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RE: [Distillers] Too smooth?

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 of 18 , Dec 28, 2012
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              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 6 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 7 of 18 , Dec 29, 2012
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                  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
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                  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 8 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 9 of 18 , Dec 29, 2012
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                      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 10 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 11 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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