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Using column for both vodka and gin


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#1 seventh son

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 08:37 AM

I currently distil vodka in a packed colum, and I want to start experimenting with gin. I plan to place the boptanicals directly into the pot. My fear is that after distilling the gin it will be difficult to clean my column for use to distill vodka. Do most of you use a seperate column for gin, or can it be adequately cleaned after distilling gin?

#2 ViolentBlue

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 09:15 AM

the oil from the botanicals will will coat your packing and be very difficult to clean.
I would suggest removing the packing before running gin, it will be much easier to clean.

Steve

#3 seventh son

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 12:57 PM

Thank you Steve, that's what I was afraid of. Cleansing the un-packed column, condenser, and pot of the oils is possible then?
Is it common practice to use the same column for both vodka and gin?

Kevin

#4 Oregon Spirit Distillers

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 01:37 PM

We make a 5% citric acid solution to soak our pot and our column. We do this routinely as well as when we change products. It seems to keep things clean and fresh. Good luck.

#5 ViolentBlue

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 01:57 PM

seems to be common practice to use same equipment for gin/whiskey/vodka. but yes a thorough cleaning is in order when changing products.
juniper oils linger and can ruin your whiskey or vodka.

#6 seventh son

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 02:59 PM

Thanks for your help.

#7 bluestar

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 03:42 PM

the oil from the botanicals will will coat your packing and be very difficult to clean.
I would suggest removing the packing before running gin, it will be much easier to clean.

Steve


In addition to Steve's point, the packing will also strip much of the flavor out that your are trying to get from the botanicals. If you had a plate system, you would probably bypass them. But if you have packing, just remove it.

#8 seventh son

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 07:13 PM

Thanks, Steve.

I have another related question. From what I have read, it is common practice to dilute 190 proof GNS down to 90-100 roof when charging the still for gin production (reistilled gin). Why not charge the still at full strength - 190 proof?

#9 cannibalpeas

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 11:57 AM

It goes back to the question of water soluble and ethanol soluble compunds. I can't speak to the chemistry involved in all of the botanicals you may want to use, but I have done quite a number of experiments with herbs for compounding as well as distilling and have found that when distilling gin 110 proof is just right for me. A bit more water and I get too many dank notes, a bit more ethanol and I'm not happy with the total extractives.

The best thing I ever did when researching gin was to distill every herb of interest in a 10 L baby still to get a sense of their character as well as any spirit variations of interest (proof or substrate). It really helps to understand each actor's part in the whole production. A 1-4 L run takes me around an hour total. Lots of information and very little waste.

#10 seventh son

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 04:59 PM

The best thing I ever did when researching gin was to distill every herb of interest in a 10 L baby still to get a sense of their character as well as any spirit variations of interest (proof or substrate). It really helps to understand each actor's part in the whole production. A 1-4 L run takes me around an hour total. Lots of information and very little waste

I was just looking at investing in a benchtop still. It sounds like time and money well spent. Thanks for your help!

#11 anthony c

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 10:04 AM

There seems to be some pretty good advice here on what strength to charge the still. The question for me is what is the strength of distillate that gin makers are targeting out of the still? It seems like that detail would be equally important from a flavor profile perspective and highly dependent on the specific still you're using.

Anyone willing to share?




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