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RE: [new_distillers] New Newbie.

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  • Robert Hubble
    Karl, From a practical standpoint, what you should make first depends on what kind of still you build first. If you put a potstill head on that still, you ll
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 3, 2010
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      Karl,

      From a practical standpoint, what you should make first depends on what kind of still you build first. If you put a potstill head on that still, you'll make flavored spirits, like brandy, rum, whisk(e)y, and gin. If you put a reflux head on it, and run it as a reflux still, you'll make strong vodka, which can be diluted to ordinary vodka. (Yes, you can violate this rule, but you have to know more and have more experience to be happy with it)

      If you potstill flavored spirit, you'll put some effort into making sure your wash has some good or interesting flavors in it, some of which will come through the still. If you reflux-distill strong vodka (hopefully mostly ethanol and water), you'll blow away most wash flavor, so use the cheapest, easiest source of ethanol, usually a sugar wash.

      For a long time, most of my stills have had a 2" female NPT half-coupling on the boiler lid, so I can screw in any kind of head I desire. To date, that has included lots of potstill heads but no reflux heads. I'm just a flavor kind of guy.

      As far as what do you do first, I always advocate the beginner making the first step as simple as possible, no starch conversions, no yeast nutrients, no yeast pitching, no fermentation. no racking. Nothing's simpler than going to your local grocer, and buying the cheapest wine you can buy. Fill your still 3/4 full of it, and let 'er rip.

      If you potstill the wine, make the cuts, and somewhere in the middle of those distillate samples you'll find a pretty good brandy, even with cheap wine. (It's amazing how good brandy made from bad wine can be) If you reflux it, and separate the heads and tails from your spirit, you should end up with a very strong (like 95-96% ABV) flavorless vodka. If your vodka has much flavor, you're doing something wrong, and this has been a learning experience. Refluxing it again should solve that off flavor.

      Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller




      To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
      From: mrkb10@...
      Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2010 15:46:03 +0000
      Subject: [new_distillers] New Newbie.

       

      Hi People.

      My name is Karl and this is my first time visit here and hoping to do a lot of learning as I go along so at some point I am bound to ask some questions hopefully not to stupid ones but you never know,I dont know exactly what I want to distill at this point but I am excited at the prospect of producing something drinkable once I have made a still, I did some reading up on the subject last week and give myself an headache trying to take to much in such as this type of head and that type of head this long and that long the list goes on, I am not after building a still thats all dancing and whistles just one that will do the job without to much fuss but yet I want to build one that can be used as a pot still and a reflux but in a simple form. ok time for me to go and look at some topics here and hopefully not give myself an headache again.


    • mrkb100
      Thanks for that bob I enjoyed reading it, now that I have got a boiler to make a start on the idea of 2 NPT fittings appeal to me for the same reasons you
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 3, 2010
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        Thanks for that bob I enjoyed reading it, now that I have got a boiler to make a start on the idea of 2" NPT fittings appeal to me for the same reasons you mention, so you have the one female fitting on the boiler lid and a male fitting for each head and if this is the case how is the male fitting fixed to the 2" header tube.

        Karl ( the Newbie )

        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Robert Hubble <zymurgybob@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > Karl,
        >
        > From a practical standpoint, what you should make first depends on what kind of still you build first. If you put a potstill head on that still, you'll make flavored spirits, like brandy, rum, whisk(e)y, and gin. If you put a reflux head on it, and run it as a reflux still, you'll make strong vodka, which can be diluted to ordinary vodka. (Yes, you can violate this rule, but you have to know more and have more experience to be happy with it)
        >
        > If you potstill flavored spirit, you'll put some effort into making sure your wash has some good or interesting flavors in it, some of which will come through the still. If you reflux-distill strong vodka (hopefully mostly ethanol and water), you'll blow away most wash flavor, so use the cheapest, easiest source of ethanol, usually a sugar wash.
        >
        > For a long time, most of my stills have had a 2" female NPT half-coupling on the boiler lid, so I can screw in any kind of head I desire. To date, that has included lots of potstill heads but no reflux heads. I'm just a flavor kind of guy.
        >
        > As far as what do you do first, I always advocate the beginner making the first step as simple as possible, no starch conversions, no yeast nutrients, no yeast pitching, no fermentation. no racking. Nothing's simpler than going to your local grocer, and buying the cheapest wine you can buy. Fill your still 3/4 full of it, and let 'er rip.
        >
        > If you potstill the wine, make the cuts, and somewhere in the middle of those distillate samples you'll find a pretty good brandy, even with cheap wine. (It's amazing how good brandy made from bad wine can be) If you reflux it, and separate the heads and tails from your spirit, you should end up with a very strong (like 95-96% ABV) flavorless vodka. If your vodka has much flavor, you're doing something wrong, and this has been a learning experience. Refluxing it again should solve that off flavor.
        >
        > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller
        >
        >
        >
        > To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
        > From: mrkb10@...
        > Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2010 15:46:03 +0000
        > Subject: [new_distillers] New Newbie.
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        > Hi People.
        >
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        > My name is Karl and this is my first time visit here and hoping to do a lot of learning as I go along so at some point I am bound to ask some questions hopefully not to stupid ones but you never know,I dont know exactly what I want to distill at this point but I am excited at the prospect of producing something drinkable once I have made a still, I did some reading up on the subject last week and give myself an headache trying to take to much in such as this type of head and that type of head this long and that long the list goes on, I am not after building a still thats all dancing and whistles just one that will do the job without to much fuss but yet I want to build one that can be used as a pot still and a reflux but in a simple form. ok time for me to go and look at some topics here and hopefully not give myself an headache again.
        >
      • tgfoitwoods
        Hey, Karl, This picture explains it. That s a 2 NPT female 304 stainless
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 3, 2010
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          Hey, Karl,

          This picture explains it.

          That's a 2" NPT female 304 stainless half-coupler from McMaster-Carr welded to the pressure cooker lid, and a 2" NPT male copper pipe fitting soldered to the 2" copper pipe riser. Pretty straightforward.

          Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "mrkb100" <mrkb10@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > Thanks for that bob I enjoyed reading it, now that I have got a boiler to make a start on the idea of 2" NPT fittings appeal to me for the same reasons you mention, so you have the one female fitting on the boiler lid and a male fitting for each head and if this is the case how is the male fitting fixed to the 2" header tube.
          >
          > Karl ( the Newbie )
          >
          ----snip----
        • jamesonbeam1
          Hi Karl, Welcome aboard.. Hope your doing alot of reading on Tony s Homedistillers site (yes it is quite confusing at first, but eventually starts to sink
          Message 4 of 6 , Aug 4, 2010
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            Hi Karl,

            Welcome aboard..  Hope your doing alot of reading on Tony's Homedistillers site (yes it is quite confusing at first, but eventually starts to sink in).  As ZB mentioned, a univeral coupling on top of your boiler is a great idea to allow multiple head attachments.  I would first start off just making a simple pot still with a riser and lyne arme and try for a simple sugar wash like a MUM or JEM wash with some concentrated grape juice added.

            If you want a really nice easy explanation of the different type of heads around (pot, LM, VM and CM),  Riku who is a excellent still making guru and another moderator here has written a very nice E-book available  at Harry's Alcohol Library.  You should read this and ask away at any questions. 

            Simple Low-cost Stills

            by Riku (abbababbaccc)

            Again, Welcome aboard, BE Safe and best of luck.

            JB.


            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "mrkb100" <mrkb10@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > Hi People.
            >
            > My name is Karl and this is my first time visit here and hoping to do a lot of learning as I go along so at some point I am bound to ask some questions hopefully not to stupid ones but you never know,I dont know exactly what I want to distill at this point but I am excited at the prospect of producing something drinkable once I have made a still, I did some reading up on the subject last week and give myself an headache trying to take to much in such as this type of head and that type of head this long and that long the list goes on, I am not after building a still thats all dancing and whistles just one that will do the job without to much fuss but yet I want to build one that can be used as a pot still and a reflux but in a simple form. ok time for me to go and look at some topics here and hopefully not give myself an headache again.
            >

          • jamesonbeam1
            Karl, The link to Riku s book is http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/Simple_Low_cost_Stills/index.htm
            Message 5 of 6 , Aug 4, 2010
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              Karl,

              The link to Riku's book is http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/Simple_Low_cost_Stills/index.htm

              JB.


              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" <jamesonbeam1@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > Hi Karl,
              >
              > Welcome aboard.. Hope your doing alot of reading on Tony's
              > Homedistillers site (yes it is quite confusing at first, but eventually
              > starts to sink in). As ZB mentioned, a univeral coupling on top of your
              > boiler is a great idea to allow multiple head attachments. I would
              > first start off just making a simple pot still with a riser and lyne
              > arme and try for a simple sugar wash like a MUM or JEM wash with some
              > concentrated grape juice added.
              >
              > If you want a really nice easy explanation of the different type of
              > heads around (pot, LM, VM and CM), Riku who is a excellent still making
              > guru and another moderator here has written a very nice E-book available
              > at Harry's Alcohol Library. You should read this and ask away at any
              > questions.
              >
              > Simple Low-cost Stills
              >
              > by Riku (abbababbaccc)
              >
              > Again, Welcome aboard, BE Safe and best of luck.
              >
              > JB.

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