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First Run a Success, but with a Question

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  • Ted
    After building a stock pot still with a thumper and testing it with water and a diluted vodka wash, I made my first real run with a cornflake/sugar wash with a
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 18, 2013
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      After building a stock pot still with a thumper and testing it with water and a diluted vodka wash, I made my first real run with a cornflake/sugar wash with a touch of molasses.  The wash was above 10% ABV.

      I took it slow which meant the run took longer than it would when I get a little more experience.  Tossed 200ml of foreshots, collected 8oz of heads and then started collecting the hearts.  First 8oz of hearts was a little over 150 proof and crystal clear, I collected until it went just below 130 proof after which it turned cloudy and the smell and taste were changing, so I considered what was left (16oz) the tails.  All in all, I collected a little over a liter of heartsat an average of 142 proof, which I understand to be OK for a first run which was only 18L.

      Everything came out crystal clear until the tails started to show.

      My question is, when I added water from my home reverse osmosis system to bring it down to 100 proof, the batch turned slightly hazy.  I'm at a loss as to why.  The haze hasn't settled out yet.  It was so beautiful and clear before I proofed it.  Any suggestions?  Maybe the RO unit needs some maintenance.

      And by the way, it tastes very good.  During the test, I could definitely tell when the hearts starting coming.  The taste and smell were much more pleasant. 

      One intersting thing, I proofed it down to 100 proof and it's as smoothe as a baby's butt.  Much smoother than many 80 proof store boughts I've tried.  I'm a bit surprised.  I was expecting fire water from my first run with a pot still.  It's so smoothe, at 100 proof I'm afraid this stuff will sneak up on a guy.

      Slohand 42

    • Jerry McCullough
      I have had almost the exactly the same occurrence, bBut I was using distilled water. The forum told me that it was fats and stuff in the distillate. It has
      Message 2 of 5 , Jan 19, 2013
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        I have had almost the exactly the same occurrence, bBut I was using distilled water. The forum told me that it was fats and stuff in the distillate. It has only occurred to me once and I was doing a MUM wash. Has not happened on subsequent MUM washes. I am not sure why it occurs. The cloudiness can be easily removed with a charcoal filter. The end result is the sparkling clear product that you had before the dilution. 

        From: Ted <ted.robb@...>
        To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Friday, January 18, 2013 12:25 PM
        Subject: [new_distillers] First Run a Success, but with a Question
         
        After building a stock pot still with a thumper and testing it with water and a diluted vodka wash, I made my first real run with a cornflake/sugar wash with a touch of molasses.  The wash was above 10% ABV.
        I took it slow which meant the run took longer than it would when I get a little more experience.  Tossed 200ml of foreshots, collected 8oz of heads and then started collecting the hearts.  First 8oz of hearts was a little over 150 proof and crystal clear, I collected until it went just below 130 proof after which it turned cloudy and the smell and taste were changing, so I considered what was left (16oz) the tails.  All in all, I collected a little over a liter of heartsat an average of 142 proof, which I understand to be OK for a first run which was only 18L.
        Everything came out crystal clear until the tails started to show.
        My question is, when I added water from my home reverse osmosis system to bring it down to 100 proof, the batch turned slightly hazy.  I'm at a loss as to why.  The haze hasn't settled out yet.  It was so beautiful and clear before I proofed it.  Any suggestions?  Maybe the RO unit needs some maintenance.
        And by the way, it tastes very good.  During the test, I could definitely tell when the hearts starting coming.  The taste and smell were much more pleasant. 
        One intersting thing, I proofed it down to 100 proof and it's as smoothe as a baby's butt.  Much smoother than many 80 proof store boughts I've tried.  I'm a bit surprised.  I was expecting fire water from my first run with a pot still.  It's so smoothe, at 100 proof I'm afraid this stuff will sneak up on a guy.
        Slohand 42
      • GGB
        The forum told me that it was fats and stuff in the distillate. The short answer is because the distillation brought over some substances that, unlike
        Message 3 of 5 , Jan 19, 2013
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          "The forum told me that it was fats and stuff in the distillate."

          The short answer is because the distillation brought over some substances that, unlike ethanol and water, are not polar. These are "oily" substances, like a class of oils called esters, for eg ethyl acetate. Some substances have degrees of polarity that make them partially soluble, and I am guessing when I say that may possibly include some of the higher alcohols which are collectively called fusel "oils."

          Anyway, these substances may be completely soluble in ethanol, but insoluble in water, and as the proportion of water rises they come out of solution and clump together (as polar and non-polar species do) until the clumps become big enough to distort light passing by and thus you see cloudiness.

          I don't know if your wash from corn flakes and sugar contained fats. Fats and vege oils are a class of ester known as triglycerides. Grain certainly would contain these, but as far as I understand the point of malting is to help break down these complex molecules into simple sugars for the yeast to feed on. Maybe you didn't malt, maybe the corn contained oils, I don't know. Maybe that fount of all knowledge Bob has the answer, meant very respectfully.

          Incidentally I did read that cloudiness from these is not really a detriment. It's just that commercial spirits cannot be cloudy for saleability reasons so commercial spirits has the cloudiness removed even if it also removes some of the character of the product. As you really liked the spirit you have made perhaps it's a good thing in this case.

          Paul
        • Ted
          Thanks to both of you. I m sure it is something that is soluble in alcohol, but not water. Probably fats or fusel oils. Who knows what s in Corn Flakes.
          Message 4 of 5 , Jan 19, 2013
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            Thanks to both of you. I'm sure it is something that is soluble in alcohol, but not water. Probably fats or fusel oils. Who knows what's in Corn Flakes. It's well known that corn is an oily grain. It's also possible I collected too much and got into the tails where the fusels are more abundant.

            It tastes amazingly good for my first try, the haziness isn't really concerning to me, but others I might share it with may wonder about it. We'll see how my next run goes. It will be Uncle Jesse's recipe.

            Slohand42

            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "GGB" wrote:
            >
            > "The forum told me that it was fats and stuff in the distillate."
            >
            > The short answer is because the distillation brought over some substances that, unlike ethanol and water, are not polar. These are "oily" substances, like a class of oils called esters, for eg ethyl acetate. Some substances have degrees of polarity that make them partially soluble, and I am guessing when I say that may possibly include some of the higher alcohols which are collectively called fusel "oils."
            >
          • jsducote
            I say let it age a bit. I made some lemoncello over the holidays that started out crystal clear (and canary yellow) but, when I bottled, it clouded up. Less
            Message 5 of 5 , Jan 21, 2013
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              I say let it age a bit. I made some lemoncello over the holidays that started out crystal clear (and canary yellow) but, when I bottled, it clouded up. Less than a month later it's very nearly clear again (and half gone- SO good with iced tea).
              -j

              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Ted" wrote:
              >
              > Thanks to both of you. I'm sure it is something that is soluble in alcohol, but not water. Probably fats or fusel oils. Who knows what's in Corn Flakes. It's well known that corn is an oily grain. It's also possible I collected too much and got into the tails where the fusels are more abundant.
              >
              > It tastes amazingly good for my first try, the haziness isn't really concerning to me, but others I might share it with may wonder about it. We'll see how my next run goes. It will be Uncle Jesse's recipe.
              >
              > Slohand42
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