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more on limoncello

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  • Tony Lacitignola
    I just caught up to all my mails after the holiday and feel confident that Limoncello is something I can contribute to   first, smell the lemons - doesnt
    Message 1 of 7 , Dec 1, 2008
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      I just caught up to all my mails after the holiday and feel confident that Limoncello is something I can contribute to
       
      first, smell the lemons - doesnt matter what kind - the smell you get is the taste youll get in your liqueur - so whether they are ripe, unripe or overripe - start there.
       
      second, Ive made it with Sunkist squeezing lemons my first time out years ago and it was good - I now use meyer lemons. These lemons are very thin skinned but extremly flavorful almost peppery sometimes BUT be careful when you zest them - the key is just getting skin and NO pith. The guy whose batch came out sketchy I can guess probably had a "pithy" batch - it happened to me when I was rushed - so be careful, be careful. 
       
      third, I learned that vodka is not as good as everclear or the store bought grain alcohols - the proof and the distillation makes a difference. Ive tried with both.
       
      Making my own grain alcohol for my concoctions is why i joined this group (like a lot of others Im sure)

      fourth, Ive made combinations of meyer lemons and blood oranges - each year's batch is different - getting the right proportions is an art. My friends however love the tastings.
      To the guy with the great citrus market nearby - im jealous - when in doubt - use the smell test as you make your selections.
       
      Fifth, I like to macerate for a longer time period. I go until the peels are almost colorless. If they reach the stage where they almost like a potato stick or potato chip then youve gotten it all out of them.
       
      Sixth, filter before adding your syrup - I use coffee filtes and it is usually slow so I have several filetrs and funnels going at the same time
       
      last, I hate over sweetening. I make batch of syrup and only add to my taste, sometimes instead of simple syrup being 1cup sugar to one cup water, I do one cup sugar to one and half water.
       
      Good luck.
       
      T
       
      PS My Nocino is next! But thats a whole other subject but if any of you guys have access to walnut trees let the fun begin.

    • Sherman
      Riku, you are by far the most advanced expert in the field of column tech that I know. The problem is that without exact duplication of your equipment and
      Message 2 of 7 , Dec 1, 2008
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        Riku, you are by far the most advanced expert in the field of column
        tech that I know. The problem is that without exact duplication of
        your equipment and processes, I cannot duplicate your results as I
        suspect many others can't.

        I was only speaking from my own experiences and If I knew where to
        improve the column I operate, whose design is the result of at least
        ten variations over 25 years, then I would be eager for improvements.
        My column is actually 90mm ID because it is schedule 10, 3" pipe. This
        is a lot larger than normal 3" copper. Since I am more sensitive to
        the mercaptans I tend to have a higher bar to meet. It isn't how much
        the column holds it is how much separation that can be had that I was
        referring to. And it does take a lot of alcohol in my column to get
        good equalization and throughput with a decent yield of heart cut.
        Maybe we are not comparing apples to apples. Sure I can use a few
        liters of wash to get 95% but it isn't going to meet my standards.
        Just because it can sink my hydrometer to 95% or more that doesn't
        mean it is clean because some of the congeners are lighter than
        ethanol and some are heavier but simply removing the water doesn't
        remove them. So all I was referring to was having enough ethanol that
        the heads can be separated off and the heart can have a sufficient run
        time to be worth the effort along with a distinct tails cut.
        So maybe the criteria I was using was different than yours.




        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc"
        <abbababbaccc@...> wrote:
        >
        > Not quite, I've done some 4" column testing and it works even with 12
        > liters of mash. However, it works much better (ie. you get reasonable
        > amount of alcohol out) with 25 liters of mash or some 10 liters of
        > low wines. The fact is that the packing holds some amount of alcohol
        > (up to 1 liter in 4" size) but typically that's not a huge problem
        > with only 3" column.
        >
        > Cheers, Riku
        >
        > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Sherman" <pintoshine@>
        > wrote:
        > >
        > > The worst problem with a 3" is the amount of alcohol it takes to get
        > > it to work efficiently.
        > > You need to strip out about 5 gallons of 40% minimum to get it where
        > > it makes good cuts. This translates to 20 gallons of wash. Any less
        > > and it just fills the column and doesn't stack up the fractions very
        > > well. The result is about 2 gallons of 95% after cuts. This is a lot
        > > of work.
        > >
        > >
        > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc"
        > > <abbababbaccc@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Humm, tower = column in distillation slang. 3" column can take
        > twice
        > > > the power of a 2" column and you need to size condenser(s)
        > accordingly.
        > > > It is also a good idea to size the heating element to match the
        > column
        > > > diameter. Without any further information of your plans it is
        > > > impossible to give you more technical advice, but I do suggest
        > you look
        > > > around and study a bit so you won't end up with another labmaster
        > > > or "world class" still.
        > > >
        > > > Cheers, Riku
        > > >
        > > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "redy44fun" <redy44fun@>
        > > > wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > > I'm getting ready to build a reflux. I'm using a 15.5 gal keg
        > with a
        > > > > pressure cooker lid. My plans I'm using for the tower call for
        > a 2"
        > > > > tower and I was thinking of changing to a 3" tower. Are there
        > any
        > > > > disadvantages to doing this. Should I change anything on the
        > > > condensor
        > > > > to allow for more cooling if I do this.
        > > > >
        > > >
        > >
        >
      • abbababbaccc
        The configuration I was running was an early version of Thor s hammer LM-E-ARC. I have lately concentrated on 2 column so the memory may be a bit blurry.
        Message 3 of 7 , Dec 1, 2008
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          The configuration I was running was an early version of Thor's hammer
          LM-E-ARC. I have lately concentrated on 2" column so the memory may
          be a bit blurry. Anyway, what I got out was completely neutral 95.6%
          ethanol, no heads or tails as it goes with hammerhead and E-ARC. The
          point is that the speed was relatively low (IIRC ~2 liters/hour) for
          3kW I was using and the yield was also quite low as well as over half
          a liter was held by the packing while my test mashes had only 1.5
          liters of ethanol+heads+tails. Of course the results were quite
          inaccurate due to the small amount of alcohol I had. I managed to
          improve the column efficiency some but then I decided to switch
          experiments to 2" platform as it is more user friendly for small
          scale experiments.

          Lately I have toyed with the idea of switching to 3" columns. That
          should be a good compromise as 4" stuff is a bit overkill for hobby
          distillers. Heavy, expensive and powering it up requires two separate
          circuits + several heating elements.

          Well, we shall see what I can come up with. The experimentation time
          is somewhat limited nowadays :(

          Cheers, Riku

          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Sherman" <pintoshine@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Riku, you are by far the most advanced expert in the field of column
          > tech that I know. The problem is that without exact duplication of
          > your equipment and processes, I cannot duplicate your results as I
          > suspect many others can't.
          >
          > I was only speaking from my own experiences and If I knew where to
          > improve the column I operate, whose design is the result of at least
          > ten variations over 25 years, then I would be eager for
          improvements.
          > My column is actually 90mm ID because it is schedule 10, 3" pipe.
          This
          > is a lot larger than normal 3" copper. Since I am more sensitive to
          > the mercaptans I tend to have a higher bar to meet. It isn't how
          much
          > the column holds it is how much separation that can be had that I
          was
          > referring to. And it does take a lot of alcohol in my column to get
          > good equalization and throughput with a decent yield of heart cut.
          > Maybe we are not comparing apples to apples. Sure I can use a few
          > liters of wash to get 95% but it isn't going to meet my standards.
          > Just because it can sink my hydrometer to 95% or more that doesn't
          > mean it is clean because some of the congeners are lighter than
          > ethanol and some are heavier but simply removing the water doesn't
          > remove them. So all I was referring to was having enough ethanol
          that
          > the heads can be separated off and the heart can have a sufficient
          run
          > time to be worth the effort along with a distinct tails cut.
          > So maybe the criteria I was using was different than yours.
          >
          >
          >
          >
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