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Everything posted by tgif

  1. Hi Everyone, We are currently producing in small batches but are considering a 230L still setup so I have a couple of simple equipment questions that may help us when we increase output. Any advice is recommended Question 1. Besides using scales/measuring by weight, what other ways are there to measure both the amount of ethanol pumped from Tank A to Tank B and also the amount of water pumped into the blending tank for dilution? Any advice on investing in a batch controller/flowmeter system or will that be impractical due to costs? Question 2. Any recommendations or things to look out for in blending/spirit holding tanks in the 200L range? Question 3. Is it wise to invest in a large agitator to ensure the distillate and water are properly blended together during dilution? Question 4. Are IBC containers good enough for storing RO water? Question 5. Any recommendations on a setup to strain (hot) spent botanicals/mash safely? Thanks.
  2. Bringing this topic back as we've had a couple more months of experience and now have largely solved the issue. We introduced an agitator during the dilution process and have found that it helped immensely. The increased contact ratio between distillate and water, plus adding the water slowly resulted in a completely haze-free spirit. We also found that for hazed batches, using the agitator for a couple of minutes helped clear up the haze as well. Hope that helps.
  3. Thank you everyone for your insights! We did a couple more distillations and got some very interesting findings, perhaps this will help shine a light on what's going on and hopefully we can find out how to stabilize distilling whole citrus fruits via vapor infusion. Our method largely remained unchanged: 1. We cut up the citruses in half, placed them all in the basket for vapor infusion (no juniper berries for now to eliminate a factor) 2. We used about 90 proof to run a distillation 3. The hearts came out about 170 proof and we diluted it with RO down to 100 proof. First Batch Trial: 1. Followed @Brewstilla's advice and sampled the heads cut - diluting the distillate with 50/50 RO until no louching was found before collecting hearts. 2. Found that the heads did indeed louch with the added 50/50 RO, but after ten minutes or so, every single louched sample cleared up magically after some stirring and never turned hazy again. On average they were about 100 proof. 3. The hearts, however came out extremely louched after diluting it down to about 100 proof, even after letting it rest for a week. Second Batch Trial: 1. Followed @kleclerc77's advice and diluted the hearts slowly this time to prevent haze while simultaneously stirring vigorously. The hearts did not louch - amazing. 2. After seeing the successful result of our second batch, we returned back to the louched first batch and gave it some vigorous stirring and magically, the hearts cleared up completely. Bottling: After doing the two trial runs above, we decided to bottle the first batch and see what would happened. All was good until about an hour or so after bottling and more than half the bottles began to show up hazy again, while some remained clear. We decided not to do anything just yet and let them sit overnight... and found all the bottles cleared up again by itself the next morning. Major Questions: 1. Could anyone help draw some conclusions as to why the hearts clear up initially after a long time of vigorous stirring? 2. After the hearts cleared up, why did it louch temporarily after bottling, then cleared up by itself again? Again, we appreciate any advice and thanks everyone for your input.
  4. We're experimenting with gin and would really love to put citruses in the basket. We cut up some citruses in half, placed them all in the basket for vapor infusion, used about 90 proof to run a distillation, diluted the hearts (about 170 proof) back down to about 100 proof and let it rest for a couple of days. All was well until we found a layer of oil and the distillate milky, I assume from the oils. We've done other distillations and vapor infusions with other botanicals without this problem so we're wondering if anyone could help us answer these questions: 1) Why did it happen? 2) How can it be prevented if we insist to do a vapor infusion with citruses? (E.g. Put less citrus? Use lower proof to distill? Faster/slower distillation...?) 3) Any techniques to clear up the currently "oily" distillate? Any advice would be highly appreciated!
  5. Is it illegal to bring a bottle of gin (containing tonka bean) back to the US as an individual?
  6. tgif

    Tips on Tails Cut

    I'm actually distilling from a neutral spirit, would that simplify things a bit? I've done a few runs of the same recipe from the same batch of neutral spirit and I'm still seeing fluctuating cutting temperatures. I'm exploring cutting by ABV with temp and taste as an indicator - would this be better or no?
  7. tgif

    Tips on Tails Cut

    How do we ensure that the tails cut for every batch is as consistent as possible? ABV? Temp? Taste? I've been looking into making the cut based on alcohol temperature, but find that it fluctuates for different batches though I'm not sure why (thinking it might be due to the fluctuating temperature of my cooling water, as it varies +/- 5 degrees depending on the outside weather).
  8. Thanks all, very helpful! What kind of air compressor do you guys use for the Flojet?
  9. Or should I assume they are never 'distilled over'? Just thinking they surely must contain dirt or dust and I'm wondering if this is safe to put into my pot. Thanks.
  10. Thanks @Patio29Dadio! Will definitely check it out. Just one question - what is the pressure regulator for? Is it absolutely mandatory?
  11. Hapido, unfortunately, no!
  12. Hi everyone, I am looking to buy a pump to transfer: 1) some undiluted spirit at 80% ABV to a larger resting vessel where it will be diluted 2) 40% ABV neutral spirit into my still. what are some safety issues I must be aware of and any brand/configuration recommendations? I assume plastic hand pumps are not safe? Thanks.
  13. Simple question - how should I handle dry botanicals before distillation to rid them of dust?
  14. I'm looking into adding a pink color into a fruit flavored gin. Other than carmine, are there any other tips / ideas to achieve this (easily) to ensure consistent coloring + stability?
  15. I think it really depends on the profile of your botanicals. For my particular recipe, anything after 77% ABV has an undesirable "cooked" tone to it so I usually stop it by then, though in theory there should still be more hearts to collect at that point. thanks for the input - can you elaborate a bit more on why you chose to remove your dephlegmator? i was told it should help in creating a smoother/higher quality distillate, but i'm wondering if its actually worth my while if i'm already using a good quality GNS. I'm also thinking it could potentially strip away some essential flavor components. What was your experience with it (besides slowing you down)?
  16. Opinions Wanted! I've been receiving advice lately to consider having a dephlegmator installed - is it necessary to have one for a london dry (I have botanicals that are macerated in the pot), or would it essentially just strip away some flavor components?
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