- Aug 10, 2010
Looks like time to get back to basics. When describing a distillation, for help you need to tell us how much fermentation you started with, the potential ABV, the type of still your using and size along with your heat source.
By just telling us what you got out of the distillation, its impossible for anyone to tell if you ended up or finished it correctly. Its apparent you started it since you got something out so lets take it from there.
From your brief description, Im assuming your using a pot still so based on this assumption, a single theoretical plate pot still will boil the fermentation and create vapors. These vapors have a certain percentage of water, ethanol and other substances in them (called conengers and fusil oils or higher boiling point alcohols). As you continue to boil and condense these vapors, the percentage of ethanol to water in them will decrease and the temperature or boiling point will increase till it eventually equals the boiling point of just water which is 212F or 100C. As you proceed, the ABV of your distillate consisting of Heads (15% to 20%), the Middle run or Hearts (60% to 70%) and the Tails (15%-20%) will drop in accordance until you start distilling just pure water.
If you study and read and understand the chart that Harry and Pint created and I have posted many times here at http://www.artisan-distiller.net/photoalbum/photos/pint_o_shine/Potstill_Dilute.GIF you will see that as the pecentage of alcohol in the vapors drops, the temperature increases and ABV of the distillate drops as well. If you stopped at 190F, then there still was more alcohol left in the still.
As far as figuring out what to keep and what to use as feints, it just does not depend on smell. Taste is the major part of the equation. The proper way to make a nice brandy would be a double distillation. The first distillation is called a stripping run where you distill all the alcohol out down to about a 10% distillate. You then take all this and dilute it down to about 30% (Harry recommends 27%) and run what we call a spirits run. During this run, you take the first 100ml. or so and pitch them as foreshots (if you havent already done so). Then collect the distillate in small containers of about 300 to 400 ml. each as your cuts. You then dilute a sample of each of these down to about 40% ABV and both smell and taste each. You can then mix and match these to get the flavors and smell you want.
This is what I would do now with the jars you have from your first distillation.
--- In email@example.com, Royce Thigpen <fireside58@...> wrote:
> Folks, I have read and tried to determine the difference between starting and
> finishing a run. Last night I began to become more confused that ever. I was
> running my second batch of peaches and thought I had done well until I had to
> quit the process due to running out of time. Below is what I did and why I am
> Started saving at 176 degrees - 72% - About 1/2 pint
> Temp got to 180 degrees - 65% - About 1 quart
> Temp got to 185-190 degrees - 45-50% - 1 quart
> The last part had more nose in it that any of the rest. As I am not much on
> taste (I have not sampled yet), I am confused as to what to keep. I put the
> first two in a jar and was thinking about putting the rest back to run again,
> but it smells more like peaches than any of the rest.
> I know what I have read about going too far in the run and off taste, but why is
> there more nose in the later? Help please! And how do I get the nose of the
> last in the purer of the first?
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