Page 1 of 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 166

Thread: Home distilled

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    40
    Posts
    3,628
    Thanked: 171

    Default Home distilled

    Some of my favorite mixes..
    SAMBO loves her gin.
    So I do the sugar wash, and she does the botanicals.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	5b3b554e-146a-4ffe-8e35-ab661521b132.jpg 
Views:	88 
Size:	117.5 KB 
ID:	605157
    I love my whiskey and rum.
    So a loveliy mix of grains gives an absolute mesmerizing taste.
    And one of the best, rum from Molasse and some added cherries.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_7499.JPG 
Views:	83 
Size:	171.9 KB 
ID:	605158
    And easy peazy strawberry lips.
    My wife is simple, in a complicated way

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to Benson For This Useful Post:

    WAJ

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    46
    Posts
    1,582
    Thanked: 1820

    Default Re: Home distilled

    Hmmmmmm


    Looks so nice



    So, address please and price on the RUM
    Willem

    Ford Ranger 3.0Tdci Super Cab 4x4
    (workshop whore)


  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Johannesburg
    Age
    40
    Posts
    1,119
    Thanked: 271

    Default Re: Home distilled

    What is the "mouth feel" like with your home made stuff, I am finding my rum often has what I would call a "dry mouth" feel, as in when I drink it it actually makes my mouth feel dry.
    I usually do a molasses wash (around 500mls) then 2kg of sugar, top up with water till I get OG of around 1.080 so not a pure sugar wash or a pure molasses wash, then "age" a few days
    with toasted oak chips.
    It is drinkable, just wondering where I am going wrong and if anyone else finds their home made stuff also gives that sort of "feel".
    2009 Suzuki GV 3.2
    ex : 2010 Suzuki GV 2.4 M/T
    ex : 2007 Audi A4 2.0T - RS4 rear suspension

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    40
    Posts
    3,628
    Thanked: 171

    Default Re: Home distilled

    Quote Originally Posted by ColeGP View Post
    What is the "mouth feel" like with your home made stuff, I am finding my rum often has what I would call a "dry mouth" feel, as in when I drink it it actually makes my mouth feel dry.
    I usually do a molasses wash (around 500mls) then 2kg of sugar, top up with water till I get OG of around 1.080 so not a pure sugar wash or a pure molasses wash, then "age" a few days
    with toasted oak chips.
    It is drinkable, just wondering where I am going wrong and if anyone else finds their home made stuff also gives that sort of "feel".
    I don't get that mouth feel at all
    Here's the nice foam of the rum.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	0f25f0fc-d02a-4eac-9ec1-7e3a06f52888.jpg 
Views:	52 
Size:	182.7 KB 
ID:	605194

    I use a 3 x 25l fermenter to make my rum.
    1 and 2. sugar wash, 23l water 5kg sugar with my turbo yeast.
    3. 23l water, 5kg Molatek Molasse (this is the only one that really really gives a nice taste) 2kg sugar and Molasse yeast.

    Reason for the sugar wash is that Molasse does not have a lot of fermentable sugars, so adding the sugar wash when distilling ups the ABV.
    Ferment the lot. Add them all together and distill.

    I filter through an activated carbon filter straight out the condenser.

    Then dark roasted oak barrel chips for a few days full strength, around 89%, then down to 43% and enjoy.

    I do another two steps with some other things, but that's my secret.....
    My wife is simple, in a complicated way

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to Benson For This Useful Post:


  7. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Johannesburg
    Age
    40
    Posts
    1,119
    Thanked: 271

    Default Re: Home distilled

    Interesting, my molasses rum never has a sustained "skuim kop" like that.
    Must be your extra steps that get yours that way.
    2009 Suzuki GV 3.2
    ex : 2010 Suzuki GV 2.4 M/T
    ex : 2007 Audi A4 2.0T - RS4 rear suspension

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    31
    Posts
    811
    Thanked: 1413

    Default Re: Home distilled

    OK so I'm glad I found a newer distillation thread now. Since Riaan's passing I've been avoiding asking about distillation on the forum, but here we are now, I think he'd love it if we continued the craft at least.

    So my first still I built was built using an old pressure cooker, some 22mm and 15mm copper pipe and a very thin piece of copper coil (1/4" soft-drawn). I built it with NO prior knowledge and with no thought going into how it'll actually work and I've learned my lesson pretty well since. To boot, the pressure cooker's max volume of 10 litres isn't making my stripping runs easy. I am moving more toward 45l batches these days and considering the still can only be filled to the 7l-or-so mark on the stripping run to prevent puking, I usually spend two full days just stripping, and that's horrible, so I want to go bigger (around double).

    So now I want to build a new still. I have a ton of ideas, first one being a larger volume boiler. If I can just double up the volume I means I can relax quite a bit on the stripping runs, which will make my life a lot easier. Second idea is to go for a larger column, as the 22mm one I'm using right now is fine, but I think the low volume in the column is contributing to the problem of the still puking easily.

    Ideally I'd like to move away from the gas-driven still and turn it into an electric still, but that's just a "nice to have", I really wouldn't mind running it on the gas as well, as it controls well with the temp and all that. Anyway, that's why I've been thinking I could convert (another) urn into a still. Problem is though that urns tend to have REALLY shitty lids, and those lids don't seal well. That's the issue I had when I tried to convert my 20l urn into a still and I just couldn't get the lid to seal, no matter what I tried.

    As a result, what I can think of is two things, first being a stainless steel urn with a lid that seals well, and the other being a pot or something like an old keg. However, I don't know how to convert the keg, how would you clean it, etc. etc.

    I want to build a pot still, mostly, but I wouldn't mind having the option of cooling on the column so I can run it as a bit of a reflux if I want to. I'd love to get some input on the matter.

    What I have already for the new still is a 15mm copper pipe that was bent into a coil for me by a plumber, so I can use that as the condenser. I can solder fittings and joints to it as I want and I'm planning on permanently fitting it to a 25l bucket so I can just use the whole thing as a cooling unit.

    EDIT: To make it short, I need help building a new still. I want larger diameter copper pipe which is ###### expensive, and I want a larger boiling vessel. Anyone with any ideas on how I can get around these issues?
    Last edited by Toxxyc; 2021/02/23 at 02:09 PM.

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    46
    Posts
    1,582
    Thanked: 1820

    Default Re: Home distilled

    Stripping? Puking?



    I am really lost



    But intrigued at the same time
    Willem

    Ford Ranger 3.0Tdci Super Cab 4x4
    (workshop whore)


  10. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    31
    Posts
    811
    Thanked: 1413

    Default Re: Home distilled

    I don't want to hijack the thread, but I will post a short bit on how I understand distillation if Benson doesn't mind on his thread?

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Tesselaarsdal (dis inni Kaap!)
    Age
    60
    Posts
    1,311
    Thanked: 3055

    Default Re: Home distilled

    @Toxxyc: Speak to Gary Frank on this Forum. He's spent a lifetime designing and building plant in the dairy and beer industries.

    Every time Kopdoek & Co has a brain-fart and bans liquor he churns out a couple of stills that he builds out of beer kegs.

    A good oke - he'll definitely give you some good pointers.
    Ettienne de Kock

    "ASK YOURSELF HOW OLD YOU'D BE IF YOU DIDN'T KNOW THE DATE YOU WERE BORN" - Toby Keith


    1998 Disco Tdi
    1959 SII 88"
    1975 Land Rover Air-Portable Lightweight
    197? RRC
    AND SWAMBO's Unmentionable Abomination

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to EttiennedK For This Useful Post:


  13. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    31
    Posts
    811
    Thanked: 1413

    Default Re: Home distilled

    I'd LOVE to get a beer keg still but the cost is my biggest worry. I'll build it all myself, my hands aren't completely round, I'm just worried about the cost. I can't believe places sell stills for R50k for not even big ones, and they MOVE.

  14. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    46
    Posts
    1,582
    Thanked: 1820

    Default Re: Home distilled

    Quote Originally Posted by Toxxyc View Post
    I'd LOVE to get a beer keg still but the cost is my biggest worry. I'll build it all myself, my hands aren't completely round, I'm just worried about the cost. I can't believe places sell stills for R50k for not even big ones, and they MOVE.
    What does a beer keg cost, or, let me ask what is the capital layout you would need to be able to do what it is you want to do?
    Willem

    Ford Ranger 3.0Tdci Super Cab 4x4
    (workshop whore)


  15. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    31
    Posts
    811
    Thanked: 1413

    Default Re: Home distilled

    Quote Originally Posted by WAJ View Post
    What does a beer keg cost, or, let me ask what is the capital layout you would need to be able to do what it is you want to do?
    So what I want to do is simply build a bigger still. OK let me post a bit more about distilling to make it more clear on what I want to do, and how I understand distilling and the terms and stuff in the distillation process (I may or may not be correct in everything here).

    Distillation is the process of using heat on one end and cooling on the other end to separate two liquids from each other. In the case of making booze, the two liquids are water and alcohol. Alcohol has a lower boiling point than water, so if you heat the stuff in the boiler the alcohol evaporates first, which you then cool and collect on the cooling end.

    The stuff that goes into the still at the start of the distillation is called the "wash". The wash can be anything from all-grain wash (used to make whisky, gin or grain vodkas), a sugar wash (used to make rum) or even a fermented grape juice wash (used to make brandy). The first time this stuff is distilled is purely done to split the alcohol and the water from each other. This rough splitting is called the "stripping run", literally because you are just stripping the alcohol from the water. This stripped distillate is called the "low wines" and while you can drink it, it's not going to taste very good at all. The stuff that is left over in the still after the stripping run is called the "backset" or, if you're making rum, it's called "dunder".

    So you distill it a second time, and sometimes even a third time. The final distillation though is called the "spirit run". During the spirit run, you're going to want to split the collected liquid into AT LEAST 4 parts. Some people split it into a lot more, like 15 to 20 cuts, but I'm not there yet. I split into 6 cuts, but the 4 majors ones are:

    1. Foreshots. The foreshots are the first drippings that come out of the still. This distillate contains all kinds of alcohols and stuff you can and should never drink, including methanol and acetone. It has a very distinctive, sharp smell and you can easily identify it from the rest of the run. There are probably ways of telling when this stops and the good stuff starts, but I know my still by now and when the first drippings start slowing down and the temperature in the column increases I start tasting a drop every now and again until I can pick up that the sharp bite from the foreshots disappear. Then I swap out the jars to collect the next runnings.

    2. Heads. The heads is what comes out of the still next. The heads is a combination of some more volatile flavours and stuff from the still, as well as ethanol that now starts dripping. You don't drink this. It's still pretty harsh on the tongue and doesn't taste good. I know when the column temp in my still starts climbing again when and where to look for heads, and then continue to drip-tasting test. I can then detect quite reliably where the heads stop, and we get to the next runnings, where I'll swap out the jar for the next. Heads are not tossed away, but they're saved in a different jar, called the "feints jar".

    3. Hearts. The good stuff. Ethanol, with great flavour. Smooth, mellow, rich. This is what you want. You collect this and this is what forms the bulk of your drinkable spirit. You collect this and keep an eye on the still's temperature, as well as the colour, consistency, smell and flavour of what's being produced here. There comes a time when this changes, your ABV being produced drops, you start seeing an oily produce and a cloudy drip in the jar and that's when you can easily taste and smell a change in produce as well. Then you get to the last bit.

    4. Tails. The tails is a combination of ethanol (drinkable alcohol) and other stuff like oils and esters (flavour compounds) that you may or may not want to taste. For the most part, the tails are lower in alcohol and they get...pungent. That's a nice word. For most, the tails taste and smell like wet cardboard or wet dog. You don't want this in your drinking spirit, but you don't want to throw it away either. So you pour it into your "feints jar". You keep running tails until your output ABV is around 10% ABV, or where you prefer. There comes a point where the gas burned to distill the last bit just isn't worth the money anymore, and then you stop.

    So your hearts are usually used immediately, and you can age this on oak, you can add spices to it, you can add some of the dunder to this to flavour it, etc. If you made it from grains and you add oak to this, you're making a whisky. If you add juniper berries, you're making a gin. If you've distilled it from sugar and you're adding dunder and some spices to it, you're making a spiced rum. There's a million possibilities here.

    The feints jar is stored and kept aside. After a few runs if the feints jar is full, you can distill that on it's own and get more hearts out of it (usually well flavoured). I don't save the feints for later, but usually add it into the next spirit run immediately to boost my yield.

    So, to make a wash, you need to make a sugary solution and ferment it. I prefer two types - the first being an all-grain wash I use to make whiskies and a sugar wash used to make rums. Now, because yeast can only reliably ferment to around 12% ABV, it's obvious that you need to make a lot of wash for very little neutral spirit that you can use in the end. Usually, in my case, a 20l batch of wash at around 9% ABV (where I usually aim for) will produce 2l or so of useable spirit, that's been cut and watered to where I want it. That's not a lot of yield, so I like to double up the batches to kill more birds with one stone. The result though is that I need to do a lot of stripping in order to get all the alcohol out of there and into my low wines.

    Now my still, made from an old pressure cooker, holds 10l max. That's probably to the brim. Practically, I can fill it with only about 6 or 7 litres of wash. That's because, when the wash is first boiled, it foams up a lot. Think of when you're cooking rice and you don't watch the pot. This foam pushes up in the boiler, up the column (the part the comes up from the boiler), through the lyne arm (the part between the column and the condenser) and through the condenser, out of the other end and into the jar of low wines. This overflowing of foam and crap is called "puking" and it's not only annoying, but it's also dangerous. If you happen to have something solid in your wash and it pukes into the condenser, the condenser can block and cause the still to explode. Not good. What can also happen is the still can start leaking ethanol during the run, and trust me, it's not fun when the ethanol then drips down the side into the flames of the gas burner under the still. Hearing a "WLOOPH" noise and turning around to see your still engulfed in a huge blue flame isn't fun at all.

    So I want to make a bigger still, so that I can do larger stripping runs in one go, and also so that I can produce a lot more neutral spirit that I can use to make whatever I want with. I've made a few whiskies, all with mixed results, and I've made a few rums, only the first of which was "meh". The latest bunch have all been REALLY good, so that's a bit of an interest on my side for now. I also want to go into the gin route and I have a really good idea for a rose gin, but I'll need to be able to produce more clean hearts to really make that one shine.

    So yeah, I need a bigger still.

    EDIT: Sorry for the wall of text, and sorry for OP for all this but maybe others will learn a bit from this.
    Last edited by Toxxyc; 2021/02/23 at 03:05 PM.

  16. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Toxxyc For This Useful Post:


  17. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    46
    Posts
    1,582
    Thanked: 1820

    Default Re: Home distilled

    Ja sorry to Benson - we are hijacking your thread a bit here




    But I would like a "friend" in the distilling business for the "maer jare" when they lock the dopshops again one day
    Willem

    Ford Ranger 3.0Tdci Super Cab 4x4
    (workshop whore)


  18. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Centurion
    Age
    48
    Posts
    1,256
    Thanked: 360

    Default Re: Home distilled

    Quote Originally Posted by Toxxyc View Post
    OK so I'm glad I found a newer distillation thread now. Since Riaan's passing I've been avoiding asking about distillation on the forum, but here we are now, I think he'd love it if we continued the craft at least.

    So my first still I built was built using an old pressure cooker, some 22mm and 15mm copper pipe and a very thin piece of copper coil (1/4" soft-drawn). I built it with NO prior knowledge and with no thought going into how it'll actually work and I've learned my lesson pretty well since. To boot, the pressure cooker's max volume of 10 litres isn't making my stripping runs easy. I am moving more toward 45l batches these days and considering the still can only be filled to the 7l-or-so mark on the stripping run to prevent puking, I usually spend two full days just stripping, and that's horrible, so I want to go bigger (around double).

    So now I want to build a new still. I have a ton of ideas, first one being a larger volume boiler. If I can just double up the volume I means I can relax quite a bit on the stripping runs, which will make my life a lot easier. Second idea is to go for a larger column, as the 22mm one I'm using right now is fine, but I think the low volume in the column is contributing to the problem of the still puking easily.

    Ideally I'd like to move away from the gas-driven still and turn it into an electric still, but that's just a "nice to have", I really wouldn't mind running it on the gas as well, as it controls well with the temp and all that. Anyway, that's why I've been thinking I could convert (another) urn into a still. Problem is though that urns tend to have REALLY shitty lids, and those lids don't seal well. That's the issue I had when I tried to convert my 20l urn into a still and I just couldn't get the lid to seal, no matter what I tried.

    As a result, what I can think of is two things, first being a stainless steel urn with a lid that seals well, and the other being a pot or something like an old keg. However, I don't know how to convert the keg, how would you clean it, etc. etc.

    I want to build a pot still, mostly, but I wouldn't mind having the option of cooling on the column so I can run it as a bit of a reflux if I want to. I'd love to get some input on the matter.

    What I have already for the new still is a 15mm copper pipe that was bent into a coil for me by a plumber, so I can use that as the condenser. I can solder fittings and joints to it as I want and I'm planning on permanently fitting it to a 25l bucket so I can just use the whole thing as a cooling unit.

    EDIT: To make it short, I need help building a new still. I want larger diameter copper pipe which is ###### expensive, and I want a larger boiling vessel. Anyone with any ideas on how I can get around these issues?
    50l electric urn from Game currently on special @R1100, it has a flat lid, you get some silicon tubing and split it length wise and put it over the lip of the pot, some clamps from 4x4direct that you modify and thus clamp the lid onto the pot with the silicon diy seal. Drill center of lid to take the necessary 54mm ferrule etc. Then build either a short pipe for pot still purpose and/or build a reflux column, you can the swap between the two if you build both.
    Neil

  19. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    cape town
    Age
    54
    Posts
    160
    Thanked: 739

    Default Re: Home distilled

    Following
    Will add my 2c in a day or so
    My cousin from Austria has just spent a month here with me and taught me the nuances of practical distilling.
    We made:
    Pear schnapps
    Apricot schnapps
    Whiskey (3xmalt recipe plus oak)
    Biskey (distilled left over beer plus oak)
    Brandy (used old wine and Port and champagne)
    Busy with a farewell sugar mash for gin.
    Been fun....... Hic

  20. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Johannesburg
    Age
    40
    Posts
    1,119
    Thanked: 271

    Default Re: Home distilled

    So basically to share how Riaan had setup his still.
    He used a kettle boiler which he had fitting a fitting and copper pipe to the top of the lid, I dont think he went as big as 50mm though, but he had managed to get some reflux pipes into his, and then he had a liebig condensor.
    He would then put bricks ontop of the lid to keep it down.

    My personal setup is a 13L stainless steel stock pot, I have a custom cut and welded plate on the top of it which I have fitted a 2 inch tri clamp fitting onto and the whole plate clamps down to the top of the pot.
    I then fit my 2 inch reflux column and liebig condensor.

    Since you already have what sounds like a good worm condenser I would definitely keep that, personally I wish I had been able to get a good coil made for my setup, they a lot easier to use and much more stable.

    If you can find a pub that is getting rid of kegs, pick one up, get yourself a 2kw element and a stainless steel fitting to allow you to fit the element into the keg (will need somebody to cut and weld for you).
    I saw the "Beaver DIY" guy suggests using a power tool controller to then control the element (something like below)
    https://www.bidorbuy.co.za/item/5028...4aAmZdEALw_wcB

    Fit a short 2 inch column ontop of the keg then transition to the worm coil and done.
    2009 Suzuki GV 3.2
    ex : 2010 Suzuki GV 2.4 M/T
    ex : 2007 Audi A4 2.0T - RS4 rear suspension

  21. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    46
    Posts
    1,582
    Thanked: 1820

    Default Re: Home distilled

    What about one of these?

    https://www.ketelkraal.co.za/product...per-pot-still/

    But ja I can buy it but I wont know what to do with it.

    Willem

    Ford Ranger 3.0Tdci Super Cab 4x4
    (workshop whore)


  22. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Johannesburg
    Age
    40
    Posts
    1,119
    Thanked: 271

    Default Re: Home distilled

    There are some people who have had good experiences with kettel kraal... and some who have not.
    But if you do not yet know what to do with a still its better to get more knowledge first and then decide what still will be best for you.

    Considering all the money I have spent since I started on making bits and pieces and making changes I would probably have gone for something like the below in 35L
    https://www.banggood.com/12-or-20-or...8&rmmds=search
    2009 Suzuki GV 3.2
    ex : 2010 Suzuki GV 2.4 M/T
    ex : 2007 Audi A4 2.0T - RS4 rear suspension

  23. The Following User Says Thank You to ColeGP For This Useful Post:

    WAJ

  24. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    46
    Posts
    1,582
    Thanked: 1820

    Default Re: Home distilled

    Quote Originally Posted by ColeGP View Post
    There are some people who have had good experiences with kettel kraal... and some who have not.
    But if you do not yet know what to do with a still its better to get more knowledge first and then decide what still will be best for you.

    Considering all the money I have spent since I started on making bits and pieces and making changes I would probably have gone for something like the below in 35L
    https://www.banggood.com/12-or-20-or...8&rmmds=search
    Good price but I suspect somehow the govvamunt will not allow this thing to be shipped without some sort of red tape or tons of taxes or licenses or or or....
    Willem

    Ford Ranger 3.0Tdci Super Cab 4x4
    (workshop whore)


  25. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    58
    Posts
    101
    Thanked: 44

    Default Re: Home distilled

    All sounds very complicated. I started distilling when kopdoek closed all the stores about 10 months ago using a Stainless steel ice-bucket on a rocket stove, cheap builders copper pipe into a cooler box filled with ice. We used that thing for 6 months and never ran out of booze. Even donated a few bottles to needy people. When I moved up to Cape Town I gave the setup to my neighbor to continue.
    I got myself a 15lt pressure cooker a few meters of copper pipe and made a cooler out of old refrigeration gas container. 3 x 25lt sugar wash started at two week intervals ensure there is always something to distill. Friday evening I run a 8lt through the distill to ensure I got my bottle for the Saturday braai and sometimes during the week I might start it up for special occasions. Haven't been inside a bottle store since lock down.

  26. The Following User Says Thank You to Pierreo For This Useful Post:

    WAJ

Page 1 of 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •