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Sediment in finished bottles

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I am getting sediment in our finished bottles.  We do a 5 micron out of the barrel and into the proofing tank then .45 into the bottles I have even tried .2 micron but they seem to clog really fast and the finished product turns out the same.  It goes in crystal clear but after a couple months on the shelf we are seeing a almost milky substance that settles in the bottom of the bottles.    

Any suggestions?  

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Are you using Reverse Osmosis water for proofing down?

If not, the water you are using is the culprit.

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6 minutes ago, kelbor said:

How long ago have you changed your RO filters?

 

We bring out RO water in from a local water company,  we don't have the space and or the budget to do it on site at this point.  

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Are you rinsing the bottles before you fill them? If so with what? It could be bloom if you don't rinse them. 

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Dang, really sounds like the water is the culprit. Try bottling a few at cask strength (with the same filtering regime) and see if  you still get that settling. Start eliminating variables....

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5 hours ago, kelbor said:

Dang, really sounds like the water is the culprit. Try bottling a few at cask strength (with the same filtering regime) and see if  you still get that settling. Start eliminating variables....

Good idea I will do this. The funky thing is some bottling runs don't have it at all and some do.  Im thinking it might be the barrels, thats really the only thing thats not consistent.  

 

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Very likely a flock is forming after filtration.

I see it a lot when cutting below about 45% even as high as 50%

I have been lead to believe it is oils and proteins that were dissolved in the high strength alcohol, but at lower proof they come out of solution and eventually form crystal masses, ie cloudy.

This eventually settles on the bottom of the container. Shake it up and crystals break up and vanish but usually re-form.

2 ways to overcome it. Chill filtration or time will allow crystals to grow large enough to filter out. Or allow about 6 weeks for crystals to settle to bottom of tank. Don't bottle very bottom of tank.

 

 

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There was a great article about this in Distiller magazine in December or November.  I don't have a link, but it's worth a search.  

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This is posted in whiskey, but you did not say specifically what type of product.  Is it just normal whiskey, or flavored or... ?

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20 hours ago, whiskeytango said:

We bring out RO water in from a local water company,  we don't have the space and or the budget to do it on site at this point.  

Have you ever tested it with a total dissolved solids meter?

You can buy a 50 gallon/day RO system for under $200 and you can get a TDS meter for under $20.

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PeteB is on the right track.  We've had issues with flocc too (bottle at 45%).  We ended up adding reducing water over 7+ days and let the tank settle, rack, and filter.  If you're using new barrels and particularly from unseasoned wood, you may have excessive levels of b-sitosterol.  Chill filtering works (or am I am told, haven't tried it on our spirits). 

It could also be your filters themselves.  I think it's the calcium if the spirit is out of a normal pH range - hold that thought.. I'll go look after work. 

Or the filters may be nominally rated and with a bad pressure gauge and the (plates/filters?) aren't actually performing as they are supposed to.  

We used to have an RO system in house but we ended up plugging those expensive filters so often that we new buy from a local water company ourselves. 

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This just happened on our 2nd batch of whiskey. It didn't happen on our first batch, but about 3 months after bottling the 2nd batch, I noticed this cloud form in the bottom of the bottle.

Is this what you were experiencing?

IMG_20180726_115609721_LL.thumb.jpg.9e072887dfda4d5471caceaa9ed7768c.jpg

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Yes, this is flocc of oligosaccharides from barrel aging. Generally, it depends on the type of barrel and size. Large medium to heavy chars don't show much of this behavior. Small light chars, or any direct exposure to toasted oak will have a greater likelihood to form the flocc. You can remove by chill filtering, but it will change the flavor profile and mouth feel of the whiskey. We get this in a couple of our whiskies, but we consider it a feature, not a bug, since we are NCF for a reason.

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TCW now carries a Code 7 cartridge filter in the small 10" form factor that will work for chill-filtration of floc and haze.  Really great option for anyone looking to either chill or haze filter at smaller scales than a typical plate/frame setup would require.  If you've toyed around with trying to chill filter using a standard poly cartridge, even sub-micron, you realize that it doesn't actually work.  At first glance, it looks good, but after a few weeks the haze returns since the larger "clouds" just get broken apart and pushed through the filter.  It needs an medium with an ionic charge to attract and hold the colloids/haze.  These kinds of filters are easy to find for plate/frame style systems, but until now, there was nothing good for really small scale filtration.

https://store.tcwequipment.com/products/graver-gfc-haze-pre-filters

I picked one up the other day to try, have a batch of corn whiskey I want to take down to 80pf, where it will haze like crazy.

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16 hours ago, bluestar said:

Yes, this is flocc of oligosaccharides from barrel aging. Generally, it depends on the type of barrel and size. Large medium to heavy chars don't show much of this behavior. Small light chars, or any direct exposure to toasted oak will have a greater likelihood to form the flocc. You can remove by chill filtering, but it will change the flavor profile and mouth feel of the whiskey. We get this in a couple of our whiskies, but we consider it a feature, not a bug, since we are NCF for a reason.

That's interesting, because we use 53 gallon char #4 barrels. But this last batch had 1 barrel from a new producer.

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1 hour ago, FaintingGoatSpirits said:

That's interesting, because we use 53 gallon char #4 barrels. But this last batch had 1 barrel from a new producer.

The bottle you pictured has very little, if we use the small light chars, we see much more. But generally, we would not see anything from a 53g char 4, and almost nothing from even a 15g char 4. But we always see something from the smaller barrels with exposed toast. Are your heads fully charred as well? I know some use toasted heads, this may exhibit the same behavior.

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It may not be the water or the barrel. It’s really a function of the spirit and the bottling proof. The TCW filter works. 

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On 7/30/2018 at 7:20 PM, Silk City Distillers said:

TCW now carries a Code 7 cartridge filter in the small 10" form factor that will work for chill-filtration of floc and haze.  Really great option for anyone looking to either chill or haze filter at smaller scales than a typical plate/frame setup would require.  If you've toyed around with trying to chill filter using a standard poly cartridge, even sub-micron, you realize that it doesn't actually work.  At first glance, it looks good, but after a few weeks the haze returns since the larger "clouds" just get broken apart and pushed through the filter.  It needs an medium with an ionic charge to attract and hold the colloids/haze.  These kinds of filters are easy to find for plate/frame style systems, but until now, there was nothing good for really small scale filtration.

https://store.tcwequipment.com/products/graver-gfc-haze-pre-filters

I picked one up the other day to try, have a batch of corn whiskey I want to take down to 80pf, where it will haze like crazy. 

Do you have to chill filter the whiskey for the filter to work or will it work without chilling it first?

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On 7/31/2018 at 8:56 AM, bluestar said:

Yes, this is flocc of oligosaccharides from barrel aging. Generally, it depends on the type of barrel and size. Large medium to heavy chars don't show much of this behavior. Small light chars, or any direct exposure to toasted oak will have a greater likelihood to form the flocc. You can remove by chill filtering, but it will change the flavor profile and mouth feel of the whiskey. We get this in a couple of our whiskies, but we consider it a feature, not a bug, since we are NCF for a reason.

It is not necessarily from barrel only, I get the flocc in 2 of my unaged spirits, in one it forms at 50%abv.

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