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Do these cut #'s look right?

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Corn Whiskey - grain to glass - 80 gallons of water 200lbs of grain...Starting ABV is 6.91%.

 

We're getting about 1 gallon of heads, 1.5 gallons of hearts, and 3 gallons of tails. (these numbers are pure alcohol, obviously off the still at a lower abv.... Is 25% hearts on a stripping run pretty common / standard? Thanks,

 

ABV  6.91% 80 gallons of water
  5.528  Pure gallons of Alcohol
       
  0.8 Heads 14%
  1.33 Hearts 24%
  3.33 Tails 60%
  5.46    

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Your total volume and heads are looking normal. That's a lot of tails, though. Are you doing any reflux and what proof are you making your cut at?

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yes 2 plates of reflux, we used to be making cuts at 60% but now we've been doing a much more sensory cut instead of simply a proof cut so it's varied every run - our distiller is going to weigh in as well. Thanks for the feedback

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Looking back on yield figures, I've never had a tails cut bigger than the heads cut. Usually it ends up about half the proof volume, and that's cutting at up to 80 proof without any plates.

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Tails usually end up being less than heads for us.   We do it purely by taste.   My still also slows output dramatically in the tails, so I stop when output drops too low leaving more in the boiler. 

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Your overall alcohol looks extremely low to me give that mash bill, I would guess it should be a little over 10% abv (at 80 gallons anyway, but if you are using grain displacement the ABV would be different, but still higher).  Perhaps your hearts yield is low and tails is high due to a problem during fermentation.  I would expect something more around .9 heads, 5.88 hearts, 1.1 tails.  This is subjective of course and depends on your aging plan and so forth, but that would be my overall yield.  That said, I double distill everything.  I find that the tails separation for me was pretty poor on single distillation and stopped using it pretty quickly.

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What is your OG and FG and total mash gallons?  We do 275 gal fermentations using 450 lbs grain and our hearts yield is usually 33ish PG. Heads 1ish PG and Tails 5ish PG. 

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19 hours ago, jeffw said:

Your overall alcohol looks extremely low to me give that mash bill, I would guess it should be a little over 10% abv (at 80 gallons anyway, but if you are using grain displacement the ABV would be different, but still higher).  Perhaps your hearts yield is low and tails is high due to a problem during fermentation.  I would expect something more around .9 heads, 5.88 hearts, 1.1 tails.  This is subjective of course and depends on your aging plan and so forth, but that would be my overall yield.  That said, I double distill everything.  I find that the tails separation for me was pretty poor on single distillation and stopped using it pretty quickly.

We are getting a SG of about 1.075 - does that seem low to you for our grain? We've used online calculators and that sounds about right. Lastly - this batch hadn't completely fermented, thus the 7% ABV. Never had it above 8.5% though - do you think different yeast should be used?

 

Thanks to everyone helping us trouble shoot this.

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1.075 is an 83% mash efficiency. Plenty good. 6.9% implies a final gravity of 1.022 though. You need to let the ferment finish. Corn should finish very close to 1.000 or even below, giving you the 10% jeffw mentions. Make sure you're keeping the ferment in the optimal temp range for your yeast.

FWIW, there's really no concept of hearts on a stripping run. Just rip and strip. No cuts. On your next spirit run however, buy a couple cases of quart mason jars and line up the whole run from heads to deep tails. Invite some trusted palates in to make the cuts and blends. You may find a late tails jar that tastes good and adds some complexity or that making the heads cut a bit earlier adds some desired bite. That's the art of distilling. Can't do it purely by numbers.

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Your yield seems very low, from 200 lb of grain we get about 16-18PG vs your 11. I've used a bunch of different stills and distillation schema, and I don't find there to be many good rules of thumb of percentage breakdown of heads vs hearts vs tails. Because where you make cuts is very qualitative and subjective, you quickly end up comparing apples to oranges. On our 4 plate brandy still, when doing a single-pass distillation the % of hearts changes from 35-75% depending on the abv of the charge (4% fruit is about 35% and 13% wine is about 75%). Similarly, when double distilling how you process feints really change the heads/hearts/tails %. With 2-plates it seems unlikely to me that you should be trying to run it as a single pass distillation and should be instead double distilling it, or perhaps taking a very small heart cut and redistilling the rest.

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We were having problems with ferments getting stuck around 4 plato, cleared right up by making sure to add cellulose and amylo enzymes after the pitch.

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Hello everyone and thanks for the responses. I distill for the OP. The inteded use for the distilled spirit is to be bottled as white corn whiskey. With prior issues of cloudy spirit now resolved- we think it was due to wide cuts and leftover fusels from those wide cuts as they weren't able to bottle anything less that 42%. The proper water was/is being used to dilute. I have never relied on the alcohol meter making cuts. I make cuts purely on taste/smell/texture. I believe cuts are purely subjective, though IMO, there is some very defined flavors between fore's/heads/hearts/tails. 

We are making corn whiskey, usually a single pass run, I tune the 2 plate system to 80% ABV or just under usually by the time I'm half way thru heads- the still runs steady thru hearts ( tune meaning adjusting dephleg and minor heat ). Once I taste the smoothness of hearts fading, I turn up the heat a little bit to crank out the remeaining hearts and prepare to start collecting the more watered down tasting tails. We save all feints and run as a queen's share run. When I hit tails, I turn off dephleg and run to about 28% using only the final condenser ( running as a pot still ) This, IMO, offers a deeper flavor when we do run those queen's shares. 

I am able to pull off some wider cuts if we are adding product to barrels, though these cuts arent much wider and don't add much to the final volume. IMO, too much tails is too much tails and can ruin your product, though I always set aside some tastier tails for blending should there be a "hotter" tasting final product. 

While I am not a part of the mashing process, there are a few things I plan on contributing once I am involved. These are open top ferments. From temp regulation, enzyme use and PH levels, to grain consistency, I have a few ideas to help get the most out of the mash. 

Thanks for reading and looking forward to hearing back from you folks. 

 

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Would love to hear your thoughts on the mashing process. We also run open top ferments.

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3d0g made some good points.  There's a lot of talk about distillation on this thread, but a major problem here is the fermentation as well.

A 1.075 OG Wash being pulled at 1.022 seems problematic from a total yield standpoint.  How old was the fermentation?  Did it stall out?  

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