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Everything posted by Odin

  1. Rum making with iStills! https://istillblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/16/vs-distillers-ltd/ Regards, Odin.
  2. Fores, nice find. Don't put them in the dishwasher though. They break instantly. Regards, Odin.
  3. Since I have reached my maximum, I can't post pictures here directly. I will have to clean up some posts later. For now, if you are interested in seeing the iStill 2000 NextGen that we are building for deployment in Napa Valley, California, please see: https://istillblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/11/california-dreaming/ Regards, Odin.
  4. Hi Foreshot, I love to use a grappa glass. The reason is that its tulip shape guides smells to the nose. And it has a stem, so you can easily swirl the contents around without your hands or fingers warming the spirits. The negative is that they are delicate and break easily. Something shaped like this: https://woldring-porselein.nl/zwiesel-1872-enoteca-grappa-101ml-nr-155/?gclid=CMzr1pLSudECFQs4GwodAiQDjg Regards, Odin.
  5. If you add the rye later, after you cooked the corn, it may help you cool your mash from (cooking) corn temperatures down faster ... Regards, Odin.
  6. Gerald from Canada is about to open his whisky distillery! For pictures on the build of his distillery and his stills, please see: https://istillblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/09/distillery-shefford/ Regards, Odin.
  7. Hi Chip, Happy to help you out with any Q's you might have. Here's a general thread on Gin making that I openend here not long ago, that you may find interesting. Regards, Odin.
  8. Here are pictures of Jude and Peter from the UK, setting up their iStill in their distillery: https://istillblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/archangel-distillery/ Regards, Odin.
  9. Hi Kinky, I opened up a thread on gin making here on the ADI Forums, just like Silk City Distillers mentioned. Also, as a follow up to my booklet on taste rich distilling, I'll do a booklet on gin making. It will be ready by March, I expect. Regards, Odin.
  10. How many grams of yeast do you pitch?
  11. Hi Fa20driver, 15 to 20% of total is way too big for a Heads cut. Especially if you apply a 20-plater. Butterscotch tastes and flavors are caused by diacetyl. Not by definiation Heads compound related, but mostly caused by bacterial infections during the (early parts) of the fermentation process. More areation at the beginning (for better yeast propagation) or higher amounts of yeast may help solve the issue. My thinking is that you do have an off flavor (which you describe as "butterscotch") due to fermentation issues and that you may not have a cuts and/or concentration issue while distilling. Barley, especially malted barley, is very prone to bacterial infections. Here's more info on diacetyl: DiacetylDiacetyl is most often described as a butter or butterscotch flavor. Smell an unpopped bag of butter flavor microwave popcorn for a good example. It is desired to a degree in many ales, but in some styles (mainly lagers) and circumstances it is unwanted and may even take on rancid overtones. Diacetyl can be the result of the normal fermentation process or the result of a bacterial infection. Diacetyl is produced early in the fermentation cycle by the yeast and is gradually reassimilated towards the end of the fermentation. A brew that experiences a long lag time due to weak yeast or insufficient aeration will produce a lot of diacetyl before the main fermentation begins. In this case there is often more diacetyl than the yeast can consume at the end of fermentation and it can dominate the flavor of the beer. I hope you find this information helpful. Regards, Odin.
  12. Beautiful! Are the wholes on the plates for bubble caps? What steam requirements are needed to drive the continuous column? Regards, Odin.
  13. That must be: "High temps in the boiler ..." I wrote that down incorrectly. Good luck on your gin, Kinky. Regards, Odin.
  14. Introduction Over the last decade I have had the opportunity to help dozens and dozens of craft distillers with developing and designing their gins. I want to use this thread to help lay out some of the basic guidelines I learned, that make the production of great gin quite easy and straight forward. Over the coming days (and depending on comments and my time in the factory) or weeks, I want to get most of the information (if not all) that we give on our gin making courses across. Now, gin making has a wide set of variables. And a lot of people adhere to certain approaches. If ever you feel my approaches or opinions to be contrary to yours, let's turn this thread into a discussion, not a battle ground. I for one will not. Just sharing info, not trying to convince anyone. Use the info or not. It's here (or it will be) and I will share it so you can use it. A few things on gin. Basically, let's dive into procedures, herbs bills, distillation techniques. But I want to start with a general outline on taste. Just to make or introduce a starting point. When I make whiskey, I find the late heads, smearing into hearts, to be fruity. Front of mouth oriented. You taste them first and you taste them on your lips and the front of your tongue. The body, the grain, comes over after that. Hearts. Middle mouth feeling. Early tails, that smear into the last portion of hearts, have a nutty, root-like taste (if you give them time to develop) and are tasted at the back of your mouth towards the throat. Now, in my experience, the same holds true for a gin: it's the fruity bits that come over first, then the body, then the root-like, nutty flavors. So if you want to make a floral gin ... don't add root-like, nutty things to your gin recipe. And cut a bit earlier. If you want a full-bodied gin that lingers in your mouth and can be consumed neat ... do add those nutty, root-like components. And cut a bit later, since these tastes come over during the last part of the run. Okay, that was the introductionary post. More on herbs bills and aging gin and procedures in future posts! Regards, Odin.
  15. Here's more info and a picture of a new and stronger heating element for the iStill 100 NextGen: https://istillblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/29/istill-100-push-the-power/ This 100 liter unit is often used for either product development or as a gin still. The additional heater gives it a bit of extra "oomph". Regards, Odin.
  16. ... if you mill your malt on location, bacteria easily lift with the dust that's formed into open fermenting. Not saying that's the cause, but it is something you might want to look into. Regards, Odin.
  17. Hi Sudzie, Yes, looks like a lacto infection. Open top fermentation? Sanitation procedures? Feedstok molasses that didn't get cleaned? Running malted barley in your distillery? Just asking, because these are common sources of lactobacterial infections. Another one is adding dunder to the ferment. Regards, Odin.
  18. Hi Kinky, I don't know your set-up so I may be wrong, but there are two things I would dive into, if I were you: Lots of juniper comes over in the beginning of the run. If you collect that at very high temperatures, it is easier to bring tanine-like tastes over ... so maybe reflux a bit less ... or not at all, but up the ABV in the boiler. Since you do vapor infusion, low temps in the boiler have no benefit. If you collect till what comes over is 10% ... it looks like you run very deep into tails. Quite some astringent tastes can be found there. My advice is: run higher ABV in the boiler and do it potstill style. And collect in mason jars, write down collection temps (Temperature in the column) of each jar, and do taste settings there, so you can decide on where to stop. Regards, Odin.
  19. Hi Fa20driver, Filter the charcoal out before you redistill it. A coarse filter will do. Then redistill those tails. And toss the charcoal. Regards, Odin.
  20. Hmmm ... that feeling may be mutual, not knowing who is behind the handle, but please don't tell my wife. Regards, Odin.
  21. If you want to see how much care we take in crating and packaging our iStills, before they get shipped all over the world, please see this iStill Blog post: https://istillblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/28/preparing-for-transport/ Regards, Odin.
  22. Lallemand advices their normal sugar yeast for rum. They won't say it out aloud but I discussed our findings with them and they admitted to it. EC 118 is better for more neutral ferments. For vodkas rather than rums. For a bigger taste profile, don't hesitate to ferment, using granulated bakers yeast. It's grown on molasses and deals with pretty much any rum or grain ferment with good results. Its also a yeast that's habituated to higher fermentation temps. And with rum - sugar cane - being tropical that works well. Aim for fermentation temperatures of 32 to 34 degrees Celsius (sorry, I am not a Fahrenheit kinda guy). Amounts of yeast: 1 gram per liter of ferment. Take 1/3rd of it and boil the crap out of it in some water. This will serve as yeast nutrients. The rest of the yeast you sprinkle on top. This works better than a yeast starter or by stirring the yeast in. Yeast starters: you never know the exact amount of yeast. Stirring it in: you force contact dried out yeast with water, resulting in higher yeast mortality. Also, pH 3.6 may be too low for sugar cane ferments. It's on the edge for sure. Rum ferments in general have quite a high acidity, quite some residual sugars. Combine that with the higher temperatures, and a pH 3.6 may shortcut the fermentation process, stalling your ferment, while also creating more off tastes. I'd aim for a lowest pH thrash hold of pH 4.0. Add lime at the beginning of the ferment (start with 0.5 grams per liter of ferment), monitor and see if pH stays above pH 3.9 at least. If not, add 0.6 grams of lime per liter of ferment next time, etc. Hope this info helps. Regards, Odin.
  23. Stillage is what remains in the boiler after a first run. Since it is full of taste and nutrients, and since it is low on pH, it has two basic uses: 1. It is put back in the mashing process (whiskey - sour mashing) or it is put back in the rum fermentation for additional taste, etc. This is called backset; 2. You let the stillage infect with bacteria and it is then called dunder. You could use kefir or yoghurt bacteria to get the infection going. In general a minimum of 6 weeks is needed to achieve a good taste profile. At relatively warm temperatures. Dunder has more taste impact than backset. I advice to put it in the boiler (1 to 5%) prior to the finishing run. If you add it to the ferment the risk of bacteria taking things over becomes too big. And even if they don't, one time there will be more than another time, so taste is not stable. Adding it to the low wines takes care of that problem. Just my two cents. Regards, Odin.
  24. whiskey

    It may clear up as it warms up. Higher proof means solvency power is bigger. So more (especially) fatty acids can be dissolved at a higher proof product. The same holds true for temperature (to a lesser extend): colder drinks shrink and may push excess amounts of oils out of solution. If it warms up, it will dissolve again. 3Dog gives the right answer. Another option is running it a bit slower or less deep into tails for less tailsy oils in your end product. Regards, Odin.
  25. Hi Franco, I don't know where you are situated, but if in Europe, please know we will put up a new training calendar soon. My lead trainer informed me yesterday that he plans new one day workshops on distilling 101, gin, whisky and rum making for February and January. They'll probably be listed on our website first week of January. If you already know what course you want to follow, I can also bring you in touch with the trainer, so you can reserve a place beforehand. The reason I mention that, is that our courses are usually sold out in hours, and it's easy to miss the timeframe. Regards, Odin.