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MDH

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MDH last won the day on May 7 2017

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  1. MDH

    Grapefruit Liquor

    I don't have the time to do a full post today, but this reading may be of interest to you: http://www.alcademics.com/2012/11/essential-oils-and-cointreaus-centrifuge.html
  2. MDH

    Is it worth using sugarcane in rum production ?

    If you want the volatile flavors from fresh cane - the inherent grassy, forest aroma of fresh sugarcane, then only fresh sugarcane will do. If you want a caramelly rum, use Molasses. Fresh sugarcane will certainly require more processing. It depends what you value.
  3. MDH

    Lessons in Barrel Aging

    Over-extraction simply tastes like too much of the oak characteristics. Hence, a highly aged product that is overextracted will taste very strongly of vanilla, wood, spices, caramel that one might associate from a Bourbon. However, astringency, bitterness and acrid taste exist in your spirit because it is simply underaged. Extraction does not equate to aging. It is only the very beginning of it. The components you have over-extracted now need to react with alcohol and other compounds in the spirit, and the most volatile fraction of spirit (Which even with a very effective head removal will always be present in newmake spirit) still needs to gradually be reduced through air movement throughout the barrel by varying forces (air movement in room, temperature swings, etc). So simply transfer your overextracted spirit to some well used barrels and allow them to age there conventionally. If you can find a very large barrel (a hogshead or sherry-butt for example), fill it only 60% of the way to allow faster interaction with oxygen and reduction in highly volatile compounds.
  4. MDH

    Outdoor wood fired stills for wineries etc?

    My personal opinion is that distilling outdoors is a constant battle for quality control - so-called "parasitic reflux" can be a huge issue, even with pots, making a complete headache of cuts.
  5. MDH

    silvery stuff after on-grain distillation

    The silvery film is the result of fatty acids and other large compounds forming complex larger molecules. Think of tannins in wine precipitating as the bottle ages. They are harmless and will not make it into your final product.
  6. MDH

    Spirits Competitions

    The tastings in San Francisco and London are committed completely blind.
  7. MDH

    Spirits Competitions

    My second take: The big sellers are products that win in big categories, AT the important competitions. I don't think anyone cares about what wins niche market categories (e.g. "spice flavored whisky"). But if you get top honors in a category such as Brandy or Whisky people will be very interested in you.
  8. MDH

    Spirits Competitions

    I've asked about this before myself on these forums. My position is one of general skepticism for the vast majority of competitions, especially regional ones. The important are London, New York, San Francisco. The other important ones aren't awards at all, they're just influential people's opinions (eg the likes of Jim Murray, Robert Parker, etc). Media and those on the outer-circles of the industry (e.g. bartenders) do pay attention to these as well and often buy products which appear with top honors.
  9. MDH

    Potato Vodka

    For convenience, I'd say dry is better, and is also much better for neutral if you plan for this to be used as a base for other spirits. But everything has volatiles. That's what we're doing, is capturing those. When you work with dry material, you don't obtain volatile flavors it once had. I've tried many potato vodkas - William Chase, Schramm, etc., all made with completely fresh potatoes, that were borderline potato eau de vie. So, it depends what you want.
  10. MDH

    Greenish/Yellow Heads in brandy from Red wine

    Let me know how it goes, Andy.
  11. MDH

    Greenish/Yellow Heads in brandy from Red wine

    If it were that, he'd be getting it from every run. What was the vinification method? Do you make the wine or does someone else? Ask them about maceration times. It could be a volatile component from maceration with grape seed.
  12. MDH

    WARNING: Oak Wood Barrel Co.

    Not sure how my post could've been taken literally. I hope these people are found and imprisoned. Having a track record this long certainly goes beyond the realm of all legal plausible deniability.
  13. MDH

    Women in distilling

    Well, I know that Distillery Nonino is run by three women...
  14. Hello everyone, I have two books which have served their purpose. Traditional Distillation: Art and Passion by Hubert G.R. - if you want to know both the approach and attitude of Cognac distillers, this is both a novel read and a good reference. Distilling Fruit Brandy by Josef Pischl - This is a much more technical, straightforward, less "flowery" book by a German experienced in schaps production. He goes into precise detail about sourcing good quality fruit, fine-tuning a dephlegmator, etc. I am selling for $15 each. They will be shipping from an address in Canada and the shipping cost will be calculated when an address is provided. It is worth mentioning, that the Canadian dollar is currently 80% of the USD. Please DM if interested!
  15. MDH

    Chocolate Liqueur

    Not sure if I'd pour dark chocolate, with all its sugar and other products, into the still. Instead, I'd put a blend of dark, medium and light grade cocoa nibs into the boiler and do a very careful run through a few plates. Cocoa is very high in fatty acids; some of the short and medium chain will make the fresh spirit smell not so good, and it'd be wise to age the resulting distillate for a while and also do a careful tails cut to avoid louching. Since Vanilla, to me, is an important part of chocolate, I would infuse the cocoa spirit with vanilla bean for a while. You'll get a little bit of straw color, though. There are a few examples to work from that already exist - Distillerie Mozart does age their chocolate distillate, though I don't know precisely how long they age it for. They don't sweeten theirs. You may want to pick up a bottle, do some nosing.
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