According to Harry's paper on dilution in preperation for a spirit run:
"Armed with a spirit hydrometer and a dilution chart or an adjustment formula, and this phase diagram plot information, he can then dilute the final still-charge to the correct ethanol/water starting ratio. Thus the final product will be at the desired ethanol strength, and the water fraction will be made up of distilled water. This eliminates the turbidity often associated with adding water after distillation and before kegging, thus a superior quality spirit is produced."
"A stillman using a potstill can work backwards from the phase diagram, select a desired final product strength, map it as a point on the vapour curve, then draw in the lines to arrive at a starting still-charge strength for the final spirit run."
Usint the ideas from the two quoted paragraphs above, I should decide what %abv I want to put my likker on oak at. Then, using the phase diagram, work my way backwards towards what my low wines should be diluted to in order to end up at or around what I want my final abv to be. And instead of diluting with water, I plan to dilute with un-stilled wash (for the additional flavor) no more than a gallon (for my 5 gallon spirit run), then the rest (if required to dilute further) would be with normal water. Then run my strip.
That all makes theoretical sense. But here is where my question start to come in. I am on my (lost count) batch of UJSSM...just stripped my first 10 gallon wash (first generation of this particular itteration) down to low wines. I collected all the way down to around 25% abv. My resulting low wines are sitting at 45% abv. Now, I have read that many people here like to put their UJSSM on oak at between 60-70%abv. Based on the guidance from Harry's paper and using the phase diagram which I found at http://distillapedia.org/index.php?title=Pot_still" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow I can determine that if I want my stripping run to have a total/ final abv of say 65% abv to put on oak, in order not to have to cut the final spirit with water prior to putting it on oak, I would have to dilute my stripped low wines back down to nearly 16-18%! Is this right? Will all the extra effort to get that added water back out during the spirit run really pay off in terms of quality/ flavor of final spirit? I notice from my reading that folks here and there seem to be dilluting their stripped low wines down to about 40%. But this would (in theory, using the above phase diagram and personal experience) result in spirit somewhere between 75% to 80%, which would need to be diluted back down to between 60-70% for aging on oak. According to Harry's paper, it seems to be better for quality to not need to dilute prior to oaking. Does anyone have any experience/ advice on this? If diluting my low wines down to around 18% prior to my spirit run will make a superior final product, then I'll take a crack at it...but that seems like an awful lot of effort/ utility energies used up to get all that water back out. If anyone can tell me that this is the practice they use with their pot still to get the best product they can get out of this recipe, then please pitch in. Any thought on this is appreciated. Just a simple home shiner trying to make the best corn-flavored sugarhead I can make with what I've got at hand.