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ruined fermentation?

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  • jcmca
    happy new year to all out there! i got a question. i have a fine 39 reflux column with a 15 US gallon beer keg as a boiler. the piece that couples the 2 is a
    Message 1 of 42 , Jan 3 12:21 PM
      happy new year to all out there!

      i got a question. i have a fine 39" reflux column with a 15 US gallon
      beer keg as a boiler. the piece that couples the 2 is a stainless
      kitchen mixing bowl with holes drilled in the bottom and an adapter
      that the column slides into. i use cork as gaskets and there are no
      leaks anywhere.

      all the stuff that i have fermented so far (5 batches (rye, malt,
      rum))has smelled delightful, but the spirit i get is real NASTY
      stuff! last friday i got 3 liters of 80% out of 25 liters of mash.
      that is before i gave up in disgust and tossed the whole lot.

      is it possible that there is a cockup in the ferment? i sanitize
      everything properly and have a bubbly thing in the lid of the food
      grade fermenting bucket that stops trash coming back, but no matter
      what i do, i get nothing usable. to try and describe the mouth feel
      of the spirit - it doesn't taste anything like booze, but feels like
      it evaporates instantly on the tongue and leaves a hot feeling in the
      mouth. the wife says it smells like mail polish remover! and that is
      acetone. i don't know if there is a chemical connection between
      acetic acid and acetone, but is it possible that the brew goes bad
      before i distill? how would i be able to tell?

      i also know that the adapter that joins the column and the bowl on
      the boiler isn't stainless steel. i think it is galvenized. could
      that make a difference?

      any pointers will be MOST appreciated!

      best!
      John
    • mspk2004
      ... wrote:............ Having had problems with two recent fermentations myself, I very much appreciate your reasoned reponse to John s problem Thanks.
      Message 42 of 42 , Jan 5 2:26 PM
        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Lindsay Williams" <linw@x>
        wrote:............

        Having had problems with two recent fermentations myself, I very much
        appreciate your reasoned reponse to John's problem Thanks.
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