Jump to content
whiskeytango

Sediment in finished bottles

Recommended Posts

On 11/7/2018 at 5:46 AM, PeteB said:

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

I would like to know more about what you are describing, because you should not get flocculation from unaged spirit. You can get louching if you have a source of fusel oils in the distillate, when you drop the proof. Flocc can occur even at higher proofs, louching will not. If you are making whiskey, you should not get louching either, unless you are going deep into the tails.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, bluestar said:

I would like to know more about what you are describing, because you should not get flocculation from unaged spirit. You can get louching if you have a source of fusel oils in the distillate, when you drop the proof. Flocc can occur even at higher proofs, louching will not. If you are making whiskey, you should not get louching either, unless you are going deep into the tails.

I describe Flocc as clumps of cloudiness that very gradually settle to the bottom of the container. I describe Louching as looking like a small amount of milk tipped into water. It does not clump or settle out but will vanish when adding high strength alcohol.

Are we talking about the same thing?

I make an unaged rye spirit. I dilute with rain water to 40%abv then leave in a settling tank for about 6 weeks. A white substance precipitates to the bottom of the container then I filter the clear top into bottles.  For aged whiskies I do the same procedure and a very similar substance settles on the bottom of the tank, usually, but not always, when below 45%abv. I also distil a product made with ginger root. I dilute that to 50%abv and it also forms what I call Flocc. By shining a torch into the settling vat I see little "clouds " forming that very gradually sink to the bottom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, PeteB said:

I describe Flocc as clumps of cloudiness that very gradually settle to the bottom of the container. I describe Louching as looking like a small amount of milk tipped into water. It does not clump or settle out but will vanish when adding high strength alcohol.

Are we talking about the same thing?

I make an unaged rye spirit. I dilute with rain water to 40%abv then leave in a settling tank for about 6 weeks. A white substance precipitates to the bottom of the container then I filter the clear top into bottles.  For aged whiskies I do the same procedure and a very similar substance settles on the bottom of the tank, usually, but not always, when below 45%abv. I also distil a product made with ginger root. I dilute that to 50%abv and it also forms what I call Flocc. By shining a torch into the settling vat I see little "clouds " forming that very gradually sink to the bottom.

Thanks, I appreciate the additional information. I am very into the science of this, since I am a Ph.D. physicist that in my science career actually studied the flocculation both theoretically and experimentally (although that was for simpler polymeric materials, not whiskey per se).

Yes, phenomenologically, it is as you described, although fundamentally the mechanism matters to meet the definition of either, not just the appearance. Flocculation (also agglomeration, depending on appearance) is the coming together in solution of (usually) oligomers or polymers so that they form concentrated masses that effectively drop out of solution. In fact, they may still be solvated, but the agglomerations (flocculate) become visible: the clouds or flakes we observe. Since generally the flocc is formed from oligomers or larger molecules, a clean fresh distillate will not produce these since larger molecules don't come across in the distillate, except maybe deep into the tails. I don't see it in my white spirits, and why I expressed my surprise at your seeing it.

Can I ask another question: when you proof down, are you using distilled or RO water? White precipitate is also formed in spirits if mineral salts are in the water added for proofing, and these will precipitate organic-salt complexes in fresh distillate after some time. This is not the same as flocc, since it is creation of an insoluble organic salt by the addition of the minerals to the solution containing the trace organics. This is what @Jedd Haas was alluding to earlier in the thread.

  • reaction_title_1 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Bluestar. Sorry about slow reply I have been travelling. (visiting distilleries and marketing in Japan)

I dilute with carbon filtered rain water that has been stored in an old large concrete tank.

I have a simple pot still and do run feints quite late when compared with some. Especially for rye, peated and the ginger. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/9/2018 at 11:07 AM, bluestar said:

I am a Ph.D. physicist

yeah, that's probably why I had to google every third word in your reply. Keep that coming! We need more science to help us make better products.

 

4 hours ago, PeteB said:

I dilute with carbon filtered rain water that has been stored in an old large concrete tank.

You're probably picking up contaminants from both the water and the concrete (including salts). Carbon won't fix all of it.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Foreshot said:

yeah, that's probably why I had to google every third word in your reply. Keep that coming! We need more science to help us make better products.

 

You're probably picking up contaminants from both the water and the concrete (including salts). Carbon won't fix all of it.  

Yup, that could be it, the concrete will provide calcium and some magnesium salts, and may be alkaline (check the pH). Generally, those salts will cause precipitation of organic salts or general cloudiness. If you are going to use that water, you need to do reverse osmosis.

  • reaction_title_1 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Firstly I am not concerned about the Flocc or whatever it is. Jim Murray's Whisky Bible has scored 7 of my whiskies Liquid Gold in the last 4 years including best whisky in Southern Hemisphere this year. I don't plan to change my production methods. That is not quite right because I am continually developing new products.

I was intrigued when Bluestar said the flocc was caused by barrels only, but from what he said since, I think the reason I get Flocc in white spirits is because I cut further into tails than most people.

I have not tested the pH of my rainwater, but whatever it is I doubt that I will attempt to correct it because if it "aint broke dont fix it"

Thanks for the discussion, we should never stop learning.

Pete

  • reaction_title_1 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/30/2018 at 3:56 PM, 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.

How do you present that feature to the less-informed-consumers who may not know that the haze/flocc is harmless and/or composed of flavor elements?    The mainstream products are, well, what they are, but also clear (or transparent) to a fault.   part of distilling is education, do you add that to labels or advert to pre-advise consumers?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sullivans Cove whisky from Tasmania  has won world's best single malt several times.

Look at this video to see how they are now dealing with it. 

https://sullivanscove.com/journal/flocking-and-filtration/ 

  • reaction_title_1 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are exporting whisky to China make sure there is no flock. A friend has a shipment held up at the moment because their rules say the product must have no solids.

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.................)  

I occasionally get flock in some products that are not barrel aged even at 50%abv

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We do have some sediment in some of our products. We tried all kinds of ways to clear it up, but we're so small some of the tried and true filtration systems are a bit beyond our current financial capacity. We've found gravity and racking gets rid of most debris and then we tell our clients that we produced a natural product with limited filtration and they have no problem with that. In fact, sometimes, they prefer that idea.

  • reaction_title_1 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Glenlyon said:

We do have some sediment in some of our products. We tried all kinds of ways to clear it up, but we're so small some of the tried and true filtration systems are a bit beyond our current financial capacity. We've found gravity and racking gets rid of most debris and then we tell our clients that we produced a natural product with limited filtration and they have no problem with that. In fact, sometimes, they prefer that idea.

Glenlyon, agree that natural product focus is  on the market, and we can not forget that this is an agricultural product after all!   our slight clouds disappear with a single- or double bottle shake, and are otherwise clear, but let it sit (and who lets whisky just sit???!) and the minor cloud wisps can show up again. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, PeteB said:

Sullivans Cove whisky from Tasmania  has won world's best single malt several times.

Look at this video to see how they are now dealing with it. 

https://sullivanscove.com/journal/flocking-and-filtration/ 

that's a great video, btw, and nice articulation of what's happening. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/14/2018 at 2:11 PM, whiskeytango said:

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?  

We use ro water and 2 x 1micron filters. You might want to check the TDS of your RO water and make sure you use really good filters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

compare the TDS of your current water, and set aside a bottle of just the water.  if "it's the water" as Olympia beer commercial used to say about water from Tumwater, WA, you would see the same substance.  if not, then it's possibly what sullivan's cove says, above.   good luck!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...