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JustAndy

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Everything posted by JustAndy

  1. There is a pretty good description here, Dickel chills the whiskey to 40F and soaks the charcoal in spirit, at Jack it is not chilled and the whiskey filters via gravity through a big vat of it https://distiller.com/articles/lincoln-county-process
  2. What is the abv of the charge? This can have significant impact on the recovery percentage, gin charges can be quite high since many don't use plates/rectification. I also know of several gin producers who collected the tails and redistill them separately and blend that at certain ratio into the first distillate.
  3. We used to do things along this line in a 3-plate kothe still with a large depleg distilling mash in a single pass; running a fair flow of water to the depleg to put the column into full reflux for a while and then easing down the water to trickle out the head, down to little-to-no active cooling to bring the proof down to a whiskey/brandy range, then once the proof dropped too low cranking the depleg water back up to bring the proof back up. After the tails cut there wouldn't be too much alcohol left in the system but it was run out at a relatively high abv and turned off when vapor into still head was 100C but due to the depleg the parrot proof was about 50p still. I think this is the method Kothe more or less teaches and I've seen a number of other distilleries that do things similarly. After a few years of working that way, I think it's the wrong way to do it. The result is a small, pretty nasty heads portion which gets discarded, a grainy, harsh tasting heart that doesn't mature well, and a small amount of tails that need to be reprocessed but are missing the interesting elements of the very late tails. I really think it's a better approach to double distil everything, use no active reflux for the heads, recycle the heads and tails to the next batch, and run the tails out to near zero. That's my $.02. Sometimes we have to do things with compression when there is only enough raw material for a single distillation (making fruit brandy is hard that way) and there can be some interesting aspects of single pass distillates with aromatic raw materials but I don't like it for whiskey.
  4. 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.
  5. 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"
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Tell that to the Kentucky whiskey industry...
  11. 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/
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. If you make whiskey or brandy, plenty of people would say the apex of distillation is in a direct-fired copper pot still.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Are you using an actual barrel stave or a stave-style oak alternative product (there are many out there but here is one https://www.seguinmoreaunapa.com/alternatives). An actual barrel stave is a poor choice as it's only received heat treatment on 1 of it's 4 sides so you'll be imparting a ton raw, not particularly pleasant, oak.
  20. Although there is an interesting history of 'needle beer' from the prohibition days of spiking non-alcoholic malt drink with illicit spirits.
  21. You're google results must be different than mine, I couldn't drum up any references to a fortified beer. I see a couple of Eisbocks (which are cyroconcentrated, not really 'fortified' in the meaning of added spirits) but my guess is the brewery never submitted for formula approval which I know happens quite a bit.
  22. I dont have it around anymore but we rigged up a foot operated valve with a TC fitting and a 90 elbow hose barb which worked great for filling syrup bottles.
  23. Look at maple syrup packaging equipment, Bascom's has used equipment but this is the busy season so they might not be too helpful.
  24. What fruit will you use and where are you located? Some truly exotic fruits can be very challenging to make brandy from.
  25. The immature distinction only applies to grape brandy, other fruit brandies have no aging requirement or age statement. As for the rest, the BAM chapter 4 is pretty clear, copied below. Brandy made by blending two or more specific types of brandies must be identified as “Brandy” followed by the percentage of (determined on a proof gallon basis) and name of each specific type of brandy, e.g., “Brandy, 25% Dried Pear Brandy, 75% Lees Brandy” Percentages are not required if the brandy is derived from: --2 specific types of brandies and neither contributes less than 40% of the alcohol on a proof gallon basis --3 specific types of brandies and each contributes at least 30% of the alcohol on a proof gallon basis --4 specific types of brandies and each contributes at least 20% of the alcohol on a proof gallon basis Fruit Brandy derived from two or more fruits must be identified as “Fruit Brandy” followed by the percentage of (determined on a proof gallon basis) and name of each fruit from which the brandy was made, e.g., “Fruit Brandy, 30% Apple Brandy, 70% Cherry Brandy” Percentages are not required if the Fruit Brandy is derived from: --2 fruits and neither contributes less than 40% of the alcohol on a proof gallon basis --3 fruits and each contributes at least 30% of the alcohol on a proof gallon basis --4 fruits and each contributes at least 20% of the alcohol on a proof gallon basis
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