Cuts by colour

Other discussions for folks new to the wonderful craft of home distilling.

Moderator: Site Moderator

Ayay
Distiller
Posts: 1656
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:25 am
Location: Planet Erf...near the bottom.

Cuts by colour

Post by Ayay » Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:56 am

Here is a graphic illustration of a typical reflux run collected into 20 containers. The top row shows blended colours in each container, and the bottom row shows the the same run with colours separated into layers in each container. The last (21st) container is what's left inside the boiler with <1.0% ethanol.
Run colours 1.jpg
(Click the pic for a sharper image, then click the back button to get back to here...if you click the 'X' you will start all over again).

Main points are:
- Foreshots contain a small quantity of meths and acetones but take a lot of heads along with them to be sure.
- There's a lot of ethanol in the heads and tails.
- The hearts contain very little heads and tails.
- Re-running the heads and tails should produce a similar picture; only the hearts cut may be a bottle or two less.

The problem is they are all colourless and you have to 'see' by taste and smell :twisted:

Edit..here is another pic for the pot stillers
Run colours 5 pot.jpg
There will be some over-run of heads and tails into the hearts. There are skills in getting good heads and tails into the hearts. This is beyond my scope.

When stripping a wash you may find the following in order...
Run colours 6 strip.jpg
Main points are
- the water content will rise constantly while the ABV drops constantly.
- the heads and tails will overlap but this is of no concern.
- the aim is to get the average ABV up to at least 40% and then do a proper run.
Last edited by Ayay on Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:18 am, edited 6 times in total.
cornflakes...stripped and refluxed

HookLine
retired
Posts: 5628
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:38 am
Location: OzLand

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by HookLine » Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:23 am

That is pretty good. Gives a nice clear idea of what is happening. Can you do a higher resolution version, maybe twice the size?
Be safe.
Be discreet.
And have fun.

Ayay
Distiller
Posts: 1656
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:25 am
Location: Planet Erf...near the bottom.

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by Ayay » Wed Oct 07, 2009 5:01 am

Thanks Hook, edited to nearly double size but only clicking the pic will get it!
cornflakes...stripped and refluxed

myerfire
Swill Maker
Posts: 244
Joined: Fri May 22, 2009 1:35 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by myerfire » Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:38 am

Ayay, great post. A picture is worth a thousand...... Thanks.
myerfire

Usge
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 3243
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:22 am

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by Usge » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:48 am

Great picture. I'd just say...for my potstill runs, the blue/heads would carry on into about jar 9 or so...although very, very faint. There would only be about 3 or so jars right in the middle that didn't have color of heads or tails. And tails color would start fading in just after that. More like a bell curve that linear like that. But, it's an interesting way to look at it.

HookLine
retired
Posts: 5628
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:38 am
Location: OzLand

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by HookLine » Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:13 pm

Usge.

What you say is strictly true. But these diagrams are not a precisely quantified set of data that hold exactly true for every single run. Details will vary with the type and size of the still charge, still type, how it is run, etc. They are a generic visual guide to the basic sequence/process, and as such they are very useful, especially for novices.

•••••••••••

EDIT: And thanks for making them bigger, Ayay.
Be safe.
Be discreet.
And have fun.

kiwistiller
Master Distiller
Posts: 3215
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:09 pm
Location: Auckland, NZ

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by kiwistiller » Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:21 pm

HookLine wrote:They are a generic visual guide to the basic sequence/process, and as such they are very useful, especially for novices.
Speaking of which, Ayay, do you mind if I link to this from the novice guide to cuts? I think its a great illustration.
Three sheets to the wind!
My stuff

rad14701
Master Distiller
Posts: 20866
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:46 pm
Location: New York, USA

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by rad14701 » Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:32 pm

Good visual from a theoretical perspective...

GrayGull
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 37
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:49 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by GrayGull » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:39 pm

Absolutely brilliant, so helpful ... Would be extremely interesting if the .abv was shown under each container.
In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king

olddog
Master Distiller
Posts: 3618
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: WEST OZ

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by olddog » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:45 pm

That depends on the amount of alcohol in the wash. A stripping run will be a lower ABV than a Spirit run, the ABV from a wash for a stripping run can be anything from 6- 12 ABV or sometimes more. A spirit run is normally about 40 ABV so the outcomes of each of these runs will produce a different final ABV :? :? :?
Last edited by olddog on Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
OLD DOG LEARNING NEW TRICKS ......

kiwistiller
Master Distiller
Posts: 3215
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:09 pm
Location: Auckland, NZ

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by kiwistiller » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:56 pm

olddog wrote:That depends on the amount of alcohol in the wash.
And the still. I think perhaps this is more of a conceptual aid than a precise pic of whats going on...
Three sheets to the wind!
My stuff

Ayay
Distiller
Posts: 1656
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:25 am
Location: Planet Erf...near the bottom.

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by Ayay » Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:23 pm

Yes the illustration is an ideal basic theoretical reflux run without stripping. There are many variations... pot stillers will sub-divide the tails into 'bad' and 'good' tails, and reflux stillers will compress the heads and tails to get more hearts. I'm not sure what's left in the boiler after running the tails out at 20%...may be less than 0.1% Alc is left in the boiler?

kiwistiller - you're most welcome, this is free to the world via HD!

The illustration came about because of the debate on whether the heads and tails can be re-distilled over and over and I was trying to see what happens. I think it can be done because some heads are lost in every foreshots cut provided foreshots are cut out with every re-run, and some tails are lost in the dunder with each re-run.
cornflakes...stripped and refluxed

Usge
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 3243
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:22 am

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by Usge » Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:05 am

HookLine wrote:Usge.
What you say is strictly true. But these diagrams are not a precisely quantified set of data that hold exactly true for every single run. Details will vary with the type and size of the still charge, still type, how it is run, etc. They are a generic visual guide to the basic sequence/process, and as such they are very useful, especially for novices.
Absolutely Hook and I appreciate the theoretical nature of the charts and thank Ayay for making them. Just wanted to put the point I made out there because its also a common misconception that can be very confusing/misleading to someone just getting started trying to put this theory to practice using a basic potstill. ie., (I collected in 20 jars and kept 7...in the middle...why do they smell like heads/tails? ) Or, more to the point, why am I only getting a couple of "clean" middle jars with no hint of heads/tails when I should be getting 7 or more?

In essence: if you are running a very basic potstill using a classic bell curve applied to the chart above...the bleed of heads/tails to the middle/hearts in this chart will go a few more jars in on both sides...leaving only a few absolutely clean jars in the very middle. The more reflux you add to that (higher abv)...it flattens the top of the curve and the bleed of heads/tails is pushed out from middle back out (ie., compressing heads/tails) even to the point of adding a few jars to the middle that previously would have contained to too much heads or tails to include in the hearts. What the chart appears to be showing, in theory, is pure E02 run for the middle, but heads/tails compression from a potstill run. (ie., the number of jars). In theory, if it were approaching 95% abv, I would guess there would also be far fewer heads/tails jars as well. No? Just a thought for discussion, Ayay, I'm not trying to dump on your chart. Just trying to add to the discussion about how to visualize cuts.

HookLine
retired
Posts: 5628
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:38 am
Location: OzLand

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by HookLine » Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:32 pm

Fair points, Usge.

If everybody just treats these diagrams as illustrations of the general principle, and not as exact numbers for a particular run, then there shouldn't be any problem.
Be safe.
Be discreet.
And have fun.

Ayay
Distiller
Posts: 1656
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:25 am
Location: Planet Erf...near the bottom.

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by Ayay » Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:55 am

Thanks for the very relevant comments. I have edited the post to make the distinctions clearer. I hope this will get closer to what the various stillers will experience and make the picture clearer all round. As long as editing is allowed I will try to update and improve the concept in light of informed comments.
Regards, Ayay
cornflakes...stripped and refluxed

HookLine
retired
Posts: 5628
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:38 am
Location: OzLand

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by HookLine » Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:09 am

Mods can always edit your post, if you want to make more changes later, after your edit window has expired.
Be safe.
Be discreet.
And have fun.

Usge
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 3243
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:22 am

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by Usge » Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:13 pm

That looks good Ayay.

Slow & Steady
Swill Maker
Posts: 322
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 5:29 am
Location: ahhhh... I really shouldn't say

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by Slow & Steady » Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:59 am

Nice job Ayay, I printed out the charts, plastic laminated them, and put them on the wall at my blending bench. Help keep me honest. Even though I would reach into the tails section a bit deeper for brandy and bourbon, it is nice to have a general reminder. I find that a whiff from 2 and 3 desensitize my hooter to acetone and lead me to think 5, 6, & 7 must be heads free. :econfused:
"If it worthwhile then it is worth a little extra time and effort... all impatiens ever got me was burned fingers and charred eyebrows"

still crazy
Rumrunner
Posts: 706
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:11 am

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by still crazy » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:38 am

Ayay wrote:Here is a graphic illustration of a typical reflux run collected into 20 containers. The top row shows blended colours in each container, and the bottom row shows the the same run with colours separated into layers in each container. The last (21st) container is what's left inside the boiler with <1.0% ethanol.
Run colours 1.jpg
(Click the pic for a sharper image, then click the back button to get back to here...if you click the 'X' you will start all over again).

Main points are:
- Foreshots contain a small quantity of meths and acetones but take a lot of heads along with them to be sure.
- There's a lot of ethanol in the heads and tails.
- The hearts contain very little heads and tails.
- Re-running the heads and tails should produce a similar picture; only the hearts cut may be a bottle or two less.

The problem is they are all colourless and you have to 'see' by taste and smell :twisted:

Edit..here is another pic for the pot stillers
Run colours 5 pot.jpg
There will be some over-run of heads and tails into the hearts. There are skills in getting good heads and tails into the hearts. This is beyond my scope.




When stripping a wash you may find the following in order...
Run colours 6 strip.jpg
Main points are
- the water content will rise constantly while the ABV drops constantly.
- the heads and tails will overlap but this is of no concern.
- the aim is to get the average ABV up to at least 40% and then do a proper run.

What size run?
What size collection containers?
Daddy used, to say " Any landing you can walk away from is a good one"
Calculations don't mean shit when compared to the real world practical experience of many...RAD 9/2010

kiwistiller
Master Distiller
Posts: 3215
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:09 pm
Location: Auckland, NZ

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by kiwistiller » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:31 pm

still crazy wrote: What size run?
What size collection containers?
read above:
HookLine wrote:these diagrams are not a precisely quantified set of data that hold exactly true for every single run. Details will vary with the type and size of the still charge, still type, how it is run, etc.
This is an abstract diagram, which is a good learning aid.
Three sheets to the wind!
My stuff

Ole Smokey Brown
Novice
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:05 pm

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by Ole Smokey Brown » Sat Jan 14, 2012 7:50 pm

there are a few "cuts" threads and after reading 4 of them i think i understand. im going to be using a thermo to keep an eye out for temp changes and to be more on point with the cuts via temp i know there is way more to it but to get the hang of things i think that will help with my learning of tast and smell. you all rock! the more i read and the more i learn and the closer i get to my 1st run the more amped i get about doing it, lol! i just dont wana mess up too bad!
the condom is the glass slipper of our generation. You slip one on when you meet a stranger. You dance all night... then you throw it away. The condom, I mean, not the stranger...

Afshin_sam89
Novice
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun May 24, 2020 9:48 am

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by Afshin_sam89 » Wed May 27, 2020 8:47 am

viewtopic.php?f=63&t=13261
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=11913
Hi guys again I read this post accurately but I am so distract.
Run colours 1.jpg
but with mention this picture I have a question how appropriate capacity this jar in this picture for my 25 still pot?
is there relation with jar and pot?
I think any jar for 25l still pot should be 1 liter. :eh: :eh: :eh:
thank you and sorry if my question is ridiculous.

StillerBoy
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 2111
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 6:27 pm
Location: Ontario

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by StillerBoy » Wed May 27, 2020 10:02 am

Afshin_sam89 wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 8:47 am
I think any jar for 25l still pot should be 1 liter.
Cuts have nothing to do with the size of the boiler used and therefore the size and number of jars one will use in a run..

The boiler load and the potential alcohol abv to be extracted is what cut amounts per jar are about..

So say for 20L spirit run of 40% abv, that would have a potential of 8L at 100% abv.. but its also impossible to attain that level of extraction with the hobby setup.. with a very good setup that has the abilablity to produced 95%, at best one could expect to extract about 85 - 90% or 7500m of the boiler run.. so base on how one makes the cuts, it would required at least 15 jars of 500ml each or 20 jars of 375ml.. and one thing to remember with cuts, it is always best to collect in smaller amount than larger amounts, at least when spiriting a first run of something.. after a few runs, one can alter those amounts base on his notes of previous runs..

So the size of the jars use to collect are base on a personal level..

Mars
" I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent. Curiosity, Obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism, have brought me to my ideas "

– Albert Einstein

User avatar
jonnys_spirit
Trainee
Posts: 987
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:58 am
Location: The Milky Way

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by jonnys_spirit » Wed May 27, 2020 12:34 pm

I size my jars so that the fractions of the spirit run (16 gallon pot still in my case) are divided out into about 20-25 jars. Large mouth mason jars are my preferred jar to collect fractions. When I make the cuts I blend the select fractions into a larger container (3 gallon carboy) for blending then into 1 gallon jugs for aging. I'll usually take a hearts of hearts white cut and a barrel cut for the new make.

In my mind I refer to the spirit run distillate collection as fractions because each jar is a fraction of the run and the process of then selecting and blending certain jars of fractions into new make is referred to as "cuts". White cut, barrel cut, heads and tails cut (feints being the blend of heads & tails).

Cheers!
-jonny
————
i make stuff i break stuff
water into whiskey into water
just getting started in home distilling - been drinking for decades
16g copper pot still, 10l alembic, and a column or two
————

Afshin_sam89
Novice
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun May 24, 2020 9:48 am

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by Afshin_sam89 » Thu May 28, 2020 6:32 am

StillerBoy wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 10:02 am
Afshin_sam89 wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 8:47 am
I think any jar for 25l still pot should be 1 liter.
Cuts have nothing to do with the size of the boiler used and therefore the size and number of jars one will use in a run..

but its also impossible to attain that level of extraction with the hobby setup

So say for 20L spirit run of 40% abv, that would have a potential of 8L at 100% abv.. but its also impossible to attain that level of extraction with the hobby setup.. with a very good setup that has the abilablity to produced 95%, at best one could expect to extract about 85 - 90% or 7500m of the boiler run.. so base on how one makes the cuts, it would required at least 15 jars of 500ml each or 20 jars of 375ml.. and one thing to remember with cuts, it is always best to collect in smaller amount than larger amounts, at least when spiriting a first run of something.. after a few runs, one can alter those amounts base on his notes of previous runs..

So the size of the jars use to collect are base on a personal level..

Mars
Thank you dear Mars for your time and information.
you said: " but its also impossible to attain that level of extraction with the hobby setup"
so my question is exact: how do you calculate and assume for 20L wash with 9% abv, we would have to spirit run 8L at 100% abv?
do you have any source or any calculator, table, chart or etc like a below site.
https://homedistiller.org/wiki/index.php/Calculators
Last edited by Afshin_sam89 on Thu May 28, 2020 6:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

Afshin_sam89
Novice
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun May 24, 2020 9:48 am

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by Afshin_sam89 » Thu May 28, 2020 6:33 am

jonnys_spirit wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 12:34 pm
I size my jars so that the fractions of the spirit run (16 gallon pot still in my case) are divided out into about 20-25 jars. Large mouth mason jars are my preferred jar to collect fractions. When I make the cuts I blend the select fractions into a larger container (3 gallon carboy) for blending then into 1 gallon jugs for aging. I'll usually take a hearts of hearts white cut and a barrel cut for the new make.

In my mind I refer to the spirit run distillate collection as fractions because each jar is a fraction of the run and the process of then selecting and blending certain jars of fractions into new make is referred to as "cuts". White cut, barrel cut, heads and tails cut (feints being the blend of heads & tails).

Cheers!
-jonny
Hi
Thank you for information.

StillerBoy
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 2111
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 6:27 pm
Location: Ontario

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by StillerBoy » Thu May 28, 2020 4:01 pm

Afshin_sam89 wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 6:32 am
so my question is exact: how do you calculate and assume for 20L wash with 9% abv, we would have to spirit run 8L at 100% abv?
do you have any source or any calculator, table, chart or etc like a below site.
Your questions has two different parts to it.. a wash of 20L at 9% would have a potential of 1.8L at 100%, or 3.6L at 50% .. the second part makes no sense to me..

I seldom use a calculator as per say.. I know what my wash will give me based on the SG and how it finishs, so when I strip it I know what it will be, and at the very least a good ball park number I can expect from the run..

As to the spirit run, it is really easy.. I always start my run at a 40% abv level, and my runs are normally of 28L.. so 1L has 400ml of alcohol available for extraction, multiplied by total volume equate 11.2L of alcohol available.. now I do know for past runs that it is impossible to extract 100% of the available alcohol, and some of that alcohol is waste or useless.. so went I factor the equipment's ability to produced 95%, and the waste to be considered, such as fores, heads, early tails and tails.. so as my run progresses, based on the amount of extraction occurring, I have a very good idea what is lefted in the boiler.. normally my neutral spirit runs provide me with the following indicators.. 100ml-fores, 700ml-heads, 6000ml-body/early tails, and 2500ml of tails, and some 2L of waste still in the boiler or backset.. heads and tails are recycle/spirited on their own..

Hope that answers your question.. also remember that is a spirit of neutral, and if it were a flavor run, the numbers would be different because the nature of the run..

Mars
" I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent. Curiosity, Obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism, have brought me to my ideas "

– Albert Einstein

Afshin_sam89
Novice
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun May 24, 2020 9:48 am

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by Afshin_sam89 » Sat May 30, 2020 1:19 pm

StillerBoy wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 4:01 pm
Afshin_sam89 wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 6:32 am
so my question is exact: how do you calculate and assume for 20L wash with 9% abv, we would have to spirit run 8L at 100% abv?
do you have any source or any calculator, table, chart or etc like a below site.
Your questions has two different parts to it.. a wash of 20L at 9% would have a potential of 1.8L at 100%, or 3.6L at 50% .. the second part makes no sense to me..

I seldom use a calculator as per say.. I know what my wash will give me based on the SG and how it finishs, so when I strip it I know what it will be, and at the very least a good ball park number I can expect from the run..

As to the spirit run, it is really easy.. I always start my run at a 40% abv level, and my runs are normally of 28L.. so 1L has 400ml of alcohol available for extraction, multiplied by total volume equate 11.2L of alcohol available.. now I do know for past runs that it is impossible to extract 100% of the available alcohol, and some of that alcohol is waste or useless.. so went I factor the equipment's ability to produced 95%, and the waste to be considered, such as fores, heads, early tails and tails.. so as my run progresses, based on the amount of extraction occurring, I have a very good idea what is lefted in the boiler.. normally my neutral spirit runs provide me with the following indicators.. 100ml-fores, 700ml-heads, 6000ml-body/early tails, and 2500ml of tails, and some 2L of waste still in the boiler or backset.. heads and tails are recycle/spirited on their own..

Hope that answers your question.. also remember that is a spirit of neutral, and if it were a flavor run, the numbers would be different because the nature of the run..

Mars
Hi dear Mars
Thank you thank you so much for your helpful information.
I read a very more post for how calculate spirit run with base our wash.
I found this post --> viewtopic.php?f=15&t=71675
you said, you want 40% abv of 28L. lets come thinks you have a wash with 9% abv as you said, then we have:
(28 * 0.09 * 100)/40 = 6.3L
I learn for amount of spirit run with help this post that I mentioned and your helpful information.
but now my question is how can separate this 6.3L( or any amount) to fores, heads, heart and tails?
I want to follow any mathematical method as I wrote for amount spirit run.
I want to know this jars are tails or this jars is head, you know,I want to know how can I understand that our heads is finish and then hearts is start.
I am so confuse and going to mad :esurprised: :esurprised: :esurprised: :shock: :shock:

StillerBoy
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 2111
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 6:27 pm
Location: Ontario

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by StillerBoy » Sat May 30, 2020 2:32 pm

Afshin_sam89 wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 1:19 pm
I want to know this jars are tails or this jars is head, you know,I want to know how can I understand that our heads is finish and then hearts is start.
Before this can be answered, this has to be answered..

What style or column design do you have to work with..

Mars
" I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent. Curiosity, Obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism, have brought me to my ideas "

– Albert Einstein

Afshin_sam89
Novice
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun May 24, 2020 9:48 am

Re: Cuts by colour

Post by Afshin_sam89 » Sun May 31, 2020 6:47 am

StillerBoy wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 2:32 pm
Afshin_sam89 wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 1:19 pm
I want to know this jars are tails or this jars is head, you know,I want to know how can I understand that our heads is finish and then hearts is start.
Before this can be answered, this has to be answered..

What style or column design do you have to work with..

Mars
If your means my condense size and type, my condenser is Natural Convection with coil in a tub of water and my column don't have reflux.
:| :|

Post Reply