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RE: [new_distillers] Volatile Smells

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  • Tony & Elle Ackland
    ... Do you know what purity you re getting the spirit off at ? For 800mm i d guess it somewhere like 93%, which should be clean enough. My column is a little
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 18, 2001
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      > I'm experiencing a volatile smell in the spirit.
      > Diluting down to 50% and running through carbon fixes this but I have
      > noticed that I have to change finishing carbon after 3-4 litres.
      > Is this normal?

      Do you know what purity you're getting the spirit off at ? For 800mm i'd
      guess it somewhere like 93%, which should be clean enough. My column is a
      little taller - 1100mm, which gives it a little more purity, but shouldn't
      be the cause of the significant difference. 800mm should be tall enough,
      and you're collecting slow enough to give a good reflux ratio of approx 5

      You may require some copper in the vapour path. This is an argument that
      has both not been resolved too well, but my opinion is that you need some,
      to react with any hydrogen sulphide or dimethyl sulphide present to produce
      copper sulphide (CuS). These sulphides can sometimes be the cause of bad
      smells. You can introduce copper either as copper scouring pads, or even
      just putting a couple of strips in the head of the column in the packing
      there. Some people who have converted all-stainless setups to having a
      little copper have found it beneficial, others haven't. But I reckon its
      worth a go.

      When you decant the wash into the still, are you careful not to cary over
      any of the yeast sediment ? If you have too much, it can sometimes burst
      the yeast cells during distilling, and give off an odour. Some people even
      filter their wash quite clean before they distill it (i let mine settle for
      a couple of days with the heating off, once its finished bubbling)

      When getting rid of the foreshots, take your time to seperate them out. I
      first have the column in total reflux for a wee while, then slowly (1 drip
      per second) take off the first 50mL + This will take say another 20
      minutes to do. By only extracting the foreshots slowly, with the column in
      almost total reflux, they will concentrate up quite stongly - and have a
      real acetate smell to them. Don't start collecting the heads until the
      foreshots have lost their acetate (nail polish remover) smell, and the
      temperature has inc to around 78.2C Maybe you need to collect more than 50
      mL in your case. Throw these foreshots away. Let your nose be your guide
      here. If you want, you can also seperate the heads from the middle run -
      collect them seperately, and either add to the next wash, or if you've got
      enough of them, give them their own distilling run again.

      Likewise - don't take the middle run too far. Collect the good stuff
      between 78.2C and say 79C, and use this clean middle run for anything where
      you want the cleanest flavour. Keep the next lot, from 79 to 96C, as
      tails, and either add to the next wash, or distill seperately (or with the
      heads).

      Segregate the spirits as you collect them (say in 500 mL lots), and let
      your nose guide you as to which you'll keep, and which you'll redistill.

      How happy is the yeast while its fermenting ? You'l get a cleaner wash if
      the temperature is kept really stable, and not too hot. I keep mine at
      24C. You'll expect a good healthy rate of bubbles through the airlock, and
      all over in 5 days. If its taking a couple of weeks, just bubbling very
      slowly, then maybe you need more nutrients, or more yeast when you pitch
      it.

      Also, when using carbon, i find that 1 cup of it is only good for 4-5 L.
      Any more through it, and some of the flavours will start getting washed
      through. So yes, your experience sounds normal.

      Tony
    • ausdistiller@bigpond.com
      Tony, Thanks for the info. I neglected to to tell you I have a copper condenser. Purity is always 95%. Looks like i ll have to pay particular attention to
      Message 2 of 3 , Aug 18, 2001
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        Tony,

        Thanks for the info.
        I neglected to to tell you I have a copper condenser.
        Purity is always 95%.
        Looks like i'll have to pay particular attention to clearing and or
        filtering my wash.






        --- In new_distillers@y..., Tony & Elle Ackland <Tony.Ackland@c...>
        wrote:
        > > I'm experiencing a volatile smell in the spirit.
        > > Diluting down to 50% and running through carbon fixes this but I
        have
        > > noticed that I have to change finishing carbon after 3-4 litres.
        > > Is this normal?
        >
        > Do you know what purity you're getting the spirit off at ? For
        800mm i'd
        > guess it somewhere like 93%, which should be clean enough. My
        column is a
        > little taller - 1100mm, which gives it a little more purity, but
        shouldn't
        > be the cause of the significant difference. 800mm should be tall
        enough,
        > and you're collecting slow enough to give a good reflux ratio of
        approx 5
        >
        > You may require some copper in the vapour path. This is an
        argument that
        > has both not been resolved too well, but my opinion is that you
        need some,
        > to react with any hydrogen sulphide or dimethyl sulphide present to
        produce
        > copper sulphide (CuS). These sulphides can sometimes be the cause
        of bad
        > smells. You can introduce copper either as copper scouring pads,
        or even
        > just putting a couple of strips in the head of the column in the
        packing
        > there. Some people who have converted all-stainless setups to
        having a
        > little copper have found it beneficial, others haven't. But I
        reckon its
        > worth a go.
        >
        > When you decant the wash into the still, are you careful not to
        cary over
        > any of the yeast sediment ? If you have too much, it can sometimes
        burst
        > the yeast cells during distilling, and give off an odour. Some
        people even
        > filter their wash quite clean before they distill it (i let mine
        settle for
        > a couple of days with the heating off, once its finished bubbling)
        >
        > When getting rid of the foreshots, take your time to seperate them
        out. I
        > first have the column in total reflux for a wee while, then slowly
        (1 drip
        > per second) take off the first 50mL + This will take say another
        20
        > minutes to do. By only extracting the foreshots slowly, with the
        column in
        > almost total reflux, they will concentrate up quite stongly - and
        have a
        > real acetate smell to them. Don't start collecting the heads until
        the
        > foreshots have lost their acetate (nail polish remover) smell, and
        the
        > temperature has inc to around 78.2C Maybe you need to collect more
        than 50
        > mL in your case. Throw these foreshots away. Let your nose be
        your guide
        > here. If you want, you can also seperate the heads from the middle
        run -
        > collect them seperately, and either add to the next wash, or if
        you've got
        > enough of them, give them their own distilling run again.
        >
        > Likewise - don't take the middle run too far. Collect the good
        stuff
        > between 78.2C and say 79C, and use this clean middle run for
        anything where
        > you want the cleanest flavour. Keep the next lot, from 79 to 96C,
        as
        > tails, and either add to the next wash, or distill seperately (or
        with the
        > heads).
        >
        > Segregate the spirits as you collect them (say in 500 mL lots), and
        let
        > your nose guide you as to which you'll keep, and which you'll
        redistill.
        >
        > How happy is the yeast while its fermenting ? You'l get a cleaner
        wash if
        > the temperature is kept really stable, and not too hot. I keep
        mine at
        > 24C. You'll expect a good healthy rate of bubbles through the
        airlock, and
        > all over in 5 days. If its taking a couple of weeks, just bubbling
        very
        > slowly, then maybe you need more nutrients, or more yeast when you
        pitch
        > it.
        >
        > Also, when using carbon, i find that 1 cup of it is only good for 4-
        5 L.
        > Any more through it, and some of the flavours will start getting
        washed
        > through. So yes, your experience sounds normal.
        >
        > Tony
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