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Re: Confusion over how and what compounds survive distillation

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  • tgfoitwoods
    Dampcave, you re welcome. many of the flavors that come through the still are not oils at all. Notably, esters are great volatile flavoring compounds, The
    Message 1 of 14 , Feb 25, 2013
      Dampcave, you're welcome.

      many of the flavors that come through the still are not oils at all. Notably, esters are great volatile flavoring compounds, The ester ethyl acetate is that fruit flavor in the heads, and ethyl format is one of the rum "oils" (it's not an oil, that contains some of the rum flavor. Another rum "oil" is ethyl propionate.

      Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits


      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "dampcave" <lordwillin@...> wrote:
      >
      > Thank you for the detailed reply!
      > I guess I have been confused by the casual use of the term "strip", which, I can see now, isn't really what's going on.
      > And water-solubility is, it seems, not an issue at all. Thanks for clearing that up. (Though I know from my experience in herbalism that the essential oils present in many plants are not particularly water-soluble.)
      > I know that some botanicals yield flavors to a distilled spirit that can't be explained by the presence of volatile essential oils. I've distilled some berry wines, for instance, and the brandy had noticeable hints of berry flavor, even though blueberries & blackberries don't contain essential oils. I've assumed that this was also true of the grains from which a whiskey beer is made. I'd mistakenly understood that a reflux/fractionating still would eliminate these flavors. But it just rearranges them, so to speak.
      > I'm still curious about what these elusive volatile flavors actually are, chemically, though, and where they fall in the hierarchy of volatility.
      >
      > Interesting to note how rare getting color in a distillate is. I use 8 or 9 herbs in my absinthe. I can't even guess which one(s) might be contributing the color, but it's a consistent phenomenon. The old recipes mention it, too.
      >
      > Thanks again for clarifying things.
      >
      ----snip----
    • richaaard
      Hi Guys, a newbie here. I m planning on putting together a still and running a batch this summer. I m in the planning stage and it looks like the more I read
      Message 2 of 14 , Feb 26, 2013
        Hi Guys, a newbie here. I'm planning on putting together a still and running a batch this summer. I'm in the planning stage and it looks like the more I read about using a pot still versus a reflux makes the decision harder. I have most of the elements to make either but I'm wondering if there is a concensus one way or another, or whether most people are using both methods. If I understand this correctly there is more control over flavor, taste, and strength of product with a pot still? How about running a reflux and adding the flavor afterwards? Any input is appreciated.

        -------------------

        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "tgfoitwoods" <zymurgybob@...> wrote:
        >
        > Dampcave, you're welcome.
        >
        > many of the flavors that come through the still are not oils at all.
        > Notably, esters are great volatile flavoring compounds, The ester ethyl
        > acetate is that fruit flavor in the heads, and ethyl format is one of
        > the rum "oils" (it's not an oil, that contains some of the rum flavor.
        > Another rum "oil" is ethyl propionate.
        >
        > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
        > <http://www.kelleybarts.com/zymurgy-bob-books/making-fine-spirits/>
        >
        >
        > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "dampcave" <lordwillin@>
        > wrote:
        > >
        > > Thank you for the detailed reply!
        > > I guess I have been confused by the casual use of the term "strip",
        > which, I can see now, isn't really what's going on.
        > > And water-solubility is, it seems, not an issue at all. Thanks for
        > clearing that up. (Though I know from my experience in herbalism that
        > the essential oils present in many plants are not particularly
        > water-soluble.)
        > > I know that some botanicals yield flavors to a distilled spirit that
        > can't be explained by the presence of volatile essential oils. I've
        > distilled some berry wines, for instance, and the brandy had noticeable
        > hints of berry flavor, even though blueberries & blackberries don't
        > contain essential oils. I've assumed that this was also true of the
        > grains from which a whiskey beer is made. I'd mistakenly understood
        > that a reflux/fractionating still would eliminate these flavors. But it
        > just rearranges them, so to speak.
        > > I'm still curious about what these elusive volatile flavors actually
        > are, chemically, though, and where they fall in the hierarchy of
        > volatility.
        > >
        > > Interesting to note how rare getting color in a distillate is. I use
        > 8 or 9 herbs in my absinthe. I can't even guess which one(s) might be
        > contributing the color, but it's a consistent phenomenon. The old
        > recipes mention it, too.
        > >
        > > Thanks again for clarifying things.
        > >
        > ----snip----
        >
      • tgfoitwoods
        Refluxing to get azeotrope, diluting to get vodka, and flavoring with teensy bottles of booze flavoring is quite common, especially in New Zealand. They pretty
        Message 3 of 14 , Feb 26, 2013
          Refluxing to get azeotrope, diluting to get vodka, and flavoring with teensy bottles of booze flavoring is quite common, especially in New Zealand. They pretty much invented this process. If you can't tell the difference between maple syrup and sugar syrup flavored with mapleine, or between chocolate and chocolate "flavored" candy, or between cow's milk and diluted powdered milk, it's a good way to go.

          I use a potstill because I like the natural flavors.

          Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits

          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "richaaard" <richaaard@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi Guys, a newbie here. I'm planning on putting together a still and running a batch this summer. I'm in the planning stage and it looks like the more I read about using a pot still versus a reflux makes the decision harder. I have most of the elements to make either but I'm wondering if there is a concensus one way or another, or whether most people are using both methods. If I understand this correctly there is more control over flavor, taste, and strength of product with a pot still? How about running a reflux and adding the flavor afterwards? Any input is appreciated.
          >
          > -------------------
          >
          > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "tgfoitwoods" zymurgybob@ wrote:
          > >
          > > Dampcave, you're welcome.
          > >
          > > many of the flavors that come through the still are not oils at all.
          > > Notably, esters are great volatile flavoring compounds, The ester ethyl
          > > acetate is that fruit flavor in the heads, and ethyl format is one of
          > > the rum "oils" (it's not an oil, that contains some of the rum flavor.
          > > Another rum "oil" is ethyl propionate.
          > >
          > > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
          > > <http://www.kelleybarts.com/zymurgy-bob-books/making-fine-spirits/>
          > >
          > >
          > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "dampcave" <lordwillin@>
          > > wrote:
          > > >
          > > > Thank you for the detailed reply!
          > > > I guess I have been confused by the casual use of the term "strip",
          > > which, I can see now, isn't really what's going on.
          > > > And water-solubility is, it seems, not an issue at all. Thanks for
          > > clearing that up. (Though I know from my experience in herbalism that
          > > the essential oils present in many plants are not particularly
          > > water-soluble.)
          > > > I know that some botanicals yield flavors to a distilled spirit that
          > > can't be explained by the presence of volatile essential oils. I've
          > > distilled some berry wines, for instance, and the brandy had noticeable
          > > hints of berry flavor, even though blueberries & blackberries don't
          > > contain essential oils. I've assumed that this was also true of the
          > > grains from which a whiskey beer is made. I'd mistakenly understood
          > > that a reflux/fractionating still would eliminate these flavors. But it
          > > just rearranges them, so to speak.
          > > > I'm still curious about what these elusive volatile flavors actually
          > > are, chemically, though, and where they fall in the hierarchy of
          > > volatility.
          > > >
          > > > Interesting to note how rare getting color in a distillate is. I use
          > > 8 or 9 herbs in my absinthe. I can't even guess which one(s) might be
          > > contributing the color, but it's a consistent phenomenon. The old
          > > recipes mention it, too.
          > > >
          > > > Thanks again for clarifying things.
          > > >
          > > ----snip----
          > >
          >
        • Richard Costa
          Thanks for the response. I m straddling the fence right now but it does give me some clarity. I guess it comes down to what I m trying to achieve and what my
          Message 4 of 14 , Feb 26, 2013
            Thanks for the response. I'm straddling the fence right now but it does give me some clarity. I guess it comes down to what I'm trying to achieve and what my resources are for mash? If I have a nice quality mash I might want the pot still, but if it's just about the alcohol I'll be going with the reflux. It's like the choice between making love or just having some hard sex......and I guess I'm looking to achieve both but do it in one run, ...or on the first date.
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             

            From: tgfoitwoods <zymurgybob@...>
            To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 6:35 PM
            Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Confusion over how and what compounds survive distillation
             
            Refluxing to get azeotrope, diluting to get vodka, and flavoring with teensy bottles of booze flavoring is quite common, especially in New Zealand. They pretty much invented this process. If you can't tell the difference between maple syrup and sugar syrup flavored with mapleine, or between chocolate and chocolate "flavored" candy, or between cow's milk and diluted powdered milk, it's a good way to go.

            I use a potstill because I like the natural flavors.

            Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits

            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "richaaard" <richaaard@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Guys, a newbie here. I'm planning on putting together a still and running a batch this summer. I'm in the planning stage and it looks like the more I read about using a pot still versus a reflux makes the decision harder. I have most of the elements to make either but I'm wondering if there is a concensus one way or another, or whether most people are using both methods. If I understand this correctly there is more control over flavor, taste, and strength of product with a pot still? How about running a reflux and adding the flavor afterwards? Any input is appreciated.
            >
            > -------------------
            >
            > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "tgfoitwoods" zymurgybob@ wrote:
            > >
            > > Dampcave, you're welcome.
            > >
            > > many of the flavors that come through the still are not oils at all.
            > > Notably, esters are great volatile flavoring compounds, The ester ethyl
            > > acetate is that fruit flavor in the heads, and ethyl format is one of
            > > the rum "oils" (it's not an oil, that contains some of the rum flavor.
            > > Another rum "oil" is ethyl propionate.
            > >
            > > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
            > > <http://www.kelleybarts.com/zymurgy-bob-books/making-fine-spirits/>
            > >
            > >
            > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "dampcave" <lordwillin@>
            > > wrote:
            > > >
            > > > Thank you for the detailed reply!
            > > > I guess I have been confused by the casual use of the term "strip",
            > > which, I can see now, isn't really what's going on.
            > > > And water-solubility is, it seems, not an issue at all. Thanks for
            > > clearing that up. (Though I know from my experience in herbalism that
            > > the essential oils present in many plants are not particularly
            > > water-soluble.)
            > > > I know that some botanicals yield flavors to a distilled spirit that
            > > can't be explained by the presence of volatile essential oils. I've
            > > distilled some berry wines, for instance, and the brandy had noticeable
            > > hints of berry flavor, even though blueberries & blackberries don't
            > > contain essential oils. I've assumed that this was also true of the
            > > grains from which a whiskey beer is made. I'd mistakenly understood
            > > that a reflux/fractionating still would eliminate these flavors. But it
            > > just rearranges them, so to speak.
            > > > I'm still curious about what these elusive volatile flavors actually
            > > are, chemically, though, and where they fall in the hierarchy of
            > > volatility.
            > > >
            > > > Interesting to note how rare getting color in a distillate is. I use
            > > 8 or 9 herbs in my absinthe. I can't even guess which one(s) might be
            > > contributing the color, but it's a consistent phenomenon. The old
            > > recipes mention it, too.
            > > >
            > > > Thanks again for clarifying things.
            > > >
            > > ----snip----
            > >
            >
          • Jim Graves
            The answer is really simple, make a reflux still, it can be run wide open with no reflux and it produces exactly the same as a pot still.  If you want pure,
            Message 5 of 14 , Feb 27, 2013
              The answer is really simple, make a reflux still, it can be run wide open with no reflux and it produces exactly the same as a pot still.  If you want pure, clear distallate, then add reflux (opening the reflux valve slightly and close the open run valve slightly) and then you can get 95% alcohol.  To me its a no brainer, but if you want traditional looking and producing still, then pot is the way to go.  Your choice....
               
              James D. Graves
              Ravenwood Solutions, llc.
              251-533-8569

              From: Richard Costa <richaaard@...>
              To: "new_distillers@yahoogroups.com" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 8:02 PM
              Subject: Re: [new_distillers] Re: Confusion over how and what compounds survive distillation

               
              Thanks for the response. I'm straddling the fence right now but it does give me some clarity. I guess it comes down to what I'm trying to achieve and what my resources are for mash? If I have a nice quality mash I might want the pot still, but if it's just about the alcohol I'll be going with the reflux. It's like the choice between making love or just having some hard sex......and I guess I'm looking to achieve both but do it in one run, ...or on the first date.
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               

              From: tgfoitwoods <zymurgybob@...>
              To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 6:35 PM
              Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Confusion over how and what compounds survive distillation
               
              Refluxing to get azeotrope, diluting to get vodka, and flavoring with teensy bottles of booze flavoring is quite common, especially in New Zealand. They pretty much invented this process. If you can't tell the difference between maple syrup and sugar syrup flavored with mapleine, or between chocolate and chocolate "flavored" candy, or between cow's milk and diluted powdered milk, it's a good way to go.

              I use a potstill because I like the natural flavors.

              Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits

              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "richaaard" <richaaard@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi Guys, a newbie here. I'm planning on putting together a still and running a batch this summer. I'm in the planning stage and it looks like the more I read about using a pot still versus a reflux makes the decision harder. I have most of the elements to make either but I'm wondering if there is a concensus one way or another, or whether most people are using both methods. If I understand this correctly there is more control over flavor, taste, and strength of product with a pot still? How about running a reflux and adding the flavor afterwards? Any input is appreciated.
              >
              > -------------------
              >
              > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "tgfoitwoods" zymurgybob@ wrote:
              > >
              > > Dampcave, you're welcome.
              > >
              > > many of the flavors that come through the still are not oils at all.
              > > Notably, esters are great volatile flavoring compounds, The ester ethyl
              > > acetate is that fruit flavor in the heads, and ethyl format is one of
              > > the rum "oils" (it's not an oil, that contains some of the rum flavor.
              > > Another rum "oil" is ethyl propionate.
              > >
              > > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
              > > <http://www.kelleybarts.com/zymurgy-bob-books/making-fine-spirits/>
              > >
              > >
              > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "dampcave" <lordwillin@>
              > > wrote:
              > > >
              > > > Thank you for the detailed reply!
              > > > I guess I have been confused by the casual use of the term "strip",
              > > which, I can see now, isn't really what's going on.
              > > > And water-solubility is, it seems, not an issue at all. Thanks for
              > > clearing that up. (Though I know from my experience in herbalism that
              > > the essential oils present in many plants are not particularly
              > > water-soluble.)
              > > > I know that some botanicals yield flavors to a distilled spirit that
              > > can't be explained by the presence of volatile essential oils. I've
              > > distilled some berry wines, for instance, and the brandy had noticeable
              > > hints of berry flavor, even though blueberries & blackberries don't
              > > contain essential oils. I've assumed that this was also true of the
              > > grains from which a whiskey beer is made. I'd mistakenly understood
              > > that a reflux/fractionating still would eliminate these flavors. But it
              > > just rearranges them, so to speak.
              > > > I'm still curious about what these elusive volatile flavors actually
              > > are, chemically, though, and where they fall in the hierarchy of
              > > volatility.
              > > >
              > > > Interesting to note how rare getting color in a distillate is. I use
              > > 8 or 9 herbs in my absinthe. I can't even guess which one(s) might be
              > > contributing the color, but it's a consistent phenomenon. The old
              > > recipes mention it, too.
              > > >
              > > > Thanks again for clarifying things.
              > > >
              > > ----snip----
              > >
              >


            • jsducote
              Take a look at some of the flexible reflux designs. It s possible to run a column with very little reflux, effectively giving you a pot still. Or a column that
              Message 6 of 14 , Feb 27, 2013
                Take a look at some of the flexible reflux designs. It's possible to run a column with very little reflux, effectively giving you a pot still. Or a column that is removable altogether, depending on what you plan on distilling. It seems silly to me, personally, to strip out all the flavor and then add it back in artificially. But there are no wrong answers if you like what you're making.
                -j

                --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Richard Costa <richaaard@...> wrote:
                >
                > Thanks for the response. I'm straddling the fence right now but it does give me some clarity. I guess it comes down to what I'm trying to achieve and what my resources are for mash? If I have a nice quality mash I might want the pot still, but if it's just about the alcohol I'll be going with the reflux. It's like the choice between making love or just having some hard sex......and I guess I'm looking to achieve both but do it in one run, ...or on the first date.
                >
                > ________________________________
                > From: tgfoitwoods <zymurgybob@...>
                > To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                > Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 6:35 PM
                > Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Confusion over how and what compounds survive distillation
                >
                >  
                > Refluxing to get azeotrope, diluting to get vodka, and flavoring with teensy bottles of booze flavoring is quite common, especially in New Zealand. They pretty much invented this process. If you can't tell the difference between maple syrup and sugar syrup flavored with mapleine, or between chocolate and chocolate "flavored" candy, or between cow's milk and diluted powdered milk, it's a good way to go.
                >
                > I use a potstill because I like the natural flavors.
                >
                > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
                >
                > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "richaaard" <richaaard@> wrote:
                > >
                > > Hi Guys, a newbie here. I'm planning on putting together a still and running a batch this summer. I'm in the planning stage and it looks like the more I read about using a pot still versus a reflux makes the decision harder. I have most of the elements to make either but I'm wondering if there is a concensus one way or another, or whether most people are using both methods. If I understand this correctly there is more control over flavor, taste, and strength of product with a pot still? How about running a reflux and adding the flavor afterwards? Any input is appreciated.
              • Ken Martin
                I just read Zymurgy Bob s book and he clarifys many things for the novice like me. Z Bob says if you desire to do whiskeys and rums go with a pot, vodkas and
                Message 7 of 14 , Feb 27, 2013
                  I just read Zymurgy Bob's book and he clarifys many things for the novice like me. Z Bob says if you desire to do whiskeys and rums go with a pot, vodkas and gins a reflux. 
                  Only the very best distillers can do both well. Make you still choice up by choosing what you intend to craft. 

                  On Feb 26, 2013, at 6:39 AM, "richaaard" <richaaard@...> wrote:

                   

                  Hi Guys, a newbie here. I'm planning on putting together a still and running a batch this summer. I'm in the planning stage and it looks like the more I read about using a pot still versus a reflux makes the decision harder. I have most of the elements to make either but I'm wondering if there is a concensus one way or another, or whether most people are using both methods. If I understand this correctly there is more control over flavor, taste, and strength of product with a pot still? How about running a reflux and adding the flavor afterwards? Any input is appreciated.

                  -------------------

                  --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "tgfoitwoods" wrote:
                  >
                  > Dampcave, you're welcome.
                  >
                  > many of the flavors that come through the still are not oils at all.
                  > Notably, esters are great volatile flavoring compounds, The ester ethyl
                  > acetate is that fruit flavor in the heads, and ethyl format is one of
                  > the rum "oils" (it's not an oil, that contains some of the rum flavor.
                  > Another rum "oil" is ethyl propionate.
                  >
                  > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
                  > http://www.kelleybarts.com/zymurgy-bob-books/making-fine-spirits/>
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "dampcave"
                  > wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Thank you for the detailed reply!
                  > > I guess I have been confused by the casual use of the term "strip",
                  > which, I can see now, isn't really what's going on.
                  > > And water-solubility is, it seems, not an issue at all. Thanks for
                  > clearing that up. (Though I know from my experience in herbalism that
                  > the essential oils present in many plants are not particularly
                  > water-soluble.)
                  > > I know that some botanicals yield flavors to a distilled spirit that
                  > can't be explained by the presence of volatile essential oils. I've
                  > distilled some berry wines, for instance, and the brandy had noticeable
                  > hints of berry flavor, even though blueberries & blackberries don't
                  > contain essential oils. I've assumed that this was also true of the
                  > grains from which a whiskey beer is made. I'd mistakenly understood
                  > that a reflux/fractionating still would eliminate these flavors. But it
                  > just rearranges them, so to speak.
                  > > I'm still curious about what these elusive volatile flavors actually
                  > are, chemically, though, and where they fall in the hierarchy of
                  > volatility.
                  > >
                  > > Interesting to note how rare getting color in a distillate is. I use
                  > 8 or 9 herbs in my absinthe. I can't even guess which one(s) might be
                  > contributing the color, but it's a consistent phenomenon. The old
                  > recipes mention it, too.
                  > >
                  > > Thanks again for clarifying things.
                  > >
                  > ----snip----
                  >

                • Richard Costa
                  That s basically where I was headed, a shorter column with limited reflux. If my intention is a quality mash then it makes no sense to distill it all out. I
                  Message 8 of 14 , Feb 27, 2013
                    That's basically where I was headed, a shorter column with limited reflux. If my intention is a quality mash then it makes no sense to distill it all out. I was just hoping to get the results I wanted in one run instead of two. Thanks for the reply.


                    From: jsducote <jsducote@...>
                    To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 10:31 AM
                    Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Confusion over how and what compounds survive distillation

                     
                    Take a look at some of the flexible reflux designs. It's possible to run a column with very little reflux, effectively giving you a pot still. Or a column that is removable altogether, depending on what you plan on distilling. It seems silly to me, personally, to strip out all the flavor and then add it back in artificially. But there are no wrong answers if you like what you're making.
                    -j

                    --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Richard Costa wrote:
                    >
                    > Thanks for the response. I'm straddling the fence right now but it does give me some clarity. I guess it comes down to what I'm trying to achieve and what my resources are for mash? If I have a nice quality mash I might want the pot still, but if it's just about the alcohol I'll be going with the reflux. It's like the choice between making love or just having some hard sex......and I guess I'm looking to achieve both but do it in one run, ...or on the first date.
                    >
                    > ________________________________
                    > From: tgfoitwoods
                    > To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                    > Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 6:35 PM
                    > Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Confusion over how and what compounds survive distillation
                    >
                    >  
                    > Refluxing to get azeotrope, diluting to get vodka, and flavoring with teensy bottles of booze flavoring is quite common, especially in New Zealand. They pretty much invented this process. If you can't tell the difference between maple syrup and sugar syrup flavored with mapleine, or between chocolate and chocolate "flavored" candy, or between cow's milk and diluted powdered milk, it's a good way to go.
                    >
                    > I use a potstill because I like the natural flavors.
                    >
                    > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
                    >
                    > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "richaaard" wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Hi Guys, a newbie here. I'm planning on putting together a still and running a batch this summer. I'm in the planning stage and it looks like the more I read about using a pot still versus a reflux makes the decision harder. I have most of the elements to make either but I'm wondering if there is a concensus one way or another, or whether most people are using both methods. If I understand this correctly there is more control over flavor, taste, and strength of product with a pot still? How about running a reflux and adding the flavor afterwards? Any input is appreciated.



                  • Richard Costa
                    Thanks, another great response, and I hadn t thought of that. Hmmm...make a reflux still but run it like a pot still when I want to. I ve got a pretty good
                    Message 9 of 14 , Feb 27, 2013
                      Thanks, another great response, and I hadn't thought of that. Hmmm...make a reflux still but run it like a pot still when I want to. I've got a pretty good idea now of exactly how I want to approach the build. Thanks everyone.


                      From: Jim Graves <jimbull34@...>
                      To: "new_distillers@yahoogroups.com" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 9:35 AM
                      Subject: Re: [new_distillers] Re: Confusion over how and what compounds survive distillation

                       
                      The answer is really simple, make a reflux still, it can be run wide open with no reflux and it produces exactly the same as a pot still.  If you want pure, clear distallate, then add reflux (opening the reflux valve slightly and close the open run valve slightly) and then you can get 95% alcohol.  To me its a no brainer, but if you want traditional looking and producing still, then pot is the way to go.  Your choice....
                       
                      James D. Graves
                      Ravenwood Solutions, llc.
                      251-533-8569

                      From: Richard Costa <richaaard@...>
                      To: "new_distillers@yahoogroups.com" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 8:02 PM
                      Subject: Re: [new_distillers] Re: Confusion over how and what compounds survive distillation

                       
                      Thanks for the response. I'm straddling the fence right now but it does give me some clarity. I guess it comes down to what I'm trying to achieve and what my resources are for mash? If I have a nice quality mash I might want the pot still, but if it's just about the alcohol I'll be going with the reflux. It's like the choice between making love or just having some hard sex......and I guess I'm looking to achieve both but do it in one run, ...or on the first date.
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       

                      From: tgfoitwoods <zymurgybob@...>
                      To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 6:35 PM
                      Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Confusion over how and what compounds survive distillation
                       
                      Refluxing to get azeotrope, diluting to get vodka, and flavoring with teensy bottles of booze flavoring is quite common, especially in New Zealand. They pretty much invented this process. If you can't tell the difference between maple syrup and sugar syrup flavored with mapleine, or between chocolate and chocolate "flavored" candy, or between cow's milk and diluted powdered milk, it's a good way to go.

                      I use a potstill because I like the natural flavors.

                      Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits

                      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "richaaard" <richaaard@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Hi Guys, a newbie here. I'm planning on putting together a still and running a batch this summer. I'm in the planning stage and it looks like the more I read about using a pot still versus a reflux makes the decision harder. I have most of the elements to make either but I'm wondering if there is a concensus one way or another, or whether most people are using both methods. If I understand this correctly there is more control over flavor, taste, and strength of product with a pot still? How about running a reflux and adding the flavor afterwards? Any input is appreciated.
                      >
                      > -------------------
                      >
                      > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "tgfoitwoods" zymurgybob@ wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Dampcave, you're welcome.
                      > >
                      > > many of the flavors that come through the still are not oils at all.
                      > > Notably, esters are great volatile flavoring compounds, The ester ethyl
                      > > acetate is that fruit flavor in the heads, and ethyl format is one of
                      > > the rum "oils" (it's not an oil, that contains some of the rum flavor.
                      > > Another rum "oil" is ethyl propionate.
                      > >
                      > > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
                      > > <http://www.kelleybarts.com/zymurgy-bob-books/making-fine-spirits/>
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "dampcave" <lordwillin@>
                      > > wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > Thank you for the detailed reply!
                      > > > I guess I have been confused by the casual use of the term "strip",
                      > > which, I can see now, isn't really what's going on.
                      > > > And water-solubility is, it seems, not an issue at all. Thanks for
                      > > clearing that up. (Though I know from my experience in herbalism that
                      > > the essential oils present in many plants are not particularly
                      > > water-soluble.)
                      > > > I know that some botanicals yield flavors to a distilled spirit that
                      > > can't be explained by the presence of volatile essential oils. I've
                      > > distilled some berry wines, for instance, and the brandy had noticeable
                      > > hints of berry flavor, even though blueberries & blackberries don't
                      > > contain essential oils. I've assumed that this was also true of the
                      > > grains from which a whiskey beer is made. I'd mistakenly understood
                      > > that a reflux/fractionating still would eliminate these flavors. But it
                      > > just rearranges them, so to speak.
                      > > > I'm still curious about what these elusive volatile flavors actually
                      > > are, chemically, though, and where they fall in the hierarchy of
                      > > volatility.
                      > > >
                      > > > Interesting to note how rare getting color in a distillate is. I use
                      > > 8 or 9 herbs in my absinthe. I can't even guess which one(s) might be
                      > > contributing the color, but it's a consistent phenomenon. The old
                      > > recipes mention it, too.
                      > > >
                      > > > Thanks again for clarifying things.
                      > > >
                      > > ----snip----
                      > >
                      >




                    • RLB
                      Use a thumper. Robert ________________________________ From: Richard Costa To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                      Message 10 of 14 , Feb 27, 2013
                        Use a thumper.

                        Robert


                        From: Richard Costa <richaaard@...>
                        To: "new_distillers@yahoogroups.com" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 11:19 AM
                        Subject: Re: [new_distillers] Re: Confusion over how and what compounds survive distillation

                         
                        That's basically where I was headed, a shorter column with limited reflux. If my intention is a quality mash then it makes no sense to distill it all out. I was just hoping to get the results I wanted in one run instead of two. Thanks for the reply.


                        From: jsducote <jsducote@...>
                        To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 10:31 AM
                        Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Confusion over how and what compounds survive distillation

                         
                        Take a look at some of the flexible reflux designs. It's possible to run a column with very little reflux, effectively giving you a pot still. Or a column that is removable altogether, depending on what you plan on distilling. It seems silly to me, personally, to strip out all the flavor and then add it back in artificially. But there are no wrong answers if you like what you're making.
                        -j

                        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Richard Costa wrote:
                        >
                        > Thanks for the response. I'm straddling the fence right now but it does give me some clarity. I guess it comes down to what I'm trying to achieve and what my resources are for mash? If I have a nice quality mash I might want the pot still, but if it's just about the alcohol I'll be going with the reflux. It's like the choice between making love or just having some hard sex......and I guess I'm looking to achieve both but do it in one run, ...or on the first date.
                        >
                        > ________________________________
                        > From: tgfoitwoods
                        > To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                        > Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 6:35 PM
                        > Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Confusion over how and what compounds survive distillation
                        >
                        >  
                        > Refluxing to get azeotrope, diluting to get vodka, and flavoring with teensy bottles of booze flavoring is quite common, especially in New Zealand. They pretty much invented this process. If you can't tell the difference between maple syrup and sugar syrup flavored with mapleine, or between chocolate and chocolate "flavored" candy, or between cow's milk and diluted powdered milk, it's a good way to go.
                        >
                        > I use a potstill because I like the natural flavors.
                        >
                        > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
                        >
                        > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "richaaard" wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Hi Guys, a newbie here. I'm planning on putting together a still and running a batch this summer. I'm in the planning stage and it looks like the more I read about using a pot still versus a reflux makes the decision harder. I have most of the elements to make either but I'm wondering if there is a concensus one way or another, or whether most people are using both methods. If I understand this correctly there is more control over flavor, taste, and strength of product with a pot still? How about running a reflux and adding the flavor afterwards? Any input is appreciated.





                      • Damion Pseudonym
                        ((trimming posts is awesome)) You could always do both. I know designing and building my own mini-still has been immensely educational and just crazy fun too
                        Message 11 of 14 , Feb 27, 2013
                          ((trimming posts is awesome))

                          You could always do both. I know designing and building my own mini-still has been immensely educational and just crazy fun too (I chose pot-stilling because I like the aesthetic of it - and vodka just doesn't have the romance....). Sounds like you've got the "punk rock DIY" bug on all this, so, really, nothing teaches you and gives you a solid grounding like hands on.

                          -=DPseudo
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