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Taste?

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  • Phil
    Hi all, I did my first ever run yesterday. Simple Wash (dextrose and turbo yeast) through a 25L Super Reflux. I discarded the first 50ml then collected the
    Message 1 of 14 , Apr 23, 2006
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      Hi all, I did my first ever run yesterday. Simple Wash (dextrose and turbo yeast) through a 25L
      Super Reflux. I discarded the first 50ml then collected the next 3L ensuring to keep the temp
      below 82 C. the final spirit was around 80% abv which I subsequently knocked down to 40%
      abv.

      Being new to this game, I am not sure what the finished product is supposed to taste like and
      frankly mine tastes a little...strange. Its got a very 'sweet' finish which in itself doesn't taste
      bad, but it makes any mixture that I create using additives (Bourbon, Rum, etc) all taste the
      same.

      Is this normal, or should I be ending up with a completely 'taste free' spirit? If so, any ideas
      what may be causing this?

      Regards, Phil
    • pthoma_nz
      ... and turbo yeast) through a 25L ... free spirit? If so, any ideas ... Phil, Did you separate out all your heads, mains, tails? If so, how much did you take
      Message 2 of 14 , Apr 23, 2006
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        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Phil" <dyer@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi all, I did my first ever run yesterday. Simple Wash (dextrose
        and turbo yeast) through a 25L
        > Is this normal, or should I be ending up with a completely 'taste
        free' spirit? If so, any ideas
        > what may be causing this?
        >
        > Regards, Phil
        >

        Phil,
        Did you separate out all your heads, mains, tails? If so, how much
        did you take for each and at what temps? your mains should be about
        60% of total yield, and be within .2 degree temp change... if this
        happened... then your still seems to be carrying across a lot of
        flavours. You could try carbon treating + aging for a month, or
        redistill (redistilling mains only), but you will lose about 20-30%
        again...

        Its hard to say why your run tastes without knowing the entire
        process and still type..

        PS sugar is as good as dextrose and cheaper.

        PPS try adding to one bottle of flavourd product some oak chips,
        leave for one week then taste. The oak is fantastic at smoothing out
        the off tastes, does make the product go yellow though so not so
        good with vodka.

        peet
      • David Eastham
        ... and turbo yeast) through a 25L ... 3L ensuring to keep the temp ... subsequently knocked down to 40% ... supposed to taste like and ... finish which in
        Message 3 of 14 , Apr 24, 2006
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          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Phil" <dyer@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi all, I did my first ever run yesterday. Simple Wash (dextrose
          and turbo yeast) through a 25L
          > Super Reflux. I discarded the first 50ml then collected the next
          3L ensuring to keep the temp
          > below 82 C. the final spirit was around 80% abv which I
          subsequently knocked down to 40%
          > abv.
          >
          > Being new to this game, I am not sure what the finished product is
          supposed to taste like and
          > frankly mine tastes a little...strange. Its got a very 'sweet'
          finish which in itself doesn't taste
          > bad, but it makes any mixture that I create using additives
          (Bourbon, Rum, etc) all taste the
          > same.
          >
          > Is this normal, or should I be ending up with a completely 'taste
          free' spirit? If so, any ideas
          > what may be causing this?
          >
          > Regards, Phil

          Sounds like you've just done a stripping run? What temperatures were
          involved?
          Dave E
          >
        • Phil
          ... supposed to taste like and ... finish which in itself doesn t taste ... (Bourbon, Rum, etc) all taste the ... free spirit? If so, any ideas ... were ...
          Message 4 of 14 , Apr 25, 2006
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            > Being new to this game, I am not sure what the finished product is
            supposed to taste like and
            > frankly mine tastes a little...strange. Its got a very 'sweet'
            finish which in itself doesn't taste
            > bad, but it makes any mixture that I create using additives
            (Bourbon, Rum, etc) all taste the
            > same.
            >
            > Is this normal, or should I be ending up with a completely 'taste
            free' spirit? If so, any ideas
            > what may be causing this?
            >
            > Regards, Phil

            >>Sounds like you've just done a stripping run? What >>temperatures
            were
            >>involved?
            >>Dave E
            >

            Dave, I pretty much just followed the instructions here;

            http://www.stillspirits.com/webfiles/StillSpirits/files/Using_the_stil
            l_spirits_25_Litre_Super_Reflux_Still.htm

            I modified the water flow to keep the temp between 78 - 82C until I
            had
            collected the 3L.

            Cheers, Phil
          • Lindsay Williams
            OK, Phil, the first thing you have to realise is that in spite of it being called a Super Reflux still, it is, in fact, a pot still. OK, a glorified pot
            Message 5 of 14 , Apr 25, 2006
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              OK, Phil, the first thing you have to realise is that in spite of it
              being called a "Super Reflux" still, it is, in fact, a pot still. OK,
              a "glorified" pot still. So read up about pot stills rather than
              reflux stills.

              Secondly, those SS instructions are appallingly bad. There are four
              basic cuts in a run. The first is the 50ml of Foreshots (not heads).
              This gets chucked out. The next out is the Heads. These are sweetish
              and can contain traces of stuff that taste and smell like nail polish.
              This stuff is not nice to drink. Next comes the Body or Hearts. This
              is more pure ethanol and is the stuff you use. Lastly, comes the
              Tails. Smells bad and not nice to drink. The tails can be run hard and
              let the temp go to 96C.

              Collect in 200ml vessels and then smell and taste (cut to 40%) to see
              what you've got. The tails and heads you don't use can go in the next
              run so the ethanol doesn't get wasted.

              And, at the end of the day, you will need to filter through activated
              carbon to remove the tiny amounts of stuff that taste and smell awful.

              If you filter the 3 ltrs through carbon it will probably be drinkable.

              Good luck.

              Cheers,
              Lindsay.

              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Phil" <dyer@...> wrote:
              >
              > > Being new to this game, I am not sure what the finished product is
              > supposed to taste like and
              > > frankly mine tastes a little...strange. Its got a very 'sweet'
              > finish which in itself doesn't taste
              > > bad, but it makes any mixture that I create using additives
              > (Bourbon, Rum, etc) all taste the
              > > same.
              > >
              > > Is this normal, or should I be ending up with a completely 'taste
              > free' spirit? If so, any ideas
              > > what may be causing this?
              > >
              > > Regards, Phil
              >
              > >>Sounds like you've just done a stripping run? What >>temperatures
              > were
              > >>involved?
              > >>Dave E
              > >
              >
              > Dave, I pretty much just followed the instructions here;
              >
              > http://www.stillspirits.com/webfiles/StillSpirits/files/Using_the_stil
              > l_spirits_25_Litre_Super_Reflux_Still.htm
              >
              > I modified the water flow to keep the temp between 78 - 82C until I
              > had
              > collected the 3L.
              >
              > Cheers, Phil
              >
            • Phil
              Terrific, thanks for the advice Lindsay. Just so I am absolutely clear, should the ethanol that I am after be completely tasteless and odourless? ... OK, ...
              Message 6 of 14 , Apr 25, 2006
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                Terrific, thanks for the advice Lindsay. Just so I am absolutely
                clear, should the ethanol that I am after be completely tasteless and
                odourless?

                --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Lindsay Williams"
                <lindsay.nz@...> wrote:
                >
                > OK, Phil, the first thing you have to realise is that in spite of it
                > being called a "Super Reflux" still, it is, in fact, a pot still.
                OK,
                > a "glorified" pot still. So read up about pot stills rather than
                > reflux stills.
                >
                > Secondly, those SS instructions are appallingly bad. There are four
                > basic cuts in a run. The first is the 50ml of Foreshots (not heads).
                > This gets chucked out. The next out is the Heads. These are sweetish
                > and can contain traces of stuff that taste and smell like nail
                polish.
                > This stuff is not nice to drink. Next comes the Body or Hearts. This
                > is more pure ethanol and is the stuff you use. Lastly, comes the
                > Tails. Smells bad and not nice to drink. The tails can be run hard
                and
                > let the temp go to 96C.
                >
                > Collect in 200ml vessels and then smell and taste (cut to 40%) to
                see
                > what you've got. The tails and heads you don't use can go in the
                next
                > run so the ethanol doesn't get wasted.
                >
                > And, at the end of the day, you will need to filter through
                activated
                > carbon to remove the tiny amounts of stuff that taste and smell
                awful.
                >
                > If you filter the 3 ltrs through carbon it will probably be
                drinkable.
                >
                > Good luck.
                >
                > Cheers,
                > Lindsay.
                >
                > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Phil" <dyer@> wrote:
                > >
                > > > Being new to this game, I am not sure what the finished product
                is
                > > supposed to taste like and
                > > > frankly mine tastes a little...strange. Its got a very 'sweet'
                > > finish which in itself doesn't taste
                > > > bad, but it makes any mixture that I create using additives
                > > (Bourbon, Rum, etc) all taste the
                > > > same.
                > > >
                > > > Is this normal, or should I be ending up with a
                completely 'taste
                > > free' spirit? If so, any ideas
                > > > what may be causing this?
                > > >
                > > > Regards, Phil
                > >
                > > >>Sounds like you've just done a stripping run? What
                >>temperatures
                > > were
                > > >>involved?
                > > >>Dave E
                > > >
                > >
                > > Dave, I pretty much just followed the instructions here;
                > >
                > >
                http://www.stillspirits.com/webfiles/StillSpirits/files/Using_the_stil
                > > l_spirits_25_Litre_Super_Reflux_Still.htm
                > >
                > > I modified the water flow to keep the temp between 78 - 82C until
                I
                > > had
                > > collected the 3L.
                > >
                > > Cheers, Phil
                > >
                >
              • David Eastham
                ... and ... Yes, apart from the ethanolic smell and taste of the alcohol itself, which you ll get used to. I work with a guy who used to work at a vodka
                Message 7 of 14 , Apr 26, 2006
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                  --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Phil" <dyer@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Terrific, thanks for the advice Lindsay. Just so I am absolutely
                  > clear, should the ethanol that I am after be completely tasteless
                  and
                  > odourless?
                  >

                  Yes, apart from the ethanolic smell and taste of the alcohol itself,
                  which you'll get used to. I work with a guy who used to work at a
                  vodka manufacturers, says they occasionally added a touch of vanilla
                  to the vodka for particular customers. Otherwise it was just alcohol
                  and water.
                  Dave E
                • Lindsay Williams
                  Like David says, it has a faint smell but it shouldn t have a tails smell or the nail polish heads smell. The carbon will need to be relied on for yours to
                  Message 8 of 14 , Apr 26, 2006
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                    Like David says, it has a faint smell but it shouldn't have a tails
                    smell or the 'nail polish' heads smell. The carbon will need to be
                    relied on for yours to get cleaned up. When you collect in smaller
                    vessels you will get to know how the smell changes as the run goes on.

                    Cheers,
                    Lindsay.

                    --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Phil" <dyer@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Terrific, thanks for the advice Lindsay. Just so I am absolutely
                    > clear, should the ethanol that I am after be completely tasteless and
                    > odourless?
                    >
                    > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Lindsay Williams"
                    > <lindsay.nz@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > OK, Phil, the first thing you have to realise is that in spite of it
                    > > being called a "Super Reflux" still, it is, in fact, a pot still.
                    > OK,
                    > > a "glorified" pot still. So read up about pot stills rather than
                    > > reflux stills.
                    > >
                    > > Secondly, those SS instructions are appallingly bad. There are four
                    > > basic cuts in a run. The first is the 50ml of Foreshots (not heads).
                    > > This gets chucked out. The next out is the Heads. These are sweetish
                    > > and can contain traces of stuff that taste and smell like nail
                    > polish.
                    > > This stuff is not nice to drink. Next comes the Body or Hearts. This
                    > > is more pure ethanol and is the stuff you use. Lastly, comes the
                    > > Tails. Smells bad and not nice to drink. The tails can be run hard
                    > and
                    > > let the temp go to 96C.
                    > >
                    > > Collect in 200ml vessels and then smell and taste (cut to 40%) to
                    > see
                    > > what you've got. The tails and heads you don't use can go in the
                    > next
                    > > run so the ethanol doesn't get wasted.
                    > >
                    > > And, at the end of the day, you will need to filter through
                    > activated
                    > > carbon to remove the tiny amounts of stuff that taste and smell
                    > awful.
                    > >
                    > > If you filter the 3 ltrs through carbon it will probably be
                    > drinkable.
                    > >
                    > > Good luck.
                    > >
                    > > Cheers,
                    > > Lindsay.
                    > >
                    > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Phil" <dyer@> wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > > Being new to this game, I am not sure what the finished product
                    > is
                    > > > supposed to taste like and
                    > > > > frankly mine tastes a little...strange. Its got a very 'sweet'
                    > > > finish which in itself doesn't taste
                    > > > > bad, but it makes any mixture that I create using additives
                    > > > (Bourbon, Rum, etc) all taste the
                    > > > > same.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Is this normal, or should I be ending up with a
                    > completely 'taste
                    > > > free' spirit? If so, any ideas
                    > > > > what may be causing this?
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Regards, Phil
                    > > >
                    > > > >>Sounds like you've just done a stripping run? What
                    > >>temperatures
                    > > > were
                    > > > >>involved?
                    > > > >>Dave E
                    > > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > Dave, I pretty much just followed the instructions here;
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > http://www.stillspirits.com/webfiles/StillSpirits/files/Using_the_stil
                    > > > l_spirits_25_Litre_Super_Reflux_Still.htm
                    > > >
                    > > > I modified the water flow to keep the temp between 78 - 82C until
                    > I
                    > > > had
                    > > > collected the 3L.
                    > > >
                    > > > Cheers, Phil
                    > > >
                    > >
                    >
                  • bobzee99
                    After distillation, an off taste remains. Even after running it through a charcoal filter. I must be missing something. Any one have a clue for me? Bob Z.
                    Message 9 of 14 , Apr 3, 2014
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                      After distillation, an off taste remains. Even after running it through a charcoal filter. I must be missing something. Any one have a clue for me?

                      Bob Z.

                    • Robert Hubble
                      Bob, I don t have a single answer, but there are several things that could have a bearing on your flavor. The first thing is the flavor of the fermented wash
                      Message 10 of 14 , Apr 3, 2014
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                        Bob,

                        I don't have a single answer, but there are several things that could have a bearing on your flavor.

                        The first thing is the flavor of the fermented wash itself. What material did you ferment, how high a specific gravity did your wash start at, and what kind of yeast did you use? A couple of common causes here are aiming for a very high wash alcohol content, and using some turbo yeasts. A really common cause of bad flavors is doing both of those at the same time.

                        Second, what kind of still are you running, pot or compound reflux? In a single still run the reflux still can remove more flavors (good and bad) from your distillate than the potstill, but even a reflux still has a hard time removing the bad taste of tortured yeast. Also, is there copper in your vapor path? That can remove certain sulfide tastes.

                        Third, did your carbon filtering remove part of the bad taste?

                        Lastly, are you ok making the cuts? Do you sort out your distillate fractions to exclude the bad-tasting ones?

                        If you can answer these questions for us, we can get a lot closer to solving your problem.

                        Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller


                        From: bobzee99@...
                        To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Thu, 3 Apr 2014 03:46:23 -0700
                        Subject: [new_distillers] Taste?

                         

                        After distillation, an off taste remains. Even after running it through a charcoal filter. I must be missing something. Any one have a clue for me?
                        Bob Z.


                      • RLB
                        Don t forget a finish run if it s a pot still. Robert ________________________________ From: Robert Hubble To:
                        Message 11 of 14 , Apr 3, 2014
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                          Don't forget a finish run if it's a pot still.

                          Robert



                          From: Robert Hubble <zymurgybob@...>
                          To: "new_distillers@yahoogroups.com" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Thursday, April 3, 2014 12:20 PM
                          Subject: RE: [new_distillers] Taste?

                           
                          Bob,

                          I don't have a single answer, but there are several things that could have a bearing on your flavor.

                          The first thing is the flavor of the fermented wash itself. What material did you ferment, how high a specific gravity did your wash start at, and what kind of yeast did you use? A couple of common causes here are aiming for a very high wash alcohol content, and using some turbo yeasts. A really common cause of bad flavors is doing both of those at the same time.

                          Second, what kind of still are you running, pot or compound reflux? In a single still run the reflux still can remove more flavors (good and bad) from your distillate than the potstill, but even a reflux still has a hard time removing the bad taste of tortured yeast. Also, is there copper in your vapor path? That can remove certain sulfide tastes.

                          Third, did your carbon filtering remove part of the bad taste?

                          Lastly, are you ok making the cuts? Do you sort out your distillate fractions to exclude the bad-tasting ones?

                          If you can answer these questions for us, we can get a lot closer to solving your problem.

                          Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller




                        • Blackhat-Whitedog
                          lets also consider very beginning, is the fermentation complete? are you separating the spent grains, yeast at the bottom from the wash
                          Message 12 of 14 , Apr 4, 2014
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                            lets also consider very beginning, is the fermentation complete? are you separating the spent grains, yeast at the bottom from the wash
                          • bobzee99
                            Hi Bob, You gave me a lot to mull over. Let me check each item over and make any corrections. Hopefully the off taste will clear up. I ll check in with you if
                            Message 13 of 14 , Apr 4, 2014
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                              Hi Bob,

                              You gave me a lot to mull over. Let me check each item over and make any corrections. Hopefully the off taste will clear up. I'll check in with you if I have any questions.

                              Bob Z.

                            • brutally_timid
                              If you are using an all-stainless steel rig, your process is leaving the funky tasting sulphur dioxide in your product. Try putting some copper, like copper
                              Message 14 of 14 , Apr 12, 2014
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                                If you are using an all-stainless steel rig, your process is leaving the funky tasting sulphur dioxide in your product. Try putting some copper, like copper mesh pot scrubber material, in the column. It will act as relux material and take out the sulphur. If you have a copper column, then it is another problem.
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