Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Other discussions for folks new to the wonderful craft of home distilling.

Moderator: Site Moderator

Locked
pochine
Novice
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:38 pm

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by pochine » Tue Jul 22, 2014 1:30 pm

Thanks for the great post Kiwi. Get info to have.

In the inital post it mentions to take foreshots from the spirit run only.

I take about 200ml of foreshots from my 28lt stripping runs then take the same again on the spirit run.

Is this necessary? Or am I wasting?

User avatar
Bushman
Admin
Posts: 15989
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:29 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Bushman » Tue Jul 22, 2014 1:34 pm

No problem, I always take fores off every run.

rad14701
Master Distiller
Posts: 20866
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:46 pm
Location: New York, USA

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by rad14701 » Tue Jul 22, 2014 1:34 pm

pochine wrote:Thanks for the great post Kiwi. Get info to have.

In the inital post it mentions to take foreshots from the spirit run only.

I take about 200ml of foreshots from my 28lt stripping runs then take the same again on the spirit run.

Is this necessary? Or am I wasting?
You should make all cuts on the spirit run whether you make any during stripping runs or not... I make foreshots cuts on stripping runs as well as spirit runs... Others may not make any cuts during stripping runs...

User avatar
Jimbo
Master Distiller
Posts: 8399
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:19 pm
Location: Down the road a piece.

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Jimbo » Tue Jul 22, 2014 1:40 pm

Always good practice to ditch fores from stripping runs. Makes for that much less shit smearing up your spirit run. There's one Irish-ish 5 grain thing I do where I do 3 runs, and cut fores from the first 2. That 3rd run gets pretty clean, but still loaded with nice grain flavors.
In theory there's no difference between theory and practice. But in practice there is.
My Bourbon and Single Malt recipes. Apple Stuff and Electric Conversion

pochine
Novice
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:38 pm

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by pochine » Tue Jul 22, 2014 2:17 pm

Cheers folks, I will stay with my technique.

rbw65
Novice
Posts: 45
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2014 1:04 pm
Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by rbw65 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:42 pm

Personally my Pot still put out average 155 proof or 75 abv. I don't find it necessary to re-distill unless something taste bad or I want to achieve 90+ABV. But everyone to his own. A lot depends on whats in the Mash. I do AG or Corn/malt, no sugars. :D
Have fun and Drink Responsibly and don't serve it over 90 proof.
Keep em clean, Keep em lit

User avatar
moosemilk
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 2661
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:47 am

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by moosemilk » Thu Jul 31, 2014 6:38 pm

Just started doing spirit runs. Tossed fors from stripping and spirit run. Doing that made even my first jar from spirit run comparable to the first hearts from regular single distill. Still put the first bit aside as heads for later. And blended in some tails for flavor, mixing small amounts to taste as I went. Even proofed down to 110, smoothest drink I have ever had.

Staystill
Novice
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2014 4:45 am

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Staystill » Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:03 am

Thanks for providing this post on cuts. It has answered a lot of questions in my technique. Somehow I've managed to reason through a way to separate good from not so good. Literally did this for a run of apple brandy .... actually separating every pint and recording proof, temperature etc.

I get it when it comes to believing the nose and the taste. It works. Now I'm trying to refine the technique more "scientifically". Your post was immensely helpful... thanks!

I have always wasted the tails....usually below 40-50 proof and the temp rising to 200-205F. Just before the old dog or cardboard smell. On the other hand I may have been keeping too high a percentage of heads in my hearts. Most definitely always discarding fore shots....probably 5-6 oz per 6 gals. wash. (small still)

Whatever I'm doing now is apparently acceptable to the palate of my friends....they rave about the apple brandy.

Is there a gold standard of taste? I understand what I think tastes like "dog dung"....but how do you really know if it's good other than feedback from your friends?

User avatar
T-Pee
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 4354
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:20 pm
Location: The wilds of rural California

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by T-Pee » Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:01 am

Staystill wrote:....but how do you really know if it's good other than feedback from your friends?
If I like it, it's good. Simple, huh?

tp (doesn't worry too much about friends' palates.)

User avatar
moosemilk
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 2661
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:47 am

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by moosemilk » Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:45 pm

Hey staystill, I often find that what comes through smelling a bit "tailsy", at the beginning of my tails and this goes for the end of my heads as well, will often clear up a great deal after airing for 48 hours. Less waste that way. I also collect deep tails though, often until my abv collected is close to that of my wash. This way I find it keeps a lot more flavor for the spirit run,i do.t have to proof it down (usually ends up being 25-30 abv).

User avatar
HDNB
Site Mod
Posts: 6793
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:04 am
Location: the f-f-fu frozen north

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by HDNB » Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:15 pm

Staystill,

my aim is getting better.

with more practice, more things become obvious. taste the heads, feel where the "burn" sensation is, where sweetness, saltiness, bitterness and umami is on your tongue. (the 4 different tastes you're capable of)...clean your palate, wait a half hour then taste the tails. pay attention to where and when the taste experiences effect you.

then avoid those flavours and sensation with cuts.

added flavours like oak, char, cherries or cinnamon is just preference, and can hide a multitude of sin if you miss the cuts.
I finally quit drinking for good.

now i drink for evil.

GavinSR
Novice
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:00 pm
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by GavinSR » Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:49 pm

very informative, can't say I have noticed anything coming off lower than 65c
I have noticed temperature jumps move suddenly from 78 to 80c quickly and spikes the gauge will climb to 82c then come back down to 81c
I currently run my wash through to 88-89c on the 1st pass, then start cutting on the 2nd pass below 82 is kept aside as it is rich, and beyond is rerun later as it is of lower levels. I welcome any assistance here
Who keeps drinking my scotch and coke ?

rad14701
Master Distiller
Posts: 20866
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:46 pm
Location: New York, USA

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by rad14701 » Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:29 am

GavinSR wrote:very informative, can't say I have noticed anything coming off lower than 65c
I have noticed temperature jumps move suddenly from 78 to 80c quickly and spikes the gauge will climb to 82c then come back down to 81c
I currently run my wash through to 88-89c on the 1st pass, then start cutting on the 2nd pass below 82 is kept aside as it is rich, and beyond is rerun later as it is of lower levels. I welcome any assistance here
Temperatures mean nothing in pot still mode... Every still and every boiler charge will be different so even you can't go by temperatures, let alone someone else using a different still and wash... Temperatures are very rudimentary references, at best, when pot stilling...

GavinSR
Novice
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:00 pm
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by GavinSR » Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:13 pm

thank you RAD for that advice I will take it on board,
I would still like to know how some of the chemicals that have been claimed to be generated ie acetone were created, is not yeast a one trick pony
Who keeps drinking my scotch and coke ?

rad14701
Master Distiller
Posts: 20866
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:46 pm
Location: New York, USA

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by rad14701 » Thu Oct 30, 2014 1:54 pm

GavinSR wrote:thank you RAD for that advice I will take it on board,
I would still like to know how some of the chemicals that have been claimed to be generated ie acetone were created, is not yeast a one trick pony
Have you done any research at all...??? We don't make this stuff up... It has all been documented in many different pieces of research so the information is out there, as well as here in these forums and on the parent site...

User avatar
Jimbo
Master Distiller
Posts: 8399
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:19 pm
Location: Down the road a piece.

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Jimbo » Thu Oct 30, 2014 6:38 pm

yeast is not a one trick pony. Yeast is a one cell pony, capable of many tricks and slights of hand. Temp is an enemy, high ABV is another, poor minerals balance and especially lack of calcium another, iron, salt, lack of proper nutrients and many more pitfalls..... Read up my friend.
In theory there's no difference between theory and practice. But in practice there is.
My Bourbon and Single Malt recipes. Apple Stuff and Electric Conversion

Greg in Tenn
Novice
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:12 pm

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Greg in Tenn » Sat Nov 08, 2014 4:39 pm

Great info, Thank you
Greg

drunk-pat100
Novice
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:33 pm
Location: western PA

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by drunk-pat100 » Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:15 am

Some great info hear a guide to live by thanks :clap:

Fidget
Novice
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2014 10:29 am

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Fidget » Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:16 am

Should freshly pulled jars be aired for 24/48 hours 'still proof' , or should,they be watered to cask / bottle strength first, then aired?

User avatar
Bushman
Admin
Posts: 15989
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:29 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Bushman » Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:33 am

Fidget wrote:Should freshly pulled jars be aired for 24/48 hours 'still proof' , or should,they be watered to cask / bottle strength first, then aired?
Good question, I let mine air 48 hours then make my cuts before setting to cask strength others feel it is easier to make cuts at cask strength. I usually do not water down my fients until I add them into the next run unless I am doing an all fients run. I've gotten to the point most of my cuts happen during the run as I have gotten pretty good with the recipes I use, I do however make a second cut after airing but my initial cuts are pretty close.

Captb
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 88
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 4:26 pm

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Captb » Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:27 pm

Everything before the wet dog or cardboard smell is considered Hearts except for heads obviously? or is there any part of the tails that does not have an odor?

User avatar
T-Pee
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 4354
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:20 pm
Location: The wilds of rural California

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by T-Pee » Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:37 pm

Some of the tails is stronger than others but it all has an odor...some better than others.

Don't toss all your flavors in the feints jug either, remember.

tp

Captb
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 88
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 4:26 pm

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Captb » Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:40 pm

T-Pee wrote:Some of the tails is stronger than others but it all has an odor...some better than others.

Don't toss all your flavors in the feints jug either, remember.

tp
Are you saying there are good flavors in the tails?

Prairiepiss
Master Distiller
Posts: 16571
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:42 am
Location: Somewhere in the Ozarks

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Prairiepiss » Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:52 pm

Captb wrote:
T-Pee wrote:Some of the tails is stronger than others but it all has an odor...some better than others.

Don't toss all your flavors in the feints jug either, remember.

tp
Are you saying there are good flavors in the tails?
Yes and no. Depending on the recipes. Some have some really nice flavors hidden in the tails. Some deep into the tails. Corn and rum are the biggest two. But if you look hard enough wheat has a nice one in the tails to.

But don't over do it. It is very easy to ruin a good run with just a little bit of tails. It may smell good in that tails jar. But when you add it in with some hearts. It doesn't mix well. It will take practice. You will screw more then one up. And this is mote for advanced stillers. When first learning its much better to just keep the good hearts. Until you get your drinking stock up. Then start experimenting with blending heads and tails in for flavors and smells.

And remember you can always dilute and run it again.
It'snotsocoldnow.

Advice For newbies by a newbie.
CM Still Mods
My Stuffs
Fu Man

Mr. Piss
That's Princess Piss to the haters.

12bolts
Novice
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:47 pm
Location: Hiding behind the dog on the tuckerbox on the road to Gundagi

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by 12bolts » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:14 pm

Not including the fores, (i understand the reason there)
rad14701 wrote:You should make all cuts on the spirit run whether you make any during stripping runs or not...
But why the big deal about cuts on a stripping run, if they are just going to get put back in, with a bunch of other runs and mixed and stilled again?

Cheers Phil
I know the voices in my head arent real, but they do have some good ideas.

rad14701
Master Distiller
Posts: 20866
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:46 pm
Location: New York, USA

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by rad14701 » Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:31 pm

12bolts wrote:Not including the fores, (i understand the reason there)
rad14701 wrote:You should make all cuts on the spirit run whether you make any during stripping runs or not...
But why the big deal about cuts on a stripping run, if they are just going to get put back in, with a bunch of other runs and mixed and stilled again?

Cheers Phil
Perhaps you're confused... :think: If you make any cuts during the stripping run you would send them directly to the feints jar, tossing foreshots, not mix them back in for the spirit run... The spirit run should always get all cuts made during the run... I've been known to make all cuts during semi-fast stripping runs and then make all cuts during the spirit run... Then dilute the feints to 35% - 40% and run those as a spirit run, making all cuts... It's all about ending up with clean spirits, especially when shooting for neutral spirits... When making flavored spirits you can choose to leave however much of the various cuts blended in that you want...

User avatar
Jimbo
Master Distiller
Posts: 8399
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:19 pm
Location: Down the road a piece.

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Jimbo » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:49 am

I make a fores cut off every run. Strip or Spirit. And it goes in the workshop solvent jug. Aside from that my strip goes deep, and then all cuts from the spirit run go in the feints jar to do somethign with later. For me and my tastebuds, and whiskey on a potstill, thats about 35% of the run (cuts, not kept to barrel). Your taste, still, and spirit will dictate your cuts. Vodka on a potstill was unfun. 5 runs, and fores cut off every run. My keep was pretty small at the end of the day. Never figured it out, was just happy to be done. I have a jug of feints from that 5th run that is larger than the keep, and thats not counting any of the fores cuts off every run. I was envying the guys with reflux stills during that process, and am keeping this jug (gallons) of feints for the day I make one.
In theory there's no difference between theory and practice. But in practice there is.
My Bourbon and Single Malt recipes. Apple Stuff and Electric Conversion

NattyBoh
Bootlegger
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 5:26 pm

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by NattyBoh » Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:26 am

I've been running my pot still for a few months now. On this spirit run I charged with 4g of 35% Sweetfeed. Ran it slow with the following collections. I realize the amounts aren't consistent but made some assumptions for early heads and middle hearts (hence the larger collections). These results are similar to my last 3 runs. When it comes to making cuts, I admit that I do not have a very discerning palate and the subtleties of taste and smell are challenging. Any suggestions based off of the following (I know temps are meaningless but I still include them in case they can provide any additional info)? if any rough cut suggestions can be made, it'd be appreciated. The goal is to put all of the hearts on oak! Thanks.

Collected 200 ml of fores, then...

JAR ML % START TEMP
1 500 81 178
2 500 80 178
3 250 80 179
4 250 80 179
5 250 79 179
6 250 79 179
7 250 79 179
8 250 78 180
9 800 78 180
10 800 75 182
11 400 70 187
12 250 68 190
13 250 65 191
14 250 63 192
15 250 60 194
16 250 54 197
17 500 50-40 200-202 end

User avatar
T-Pee
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 4354
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:20 pm
Location: The wilds of rural California

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by T-Pee » Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:02 pm

Stick with 250ml collections throughout the run so you negate "assumptions". Otherwise, looks pretty good! :thumbup:

tp

hevyboy69
Novice
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:50 pm

Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by hevyboy69 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 5:07 pm

Great info, thanks.

Locked