Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [new_distillers] First draft of an FAQ

Expand Messages
  • sspence@webconx.com
    very nice. might I add, that in the USA, you can get a small fuel producer permit. this allows small scale distilling for motor fuel purposes. a nice
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 10, 2000
    • 0 Attachment
      very nice. might I add, that in the USA, you can get a "small fuel producer"
      permit. this allows small scale distilling for "motor fuel" purposes. a nice
      advantage is that they don't require denaturing for "fuel" used on the
      premises. the regulations are posted on my ethanol page.

      http://www.webconx.com/ethanol%20usa%20regs.htm

      --
      Steve Spence
      Renewable Energy Pages - http://www.webconx.com
      Palm Pilot Pages - http://www.webconx.com/palm
      X10 Home Automation - http://www.webconx.com/x10
      sspence@...
      (212) 894-3704 x3154 - voicemail/fax
      If we don't believe in freedom of speech
      for people who we disagree with, we don't believe in it at all.
      --

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Tony & Elle Ackland" <Tony.Ackland@...>
      To: <new_distillers@egroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, July 10, 2000 3:11 AM
      Subject: [new_distillers] First draft of an FAQ


      >
      > Here's my stab at a Draft version of a NEW DISTILLERS FAQ.
      > Any comments, suggestions, additions, corrections, clarifications, etc
      > needed ?
      >
      > ************************************************************************
      > ********************
      > 1) Is distilling hard to do ?
      > 2) Is it legal ?
      > 3) Will it make me blind ?
      > 4) Whats the difference between a pot still, reflux still, and
      > fractionating column ?
      > 5) How do I get or make a still ?
      > 6) How do i make a whisky / rum / vodka ?
      > 7) Should i use sugar or grains ?
      > 8) Can I use fruit wine ?
      > 9) How do i get rid of that "off-taste" ?
      > 10) How do i measure the strength of it & dilute it ?
      > 11) How do i flavour/turn the vodka's into something else ?
      > 12) What web resources are there ?
      > 13) How do I contact the NEW DISTILLERS news group ?
      >
      > ************************************************************************
      > ********************
      >
      > 1) Is distilling hard to do ?
      >
      > Nope - if you can follow instructions enough to bake scones, then you can
      > sucessfully distil.
      >
      >
      > 2) Is it legal ?
      >
      > Probably not. It is only legal in New Zealand, and some European
      countries
      > turn a blind eye to it, but elsewhere it is illegal, with punishment
      > ranging from fines to imprisonment or floggings. This action against it
      is
      > usually the result of either religous beliefs (right or wrong), but more
      > generally due to the great revenue base it provides Governements through
      > excise taxes. So if you are going to distil, just be aware of the
      potential
      > legal ramifications.
      >
      >
      > 3) Will it make me blind ?
      >
      > Not if you're carefull. This pervasive question is due to moonshine lore,
      > which abounds with myths of blindness, but few actual documented cases.
      > The concern is due to the presence of methanol (wood alcohol), an optic
      > nerve poison, which can be present in small amounts when fermenting grains
      > or fruits high in pectin. This methanol comes off first from the still,
      so
      > it is easily segregated and discarded. A simple rule of thumb for this is
      > to throw away the first 50 mL you collect (per 20 L / 5 gal mash used).
      > Probably the greatest risk to your health during distilling is the risk of
      > fire - collecting a flammable liquid near a heat source. So keep a fire
      > extinguisher nearby.
      >
      >
      > 4) Whats the difference between a pot still, reflux still, and
      > fractionating column ?
      >
      > A pot still simply collects and condenses the alcohol vapours that come
      off
      > the boiling mash. This will result in an alcohol at about 40-60% purity
      > (80-120 proof), with plenty of flavour in it. If this distillate were put
      > through the pot still again, it would increase in purity to around 70-85%
      > purity, and lose a bit of its flavour.
      >
      > A reflux still does these multiple distillations in one single go, by
      > having some packing in a column between the condensor & the pot, and
      > allowing some of the vapour to condense and trickle back down through the
      > packing. This "reflux" of liquid helps clean the rising vapour and
      > increase the % purity. The taller the packed column, and the more reflux
      > liquid, the purer the product will be. The advantage of doing this is
      that
      > it will result in a clean vodka, with little flavour to it - ideal for
      > mixing with flavours etc.
      >
      > A fractionating column is a pure form of the reflux still. It will
      > condense all the vapour at the top of the packing, and return about 9/10
      > back down the column. The column will be quite tall - say 600-1200mm (2-4
      > foot), and packed with a material high in surface area, but which takes up
      > little space (pot scrubbers are good for this). It will result in an
      > alcohol 95%+ pure (the theoretical limit without using a vacuum is 95.6%),
      > with no other tastes or impurities in it.
      >
      >
      > 5) How do I get or make a still ?
      >
      > If you're after a pot still, these are generally home made using what-ever
      > you have at hand - say copper tubing and old water heaters or pressure
      > cookers. Reflux stills can be made from plans on the net, or bought from
      > several manufacturers. For reflux stil plans see Stillmakers :
      > http://stillmaker.dreamhost.com/ (free!) or Gert Strands :
      > http://partyman.se/Engelsk/default.htm (US$5), or for a fractionating
      > column see Nixon & Stones : http://www.gin-vodka.com/ (US$8). See the
      list
      > of "web resources" below for links to sites selling ready-made stills.
      >
      >
      > 6) How do I make a whisky / vodka / rum ?
      >
      > Whiskey : Heat 4 kg cracked or crushed malt with 18 L of water to 63-65C,
      > and hold there for 1-1.5 hours. Heat to 73-75C, then strain off and keep
      > liquid, using 250 mL of hot water to rinse the grains. Cool to below 30C
      > (should have an initial specific gravity of 1.050). Add hydrated yeast &
      > leave to ferment (maintain at 26C) until airlock stops bubbling and final
      > SG of around 1.010. Let settle for a day, then syphon carefully into a pot
      > still. Discard the first 50 mL's, collect the next 2-3L of distillate or
      > until you start noticing the tails coming through.
      > Vodka : dissolve 5 kg of sugar & 60g of nutrients in 20L of water, cool to
      > below 30C and add hydrated yeast. Leave to ferment at 25C until below an
      > SG of around 0.990, then settle for a day. Syphon into a reflux or
      > fractionating still, and collect as per usual.
      > Rum : as per vodka, but use some brown sugar or mollasses, to give an
      > initial specific gravity (SG) of around 1.06 - 1.07. Run through either a
      > pot still, or a not-so-great reflux still.
      >
      >
      > 7) Should I use sugar or grains ?
      >
      > It depends on what sort of still you have, and what you are trying to
      make.
      > If you have a reflux or fractionating still, only use whatever is cheapest
      > (usually sugar), as the refluxing will strip out all the flavours anyhow.
      > If you have a pot still, and are after a bourban or whiskey, then you need
      > to go the grain route, or mollasses if after a rum. If you are trying to
      > make a neutral spirit for flavouring, go for sugar.
      >
      >
      > 8) Can I use fruit wine ?
      >
      > Sure, if you have it available. Again, using a pot still will result in a
      > brandy/grappa/schnapps, whereas a reflux still will just strip it down to
      > neutral spirit.
      >
      >
      > 9) How do I get rid of that "off-taste" ?
      >
      > That "rough moonshine edge" or "off-taste / wet cardboard smell" is due to
      > impurities such as the higher order alcohols, known as cogeners or fusel
      > oils. These will be present more when using a pot still, less if using a
      > reflux still, and just about absent if using a fractionating column. So
      > one way is to use a taller packed column and increase the amount of reflux
      > occuring. They can also indicate that you've tried to collect too much of
      > the alcohol, and have run into the "tails"; so finish collecting a little
      > bit earlier next time. Soaking tainted alcohol with activated carbon for
      a
      > week (or even months) will help remove some of this flavour - this is
      known
      > as "polishing" the spirit.
      >
      >
      > 10) How do I measure the strength of it & dilute it ?
      >
      > You need a hydrometer. This is a wee float, with a scale inside it. The
      > more alcohol that is present, the lighter the density of the liquid, so
      the
      > hydrometer sinks a bit lower. You then just read off the scale how much
      > alcohol is present. You need a seperate hydrometer for measuring the
      > density of the mash, as this is generally > 1.0, whereas the spirit is <
      > 1.0, and they can't accurately do both ends of the scale.
      >
      >
      > 11) How do I flavour/turn the vodka's into something else ?
      >
      > There are now many commercial flavourings available, which turn vodka into
      > pretty decent gin or whiskey, or all manor of liqueurs. See the
      commercial
      > sites, like Des Zines http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~topkiwi or Ray Toms
      > http://moonshine.co.nz/ for details.Or you can soak it with oak chips and
      > make whiskey, or soak fruits in it to make your own liqueurs.
      >
      >
      > 12) What web resources are there ?
      >
      > For more details, see :
      > Tony Ackland's http://www.geocities.com/kiwi_distiller
      > Aaron Smiths's http://www.go.to/distillation
      > Steve Spence's http://www.webconx.com/ethanol.htm
      >
      >
      > 13) How do I contact the NEW DISTILLERS news group ?
      >
      > Both the NEW DISTILLERS and the DISTILLERS news groups are available via
      > Egroups, at http://www.egroups.com . NEW DISTILLERS is, as the name
      > suggests, intended for those of you new to distilling and after simple,
      > straight-forward discussions, whereas the DISTILLERS group is a bit more
      > advanced, throwing in bits of design philosophy, theory, and alternative
      > ways of achieving the results. Both tend to overlap to some extent.
      >
      > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      ------
      >
      >
      >
      > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      ------
      > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
      > new_distillers-unsubscribe@onelist.com
      >
      >
      >
      >
    • Ray Toms
      Hi Tony Like your first draft of the FAQ. Good accurate information. Just one suggestion as this is an international list I would avoid reference to Proof
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 10, 2000
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi Tony
        Like your first draft of the FAQ. Good accurate information. Just one
        suggestion as this is an international list I would avoid reference to Proof
        which is different in the US and the UK and other parts of the world, alcohol
        by volume is the international standard, and also gallons which are different
        also Litres are safer even if they are spelt differently in the US.
        Regards
        Ray

        Tony & Elle Ackland wrote:

        > Here's my stab at a Draft version of a NEW DISTILLERS FAQ.
        > Any comments, suggestions, additions, corrections, clarifications, etc
        > needed ?
        >
        > ************************************************************************
        > ********************
        > 1) Is distilling hard to do ?
        > 2) Is it legal ?
        > 3) Will it make me blind ?
        > 4) Whats the difference between a pot still, reflux still, and
        > fractionating column ?
        > 5) How do I get or make a still ?
        > 6) How do i make a whisky / rum / vodka ?
        > 7) Should i use sugar or grains ?
        > 8) Can I use fruit wine ?
        > 9) How do i get rid of that "off-taste" ?
        > 10) How do i measure the strength of it & dilute it ?
        > 11) How do i flavour/turn the vodka's into something else ?
        > 12) What web resources are there ?
        > 13) How do I contact the NEW DISTILLERS news group ?
        >
        > ************************************************************************
        > ********************
        >
        > 1) Is distilling hard to do ?
        >
        > Nope - if you can follow instructions enough to bake scones, then you can
        > sucessfully distil.
        >
        > 2) Is it legal ?
        >
        > Probably not. It is only legal in New Zealand, and some European countries
        > turn a blind eye to it, but elsewhere it is illegal, with punishment
        > ranging from fines to imprisonment or floggings. This action against it is
        > usually the result of either religous beliefs (right or wrong), but more
        > generally due to the great revenue base it provides Governements through
        > excise taxes. So if you are going to distil, just be aware of the potential
        > legal ramifications.
        >
        > 3) Will it make me blind ?
        >
        > Not if you're carefull. This pervasive question is due to moonshine lore,
        > which abounds with myths of blindness, but few actual documented cases.
        > The concern is due to the presence of methanol (wood alcohol), an optic
        > nerve poison, which can be present in small amounts when fermenting grains
        > or fruits high in pectin. This methanol comes off first from the still, so
        > it is easily segregated and discarded. A simple rule of thumb for this is
        > to throw away the first 50 mL you collect (per 20 L / 5 gal mash used).
        > Probably the greatest risk to your health during distilling is the risk of
        > fire - collecting a flammable liquid near a heat source. So keep a fire
        > extinguisher nearby.
        >
        > 4) Whats the difference between a pot still, reflux still, and
        > fractionating column ?
        >
        > A pot still simply collects and condenses the alcohol vapours that come off
        > the boiling mash. This will result in an alcohol at about 40-60% purity
        > (80-120 proof), with plenty of flavour in it. If this distillate were put
        > through the pot still again, it would increase in purity to around 70-85%
        > purity, and lose a bit of its flavour.
        >
        > A reflux still does these multiple distillations in one single go, by
        > having some packing in a column between the condensor & the pot, and
        > allowing some of the vapour to condense and trickle back down through the
        > packing. This "reflux" of liquid helps clean the rising vapour and
        > increase the % purity. The taller the packed column, and the more reflux
        > liquid, the purer the product will be. The advantage of doing this is that
        > it will result in a clean vodka, with little flavour to it - ideal for
        > mixing with flavours etc.
        >
        > A fractionating column is a pure form of the reflux still. It will
        > condense all the vapour at the top of the packing, and return about 9/10
        > back down the column. The column will be quite tall - say 600-1200mm (2-4
        > foot), and packed with a material high in surface area, but which takes up
        > little space (pot scrubbers are good for this). It will result in an
        > alcohol 95%+ pure (the theoretical limit without using a vacuum is 95.6%),
        > with no other tastes or impurities in it.
        >
        > 5) How do I get or make a still ?
        >
        > If you're after a pot still, these are generally home made using what-ever
        > you have at hand - say copper tubing and old water heaters or pressure
        > cookers. Reflux stills can be made from plans on the net, or bought from
        > several manufacturers. For reflux stil plans see Stillmakers :
        > http://stillmaker.dreamhost.com/ (free!) or Gert Strands :
        > http://partyman.se/Engelsk/default.htm (US$5), or for a fractionating
        > column see Nixon & Stones : http://www.gin-vodka.com/ (US$8). See the list
        > of "web resources" below for links to sites selling ready-made stills.
        >
        > 6) How do I make a whisky / vodka / rum ?
        >
        > Whiskey : Heat 4 kg cracked or crushed malt with 18 L of water to 63-65C,
        > and hold there for 1-1.5 hours. Heat to 73-75C, then strain off and keep
        > liquid, using 250 mL of hot water to rinse the grains. Cool to below 30C
        > (should have an initial specific gravity of 1.050). Add hydrated yeast &
        > leave to ferment (maintain at 26C) until airlock stops bubbling and final
        > SG of around 1.010. Let settle for a day, then syphon carefully into a pot
        > still. Discard the first 50 mL's, collect the next 2-3L of distillate or
        > until you start noticing the tails coming through.
        > Vodka : dissolve 5 kg of sugar & 60g of nutrients in 20L of water, cool to
        > below 30C and add hydrated yeast. Leave to ferment at 25C until below an
        > SG of around 0.990, then settle for a day. Syphon into a reflux or
        > fractionating still, and collect as per usual.
        > Rum : as per vodka, but use some brown sugar or mollasses, to give an
        > initial specific gravity (SG) of around 1.06 - 1.07. Run through either a
        > pot still, or a not-so-great reflux still.
        >
        > 7) Should I use sugar or grains ?
        >
        > It depends on what sort of still you have, and what you are trying to make.
        > If you have a reflux or fractionating still, only use whatever is cheapest
        > (usually sugar), as the refluxing will strip out all the flavours anyhow.
        > If you have a pot still, and are after a bourban or whiskey, then you need
        > to go the grain route, or mollasses if after a rum. If you are trying to
        > make a neutral spirit for flavouring, go for sugar.
        >
        > 8) Can I use fruit wine ?
        >
        > Sure, if you have it available. Again, using a pot still will result in a
        > brandy/grappa/schnapps, whereas a reflux still will just strip it down to
        > neutral spirit.
        >
        > 9) How do I get rid of that "off-taste" ?
        >
        > That "rough moonshine edge" or "off-taste / wet cardboard smell" is due to
        > impurities such as the higher order alcohols, known as cogeners or fusel
        > oils. These will be present more when using a pot still, less if using a
        > reflux still, and just about absent if using a fractionating column. So
        > one way is to use a taller packed column and increase the amount of reflux
        > occuring. They can also indicate that you've tried to collect too much of
        > the alcohol, and have run into the "tails"; so finish collecting a little
        > bit earlier next time. Soaking tainted alcohol with activated carbon for a
        > week (or even months) will help remove some of this flavour - this is known
        > as "polishing" the spirit.
        >
        > 10) How do I measure the strength of it & dilute it ?
        >
        > You need a hydrometer. This is a wee float, with a scale inside it. The
        > more alcohol that is present, the lighter the density of the liquid, so the
        > hydrometer sinks a bit lower. You then just read off the scale how much
        > alcohol is present. You need a seperate hydrometer for measuring the
        > density of the mash, as this is generally > 1.0, whereas the spirit is <
        > 1.0, and they can't accurately do both ends of the scale.
        >
        > 11) How do I flavour/turn the vodka's into something else ?
        >
        > There are now many commercial flavourings available, which turn vodka into
        > pretty decent gin or whiskey, or all manor of liqueurs. See the commercial
        > sites, like Des Zines http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~topkiwi or Ray Toms
        > http://moonshine.co.nz/ for details.Or you can soak it with oak chips and
        > make whiskey, or soak fruits in it to make your own liqueurs.
        >
        > 12) What web resources are there ?
        >
        > For more details, see :
        > Tony Ackland's http://www.geocities.com/kiwi_distiller
        > Aaron Smiths's http://www.go.to/distillation
        > Steve Spence's http://www.webconx.com/ethanol.htm
        >
        > 13) How do I contact the NEW DISTILLERS news group ?
        >
        > Both the NEW DISTILLERS and the DISTILLERS news groups are available via
        > Egroups, at http://www.egroups.com . NEW DISTILLERS is, as the name
        > suggests, intended for those of you new to distilling and after simple,
        > straight-forward discussions, whereas the DISTILLERS group is a bit more
        > advanced, throwing in bits of design philosophy, theory, and alternative
        > ways of achieving the results. Both tend to overlap to some extent.
        >
        > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
        > Find long lost high school friends:
        > http://click.egroups.com/1/5535/4/_/834209/_/963212953/
        > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
        >
        > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        > new_distillers-unsubscribe@onelist.com

        --
        Ray Toms Moonshine Supplies, Taupo. New Zealand.
        http://moonshine.co.nz
        Home Brewing Equipment and Suppliers.
        Specialists in all aspects of Home Distillation and Wine/Beer Making.
      • Christopher Noyes
        Tony exelent info. I think most would assume gallons are u.s.. Or you could state u.s. or imperial gallons. chris noyes ... From: Tony & Elle Ackland
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 10, 2000
        • 0 Attachment
          Tony

          exelent info.

          I think most would assume gallons are u.s.. Or you could state u.s. or
          imperial gallons.

          chris noyes

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Tony & Elle Ackland <Tony.Ackland@...>
          To: 'new_distillers@egroups.com' <new_distillers@egroups.com>
          Date: Monday, July 10, 2000 12:09 AM
          Subject: [new_distillers] First draft of an FAQ


          >
          >Here's my stab at a Draft version of a NEW DISTILLERS FAQ.
          >Any comments, suggestions, additions, corrections, clarifications, etc
          >needed ?
          >
          >************************************************************************
          >********************
          >1) Is distilling hard to do ?
          >2) Is it legal ?
          >3) Will it make me blind ?
          >4) Whats the difference between a pot still, reflux still, and
          >fractionating column ?
          >5) How do I get or make a still ?
          >6) How do i make a whisky / rum / vodka ?
          >7) Should i use sugar or grains ?
          >8) Can I use fruit wine ?
          >9) How do i get rid of that "off-taste" ?
          >10) How do i measure the strength of it & dilute it ?
          >11) How do i flavour/turn the vodka's into something else ?
          >12) What web resources are there ?
          >13) How do I contact the NEW DISTILLERS news group ?
          >
          >************************************************************************
          >********************
          >
          >1) Is distilling hard to do ?
          >
          >Nope - if you can follow instructions enough to bake scones, then you can
          >sucessfully distil.
          >
          >
          >2) Is it legal ?
          >
          >Probably not. It is only legal in New Zealand, and some European countries
          >turn a blind eye to it, but elsewhere it is illegal, with punishment
          >ranging from fines to imprisonment or floggings. This action against it is
          >usually the result of either religous beliefs (right or wrong), but more
          >generally due to the great revenue base it provides Governements through
          >excise taxes. So if you are going to distil, just be aware of the potential
          >legal ramifications.
          >
          >
          >3) Will it make me blind ?
          >
          >Not if you're carefull. This pervasive question is due to moonshine lore,
          >which abounds with myths of blindness, but few actual documented cases.
          > The concern is due to the presence of methanol (wood alcohol), an optic
          >nerve poison, which can be present in small amounts when fermenting grains
          >or fruits high in pectin. This methanol comes off first from the still, so
          >it is easily segregated and discarded. A simple rule of thumb for this is
          >to throw away the first 50 mL you collect (per 20 L / 5 gal mash used).
          > Probably the greatest risk to your health during distilling is the risk of
          >fire - collecting a flammable liquid near a heat source. So keep a fire
          >extinguisher nearby.
          >
          >
          >4) Whats the difference between a pot still, reflux still, and
          >fractionating column ?
          >
          >A pot still simply collects and condenses the alcohol vapours that come off
          >the boiling mash. This will result in an alcohol at about 40-60% purity
          >(80-120 proof), with plenty of flavour in it. If this distillate were put
          >through the pot still again, it would increase in purity to around 70-85%
          >purity, and lose a bit of its flavour.
          >
          >A reflux still does these multiple distillations in one single go, by
          >having some packing in a column between the condensor & the pot, and
          >allowing some of the vapour to condense and trickle back down through the
          >packing. This "reflux" of liquid helps clean the rising vapour and
          >increase the % purity. The taller the packed column, and the more reflux
          >liquid, the purer the product will be. The advantage of doing this is that
          >it will result in a clean vodka, with little flavour to it - ideal for
          >mixing with flavours etc.
          >
          >A fractionating column is a pure form of the reflux still. It will
          >condense all the vapour at the top of the packing, and return about 9/10
          >back down the column. The column will be quite tall - say 600-1200mm (2-4
          >foot), and packed with a material high in surface area, but which takes up
          >little space (pot scrubbers are good for this). It will result in an
          >alcohol 95%+ pure (the theoretical limit without using a vacuum is 95.6%),
          > with no other tastes or impurities in it.
          >
          >
          >5) How do I get or make a still ?
          >
          >If you're after a pot still, these are generally home made using what-ever
          >you have at hand - say copper tubing and old water heaters or pressure
          >cookers. Reflux stills can be made from plans on the net, or bought from
          >several manufacturers. For reflux stil plans see Stillmakers :
          >http://stillmaker.dreamhost.com/ (free!) or Gert Strands :
          >http://partyman.se/Engelsk/default.htm (US$5), or for a fractionating
          >column see Nixon & Stones : http://www.gin-vodka.com/ (US$8). See the list
          >of "web resources" below for links to sites selling ready-made stills.
          >
          >
          >6) How do I make a whisky / vodka / rum ?
          >
          >Whiskey : Heat 4 kg cracked or crushed malt with 18 L of water to 63-65C,
          >and hold there for 1-1.5 hours. Heat to 73-75C, then strain off and keep
          >liquid, using 250 mL of hot water to rinse the grains. Cool to below 30C
          >(should have an initial specific gravity of 1.050). Add hydrated yeast &
          >leave to ferment (maintain at 26C) until airlock stops bubbling and final
          >SG of around 1.010. Let settle for a day, then syphon carefully into a pot
          >still. Discard the first 50 mL's, collect the next 2-3L of distillate or
          >until you start noticing the tails coming through.
          >Vodka : dissolve 5 kg of sugar & 60g of nutrients in 20L of water, cool to
          >below 30C and add hydrated yeast. Leave to ferment at 25C until below an
          >SG of around 0.990, then settle for a day. Syphon into a reflux or
          >fractionating still, and collect as per usual.
          >Rum : as per vodka, but use some brown sugar or mollasses, to give an
          >initial specific gravity (SG) of around 1.06 - 1.07. Run through either a
          >pot still, or a not-so-great reflux still.
          >
          >
          >7) Should I use sugar or grains ?
          >
          >It depends on what sort of still you have, and what you are trying to make.
          > If you have a reflux or fractionating still, only use whatever is cheapest
          >(usually sugar), as the refluxing will strip out all the flavours anyhow.
          > If you have a pot still, and are after a bourban or whiskey, then you need
          >to go the grain route, or mollasses if after a rum. If you are trying to
          >make a neutral spirit for flavouring, go for sugar.
          >
          >
          >8) Can I use fruit wine ?
          >
          >Sure, if you have it available. Again, using a pot still will result in a
          >brandy/grappa/schnapps, whereas a reflux still will just strip it down to
          >neutral spirit.
          >
          >
          >9) How do I get rid of that "off-taste" ?
          >
          >That "rough moonshine edge" or "off-taste / wet cardboard smell" is due to
          >impurities such as the higher order alcohols, known as cogeners or fusel
          >oils. These will be present more when using a pot still, less if using a
          >reflux still, and just about absent if using a fractionating column. So
          >one way is to use a taller packed column and increase the amount of reflux
          >occuring. They can also indicate that you've tried to collect too much of
          >the alcohol, and have run into the "tails"; so finish collecting a little
          >bit earlier next time. Soaking tainted alcohol with activated carbon for a
          >week (or even months) will help remove some of this flavour - this is known
          >as "polishing" the spirit.
          >
          >
          >10) How do I measure the strength of it & dilute it ?
          >
          >You need a hydrometer. This is a wee float, with a scale inside it. The
          >more alcohol that is present, the lighter the density of the liquid, so the
          >hydrometer sinks a bit lower. You then just read off the scale how much
          >alcohol is present. You need a seperate hydrometer for measuring the
          >density of the mash, as this is generally > 1.0, whereas the spirit is <
          >1.0, and they can't accurately do both ends of the scale.
          >
          >
          >11) How do I flavour/turn the vodka's into something else ?
          >
          >There are now many commercial flavourings available, which turn vodka into
          >pretty decent gin or whiskey, or all manor of liqueurs. See the commercial
          >sites, like Des Zines http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~topkiwi or Ray Toms
          >http://moonshine.co.nz/ for details.Or you can soak it with oak chips and
          >make whiskey, or soak fruits in it to make your own liqueurs.
          >
          >
          >12) What web resources are there ?
          >
          >For more details, see :
          >Tony Ackland's http://www.geocities.com/kiwi_distiller
          >Aaron Smiths's http://www.go.to/distillation
          >Steve Spence's http://www.webconx.com/ethanol.htm
          >
          >
          >13) How do I contact the NEW DISTILLERS news group ?
          >
          >Both the NEW DISTILLERS and the DISTILLERS news groups are available via
          >Egroups, at http://www.egroups.com . NEW DISTILLERS is, as the name
          >suggests, intended for those of you new to distilling and after simple,
          >straight-forward discussions, whereas the DISTILLERS group is a bit more
          >advanced, throwing in bits of design philosophy, theory, and alternative
          >ways of achieving the results. Both tend to overlap to some extent.
          >
          >------------------------------------------------------------------------
          >Find long lost high school friends:
          >http://click.egroups.com/1/5535/4/_/834209/_/963212953/
          >------------------------------------------------------------------------
          >
          >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          >new_distillers-unsubscribe@onelist.com
          >
          >
          >
        • Young Des Zein
          Very good work Tony and the suggestions Im sure are welcome, its comming along well. Maybe a reference to the various measurements used in distilling may be
          Message 4 of 4 , Jul 18, 2000
          • 0 Attachment
            Very good work Tony and the suggestions Im sure are welcome, its
            comming along well. Maybe a reference to the various measurements
            used in distilling may be helpful as well. As has been pointed out
            in previous postings confusion reigns where measurements are
            concerned.

            Young Des






            --- In new_distillers@egroups.com, "Christopher Noyes" <cnoyes@o...>
            wrote:
            > Tony
            >
            > exelent info.
            >
            > I think most would assume gallons are u.s.. Or you could state
            u.s. or
            > imperial gallons.
            >
            > chris noyes
            >
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: Tony & Elle Ackland <Tony.Ackland@c...>
            > To: 'new_distillers@egroups.com' <new_distillers@egroups.com>
            > Date: Monday, July 10, 2000 12:09 AM
            > Subject: [new_distillers] First draft of an FAQ
            >
            >
            > >
            > >Here's my stab at a Draft version of a NEW DISTILLERS FAQ.
            > >Any comments, suggestions, additions, corrections, clarifications,
            etc
            > >needed ?
            > >
            >
            >*********************************************************************
            ***
            > >********************
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.