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Re: Baking Soda vs. Salt

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  • rye_junkie1
    Message 1 of 7 , Aug 13, 2008
      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Robert Hubble"
      <zymurgybob@...> wrote:
      > Mason,I use baking soda (NaHCO3) in my low wine washes when making
      > my neutral-equivalent (pseudo-vodka) stuff from junk feints in a
      > potstill. Because it is there only to neutralize any acids formed by
      > hydrolysis, to keep esters that impart flavor from forming or
      > re-forming, all you need to add is too much. Any excess stays in
      > the wash and neither adds to nor subtracts from the quality of
      > your output.
      > With that precise metric in hand, I dump (verb chosen on purpose)
      > one handful of baking soda into a 5-gallon wash, knowing that
      > *precisely* the correct amount of soda will be reacted, and that as
      > much as possible, all flavors will be removed from my distillate.
      > Ok, dump *two* handfuls, if you like.
      > Note that this should only be done with low wines, with second
      > distillation. If baking soda is added to, say. a sugar wash before
      > distillation, where ammonium compounds are present, you run a
      > severe risk of getting the "blue ookies" in your product.
      > Note also that if you do this to a fine whisky or brandy wash,
      > you'll blow away all those subtle and delicate flavors you worked
      > so hard to get in the first place.
      > As for the salt, aside from raising the boiling temp as you say,
      > I dunno what it gets you, because it sure doesn't "neutralize" the
      > esters with the same reaction baking soda does.
      > I hope this helps.
      > ******************************
      > >>
      > I had read about this in the beginning but only tried it (Baking Soda)
      > >recently with the MUM Wash. It seemed to make a difference but one
      > >try is not really an absolute for me. In Homedistiller it talks about
      > >both the use of Salt and Baking Soda. My question is which is more
      > >beneficial? Salt changes boiling point but shouldn't Sodium Bicarbonate
      > >also? We recently had a discussion on where to find baking soda for a
      > >member. No one mentioned salt as an alternative and that may be my
      > >answer there. Also what is the recommended amount per liter/gallon?
      > >My readings vary from 1 tsp per liter to 3 tablespoons/liter. Big
      > >difference. When I did the MUM wash I added 1 tbs to the gallon of
      > >3rd run spirit just before the 4th run. Does it help/hurt to let it
      > >rest on the stuff for a few days. Opinions from the more experienced
      > >with this would be much appreciated.
      > >Mason
      > --
      > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstller

      Thanks to everybody for clearing this up for me. I really did not
      want to leave it up to trial and error. Vodka (or vodka like) seems
      to be my thing these days so stripping flavor should not be an issue.
      Thanks again.

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