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Thread: Home distilled

  1. #101
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    I'd say he's running to deep into tails. Make cuts sooner (don't toss the leftover tails, pour into feints jar), and that should solve the cloudy issue.

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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Dont agree.

    I strip to 30% lots of nice earthy flavours there.
    And have not had cloudy alcohol before.
    Quote Originally Posted by ColeGP View Post
    Don't drop your ABV below 43% to avoid going cloudy.
    If you have some fusel oils in your distillate when you add water to proof down thats where the cloudyness comes in, but usually if you stay above 43% thats more than safe to prevent it.
    My wife is simple, in a complicated way

  3. #103
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Quote Originally Posted by ColeGP View Post
    Don't drop your ABV below 43% to avoid going cloudy.
    If you have some fusel oils in your distillate when you add water to proof down thats where the cloudyness comes in, but usually if you stay above 43% thats more than safe to prevent it.
    This is before and after. As you can see the ABV was fairly high and could not have been tails.
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  4. #104
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Chlorine in your water also does that.
    And certain fruits from the mash.

    For instance banana, perfectly clear alcohol, colour with wood xhios. As soon as you ad h2o it will go murky.
    My wife is simple, in a complicated way

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  6. #105
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Finished a small trial run of gin today.

    Shady's Sugar Shine Wash stripped, then a second distillation run and brought back to 43%. Very nice wash by the way. I then infused 2 700ml of the wash with Lemon Rind, Corriander and Juniper Berries for 14 days. Borrowed a mates pressure cooker pot still I made for him, and did a nice easy run on the spirit. Really chuffed with the results, had one earlier, most pleasant. Still a very slight after taste of a pot still generated neutral.

    I ran 1 000ml at 79% ABV and then 120ml at 38% ABV, it dropped off quickly so the run was stopped. The last 250ml was pleasant so I added it back to the 1 000ml. I cut her back to 45% and ended with circa 2 000ml.

    What would I do different next time? My CCVM column needs completing first then I will strip in the pots still, generate my final neutral in the CCVM to get a better neutral, then infuse the botanicals and then do the final spirit run in the pot still to keep the flavour profile. I think I may add more Juniper Berries and Coriander ....... I am still missing a botanical, the one you get when you smell Gin. Smells like citrus but is not not lemon?

  7. #106
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Leigh View Post
    ...................I think I may add more Juniper Berries and Coriander ....... I am still missing a botanical, the one you get when you smell Gin. Smells like citrus but is not not lemon?
    I use the recipe below (note the different weighting). I add the “shavings” of lemon peel (stay away from the white part).

    1. x = juniper
    2. x/2 = coriander
    3. x/10 = angelica, cassia, cinnamon, liquorice, bitter almonds, grains of paradise, cubeb berries
    4. x/100 = bitter & sweet orange peel, lemon peel, ginger, orris, root, cardamon, nutmeg, savory, calamus, chamomile, fennel, aniseed, cumin, violet root.


    Enjoy
    Edwin
    Last edited by Jeep001; 2021/03/08 at 08:50 AM.
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  8. #107
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    I'm planning my first gin in the next week or two
    What is X in relation to spirit qty?

  9. #108
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Deleted
    Last edited by Grotman-WP; 2021/03/08 at 02:42 PM.

  10. #109
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeep001 View Post
    I use the recipe below (note the different weighting). I add the “shavings” of lemon peel (stay away from the white part).

    1. x = juniper
    2. x/2 = coriander
    3. x/10 = angelica, cassia, cinnamon, liquorice, bitter almonds, grains of paradise, cubeb berries
    4. x/100 = bitter & sweet orange peel, lemon peel, ginger, orris, root, cardamon, nutmeg, savory, calamus, chamomile, fennel, aniseed, cumin, violet root.


    Enjoy
    Edwin
    Edwin that X then 1/2X etc.?
    Last edited by Andrew Leigh; 2021/03/08 at 01:26 PM.

  11. #110
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    OK, gin, hold up, pause, reverse, stop, woah.

    I never knew that you have to distill the botanicals WITH the gin? I was under the impression that you just infuse the botanicals in the gin, like with oaking. This is news to me, and completely changes what I have or had in mind for gins.

    So, do you have to do a stripping run, then a spirit run, taking your cuts, and then another run with the botanicals to determine what you like/dislike?

  12. #111
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    About that.

    You want a really neutral spirit that will not affect the other flavour's. With a pot still you will still get a slight wash taste. It is for this reason that I am building the CCVM, for a better neutral. So my plan is stripping run (pot still), spirit run (CCVM) high ABV neutral from the CCVM for the infusion. Final run would be the infusion through the pot still to retain the flavour's.

    1. You can take your neutral, drop it back to 40% ABV and infuse the botanicals for 24 hours. The add to the pot still and run real slow.

    2. You can take your neutral, drop it back to 40% ABV and infuse the botanicals for 14 days. Strain out all the solids then add to the pot still and run real slow.

    3. You can buy an rather expensive Gin Basket and infuse on the fly. I watched a couple of Gin video's this morning, many craft distillers use method 1.

    I use method 2 as I have the time. Next time round will have less patience and will go for method 1.

    The botanicals make the Gin a deep brown, I have drunk the 14 day infused product and really enjoyed it. It is very bold bit I liked it.

    I ran some yesterday as stated and the flavour's are way more subtle and traditional Gin like. The second distillation obviously returns the brown infusion to crystal clear.

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  14. #112
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Leigh View Post
    Edwin that X then 1/2X etc.?
    Borrowed from another site:
    The total amount of botanicals used isabout 20-35 grams/litre. If we take the dominant botanical juniper as 'x', theproportions of the botanicals used is:

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  15. #113
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Quote Originally Posted by Toxxyc View Post
    OK, gin, hold up, pause, reverse, stop, woah.

    I never knew that you have to distill the botanicals WITH the gin? I was under the impression that you just infuse the botanicals in the gin, like with oaking. This is news to me, and completely changes what I have or had in mind for gins.

    So, do you have to do a stripping run, then a spirit run, taking your cuts, and then another run with the botanicals to determine what you like/dislike?
    I have one on these “gin bags” and use it inside the still during my spirit run. You have to ensure that it does not make contact with the bottom of the still due to the heat. They are fairly inexpesive. (try Distllique 5L = R58)

    https://distillique.co.za/Shop/pot-and-stripping-stills/1039-gin-bag-5l-pot-still.html


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    Last edited by Jeep001; 2021/03/08 at 02:59 PM.
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  16. #114
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    I've got plenty of bags and stuff I can use, so that's not a worry.

    If you want to keep the bag off the bottom - a teapot stand works well. I use them in my urns to keep my grain bags from burning. Works like a charm.

  17. #115
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    OK, so some progress has been made. Storytime!

    It all started with a pressure cooker still I built when I had a batch of beer turn out "iffy" and I felt sorry to just dump it. The pressure cooker ran overtime until I decided to stop playing around, it's time to go bigger (I like this hobby). The tons of people asking for more booze also helped this decision along, and 95% of them said they're willing to pay for the stuff (not making money) so I can just keep making. Because it took my a whole day to strip and do a spirit run on 20l's worth of wash, producing only around 3l of useable spirit, I decided to scale up. Way up. So here goes...

    It started with this pressure cooker still. It is now sold:


    Drew a rough idea, and got to planning:


    The above pic was sent to the guys are LiveCopper and the guys there sorted me out with a 2" T-piece, a 54mmx28mm reducer, 28mm copper pipe, end caps and some other bits and bobs. Next up was finding a kettle. I had plans for urns and stuff but in the end a decomissioned beer keg was found. Picked up a 50l for a steal:


    Next up was finding fittings and stuff. I checked out sites like Distillique and Ketelkraal and quickly learned that this build was going to cost me THOUSANDS if I don't slow down - quickly. So I spoke to some guys and RudiC on here told me to get in touch with Jonathan Waters, from StillFab. Jonathan pointed me in the right direction and for a few hundred bucks I got what I needed from BCG Stainless:


    Next up was the welding. I arranged a time and all that with Jonathan and he gave me access to his workshop's guys. He also arranged some electronics for me to be able to control the still in the end:


    I handed in the keg and some of the fittings, and they did their magic. Picked up the keg, with these changes. First up, the bottom keg ring was cut off and legs welded in its place:


    Then a 3/4" SS barrel nipple, to connect to the 3/4" 3-piece ball valve:


    After that, the element's fitting. I initially wanted to weld in a regular 2" SS ferrule, but that would have meant I'd had to buy the geyser ferrule and then fix it to the kettle with a tri-clamp each time. Instead, I opted to weld the geyser ferrule directly to the kettle. No additional stuff, no additional cost. This is a standard 1 1/4" geyser element fitting, fitting a slimline element perfectly:


    And the 3kW element screwed in place. Easy as that:


    At the top of the keg I opted to cut off the keg's ferrule and instead welded in the 2" SS ferrule I purchased, but didn't end up using for the element. I did that because the keg's fitting is thicker, and the tri-clamp was having issues clamping down on it properly.

    Next up was the column build. Using all the bits and bobs from LiveCopper, I still had to find 2" copper pipe for the column/riser. This was easier said than done. LiveCopper didn't have. Chamberlains didn't have. Builders didn't have. Distillique had, but man, what a price... So I drove out to Plumblink and as luck would have it, they were sold out. The guy at the counter though put my name on a list and eventually ended up cutting off a 1m length for me at one of their other branches, selling me a 1m length. Luckily, because a length costs like R2.4k.

    Because few places have copper ferrules, I looked for a while before I found one. New brew shop in Pretoria, Yeah Brew, had them in stock, and for a decent price. I drove out there and picked up a ferrule as well as some copper mesh to stuff the column with. Queue soldering. I'm no pro, but I've done it before, albeit on MUCH smaller jobs. The 2" soldering was a mission, but finally I got the ferrule soldered to the pipe with no leaks. And here it is, fitting PERFECTLY on the gasket on the kettle:


    When that was done, next up was the top of the column. Because I've grown used to an electronic thermometer at the top of the column on my pressure cooker still, I decided to copy that design EXACTLY. So that's what I did. At the top, a T-piece. The guys at LiveCopper didn't have one that went from 54mm down to 2 x 28mm, so I had to use the reducer there. The end cap way at the top gets a 4mm hole drilled in it, through which the probe fits, and is sealed with flour paste with each run. The 28mm to the side goes to a small section of pipe, moving into a compression fitting so I can control the lyne arm's angle. But PICS:


    And then some pics of my soldering. Like I said, not the best soldering, but it doesn't leak, at least:






    Now, to the lyne arm. The lyne arm is whatever was left over from the 1m piece of 28mm pipe I bought, and fixed to the compression fitting. The fitting was lined with PTFE tape inside and out, so it SHOULD not leak:


    And waaaay at the end of the lyne arm, I soldered a 28mm x 15mm reducer. This goes to a piece of 15mm pipe on a compression fitting, purely so I can remove the condenser from the whole shebang, making storage easier:


    And that's all I have for now. I'll solder in the rest probably on Sunday or so. Then I have to assemble the control box and it should be ready to run next week sometime. I can't wait!

    EDIT: Oh yes, I measured the still's height. The top of the end cap stands 1.75m from the ground. A pic for some idea on how big it's turning out to be:

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  19. #116
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    man I really like what they did with your keg, those legs are cool.
    fyi the reason your triclamp was probably a bit tight fitting to the keg is because the keg flange usually doesnt have a groove, so you just slice the one side of the gasket to be flat and that side fits against the keg.
    obviously not an issue for you now anyway.
    Last edited by ColeGP; 2021/03/12 at 04:53 PM.
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  20. #117
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Yeah I bought a 2" ferrule to weld in for the element, but then the guy who did the welding said he'll give me a 1.25" geyser ferrule instead, so I had a spare. Decided to then just weld the correct ferrule on top. Works like a charm, fits the column perfectly now, with no need for me to cut anything.

  21. #118
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Nice upgrade.

  22. #119
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Hmm, so when can I buy some more rum?
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  23. #120
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    Default Re: Home distilled

    Buy some more rum... Mate you haven't bought a drop from me yet :P That sample was free.

    But yes, rum's on the cards. Sooner rather than later. Hopefully by next weekend I'll have a bit to hand out as samples. I bought a bottle of Cap Morgan's Black rum and it seems to be REALLY simple.

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