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What Happened to the "Tails"

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  • Tom
    Z. Bob and/or Others, I need your advice, please. I followed the tenets set forth in your book, Making Fine Spirits, and I successfully made a great batch of
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 25, 2011
      Z. Bob and/or Others,

      I need your advice, please. I followed the tenets set forth in your book, Making Fine Spirits, and I successfully made a great batch of scotch (it's a little too smoky but I hope it will mellow with time; I've got time). Following the same tenets, I just finished the spirit run of a batch of corn and rye whiskey made from flaked corn, flaked rye, and malted barley. I collected it in pint (473 ml) containers. I have 19 such containers ranging from 82% ABV to only 5% ABV. I kept running and collecting because I never tasted or smelled "tails" and the taste of "corn", which kicked in at about pint #10 (69.5% ABV), kept increasing as the % ABV decreased!

      I have now sampled all the containers by cutting to 40% ABV, unless spirit in the particular container was already less than 40% ABV. The spirit in the first container is NASTY and will go to foreshots, the second and third containers will go to heads. Numbers 4 through 18 will be combined and number 19 will go to tails as it is just watery with a little "corn" taste. I can not find anything disagreeable all the way to the end except #19 which is just watery. As a matter of fact, beginning with the 10th pint (69.5% ABV) and continuing through the 18th pint (7.5% ABV) the spirit has a wonderful corn taste. There is absolutely nothing disagreeable all the way to the end.

      The stripping run was from three 5-gallon washes, combined, totaling 15 gallons at about 9.3% ABV. I collected 3.5 gallons of strippings at 38% ABV. I diluted it with a little backset from the stripping run to 26% ABV and ran the spirit run low and slow. The spirit run took 9 ½ hours. Why did I not get any disagreeable material, tails, toward the end of the run? (The change to tails was very evident in the previously mentioned scotch run.) Both the stripping run and the spirit run of the corn and rye whiskey were done in my pot still with the lyne arm at 30 degrees, rising; same conditions as I used for the scotch run.

      Should I blend as described? Am I missing something?

      Thanks in advance for your help.

      Cheers,

      Tom
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