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Cloudiness?

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  • ak_jay.1976
    Hey everybody, I m noticing something with my distilled spirits. They stay crystal clear and sparkling in jars at full strength, but once I dilute them down
    Message 1 of 18 , Jul 25, 2008
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      Hey everybody,

      I'm noticing something with my distilled spirits. They stay crystal
      clear and sparkling in jars at full strength, but once I dilute them
      down they begin to get slightly cloudy. I was diluting with
      distilled water to 45% but once I noticed the problem, I tried
      purified water (not sure what the difference is) and got the same
      results.

      In the past, I have always diluted and then added liquor quick
      flavors right away so the color kept me from noticing the
      cloudiness. I recently diluted and kept some in a jar before adding
      colors and flavors and that's when I noticed the cloudiness, and
      started to get concerned.

      Also, on occasion, I have noticed small particles in the stuff that
      I have diluted, and added flavors to. The seem to "appear" over
      time (a week or so). I dump the flavorings into the bottle first,
      then I run the alcohol through a coffee filter into the bottle. So
      I suppose the "floaties" could be coming from the flavorings but
      they definitely aren't present immediately after mixing. They just
      appear over time. I haven't yet seen any particles in the clear
      alcohol either before diluting or after but I'm doing some
      expirimenting now and I'm going to watch real closely for them.

      I should mention that all the jars and bottles get washed in a
      dishwasher and they stay in there until they are dry. They all get
      capped immediately after coming out. All the equipment is clean,
      but not sterile. Hydrometers, funnels and such just get rinsed off
      with tap water and stored in the cupboard.

      Any ideas as to what's going on here?

      Jay
    • rye_junkie1
      ... Sounds like You got yourself a case of Tails . Try watering some of it on down to below 30% and see if a Oil Slick forms on top. Harry gave me this
      Message 2 of 18 , Jul 25, 2008
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        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "ak_jay.1976" <ak_jay.1976@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > Hey everybody,
        >
        > I'm noticing something with my distilled spirits. They stay crystal
        > clear and sparkling in jars at full strength, but once I dilute them
        > down they begin to get slightly cloudy. I was diluting with
        > distilled water to 45% but once I noticed the problem, I tried
        > purified water (not sure what the difference is) and got the same
        > results.
        >
        > In the past, I have always diluted and then added liquor quick
        > flavors right away so the color kept me from noticing the
        > cloudiness. I recently diluted and kept some in a jar before adding
        > colors and flavors and that's when I noticed the cloudiness, and
        > started to get concerned.
        >
        > Also, on occasion, I have noticed small particles in the stuff that
        > I have diluted, and added flavors to. The seem to "appear" over
        > time (a week or so). I dump the flavorings into the bottle first,
        > then I run the alcohol through a coffee filter into the bottle. So
        > I suppose the "floaties" could be coming from the flavorings but
        > they definitely aren't present immediately after mixing. They just
        > appear over time. I haven't yet seen any particles in the clear
        > alcohol either before diluting or after but I'm doing some
        > expirimenting now and I'm going to watch real closely for them.
        >
        > I should mention that all the jars and bottles get washed in a
        > dishwasher and they stay in there until they are dry. They all get
        > capped immediately after coming out. All the equipment is clean,
        > but not sterile. Hydrometers, funnels and such just get rinsed off
        > with tap water and stored in the cupboard.
        >
        > Any ideas as to what's going on here?
        >
        > Jay
        >

        Sounds like You got yourself a case of "Tails". Try watering some of
        it on down to below 30% and see if a Oil Slick forms on top. Harry
        gave me this advice a few weeks ago. Probably just took the run too
        far. You cant see them in the spirit at High proof unless they are
        really bad. At lower ABV they make for a cloudy spirit and apparently
        below 30 they come on out of solution. Everybody that I have given a
        jar of my stuff to has always complemented me on how clear it was. It
        is usually the first thing they say. I guess the old bootleggers they
        had gotten stuff from in the past didnt care much for quality.
        If the slick forms you will probably want to throw it all back in the
        pot and give it another run making your cuts a little more carefully.
        Run it slow.

        Mason
      • ak_jay.1976
        I diluted some down to about 27% and I m waiting for it to settle and I ll check it out in a little while, maybe by the end of this message, I might see
        Message 3 of 18 , Jul 25, 2008
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          I diluted some down to about 27% and I'm waiting for it to settle
          and I'll check it out in a little while, maybe by the end of this
          message, I might see something.

          When you said it could be tails, my first thought was "but I'm
          getting the same results with every jar from that run". But I got
          to thinking and realized that I have no real way of being sure which
          jars came from which parts of the run or even which run they came
          from. This is due to my carbon filtering apparatus. From what I
          understand, the carbon cannot be allowed to absorb any air and must
          remain submerged under liquid. So I need to keep the filter column
          full of alcohol costantly. I take off the lid, pour 1 quart in the
          vessel on the top of the column, and then take 1 quart from the
          spigot at the bottom of the column. But the quart that I got out of
          the spigot is from the last few jars that I poured in and could
          quite possibly be from a seperate run altogether. Plus, I'm sure
          there is a certain amount of "cross contamination" from jar to jar
          while it's running through the filter. The only thing I make sure
          of is that the alcohol that I pour in is at least 90% or higher
          (anything lower than that just gets tossed into the next batch).

          So, I guess my point is, I can't know exactly what part of the run a
          jar came from after it's been run through the filter, but it seems
          like if it were tails causing the problem, that the cloudiness would
          be worse in some jars than in others. And so far, they all are
          looking about the same.

          Could my filtering meathod be causing any problems, like the alcohol
          sitting inside the column for a long time absorbing PVC from the
          column or something? How do other people use their filters? Also,
          How long could I expect the activated carbon to be effective before
          needing to change it?

          Ok, It's been probably 45 minutes now (I'm a fairly slow typist!)
          and I'm not seeing any oily slick whatsoever.

          Any other ideas?

          Jay



          > Sounds like You got yourself a case of "Tails". Try watering some
          of
          > it on down to below 30% and see if a Oil Slick forms on top. Harry
          > gave me this advice a few weeks ago. Probably just took the run
          too
          > far. You cant see them in the spirit at High proof unless they are
          > really bad. At lower ABV they make for a cloudy spirit and
          apparently
          > below 30 they come on out of solution. Everybody that I have
          given a
          > jar of my stuff to has always complemented me on how clear it
          was. It
          > is usually the first thing they say. I guess the old bootleggers
          they
          > had gotten stuff from in the past didnt care much for quality.
          > If the slick forms you will probably want to throw it all back in
          the
          > pot and give it another run making your cuts a little more
          carefully.
          > Run it slow.
          >
          > Mason
          >
        • KM Services
          I think your carbon filtering method needs a review my friend This is my opinion and if I am wrong I will be corrected I am sure... Cheers Ken Mc _____ From:
          Message 4 of 18 , Jul 25, 2008
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            I think your carbon filtering method needs a review my friend

             

            This is my opinion and if I am wrong I will be corrected I am sure...

            Cheers

            Ken Mc

             


            From: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com [mailto: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of ak_jay.1976
            Sent: Saturday, 26 July 2008 1:06 p.m.
            To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Cloudiness? and Carbon Filters

             

            I diluted some down to about 27% and I'm waiting for it to settle
            and I'll check it out in a little while, maybe by the end of this
            message, I might see something.

            When you said it could be tails, my first thought was "but I'm
            getting the same results with every jar from that run". But I got
            to thinking and realized that I have no real way of being sure which
            jars came from which parts of the run or even which run they came
            from. This is due to my carbon filtering apparatus. From what I
            understand, the carbon cannot be allowed to absorb any air and must
            remain submerged under liquid. So I need to keep the filter column
            full of alcohol costantly. I take off the lid, pour 1 quart in the
            vessel on the top of the column, and then take 1 quart from the
            spigot at the bottom of the column. But the quart that I got out of
            the spigot is from the last few jars that I poured in and could
            quite possibly be from a seperate run altogether. Plus, I'm sure
            there is a certain amount of "cross contamination" from jar to jar
            while it's running through the filter. The only thing I make sure
            of is that the alcohol that I pour in is at least 90% or higher
            (anything lower than that just gets tossed into the next batch).

            Carbon filtering only works on alcohol diluted to 50%ABV or 100% proof max if your alcohol is 90%ABV or 180%proof carbon filtering will not work plus carbon needs to be washed first to get rid of the dust then thoroughly wetted with water until saturated before running your cut alcohol through the filter



            So, I guess my point is, I can't know exactly what part of the run a
            jar came from after it's been run through the filter, but it seems
            like if it were tails causing the problem, that the cloudiness would
            be worse in some jars than in others. And so far, they all are
            looking about the same.

            Could my filtering meathod be causing any problems, like the alcohol
            sitting inside the column for a long time absorbing PVC from the
            column or something? How do other people use their filters? Also,
            How long could I expect the activated carbon to be effective before
            needing to change it?

            Ok, It's been probably 45 minutes now (I'm a fairly slow typist!)
            and I'm not seeing any oily slick whatsoever.

            Any other ideas?

            Jay

          • rye_junkie1
            ... I m gonna let a carbon expert take it from here. However some of your problem could be coming from PVC contamination. Another issue that i see is you are
            Message 5 of 18 , Jul 25, 2008
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              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "ak_jay.1976" <ak_jay.1976@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > I diluted some down to about 27% and I'm waiting for it to settle
              > and I'll check it out in a little while, maybe by the end of this
              > message, I might see something.
              >
              > When you said it could be tails, my first thought was "but I'm
              > getting the same results with every jar from that run". But I got
              > to thinking and realized that I have no real way of being sure which
              > jars came from which parts of the run or even which run they came
              > from. This is due to my carbon filtering apparatus. From what I
              > understand, the carbon cannot be allowed to absorb any air and must
              > remain submerged under liquid. So I need to keep the filter column
              > full of alcohol costantly. I take off the lid, pour 1 quart in the
              > vessel on the top of the column, and then take 1 quart from the
              > spigot at the bottom of the column. But the quart that I got out of
              > the spigot is from the last few jars that I poured in and could
              > quite possibly be from a seperate run altogether. Plus, I'm sure
              > there is a certain amount of "cross contamination" from jar to jar
              > while it's running through the filter. The only thing I make sure
              > of is that the alcohol that I pour in is at least 90% or higher
              > (anything lower than that just gets tossed into the next batch).
              >
              > So, I guess my point is, I can't know exactly what part of the run a
              > jar came from after it's been run through the filter, but it seems
              > like if it were tails causing the problem, that the cloudiness would
              > be worse in some jars than in others. And so far, they all are
              > looking about the same.
              >
              > Could my filtering meathod be causing any problems, like the alcohol
              > sitting inside the column for a long time absorbing PVC from the
              > column or something? How do other people use their filters? Also,
              > How long could I expect the activated carbon to be effective before
              > needing to change it?
              >
              > Ok, It's been probably 45 minutes now (I'm a fairly slow typist!)
              > and I'm not seeing any oily slick whatsoever.
              >
              > Any other ideas?
              >
              > Jay

              I'm gonna let a carbon expert take it from here. However some of your
              problem could be coming from PVC contamination. Another issue that i
              see is you are filtering 90% product. Everything that I have read on
              carbon filtering says that it must be below 50% to be anywhere near
              effective. 90% could also be capable of degrading PVC. I do not let
              product that strong anywhere near plastic.

              Mason
              Better to remain silent and be perceived an idiot.
              Ya'll know the rest.
            • Harry
              ... wrote: ... alcohol ... NEVER USE PVC tubing in contact with high-test alcohol. It s a guaranteed recipe for leaching
              Message 6 of 18 , Jul 25, 2008
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                --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "ak_jay.1976"
                <ak_jay.1976@...> wrote:
                <big snip>

                > Could my filtering meathod be causing any problems, like the
                alcohol
                > sitting inside the column for a long time absorbing PVC from the
                > column or something? How do other people use their filters? Also,
                > How long could I expect the activated carbon to be effective before
                > needing to change it?
                >
                > Ok, It's been probably 45 minutes now (I'm a fairly slow typist!)
                > and I'm not seeing any oily slick whatsoever.
                >
                > Any other ideas?
                >
                > Jay


                NEVER USE PVC tubing in contact with high-test alcohol. It's a
                guaranteed recipe for leaching plasticisers into your product.
                That's probably what you're seeing. Use copper or stainless tubing
                instead.

                Another possible cause is fatty acids, usually from the later part of
                the run, when cutting too much into the tails. But they can appear
                even in the hearts at times. Scotch Whisky is notorious for it.
                They add to the flavour profile.

                Fatty acids dissolve easily in strong alcohol and/or higher
                temperatures, but not so much in weaker alcohols at the lower temps
                (like room temp). So, when you water down below about 50% a/v or
                leave them stand at lower room temps for a few days, they precipitate
                (come out of solution) to form solids and appear as little flakes
                rather like scalp dandruff.

                Testing for fatty acids in newmake (white dog) is easy. Put a jar of
                high-test alcohol in the freezer overnight and look at it next
                morning. If you see white flaky material, that's fatty acids. It's
                up to you if you want to remove them or not. Chill filtering is the
                answer for this one: Chill your spirit to 2°C and run it through a 5
                micron wine filter. This is what some of the commercial boys do. It
                gives a sparkling clear product, but many Scotch afficionados (me
                included) prefer the spirit to be un-chill-filtered (some single
                malts are) for a richer Scotch experience.


                HTH

                Slainte!
                regards Harry
              • KM Services
                _____ From: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com [mailto:new_distillers@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of KM Services Sent: Saturday, 26 July 2008 1:43 p.m. To:
                Message 7 of 18 , Jul 25, 2008
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                  From: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com [mailto: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of KM Services
                  Sent: Saturday, 26 July 2008 1:43 p.m.
                  To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: RE: [new_distillers] Re: Cloudiness? and Carbon Filters

                   

                  I think your carbon filtering method needs a review my friend

                    Footnote: Have a good read of this ebook by Gert Strand on carbon and high ABV Alcohol and PVC do not mix Harry will you in on this

                  http://homedistiller.org/activated_book1.pdf

                   

                  This is my opinion and if I am wrong I will be corrected I am sure...

                  Cheers

                  Ken Mc

                   

                • ak_jay.1976
                  Ok, Ken, thanks for the tip on the %. As far as starting the carbon, I used the same meathod outlined in Gert Strand s book on filtering alcohol with
                  Message 8 of 18 , Jul 25, 2008
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                    Ok, Ken, thanks for the tip on the %. As far as "starting" the
                    carbon, I used the same meathod outlined in Gert Strand's book on
                    filtering alcohol with activated carbon. Washing, soaking, etc.

                    It sounds like you may have some expirience in carbon filtering...
                    Care to elaborate on any other part of my meathod that may need
                    a "review"?

                    Jay



                    --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "KM Services"
                    <km_services@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > I think your carbon filtering method needs a review my friend
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > This is my opinion and if I am wrong I will be corrected I am
                    sure...
                    >
                    > Cheers
                    >
                    > Ken Mc
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > _____
                    >
                    > From: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                    [mailto:new_distillers@yahoogroups.com]
                    > On Behalf Of ak_jay.1976
                    > Sent: Saturday, 26 July 2008 1:06 p.m.
                    > To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                    > Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Cloudiness? and Carbon Filters
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > I diluted some down to about 27% and I'm waiting for it to settle
                    > and I'll check it out in a little while, maybe by the end of this
                    > message, I might see something.
                    >
                    > When you said it could be tails, my first thought was "but I'm
                    > getting the same results with every jar from that run". But I got
                    > to thinking and realized that I have no real way of being sure
                    which
                    > jars came from which parts of the run or even which run they came
                    > from. This is due to my carbon filtering apparatus. From what I
                    > understand, the carbon cannot be allowed to absorb any air and
                    must
                    > remain submerged under liquid. So I need to keep the filter column
                    > full of alcohol costantly. I take off the lid, pour 1 quart in the
                    > vessel on the top of the column, and then take 1 quart from the
                    > spigot at the bottom of the column. But the quart that I got out
                    of
                    > the spigot is from the last few jars that I poured in and could
                    > quite possibly be from a seperate run altogether. Plus, I'm sure
                    > there is a certain amount of "cross contamination" from jar to jar
                    > while it's running through the filter. The only thing I make sure
                    > of is that the alcohol that I pour in is at least 90% or higher
                    > (anything lower than that just gets tossed into the next batch).
                    >
                    > Carbon filtering only works on alcohol diluted to 50%ABV or 100%
                    proof max
                    > if your alcohol is 90%ABV or 180%proof carbon filtering will not
                    work plus
                    > carbon needs to be washed first to get rid of the dust then
                    thoroughly
                    > wetted with water until saturated before running your cut alcohol
                    through
                    > the filter
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > So, I guess my point is, I can't know exactly what part of the run
                    a
                    > jar came from after it's been run through the filter, but it seems
                    > like if it were tails causing the problem, that the cloudiness
                    would
                    > be worse in some jars than in others. And so far, they all are
                    > looking about the same.
                    >
                    > Could my filtering meathod be causing any problems, like the
                    alcohol
                    > sitting inside the column for a long time absorbing PVC from the
                    > column or something? How do other people use their filters? Also,
                    > How long could I expect the activated carbon to be effective
                    before
                    > needing to change it?
                    >
                    > Ok, It's been probably 45 minutes now (I'm a fairly slow typist!)
                    > and I'm not seeing any oily slick whatsoever.
                    >
                    > Any other ideas?
                    >
                    > Jay
                    >
                  • ak_jay.1976
                    Hey Harry, thanks for the info. The flakes that I have seen look exactly like what you re describing. I ll try freezing, filtering them out. As far as the
                    Message 9 of 18 , Jul 25, 2008
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                      Hey Harry, thanks for the info. The flakes that I have seen look
                      exactly like what you're describing. I'll try freezing, filtering
                      them out. As far as the PVC, I'd love to throw away the filter that
                      I have and go get a nice, expensive, peice of copper to use but I
                      can't right now. Do you suppose that mine would be ok once I dilute
                      the alcohol to around 45%? I've always filtered first, then diluted
                      because that made more sense in my head (half the liquid, twice the
                      life of the carbon). But Ken filled me in that this is essentially
                      a waste of time. So I'll start diluting first and hopefully the
                      alcohol wil not be strong enough to degrade the PVC. Maybe someday
                      I'll build a nice one out of polished copper to match my still.

                      Thanks again,

                      Jay


                      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "ak_jay.1976"
                      > <ak_jay.1976@> wrote:
                      > <big snip>
                      >
                      > > Could my filtering meathod be causing any problems, like the
                      > alcohol
                      > > sitting inside the column for a long time absorbing PVC from the
                      > > column or something? How do other people use their filters?
                      Also,
                      > > How long could I expect the activated carbon to be effective
                      before
                      > > needing to change it?
                      > >
                      > > Ok, It's been probably 45 minutes now (I'm a fairly slow
                      typist!)
                      > > and I'm not seeing any oily slick whatsoever.
                      > >
                      > > Any other ideas?
                      > >
                      > > Jay
                      >
                      >
                      > NEVER USE PVC tubing in contact with high-test alcohol. It's a
                      > guaranteed recipe for leaching plasticisers into your product.
                      > That's probably what you're seeing. Use copper or stainless
                      tubing
                      > instead.
                      >
                      > Another possible cause is fatty acids, usually from the later part
                      of
                      > the run, when cutting too much into the tails. But they can
                      appear
                      > even in the hearts at times. Scotch Whisky is notorious for it.
                      > They add to the flavour profile.
                      >
                      > Fatty acids dissolve easily in strong alcohol and/or higher
                      > temperatures, but not so much in weaker alcohols at the lower
                      temps
                      > (like room temp). So, when you water down below about 50% a/v or
                      > leave them stand at lower room temps for a few days, they
                      precipitate
                      > (come out of solution) to form solids and appear as little flakes
                      > rather like scalp dandruff.
                      >
                      > Testing for fatty acids in newmake (white dog) is easy. Put a jar
                      of
                      > high-test alcohol in the freezer overnight and look at it next
                      > morning. If you see white flaky material, that's fatty acids.
                      It's
                      > up to you if you want to remove them or not. Chill filtering is
                      the
                      > answer for this one: Chill your spirit to 2°C and run it through
                      a 5
                      > micron wine filter. This is what some of the commercial boys do.
                      It
                      > gives a sparkling clear product, but many Scotch afficionados (me
                      > included) prefer the spirit to be un-chill-filtered (some single
                      > malts are) for a richer Scotch experience.
                      >
                      >
                      > HTH
                      >
                      > Slainte!
                      > regards Harry
                      >
                    • KM Services
                      Gidday Jay, Here is a message I wrote some time ago which may help you. Just as a note the Z filter I use is plastic as are many of the others here in NZ, but
                      Message 10 of 18 , Jul 26, 2008
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                        Gidday Jay,

                        Here is a message I wrote some time ago which may help you. Just as a note the Z filter I use is plastic as are many of the others here in NZ, but as before always cut to 50% max before running through you will find that when testing after filtering you will drop 1 or 2% so if you want it strong ie 45% only cut to 50%. I personally drink mine at 37% (then I can enjoy a decent shot without getting too pissed) so can cut to around 45% for filtering and will come out at around 42% ready for final cutting to my drinkable %. There is a new generation of filters on the market here ( New Zealand) which are similar to water filters which are replacing tube type filters, they have replaceable cartridges that are fitted each time and are getting very good reviews, plus are are so easy to use…fail proof.

                         

                        Like the

                        http://stillspirits.com/webfiles/StillSpirits/files/Technical_Notes.pdf

                        or   http://www.essencia.co.nz/Downloads/Carbon%20Filter%20Instructions.pdf

                         

                        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/message/28951

                        This is my opinion and if I am wrong I will be corrected I am sure...

                        Cheers

                        Ken Mc

                         


                        From: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com [mailto: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of ak_jay.1976
                        Sent: Saturday, 26 July 2008 2:18 p.m.
                        To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Cloudiness? and Carbon Filters

                         

                        Ok, Ken, thanks for the tip on the %. As far as "starting" the
                        carbon, I used the same meathod outlined in Gert Strand's book on
                        filtering alcohol with activated carbon. Washing, soaking, etc.

                        It sounds like you may have some expirience in carbon filtering...
                        Care to elaborate on any other part of my meathod that may need
                        a "review"?

                        Jay

                      • KM Services
                        From: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com [mailto:new_distillers@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of KM Services Sent: Sunday, 27 July 2008 8:10 a.m. To:
                        Message 11 of 18 , Jul 26, 2008
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                          From: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com [mailto: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of KM Services
                          Sent: Sunday, 27 July 2008 8:10 a.m.
                          To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: RE: [new_distillers] Re: Cloudiness? and Carbon Filters

                           

                          Gidday Jay,

                          Here is a message I wrote some time ago which may help you. Just as a note the Z filter I use is plastic as are many of the others here in NZ, but as before always cut to 50% max before running through you will find that when testing after filtering you will drop 1 or 2% so if you want it strong ie 45% only cut to 50%. I personally drink mine at 37% (then I can enjoy a decent shot without getting too pissed) so can cut to around 45% for filtering and will come out at around 42% ready for final cutting to my drinkable %. There is a new generation of filters on the market here ( New Zealand) which are similar to water filters which are replacing tube type filters, they have replaceable cartridges that are fitted each time and are getting very good reviews, plus are are so easy to use…fail proof.

                           

                          Like the

                          http://stillspirits .com/webfiles/ StillSpirits/ files/Technical_ Notes.pdf

                          or   http://www.essencia .co.nz/Downloads /Carbon%20Filter %20Instructions. pdf

                           

                          http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/new_ distillers/ message/28951

                          Footnote: my Z filter setup   http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/QIKLSB1LTdXfw97-F2C0xeio3S-ScDtXMENrcofxoy2eQW56fOYRbJHyiEzOAj1lN4ZeIpa0kzrnzJlV3fA20Z_QKek3ictDZQ/Ken%20Mc./Z%20Filter.pdf

                           

                          This is my opinion and if I am wrong I will be corrected I am sure...

                          Cheers

                          Ken Mc

                           

                        • ak_jay.1976
                          Thanks Ken, I m glad to hear that my filter is not completely useless. In the future, I ll dilute the alcohol first and see if that cures the cloudiness
                          Message 12 of 18 , Jul 26, 2008
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                            Thanks Ken,

                            I'm glad to hear that my filter is not completely useless. In the
                            future, I'll dilute the alcohol first and see if that cures the
                            cloudiness issue. As far as all the stuff I have now that's cloudy,
                            I'm going to either run it back through the filter to see if it
                            clears up or distill it again.

                            Thanks again,

                            Jay



                            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "KM Services"
                            <km_services@...> wrote:
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > From: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                            [mailto:new_distillers@yahoogroups.com]
                            > On Behalf Of KM Services
                            > Sent: Sunday, 27 July 2008 8:10 a.m.
                            > To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                            > Subject: RE: [new_distillers] Re: Cloudiness? and Carbon Filters
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Gidday Jay,
                            >
                            > Here is a message I wrote some time ago which may help you. Just
                            as a note
                            > the Z filter I use is plastic as are many of the others here in
                            NZ, but as
                            > before always cut to 50% max before running through you will find
                            that when
                            > testing after filtering you will drop 1 or 2% so if you want it
                            strong ie
                            > 45% only cut to 50%. I personally drink mine at 37% (then I can
                            enjoy a
                            > decent shot without getting too pissed) so can cut to around 45%
                            for
                            > filtering and will come out at around 42% ready for final cutting
                            to my
                            > drinkable %. There is a new generation of filters on the market
                            here ( New
                            > Zealand) which are similar to water filters which are replacing
                            tube type
                            > filters, they have replaceable cartridges that are fitted each
                            time and are
                            > getting very good reviews, plus are are so easy to use.fail proof.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Like the
                            >
                            > http://stillspirits
                            >
                            <http://stillspirits.com/webfiles/StillSpirits/files/Technical_Notes.
                            pdf>
                            > .com/webfiles/StillSpirits/files/Technical_Notes.pdf
                            >
                            > or http://www.essencia
                            > <http://www.essencia.co.nz/Downloads/Carbon%20Filter%
                            20Instructions.pdf>
                            > .co.nz/Downloads/Carbon%20Filter%20Instructions.pdf
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > http://groups.
                            <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/message/28951>
                            > yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/message/28951
                            >
                            > Footnote: my Z filter setup
                            > http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/QIKLSB1LTdXfw97-F2C0xeio3S-
                            ScDtXMENrcofxoy2eQW5
                            > 6fOYRbJHyiEzOAj1lN4ZeIpa0kzrnzJlV3fA20Z_QKek3ictDZQ/Ken%20Mc./Z%
                            20Filter.pdf
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > This is my opinion and if I am wrong I will be corrected I am
                            sure...
                            >
                            > Cheers
                            >
                            > Ken Mc
                            >
                          • KM Services
                            Jay, I was just looking at a picture of your carbon filter. It is massive! What diameter pipe is it? Looks around 60mm? And appears to be about2.4m high. Have
                            Message 13 of 18 , Jul 26, 2008
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                              Jay,

                              I was just looking at a picture of your carbon filter. It is massive! What diameter pipe is it? Looks around 60mm? And appears to be about2.4m high. Have you considered it is too big?and not allowing for full contact with the carbon and causing it to fun too fast? Normally they are  around 40mm diameter max and about 1.2m long, but in my opinion are much better bottom fed allowing the spirit to flow “up and over” which allows full contact with the carbon which is the principle of the z filter and the vertaflow filter which has a smaller total length than the Z filter yet very effective  http://www.spiritsandbrewing.co.nz/mwdata/spiritsandbrewing/files/vertaflow_instructions.pdf  maybe this could help

                               

                               

                              This is my opinion and if I am wrong I will be corrected I am sure...

                              Cheers

                              Ken Mc

                            • Are you crazy? Jay is as real is I'll ge
                              Hey Ken, There is a bit of illusion happening in that pic. The pipe is 1.5 inches which, I think, is around 40mm. It is about 5.5 feet tall and I don t know
                              Message 14 of 18 , Jul 27, 2008
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                                Hey Ken,

                                There is a bit of illusion happening in that pic. The pipe is 1.5
                                inches which, I think, is around 40mm. It is about 5.5 feet tall
                                and I don't know what that is in meters. I control the flow by the
                                brass spigot on the bottom. I only open it enough to collect about
                                a quart (liter) in 20 minutes or so.

                                Like I said, there is some illusion happening. The doorway you see
                                is actually a small narrow stairwell coming up from a lower level.
                                And If there were a normal sized person standing in that photo, his
                                head would be about the same height as the light bulb.

                                I don't claim to know a great deal about carbon filtering. I only
                                know what I've read in Gert Strand's book, which goes into TOO much
                                detail in some areas and NOT ENOUGH detail in others. But I think
                                that my spirits taste better after going through the filter, as do
                                some of my friends. What I really want to learn is how to know when
                                it's time to change the carbon. Is there a golden rule for this?

                                Thanks for the help, Ken.

                                Jay



                                --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "KM Services"
                                <km_services@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Jay,
                                >
                                > I was just looking at a picture of your carbon filter. It is
                                massive! What
                                > diameter pipe is it? Looks around 60mm? And appears to be
                                about2.4m high.
                                > Have you considered it is too big?and not allowing for full
                                contact with the
                                > carbon and causing it to fun too fast? Normally they are around
                                40mm
                                > diameter max and about 1.2m long, but in my opinion are much
                                better bottom
                                > fed allowing the spirit to flow "up and over" which allows full
                                contact with
                                > the carbon which is the principle of the z filter and the
                                vertaflow filter
                                > which has a smaller total length than the Z filter yet very
                                effective
                                >
                                http://www.spiritsandbrewing.co.nz/mwdata/spiritsandbrewing/files/ver
                                taflow_
                                > instructions.pdf maybe this could help
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > This is my opinion and if I am wrong I will be corrected I am
                                sure...
                                >
                                > Cheers
                                >
                                > Ken Mc
                                >
                              • KM Services
                                Yeap! The photo does give an odd perspective looks much larger than you say, sorry about the confusion. Personally I use fresh carbon for each run This is my
                                Message 15 of 18 , Jul 27, 2008
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                                  Yeap! The photo does give an odd perspective looks much larger than you say, sorry about the confusion. Personally I use fresh carbon for each run

                                   

                                  This is my opinion and if I am wrong I will be corrected I am sure...

                                  Cheers

                                  Ken Mc

                                   


                                  From: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com [mailto: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Are you crazy? Jay is as real is I'll get!
                                  Sent: Sunday, 27 July 2008 8:53 p.m.
                                  To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Cloudiness? and Carbon Filters

                                   

                                  Hey Ken,

                                  There is a bit of illusion happening in that pic. The pipe is 1.5
                                  inches which, I think, is around 40mm. It is about 5.5 feet tall
                                  and I don't know what that is in meters. I control the flow by the
                                  brass spigot on the bottom. I only open it enough to collect about
                                  a quart (liter) in 20 minutes or so.

                                  Like I said, there is some illusion happening. The doorway you see
                                  is actually a small narrow stairwell coming up from a lower level.
                                  And If there were a normal sized person standing in that photo, his
                                  head would be about the same height as the light bulb.

                                  I don't claim to know a great deal about carbon filtering. I only
                                  know what I've read in Gert Strand's book, which goes into TOO much
                                  detail in some areas and NOT ENOUGH detail in others. But I think
                                  that my spirits taste better after going through the filter, as do
                                  some of my friends. What I really want to learn is how to know when
                                  it's time to change the carbon. Is there a golden rule for this?

                                  Thanks for the help, Ken.

                                  Jay
                                  _._,___

                                • KM Services
                                  From: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com [mailto:new_distillers@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of KM Services Sent: Monday, 28 July 2008 7:00 a.m. To:
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Jul 27, 2008
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                                    From: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com [mailto: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of KM Services
                                    Sent: Monday, 28 July 2008 7:00 a.m.
                                    To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                    Subject: RE: [new_distillers] Re: Cloudiness? and Carbon Filters

                                     

                                    Yeap! The photo does give an odd perspective looks much larger than you say, sorry about the confusion. Personally I use fresh carbon for each run

                                    Footnote: My rate of flow is about I litre per hour through the filter

                                     

                                    This is my opinion and if I am wrong I will be corrected I am sure...

                                    Cheers

                                    Ken Mc

                                     

                                  • Jay
                                    Hey Everyone, I have some results to report. To summarize, the original problem was I noticed cloudiness in my neutral spirits after diluting them down to 45%.
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Jul 28, 2008
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                                      Hey Everyone,

                                      I have some results to report.

                                      To summarize, the original problem was I noticed cloudiness in my
                                      neutral spirits after diluting them down to 45%. Also, on occasion,
                                      I've noticed a few tiny flaky particles floating around in the product
                                      after diluting and mixing with flavors.

                                      It turns out, I don't believe the two problems are related, but If I
                                      ever see the flakes again, I'll take Harry's advice and freeze and
                                      filter them out. I may even start tossing every jar into the freezer
                                      and checking for flakes as an additional step of my process, just to
                                      get rid of them and avoid having to deal with them in my final product.

                                      As for the cloudiness, I have ruled out the "tails" possibility. I am
                                      almost certain that, with Ken's advice, I have gotten to the bottom of
                                      it and determined that it was caused by my PVC filter column. I had
                                      been running alcohol through the filter at full strength and
                                      dissolving the PVC into the alcohol. It would remain invisible until
                                      I dilute to 45% and then it would come out of solution and cloud up my
                                      product. Thanks, Ken for setting me straight on diluting BEFORE
                                      running through the filter.

                                      So once I had a pretty good idea on what was causing my cloudiness, it
                                      was time to see about clearing up the 10 or so quarts of 45% that I
                                      had. I just ran it back through the filter, despite what Gert Strand
                                      whote in his book that alcohol should not be run through the same
                                      filter more than once. I decided to give it a try anyway, what could
                                      it hurt. Well, the alcohol came out of the filter looking and tasting
                                      good so I can assume that the PVC particles causing the cloudiness had
                                      been captured by the carbon. I would prefer a beautiful copper filter
                                      that would match my still, but I think if I continue to dilute the
                                      spirits BEFORE running it through the filter, my PVC one should work
                                      fine. I don't think that 45% alcohol will be strong enough to
                                      dissolve the plastic. After all, alcohol of that strength is stored
                                      and served in plastic containers throughout the industry with no
                                      problems at all.

                                      Thanks to everyone for the tips and it's good to be crystal clear and
                                      sparkling again!

                                      Jay

                                      P.S.
                                      Once I do another run and get some more 90% stuff, I'm going to do an
                                      expiriment in which I soak a PVC fitting in a small jar of 90% and
                                      another identical PVC fitting in a jar of 50% and monitor the effects
                                      in each jar, maybe even weigh the fittings before and after to see how
                                      much material is dissolving from each. Just to make absolutely
                                      certain that the PVC was my culprit.
                                    • Mike
                                      ... I agree with Harry, some protein flake may occur in good Whisky and adds to the ambience LOL If you dispense from a small shelf cask it just collects on
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Apr 30 12:31 PM
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                                        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "ak_jay.1976"
                                        > <ak_jay.1976@> wrote:
                                        > <big snip>
                                        >
                                        > > Could my filtering meathod be causing any problems, like the
                                        > alcohol
                                        > > sitting inside the column for a long time absorbing PVC from the
                                        > > column or something? How do other people use their filters? Also,
                                        > > How long could I expect the activated carbon to be effective before
                                        > > needing to change it?
                                        > >
                                        > > Ok, It's been probably 45 minutes now (I'm a fairly slow typist!)
                                        > > and I'm not seeing any oily slick whatsoever.
                                        > >
                                        > > Any other ideas?
                                        > >
                                        > > Jay
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > NEVER USE PVC tubing in contact with high-test alcohol. It's a
                                        > guaranteed recipe for leaching plasticisers into your product.
                                        > That's probably what you're seeing. Use copper or stainless tubing
                                        > instead.
                                        >
                                        > Another possible cause is fatty acids, usually from the later part of
                                        > the run, when cutting too much into the tails. But they can appear
                                        > even in the hearts at times. Scotch Whisky is notorious for it.
                                        > They add to the flavour profile.
                                        >
                                        > Fatty acids dissolve easily in strong alcohol and/or higher
                                        > temperatures, but not so much in weaker alcohols at the lower temps
                                        > (like room temp). So, when you water down below about 50% a/v or
                                        > leave them stand at lower room temps for a few days, they precipitate
                                        > (come out of solution) to form solids and appear as little flakes
                                        > rather like scalp dandruff.
                                        >
                                        > Testing for fatty acids in newmake (white dog) is easy. Put a jar of
                                        > high-test alcohol in the freezer overnight and look at it next
                                        > morning. If you see white flaky material, that's fatty acids. It's
                                        > up to you if you want to remove them or not. Chill filtering is the
                                        > answer for this one: Chill your spirit to 2°C and run it through a 5
                                        > micron wine filter. This is what some of the commercial boys do. It
                                        > gives a sparkling clear product, but many Scotch afficionados (me
                                        > included) prefer the spirit to be un-chill-filtered (some single
                                        > malts are) for a richer Scotch experience.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > HTH
                                        >
                                        > Slainte!
                                        > regards Harry
                                        >

                                        I agree with Harry,
                                        some "protein flake" may occur in good Whisky and adds to the ambience LOL
                                        If you dispense from a small shelf cask it just collects on the bottom and is not a problem - but for round table sessions first pour the whisky into your best Crystal Decanter and then fill the glasses from that after all that is purpose of the decanter again adding to the ambience :-)
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