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39199Re: [new_distillers] Re: Confused

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  • Royce Thigpen
    Aug 10, 2010
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      I guess that trying to save space and face, I neglected to put in the necessary information.  I am using a very small copper pot still that has some strange reflux action in it.  Unintentional. But it is what it is.  My heat source is a gas burner adjustable from almost out to quite hot.  I started with a wash of about 9 or 10%.  I got rid of the first 100 ml or so and started collecting.  I realize I left some alcohol in the boiler.  Unavoidable last night.  I am still a  little confused about the hearts though.  In reading, taking things a little literal, I was under the impression that the hearts come out at the optimal heat range of 176 degrees.  Anything before out and anything after were typically headed for the next run.  At 70% off the still, there is hardly any nose and quite a burn to the taste.  At 45% there is a good nose but a undesirable taste.  To me anyhow. I know there is something in between, I just don't know what it is yet.  I don't know if I am too literal or just don't understand.  However, I really appreciate you  folks for responding and willing to give advise and guidance.

      From: tgfoitwoods <zymurgybob@...>
      To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tue, August 10, 2010 2:49:27 PM
      Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Confused



      I'm guessing from the head temperature you show, that this is a spirit
      run on a potstill?

      If so, trying really hard not to be a smartass, use this line from the
      Red Queesn in Alice in Wonderland: "Start at the beginning, go through
      to the end and then stop.". "The end" may differ between us, but it's
      when you think the addition ethanol you'll get by continuing is more
      valuable than the power you'll expend doing it. I usually stop a spirit
      run at 210F or 99C.

      What I'm saying is that it's more difficult to make judgements about
      tarting or stopping distillation until you are finished with the
      complete run, and then it's too late. Just fire up the still and collect
      everything that comes out of the condenser, until you reach that
      stopping temperature, maybe 205-2100F, but break up your collection into
      8 or 10 small fractions, which you can taste later to see what you will
      drink, and what goes in the feints bucket. Especially if you're having
      difficulties isolating flavor notes, don't try to isolate while you're
      distilling. Do it later, preferabley a day or more later.

      As far as what flavors you get when, you have to know that every drop
      that comes out of that still has every volatile compound that started
      out in your wash; there is no real separation of components in a
      potstill. What happens is this: depending on physical properties of each
      compound, the concentration of that compound in the distillate will peak
      at some particular temperature, and you have no control over that. Every
      flavor note in every kind of spirit is associated with one particular
      compound, and therefore one particular "flavor note temperature". Some
      flavor notes "come in" at lower temperatures, in or close to the heads,
      and some flavor notes come in at higher temperature, in or close to the
      tails. In an ideal world, all the flavor notes you want would come in
      during the hearts, but that just don't happen much.

      So you can't move that peach nose somewhere else, but if you had divided
      that last quart into 4 smaller samples during distillation, you just
      might find that you could separate the fractions such that your peach
      nose was in fractions where the "wet cardboard" tails nose was not

      Ultimately, for a given wash that you have come to know, you may be able
      to say,"OK, I've collected the part with the good peach nose, so I'll
      swap that out now, and put in the tails-collection jar", but that takes
      a lot of experience, and I don't think you're there yet. No biggy;
      mostly, I'm not either.

      Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller
      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Royce Thigpen <fireside58@...>

      > 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
      > confused:
      > 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
      > 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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