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Little help with still setup for whiskey

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 4:43 am
by dmacnz
I am seeking help/opinions on how best run my still for a whiskey.
Lucky for me, Im currently working in China and have access to some affordable bits!.....
However....I’m not sure how best to run for whiskey!

I will be doing a all grain 60L mash which should Be around 7-8%.

I now have a 30L still.... I have options of

1.cooper head only.
2.Copper head plus plated(plates can’t be removed )Column with reflux,
3.As above without reflux
4..Copper head with column stuffed with copper. (I'm leaning towards this option).
Screenshot (16).png
I have only made gin in the past using the reflux plates column and normally get around 93% abv.
From research I gather around 70% is ball park where I should be aiming for whiskey?

Stripping run would help me fit it all in the small 30L still. But will this steal flavor?

How and why would you run my still for a whiskey.

Thanks
Dan

Re: Little help with still setup for whiskey

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 5:04 am
by Expat
So long as #4 has no active reflux, that's what I'd use since you can't reduce the number of plates.

As you say you'll have 60l to run, I'd strip that in 3 x 20l runs and then do a final spirit run.

Re: Little help with still setup for whiskey

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 5:20 am
by silverbean
What I would do with a 60l mash if fermenting on the grain, rack off the wash, I'd expect about 50l yield. Do 2 stripping runs of 22 litres leaving plenty of head room as all grains will foam and puke. Toss some foreshots, collect till the output is 20 - 10% ABV which should give low wines around 40% ABV. Put the rest of the wash and the collected low wines back into the boiler and run a low and slow spirit run making lots of cuts.
I would set the still up like this.
image.png
image.png (48.35 KiB) Viewed 625 times
I'm no expert and there are other ways to run it but this may be the easiest and provide an excellent result.
Good luck
Bean

Re: Little help with still setup for whiskey

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:24 pm
by Yummyrum
Remove the thermometers too .

Re: Little help with still setup for whiskey

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:10 pm
by NZChris
I do two or three stripping runs, taking a foreshot, then running until the low wines collection has an abv of around 24-28% the same as many commercial pot distillers do. Stopping at higher abvs, or abvs at the spout, is good for making neutrals as it leaves more of the flavor in the backset.

Re: Little help with still setup for whiskey

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:24 pm
by Setsumi
for all grain wiskey and your options... i would do the helmet AND the plates. the helmet will remove issues with pukes.... try a one and done with tight cuts. collect small! if that does not work for you do the strip thing but you will do a good wiskey, might be higher abv but you are not constrained by regulations.

Re: Little help with still setup for whiskey

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 3:43 pm
by kiwi Bruce
Whiskey and not Whisky ?...bourbon style and not single malt scotch style ? This is an important question because up until a decade ago they were distilled very differently. Single malt Scotch style...pot still distilled, loads of flavor from the grain, then a nice long sleep in used bourbon casks. Bourbon style was/and for the most part still is, distilled in a column still and stripped of the flavor from the corn and other grains. Some makers go so far as to run their "white dog" through charcoal to remove the slightest hint of grain flavor. It's then given a nice long rest in new, never before used, charred white oak barrels. All the flavor for this style of whiskey comes from the wood.
So if your after a truly spectacular BOURBON run your still with all the plates, bells and whistles. You'll rely on the wood for that true American Whiskey flavor.
Single malt scotch style...run it as close as you can to a pot still and grab as much flavor as you can, then age it on used bourbon pieces or chips.
So...tell us...what's your poison ?

Re: Little help with still setup for whiskey

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 3:59 pm
by shadylane
kiwi Bruce wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 3:43 pm

So...tell us...what's your poison ?
And how soon do you want to drink it

Re: Little help with still setup for whiskey

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 4:17 pm
by Dewstiller
Is this post for real?

5 posts, I am in China, can you tell me which of the Ali packages i can fit together and then next week attempt to sell everyone here?

Re: Little help with still setup for whiskey

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 4:30 pm
by Tummydoc
I'm not clearly seeing a reflux condenser (maybe below the thermometer in the first picture?). If there isn't one, all the configurations are equivalent. The packing puts more copper in your vapor path, but the plates should provide adequate copper.

Not sure why you say the plates aren't removable. You can disassemble the column, remove plates from their gaskets and reassemble. But looks like a 2 inch collumn with a single bubble cap per plate. You're probably best to do pot still strip and spirit runs.

Re: Little help with still setup for whiskey

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 5:36 pm
by dmacnz
Thanks for the help.
This attempt will be whisky. (Scotch). Perhaps burbon can be on the list of what next!

Regarding the pot stripping runs and then add wash to diulte.
I haven’t ran as a pot still before, I assume the output will
Be around 60-70% collect this. Dilute with some “spare” wash and then run again as a pot still. What sort of abv should I expect from the spirit run?! Above casking strength?

The first photo these is a reflux condenser above the plated column.

I have a new charred oak barrel waiting for the sweet nectar to arrive. However my fermenter is currently full of a almost finished pale ale. (Man isn’t a camel). Keen to get this wash done and try it all out.


“Is this real?” Yes

“Remove the temp probes”. I added a solid state power controller to the element so I do get your point! As this is all new to me it’s more out of intrigue to see the temp!

Thanks again
Dan

Re: Little help with still setup for whiskey

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 6:12 pm
by shadylane
dmacnz wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 5:36 pm
Thanks for the help.
This attempt will be whisky. (Scotch). Perhaps burbon can be on the list of what next!

Regarding the pot stripping runs and then add wash to diulte.
I haven’t ran as a pot still before, I assume the output will
Be around 60-70%
Just guessing
With a 8 or 9% mash, the ABV of stripping runs would start at around 40 - 50% and progressively drop
The ABV of the total collected low-wines would be around 20 - 30%

Re: Little help with still setup for whiskey

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:12 pm
by Deplorable
shadylane wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 6:12 pm
dmacnz wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 5:36 pm
Thanks for the help.
This attempt will be whisky. (Scotch). Perhaps burbon can be on the list of what next!

Regarding the pot stripping runs and then add wash to diulte.
I haven’t ran as a pot still before, I assume the output will
Be around 60-70%
Just guessing
With a 8 or 9% mash, the ABV of stripping runs would start at around 40 - 50% and progressively drop
The ABV of the total collected low-wines would be around 20 - 30%
Yep. My single malt strips come off the still starting at between 50 and 55, closer to 50. I run it down to 5% off the spout, and my average is 35% for the collected low wines. Starting abv of beer going in to the still is 8%.

Re: Little help with still setup for whiskey

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:33 pm
by dmacnz
Thanks, you then throw in some more wash for your spirit runs? or just run it again at 35%

Re: Little help with still setup for whiskey

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 3:18 am
by jonnys_spirit
Hi. Normally you strip 3-4 boilers full of mash-bier which should then yield a full’ish boiler charge of low wines for the spirit run.

-jonny

Re: Little help with still setup for whiskey

Posted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:27 am
by jayka
I would go for
LID, Onion, Condenser.
Strip run then spirit.

and if your not happy with that setup I would be happy to take it off your hands coz that looks mint!

Can you send me one?