freeze distilling

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freeze distilling

Postby DenDries » Sun Dec 02, 2007 11:09 am

Hi all,

First of all, I would like to apologize for my crappy english ^^

I'm trying to create my own alcoholmash wich will be used for creating my own vodka.
Now that I have all my ingrediënts (1kg sugar, bakery yeast), I went looking for a distilling method and I came out with freeze distilling.

It's supposed to work due to the different freezing point between alcohol and water. Only the water is supposed to freeze, so you can easily split the alcohol from the water.

Now I heard that this is a difficult method, does anyone have experience with this?

Also, if this could work, what's the risk of having methanol in it? Or could I just let the alcoholmash boil the methanol at 60°c a few minutes?

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Postby bronzdragon » Sun Dec 02, 2007 11:18 am

Check this out and scroll down to the "freezing" section.

Basically what this does is just take a lot of the water out of the mixture. You still have everything else in there (i.e. foreshots, heads and tails). You're not getting any other separation except the water.

Some people use this in place of a stripping run. I wouldn't really want to use this for a drinkable end product though.

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Postby Husker » Sun Dec 02, 2007 4:30 pm

bronze is right. You will NEVER be able to create a vodka (or anything even approaching vodka) using freeze method of concentration (it is not really distillation).

If you do drink what you produce, it will certainly be stronger in ethanol than the mash/wash you started with, but it will have a LOT of flavor that the wash had (the flavor will be concentrated even more than the mash). If you drink it (and get drunk on it), it is also likely to give you a pretty nasty hang over.

The things freeze concentration "does" do, is to remove most (if not all) of the solids, such as the dead yeast. It also removes probably up to half the water (more?) thus concentrates whatever else was in your mash.

If the freeze concentration is your ONLY way that you can do this, then you better have some pretty GOOD tasting mash to start from. I know that in the early years of the USA, they made "apple jack" using freezing, with fermented apple juice. I bet, that if the finished product was to be drinkable at all, then the starting wine had to be pretty good, and possibly somewhat "weak" in flavor since the flavor will stronger after the freeze thaw process happens.

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Postby mtnwalker2 » Sun Dec 02, 2007 5:51 pm

What I do and with good results, is put my finished wort, mash, outside overnight to settle the yeast some and freeze a mix on top. I scoop it out and place in collander for a bit, to drain. I take those drainings, and what I then rack off the rest, into a new carboy, add sparkoloid or just give it all time to settle, then distill.

One issue I worry about in this. If I distill to 95% the resultant, cut to 40% and place into freezer (back when I used to carbon filter), I found the newly mixed distillate would form a slushy mix. After a few weeks, it wouldn't. When the water and distillate had married. Makes me think you would lose some alchohal in those early freezings as well.

I guess it would depend upon what temp. and how long you let it drain to.
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Postby wineo » Sun Dec 02, 2007 8:09 pm

I have done it making applejack,and raisinjack years ago.It would give you a massive hangover!I had to try it.My great gran paw used to make it and I still have some of his recipes.Doing a stripping run with no reflux cooling is much easier,and faster,and you can get rid of the bad stuff.
I have a reflux column,but dont use it.I just potstill again.Its faster,and still leaves some flavors that I want.The freeze method works,but leaves all that bad stuff in there.
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Re: freeze distilling

Postby jwmorgan1991 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:43 am

Hi just thought id drop my two cents, if using a sugar wash and freeze concentrating then you wont get methonal as theres no pectin, but you will still get the fusel oils and acetone. That being said there is a company called bulldog in scotland which uses this method to produce beers of up to 47%ABV these have been tested and do not contain harmful amounts of ethanol. This method should be fairly safe as long as huge quantitys arnt drunk.
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