How long to distill???

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How long to distill???

Postby Kouba71 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:55 pm

There is probably a forum asking this but couldn't find it since I'm using my phone as the Internet at the moment but I need help!
I'm on my second batch distilling the all bran wash and I'm not sure how long to distill in my 6qt pot still. The last run I stopped after it wouldn't light on fire anymore and after 3 gallons of mash I only yielded about 20 ounces and that took about 3 hours per gallon to distill.
I now have a 5 gallon batch of all bran ready to distill, Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!!!!
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Re: How long to distill???

Postby retlaw » Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:28 pm

the fire trick does not lie,
what are your calculations of expected spirits from three gallons of mash?
my thoughts are ... have you thought about a bigger still?
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Re: How long to distill???

Postby Kouba71 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:34 pm

Haha, I do need a bigger still but this is what I'm working with for now. I thought I should get around 10 to 14 ounces per gallon but I'd rather have quality over quantity for sure. My last batch tested at 115 proof and was quite nice for my first batch ever but I still have so much to learn I'm not sure if I'm totally screwing things up or if I'm on track for my little mini wannabe still.
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Re: How long to distill???

Postby retlaw » Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:36 pm

was that one run or two?
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Re: How long to distill???

Postby Kouba71 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:41 pm

One run
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Re: How long to distill???

Postby retlaw » Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:09 pm

you got 5.28% volume of drink to your mash,
so if the second batch is the same you should expect 33 to 34 oz of the same drink to 5 gallon of mash,
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Re: How long to distill???

Postby Kouba71 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:24 pm

Thank you! Is that a good volume % for my mash? How did you figure that out and is there a way to up the %?
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Re: How long to distill???

Postby retlaw » Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:01 pm

its not high,
you should be able to make a mash/wash to 8 to 12% with out much difficultly,
so you can double your out come,

the numbers comes from - net over gross converted to %,

once you get a few runs out of your still you will get more comfortable feel of what it can do,
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Re: How long to distill???

Postby Kouba71 » Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:05 pm

Ok so I made this second batch all bran and followed the instructions exactly stated and let it ferment for 7 days, the airlock was barely bubbling that's when I started distilling.
Off 2 gallons of mash I have yielded 24oz of 120 proof spirit. How can I change my mash % value?? More sugar? Let it ferment longer? Add more nutrients or yeast? What should I be doing different? I appreciate everyones help I really do so if anyone has answers I can use please teach this slow bastard a thing or two. Somebody learn me!! (heard my neighbors kid say that)
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Re: How long to distill???

Postby Ayay » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:00 am

If your wash finishes at 10% alc, then 10% of your wash is pure 100% alc. If the alc comes out at less than 100% pure then there will be more of it.

I'll put it in numbers as litres, (gave up pints and gallons long ago), and throwing oz into the mix is sure complications. You have 20 litres wash brewed to 10% alc. 10% of 25 = 2.5 litres pure alc. It comes out at 95%, or 60% alc/water. You will have 95% or 60% pure alc in what comes out. Then you make the cuts and should only be drinkin the hearts which can be as much as 1/3 of the total output. So out of your theoretical output of 2.5L, you may be drinkin 2.5/3 = about 0.8L pure. That may be about 1L or more because it won't come out pure. Thus expect to be drinkin 1 litre hearts out of a 20 litre wash, about 1/20th of what you brewed. The heads and tails can be stilled again to yield more hearts.

More sugar in the wash (brew) = more alc when the brewing is finished. Bakers yeast will survive up to 14% alc and turbos can survive in a 18% alc wash before getting poisoned and dying. Best go to a max potential alc of 12% by only giving enough sugar to get to 12%. Dying yeasts give off a nasty flavour, so do turbos when they are driven past the 12% mark.

Why brew to more than 12%? Pure greed! And there is a price to pay. Brewing to higher than 12% is false economy.

Brew long enough to let the yeasts eat all the sugar. Let the yeasts settle to the bottom so they don't get into the boiler. Still long enough to get all the alc out of the brew. Then air it and make your cuts.
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Re: How long to distill???

Postby Kouba71 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:39 pm

Thank you very much for breaking it down so I can understand it! I just finished distilling my 5 gallon mash and I must be doing something wrong because (sorry not good enough to use liters yet and i only have a 1.5 gallon still) after straining I only got 3.5 gallons to distill and I had to make 3 seperate runs.

End result, I got about 1/3 gallon of spirit at 60% abv 120 proof. I took 4 oz off each run for the foreshots and collected the rest. I seperated them in 6 oz jars as I was going along to taste to make my cuts the heads was clearly more pungent than the rest and the tails was sweet so I just blended all three together and it isnt that bad tasting. A little strong but I don't know how 120 proof alcohol is supposed to taste. (drinking some right now with cranberry juice) If I only collect what I thought was the hearts I would only would have had around 16 oz of spirit out of 3.5 gallons. Sound about right? Any other knowledge you are willing to share with this hillbilly is appreciated and thanks again for sharing what you already have
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Re: How long to distill???

Postby Prairiepiss » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:51 pm

Welcome aboard.

The only info i have to share is. Do some more research. Everything you have asked is basic knowledge that should have been found while doing proper research. Sorry to be a jerk.
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Re: How long to distill???

Postby Ayay » Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:23 am

Kouba71 wrote:...Sound about right?...

Keep going! Keep on reading. You will soon be looking back and saying, 'How did I manage to drink that stuff' :D
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