Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Distillation methods and improvements.

Moderator: Site Moderator

User avatar
Odin
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 6844
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:20 am
Location: Three feet below sea level

Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by Odin » Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:42 am

Really, no need to do so anymore (he said in a provocative manner)! Why? Here's why! Let's do as the big boys and use hydroseparation instead. Next step? Add a few continuous distillation columns. Much more efficient, much easier as well.

But let's not skip steps and start at the beginning. Stop cutting for Heads and Tails. It's a menace, isn't it? Well, here's the easy solution: hydro separation.

Here is the approach:
1. Strip that ferment into low wines - and collect EVERYTHING in that process;
2. Dilute the low wines to 17%;
3. Heads will sink, tails will rise, so syphon off the the middle 2/3rds ...;
4. And run that again.

Since you got rid of (most) heads and tails via the hydroseparation and consecutive re-use of the middle part, which is so much cleaner, you can do that second run fast. And you don't have to take additional cuts.

You feel that you now lost 1/3rd? No, you didn't. Stay with me. That 1/3rd with most of the heads and tails, but still with a big, big amount of ethanol in there ... you do not toss. You keep it. And when you strip another batch, you add the low wines to that vessel. Next step? You lower the abv again to 17%, so heads and tails hydro separate again ... and because the amount of heads and tails is now actually doubled, they can compact even better. Remember: tails float like an oilsy film on top, heads sink and give a foggyness near the bottom. Next step? You could see it coming, right? Syphon of the middle 2/3rd and run again. At full speed, since you don't have to make cuts anymore.

You want to age longer, have a stronger profile? Dilute to 20%, so not all heads and tails come out of solution. Or reintroduce small parts of the heads or tails to the now twice distilled spirit. The more often you do this, the more concentrated (at top and bottom) these heads and tails factions become. In short: you can syphon them off seperately to create different styles of drinks, and you get to play around with fruitiness and rootiness in your end drink.

Just sharing.

Regards, Odin.
"Great art is created only through diligent and painstaking effort to perfect and polish oneself." by Buddhist filosofer Daisaku Ikeda.

InglisHill
Rumrunner
Posts: 710
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by InglisHill » Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:59 am

Tried it.

Didn't work.

Do you have pictures of yours so we can see what you are talking about?

User avatar
Danespirit
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 2613
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:09 am
Location: Denmark

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by Danespirit » Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:00 am

Interesting thought...i see your point, Odin.
Gravity would be your friend and do the cuts for you... :idea:

User avatar
thecroweater
Master Distiller
Posts: 6023
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:04 am
Location: Central Highlands Vic. Australia

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by thecroweater » Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:08 am

nup it wont work nearly efficiently enough, Ya can bet London to bricks bud you are still going to get heads and tails :thumbup:
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Benjamin Franklin

User avatar
Odin
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 6844
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:20 am
Location: Three feet below sea level

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by Odin » Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:24 am

Yes, you will still get heads and tails! I agree, Crow, but less, much less. So it cannot be used for white spirits, but it can be used for drinks that are aged and need heads and tails for more taste complexity at the end. It is how the big boys do it. Hmmm ... not sure that's the best example! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Odin.
"Great art is created only through diligent and painstaking effort to perfect and polish oneself." by Buddhist filosofer Daisaku Ikeda.

BoomTown
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1328
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:41 am
Location: Virgina

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by BoomTown » Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:42 am

thecroweater wrote:nup it wont work nearly efficiently enough, Ya can bet London to bricks bud you are still going to get heads and tails :thumbup:
Odin,let's see if I've got my head around this approach.

We start with a fermented Beer at about 10% ABV, and strip (assume 10 gal of beer =) one gal of low wine at 40%. We take the 1 gal and add back in 2.24 gal of water = 3.34 gal @ 17%,

At this concentration (17% ABV), heads and tails will separate by weight? How long will that separation take?

We collect this 3 times, (3.34 gallon x 3) for approximately 10 gallon) and then do a Spirit Run

Output of the spirit run is 1.7 gallon (mine runs at about 80%). Then we let that sit to separate by weight, and draw out the middle ⅔ = .57 gallon of hearts,

Then we combine the remaining (heads and tails) from that spirit run with the next collections of low wines, diluting it all back the 17% ABV

and repeat. At some point we draw off the tails separately to blend back into the hearts to achieve the taste characteristics we seek?

Is that the process you are suggesting? How is that different than using a Thumper on a Pot still, and snagging the heads and tails using a alcohol meter at designated points?
“…Let’s do this one more time....”

User avatar
thecroweater
Master Distiller
Posts: 6023
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:04 am
Location: Central Highlands Vic. Australia

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by thecroweater » Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:58 am

Odin wrote:Yes, you will still get heads and tails! I agree, Crow, but less, much less. So it cannot be used for white spirits, but it can be used for drinks that are aged and need heads and tails for more taste complexity at the end. It is how the big boys do it. Hmmm ... not sure that's the best example! :lol: :lol: :lol: Odin.
yeah well if Jim Bean woodstock and the like are on ya list of big boys I'm not riveted with intrest, damned if I want to wait 8 yrs for a C grade drink I can only take with coke and still shudder :thumbup:
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Benjamin Franklin

RandyMarshCT
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 713
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:46 am
Location: Hopkinton, RI

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by RandyMarshCT » Thu Aug 27, 2015 4:53 am

I'm reminded of this thread a couple years ago: http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... =1&t=19169
Life member, representative, and proud supporter of the Hobby Distiller's Association.

http://www.hobbydistillersassociation.org

User avatar
Kegg_jam
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1167
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:29 am
Location: Appalachian Mountains of MD

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by Kegg_jam » Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:13 am

I'd be interested in seeing the procedure in action.

User avatar
Bushman
Admin
Posts: 15555
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:29 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by Bushman » Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:18 am

RandyMarshCT wrote:I'm reminded of this thread a couple years ago: http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... =1&t=19169
Enjoyed going back and reading that thread, had forgotten a lot of that information. Question on the best way to do separation. If you are saying a 1/3rd of each keeping the middle then I am guessing if you drew lines on a vessel dividing it into thirds you would syphon the first third, then in another vessel syphon the middle third. After that you would save the first third and the last third for another run.
This reminds me of the whole discussion of using a parrot and the fear some have about smearing! You would have to be able to see the bottom of the syphon so as not to put it to far into the vessel but make sure you are taking away from the third you are working on. For me this seems like a lot of extra work.

User avatar
S-Cackalacky
Master Distiller
Posts: 5879
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:35 pm
Location: The Dark Corner

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by S-Cackalacky » Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:32 am

Odin, do you have sources to backup this concept?
Odin wrote:3. Heads will sink, tails will rise, so syphon off the the middle 2/3rds ...;
I would challenge anyone to do that without remixing everything. Besides, this method seems more difficult than actually doing cuts the normal way.

Posted while Bushman posted.
S-Cack,
Forum Contrarian

Every new member should read this before doing anything else:

emptyglass
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1543
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:59 am
Location: Victoria, Australia.Usually the shed. Sometimes the cellar.

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by emptyglass » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:46 am

maybe you have forgotten the concept of "compression" odin

not sure about how a stainless slant plate still does this task, but a plated column does it well. No need to syphon 1/3, how you do that still perplexes me, maybe you just tell the wash to only surrender that part.

Maybe you can just tell the wash to "please keep the bits I dont want". I'd like to think I can use the force, but I have my doubts. I'd have more luck with a fermenter voo-do doll, stab it in the fractions.

Care to name any of these "big boys"?
You design it, I make it. Copper and Stainless. Down under. PM me.

User avatar
Kegg_jam
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1167
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:29 am
Location: Appalachian Mountains of MD

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by Kegg_jam » Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:13 am

Odin, I love you man.

You make reading the forum interesting.

I'd still like to see the hydro separation in action tho. Would one make 'cuts' while siphoning? How would one know where the heads are laying and the tails are floating?

User avatar
skow69
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 3230
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:03 am
Location: Cascadia

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by skow69 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:16 am

No cuts, sideways kegs, no mashing and fermenting, Dutch Courage spilling out all over the place.

My goodness, Odin, you're feeling pretty feisty these days.
Distilling at 110f and 75 torr.
I'm not an absinthe snob, I'm The Absinthe Nazi. "NO ABSINTHE FOR YOU!"

Bagasso
Distiller
Posts: 1344
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:09 pm

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by Bagasso » Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:20 pm

I'm not sold on hydroseparation but if it is true then you should be able to centrifuge for quicker seperation.

User avatar
NZChris
Master Distiller
Posts: 9099
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:42 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by NZChris » Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:33 pm

I tried hydro separation.

I discovered that if you wait long enough, nothing will happen.

User avatar
Danespirit
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 2613
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:09 am
Location: Denmark

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by Danespirit » Fri Aug 28, 2015 4:04 pm

Bagasso wrote:I'm not sold on hydroseparation but if it is true then you should be able to centrifuge for quicker seperation.
Could you elaborate on that...??

User avatar
freshwaterjellyfish
Swill Maker
Posts: 214
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:46 pm
Location: Ontario CANADA

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by freshwaterjellyfish » Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:59 pm

for belivers and unbelivers this is a perfect prequel to this thread:
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... =1&t=19169
if one was to attempt this "technique" would a parrot be beneficial? that way, as youre siphoning youd see the abv change from your target sweet spot. ive never used one but theoretically it should help. Id love to add it to the "project list" but id admit there would be way more people on this site better at cuts than me to test it against hydoseperation.
sounds cool
Man goes to doctor. Says he's depressed , feels alone in a cruel world. Doctor says, "Treatments simple. The great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. That should pick you up." Man bursts into tears."But doctor. I am Pagliacci." 

User avatar
still_stirrin
Master Distiller
Posts: 8352
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:01 am
Location: where the buffalo roam, and the deer & antelope play

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by still_stirrin » Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:12 pm

Hydroseparation works because it is work. Here's a link to Odin's iStill forum where he explains the process in more detail. http://www.istillforum.eu/istillforum.e ... ?f=24&t=73" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

Fact...it does improve production efficiency recovering alcohol where it otherwise would be discarded as waste. The Scotts are the champions at that because they are taxed based on the potential alcohol going into the brewery/distillery, not just the product produced. When economics mandates maximum efficiency...processes improve to maximize efficiency. Hydroseparation is a method to retrieve the alcohol in the heads and tails after the normal hearts cut. Why not...if you can?

Innovative Odin. Keep 'em comin'.
ss
Attention new distillers: Cranky's spoon feed info
My LM/VM & Potstill: My build thread
My Cadco hotplate modification thread: Hotplate Build
My stock pot gin still: stock pot potstill
My 5-grain Bourbon recipe: Special K

User avatar
Condensifier
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 290
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:05 pm
Location: The Edge of Nowhere

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by Condensifier » Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:27 pm

Nice post ss. Thanks for the link.

User avatar
thecroweater
Master Distiller
Posts: 6023
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:04 am
Location: Central Highlands Vic. Australia

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by thecroweater » Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:14 pm

Having had master distillers in my family and knowing a couple of commercial whisky distillers I'm going to have to call bullshit on this, never heard Hyroseparation discussed even hypothetically as a viable commercial enterprise :crazy:
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Benjamin Franklin

Bagasso
Distiller
Posts: 1344
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:09 pm

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by Bagasso » Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:42 pm

Danespirit wrote:Could you elaborate on that...??
Well, since the idea is that heads and tails seperate and either sink or float due to differences is mass then a centrifuge would make the process more efficient because it would use more than 1g of force.

So instead of letting the low wines sit for days, the seperation could be done in minutes.

ETA: It should also make it possible to compress the fractions so that you end up with a larger middle fraction.

User avatar
MitchyBourbon
Distiller
Posts: 2304
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:03 pm

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by MitchyBourbon » Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:33 am

So...

If I understand correctly, this means I should always make sure I serve the first and last portions of store bought whisky to someone I don't like. I shall keep this in mind the next party my wife organizes. Thanks for the tip Odin.
I'm goin the distance...

Dan P.
Distiller
Posts: 1085
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:24 am
Location: The Islands

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by Dan P. » Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:23 pm

thecroweater wrote:Having had master distillers in my family and knowing a couple of commercial whisky distillers I'm going to have to call bullshit on this, never heard Hyroseparation discussed even hypothetically as a viable commercial enterprise :crazy:
Ya, total bullshit.

Where are the Scotch guys hiding these "cold fractioning" towers, for starters?

We love you Odin, but you don't half talk some bollocks sometimes.

Dan P.
Distiller
Posts: 1085
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:24 am
Location: The Islands

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by Dan P. » Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:24 pm

MitchyBourbon wrote:So...

If I understand correctly, this means I should always make sure I serve the first and last portions of store bought whisky to someone I don't like. I shall keep this in mind the next party my wife organizes. Thanks for the tip Odin.
Lol! And that's why I only ever drink JD through a straw. Gotta get that sweet heart cut.

User avatar
Tokoroa_Shiner
Distiller
Posts: 1321
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:02 am

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by Tokoroa_Shiner » Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:45 pm

He seems to have a habit of posting these controversial questions then fucking off to watch from a distance as everyone start arguing about it.
As I said in the thread about sideways keg boilers. If all this shit was valid. We would already be doing it because you can bet your ass the big guys would have figured it out.

How far do you take it? Does that mean we should only put the middle but of our ferment in to the boiler so we don't waste energy boiling the heads and tails in the first place?
Must read topics for new members

The Rules By Which We Live By
Safety And Related Issues
New Distillers Reading Lounge

Have Fun, Keep Safe and Shine On

InglisHill
Rumrunner
Posts: 710
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by InglisHill » Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:19 pm

+1 TS.

RevSpaminator
Swill Maker
Posts: 444
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 10:53 am

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by RevSpaminator » Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:35 pm

I thought it was just Odin's attempt at a sarcastic joke.
Snake Oil Whiskey And Miracle Elixir - It'll cure ya or kill ya.

InglisHill
Rumrunner
Posts: 710
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by InglisHill » Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:38 pm

Tokoroa_Shiner wrote:He seems to have a habit of posting these controversial questions then fucking off to watch from a distance as everyone start arguing about it.
As I said in the thread about sideways keg boilers. If all this shit was valid. We would already be doing it because you can bet your ass the big guys would have figured it out.

How far do you take it? Does that mean we should only put the middle but of our ferment in to the boiler so we don't waste energy boiling the heads and tails in the first place?
Maybe try hydroseperating your wash?

User avatar
Tokoroa_Shiner
Distiller
Posts: 1321
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:02 am

Re: Stop Cutting for Heads and Tails alltogether!

Post by Tokoroa_Shiner » Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:39 pm

That could work. I'll use turbo yeast to get the ABV up to the recommended 17%
Must read topics for new members

The Rules By Which We Live By
Safety And Related Issues
New Distillers Reading Lounge

Have Fun, Keep Safe and Shine On

Post Reply