OK, Yep I understand about the plastic Nose on the unit.
As for the temperature sensor. I assume it's in the base of the unit. My reasoning is that the head (fan) section only has one connecting 2 prong cord that I assume is for powering the fan.
OK, Now question time for me. (N00b mode activated)
Please be kind.
I've been looking around for all the bits to buy to get me ready to make my first wash.
Are the hydrometers that are sold for beer brewing suitable / the same as whats used for checking alcohol content for the wash and the final product? As in does the range go high enough? (The packets I see in the stores are sealed).
These sell for about $8-9.
A hydrometer is a hydrometer. They all work the same. HOWEVER, they have different "scales" in them. Thus, when fermenting and distilling, you will normally work with hydrometers of 2 different scales.
The first is frequently simply called a hydrometer (proper term is saccharometer I believe). It is used to measure specific gravity of water and sugar. It is used for watching your wash. It will tell you that you have X percent of sugar in the wash (sugar'd water is heavier than plain water). It will also show over time, that the sugar has been removed (and replaced with ethanol), as the density of the mash returns to the density of plain water (or even less than that).
Now, for finished spirit, there is a hydrometer (called an alcoholometer) that is scaled properly to measure a mixture of ethanol and water. For this one to work, there must be NOTHING in that mix, other than ethanol and water. If there has been flavorings or sugars added, then the readings will not be accurate.
The first hydro measures density in the range of .990 to 1.200 (or around that). This tool will give you an indication of how much "potential" alcohol your wash can produce, and then when the wash is finished, you can compute the ABV of the wash, by knowing how much "change" your wash underwent from fully saturated with sugar, until it finished.
The alcoholometer is "scaled" to tell you the ABV of distilled spirit. If you place it in a commercial 80 proof vodka, it damn better read 40% ABV (or else your son has been pinching the vodka, and watering it down for you, OR the instrument is not working).
NOTE, since ethanol (and to a lesser extent water) expand and contract based upon their temperature, then the proper scale reading on hydrometers will also ONLY be accurate at a certain fixed temp (usually 20°C or 68°F, depending upon the instrument). If the temp is very close to the proper temp, then you will measure "close enough". If not, then there are tables which you can use to "adjust" your reading to the proper amounts.
Is the Yeast sold for beer brewing the same as whats used for spirits?
Whats the cheapest way to get a container of yeast. Everywhere I see sells small packets for big bucks.
How about bakers yeast? I've been reading people use this but add other stuff to help it survive?
Any suggestions? Just buy it from Woolworths etc?
Many work just fine. Bakers yeast also works for many recipes. With any yeast, do NOT try to push the yeast to a maximum ethanol ABV. That will produce a LOT of higher and lower alcohols, and other nasties. In laymans terms, your hooch will smell/taste like crap, and hangovers are much more likely.
Same question for the carbon filter?
Learn to properly produce your wash, and properly run your still, and throw the "carbon filtering" crap in the trash. It is not needed. It is mostly an "invention" of people trying to push crappy "turbo yeasts", and instructing people to push them to 18% or 20% or even 23%. That produces some very foul stuff, that you simply HAVE to filter to get it even close to being drinkable. If you produce good clean wash, and distill it carefully, it will be better than commercial, with no need for dirty nasty carbon filtering.
As for main materials. Any comments on suitability of the following please?
- I bought 20ltrs of Mollasis. (Rum??)
- I can get cracked corn from the horse feed place but it's dried and hard. (Burbon??)
- White sugar. Home Brand is about $2 for 3 Kilo. (Vodka??)
- I have tank water available here from the roof of the house. Will it be clean enough to use? (I hear tank water is better).
- Whats DAP ??
I think thats about it for today. Hopefully I'm getting close to being able to do a run.
Thanks for all your help too guys.
DAP is a yeast nutrient.
For the other "recipes", I would recommend looking in the "tried and true" recipe section. There are a lot of very good working recipes. They will get you started, and working down the right path.
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.