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KDI

Lots of tails from wine

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KDI    0

Hello All,

Just finishing a brandy run with new wine. Vineyard went out of business and I got 700 gallons of not good wine. Been distilling for a long time, but I do not have a lot of experience with wine distillation. This wine was supposedly tested and is 14-16%; however, I am lucky to get 5% hearts. It an easy call this stuff turns quick and smells up the whole place. lol

BTW, using a 4 plate system with slow heat.

Just wondering if ya'll think its the wine or should I just 6 or 8 plate this wine. I have another tote to go so any suggestions are welcome.

Regards,

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CADG    2

Hi KDI,

We do a lot of work in our distillery with wine. If you want to contact us privately, please feel free.

cris.drydiggings@gmail.com

cris

p.s. Have you considered joining the CADG yet?

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bluestar    42

was the wine sulfured? that would explain the smell. you would need to desulfur the wine before distilling it.

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bluestar    42

How do you desulfer wine?

It ain't easy, essentially impractical for the craft distiller. There are new modern enzymatic methods, but these are expensive and not widely commercially available. Addition of hydrogen peroxide will eliminate sulfites, but not the sulfur, just changes its oxidation state. You can of course remove it as part of the distillation process. This is normally done in all distillations with the presence of copper as the desulfuring agent, but with a sulfited wine you will have 10x-100x more sulfur, so you will have to make contact with that much more copper and/or refresh regularly. Again, adds expense. Generally, if your intent is to utilize the wine because it is cheap, you have to make sure you purchase wine that has not been treated with sulfites.

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captnKB    20

Lots of fresh shiny copper in the vapor path during your spirit run will reduce to nearly eliminate sulphur smell. Sulphur will bond with fresh copper but in the case of a wine with lots of sulfites you need a good bit of fresh copper to off set it.

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PeteB    45

The sulfur eats your copper still and the low wines especially can be blue (been there, done that)

I distill ciders that people bring me. Occasionally they have been sulfured and it is not fun to be near the still when they are running.

I guess it would help to run the outlet without it being submerged in the parrot to let those fumes gas off. Hopefully short term pain for long term gain.

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bluestar    42

The sulfur eats your copper still and the low wines especially can be blue (been there, done that)

If you keep the copper out of the condensate path, then you should avoid the blues. That means a stainless or glass condenser. Also, if using cheap wine, you might have some acetic acid in the wine, and that can make copper acetate (also blue), if you have a copper condenser.

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patrick260z    2

If it is stinky sulfur then you have hydrogen sulphite or a more stable mercaptan. Hydrogen sulphite is readily reactive with elemental copper. So a clean copper surface in your vapor path should clean it up. Additionally, a copper pot would also help. In lieu of those, copper sulfate (the blue granulated type) can be added to the pot upon charging and should strip out the stink. Make sure to hydrate the copper sulfate w/ distilled/RO water.

If it is a more stable mercaptan, you'll need to brake the mercaptan apart with an ascorbic acid treatment, then treat the released hydrogen sulphite with the copper.

The "sulfite" I think a lot of people are talking on this thread about, is the Free unbound SO2. Smells more like a match stick and is a very harsh respiratory irritant. Very different then the reduced sulfur smell talked about above. If it is that, hydrogen peroxide will take it out to produce sulfuric acid. Sulfuric acid will stay in solution and not distill off. This is a reaction that, if there are large amounts of so2 in the wine, takes some time to reach equilibrium. You also need to make sure when you add it to heavily so2 wines, you'll need to agitate the wine and slowly add the H2O2. If it is just a slight (less then 10ppm TSO2) amount, then toss it directly to the pot upon charging. Classick's mention of the web site add calculator is a solid tool. I've used it myself.

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bluestar    42

In principle, yes, you can convert the sulfite (which can become gaseous SO2 during distillation, and end up in the distillate) to sulfate by adding H2O2. Or any oxygenating agent. Any sulfate should be a fully water soluble salt, that should not produce SO2 during distillation. As I said, the H2O2 changes oxidation state, but does not remove the sulfur. Depending on other factors, that might eliminate the problem per Classick. But it might not, if there is something that can reduce the sulfate to sulfite again during distillation. Hence, why I said it does not desulfur the wine. Also, to stabilized the sulfate, it helps if it is in a copper pot, so dissolved copper will buffer the solution as copper sulfate (adding copper sulfate per patrick260z also buffers, but does not convert, and can even drive the reaction back the other way if already saturated with sulfate). You can simply try it and see, since whether H2O2 works is actually hard to determine a priori, without a full knowledge of the wine (pH, other dissolved salts, organic acids, etc.) and sources for dissolved metal (particularly copper). By the way, adding significant quantities of H2O2 will affect other volatiles coming from the wine into the distillate, since it can oxidize organics, increasing esters and ketones, for example. YMMV.

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patrick260z    2

Blue, you're absolutely correct about everything you've said. However, the intent to use the copper sulfate was not to buffer against sulfuric acid reducing to sulfite. It's to react with H2S. I don't believe the problem being discussed is a SO2 problem and I don't think its plausible that a wine (unless completely bleached with sulfur) would ever be saturated with sulfate.

It sounds like a reductive wine problem. One can lab bench trial for reduced wines based on the Scott Labs methods found on their website, I believe. Find out which treatment (just Cu or Ascorbic + Cu) changes the smell of the wine material the most. That being said, ascorbic acid can really tear up a wine, too.

Just as blue said earlier, your best wines are going to be the wines you don't have to treat for sulfur.

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