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Re: 1st Run "Teething Problems"

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  • hal031235@hotmail.com
    Ron said: I had my first run in anger today of the still I described in post #1130. ..... but it leaked Hi first thanks to Al and to Tony for their help. I
    Message 1 of 10 , Nov 1, 2001
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      Ron said:

      "I had my first run in anger today of the still I described in post
      #1130. ..... but it leaked"

      Hi
      first thanks to Al and to Tony for their help. I have now run the
      still to strip beer with my clamping mechanism and new digital
      thermometer and the seal now works great!!

      One thing though that I am curious about, when the beer was coming up
      to boil, the temperature at the top of the still head had not moved
      from 12c, but just before it stared to move I got a strong smell
      of "alcoholic bananas", quite pleasant really, and then if I smell
      for vapour at then exit of the still a VERY strong alcoholic vapour
      smell, lasted for about a minute and throughout all this time no
      temperature change, still 12c?? Any ideas?

      Also, when I come to distill the "fine wine", I will have about 20
      litres of 50% by volume alcohol, how long do you think that this will
      take to distill, FYI so you don't have to read #1130, I have a 3kw
      heater with a 42mm by 1.2 metre fractionating tube?

      Another question whilst I am asking, why would you bother trying to
      distill 94% alchol slowly, if you could distill 80% a lot faster,
      (assuming the other 20% is water) if at the end you're going to add
      water to get it to say 50% anyway?

      thanks for all the help I have been getting

      Ron
    • Tony & Elle Ackland
      ... This is an ester, called isoamyl acetate It means something to the beer brewers - one of the side reactions that they don t exactly want. Similar esters,
      Message 2 of 10 , Nov 1, 2001
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        > One thing though that I am curious about, when the beer was coming up
        > to boil, the temperature at the top of the still head had not moved
        > from 12c, but just before it stared to move I got a strong smell
        > of "alcoholic bananas", quite pleasant really,

        This is an ester, called isoamyl acetate
        It means something to the beer brewers - one of the side reactions that
        they don't exactly want.

        Similar esters, used as artifical flavours include ..
        apricot : amyl butyrate
        apple : isoamyl isovalerate
        pineapple : ethyl butyrate
        grape : methyl anthranilate
        wintergreen : methyl slicylate

        > and then if I smell
        > for vapour at then exit of the still a VERY strong alcoholic vapour
        > smell, lasted for about a minute and throughout all this time no
        > temperature change, still 12c?? Any ideas?

        Could be the first of the alcohol being pushed out along with the air, too
        rapidly past the condenser ?? Guessing here.

        > Also, when I come to distill the "fine wine", I will have about 20
        > litres of 50% by volume alcohol, how long do you think that this will
        > take to distill, FYI so you don't have to read #1130, I have a 3kw
        > heater with a 42mm by 1.2 metre fractionating tube?

        About 22 minutes to heat up to boiling point, then maybe 6 hours to distill
        off ? Its going to depend on what reflux ratio you need - 360 minutes is
        based on RR=3
        See http:\\homedistiller.org\reflux_calc.htm

        > Another question whilst I am asking, why would you bother trying to
        > distill 94% alchol slowly, if you could distill 80% a lot faster,
        > (assuming the other 20% is water) if at the end you're going to add
        > water to get it to say 50% anyway?

        Its the difference between having 6% impurities present, or 20%
        Although the 6% or 20% is mostly water, there's still enough other
        alcohols, aldehydes, esters, etc present, in very trace amounts, to affect
        the flavour.
        The cleaner you can distill the alcohol to begin with, the less flavour it
        will have after its been diluted.
        The 80% spirit will be rougher, and burn more in the throat, whereas the
        94% one will be smoother, after they've both been knocked down to 50%

        Tony
      • hal031235@hotmail.com
        Thanks Tony Ron asked : One thing though that I am curious about, when the beer was coming up ... moved ... Tony wrote : This is an ester, called isoamyl
        Message 3 of 10 , Nov 2, 2001
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          Thanks Tony
          Ron asked :
          "> > One thing though that I am curious about, when the beer was
          coming up
          > > to boil, the temperature at the top of the still head had not
          moved
          > > from 12c, but just before it stared to move I got a strong smell
          > > of "alcoholic bananas", quite pleasant really"

          Tony wrote :

          "This is an ester, called isoamyl acetate
          > It means something to the beer brewers - one of the side reactions
          that they don't exactly want."

          My new question :
          Will this ester be absent in the distilled alcohol, ie is it boiled
          off first or will I end up with Banana Vodka? Also, could I have
          avoided it when fermenting my sugar and bakers yeast wash by doing
          something different?

          thanks for all yorur help, you are very generous with your time

          regards
          Ron
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