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39464Re: newbie questions

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  • jamesonbeam1
    Oct 15, 2010

      Welp Joe,

      Stripping runs do just what they say - strip all the alcohol from a wash or mash.  While some do not do them, this tends to make it easier to make your cuts in the spirits run and produces a smoother distillation.  This is especially true when working in pot still mode.  While reflux stills do multiple distillations within a single run and can produce very high ABV levels, this is at the sacrifice of flavors.  However, for smoothness, even the more expensive vodkas are distilled 2 to 3 times or more.  You might want to read about Theoretical plates at http://www.homedistiller.org/refluxdesign.htm

      Here is also a good excerpt from the Brewhaus Forum:

      A Stripping run is the best way to shed bulk amounts of water within your wash. Then do the spirit run more slowly to render your final poduct (with good cuts).

      Potstillers like blanikdog like to do single runs however. This method is very popular for insuring good flavor carry over. Run slow for good separation, but only once for good flavor carry over. Brandies are perhaps best this way.

      Lots of skill needed on making cuts this way. I hope to one day taste a good single run brandy. I usually stuff single run cuts so I prefer the sharper,crisper 2nd run cut.

      Potstillers need not be concerned with temps through the run. Temps will continue to change through the course of the run as the alcohol gets depleted from within the wash.

      You will be CONSTANTLY fiddling with your heat input if you try to control temps. Concern yourself with "input" only. Leave the temps for the reluxing units.

      *Charge your boiler 2/3 full.
      *Apply full on heat input.
      *when your column is to hot to touch mid way up it's lenth, throttle back on input just a (perhaps) tad.
      *When discharging/production begins, allow for a thick pencil lead sized stream. Some input adjustments may be needed.
      *Your condenser will determine how hard you can run(with out puking). If your condenser is knocking down all the vapor, then perhaps you can throttle your heat back up. If you are getting vapor out the discharge then throttle down your input. In a couple of runs this will become second nature.

      When distilling for flavor, you need to keep the ABV down and try to retain as much flavors as possible.  This is why we use pot stills or de-refluxed columns for non-neutral alcohols.  A single plate pot still will only bring the ABV up by a certain level based on the starting ABV of the wash or mash.  Look at this chart put out by Harry and Pint O Shine and you will understand.   


      As far as diluting for the spirits run, yes you should add water to keep it no higher then around 30 to 35% so as not to get the ABV too high on the second run in a pot still.  As the chart shows, at 35% ABV, a single plate pot still or de-refluxed column will produce around 150 proof ABV at the hearts, which is fine for flavored spirits.  A trick is to use the backset from the first distillation instead of water for addtional flavors.  Also make sure there is enough liquid over your heating elements.



      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, joe framer <framers8@...> wrote:
      > JB, I guess the temps that the different alcohols are not as specific and happen over a broader range than I thought. If you do a stripping run I assume it is ok to add back water so that it covers the heating element. What is the benefit of doing a stripping run over just taking it off slowly the first time ?                                           Framer
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