higher temps to remove more Ethanol seems reasonable.  Play with it and see what happens.

                          Robert
                           




                          From: KM Services <km_services@...>
                          To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Friday, December 28, 2012 2:21 PM
                          Subject: RE: [Distillers] Too smooth?

                           
                          Dave,
                          If it is of any help this is how I operate my still is from my files section in New Distillers
                           
                           
                          RUNNING A REFLUX STILL…
                          Here is a basic run down on what I do ….hope it helps.
                          When you come to running the still cuts are the key to quality and you should not be
                          getting “Lower Grade” alcohol as these are heads and tails and should be kept for
                          redistilling as the good drinkable is ethanol and it here is a guide to basically getting
                          good ”heart” to drink. The cuts consist of basically 4 components and if making
                          neutral alcohol, then only the ethanol should be kept (also called the middle run or
                          "hearts") - this requires a reflux still.
                          1st cut is the foreshot which is 50mls and is thrown away or used as a fire starter and
                          consists of and yes is potential for some methanol produced in all fermentations -
                          more so in grains and fruit musts, worts or mashes and less in sugar washes
                          ( Do Not Freak Out See Note Below).
                          Comment From Harry: Not all washes contain "methanol" per se. Only grain & fruitbased
                          washes have that "potential". But all washes DO contain low boiling point
                          "contaminants". methanol is but one of many possibilities.
                          And in these minute quantities it is (if present at all) way less than you will find in a
                          glass of ordinary orange juice, and WAY less than you will find in commercial spirits
                          There is are some acetone (nail polish remover), ethyl acetates and other
                          contaminating compounds in the Foreshots and Heads which are the lower
                          boiling point contaminates and alcohols.
                          Acetone 56.5C (134F)
                          Methanol (wood alcohol) 64C (147F)
                          The fore shots should be taken very slowly (at 1>2 drops per second) by cranking up
                          the water flow to slow it down if running a CM Head as I do.
                          2nd cut is the Heads which for you still will be around 100mls to 200mls and is kept
                          and added to the next distil if you want neutral and primarily a fruity smelling alcohol
                          Ethyl acetate
                          77.1C (171F) and within 1Deg C of ethanol (the good stuff)
                          3rd cut is the Heats or Middle which depends on how fussy you want to be with this
                          take and slower is better and try and keep the Head at around 78C to 80C for this
                          collect (the ethanol range) and collect say 2 litres then collect in 250ml increments
                          and if you can not control the head temperature or smell changes then collect the
                          balance as tails in a separate container (added to the heads for later redistilling)Also
                          monitor the Abv and do not collect below 70% ABV if going for neutral for
                          flavouring or if I want really good Vodka I cut at about 90% ABV and collect the rest
                          as Tails
                          4th cut is the Tails and there is still plenty of ethanol in the cut but has lots of flavour
                          and smell which if you are using a grain mash for whiskey is collected in small
                          containers and blended to flavour, however, if making white spirits needs to be cut out
                          and the higher temp ones tend to smell of old wet socks!and this contains the
                          following alcohols
                          2-Propanol (rubbing alcohol) 82C (180F)
                          1-Propanol 97C (207F)
                          Water 100C (212F)
                          Butanol 116C (241F)
                          Amyl alcohol 137.8C (280F)
                          Furfural 161C (322F)
                          The heads and the foreshots is the “Hangover Zone” so care with this cut makes a
                          better morning and the tails cut gives the clean good tasting alcohol.
                          A golden rule is “do not be greedy” because that extra alcohol may well contaminate
                          the rest of the hearts take hence the reason for collecting in smaller container when
                          nearing the tails cut.
                          Filtering will greatly improve any neutral, but the key is to cut it to 50%ABV as
                          carbon doesn’t work at higher ABV’s and the carbon must be saturated with water not
                          merely wetted.
                          I use a Z filter and will rinse for 15 minutes the place my filled filter in a bucket of
                          water (weighed down) over night to completely saturate and then run my grog through
                          at least 3 times then cut to 37% to 40%ABV for drinking as Vodka or flavouring?
                          Aging etc.?
                          Have Fun with this all engrossing hobby
                          Cheers Ken Mc
                           
                           
                          cheers  Ken Mc
                          Moderator :  Y! new_distillers    Y! Distillers
                          Forums Info:  FAQ    Policy    Settings
                           

                          From: Distillers@yahoogroups.com [mailto: Distillers@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Robbie Mabry
                          Sent: Friday, 28 December 2012 11:13 a.m.
                          To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [Distillers] Too smooth?
                           
                           
                          Dave, Would you explain what you mean by 14% heads and 24% tails.  Are those percentages of the total amount distilled?
                           
                          Thanks,
                           Robbie     PS No such thing as Too Smooth
                          On Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 3:06 PM, RLB <last2blast@...> wrote:
                           
                          I would agree that you created a near perfect vodka.  For me, my goal is smooth beverage and in most cases a great flavor.  Congratz.

                          Robert
                           
                           

                          From: David Eastham <planetgong0@...>
                          To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2012 6:17 AM
                          Subject: [Distillers] Too smooth?
                           
                           
                          I've just finished a batch of spirits using vodka star turbo yeast. I've taken generous cuts of 14% heads, 24% tails. Then I've filtered (50:50 dilution) for the first time. The spirit comes off my still at 93/94%,then after the filtration I've diluted to 40% to make vodka. Trouble is there's hardly any kick when I drink the vodka, though there is the same warm feeling on going down the gullitt. I retested the strength and it is indeed 40%. I can't believe how smooth this product is, and am almost inclined to add some tails to sharpen it back up again to give it a kick. Has any body else experienced this?
                          Dave E
                           
                           


                        • tgfoitwoods
                          Robert, You are operating under a large and debilitating, but extremely common (among folks that have yet to distill), misconception about boiling points and
                          Message 12 of 18 , Dec 29, 2012
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                            Robert,

                            You are operating under a large and debilitating, but extremely common (among folks that have yet to distill), misconception about boiling points and evaporation. The misconception is so common that I may have answered it 30 or more times in my period as a moderator here.

                            Let me just include what I saved last time someone got lost on these points. For clarification, the wash in his boiler had a starting boiling point of ~200F.

                            It sounds like you just got bit by the most common misconception of beginning distillers. When you say "methanol boils at 148 (F)" it sounds like you believe that ALL methanol boils at 148F, when actually only PURE methanol boils at 148F. In fact, when you mix methanol with other stuff, like ethanol and water and ethyl acetate and acetone and all the stuff you have in your still wash, that mixture boils exactly at whatever the hell temperature it wants to, determined by the math of Raoult's law complicated by the formation of azeotropes between and among the liquids in the mixture.

                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raoult%27s_law
                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azeotrope

                            The practical application of this is if the mixture of ethanol, methanol, water, ethyl acetate, and acetone in your (potstill, I'm assuming, by the symptoms) has a boiling point of 200F (and it sounds like yours did), you can heat that wash to 148, or 173, or any other temperature less than 200, and absolutely nothing will boil. In terms of practical distillation, nothing at all will happen. As an aside, it should be clear you can't heat it hotter than the boiling point.

                            On the other hand, after the still wash temperature comes to the boiling point of that particular liquid mixture, all of the liquid will boil, and all the components will evaporate, comparative rates determined by Roault's law. As the boiling changes the respective concentrations of the liquid components in the wash, the boiling point will change, and the condensed vapors will progress from foreshots to heads, hearts, and tails, and that's what distilling is all about.

                            If you wish to see a graph of boiling points of simple ethanol-water boiling points, I can point you to such a graph.

                            Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits


                            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, RLB wrote:
                            >
                            > The only thing that needs commenting about is temps.  Yes,Acetone 56.5C (134F) andMethanol (wood alcohol) 64C (147F) boil at these temps in a perfect world, but they are combined with water and other chemicals as you described.  This is where it gets crazy because water increases those boiling points.  Methanol in watershould boil somewhere around 173 F, and the good stuff on the list boils at 171 F.  Other than temps, everything I have read agrees with this list.  My interest in temps had me thinking that I could set the temp at say 173 F and extract all of the Methanol before doing a heart cut.  The sad truth is that the more Methanol and Ethanol you remove from you wash, you need higher temps to remove the same amount of Methanol and Ethanol.  By no means am I a chemist, but higher temps to remove more Ethanol seems reasonable.  Play with it and see what happens.
                            >
                            > Robert 
                            >
                            >
                            ----snip----
                            >
                          • RLB
                            Actually, I was trying to say what you had stated, but you said it much better.  To tell you the truth, I was surprised to learn there was a difference
                            Message 13 of 18 , Dec 29, 2012
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Actually, I was trying to say what you had stated, but you said it much better.  To tell you the truth, I was surprised to learn there was a difference between pure and mixed boiling points.  I was even more surprised to learn that water will boil at around 199 F where I live because I don't live near sea level.  Which means that it will take a lot of experimentation for me to find my cuts.  Thanks for the info.

                              Robert



                              From: tgfoitwoods <zymurgybob@...>
                              To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Saturday, December 29, 2012 8:43 PM
                              Subject: [Distillers] Re: Too smooth?

                               
                              Robert,

                              You are operating under a large and debilitating, but extremely common (among folks that have yet to distill), misconception about boiling points and evaporation. The misconception is so common that I may have answered it 30 or more times in my period as a moderator here.

                              Let me just include what I saved last time someone got lost on these points. For clarification, the wash in his boiler had a starting boiling point of ~200F.

                              It sounds like you just got bit by the most common misconception of beginning distillers. When you say "methanol boils at 148 (F)" it sounds like you believe that ALL methanol boils at 148F, when actually only PURE methanol boils at 148F. In fact, when you mix methanol with other stuff, like ethanol and water and ethyl acetate and acetone and all the stuff you have in your still wash, that mixture boils exactly at whatever the hell temperature it wants to, determined by the math of Raoult's law complicated by the formation of azeotropes between and among the liquids in the mixture.

                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raoult%27s_law
                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azeotrope

                              The practical application of this is if the mixture of ethanol, methanol, water, ethyl acetate, and acetone in your (potstill, I'm assuming, by the symptoms) has a boiling point of 200F (and it sounds like yours did), you can heat that wash to 148, or 173, or any other temperature less than 200, and absolutely nothing will boil. In terms of practical distillation, nothing at all will happen. As an aside, it should be clear you can't heat it hotter than the boiling point.

                              On the other hand, after the still wash temperature comes to the boiling point of that particular liquid mixture, all of the liquid will boil, and all the components will evaporate, comparative rates determined by Roault's law. As the boiling changes the respective concentrations of the liquid components in the wash, the boiling point will change, and the condensed vapors will progress from foreshots to heads, hearts, and tails, and that's what distilling is all about.

                              If you wish to see a graph of boiling points of simple ethanol-water boiling points, I can point you to such a graph.

                              Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits


                              --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, RLB wrote:
                              >
                              > The only thing that needs commenting about is temps.  Yes,Acetone 56.5C (134F) andMethanol (wood alcohol) 64C (147F) boil at these temps in a perfect world, but they are combined with water and other chemicals as you described.  This is where it gets crazy because water increases those boiling points.  Methanol in watershould boil somewhere around 173 F, and the good stuff on the list boils at 171 F.  Other than temps, everything I have read agrees with this list.  My interest in temps had me thinking that I could set the temp at say 173 F and extract all of the Methanol before doing a heart cut.  The sad truth is that the more Methanol and Ethanol you remove from you wash, you need higher temps to remove the same amount of Methanol and Ethanol.  By no means am I a chemist, but higher temps to remove more Ethanol seems reasonable.  Play with it and see what happens.
                              >
                              > Robert 
                              >
                              >
                              ----snip----
                              >


                            • GGB
                              zymurgybob wrote: ...As the boiling changes the respective concentrations of the liquid components in the wash, the boiling point will change, and the
                              Message 14 of 18 , Dec 30, 2012
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                                zymurgybob wrote: "...As the boiling changes the respective concentrations of the liquid components in the wash, the boiling point will change, and the condensed vapors will progress from foreshots to heads, hearts, and tails..." and that's what distilling is all about."

                                That's an excellent explanation, thank you Bob.

                                If operating a reflux still, and as the amount of ethanol declines, does the distiller try to keep the head temperature at a specific point, by adjusting refluxing ratio and/or reflux condenser capacity?

                                As an aside, a friend who is a pilot told me how air drops moisture as it is pushed up and over a mountain range. It seems to be a refluxing action...pressure drops, air cools, water condenses, air warms because of the condensing, some water re-evaporates and is pushed higher where it happens all over again and again.

                                Paul
                              • Er. Prashant Jha
                                Thanks Bob and Ken Mc U both are awesome. Dave has fortunately made a good vodka but he doesnt believe that he done so. Thanks for the information Ken Mc.
                                Message 15 of 18 , Dec 31, 2012
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                                  Thanks Bob and Ken Mc
                                   
                                  U both are awesome.

                                  Dave has fortunately made a good vodka but he doesnt believe that he done so.

                                  Thanks for the information Ken  Mc. Your explanation is very good.


                                  On Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 4:14 AM, GGB <self.adhesive@...> wrote:

                                   

                                  zymurgybob wrote: "...As the boiling changes the respective concentrations of the liquid components in the wash, the boiling point will change, and the condensed vapors will progress from foreshots to heads, hearts, and tails..." and that's what distilling is all about."

                                  That's an excellent explanation, thank you Bob.

                                  If operating a reflux still, and as the amount of ethanol declines, does the distiller try to keep the head temperature at a specific point, by adjusting refluxing ratio and/or reflux condenser capacity?

                                  As an aside, a friend who is a pilot told me how air drops moisture as it is pushed up and over a mountain range. It seems to be a refluxing action...pressure drops, air cools, water condenses, air warms because of the condensing, some water re-evaporates and is pushed higher where it happens all over again and again.

                                  Paul





                                  --
                                  Er. Prashant Jha
                                  Asst. Engineer
                                  Sri Renuka Sugars Limited


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