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RE: [Distillers] Timing the cut

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  • Rob van Leuven
    ... Van: Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS) [mailto:Tony.Ackland@comalco.riotinto.com.au] Verzonden: woensdag 2 augustus 2000 22:20 Aan: Distillers@egroups.com Onderwerp:
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 4, 2000
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      -----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
      Van: Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS) [mailto:Tony.Ackland@...]
      Verzonden: woensdag 2 augustus 2000 22:20
      Aan: Distillers@egroups.com
      Onderwerp: [Distillers] Timing the cut

       

      What technique do you use for knowing when to make the cut between the
      middle run (drinkable) and tails ? (and what sort of still is it - pot or
      reflux & what are you trying to make ?)

      * When you can first smell them (the tails) ?
      * When it feels oily or you can see an oil glint/sheen ?
      * Measure the volume you've collected ?
      * Measure the % alcohol & stop when below XX % ?
      * Stop when it won't burn anymore ?

      Any advice on what's best / what doesn't work ?
      What's the trick for getting it right for whisky via a pot still ?

      I'm running a small/poor reflux still & am after neutral alcohol; I measure
      the % alcohol.  I stop collecting for consumption when it gets below about
      50%, but continue to collect until at about 25% & keep these "almost tails"
      to add back in to the next wash.

      Tony
      http://www.geocities.com/kiwi_distiller

       



      Hi, Tony and other members of the n.g.,

       

                  At the moment I’m trying to make wodka with a modified stillmaker still. I have just returned from the Czech Republic, where I have bought a bottle of Jelinek wodka which I am using as a reference w.r.t. taste and smell.

      To make it easier to achieve maximum purity I strip the beer first and I remove the first 100 ml to be sure the methanol is out. I stop distilling when the temperature reaches 95 Celsius regardless of the %.

                  The low wines I have now are approx. 55% and I dilute this to 40% max. for the fractioning distillation. I slowly bring the low wines to the boil and keep the cooling water running at a high rate for maximum reflux at the top of the column. After a while I tune the cooling water until I get a steady drip from the condenser outlet; I keep the boiler at the lowest boiling rate possible.

      Every 100 ml I check the % and I put a few ml in a noser (glass) and I add the same amount of water; as soon as I detect a distinct smell of wet cardboard, I know I have to stop collecting the middle cut; the alcohol that comes after this point (not much if the fractioning was going well)  is collected, and after a series of distillations I fill the boiler with these faints to collect the remaining ethanol. When checking the alcohol for wet cardboard smell, it is important to dilute the alcohol first to 30-40%, because the undiluted alcohol will not release the smell, and you will notice it too late when you are preparing your wodka, liqueur etc...

                  You will notice, that the off smell will start to occur as soon as the temperature in the top of the column starts tending to rise above 78,5 celsius or the drip from the outlet starts to diminish and you need to increase the heat to keep the boiler going. Also the % goes down to less than say 92%. Don’t waste your wodka now by trying to collect that little bit more !!! After a few runs, you’ll get the hang of it; there is nothing better than experience.

       

                  Hope this is useful to you,

       

                  Regards, Rob

    • Dick
      Hi to the group, I m currently trying out the Alcotec 8 turbo yeast (supplied by Ray@Moonshine Supplies) for the 1st time to ferment 2 x 25l of wash but have
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 10, 2000
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        Hi to the group,
        I'm currently trying out the Alcotec 8 turbo yeast (supplied by
        Ray@Moonshine Supplies) for the 1st time to ferment 2 x 25l of wash but
        have hit a couple of (I hope) minor problems:

        1) Following instructions the 1st batch fermented down from a starting gravity
        of 1130 to 992 in about 5 days but seemed very reluctant to clear. I
        decanted into 1 gal demi-johns and after some experimentation got most of
        them to clear to crystal clarity using bentonite (montmorillonite clay) but a
        couple have remained hazy despite the bentonite clearing down a lot of
        rubbish & dead yeast.

        Q. As I intend to strip the wash in a pot still configuration and then reflux am I
        worrying unnecessarily about the remaining light haze ?

        2) The 2nd 25l batch was again made up following instructions but has
        seemed far more slower a fermentation. It has taken over 10 days to ferment
        down from 1130 to 1020 and has now virtually stopped. (Due to vagaries of
        the Scottish summer - don't believe everything you saw during the recent
        Open Golf - I've been using heating pads to keep both fermenting washes
        @ 23°C.)

        Q. How far down do turbo yeasts usually ferment ? Has my fermentation
        stuck and/or run out of nutrient ? If it was beer or wine I would kick it back
        into action by adding some more nutrient & a strongly fermenting yeast
        solution but turbo yeast is already a strong, alcohol tolerant yeast.

        Anyone any suggestions or experience of similar problems ?
        --
        Dick
      • Pete Sayers
        Hi Dick, Pete here from NZ. I have been using the turbo 8 and its cousins for several years now and yes you problems are only minor. Firstly, the cloudiness
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 10, 2000
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          Hi Dick, Pete here from NZ. I have been using the turbo 8 and its cousins
          for several years now and yes you problems are only minor. Firstly, the
          cloudiness will settle out given enough time, the simplest way to clear the
          wash is to decant( rack) it off into a suitable sized container, and leave
          it to get cold. It may take a few days, depending on the ambient temp, but
          it will clear quite well. It never seems to clear completely, however this
          is not as critical, as most of the cloudiness will dissappear during
          distilation, and carbon filtering. Secondly, the most common mistake people
          make when using the turbo 8, is to add the yeast/nutrients when the temp of
          the sugar/ water solution is too high. Because the turbo 8 is so active it
          tends to add anything upto 5-8C degrees of it's own temp. So if you always
          remember to add the yeast when the temp is only about 20-22C.What happens is
          the temp rises to over 28-30C and the yeast races, gets "tired" and sinks to
          the bottom believeing it's job is done, leaving less yeast to complete the
          job, consequently fermentation will take much longer.Lastly most of the time
          a turbo will ferment down to 985-990 quite readily. Keep at it Dick.
          regards Pete at Brewers Barn

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Dick [mailto:dick@...]
          Sent: Thursday, 10 August 2000 21:19
          To: Distillers@egroups.com
          Subject: [Distillers] Turbo yeast


          Hi to the group,
          I'm currently trying out the Alcotec 8 turbo yeast (supplied by
          Ray@Moonshine Supplies) for the 1st time to ferment 2 x 25l of wash but
          have hit a couple of (I hope) minor problems:

          1) Following instructions the 1st batch fermented down from a starting
          gravity
          of 1130 to 992 in about 5 days but seemed very reluctant to clear. I
          decanted into 1 gal demi-johns and after some experimentation got most of
          them to clear to crystal clarity using bentonite (montmorillonite clay) but
          a
          couple have remained hazy despite the bentonite clearing down a lot of
          rubbish & dead yeast.

          Q. As I intend to strip the wash in a pot still configuration and then
          reflux am I
          worrying unnecessarily about the remaining light haze ?

          2) The 2nd 25l batch was again made up following instructions but has
          seemed far more slower a fermentation. It has taken over 10 days to ferment
          down from 1130 to 1020 and has now virtually stopped. (Due to vagaries of
          the Scottish summer - don't believe everything you saw during the recent
          Open Golf - I've been using heating pads to keep both fermenting washes
          @ 23°C.)

          Q. How far down do turbo yeasts usually ferment ? Has my fermentation
          stuck and/or run out of nutrient ? If it was beer or wine I would kick it
          back
          into action by adding some more nutrient & a strongly fermenting yeast
          solution but turbo yeast is already a strong, alcohol tolerant yeast.

          Anyone any suggestions or experience of similar problems ?
          --
          Dick
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