Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

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Kastro
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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Kastro » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:15 pm

ive been reading and reading about the shots, heads and hearts, and i just cant get my head around it, ive looked for other literature and tutorials regarding it and have even had second thoughts about saying it because i know the answer is going to be read and research, but ive been doing that for months now, i built my potstill months ago and it is sitting there waiting to be ran..

Can someone please help me out?

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by kiwistiller » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:21 pm

Kastro wrote:Can someone please help me out?
Probably not unless you can ask a specific question. Best thing for you to do is run your rig, collect in small containers, and then use your senses to evaluate each container (diluted sample) at the same time as reading some of the lit. It'll probably be a lot clearer with a real world example in front of you.

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by blind drunk » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:40 pm

Run it and learn. You'll stumble around a bit and as long as you don't fall and get hurt, you'll be fine. This hobby is about the theory and the practice. That's why it's a perfect hobby. Good luck.
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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Kastro » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:42 pm

ok, thanks guys, the biggest setback was understanding the cuts, but i guess your right, i should just get the finger out and run it.. :D

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Braz » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:50 pm

Most, on reading your question, would refer you to Kiwi's _Novice Guide for Cuts_ but since that is the very thread you have posted to, I assume you have already read it. You have, haven't you? Fine tuning your cuts, by taste, smell and even feel, is an acquired skill. It takes practice and experience. And to some extent a decent innate sense of taste and smell which not all of us have (me, for one).

Here is a really rough guide for a pot still run. It is what I use for starters. Collect your run in small increments. Number the jars. Take your run down to about 20%. Calculate the total amount collected. The first 3% of the run is foreshots, the next 17% is heads, the last 20% is tails. What is left, the middle 60%, is hearts.

Now, working from the hearts portion out, you can start sampling the jars that are in the transition zones to decide if you want to add them to the hearts or not.

Keep in mind, the above is a VERY rough guide. The percentages will be different depending on a lot of variables; your mash, how you run the still, your taste, etc.

That help any?
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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by LWTCS » Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:40 pm

Nice post Braz.

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by BrewVegas » Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:33 pm

I don't know how to save a thread, so I'm just going to comment so I can find it in my posts later for reference...:thumbup:

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Prairiepiss » Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:56 pm

Depending on what view you are using. But either upper or lower left corners there is a bookmark button. Then you can find your bookmarks in the user control panel.
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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by WalkingWolf » Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:05 pm

BrewVegas wrote:I don't know how to save a thread, so I'm just going to comment so I can find it in my posts later for reference...:thumbup:
:lol: :lol: Won't be too long and this method won't work anymore either. Keep piddling and it'll all start to fall into place.

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Prairiepiss » Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:16 pm

WalkingWolf wrote:
BrewVegas wrote:I don't know how to save a thread, so I'm just going to comment so I can find it in my posts later for reference...:thumbup:
:lol: :lol: Won't be too long and this method won't work anymore either. Keep piddling and it'll all start to fall into place.
Very true WalkingWolf. I remember thinking that when I first came here. Now I can't find a dern thang. :lol:
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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Saltbush Bill » Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:05 pm

Kastro wrote: ive looked for other literature and tutorials regarding it
Not much point looking further than the information at the beginning of this thread......its by far the best Ive seen anywhere.
I to was confused about cuts until reading Kiwis Guide and then running my still.........it all begins to fall into place after that. With practice it gets better and easier the more you do it.

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by BrewVegas » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:22 pm

Prairiepiss wrote:Depending on what view you are using. But either upper or lower left corners there is a bookmark button. Then you can find your bookmarks in the user control panel.
Thanks!!!

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Prairiepiss » Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:15 am

BrewVegas wrote:
Prairiepiss wrote:Depending on what view you are using. But either upper or lower left corners there is a bookmark button. Then you can find your bookmarks in the user control panel.
Thanks!!!
Your welcome. Now if I can just get myself in the habit of using it. I mite be able to find some things I want to. :crazy:
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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Large Sarge » Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:29 am

I had a hard time wrapping my head around this at first. You can try and explain it to me till your blue in the face but until I put my hands on it this did not really sink in.

“A way” that helped me out, was to do a 5 gallon Spirit run of 35-40% UJSSM. Using Kiwi’s excellent guide as the way forward, I separated into a metric ass ton of jars. Tasting and smelling everything and leaned heavily on the stick for percentages.

Once comfortable that I made some pretty tight cuts, I took all of the heads and tails from this run and threw them right back in the still with the UJSSM dunder and started running again.

Everything came out more condensed (no pun intended). The heads were super strong smelling and tasting. Once I got to where the hearts would have been the still slowed drastically and picked up again as soon as the tails started kicking in. This gave me some confidence in my process. And as an added bonus, you pick up some really, really tasty hearts on this run too. Now that I knew the smell, I got some good sipping stock.

Now I had a clear understanding of the smells and tastes that I do not want in my drink. I even went so far as to keep 2 jars of heads and 2 jars of tails so that I could go back and verify on future runs until I got more comfortable.

Having the point of reference helped me, maybe it can help someone else. I am by far no expert, but my drink is getting better every run. I feel that I can now make descent cuts and a lot less jars to do it. I am getting more in tune with what is coming out the pipe.
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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by blade5233 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:45 am

great guide and very helpful for the beginner

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Washashore » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:06 am

I think some of the best advice is to not be greedy with the cuts. If there is a particular jar that is questionable, leave it out of the sipping stock. If there is a jar or two that is mostly hearts but a little heads (or tails) mixed in, I'll use it for an infusion, or mixer (made a great tasting apple jack). Hell, even throw some oak chips (not sticks) and let it age and give it as a gift to those who immediately mix it with ginger ale when you give it to them....they're happy for the gift, and your happy they didn't mix your pride and joy with ginger ale :ewink: .
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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by shiner153 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:56 pm

Thanks, you made the consept very easy to understand.

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by RumBrewer » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:59 pm

shiner153 wrote:Thanks, you made the consept very easy to understand.
Hell, the "Concept" I got! I could write a book on the "Concept" of making cuts....
The real life art of doing it is where I screw it all up!
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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by UKwildcatshiner » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:58 am

Hey guys I've read through this post numerous times and I learn something new each time. But I am still confused on a stripping run. I'm using a pot still and I understand this is a fast run but what temperature do you run it at? Do you collect all that comes out and just re distill it?

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by WalkingWolf » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:20 am

UKwildcatshiner wrote:Hey guys I've read through this post numerous times and I learn something new each time. But I am still confused on a stripping run. I'm using a pot still and I understand this is a fast run but what temperature do you run it at? Do you collect all that comes out and just re distill it?
Don't worry about the temp. Collect it all, dilute to 40% and redistill.

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Prairiepiss » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:40 am

WalkingWolf wrote:
UKwildcatshiner wrote:Hey guys I've read through this post numerous times and I learn something new each time. But I am still confused on a stripping run. I'm using a pot still and I understand this is a fast run but what temperature do you run it at? Do you collect all that comes out and just re distill it?
Don't worry about the temp. Collect it all, dilute to 40% and redistill.

Except make a foreshots cut. Or make sure you make a big enough foreshots cut on the spirit run to cover the original amount of wash used in all the stripping runs combined for that spirit run.
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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by UKwildcatshiner » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:37 am

Dilute it with water?

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by King Of Hearts » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:51 am

UKwildcatshiner wrote:Dilute it with water?
Yes, distilled water.

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by UKwildcatshiner » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:55 am

Thanks!

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Prairiepiss » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:25 am

King Of Hearts wrote:
UKwildcatshiner wrote:Dilute it with water?
Yes, distilled water.
Distilled or good RO filtered water if you are diluting for drinking.
If diluting for a spirit run any water will work.
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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Uncle Artie » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:23 pm

I love this thread. I am just getting into distilling seriously and while I feel like I have a pretty good nose for spirits I had no clue where to even start with cuts.

Great post, Kiwi.
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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by crtbc » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:33 am

So made my first run last night using sweet feed.... I calculated the wash abv to 6.8% and the wash is only 4.5 gallons the the other .5ish galllons being used up in the 5 gallon bucket by the volume of sweetfeed and sugar

Calculations
3 gallons actual wash liquid amount = 384oz
384oz x .07(7%) = 26oz <-----Is this the total ethanol present in this wash
I collected in 8oz jars (assuming way to big) and collected 15 jars, the first was allocated forshots (roughly 200mL)(which I only should have collected 90mL's) (and it came out greenish and REALLY BAD SMELLING CLEAR YOUR SINUSES STUFF)

I havent tried the jars yet since it's way to early but they have been airing over night...somewhere around jar 5 is spectacular, and as I kept going it just got what seemed heavily watered down but was mostly great!! I literally could have "wheezed the juice" it was so good

So from my calculations, since I don't have an alcometer I should have only collected 28 oz which makes that 3.5 jars(each 8 oz) total??? that doesn't sound right

Some help please

after recalculating and doing some math... I will be throwing these back in with another wash charge...collecting 180mL forshot (6 gallons) and redistilling collecting in 4 oz intervals

*sigh* oh well, it's a learning curve

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Prairiepiss » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:55 am

From my calculations.
3 gal @ 6.8% ABV has .204 gal (26.112 oz) of 100% alcohol in that 3 gal.
Your not going to collect at 100% ABV or 100% of the alcohol. I'm guessing you are using a pot still? You didn't say.
So if you collected at an average of 50% ABV that would be .408 gal (52.224 oz). Give or take.
If collected and average 40% ABV that would be 65.28 oz. 60% ABV would be 43.5.2 oz.Give or take.


Another thing is if you add it to your next wash to run again. Without knowing the ABV of what you add in? You will have a hard time figuring out what ABV the still charge will be. And how much to expect to collect. This is where the alcohol meter would be real handy.

I only figuring this stuff out to make sure I have enough jars to collect all my product. What I get out of the still well is what I get out. It's not going to be specific. And each still and how you run it will be different.
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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by retlaw » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:47 am

maybe this has been posted already but i will ask it anyway,

how many times can you keep putting back the heads and tails into the pot for another run before you are wasting your time and energy?
thats putting it back in the pot with a fresh wash/mash stripping run,

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Uncle Artie » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:38 am

Well you are always going to have usable ethanol in your heads and tails, I'd say that means you should add them back indefinitely. I know that a lot commercial distilleries do this. Some even add foreshots, although I doubt I'd mess with that.
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