I ran a bit over 8 gallons a few weeks ago in potstill mode. I ran it slowly over 7.5 hours and threw out the foreshots. It was corn, barley, sugar, & water. I made a mistake of collecting in Quart jars and didn't get an original or final specific gravity. I now have pint jars for my next run and took an OG for the batch that's working off now. It's 5 gallons.
For the last run I collected 8 jars about 3/4 full - all crystal clear. The jars turned out as follows:
#1 - 72% ABV, definately heads, it burns
#2 - 65% ABV, clean smell, very smooth
#3 - 52% ABV, cleaner smell, a little smoother
#4 - 47% ABV, same as #3
#5 - 40% ABV, just a faint smell of tails (corn smell), you have to look for it, just a bit of flavor, a slight oil on top
#6 - 25% ABV, definately tails
#7 - 20% ABV, stronger tails
#8 - 18% ABV, very strong tails (smells like corn - the left over wash to me)
The jars that you keep for drinking and what tastes & smells good will vary with personal taste, humidity, your rig, your wash, the moon and so on. It can be different on each run. But, I planned on keeping Jars 2, 3, 4,& 5. I got some Jack Daniels oak chips that were once whiskey barrells made for your meat smoker. I put chips in 3 of them and they're turing a really nice amber color and are getting smoother. I plan on putting Jars 1, 6, 7, & 8 back in the rig for the next run. This next batch that's working now....I cooked the corn for a little over an hour. It got really thick and looked like it pulled the starch out of it. I squeezed the corn that I didn't use and got the juice in the mash. I probably had about 3 inches of cooked corn in the bottom of the 5 gal bucket. I took about 2.5 cups of malted 6 row barley and steeped it at 150 degrees F for about 3 hours. Then I dissolved 5lbs of sugar in water and mixed all of it together to make 5 gallons. I waited a couple of hours or so till the temp dropped to around 70 degrees F and pitched 3 packets of Flieshmann's highly active dry yeast that I'd let hydrate in warm water for a bit. The OG was 1.050.
Here's my question(s)....the jars 2-5 that I plan on keeping from my previous single run, is the ABV about right? If you were me, would you put them back into the boiler for the next batch? (I am happy with the taste, smell, and clarity)
When I put the jars #1 & 6-8 back in this next 5 gallon batch and re-run them, should I double run it even if I'm happy with what comes out on the first run? (Strip & Re-Run) What is to be gained? This will be my 3rd ever run and I'm getting better with experience and definately getting better at recognizing the taste and smells of the different cuts. Thanks to this site - it's probably saved me years of trial and error.