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JustAndy

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  1. We've been using chocolate malt in whiskey for about 8 years, and I find it to be hugely impactful to the flavor even at pretty small %. It depends on the tails cut point you make, but for a rye whiskey that ages 4 years we settled on 8% being enough and 15% being a fair bit too much. It really dominates the finish of the whiskey, some people like it others don't.
  2. Malic is a better choice. http://docplayer.net/12103579-Artisan-distilling-a-guide-for-small-distilleries-kris-arvid-berglund-ph-d-electronic-edition-1-0-0.html " During primary fermentation and subsequent aging fruit acids are decomposed through bacterial activity. In most cherry mashes the decomposition of malic acid to lactic acid occurs without adversely changing the mash. In the production of wine the conversion of the “hard” malic acid into the “softer” lactic acid is in sometimes desired and a secondary malo-lactic fermentation in undertaken intentionally. The bacterial decomposition of citric acid leads to formation of lactic acid, acetic acid, formic acid, and acetaldehyde which can be detrimental to the mash and can appear in the resulting distillate. Decomposition processes are associated with an increase of the pH which increases the susceptibility of the mash to bacteria"
  3. From (PDF) Distillation Techniques in the Fruit Spirits Production (researchgate.net) Methanol is often the most concentrated compounds in fruit spirits [2, 8, 12, 18, 34]. Methanol is not a by-product of alcohol fermentation but is released very intensively during this process. The methanol was produced during the processing and storage of fermented mash via the effects of enzymes on pectin in the cell wall. Actually, methanol is formed from the demethoxylation of the esterified methoxyl groups in pectin. It is characteristic to fruit brandies, significantly higher than in cereal distillates [34]. Its presence in the spirits is proof of natural origin of fruit spirits because the pectin is a natural constituent of fruits. Concentration of methanol is dependent mainly on the applied technique of the fruit treatment and the distillation and second from the fruit kind and variety. There are different views on methanol impact to flavour of distillates. Such, Ribéreau-Gayon [35], considered the methanol imparts a cooked cabbage odour in spirits, with a threshold of 1200 mg/l. Claus and Berglund [21] wrote that methanol is considered to be a positive flavour constituent in distilled spirits. Nevertheless, most researchers say methanol is colourless volatile compounds with a mild or bland odour and does not affect the flavour of distillates [10, 32, 36, 37]. However, it is one of the most important compounds to control in the spirits due its dangerous effect to human health. In some quantities, the methanol can be dangerous because it is metabolised to formaldehyde and formic acid, which is primarily responsible for most of the toxic effects of methanol [38]. Since it is toxic to humans, the maximum level of methanol is fixed by EU Regulations No. 110/2008. According to these regulations, the concentration of methanol in fruit spirits should not exceed to 12 g/L alcohol 100% (v/v) The boiling point of methanol is 64.7°C, and it is completely soluble in water. Considering methanol contents in the distillates obtained by different distillation techniques the results reported by several authors are vary. Methanol appears in almost equal concentration in all fractions of distillation due to the formation of azeotropic mixtures [39, 40]. It is really difficult to separate the methanol from the ethanol-water mixture. When low alcohol mixture (like fruit-fermented mash) is distilled in simple pot still, methanol will go out following his solubility in water rather than his boiling point. Methanol is highly soluble in water, therefore, methanol will distill more at the end of distillations, when vapours are richer in water. That means that methanol will accumulate more in the tail fraction [7, 32],during distillation in alembic pot still as it showed in Figure 6 When high alcohol mixture distills, methanol will evaporate following his boiling point and will be present in the first fraction of the distillation in higher concentration. It appears mainly in the head fractions when distillation column was used [21]. Results of Cortes et al. [32] showed the concentration of the methanol was seven times higher in the case of industrial distillation (means higher concentrates and cleanses of ethanol) than the concentration of methanol in the distillates obtained by simple pot still. The opposite results are given by Arrieta-Garay [20]; there is no difference in methanol content depending on distillation system employed (alembic pot still or packed column distillations), whilst Leaute [16] and Garcia-Llobodanin et al. [27] reported that methanol content was higher in alembic distillates than in the column distillates
  4. I would look at using RO membranes (similar to the maple syrup industry) to bring up the sugar content. At ~2%abv (70% is too high a conversion factor, it's more likely ~50%) you'll need to triple distill in a pot-still to get something of sufficient strength to be able to make reasonable cuts on. A batch-still with a column will still need 2 runs to get up to sufficient strength, but if you are trying to use the same still for both runs you might need to collect 5-6 or more runs of strip to have sufficient volume to fill the still. Removing as much water as you can earlier in the process would save a lot of time and money.
  5. Yeah, if you think vodka + wood-chips = bourbon you just outed yourself as not having a clue what you're talking about. People have been working on artificial aging & maturation of whiskey for about 200 years without success. Please try your method and taste it side-by-side with a conventional bourbon, and if you are unable to taste the difference you need to spend a lot more time doing sensory training and less time giving bad advice.
  6. I don't understand your point, but mine was that: the majority of Kentucky whiskey (including Jim Beam) is not in temperature controlled warehouses and experiences dramatic temperature swings both daily and seasonally. Not only do they produce consistent products, they view it as helping the whiskey to mature.
  7. Tell that to the Kentucky whiskey industry...
  8. It's not correct to say "no one" stores wine outside, in fact a variety of producers do including vermouth, maderia, rancio, as well as table-wine producers. The question was about storing whiskey though. If you could get legal permission to do so (perhaps in a fenced in area that your drawing doesn't reveal to be outdoors...) I don't think there would be a huge problem if you are in a temperate (ie not dry) climate and the barrels were roofed/covered. https://www.alcademics.com/2012/07/making-vermouth-a-trip-to-noilly-prat-in-marseillan-france.html https://daily.sevenfifty.com/why-we-should-be-talking-about-open-air-winemaking/
  9. In the EU I believe it would be labelled 'Spirit Drink'. It has come up a few times in the rum world, dig around online and you'll see some reference to it. If the EU is a market for your product I would look deeply at the regulations and speak with the authorities before proceeding, obviously every country has it's wrinkles.
  10. What country are you in? In the US you can get away with calling it rum but in many other countries it would not be allowed.
  11. My experience with antifoam is that it fouls the still much easier than normal; the coagulated muck it creates cooks onto the hot copper and it makes sense that this forms a physical barrier which reduces copper interaction. The level of so2 allowed in dried fruit is something like an order of magnitude greater than is typical in wine, but I think whether it's a problem in redistillation will really depend on how much you use.
  12. What will you make at the distillery? If you will make grappa or fruit brandy there is a large advantage to a bain marie still.
  13. If you make whiskey or brandy, plenty of people would say the apex of distillation is in a direct-fired copper pot still.
  14. These were an oak alternative from some where, they were in a stave format but not staves from an actual barrel. They were toasted on all sides and were about 3" wide, 24" long and 1/2" thick. I've probably recharred/retoasted about 30 barrels and have tried charring individual staves but found it very hard to get something that was not acrid/smoky compared to doing the whole barrel.
  15. Sounds like a lot of work 😉 We've received barrels with staves in them from wineries and they were put into the barrel by removing the head (I believe this is how Maker's Marks staved product is done as well) and had no connective material, just in a pile essentially. I've also gotten some barrels that had oak cubes in a long cheese cloth tube which also had to remove by disassembling the barrel.
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