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Over Charred Whiskey


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We just harvest a few of our 15 gallon barrels of single malt whiskey. After dumping barrels we noticed it was over charred and made the finished product almost black. We tried flitering the whiskey 2 times and it is still very dark almost black. We have never had this problem before and been dumping barrels for the past 3 years. Any ideas to clear up this whiskey to make it have a more appealing color? Thanks

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I can only comment as a wine maker and chemist.  Activated charcoal will decolorize many things.  I have taken wine that had a ugly salmon pink color to a almost clear.  Obviously you can over do anything.  So I would consider taking a portion of the product say a small cup or beaker.  divide this into 2 amounts.  Decolorize one of the amounts and then slowly add to the other position.  But do this in a very accurate way.   So lets say you have 5 tsp of product in one glass (A) and you slowly drop the decolorize B into A.  If you find the color you want then you have a ratio of how much you will need for the larger quantity.  Don't try to change the color in the entire batch or you will over shoot.  Hope this makes some sense. If not ignore my tiredness.

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I've heard of (but never seen) that iron contamination can turn a spirit black. If it was barrel charcoal you should be able to filter it out with the right media, or get it to drop with time. I've also read about using gelatin to strip out barrel character and tannin but I'm not sure that is really the problem.  

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  • 4 months later...

@SlickFloss Can you explain what you did to remove the steel contamination? Electrolysis perhaps?

Sadly, I dumped a barrel today with totally black spirit. It turned out that some jackelope had included a steel tool in the barrel before sending it to me. 

I had this happen once before and I redistilled it. But I would prefer to remove the contamination if possible. 

steel-contamination-IMG_4179.thumb.jpg.282a170615072a206433138beafc7a3e.jpg

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Yessir If I remember correctly it was 2 tankers that were brought in I'm pretty sure they pitched dry milk powder in the bitches and recirculated the tanker through a filter when it happened I'm pretty sure I remember swapping the filter cartridges they just worked down in microns to where they restored color started really high blew my fucking gourd seeing it I was a young buck and my grand daddy was still killing it

 

miss him more every day

 

 

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Could have been diatomaceous earth.

It’s what I would recommend, along with sub-micron filtration, ideally 0.1 micron.

Pitch enough it would look like milk, fine DE powder looks like milk powder.

DE is commonly used in spirits filtration, it's customary, nobody would raise a concern about additives.

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I would also say it was DE. That stuff has a ton of uses and filtration is one. While there are different grades of DE, it is the stuff that used to be used in swimming pool filters, if it can clear up green algae, certainly it can clear up your tainted spirit.

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  • 2 weeks later...

DE is commonly used in brewing and distilling for sure but the DE we had up at AD when my granddaddy was working there was pink its the same stuff I use to polish my brandy now, this was literally milk powder. I know it sounds crazy but this was back in the sixties 

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