using sparkolloid to settle sugar wash

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using sparkolloid to settle sugar wash

Postby mrdrbubba » Thu Jan 06, 2005 8:17 pm

So I had read about using Sparkolloid to clarify my sugar wash, and decided to give it a whirl. I prepared 1.5oz in boiling water, and added to my 40L wash - according to the account at http://homedistiller.org/ferment.htm#settle, somebody saw their wash settle out within 24 hours of adding it. I've been 36 hours, and all I've gotten is a frothy head on my wash.

Is it not working because I didn't use enough, or maybe because I kinda added it to the wash before it was done fermenting out ... or should I just be waiting longer?

Obviously I don't really know what I'm doing, so I realize I may have been stupid about it, but I really appreciate any insight you guys might be able to offer ... thanks much
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Postby Pieterpost » Fri Jan 07, 2005 2:41 am

what is sparkolloid anyway?
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Postby Guest » Fri Jan 07, 2005 9:31 am

"Hot Mix Sparkolloid® is a fining agent developed by Scott Laboratories for clarification.
It is a blend of polysaccharides in a diatomaceous earth carrier and has a strong positive
charge. Hot Mix Sparkolloid® neutralizes the repelling charge of particulate matter
allowing aggregation and formation of compact lees. It does not remove desirable color
constituents. It is not a cold stabilizing, heat stabilizing or odor removing agent."

http://www.scottlaboratories.com/info-center/pdf/HotMixSparkolloid.pdf
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Postby mrdrbubba » Fri Jan 07, 2005 9:32 am

whoops .. the above was me .. forgot to log in
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Postby Goofy » Sun Jan 09, 2005 2:33 pm

When you stop getting bubbles through the Co2 vent is when you need to add the Sparkolloid. With a 40 litre wash I would think all you need is about 2/3 of an ounce of Sparkolloid. I usually see residue, on the bottom of the fermenter, start forming in about an hour and it is crystal clear in 48 hours. One (of many) mistakes I have made is to add it too soon or to try to run my wash too soon. If you have any doubts about when to add the clearing agent or run your wash, just add 24 hours to each process and see if that doesn't help.
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Postby Guest » Sun Jan 09, 2005 4:49 pm

With the still I have, there is only a 2" opening at the top, so it makes internal cleaning hard to do. I figure the cleaner my wash is the cleaner I can keep my still.( no cooked on yeast ) I have noticed also that with the cleaner wash my product comes out better smelling. I'm not in a race to see how much I can make, but to make the best I can.
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Postby Goofy » Sun Jan 09, 2005 4:52 pm

I'm the guest above
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Postby level Joe » Sun Jan 09, 2005 6:02 pm

Sparkolloid will not clear properly with CO2 in your wash and you cant get rid of that with active yeast.

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Postby linw » Sun Jan 09, 2005 6:58 pm

theholymackerel wrote:Why the concern with clearin' the wash?

We're not makin' wine here... we're makin' booze.

Many of the finest distilleries around the world make a point of runnin' a wash the second it's done fermentin' or even while it's still fermentin'. They claim it makes for a better tastin' drink.

So again I ask why the concern with clearin' washes, why let yer washes sit around for extra days, and why spend money on chems (ack) to add to yer washes?


Like you, mine gets distilled as is (decanted, only)! I can't say my convictions on this come from science but just from the opinions of people whose knowledge I respect.

But I can remove the lid of my boiler to wash and rinse it so maybe there is a case to be made for finings for boilers with restricted openings.
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Postby mrdrbubba » Sun Jan 09, 2005 9:24 pm

Ah - Thanks very much; I suppose I was sort of jumping the gun and trying to make it go too fast.

As to why to clear the wash - my understanding was that the yeast released some sorts of congeners or something as they heated and ultimately burned - is that not the case?

Yes, the thought of adding chemicals puts me off - but the flavor of my distillate has been quite off indeed (the "wet cardboard smell," as I think I've seen it described). I've only gotten around to building a pot still, and I'm shooting for as neutral spirits as I can negotiate - while I know that building the right equipment would be the best solution, I just don't have the time yet - and I thought this step would save me some intense filtration on down the line ...

Either way, thanks much for the advice - both on using the Sparkolloid and on not doing so :)
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Postby linw » Mon Jan 10, 2005 2:33 am

You've got the wrong tool for neutral spirits. Adding finings won't correct for the tailsy stuff you are getting into your product. Pot still product will need activated carbon filtering. You could improve things by distilling twice and filtering with activated carbon.
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