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Re: [Distillers] polishing

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  • DAVID REID
    Alan, I thought this was more a case of over indulging. Maybe you should cut out drinking altogether and see if it makes a difference. No seriously the
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 12 12:57 AM
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      Alan,
              I thought this was more a case of over indulging. Maybe you should cut out drinking altogether and see if it makes a difference. No seriously the  answers are yes and no to the first question. Good true reflux stills arent inherently better. Each have their place. True reflux are better where you want to produce pure or pharmaceutical grade ethanol while pot stills are best where you want to convey the congeners (which give that particular spirit its particular flavour, aromas, and individuality or uniqueness) over with the distillate. Distillation is after all a purification process. Unfortunately sometimes  and  unfortunately a lot of the time along with the desirable congeners quite a lot of undesirables are conveyed as well. The problem is more one of fermentation rather than distillation. A lot of it comes down to the knowledge and skill of the brewer and the distiller. It is not the alcohol as such itself per se that is dangerous but the congeners. Alcohol temporarily disables the body and shuts down motor  neuron control while the body breaks down the alcohol into the elements of which it is composed (C2 H5 OH) namely Carbon, Hydrogen, and Oxygen with very little damage done. Some of the congeners in comparison on the other hand are actually poisons and have quite drastic and toxic effects on the body. In some cases they do quite a lot of long term damage. Your first statement is therefore technically correct although a lot of the contaminants are unwanted congeners rather than fusels most of which have Boiling Points (B.P.s) higher than water (Propyl alcohol 97.2 C, Butyl alcohol 117.5, Amyl alcohol 137.5. A lot of it comes down to when and where the cutoffs are made. The closer to each end the more contaminants are included with the ethanol in the middle.
      2) This is an involved subject and needs a lot of explaining which I havnt got time for but if you want to learn a bit about activated carbon go to the following site: http://www.norit.com and under Technical Info read the "Introduction to the Porous Structure of Activated Carbon (8 pages). By the time you have finished this and you understand about micropores, mesopores, and macropores etc etc you will have a much better idea and understanding.
      B.r.,  David Reid
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Allan Goldsmith <goldsmth@...>
      To: Distillers@onelist.com <Distillers@onelist.com>
      Date: Wednesday, April 12, 2000 8:14 PM
      Subject: [Distillers] polishing

      I read with interest the comments on "polishing" .
      My comments are these.
      (1)     The reason we all feel lousy after drinking commercial spirits is BECAUSE they are produced in pot stills and therefore probably could contain headache causing Fusels etc
      (2)    .How does the carbon distinguish between ethanol and other substances....or does it?
      Thanks
      Allan


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