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Re: Still sizing?

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  • rye_junkie1
    ... Hello again Dan, I am a fan of Scotch as well. Since you are doing sugar washes to start you should try XXX or even XXXX running that product into Neutral
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 3, 2008
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      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Dan" <ulynch@...> wrote:
      >
      > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "rye_junkie1" <rye_junkie@>
      > wrote:
      > > then Making Scotch is a very nice Goal ( I actually mashed up 3 five
      > > gallon batches of Malt and peat malt over the last 2 days for this
      > > purpose) but I would strongly recommend getting a few sugar washes
      > > under your belt before you take on such a task and spend alot of
      > money.
      > >
      > > Mason
      > >
      >
      > Hiya Mason. Right you are, I am new to the group and the hobby. And
      > right too, I plan on getting a few sugar washes run before I try
      > producing any really drinkable whisky. I don't want to spend a whole
      > lot of money (got plenty of other hobbies and an ex wife to finance,
      > dontcha know). I do lust after some of the copper alembics and the
      > stuff at coppermoonshinestills.com though.
      >
      > Anyway, I'm a fan of scotch whisky, and would like to try to get
      > something at least similar, all the way down peated malt and ageing
      > in oak. But I don't want to make tiny quantities at the same time.
      > I'd like to be able to get 2-3 L @ 65-70% ABV after double
      > distilling. To do that, how much wash do I need to start?
      >
      > Thanks for the note!
      >
      > - Dan

      Hello again Dan,
      I am a fan of Scotch as well. Since you are doing sugar washes to
      start you should try XXX or even XXXX running that product into
      Neutral and try some of the Scotch Essences from Brewhaus or Mile
      High. It ain't Single Malt but it makes a nice Dram at the end of the
      day plus you dont have to wait 12 years to get it.
      As far as Wash Size and Yield, there are a lot of variables that can
      effect yield. Your biggest issues will be the size of the window you
      make your middle cut in and then those Pesky little Angels who love
      our product almost as much as we do. So your going to want to start
      the aging process in that upper 65-70% range. Aging properly allowing
      for some evaporation (Angels Share)and oxidation your going to lose
      200-300ml during the process Maybe. Aging is a Science we are all
      still playing with but conventional wisdom of late says that allowing
      the spirit to breath while on the wood is near a must. This is if you
      are aging in glass. If your going to spend the money for a Barrel
      then that a different story.
      Then There is the Variable of getting a good conversion in your grain
      mash so that you get all the starch converted to sugar. And do you
      want to add a bit of sugar (make a thin mash) to squeak out a percent
      or 2 more ABV in the wash and yield more low wines. As you are seeing
      it is not an exact science. Skip the grains and conversion all
      together and use DME(Dried Malt Extract).?
      14lbs of malt to six gallons water should give you just over a gallon
      of low wines so 3 of these batches should be plenty to give you what
      you are looking for. Maybe a little more. where I am from Malt is
      1.49/lb. Thats 62.60 for 3-4 liters of product or an average of
      17.88/liter. Sugar washes and essences are going to cost you about 7
      bucks/liter. Personally I like to do both. Sugar gives a good
      product faster in my opinion but there is still something to be said
      for the Purist who likes to do it the old fashion way: Grain,
      Fruit,Molasses,Pot Still,Oak and TIME.

      Mason
    • Dan
      ... And that s where I d like to go with this - as close to traditional methods as I can stand. I suspect there will some frustration with that approach, and
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 3, 2008
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        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "rye_junkie1" <rye_junkie@...>
        wrote:

        > Sugar gives a good
        > product faster in my opinion but there is still something to be said
        > for the Purist who likes to do it the old fashion way: Grain,
        > Fruit,Molasses,Pot Still,Oak and TIME.

        And that's where I'd like to go with this - as close to traditional
        methods as I can stand. I suspect there will some frustration with
        that approach, and temptation to take shortcuts (sugar wash,
        flavoring, reflux stills, etc), but right now anyway, my interest is
        as much in the craft and art of the hobby as in the final product.
        I'm looking forward to a lot of trial and error :-)


        > 14lbs of malt to six gallons water should give you just over a
        > gallon
        > of low wines so 3 of these batches should be plenty to give you what
        > you are looking for.

        So if I understand correctly, a second run of 1 gal of ~20% ABV low
        wines should result in about 1L of product at 65-70% ABV?

        So to arrive at 2-3L final output, I would need a still that can run
        about 18 gallons in the first distillation. Sound about right? My
        other option would be to make multiple runs in a smaller still.

        Thanks again for chiming in!

        - Dan
      • rye_junkie1
        ... Yes and No, In my experience running such a small amount would yield maybe 500-750ml of good product as the window for the middle run would be quite small
        Message 3 of 8 , Nov 3, 2008
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          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Dan" <ulynch@...> wrote:
          >
          > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "rye_junkie1" <rye_junkie@>
          > wrote:
          >
          > > Sugar gives a good
          > > product faster in my opinion but there is still something to be said
          > > for the Purist who likes to do it the old fashion way: Grain,
          > > Fruit,Molasses,Pot Still,Oak and TIME.
          >
          > And that's where I'd like to go with this - as close to traditional
          > methods as I can stand. I suspect there will some frustration with
          > that approach, and temptation to take shortcuts (sugar wash,
          > flavoring, reflux stills, etc), but right now anyway, my interest is
          > as much in the craft and art of the hobby as in the final product.
          > I'm looking forward to a lot of trial and error :-)
          >
          >
          > > 14lbs of malt to six gallons water should give you just over a
          > > gallon
          > > of low wines so 3 of these batches should be plenty to give you what
          > > you are looking for.
          >
          > So if I understand correctly, a second run of 1 gal of ~20% ABV low
          > wines should result in about 1L of product at 65-70% ABV?

          Yes and No, In my experience running such a small amount would yield
          maybe 500-750ml of good product as the window for the middle run would
          be quite small and cuts very hard to distinguish the transitions.
          >
          > So to arrive at 2-3L final output, I would need a still that can run
          > about 18 gallons in the first distillation. Sound about right?
          My
          > other option would be to make multiple runs in a smaller still.

          As I mentioned before I use a 8 gallon boiler and employ your "other
          option" of multiple Strip runs to get the required amount of low wines
          for a spirit run. However if you can find and afford a boiler of 18
          gallon size go for it. On the other hand the advantage to a smaller
          6-8gallon pot rig is (if it and its condenser are efficient) you can
          do a strip run in 2-3 hours leaving the rest of the Day or night for
          enjoying as you please. Then take a Saturday or Sunday for a nice
          slow spirit run.
          >
          > Thanks again for chiming in!
          >
          > - Dan
          >

          Mason
        • Trid
          Just some simple calculations to consider: (rounded for math, but the principles all apply) You ferment 5 gallons of 10% wash. That s 1/2 gallon (0.5 gal) of
          Message 4 of 8 , Nov 3, 2008
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            Just some simple calculations to consider:
            (rounded for math, but the principles all apply)
            You ferment 5 gallons of 10% wash.
            That's 1/2 gallon (0.5 gal) of 100% alcohol.
            Assuming your stripping run gets 90% of that, you'll have 0.45 gallons
            of pure alcohol mixed with whatever remainder gives you your total
            volume of low wines.

            Let's use 1 gallon for the sake of example.
            Conveniently, that leaves us with a 45% low wines (this isn't far off
            from what I've collected, perhaps a smidge stronger).
            So, assuming we do 5 separate, identical runs to acquire 5 gallons of
            low wines. That's a total of 2.25 gallons of pure alcohol.

            Again, assuming we collect a sum total of 90% of what's available,
            that leaves 2.025 (let's just round to 2 even) gallons of alcohol
            collected.
            If we make a rough 1/4-1/2-1/4 (heads/hearts/tails) cut by alcohol
            concentration, you get a rough 1/3-1/3-1/3 cut by physical volume.

            So, assuming this, you wind up with about 2/3 gallon of hearts at
            somewhere around 70% abv. Cut this down to 40% and you get somewhere
            roughly around 1.15 gallons. Or, for the sake of generalities,
            "between 1 ad 1 1/4 gallons."

            On subsequent runs, when you start adding back the feints, these
            calculations skew even more depending on how your runs are cut.

            You'll notice that there are a lot of assumptions. This is an
            imprecise art at best. You can set up your wash in the same fashion
            as brewing beer by taking specific gravity readings before and after
            the fermentation to verify what percentage your wash is, but in the
            end, regardless of what it works out to be, what you get out of the
            still is what you get. The theory only goes so far until you pitch
            the yeast and let 'er rip. Same goes for putting the fire to your
            boiler. Particularly with self-built rigs, there's no way to apply
            the theoretical numbers to a piece of equipment that has no
            quantifiable parameters to compare with a standard or benchmark. Only
            by actually doing it will that benchmark be set...and YOU have the
            privilege of setting it.
            There's nothing wrong with running the numbers, but learning how (or
            even if) they apply to your rig will only happen by doing. Don't
            expend so many brain cells on what CAN happen when you really do have
            to learn first hand what WILL happen in your particular set of
            conditions. Not to mention, when you have a sugar run or nine under
            your belt, you'll very likely see a light turn on with regards to what
            was puzzling you initially with the calculations.

            In other words, after a few runs, you'll be able to gauge the outcome
            of a run based on what previous ones have yielded. You can also gauge
            how to adjust that based on where you like to make your cuts between
            heads, hearts, and tails.

            Trid
            -sorry, no numbers to apply to "art" and this is definitely an art in
            the end
          • Harry
            ... Lots of good advice, including... ... Agreed! This is true art , not painting by numbers . Slainte! regards Harry
            Message 5 of 8 , Nov 3, 2008
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              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Trid" <triddlywinks@...> wrote:
              <snip>
              Lots of good advice, including...

              > -sorry, no numbers to apply to "art" and this is definitely an art in
              > the end
              >

              Agreed! This is "true art", not 'painting by numbers'. <BG>

              Slainte!
              regards Harry
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