Laphroaig Distillery Tour...need help with the spirit run

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Laphroaig Distillery Tour...need help with the spirit run

Postby kiwi Bruce » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:40 pm

Laphroaig Distillery Tour...I need help understanding the low wines - spirit run part of the tour. It's between minutes 15 and 16 1/2 the distillery Manager, who's giving the tour, says this "we take the first and the third part of the spirit run, the foreshots and feints (the heads and tails) and mix them with the low wines of the first distillation and redistill them" Am I not understanding something here? There shouldn't be any low wines left from the first distillation, only pot-ale...or is he saying there is a third distillation, foreshots - Spirit run - and faints (no pot-ale) but cut back with low wines?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9Xo900woaU
The whole video is only 26 minutes long...pour yourself two fingers of your favorite and enjoy...Any ideas would be helpful...
I'm not insane...I just help out at the asylum when they're low on patients(1958 Goon Show)
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Re: Laphroaig Distillery Tour...need help with the spirit ru

Postby NZChris » Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:08 pm

You get two things from the first distillation, pot ale, (backset), and low wines (their's 35%). He's tossing the pot ale just as we do.

Semi quoting;

In the second distillation you split it into three parts, we call it foreshot, spirit run and feints. We recycle the foreshots back into the low wines from the first distillation for 45 minutes before we start the spirit run. Tails also go back into the low wines from the first distillation, they are always mixed back together and put back into the spirit stills again.

Then it gets a bit confusing.

Three stills in the first distillation four in the second distillation.

They also keep 25,000l of the low wines plus foreshots, heads and tails in a single holding tank. They are run in the No.1 still. The way I see it, this is a portion of the low wines, not all of them.
I get that they blend the product from the No. 1 still with the product from the four second distillation stills.
______________
It isn't something that isn't done by hobby distillers. It's a rough equivalent saving up your feints for an all feints run and running them with some new low wines or fresh wash, then blending it back at some point. Much of what I bottle to drink are blends, often including aged feints runs blended back on bottling day or during aging.
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Re: Laphroaig Distillery Tour...need help with the spirit ru

Postby Odin » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:39 am

They make it sound like they redistill heads and tails from the spirit run in the stripping run. That does not work on a potstill. It will merely increase second batch heads and tails. Over a few generations one starts to loose more and more hearts yield from the spirit run.

Regards, Odin.
Last edited by Odin on Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Laphroaig Distillery Tour...need help with the spirit ru

Postby kiwi Bruce » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:39 pm

It's left me scratching my noodle too...maybe you have to be drunk to understand it...now there's an idea!...time to drink! :clap:
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Re: Laphroaig Distillery Tour...need help with the spirit ru

Postby NZChris » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:27 pm

He didn't say what he did with the foreshots and heads from the No. 1 still. If he doesn't get rid of some, or all of them, they would build up.

In my shed, they wouldn't get recycled back into the system.
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Re: Laphroaig Distillery Tour...need help with the spirit ru

Postby The Baker » Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:44 pm

NZChris wrote:He didn't say what he did with the foreshots and heads from the No. 1 still. If he doesn't get rid of some, or all of them, they would build up.

In my shed, they wouldn't get recycled back into the system.


Grain Neutral Spirits? Maybe not clean enough taste for vodka.

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Re: Laphroaig Distillery Tour...need help with the spirit ru

Postby NZChris » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:09 pm

Other tidbits.
https://www.laphroaig.com/whisky/our-process
Some of the info contradicts what was said in the video, which will add to the confusion Bruce.

Low wines are 22%.
Long foreshot cut.
Cut to tails, "... once the spirit’s alcohol content has dropped to 60% ..."

"... discard the head and the tail, which are poisonous and foul tasting."
So they do discard heads and tails at some point, which I suspect would be after the distillation in the No. 1 Still
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Re: Laphroaig Distillery Tour...need help with the spirit ru

Postby OtisT » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:45 pm

Great timing on this thread. I just polished off a bottle of Laohroaig Sunday night, celebrating the return of Game Of Thrones for their final season. I figured since much of this show was filmed in that region of the world, I should drink something from there as I watched.
AC42A26E-1D8D-4924-A049-7B4C3A6E4478.jpeg
Polished off the Laphroaig

Next week, It’ll be some Jamison or possibly The Glenlivit that I’m sippin’ on during the show. I’m saving my Bowmore for the final episode. :D

I wish you good fortune in the cuts to come.

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Re: Laphroaig Distillery Tour...need help with the spirit ru

Postby The Baker » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:42 pm

Fantastic show.
Maybe I have some Jameson in the cupboard...

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Re: Laphroaig Distillery Tour...need help with the spirit ru

Postby kiwi Bruce » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:41 pm

NZChris wrote:Other tidbits.
Some of the info contradicts what was said in the video, which will add to the confusion Bruce.

As if I wasn't confused enough! :crazy:

OtisT wrote:Great timing on this thread. I just polished off a bottle of Laohroaig Sunday night, Otis


This is the one whisky that...so far...has defied my reproducing it...and by that I mean, I haven't even come close...frustrated but not giving up... :lolno:
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Re: Laphroaig Distillery Tour...need help with the spirit ru

Postby NZChris » Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:11 pm

They give away some useful info on their website; uphill lyne arms, target abv's, long heads cut, some feints flow info.
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Re: Laphroaig Distillery Tour...need help with the spirit ru

Postby Odin » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:37 pm

The key is to get access to 45 ppm peated malted barley.

Regards, Odin.
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Re: Laphroaig Distillery Tour...need help with the spirit ru

Postby kiwi Bruce » Thu Apr 18, 2019 4:38 am

The Islay peat is very high in sphagnum moss and very low in woody debris...how the Canadian peat compares to the Islay peat I can only guess, but the Canadian has a beautiful mild smoke...not like any wood I've ever smoked with.
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Re: Laphroaig Distillery Tour...need help with the spirit ru

Postby SaltyStaves » Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:18 pm

Visiting Islay pretty much knocked out of me any ideas of emulating what they make there. Standing on the shore, it smelled like being on an alien planet. I've never smelt sea air like that. That same sea air is informing the peat and the casks of aging stock.
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Re: Laphroaig Distillery Tour...need help with the spirit ru

Postby NZChris » Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:14 am

I just noticed that they say the low wines are 22% and that they are 35%. I wonder if the difference is that they strip to 22% then their spirit still charge, including feints, is 35%.

It would take quite a lot of high proof foreshot and tails to go from 22% to 35%, but I recall he claimed they do a very long foreshot, more than anyone else, and that goes back to the first distillation, so it is a possibility.

Maybe late foreshots and early tails are recycled to the stripping runs and the nastier foreshots and tails go to the large holding tank with some of the low wines to be cleaned up with the No. 1 still?

I have done something similar with rum and it turned my scraps into something worth blending back to give me a much higher overall yield of quality product.
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