Redistilling

Distillation methods and improvements.

Moderator: Forum Mods

Redistilling

Postby Grayson_Stewart » Mon Nov 08, 2004 1:50 pm

mshinner
09/03/04 01:32 AM

Redistilling

I now have 2 galons at 92% abv. I was thinking about running back thru the still to get it up to 95% and see if I could notice a differnce in the taste, should I add water and dilute it down before I run it? if so how much should I add if any? I have an external heat source (hot Plate)

ProfessorDuck
09/03/04 01:52 AM

Re: Redistilling new [re: mshinner]

My understanding is that you only ever need to add water to avoid exposing elements. Since you're not using an element, the answer is no.

Question reality...

LeftLaneCruiser
09/03/04 02:06 PM

Re: Redistilling new [re: mshinner]

From what i have read you should water it down to about 50%. This because of the danger of explosions inside your boiler.

I haven't tried redistilling a high proof wash myself, so no personal experience can be added.

KJH


Destillatori te Salutat

Knuklehead
09/03/04 06:17 PM

Re: Redistilling new [re: mshinner]

I have tried it and the only thing it did was make some of my product disappear with no real difference in the taste. You would be much better off to carbon filter it if you want to make it a little cleaner tasting then to run it again. Is your column capable of making 95%? If it is I would suggest making the necessary adjustments like refluxing more and do that on your next run. Put a cup of carbon per liter and let it sit for a week shaking it a few times a day if you can remember. Then a day before you want to filter it off the carbon put it in the freezer for a few hours. Then pass it through your filter and that I know will make a difference in smell and taste. If you want to redistill then you should do a strip run collecting everything fast so you end up with a product with a higher % then your original wash. Then do your reflux run.

I am Canadian


leglessboot
09/04/04 02:54 AM

Re: Redistilling new [re: Knuklehead]

That's a lot of carbon, what sort (cheapest if possible) would you use?. I have put a few grammes in with a litre or so. It's made for taking off flavours out of wine etc, comes in the form of pellets which disintigrate into a powder as soon as in solution trouble is it's expensive. Even in such a small quantity it makes a difference to the taste.

Another solution is to use the Turbo Pure type yeasts. They ferment a cleaner wash. Waiting for some to come in the post. When it does I'll report here on the results.


LeftLaneCruiser
09/04/04 05:13 AM

Re: Redistilling new [re: leglessboot]

A cup for one litre sounds a lot to me too, i would say a few spoonfulls ( 1-3 ) should do the trick.
The cheapest carbon treating of your distillate might be using charcoal, the same as you use for the barbecue. But as this is a lot less active than the activated you need more for the same result. As i have used this before i got some activated carbon i can say from experience that it works.

KJH


Destillatori te Salutat

Knuklehead
09/04/04 10:35 AM

Re: Redistilling new [re: LeftLaneCruiser]

Oh yea you are right it is a lot of carbon, lol. I use KC06 carbon which is "cleanable" so doesn't really matter to me how much I dump in there and carbon is a filter so the more the better, at least in my opinion. I paid around $12.00 for 1.7L bag so I don't find that so expensive since I can use it clean it and use it again. More carbon in the bottle means more surface area which means the filtering will be done faster. I use one cup of carbon, let it sit for a week shaking it a few times a day, then cold filter it out and it is nice and clean smelling and tasting. I have tried it with less but I had to let it sit longer and still didn't come out as clean as it does now so I just pile on the carbon . I'll tell you though, I have to run it through a filter for sure 4 times to get all the carbon dust out of it but I see it as being worth it.

I am Canadian


LeftLaneCruiser
09/04/04 12:45 PM

Re: Redistilling new [re: Knuklehead]

Doesn't filtering it four times take a huge amount of time?
just curious..

KJH


Destillatori te Salutat

Knuklehead
09/04/04 05:14 PM

Re: Redistilling new [re: LeftLaneCruiser]

Yes actually it does but its not like stilling. You can do it while you watch TV or read posts on this site or whatever its not like it is something you have to keep a close eye on. I have a large funnel and all I do is pop a cotton ball in the spout, place the funnel on the bottle and filler up. Come back every 5 minutes (commercial break) and filler up again. I filter like this until the cotton comes out without any carbon dust in it so 3 times would most likely do it, 4th time is just to make sure. Another thing I do on the last time through the filter is make sure the funnel never runs dry. I use a black funnel and there is a light directly above the table I filter on. Since I never do strip runs there is usually tiny oil slick floating on top of the of the liquid in the funnel which is easy to see under the light and in the black funnel. The oils can not dissolve in the alcohol because it is already cut so they float on top and if you smell the alcohol in the funnel they make it smell "unclean" so I just make sure the funnel never runs dry and before the last of the last drips into the bottle I pull the funnel and dump what is left. I noticed the tiny slick once while filtering and smelled inside the funnel and what I smelled was not clean so I took a straw and sucked out the oil slick and "presto" product in the funnel smelled 100% better in one second. A tiny bit of fusels in your neutral spirits will taint the whole bottle.

I am Canadian


ProfessorDuck
09/04/04 07:32 PM

Re: Redistilling new [re: Knuklehead]

In reply to:

Come back every 5 minutes (commercial break)


You have commercial breaks every five minutes?

Anyway, something I've been meaning to ask about is how do you stop the alcohol evaporating while you filter through a funnel? I was filtering some stuff a while ago, it started at 45% and came out at about 35%!

Knuklehead
09/04/04 07:52 PM

Re: Redistilling new [re: ProfessorDuck]

LOL, no we don't have commercial breaks every 5 minutes it just seams like it.
You will lose some alcohol content carbon filtering. I usually start my carbon filtering at 45% and by the time it is done it is down to 40% which is exactly where I want it. There is no possible way that you could lose 10% alcohol while filtering. My my guess it that you have your unfiltered bottle sitting somewhere warmer then 20C and when you start to filter it there will be some evaporation because the alcohol is slowly dripping and falling a ways to the bottom of the bottle which will have a great cooling effect on the product. So, the starting temperature of the product is higher then when you are done filtering this giving you a lower reading at the end of filtering. Shouldn't really make 10% difference, are you doing temperature corrections?

I am Canadian

ProfessorDuck
09/04/04 08:01 PM

Re: Redistilling new [re: Knuklehead]

Well I might have exaggerated a bit about the % difference, I don't really remember exactly what it was but I'm pretty sure it was at least 5%. I didn't make temp corrections, I guess that was probably a factor too.

______________________________________

Question reality...


Knuklehead
09/04/04 08:15 PM

Re: Redistilling new [re: ProfessorDuck]

Well 5% makes a lot more sense and temperature can easily effect your product reading by +/- 5%.

I am Canadian

gjbloom
09/05/04 06:08 PM

Re: Redistilling new [re: mshinner]

One way to boost the concentration and purity of your product might be to distill under partial vacuum. I imagine you could hang one of those 5-gallon buckets with a sealing snap-on lid full of water with a hose coming out the bottom to a collection bucket and a vacuum hose attached to the top and connect this vacuum hose to the output side of your collection bottle (which would now have to be connected to your still by vacuum-tight hose).


You wouldn't have to apply as much heat or cooling, since the vacuum depresses the boiling point. Depending on how high you hang your bucket, you can vary the vacuum (up until atmospheric pressure implodes the bucket). You'd probably have to pause the distillation every so often to refresh the vacuum water, and your collection bottle would need to be much better cooled, perhaps immersed in a water/salt/ice bath. I've seen graphs that show the ethanol fraction of the azeotropic mixture approaching 100% for vacuum distillation.

theholymackerel
09/05/04 06:38 PM

Re: Redistilling new [re: gjbloom]

Sounds like a logistical nightmare...



FourwayModerator
09/05/04 10:47 PM

Re: Redistilling new [re: gjbloom]

There's another method that I hear works rather well and has been in use for several thousand years with only minor improvements, it's called "distilling".

Gin was mother's milk to her. - George Bernard Shaw


rebel
09/06/04 04:24 AM

Re: Redistilling new [re: Fourway]

why would you want puriety past 95%? you have to water it down to drink it anyway.

make beer not war


MyDBear
09/06/04 04:28 AM

Re: Redistilling new [re: rebel]

I agree with ya reble. I guess its the idea of having something pure.

I would be happy if I get any thing from 80 to 90%

Edited by MyDBear (09/06/04 04:31 AM)


rebel
09/06/04 04:33 AM

Re: Redistilling new [re: MyDBear]

ya, I kinda understand the purety thing. I guess you could say "To each his own" lol

make beer not war

tater
09/06/04 10:13 AM

Re: Redistilling new [re: Fourway]

Fourway ive heard of that as well.Reckin a feller could learn how to do it simple then work his way up.

Theres more old drunks then there are old doctors

Knuklehead
09/06/04 12:07 PM

Re: Redistilling new [re: rebel]

Depending on what you are making the % collected at makes a huge difference. If you are making a flavored spirit like whiskey, rum and such you would not want to collect to this high a %. But....if you are making a neutral spirit then you want to collect as high as possible so that you collect only the smallest amount of impurities. When you get up above 90% each % makes a huge difference in the taste of the neutral spirit you collect. Yes you do dilute it down to drinking strength with distilled water which has no taste to contribute but if your ethanol smells and tastes off at its high % it will be worse after you dilute it.

I am Canadian

mshinner
09/06/04 08:54 PM

Re: Redistilling new [re: Knuklehead]

Well after 3 days off work and a whole lot of drinking.... all my friends say my stuff is the smothest they have ever had but it has a sweet taste to it, I have been making sugar washes with Gerts Turbo 8kg yeast, I am going to run it thru the still again diluted down with distilled water, run it real slow and see what it tatses like. I have tryed carbon filtering it helps but what a pain I sure would like to be able to skip that step. I let you know how it turns out in a couple days.


Knuklehead
09/06/04 09:12 PM

Re: Redistilling new [re: mshinner]

Are you leaving the heads of your run in with the main? If you say it has a sweet taste to it then you must not have kept the head separate. The heads of a sugar wash run will taste sweet and if you leave even a tiny bit of them in your main product it will all taste that way. For a 20L wash you will have at least 250ml of heads but use your senses to tell you when they are gone. Don't be greedy because if you don't want to use carbon then you will have sacrifice a bit to keep your main run clean.

I am Canadian

grayson_stewart
09/06/04 09:22 PM

Re: Redistilling new [re: Knuklehead]

Nothing wrong with drinking them from a sugar wash, but they will make it sweet tasting. Next run try taking 30% of your expected run as heads and keep it seperate, then use the heads to make a liquer with.

Good things may come to those who wait. But only the things left by those who hustle.


Knuklehead
09/06/04 09:29 PM

Re: Redistilling new [re: grayson_stewart]

Yup, that's exactly what I do. I make amaretto and Irish cream with the heads. Then I keep the main portion separate and just when I start to detect a change in smell again I start collecting the back part of my main run which I also don't want in the vodka. I use this for making Coffee liqueur.

I am Canadian

mshinner
09/06/04 10:11 PM

Re: Redistilling new [re: Knuklehead]

I have been keeping the first 300ml seperate, my next run I will keep about 750ml seperate and see how that tastes.

grayson_stewart
09/07/04 06:36 AM

Re: Redistilling new [re: mshinner]

Bokakob posted his cuts on one of the other forums once. I didn't really like the cuts he made because I was greedy with wanting to have more product from each run, but after being displeased with my wifes constant snubbing of what I made I finally gave in and started using his cuts.

Assuming 37 liters @ 18%You would have a theoretical yield of 6.8 liters.

Take 30% or 2.0 liters as a pretake or heads.
The first 200 ml of this pretake would be the foreshots and tossed or used to light your grill. I know alot of people say you don't need to take near this amount of foreshots for a sugar wash but if your really looking for pure it doesn't hurt. After removing the first 200 ml, the rest of the first 30% is set aside as the heads. Its a deep cut into the middle but it doesn't take much of the heads to give that sweet taste to your middle cut. You can take this portion to make liquers or place with the tails for you next run.

Middle cut for vodka is 40%.
This middle cut should be about 2.7 liters based on these numbers. If using a side head design you will need to pay attention to your temps as you get near the end of the 40% so that you can begin to back off the removal rate and increase reflux to maintain the highest purity.

Last 30% is the tails.
It's not cost efficient to get all 30% or 2 liters out of the wash, so this amount will vary by how much you want to retain to toss into the next run.

Making this cut schedule really work to your advantage depends on taking accurate initial and ending specific gravities of your wash and specific gravity readings of the heads/tails that you may be adding back. Once you know the amount of alcohol involved, the math is pretty simple and I think you'll be really pleased with the end product.

Good things may come to those who wait. But only the things left by those who hustle.

mogogear
09/09/04 08:09 PM

Re: Redistilling new [re: ProfessorDuck]

P D.
Are you sure the filter you were using did not already have a water charge in it ( left over from prior purging etc or flushing)?
You may have unintentionally " diluted " your spirit!!

mo

Usquebae for me!

ProfessorDuck
09/10/04 02:26 AM

Re: Redistilling new [re: mogogear]

I don't think so, but it is a possibility. It was new carbon I had just washed, so there might have been some water there but I don't think it was enough to make much difference.

______________________________________

Question reality...

mshinner
09/28/04 01:27 AM

Re: Redistilling new [re: mshinner]

Ran 3 and 1/2 gallons of 92% back thru the still diluted down with 3 galons of water. I made heavy cuts now I have 2 gallons of the tasteyest vodka I have every had. It took 15 hours to redistll and came out at 94%. I got back about 3 gallons.
Light travels faster than sound. That is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
User avatar
Grayson_Stewart
Distiller
 
Posts: 1030
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2004 10:56 am

Re: Redistilling

Postby Morgana-rose » Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:48 pm

Hi everyone, how are you all,
i want to know if someone can explain to me in detail on redistilling, from what i understand is that our wash goes thru the still, then you dilute your alcohol down to 40%, then you put it back in the still and fill it up with water? is this right, or do we have to put it back with our wash that we have just put in, reason is that i would like to redistill mine but didint want to get it wrong, I have made my cuts on my other wash sitting in jars, but due to someone comeing over and distracting me while i was distilling i stuffed up, my still is empty now and my sprit is sitting in jars like a few days now, so can i just dilute them and then run it thru my still, sorry im a newbe here thanks all
morgana_rose
User avatar
Morgana-rose
Novice
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:58 am

Re: Redistilling

Postby Ayay » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:08 pm

Hehe, if it didn't turn out right then run it again. Repeating the mistake will achieve the same result.

Yes diluting the boiler charge to 40% max is a very good idea because there's more left in the boiler to cover the element, an there's more left to absorb the undesirable elements! I run my heads'ntails as another single run with even more nasties to get rid of. 30% Max and even slower than the first single run.
Last edited by Ayay on Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
cornflakes...stripped and refluxed
User avatar
Ayay
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 1649
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:25 am
Location: Planet Erf...near the bottom.

Re: Redistilling

Postby Husker » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:30 pm

wow,

you dredged up a really, really old post.

Now, for your question. Re-distillation is usually done for a couple of reasons.

1. you are using a simple pot still, and 2 runs are required to get the proof up.
2. you are running a column still to make neutral, and want to make a cleaner neutral.

For both of these, you usually perform the first run, which is often called a stripping run. In this run, you would normally run the still about as fast as you can, take few (if any) cuts, and run it until all of the ethanol has been removed from the boiler (well, until almost all is gone). Now, any run can be 'called' a strip run. If you have run it through a column, but something got messed up, then you can still 'call' it a stripping run (if you got all the ethanol out).

Now, for the first 'kind' (simple pot still), frequently, people will distill about 1/4 to 1/3 the original volume in the strip. Then they will do a couple of these, and combine them all into a 2nd run. So, you start out with 30 gallons of 10%, run 3 stripping runs of 10 gallons each, and end up with 8 to 10 gallons of 30-35% 'low' wines. These low wines are then run again, slower and carefully this time, taking careful cuts. You will end up with about 4 gallons of 65% or so (barrel strength) and a couple gallons of feigns (heads and tails). These would be put into the next stripping run, to reclaim the ethanol.

For a column still, again, the first run is usually a stripping run. However, a column will output a higher proof product, even if running fast and not worrying about cuts. This is the part that you will want to water down. So, say you started with 10 gallons of that same 10%. Run though a column, you would likely end up with 2 gallons of 50% (or even less volume at higher percentage), by the time you exhausted all of the ethanol from the boiler. This will vary greatly, and depend upon how fast you can run, and how little percentage of reflux you can get the still to run at. Some will make a 'semi-normal' 1st run, so may end up with a gallon or so, of 90-95% from their first run.


There are a couple of reasons to water down. Some are safety. Some are economy, and some are helpful for making a cleaner end product.

1. (safety first) you will NEVER want to put anything stronger than 40% into a boiler (some would say even less than this). The reason for this, is that 40% is about the lowest percentage of ethanol/water mix that will burn. This is not entirely true, since when hot (it's boiling in the boiler), a lower percentage WILL burn. Now, why you want to keep the ABV under 40%, is that if you have a problem with the boiler, such as it springs a leak, has a cato failure, the burner stand falls over, etc, you are going to have hot ethanol mix all over the place. Big fire danger. Keeping the ABV lower helps to reduce this. If the ABV is low enough, it will not burn at all, so if there is spillage of any kind, it will not ignite. ADDITIONAL SAFETY NOTE. Keep a bucket (or more) of water right next to the still. If you do have a problem with the boiler, you can kick over that bucket(S) quickly, and retreat back, and if there is any ground fire, the water will lower the ABV of any liquid, and the fire will die out.

2. (economy). It actually takes less power, to distill out the ethanol from a lower concentration, than trying to crack it apart if the ABV is 'too' high. Also, it is much more economical (time and power), to do 4 stripping runs, followed by a slow, careful spirit run, than trying to do 4 slow careful spirit runs from the original wash.

3. (cleaner product). Doing a stripping run, then a careful 2nd run, produces a cleaner end product. That first run, concentrates the ethanol. It removes ANY left over solids (or dead yeast). Also, if you have to water it down (say it was 70% and you drop it to 35%), that water will help to wash out flavors that carried over in the first run. Yes, in the boiler on your first run, there was a LOT of the nasty flavor/smell stuff, but not all of it. When you do the spirit run, you will find that what is left in the boiler will still have a lot of skanky smell to it.


Good luck

H.
Hillbilly Rebel: Unless you are one of the people on this site who are legalling distilling, keep a low profile, don't tell, don't sell.
User avatar
Husker
Admin
 
Posts: 5015
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 1:04 pm

Re: Redistilling

Postby Morgana-rose » Wed May 25, 2011 12:33 am

Wow thank you hustler, that was awsome, I am going to copy and past and print put that in my clear folder, reason for that is my puter has issues and likes to either turn itself off or my line cliks off, Hmm thats country life for me out here, we cannot get broadband, another question I did a second wash by what a so called friend ex husband told me and gave me notes i did a wash disstilled it, put it carbon to sit a week then filterd it 2x not realising i had to change the carbon on the second filter it turned out fowl when i added the bourbon flavour, so i added liquid glucose,to my 2 and a half bottles, can i put the back in and redistill it with it already flavoured, oh i have a super reflux still, and yes i used still sprits classic turbo yeast, for my wash but i did not know better then and i had already brought all the stuff before i found this site, so im still trying to get my head around all this, and im really keen to make my own mash but our town is small and donot stock half of what you make for a mash, at the moment i have heaps of skippy cornflakes, if i can make a mash out of that i would be wraped, so thank you so much and have a wonderful day/nite
User avatar
Morgana-rose
Novice
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:58 am

Re: Redistilling

Postby Husker » Wed May 25, 2011 4:28 am

Most cereals can be made into a wash, they are used as nutrients for the yeast, and flavoring. Rad has a recipe in the tried and true recipe section for allbran. It has proven to be a good recipe. You can easily play around with them, and get corn flakes to work in a wash.

H.
Hillbilly Rebel: Unless you are one of the people on this site who are legalling distilling, keep a low profile, don't tell, don't sell.
User avatar
Husker
Admin
 
Posts: 5015
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 1:04 pm


Return to Research and Theory



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Kegg_jam and 3 guests