Jump to content

Collecting Hearts


Georgeous

Recommended Posts

At what proof do you stop collecting your heads to insure no tails are collected. We have always collected down to 80 proof. However, when we trained at a commercial distillery in VA the head distiller recommended we stop all heads collection once we hit 100 proof to avoid collecting tails. For specs 600 gallon mash 8% wash initial running's coming off at 170 proof. Everything i read says to collect till you get down to 80 proof. What do you seasoned guru's recommend?

thanks

 

49572434_1838334822960163_2310330034562269184_n.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The answer to this question is likely heavily dependant on the type of still you are running, and therefore very subjective. (perhaps adding pictures of yours, or listing the make/manufacturer might help?)

We dont run anything lower than 130 proof on our still, which is when fatty acids (turquoise floaties) start to appear (obviously depending on type of base material we're distilling)

However, we have the only still like ours in the US, so i doubt anyone uses the same settings we do.

  • Thumbs up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I assume you mean hearts and not heads. My wash is about 8% ABV and I collect hearts starting around 160-170 proof and stop around 100 proof. Hearts to tails cut, I think, is much more subjective than heads to hearts cut. So go with what you think seems right...or ideally try both and see what works out best.

  • Thumbs up 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For us, doing whiskey, on the final spirit run, we cut hearts (not heads) from tails at much higher proof than many others, as high as 140 in some cases, down to 120. Depends too on the whiskey. We prefer a less "taily" spirit. We also tend to recycle most of those tails into the next spirit run.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/16/2019 at 4:07 PM, glisade said:

I assume you mean hearts and not heads. My wash is about 8% ABV and I collect hearts starting around 160-170 proof and stop around 100 proof. Hearts to tails cut, I think, is much more subjective than heads to hearts cut. So go with what you think seems right...or ideally try both and see what works out best.

correct, i meant collecting hearts not heads i will see if i can change the topic. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/16/2019 at 3:44 PM, Classick said:

The answer to this question is likely heavily dependant on the type of still you are running, and therefore very subjective. (perhaps adding pictures of yours, or listing the make/manufacturer might help?)

We dont run anything lower than 130 proof on our still, which is when fatty acids (turquoise floaties) start to appear (obviously depending on type of base material we're distilling)

However, we have the only still like ours in the US, so i doubt anyone uses the same settings we do.

i have a 600 gallon still made in china with a whiskey helmet and 5 plate column. it is steam fired

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

There are many factors that will drive the decision of when to make your cuts. Type of spirit, type of yeast used, temp of ferment, type of fermentable, end product are all important factors that will determine when your cuts are made.

When we make whiskey we intend to bottle as an unaged (white) spirit, our tails cut is made rather early to produce a cleaner easy drinking white whiskey, but when making bourbon whiskey and malt whiskey we intend to barrel age for 4 years the tails cut is made much later. Aging of a heavier spirit will create a more complex whiskey.

@Georgeous I offer affordable one on one distilling training at my distillery, if you need some training on how to distill award winning spirits. feel free to

drop me a line at Distillerynow@gmail.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/16/2019 at 4:44 PM, Classick said:

We don't run anything lower than 130 proof on our still, which is when fatty acids (turquoise floaties) start to appear (obviously depending on type of base material we're distilling)

However, we have the only still like ours in the US, so i doubt anyone uses the same settings we do.

1. "turquoise floaties" - isn't that a sign of you getting copper sulfate in your distillate? 

2. What kind of still is it? 

On 7/16/2019 at 6:23 PM, PeteB said:

I don't allow hydrometers to be used to tell us what a spirit will taste like, those things don't have taste buds. 

I love that statement. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/19/2019 at 1:45 AM, Julius said:

I was under the impression that bourbon can’t come off the still over 160 proof. Is it only the final proof in the tank at the end of the run that matters for regulations?

 

This was discussed on this forum several years ago and if I remember correctly the opinion was the proof in the tank at the end of the hearts. EDIT please ignore "which is the proof that goes into the barrel."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, PeteB said:

This was discussed on this forum several years ago and if I remember correctly the opinion was the proof in the tank at the end of the hearts, which is the proof that goes into the barrel.

The proof in the tank at the end of hearts is not necessarily what gets barreled. In fact if your hearts tank is 145 at the end of hearts, that isn’t what gets barreled.... Not sure about Australian law, but in America we can’t barrel over 125proof for bourbon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

TTB definition of Bourbon Whisky:

Whisky produced in the U.S. at not exceeding 80% alcohol by volume (160 proof) from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent corn and stored at not more than 62.5% alcohol by volume (125 proof) in charred new oak containers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The key is the word "produced" in the definition.  TTB defines it to mean: " Produced at. As used in 5.22 and 5.52 in conjunction with specific degrees of proof to describe the standards of identity, means the composite proof of the spirits after completion of distillation and before reduction in proof. "

 

So you could start collecting as high as you want as long as the total distillate is no more than 160.

  • Thumbs up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Julius said:

The proof in the tank at the end of hearts is not necessarily what gets barreled. In fact if your hearts tank is 145 at the end of hearts, that isn’t what gets barreled.... Not sure about Australian law, but in America we can’t barrel over 125proof for bourbon.

I have edited my comment, wrote it in a rush without thinking through. Was sitting on a plane being told to switch to flight mode.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Being able to adjust your reflux condenser temps on the fly makes exploring whiskey heads technique fairly interesting, especially if you have a few plates to play with.

For example, running high reflux to stack heads, slow take off >190pf, then flipping off the reflux condenser entirely and shifting to quasi-pot mode.  You can get the product yield efficiency of a column, and the flavor profile of a pot.

  • Thumbs up 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/20/2019 at 8:43 AM, Silk City Distillers said:

Being able to adjust your reflux condenser temps on the fly makes exploring whiskey heads technique fairly interesting, especially if you have a few plates to play with.

For example, running high reflux to stack heads, slow take off >190pf, then flipping off the reflux condenser entirely and shifting to quasi-pot mode.  You can get the product yield efficiency of a column, and the flavor profile of a pot.

Silk City

so what you are saying is run the dephlag all plates then shut off deflag and bypass the plates for pot still whiskey helmet only? Curious how long do you run the refluxing for when you go this route? i mean how do you know when it is time to switch over to pot? i been experimenting with my still to see what she's got. i ran batch bypassing column, ran one with 1 , 2, 4 and today will do five plates. i am not good at the dephlag refluxing part. not a lot of information out there. i trained on one but did not get as much out of the training as i would have liked. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So my findings, we charged the still with 600 gallons of low wines from our fermenter and heated still to about 202° F and our copper column which is 18" in diameter and 5 plates. We used all 5 and it was slower than hell. We did not use the deplagemator. Our initial runnings started to come out around 180 proof after about 6 gallons it dropped to about 160 proof and over about 6 hours we stopped collecting at 110 proof. This was a very long distillation but product came out with desired taste but not volume. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...

How did the product turn out?  I'm also getting started with a 500 gallon hybrid with four plates.  This topic was discussed last summer and I just found it, so I was wondering how the progress on your system has been?

I have heard others say they run their deflag until heads start coming out, then turn off the deflag. It helps with by not allowing them to condense and they subsequently are collected quicker during the runs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...
  • 4 months later...

I love reading all the different techniques.  Since the low wines I collect vary slightly from batch to batch, and the containers I keep them in don't always mean the same abv going into my whiskey still, I agree that paying attention to temps is pointless.   Taste/smell and clarity when mixed with water (a la the way scotch whiskey makers determine their hearts) are how I move from heads to hearts.   I cut from hearts to tails purely by smell, but in general it's just above 100 proof.   The wet newspaper smell is generally how I notice where I make it.   That said, I don't sell white whiskey, and thus all of my hearts go in a barrel, so I'm probably cutting to tails later than guys/gals who are bottling the spirit white (or as moonshine) - want those more complicated parts to interact with the barrel.  

Like you, I want to read a lot to see what I'm missing, or to learn of new techniques.   Make a few smaller batches and mess around a little, see what works and what doesn't.  It's what I'm going to keep doing.   Also, I'm using a smaller copper still, and while it has a 10 window column on it, I don't use the dephleg.   I've worked with a bunch of different setups, taking the column off, taking the dephleg off, adding a copper onion dome, etc....but it has rarely if ever mattered to what's coming off the parrot.  Very consistent flavor and process over 50-60 batches.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, LuckyGuy said:

 Also, I'm using a smaller copper still, and while it has a 10 window column on it, I don't use the dephleg.   I've worked with a bunch of different setups, taking the column off, taking the dephleg off, adding a copper onion dome, etc....but it has rarely if ever mattered to what's coming off the parrot.  Very consistent flavor and process over 50-60 batches.

 

Everyone has an opinion on how much rectification is useful for whisky, but If you aren't getting a different output from using the column vs not using the column, then your column is not setup or functioning correctly. 

The scotch demisting test (checking for haze when diluted) is primarily about cleaning residual tails compounds (oils/waxes) from the still piping left behind in the previous run. A tails cut of 100 is quite low , the lowest I can think of for scotch malt whisky is about 125 and even that is a bit unusual .

Link to comment
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...