How fast is too fast for spirit run?

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jayka
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How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by jayka » Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:24 pm

So I haven't had a chance to get a voltage controller yet (still on order) and I'm doing my spirit run and the 500w element just can't cut it. If I run my 1900w element it basically runs like a stripping run. It that going too fast?

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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by NZChris » Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:44 pm

Insulate the boiler so that more of the 500W is going into distilling your likker than is heating your distillery. Angels get enough from us already without letting them lift their kaftans to warm their nether regions in front of our stills.

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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by jayka » Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:00 pm

What is a good material to insulate with? Is styrofoam ok or would it not like the heat?

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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by NZChris » Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:03 pm

I use whatever I've got as long as there is no chance of it melting or catching fire.

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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by Saltbush Bill » Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:40 am

a photo of the boiler would help .....maybe something as simple as a quilt of your bed.

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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by jayka » Mon Jul 27, 2020 2:53 am

IMG_20200624_104816.jpg

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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by jayka » Mon Jul 27, 2020 2:54 am

It's pretty thin stainless.

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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by jayka » Mon Jul 27, 2020 2:58 am

I will work on getting it insulated but today I was running the still and could see it was struggling so I switched from the 500w element to the 1900w element. I could see it was running a bit fast but I was still getting a good 75% off the still. I will be tasting tomorrow but would you say this would still be an ok product or should I just insulate it up and redistill?

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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by GCB3 » Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:59 am

jayka wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:24 pm
If I run my 1900w element it basically runs like a stripping run. It that going too fast?

Jayka, IMHO yes, that is too fast for a spirit run. As NZChris said wrap your boiler in blankets or drop cloths or whatever you have and secure with bungee cords. I would also put pipe insulation around the column using zip ties to secure it. My guess is that what you’ve made is going to be one big smear of heads, hearts and tails, however, only your nose and taste buds can determine if it’s acceptable to you. I would be prepared to rerun it at the 500 W level. Hopefully you can get your controller in before you plan to re-run it
Good luck to you and I hope you really enjoy this hobby.

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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by gwizard » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:21 am

jayka wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 2:58 am
I will work on getting it insulated but today I was running the still and could see it was struggling so I switched from the 500w element to the 1900w element. I could see it was running a bit fast but I was still getting a good 75% off the still. I will be tasting tomorrow but would you say this would still be an ok product or should I just insulate it up and redistill?
I have Brewzilla, same boiler, smarter electronics. 500w is good for heads, but mid hearts becomes too slow. The trouble with 1900w is that its too fast for spirit run and you get lots of smearing. Sweet spot, in your case, would be 750w->1000w, but you can't do that without a controller. My advice, get Power Station 4000w from Kegland. It's cheap and does the job. Or, build you own if you feel like it.

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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by cranky » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:56 am

There was a thread a few years ago insisting that there is no discernible difference between running a spirit run fast and slow although I do believe eventually that was proven incorrect but the OP felt there wasn't enough loss to justify the time. My personal opinion is a spirit run needs to be fairly slow but I suggest you try it and see. As usual collect in small containers and just see how it goes.

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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by pope » Mon Jul 27, 2020 2:12 pm

If you like the cuts you make with it then it's not too fast, but if you don't like what you're making then it's too fast. Save some and in five years regardless of what you think today, you probably won't like the cuts you made.

Can you make/buy a controller so that you can throttle the power to your 1900w element? Controlling it would be ideal, as you want to go slower and faster at different parts of the spirit run.
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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by jayka » Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:08 pm

gwizard wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:21 am
My advice, get Power Station 4000w from Kegland. It's cheap and does the job. Or, build you own if you feel like it.
Yeh that's the exact one I have on order. Just seems to be taking forever to arrive! So I got impatient and tried to do it without.
"The definition of stupid is trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome."
I will ring today to see if it has arrived.

If I do redistill should I add it back in with the left over (backset) or should I clean out the still and dilute with water?

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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by NZChris » Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:36 pm

jayka wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:08 pm
If I do redistill should I add it back in with the left over (backset) or should I clean out the still and dilute with water?
That depends on what you're making.

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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by jayka » Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:53 pm

All grain single malt

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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by Truckinbutch » Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:11 pm

cranky wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:56 am
There was a thread a few years ago insisting that there is no discernible difference between running a spirit run fast and slow although I do believe eventually that was proven incorrect but the OP felt there wasn't enough loss to justify the time. My personal opinion is a spirit run needs to be fairly slow but I suggest you try it and see. As usual collect in small containers and just see how it goes.
Good advice and my opinion , too .
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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by Hambone » Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:18 pm

If my distillate is warmish, I'm too fast...
Good judgement is the result of experience.

Experience is usually the result of bad judgement..

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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by NZChris » Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:23 pm

jayka wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:53 pm
All grain single malt
Water is best used for neutrals, so use the backset, or even better, fresh wash.

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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by gwizard » Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:46 pm

jayka wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:08 pm
If I do redistill should I add it back in with the left over (backset) or should I clean out the still and dilute with water?
That would depend on how you like your current taste. If its very pronounced, I would add water, otherwise might try fresh wort. Personally I don't like using backset, but to each his/her own :D

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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by jayka » Mon Jul 27, 2020 10:46 pm

Well it's done. I went to the brew shop and the volt controller won't be in until mid August. So I got my master taster / blender around. (Father in-law) and we decided to see what we could do.
I had distilled the first half with the 500w element so I had about 6lt (including heads) not rushed. Then another 6lt done with the 1900w element. We started in the middle and worked out way up and got 3.5lt of good product. After that worked out way down until we had a total of 5lt. I stopped there as I didn't need any more. I could have maybe got another Lt but there was a definite lack of clear changes so left it there.

After all that I had 5lt of decent product at 75% I diluted it down to 55% and had I nice 7lt.

And so I have finally filled my first 5lt barrel

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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by jayka » Mon Jul 27, 2020 10:51 pm

IMG_20200728_144541.jpg
I'm calling "The Naught Forty" as it was my wife's fortieth this weekend.

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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by jayka » Mon Jul 27, 2020 10:54 pm

Mash bill
50% Simpsons golden promise
25% weyermann Munich
25% Simpsons imperial
And aged in medium scorched American oak. Seasoned with port.

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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by NZChris » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:00 pm

Congratulations.

Now do your homework on the barrel. A 5l barrel could over-oak your likker if you don't know what you're doing.

I am aging a rum experiment at 55%, but never gone that low with grains. Let us know how it goes, please.

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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by NZChris » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:05 pm

That's a very cute barrel, Jayka. One would look very nice on my shelf. I'm jealous :mrgreen:

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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by jayka » Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:43 am

This one is just from kegland and if you can get one from somewhere else I wouldn't recommend them. It's American oak but made in china. It took ages to seal up. In the mean time my local brew shop has found a supplier in Margaret River wa. For those who done know it's a famous wine region in West Australia. Made by a professional Cooper in either American oak ex scotch barrels or French oak ex sherry barrels. They do 5lt and 10lt.
I have a 10lt ex sherry I'm going to fill with malt/rye next

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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by jayka » Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:00 am

If your interested I can see about shipping to nz

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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by gwizard » Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:03 am

Jayka, that's disappointing to hear about kegland barrel. I was looking to getting one as the price is well placed. I contacted the coopperage in Margaret River, as I am from WA. Their price is double kegland and all wood is recycled bourbon staves. Need more budget with all expenses this hobby ran me into so far ;-)

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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by Saltbush Bill » Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:25 am

gwizard wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:03 am
I contacted the coopperage in Margaret River, as I am from WA. Their price is double kegland and all wood is recycled bourbon staves.
Support an Aussie Cooper instead of sending your money OS........you will get what you pay for. Cheap rubbish or a well made barrel made by a craftsman. Just because its made of secondhand oak staves doesn't mean its an inferior product.
Most of my Barrels are made by "Roll Out The Barrel" cooperage in Brisbane and they use second hand staves too.
My Cooper will scrape and re toast or re char my barrels for minimal cost at at any time in their life if i want..........you cant send a barrel back to China to be scraped and re-toasted.

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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by jayka » Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:44 am

I paid $125 for my 5lt kegland barrel and a 5lt from Cooper is $180 so I think a reasonable price for aussie made. I know $50 is $50 and I would have struggled with that to begin with but I was honestly about to throw my kegland in the bin. Was dripping for a month. Also the Cooper barrel last step on the prep instructions is if still leaking after 24 hrs call him. Can't argue with that

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Re: How fast is too fast for spirit run?

Post by Copperhead road » Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:51 am

gwizard are you from Brisbane?
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