Stripping and foreshots

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Stripping and foreshots

Postby Chadbukl » Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:28 am

if a were to distill a 25l wash I would expect 150ml of foreshots.
If I strip 100l wash and do a 25l spirit run would I expect to have 600ml of foreshots

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Re: Stripping and foreshots

Postby still_stirrin » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:31 am

It kinda’ depends on what the wash is. And how you fermented it. It isn’t purely a ratio of the size of the ferment unfortunately. Ingredients and process affect what and how much of the congeners are produced.

And I suggest you read Kiwistiller’s Guide to Cuts to better understand how the proportions of constituents are distributed throughout the distilled product offstill.
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Re: Stripping and foreshots

Postby Chadbukl » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:01 pm

Interesting but basic read.... confirms my initial thoughts that yes in my example discard 600ml
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Re: Stripping and foreshots

Postby OtisT » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:29 pm

Chadbukl wrote:Interesting but basic read.... confirms my initial thoughts that yes in my example discard 600ml


Sorry, but that is the wrong conclusion you came to there.

As mentioned previously, the amount varies by recipe/batch. The volume also depends on how you are pulling foreshots. Your nose is the best indicator. That, and understanding how stilling differently can impact where the fores come out relative to the rest of the run.

If I am running really slow and low power, I can collect most of the fores in a small volume. Run with more power and my fores will be mixed with heads (and some ethanol), and that will be a much larger volume.

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Re: Stripping and foreshots

Postby NZChris » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:14 pm

Chadbukl wrote:Interesting but basic read.... confirms my initial thoughts that yes in my example discard 600ml

Yeah, sure. It's only the stripping run, the rest will get tidied up with the spirit run.

Fruit is different, some need more of the low boiling point flavors.
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Re: Stripping and foreshots

Postby rubber duck » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:36 pm

It kind of depends on the obv of the mash. 50 -100 ml on a 5 gallon mash is the rule of thumb. If you do that you will be fine and make good booze.
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Re: Stripping and foreshots

Postby Chadbukl » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:41 pm

OtisT wrote:
Chadbukl wrote:Interesting but basic read.... confirms my initial thoughts that yes in my example discard 600ml


Sorry, but that is the wrong conclusion you came to there.

Otis


Please explain how I drew the wrong conclusion. This extract from Kiwistillers guide to cutting. Seems unequivical to me.

“On a pot still, the absolute minimum that should be allocated to foreshots is 150ml per 25l of wash. So, for a second distillation of, say, 3 stripped 25l washes (with no cuts made in the first distillation), you would want to discard 450ml of foreshots. This fraction should never be recycled, or used in any way for beverages, but it does have some uses. It's a great solvent, can be saved for cleaning runs of new stilling equipment, and is great for starting charcoal BBQs. Use it around the house / shed in place of methylated spirits (denatured alcohol).“
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Re: Stripping and foreshots

Postby Yummyrum » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:46 pm

Chadbukl , as mentioned , it's not an exact number . There are lots if variables . Kiwi’s guide is pretty much a safe ball park and you were onto it . :thumbup: I agree that its scale-able as a basic guideline .

Whether the exact amount is 500ml, 600 mls or 549.333mls repeated is all hypothetical . Just collect in jars .for a 100 liter wash , 500ml ones are probably a good choice on a spirit run . You will find that that first one smells nasty and you won't want to keep it .
The reality is the next jar and probably more than 10 after that ( on a pot spirit run ) on a 100 liter run will all be heads anyway so its kinda splitting hairs worrying about where the transition from fore-shots to heads is .
When you have your jars all lined up , its pretty obvious .... that first one is nasty . .... the second one ... well you decide if you want that in your next batch or not . .... assuming you recycle your feints ... I do .

Also as mentioned , its never a finite cut point especially on a pot still . The Fore-shots fade out and the heads fade in .
If you are using a reflux still that can separate out fractions more definitively then yes you can start to pinpoint the transition point with much more accuracy .....but again it depends on , in particular , a lot on fermentation variables between washes
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Re: Stripping and foreshots

Postby Chadbukl » Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:28 am

Thanks that is very helpfull. I am currently sourcing materials for a 50l reflux build so at the moment I am practicing on a 20l pot still. so I have prepared a 16l TPW sugarwash with an Abv of 10%. I had planed to collect 100ml of foreshots The collect the rest of the run in 250ml jars and keep it as a reference until my skills improve. Basic chemistry tells us that the hotter we boil some thing the faster it evaporates, this will obviously impact the sensitivity/smearing of cuts so my plan had been to run it on a medium heat for the full run.

Does this sound a sensible approach
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Re: Stripping and foreshots

Postby Odin » Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:08 am

It doesn't boil hotter. Temp is a given, with a certain alcohol/water mixture. If you add more power, you do increase gas formation.

Not sure if taking foreshots on a stripping run is needed ... other than to clean out your still before actual collection.

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Re: Stripping and foreshots

Postby OtisT » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:18 am

Hey chadbuki, you are correct, that is exactly what the guide says in that paragraph. My bad. It’s been too long since I’ve read the thing, and I thought it went into more details beyond just a basic volume as a safe answer to get you started.

Just be aware that it is a beginners guide, and things in there are simplified. Guidelines, not rules. Many of the responses on this thread were trying to give you a more nuanced answer that gets you closer to the truth as you learn new concepts along your journey. Start with pulling the set volume now, and you can change that (or not) as you learn more.

If I may offer a suggested change to your plan. Because you want to save those jars as a reference set, I think it would be of more value to you if you saved the jars from a spirit run (second run) rather than from your stripping run (first run). On the first run you can collect everything in one big container and pulling foreshots is optional. I think you should pull the foreshots on the first run anyway, just for practice. Everything you collect from the stripping run would go back into the boiler for a spirit run. On the spirit run, pull foreshots (even if you did them in the previous run) and collect the entire run in small jars for your sample set of jars.

I wish you good fortune in the cuts to come.

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Re: Stripping and foreshots

Postby NZChris » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:20 am

OtisT wrote:On the spirit run, pull foreshots (even if you did them in the previous run) and collect the entire run in small jars for your sample set of jars.

I don't know where this idea of pulling foreshots on a spirit run comes from. I've seen it posted a few times. The first jar never makes the heart cut anyway, so I don't see the point unless you want it for solvent for cleaning or some such.
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Re: Stripping and foreshots

Postby Saltbush Bill » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:52 pm

Does it really matter when its done? I think not :roll:
In the end its personal choice.
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Re: Stripping and foreshots

Postby OtisT » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:51 pm

NZChris wrote:
OtisT wrote:On the spirit run, pull foreshots (even if you did them in the previous run) and collect the entire run in small jars for your sample set of jars.

I don't know where this idea of pulling foreshots on a spirit run comes from. I've seen it posted a few times. The first jar never makes the heart cut anyway, so I don't see the point unless you want it for solvent for cleaning or some such.


I guess it’s a preference. On the other end a person does not need to pull them at all and let them smear in with heads that get cut. I like to smell my heads when making cuts and I don’t like doing it when foreshots are mixed in. That’s just my preference. I typically don’t take foreshots on the stripping runs unless I’m makin neutrals.

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Re: Stripping and foreshots

Postby NZChris » Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:41 pm

I do my cuts from the middle out, so sometimes don't even need to smell or taste some of the earliest jars to know they are going into the feints collection.
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Re: Stripping and foreshots

Postby Yummyrum » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:18 am

NZChris wrote:I do my cuts from the middle out, so sometimes don't even need to smell or taste some of the earliest jars to know they are going into the feints collection.


Get what you are saying NZChris ... but do you recycle everything as Feints on a spirit run including Foreshots . ?

Or are you saying you only take a foreshot cut on the stripping run ?

My thinking would say that a stripping run is simply that and its usually done hard and fast so not a good place for a fores cut to be made as it would be smeared to the hilt .

Surely a slow run spirit run is the place to make a fores cut .

But then.... if you can seperate it out next run ... does it need to be removed at all ?

I kinda makes you question why do we even make a Fores cut .

And I’ll be brave and admit that sometimes all of my jars including the the fores have ended back in the feints mix .. I have faith in my still and cuts to keep the “dreaded “ Fores out .
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Re: Stripping and foreshots

Postby NZChris » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:26 pm

For flavored products I always delay the start to allow time for esterification, so I'm happy to wait until after the foreshot before turning the heat up.

Removing a foreshot lowers the ratio of these early undesirables to ethanol going into boiler for the spirit run. My heads go in with the tails and a piece of oak to deal with when I get around to it. I don't know if it gets me an extra jar of hearts because I've not done that experiment.

BTW, I'm not talking about fruit, I treat them differently.
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