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Heads composition

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So, I found a company that will take my re-distilled heads and dispose of it for me in a manner that fits my company's sustainabilty mission. Issue is, the disposal company needs me to send them MSDS's of the components that make up my waste, along with rough percentages (ex. 10-25% Methanol)... Does anyone have a good idea where I should start on this. I don't feel comfortable just totally making it up, but a full panel would cost around $1200, and isn't necessary (their words).


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Ethyl alcohol, Aldehydes, Short chain esters (primarily ethyl esters like ethyl acetate), some small percentage of lower boiling alcohols, an even smaller percentage of higher boiling alcohols, water, etc, etc.

There are numerous factors that are going to impact the percentages. Type of still, if a column still, do you stack heads, are you tossing fores, what is your wash - grain, sugar, or fruit, yeast stress levels, width of your cuts, recycling tails, etc. There is a chart in Whiskey Technology (page 204 in my copy) that has the relative concentrations by run time. If you go through the online searches of the journals, you'll find some spirit-specific breakdowns - Whiskey, Brandy, Cachaca, etc (but be careful inferring too much from the studies that are looking at continuous columns). If you are working with fruit and treating with bisulfates, you'll have sulfur components in the heads fraction. If you are working with fruit you will have a higher methanol component in the heads fraction than you would with grain (caveats apply).

All said and done, the primary constituent by a very, very wide margin is going to be ethyl alcohol.

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Great resource. Yeah, I'm very aware that my question was very very open ended. My interpretation of what the disposal company needed was paper trail. The table I'm sure qualifies.
Thanks again, jamesbednar

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