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Pot or Reflux for Whiskey?

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  • Brian Bohannon
    I am interested is trying my hand at distilling some whiskey but I can t decide from everything I have read between a pot or reflux still. Which do most
    Message 1 of 24 , Jan 26, 2008
      I am interested is trying my hand at distilling some whiskey but I
      can't decide from everything I have read between a pot or reflux
      still. Which do most prefer? I am a JD Black Label drinker.
    • SLOUGHVIEW@aol.com
      j would use a pot still, you will get better flavor. slouhg ... From: Brian Bohannon To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com Sent: Sat, 26 Jan
      Message 2 of 24 , Jan 26, 2008
        j would use a pot still, you will get better flavor.
        slouhg


        -----Original Message-----
        From: Brian Bohannon <bbb511us@...>
        To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Sat, 26 Jan 2008 6:17 pm
        Subject: [new_distillers] Pot or Reflux for Whiskey?























        I am interested is trying my hand at distilling some
        whiskey but I

        can't decide from everything I have read between a pot or reflux

        still. Which do most prefer? I am a JD Black Label drinker.




























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      • Derek Hamlet
        ... Making a whisky of any description requires allowing flavors to get through to the product. The purpose of a reflux still basically is to remove flavors by
        Message 3 of 24 , Jan 26, 2008
          At 06:17 PM 1/26/2008, you wrote:

          >I am interested is trying my hand at distilling some whiskey but I
          >can't decide from everything I have read between a pot or reflux
          >still. Which do most prefer? I am a JD Black Label drinker.

          Making a whisky of any description requires allowing flavors to get
          through to the product.
          The purpose of a reflux still basically is to remove flavors by
          re-distilling portions of the distillate which means removing flavors.
          So, to make the best whisky requires letting your still run more or
          less full tilt boogie with no packing (pot still). Your foreshots
          are removed as per usual, and then when the temps start to rise and
          you are into tails, then you take smaller and smaler cuts. Portions
          of these tails are added back to the middle cuts to add the
          flavor. That is where the art comes in as it is in the magic of the
          distillers taste buds to get what he/she desires.
          Then, of course there is the oak aging to make it a real whisky.


          Derek
          "From the cradle to the crypt it's a mighty short trip
          So you'd better get it while you can!"
          -from the Ballad of Carl Martin by Steve Goodman
        • Larry Collins
          ... If you goal is to make anything but neutral spirits, you want a pot still. A reflux still is good for making Vodka, and any kind of flavored drink with a
          Message 4 of 24 , Jan 26, 2008
            At 08:17 PM 01/26/2008, you wrote:

            >I am interested is trying my hand at distilling some whiskey but I
            >can't decide from everything I have read between a pot or reflux
            >still. Which do most prefer?

            If you goal is to make anything but neutral spirits, you want a pot
            still. A reflux still is good for making Vodka, and any kind of flavored
            drink with a flavorless alcohol as it's basis.

            But if you intend to make rum, whiskey, etc. a pot still is the way to go
            about that.
          • abbababbaccc
            Reflux still does not magically remove flavors, it concentrates different boiling point compounds making it easier to remove them in order of boiling point.
            Message 5 of 24 , Jan 27, 2008
              Reflux still does not magically remove flavors, it concentrates
              different boiling point compounds making it easier to remove them in
              order of boiling point. You can just as well make whiskey with a
              reflux still, but it's easier to get consistent results with a
              potstill since you only need to fire it up and do the cuts by ABV.

              Cheers, Riku

              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Derek Hamlet <derekhamlet@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > At 06:17 PM 1/26/2008, you wrote:
              >
              > >I am interested is trying my hand at distilling some whiskey but I
              > >can't decide from everything I have read between a pot or reflux
              > >still. Which do most prefer? I am a JD Black Label drinker.
              >
              > Making a whisky of any description requires allowing flavors to get
              > through to the product.
              > The purpose of a reflux still basically is to remove flavors by
              > re-distilling portions of the distillate which means removing
              flavors.
              > So, to make the best whisky requires letting your still run more or
              > less full tilt boogie with no packing (pot still). Your foreshots
              > are removed as per usual, and then when the temps start to rise and
              > you are into tails, then you take smaller and smaler cuts.
              Portions
              > of these tails are added back to the middle cuts to add the
              > flavor. That is where the art comes in as it is in the magic of
              the
              > distillers taste buds to get what he/she desires.
              > Then, of course there is the oak aging to make it a real whisky.
              >
              >
              > Derek
              > "From the cradle to the crypt it's a mighty short trip
              > So you'd better get it while you can!"
              > -from the Ballad of Carl Martin by Steve Goodman
              >
            • Bill Miller
              ... I would have to agree. A pot still is your best choice. My question for the rest of the folks is this. Would a thumper before the coils give even more
              Message 6 of 24 , Jan 27, 2008
                --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Brian Bohannon" <bbb511us@...>
                wrote:
                >
                > I am interested is trying my hand at distilling some whiskey but I
                > can't decide from everything I have read between a pot or reflux
                > still. Which do most prefer? I am a JD Black Label drinker.
                >

                I would have to agree. A pot still is your best choice. My question for
                the rest of the folks is this. Would a thumper before the coils give
                even more flavor?
              • waljaco
                A thumper is the horizontal equivalent to a column plate . An alternative would be 100mm of scourers in a vertical 50mm copper tube. wal
                Message 7 of 24 , Jan 27, 2008
                  A thumper is the horizontal equivalent to a column 'plate'. An
                  alternative would be 100mm of scourers in a vertical 50mm copper tube.
                  wal
                  --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Miller" <bill1burp@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Brian Bohannon" <bbb511us@>
                  > wrote:
                  > >
                  > > I am interested is trying my hand at distilling some whiskey but I
                  > > can't decide from everything I have read between a pot or reflux
                  > > still. Which do most prefer? I am a JD Black Label drinker.
                  > >
                  >
                  > I would have to agree. A pot still is your best choice. My question for
                  > the rest of the folks is this. Would a thumper before the coils give
                  > even more flavor?
                  >
                • Harry
                  ... for ... Depends on what the start charge is in the thumper...water, mash, feints high wines or pot ale. Lots of different ways of running thumpers. Much
                  Message 8 of 24 , Jan 27, 2008
                    --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Miller" <bill1burp@...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Brian Bohannon" <bbb511us@>
                    > wrote:
                    > >
                    > > I am interested is trying my hand at distilling some whiskey but I
                    > > can't decide from everything I have read between a pot or reflux
                    > > still. Which do most prefer? I am a JD Black Label drinker.
                    > >
                    >
                    > I would have to agree. A pot still is your best choice. My question
                    for
                    > the rest of the folks is this. Would a thumper before the coils give
                    > even more flavor?
                    >



                    Depends on what the start charge is in the thumper...water, mash,
                    feints high wines or pot ale.
                    Lots of different ways of running thumpers. Much depends on what
                    you're making.

                    Slainte!
                    regards Harry
                  • Bill Miller
                    ... ... but I ... reflux ... question ... give ... This post started with what still should be used for whiskey? I think hands down a pot still is
                    Message 9 of 24 , Jan 27, 2008
                      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Miller" <bill1burp@>
                      > wrote:
                      > >
                      > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Brian Bohannon"
                      <bbb511us@>
                      > > wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > I am interested is trying my hand at distilling some whiskey
                      but I
                      > > > can't decide from everything I have read between a pot or
                      reflux
                      > > > still. Which do most prefer? I am a JD Black Label drinker.
                      > > >
                      > >
                      > > I would have to agree. A pot still is your best choice. My
                      question
                      > for
                      > > the rest of the folks is this. Would a thumper before the coils
                      give
                      > > even more flavor?
                      > >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Depends on what the start charge is in the thumper...water, mash,
                      > feints high wines or pot ale.
                      > Lots of different ways of running thumpers. Much depends on what
                      > you're making.
                      >
                      > Slainte!
                      > regards Harry
                      >
                      This post started with what still should be used for whiskey?

                      I think hands down a pot still is the best but then I am just a
                      newbee. But with reading I found out about this thumper ability. So
                      if you started your first run and in the thumper you used some of
                      your mash. Then finished your run. Then from the first run you pull
                      your tails and use that in your thumper for the second run. Would
                      this give a better flavor on the second run?
                    • Harry
                      ... wrote: But with reading I found out about this thumper ability. So ... Short answer, YES! Slainte! regards Harry
                      Message 10 of 24 , Jan 27, 2008
                        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Miller" <bill1burp@...>
                        wrote:

                        But with reading I found out about this thumper ability. So
                        > if you started your first run and in the thumper you used some of
                        > your mash. Then finished your run. Then from the first run you pull
                        > your tails and use that in your thumper for the second run. Would
                        > this give a better flavor on the second run?
                        >


                        Short answer, YES!


                        Slainte!
                        regards Harry
                      • C D
                        I know the easiest and best answer is pot still. However, and the more learned among us please correct me, you can make whiskey using a valved reflux still.
                        Message 11 of 24 , Jan 27, 2008
                          I know the easiest and best answer is pot still. However, and the
                          more learned among us please correct me, you can make whiskey using a
                          valved reflux still. Just keep the reflux valve closed. Plenty of
                          congeners will make it through for flavoring. Then into the oak
                          barrel for mellowing.
                        • bbornais
                          If you invest in a large bottle of iodophor, you will not be sorry. The stuff lasts a loooooonnnng time, and is so much easier, effective, and all around less
                          Message 12 of 24 , Jan 27, 2008
                            If you invest in a large bottle of iodophor, you will not be sorry.
                            The stuff lasts a loooooonnnng time, and is so much easier,
                            effective, and all around less nasty than bleach or metabisulfite.

                            So I guess my suggestion, since I can't direct you to some cheaply,
                            is to fork out the dough for the large bottle, and you won't regret
                            it.

                            Bryan.

                            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Miller" <bill1burp@...>
                            wrote:
                            >
                            > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@>
                            > wrote:
                            > >
                            > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Miller" <bill1burp@>
                            > > wrote:
                            > > >
                            > > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Brian Bohannon"
                            > <bbb511us@>
                            > > > wrote:
                            > > > >
                            > > > > I am interested is trying my hand at distilling some whiskey
                            > but I
                            > > > > can't decide from everything I have read between a pot or
                            > reflux
                            > > > > still. Which do most prefer? I am a JD Black Label drinker.
                            > > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > I would have to agree. A pot still is your best choice. My
                            > question
                            > > for
                            > > > the rest of the folks is this. Would a thumper before the coils
                            > give
                            > > > even more flavor?
                            > > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > Depends on what the start charge is in the thumper...water, mash,
                            > > feints high wines or pot ale.
                            > > Lots of different ways of running thumpers. Much depends on what
                            > > you're making.
                            > >
                            > > Slainte!
                            > > regards Harry
                            > >
                            > This post started with what still should be used for whiskey?
                            >
                            > I think hands down a pot still is the best but then I am just a
                            > newbee. But with reading I found out about this thumper ability. So
                            > if you started your first run and in the thumper you used some of
                            > your mash. Then finished your run. Then from the first run you pull
                            > your tails and use that in your thumper for the second run. Would
                            > this give a better flavor on the second run?
                            >
                          • bbornais
                            Classical theory would call it fients, since you don t keep the heads and tails in separate containers, but either way it sounds like some tasty chemistry.
                            Message 13 of 24 , Jan 27, 2008
                              Classical theory would call it fients, since you don't keep the heads
                              and tails in separate containers, but either way it sounds like some
                              tasty chemistry.

                              Bryan.

                              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...>
                              wrote:
                              >
                              > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Miller" <bill1burp@>
                              > wrote:
                              >
                              > But with reading I found out about this thumper ability. So
                              > > if you started your first run and in the thumper you used some of
                              > > your mash. Then finished your run. Then from the first run you
                              pull
                              > > your tails and use that in your thumper for the second run. Would
                              > > this give a better flavor on the second run?
                              > >
                              >
                              >
                              > Short answer, YES!
                              >
                              >
                              > Slainte!
                              > regards Harry
                              >
                            • Eric Yendall
                              Just so that I am clear on this: if I have a reflux still, remove the packing and operate it at full speed, I will have in effect a pot still?
                              Message 14 of 24 , Jan 27, 2008
                                Just so that I am clear on this: if I have a reflux
                                still, remove the packing and operate it at full
                                speed, I will have in effect a pot still?


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                              • Harry
                                ... Pretty much, yes. Go back to standard distillation theory. Potstills perform one simple distillation at a time. A potstill consists of a boiler, a
                                Message 15 of 24 , Jan 27, 2008
                                  --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Eric Yendall
                                  <eric_yendall@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Just so that I am clear on this: if I have a reflux
                                  > still, remove the packing and operate it at full
                                  > speed, I will have in effect a pot still?



                                  Pretty much, yes. Go back to standard distillation theory.
                                  Potstills perform one simple distillation at a time. A potstill
                                  consists of a boiler, a takeoff tube to channel off the vapour, and
                                  a condenser to liquefy said vapour.

                                  A reflux still has a packed column. This packing (via reflux or
                                  returned liquid) is to allow many condensations and revaporisations
                                  of the vapour before you remove it (or it's condensate) from the
                                  column as product. In effect, 7, 10, 20 or more simple
                                  distillations (or potstills) stacked on top of each other.

                                  Think of a reflux column as a reactor. The packed (or tray) column
                                  is where all the action is in reflux stills. This is one of the two
                                  hardest points for newcomers to grasp. The other point being the
                                  boiling points of mixtures and temp control (it is not controllable,
                                  only energy input is controllable). But point no.2 is not relevant
                                  to your question. I just included it as an example of the hard bits
                                  to get one's head around.


                                  Slainte!
                                  regards Harry
                                • bbornais
                                  you will make a finer product if you don t run full out in pot still mode, as you will probably add a plate or two, and be able to take more significant cuts.
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Jan 27, 2008
                                    you will make a finer product if you don't run full out in pot still
                                    mode, as you will probably add a plate or two, and be able to take
                                    more significant cuts.

                                    Bryan.

                                    --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...>
                                    wrote:
                                    >
                                    > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Eric Yendall
                                    > <eric_yendall@> wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > Just so that I am clear on this: if I have a reflux
                                    > > still, remove the packing and operate it at full
                                    > > speed, I will have in effect a pot still?
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Pretty much, yes. Go back to standard distillation theory.
                                    > Potstills perform one simple distillation at a time. A potstill
                                    > consists of a boiler, a takeoff tube to channel off the vapour, and
                                    > a condenser to liquefy said vapour.
                                    >
                                    > A reflux still has a packed column. This packing (via reflux or
                                    > returned liquid) is to allow many condensations and revaporisations
                                    > of the vapour before you remove it (or it's condensate) from the
                                    > column as product. In effect, 7, 10, 20 or more simple
                                    > distillations (or potstills) stacked on top of each other.
                                    >
                                    > Think of a reflux column as a reactor. The packed (or tray) column
                                    > is where all the action is in reflux stills. This is one of the
                                    two
                                    > hardest points for newcomers to grasp. The other point being the
                                    > boiling points of mixtures and temp control (it is not
                                    controllable,
                                    > only energy input is controllable). But point no.2 is not relevant
                                    > to your question. I just included it as an example of the hard
                                    bits
                                    > to get one's head around.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Slainte!
                                    > regards Harry
                                    >
                                  • waljaco
                                    Commercial whisky still have large goose necks and sometimes a ball where some reflux occurs. You can emulate this with a column (with some packing if need
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Jan 27, 2008
                                      Commercial whisky still have large goose necks and sometimes a ball
                                      where some reflux occurs. You can emulate this with a column (with
                                      some packing if need be). Why double or triple distill when you can
                                      achieve the same result once.
                                      wal
                                      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "bbornais" <bbornais@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > you will make a finer product if you don't run full out in pot still
                                      > mode, as you will probably add a plate or two, and be able to take
                                      > more significant cuts.
                                      >
                                      > Bryan.
                                      >
                                      > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@>
                                      > wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Eric Yendall
                                      > > <eric_yendall@> wrote:
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Just so that I am clear on this: if I have a reflux
                                      > > > still, remove the packing and operate it at full
                                      > > > speed, I will have in effect a pot still?
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > Pretty much, yes. Go back to standard distillation theory.
                                      > > Potstills perform one simple distillation at a time. A potstill
                                      > > consists of a boiler, a takeoff tube to channel off the vapour, and
                                      > > a condenser to liquefy said vapour.
                                      > >
                                      > > A reflux still has a packed column. This packing (via reflux or
                                      > > returned liquid) is to allow many condensations and revaporisations
                                      > > of the vapour before you remove it (or it's condensate) from the
                                      > > column as product. In effect, 7, 10, 20 or more simple
                                      > > distillations (or potstills) stacked on top of each other.
                                      > >
                                      > > Think of a reflux column as a reactor. The packed (or tray) column
                                      > > is where all the action is in reflux stills. This is one of the
                                      > two
                                      > > hardest points for newcomers to grasp. The other point being the
                                      > > boiling points of mixtures and temp control (it is not
                                      > controllable,
                                      > > only energy input is controllable). But point no.2 is not relevant
                                      > > to your question. I just included it as an example of the hard
                                      > bits
                                      > > to get one's head around.
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > Slainte!
                                      > > regards Harry
                                      > >
                                      >
                                    • rye_junkie
                                      I have been making single runs for whiskey in a reflux still for a few months now and have posted methods and results in other threads. Most recently I used
                                      Message 18 of 24 , Jan 28, 2008
                                        I have been making single runs for whiskey in a reflux still for a few
                                        months now and have posted methods and results in other threads. Most
                                        recently I used my new BOK slant plate column to make some very good
                                        Corn whiskey By running it with no packing but with the valve closed
                                        to 2-3 drips per second. The column maintained 179F for most of the
                                        run and when it started to climb I could smell the tails. ABV at that
                                        point was 65%. The product for drinking wound up at 74%. This was a
                                        single run. At no point did I get an ABV above 80%. When you get
                                        above 80 you start loosing flavor. In a pot still This would have
                                        taken 2 maybe 3 runs. Packing in my experience strips flavor away so
                                        for whiskey I do not use it. My take on the subject anyway.

                                        Mason

                                        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "waljaco" <waljaco@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Commercial whisky still have large goose necks and sometimes a ball
                                        > where some reflux occurs. You can emulate this with a column (with
                                        > some packing if need be). Why double or triple distill when you can
                                        > achieve the same result once.
                                        > wal
                                      • abbababbaccc
                                        Well, running with more reflux takes more time which increases the change of getting burnt grains/sugar taste to your whiskey. Commercial guys do not have to
                                        Message 19 of 24 , Jan 28, 2008
                                          Well, running with more reflux takes more time which increases the
                                          change of getting burnt grains/sugar taste to your whiskey. Commercial
                                          guys do not have to worry about this as they generally heat with steam
                                          coils. Also, with double distillation you can combine three batches of
                                          low wines to one second run which allows more precision for cuts.

                                          That all being said I personally use about 40cm high empty column in my
                                          potstill (42mm column, 3kW power for second run) and it seems to give
                                          good results with double distillation.

                                          Cheers, Riku

                                          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "waljaco" <waljaco@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > Commercial whisky still have large goose necks and sometimes a ball
                                          > where some reflux occurs. You can emulate this with a column (with
                                          > some packing if need be). Why double or triple distill when you can
                                          > achieve the same result once.
                                          > wal
                                          >
                                        • morganfield1
                                          Couldn t agree more, Wal. Tip one, Morgan
                                          Message 20 of 24 , Jan 28, 2008
                                            Couldn't agree more, Wal.

                                            Tip one, Morgan

                                            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "waljaco" <waljaco@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            > Commercial whisky still have large goose necks and sometimes a ball
                                            > where some reflux occurs. You can emulate this with a column (with
                                            > some packing if need be). Why double or triple distill when you can
                                            > achieve the same result once.
                                            > wal
                                            >
                                          • Zapata Vive
                                            Riku Would you mind sharing the specs of your condenser and cooling system for the 3 kw potstill? Liebig, coil, pump, flow rate, water temps etc. Also, you
                                            Message 21 of 24 , Jan 30, 2008
                                              Riku
                                               
                                              Would you mind sharing the specs of your condenser and cooling system for the 3 kw potstill?  Liebig, coil, pump, flow rate, water temps etc.  Also, you say you use 3 kw for the spirit run, what about stripping, and do you use the same condenser setup for stripping? 
                                              Thanks!
                                               
                                              Zapata
                                               
                                              ----- Original Message -----
                                              Sent: Monday, January 28, 2008 12:34 PM
                                              Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Pot or Reflux for Whiskey?

                                              <snip>
                                              That all being said I personally use about 40cm high empty column in my
                                              potstill (42mm column, 3kW power for second run) and it seems to give
                                              good results with double distillation.

                                              Cheers, Riku

                                              .

                                            • abbababbaccc
                                              It s a double coil made out of 5 meters of 5mm copperpipe and fed from water mains. I have a U-shaped 42mm pipe coming from the lid. The upwards part is
                                              Message 22 of 24 , Jan 30, 2008
                                                It's a double coil made out of 5 meters of 5mm copperpipe and fed
                                                from water mains. I have a U-shaped 42mm pipe coming from the lid.
                                                The upwards part is basically empty column giving some reflux action
                                                while the down part houses the coil. Below the coil I have a reducer
                                                that guides spirits to parrot's beak or bottle. Coil ends come
                                                through that reducer and bend upwards. There's a photo of that in the
                                                whiskey chapter of my new book, IIRC titled as stripping run.

                                                When I strip sugar mashes I run at full 3kW. For lautered non boiled
                                                malt mashes I need to cut the power to 1kW once it starts boiling and
                                                I can switch to 2kW after half an hour or so. This with 25 liters
                                                mash in 32 liters boiler. The stripping run of my latest wheat flour
                                                mash experiment went OK with full 3kW.

                                                Cheers, Riku

                                                --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Zapata Vive" <zapatavive@...>
                                                wrote:
                                                >
                                                > Riku
                                                >
                                                > Would you mind sharing the specs of your condenser and cooling
                                                system for the 3 kw potstill? Liebig, coil, pump, flow rate, water
                                                temps etc. Also, you say you use 3 kw for the spirit run, what about
                                                stripping, and do you use the same condenser setup for stripping?
                                                > Thanks!
                                                >
                                                > Zapata
                                                >
                                                >
                                              • gff_stwrt
                                                ... get ... flavors. ... or ... and ... Portions ... the ... Derek snip Derek, Thanks for that clear and simple explanation; I have distilled a few runs and
                                                Message 23 of 24 , Feb 3, 2008
                                                  --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Derek Hamlet
                                                  <derekhamlet@...> wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  > At 06:17 PM 1/26/2008, you wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  > >I am interested is trying my hand at distilling some whiskey but I
                                                  > >can't decide from everything I have read between a pot or reflux
                                                  > >still. Which do most prefer? I am a JD Black Label drinker.
                                                  >
                                                  > Making a whisky of any description requires allowing flavors to
                                                  get
                                                  > through to the product.
                                                  > The purpose of a reflux still basically is to remove flavors by
                                                  > re-distilling portions of the distillate which means removing
                                                  flavors.
                                                  > So, to make the best whisky requires letting your still run more
                                                  or
                                                  > less full tilt boogie with no packing (pot still). Your foreshots
                                                  > are removed as per usual, and then when the temps start to rise
                                                  and
                                                  > you are into tails, then you take smaller and smaler cuts.
                                                  Portions
                                                  > of these tails are added back to the middle cuts to add the
                                                  > flavor. That is where the art comes in as it is in the magic of
                                                  the
                                                  > distillers taste buds to get what he/she desires.
                                                  > Then, of course there is the oak aging to make it a real whisky.
                                                  >
                                                  Derek

                                                  snip

                                                  Derek,

                                                  Thanks for that clear and simple explanation; I have
                                                  distilled a few runs and now want to learn to do it
                                                  better. And there seems to be a good few others in
                                                  the same situation.

                                                  Do you do this on the first run through the pot still,
                                                  or the second? And if the second, are there any other
                                                  small details that would help us less-experienced
                                                  distillers?

                                                  Thanks,

                                                  Regards to all,

                                                  The Baker
                                                  >
                                                • Gerard Lardner
                                                  Is there any advantage in using a column, empty or partially packed, on a pot still for whiskey and apple brandy? If so, how long a column would people
                                                  Message 24 of 24 , Feb 3, 2008
                                                    Is there any advantage in using a column, empty or partially packed, on
                                                    a "pot" still for whiskey and apple brandy? If so, how long a column
                                                    would people suggest? Could a reflux column be used with some or all of
                                                    the packing removed, and the reflux condenser closed off? Or is it
                                                    better to forget a column of any kind for this, and stick with a very
                                                    simple pot still?

                                                    Gerard

                                                    waljaco wrote:
                                                    > A thumper is the horizontal equivalent to a column 'plate'. An
                                                    > alternative would be 100mm of scourers in a vertical 50mm copper tube.
                                                    > wal
                                                    > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Miller" <bill1burp@...>
                                                    > wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    >> --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Brian Bohannon" <bbb511us@>
                                                    >> wrote:
                                                    >>
                                                    >>> I am interested is trying my hand at distilling some whiskey but I
                                                    >>> can't decide from everything I have read between a pot or reflux
                                                    >>> still. Which do most prefer? I am a JD Black Label drinker.
                                                    >>>
                                                    >>>
                                                    >> I would have to agree. A pot still is your best choice. My question for
                                                    >> the rest of the folks is this. Would a thumper before the coils give
                                                    >> even more flavor?
                                                    >>
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