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Cost to filter spirit

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I'm in the planning phase of opening a small distillery to produce rum, vodka, gin and whiskey. It appears that I'm going to have to carbon and/or chill filter my vodka and rum as initial tests show the spirit to be too cloudy and also a bit rough around the edges on taste.

Can anybody please advise me what the cost per bottle/gallon/litre might be to peform carbon/chill filtering. I'm referring to the cost of carbon etc as opposed to paying off say 10k of equipment within the cost of production. That said, if people can also advise of chill filter and carbon system costs too, that would help as I'm struggling to find info.

I aim to operate on a 300 gallon pot with 4+10+10 plate column set-up. Raw materials will vary from grain to molasses to fruit, depending on product.

Many thanks.

 

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Recommend going back to the still.  With the vodka, run it again, this is easy, all 24 plates.  If the intention for your rum is white, you can redistill as well, but only run through your short column (4).  In both cases, your focus is going to be on the tail cut.  This is entirely based on your comment of visible clouding, which you should not be seeing.  This is making me think that carbon will *not* be efficient here, as you'll quickly overwhelm the adsorption capacity, and waste a lot of carbon to get where you are wanting to go.

Chill filtration, there's not a whole lot out there for the craft market, most I've seen have cobbled together their own systems out of jacket tanks, freezer chests, plate and frame filters, etc.  As far as something turnkey you can just ring up and order?  I've never seen one.  I'd love to see something work with a smaller 10" Code-7 style filter housing, as opposed to trying to run a smaller volume of spirit through a gigantic plate and frame, losing 25% of my spirit volume in the process.

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Thanks Silk City. That was my first post on this forum and already I've had an outstanding answer. So you think I've been going to far into the tails? I'm always afraid I'm not including enough of the spirit in the hearts so perhaps I should just go with my gut next time.

Do you guys use any other tests apart from smell for the tails cut? Misting test, % ABV/temp etc?

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We go by ABV on the parrot. Did some test runs with our product, checked for clouding, reran the stuff that failed, and now don't run down to where clouding appeared. Give yourself some wiggle room, as it may vary a bit between batches. We never had problems for vodka, there's a rather sudden drop in proof when the tails start. Just need to know when to watch for it.

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Awesome thanks RobertS. Had a feeling this would be the case, but haven't been able to test effectively on such a small set up.

Can't wait to give it a go!

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Are you using R.O. water to cut your spirit? I've only ever seen cloudy spirits way way past where I would take my tails cut. Smell and taste are what I use as my hydrometer in my parrot will read different depending on temperature of the spirit coming out.

 

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As your running keep a glass full of water and another empty glass, take the empty glass and get about 50-80ml of distillate and add the same amount of water. If it goes cloudy STOP collecting in that vessel. IT IS TAILS, the oils will diemulsify (come out of solution) at a lower proof.

 

If you have to chill filter on a small scale you will hate life. And the extra hours you spend doing that will just eat up your profit and you day.

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Thanks Denher. I tried the misting test on my home trials, but the sample was so small it was hard to tell whether it had clouded or not! Oh the joys of a proper full-size system. Thanks to all the very kind advice given on this superb forum, I'm now jacking in the filter option and going 'back to the still'.

my next challenge is arranging a still with the appropriate heating solution that doesn't blow my budget sky-high. I'm actually based in the U.K. (sorry i know this is the ADI, but I'm getting some great help here) and exploring steam heating as an option is proving extremely difficult as well as way to expensive for my budget ($70000 incl taxes to order the basic setup of a 400kg/hr generator!). Going to look back at electric options. Also prefer not using gas/oil to heat, doesn't feel ecologically sensible.

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