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Re: Still sizing?

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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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