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Re: Recipe as simple as it gets

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  • rye_junkie1
    What I get is an honest 90% ... Thanks for the advice Harry. Pint and I discussed shortly last week on the use of carbon and I have some decent 45% sitting on
    Message 1 of 9 , Jun 2, 2008
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      What I get is an honest 90%
      > at
      > > 60F with the hydrometer. I always do a stripping run and then
      > > reflux/spirit run. Its still good spirit mind you but not
      > perfection.
      > > I make a fairly generous heads cut and run at about 600-
      > 700ml/hour.
      > > The spirit is crystal clear and the smells and tastes that I am
      > > getting are definitely not tails. I let the column equalize for at
      > > least an hour under full reflux with the valve closed and the boiler
      > > is charged with at least 3 gallons of low wines at 40-50%.
      > > Ken, This is basically what i have been trying to bug you in
      > private
      > > about.
      > >
      > > Mason
      > > Heading Home
      > > Catch up to you guys in a hour or so.
      > >
      >
      >
      > Mason,
      >
      > There are contaminants dissolved in high-strength spirit (even in
      > azeotrope ethanol, 95.6%). There are two ways to achieve good
      > separation.
      >
      > 1. Dilute the boiler charge to below 30% a/v. This allows any
      > dissolved fusels to come out of solution. Fusels dissolve well in
      > alcohol but not so well in water, so lower the charge percentage as a
      > first step. Skim the top layer (oils float) and throw it in the
      > feints receiver for recycling. Then use the rest of it as your
      > charge for the reflux still (you can't make true neutral or vodka
      > without refluxing).
      >
      > 2. Polish your NEUTRAL spirit with carbon to remove any possible
      > contaminants that may still be left (dissolved fusels, carbs, gases).
      >
      > DO NOT confuse NEUTRAL alcohol with AZEOTROPE. Read this thread
      > starting with this message...
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/message/42630
      >
      > True vodka (US definition: no smell, no taste) is extremely hard to
      > achieve. That's why commercial outfits have several rectifying
      > columns to clean it up.
      >
      >
      > Slainte!
      > regards Harry
      >

      Thanks for the advice Harry. Pint and I discussed shortly last week
      on the use of carbon and I have some decent 45% sitting on some now at
      1/4 cup/liter. I did not know about the first suggestion though. How
      long before you get an oil slick on top to skim. Is this reaction
      almost immediate or does it need to rest for a bit. "True Vodka" is
      not what I am trying to achieve really as I realize what you have
      pointed out. I am just sure that I can achieve better and more
      NEUTRAL than what I have thats all.

      Mason
      And here I was worried that I might finish the day
      without learning something new.
    • rye_junkie1
      ... I did not know about the first suggestion though. How ... Harry, You never got back to me about this. Mason
      Message 2 of 9 , Jun 4, 2008
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        > > Mason,
        > >
        > > There are contaminants dissolved in high-strength spirit (even in
        > > azeotrope ethanol, 95.6%). There are two ways to achieve good
        > > separation.
        > >
        > > 1. Dilute the boiler charge to below 30% a/v. This allows any
        > > dissolved fusels to come out of solution. Fusels dissolve well in
        > > alcohol but not so well in water, so lower the charge percentage as a
        > > first step. Skim the top layer (oils float) and throw it in the
        > > feints receiver for recycling. Then use the rest of it as your
        > > charge for the reflux still (you can't make true neutral or vodka
        > > without refluxing).

        > > Slainte!
        > > regards Harry
        > >
        >
        > Thanks for the advice Harry.
        I did not know about the first suggestion though. How
        > long before you get an oil slick on top to skim. Is this reaction
        > almost immediate or does it need to rest for a bit. "True Vodka" is
        > not what I am trying to achieve really as I realize what you have
        > pointed out. I am just sure that I can achieve better and more
        > NEUTRAL than what I have thats all.
        >
        > Mason

        Harry,
        You never got back to me about this.

        Mason
      • Harry
        ... ........Don t think that you have fusels automatically just because you have funky distillate. There are many reasons for off tastes and smells. You
        Message 3 of 9 , Jun 4, 2008
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          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "rye_junkie1" <rye_junkie@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > > >
          > >
          > > Thanks for the advice Harry.
          > I did not know about the first suggestion though. How
          > > long before you get an oil slick on top to skim. Is this reaction
          > > almost immediate or does it need to rest for a bit.


          ........Don't think that you have fusels automatically just because
          you have 'funky' distillate. There are many reasons for 'off' tastes
          and smells. You only get an oil slick if there's dissolved fusels,
          which are mostly the higher alcohols that don't dissolve well in
          water, but do in ethanol. It shows up on the surface of the still
          charge pretty quick after you dilute it under 30%. But you may not
          have dissolved fusels. You may instead have residual protein and
          dissolved gases, which obviously won't show up as a 'oil slick'. Or
          you may have all of the above.

          Again, dilution brings these out of solution because they are more
          capable of dissolving in ethanol than water. Fusels will float,
          gases will dissipate, solids (proteins) will settle out
          (precipitate). Both fusels and gases can be removed with carbon in a
          finished distillate. But not the proteins. They require filtering
          with a .5 micron or less filter.

          The proteins are a common cause of that fluffy white sediment you see
          in bottles left standing undisturbed for any length of time. The
          protein is not visible at high strength, but visible after diluting
          and bottling.

          "True Vodka" is
          > > not what I am trying to achieve really as I realize what you have
          > > pointed out. I am just sure that I can achieve better and more
          > > NEUTRAL than what I have thats all.

          .............. There is no 'quick & easy' cure-all. But if you
          attack each possible contaminant source, one by one, you will greatly
          improve your distillate.

          May I also suggest you read Kris Berglund's "Artisan Distilling" in
          my Library. There's a few remedies for distillate faults in there
          also, some of which have not been mentioned in these groups, probably
          because we're now getting into the advanced distilling area rather
          than just learning & doing the basics.


          HTH
          Slainte!
          regards Harry
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