I've read through a number of posts on this newsgroup and I'm very
impressed by the experience and technical expertise displayed. I must
confess that I don't know who set up this newsgroup but my thanks to
My exprience is as a craft brewer. By that I mean someone who brews
beer from scratch. So, i buy malted barley in 50 kg bags, run it
through the grinder, mash it ( a very exacting process since you have
to keep the temperature within about 3degrees F of 152 degrees F for
about 3 hours.
Then the process proceeds very much like regular beer production
using a beer kit. However, you must make sure your Primary fermention
works through at 65 degrees F or less to ensure you don't get off
flavors. After that it gets siphoned into a secondary fermenter for a
week or so and then siphoned agin and fined with gelatin . This
results in a cystal clear beer within about 24 hours. I hve not read
too many posts but I haven't seen any reference to the fining
process or the use of secondary fermenters. Is that not neccesary for
the distillation process?
Now instead of brewing 150 gal of beer a year, if some of that wort
aka wash were diverted to the distillation process, the
result could be some pretty interesting spirits provided that I
didn't add hops!
I've seen some interesting apparatus posted at various sites. They
all seem to use a reflux tower to purify the spirits plus also use
activated charcaol to further purify things.
If someone were to go to the effort to make whisky, which in the case
of a craft brewer would mean smoking your malted barley over a peat
fire(using a barbeque plus peat moss) and steeping your water in peat
moss, the whole reflex tower activated charcoal process would take
away all the flavour that you worked so hard to produce. No one wants
to drink fusel oil or whatever so is there some happy compromise
between a pot still and a reflux tower type still?