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Re: Pot vs. Reflux still for fruit brandy

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  • closetdistiller
    Sorry Hooch, I m no expert here as I m new to this myself but I ll have a go at answering this from what I know. If I m wrong guys, let me know and correct me
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 29, 2004
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      Sorry Hooch, I'm no expert here as I'm new to this myself but I'll
      have a go at answering this from what I know. If I'm wrong guys, let
      me know and correct me please.

      It sounds like last year you ran the reflux column with too much
      reflux for a flavour positive spirit, hence you got high alcohol but
      little flavour (basically you just stipped the flavour out and
      collected the alcohol). You can do flavour positive spirits on a
      reflux column but you just need to collect the distillate faster
      with less (or no) reflux so that more flavours carry over. If it's a
      valved reflux just leave the valve wide open or near wide open.

      I'm not sure if the moonshine still you talk of is the internal
      reflux model or the valved reflux model (actually, I do know now,I
      saw the page 15 note you mentioned-so you've got an internal reflux
      model-anyway the following still applies). The independent cooling
      of the valved reflux model is going to be far superior in this
      instance as your not forced to create any reflux in the column by
      having to run your cooling water through the column to get to your
      condenser (as in the internal reflux model). If you have
      individually plumbed cooling lines for the internal reflux model you
      can just leave them unattached and just run cooling water to the
      leibig condenser. Hence you have a pot still basically. If you can't
      independently plumb these lines then this may give you issues, but I
      can't speak from experience here.

      On the question about using a pot still and methanol/heads thing,
      yes they come off first as in a reflux column but the separation is
      not as good-therefore you need to make bigger cuts at the start and
      end of the run to make sure you get these undesirables. However,
      some of these heads and tails are going to be where your flavour is
      so you do want some of them, but as to where and when to make the
      cuts your probably going to have to nut out by your tastes. Other's
      may be able to shed light here on where to start collecting and when
      to stop.

      On the thumper issue, I don't really know but, if the flavour isn't
      bad (only too strong a %) then I don't see why not-but take my
      opinion on this with a grain of salt.

      Good luck, but in my limited experience it looks like you might be
      better off building a pot still or making a valved reflux.

      Cheers and good luck, CD

      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "hoochmkr" <hoochmkr@y...>
      wrote:
      > Last year I made apricot brandy using a reflux still (similar to
      the
      > directions shown http://www.moonshine-still.com/page15.htm).
      Product
      > was good, but as one can image lacking the rich taste I was hoping
      > for. Can I use the same top, without the water backflow, to get
      > similar results to a pot still i.e. less alcohol but more flavor?
      Or
      > is it best to just get some tubing an make up a simply pot still
      top?
      >
      > Additional question, with the pot still, does the initial heading
      > (methanol and other nasties) come off in the same manner and then
      stop
      > before the ethanol starts to come through?
      >
      > Can I use my peach brandy from last year (high alcohol...horrid
      > flavor) as thumper liquid when setting up a pot still or will it
      > adversly flavor the new batch?
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