Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

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

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by blind drunk » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:40 am

This is a great thread for pot stilling.

Lots of points of view and keen insights.

http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... =1&t=18823
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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by harley1 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:08 am

hi guys. rookie novice here but trying to have some fun with this........i distilled a couple jars yesterday and it is only 30% AV. if i redistill it with that increase the AV?. also if i need to restill how much water to i add to it? also with the pot i use i am having a little trouble keeping the temp much below 200. it gets to a certain point and it seems to spike to 200. sorry if this has been discussed prior. thanks for any help guys

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Prairiepiss » Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:58 am

harley1 wrote:hi guys. rookie novice here but trying to have some fun with this........i distilled a couple jars yesterday and it is only 30% AV. if i redistill it with that increase the AV?. also if i need to restill how much water to i add to it? also with the pot i use i am having a little trouble keeping the temp much below 200. it gets to a certain point and it seems to spike to 200. sorry if this has been discussed prior. thanks for any help guys
Yes if you redistill it you will get a higher ABV product. As long as it is under 40% no need in diluting before running. Unless you want to clean it up even more? But the lower ABV in the lower ABV out.

You can't control the temp. The ABV of the still charge controls the temp.
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... 46&t=16635
Sounds as if your still charge had a low ABV. Do you know what ABV your ferment ended up being? Was it done fermenting when you ran it?
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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by harley1 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:06 am

Prairiepiss wrote:
harley1 wrote:hi guys. rookie novice here but trying to have some fun with this........i distilled a couple jars yesterday and it is only 30% AV. if i redistill it with that increase the AV?. also if i need to restill how much water to i add to it? also with the pot i use i am having a little trouble keeping the temp much below 200. it gets to a certain point and it seems to spike to 200. sorry if this has been discussed prior. thanks for any help guys
Yes if you redistill it you will get a higher ABV product. As long as it is under 40% no need in diluting before running. Unless you want to clean it up even more? But the lower ABV in the lower ABV out.

You can't control the temp. The ABV of the still charge controls the temp.
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... 46&t=16635
Sounds as if your still charge had a low ABV. Do you know what ABV your ferment ended up being? Was it done fermenting when you ran it?
i did not measure it. it fermented for 5 days so i was assuming it was good enough. i will measure it from now on. what reading should i shoot for prairiepiss?

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by harley1 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:55 am

i have done a search on this but unable to find. can someone please explain the process on a second run for a pot still? do i just add the first run product alone or do i add water to it? if so how much and does it need to be distilled water. thanks for your help

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by rad14701 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:30 pm

harley1 wrote:i have done a search on this but unable to find. can someone please explain the process on a second run for a pot still? do i just add the first run product alone or do i add water to it? if so how much and does it need to be distilled water. thanks for your help
This concept has been covered in great detail more than a few times... Whenever you rerun previously distilled spirits, whether low wines from a stripping run or sequential spirit runs, the boiler charge needs to be diluted to under 40% ABV with the water of your choice... Once you know how your pot still performs you should be able to dilute to a specific %ABV prior to the final run so that the resulting spirits will end up at your desired drinking proof without the need to dilute... Just remember that every time you dilute and redistill you will be stripping some flavor out of the final spirits... That is why most here do several stripping runs and then a spirit run on the combined low wines, or they do a single slower spirit run, in an effort to retain as much flavor as possible... If you want flavorless spirits from a pot still, or quasi neutral spirits, then diluting and redistilling several times is the way to go, using the extra water to strip/filter out the flavor...

Hope this helps... As I stated, this has been covered many many times...

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by harley1 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:39 pm

thanks guys for your help. awesome forum!

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Wrong way » Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:54 pm

.Just want to say thanks to all that post info on this and all topics on this board .I've read and read and will read more . Have alot to learn but I do love this hobby. So on be half of all us newbies thanks once again. WrongWay tring to brew the Right way :D
WRONGWAY

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by AndyC » Fri May 11, 2012 2:58 pm

Ok my question on "cuts" is this

Where are the cuts that make you. surly, cranky.combative,morose,doomy,gloomy,mauldlin,surly again for a bit, then more doom,gloom, fight with the dog the wife the cops etc etc etc..........

Those are the cuts I want to work on!!!

I'd like to eliminate all of those and keep only the "Euphoria Cuts"


Flavors only a second consideration!


:)

heh

Cheers Y'all!

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by blind drunk » Fri May 11, 2012 3:17 pm

That's funny dude :D
I do all my own stunts

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by AndyC » Sat May 12, 2012 2:15 pm

Blind


Sure its funny bro, until the next day!!


We gotta eliminate those go to the county jail, emergency room cuts


Less flavor more less jail time!



Cheers and Yaargh Y'all


:)

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Coolbreeze » Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:29 pm

RumBrewer wrote:
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!
Smell and measure more and TASTE less.....lol :lol:

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by billy5077 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:34 am

Just thought I would post what I did on my first whisky run. My purpose was to make a scotch style whiskey to be aged on toasted/charred white oak sticks

equipment - mile-hi mighty mini column detuned to pot still mode on a sanke keg with a blichmann burner 72k btu.

wash - 70 liters of 6% abv made from marris otter and peated malt 4 to 1 ratio fermented with 3rd gen kolsch ale yeast I had from brewing. Ferment took 5 days.....distilled after 2 weeks to degas.

stripping run yielded about 5.5l of low wine at about 75%abv....very stinky...not just from foreshots but very wet paper/dog like......slighly tinted yellow. diluted to 40% for spirit run

spirit run yielded following; 200ml (90% abv ) foreshots discarded. Distillate collected in 500 ml jars. I ran this pretty slow...fast drip.
1 84%
2 84
3 84
4 84
5 83
6 80
7 75
8 60
9 half jar collected under 40 %

I let the jars air out for 2 days and have been diluting sample to 40% for tasting and cutting. Im new to this and just building a library of tastes and smells in my head. The wet dog/paper smell starts to fade in at jar 5. Jar 6 is the same and 7 just stinks. As far as heads the first three jars dont smell that bad...well at least as bad as my brandy runs were, which I could easily smell the sharp heads. Jar 3 and 4 seem too have the least of any aroma and smell the most like ethanol. I have a 40% diluted glass of everclear as a rough comparison. I'm having difficulty deciding where I might make my cuts keeping in mind I will be aging in glass with toasted/charred oak and a coffee filter on top.

For those with experience please review my methods and numbers/yields....any comments/advice/suggestions would be much appreciated.

BIlly

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Durace11 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:42 am

Dilute 1-6 down to 20% and taste them again. 7-9 into the fients jug. 3-6 sound like your winners from here. Aging might help 1-2 so maybe do a little aging in seperate containers with your wood and see what it's like in a few months IMO.
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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by blind drunk » Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:04 am

I'd say 2-5 with some from jar #6 and maybe a splash or two from jar #1, especially if yer aging. On second thought, maybe a little more from #6. I like the earlier stuff and get a little scared towards the tails.

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by billy5077 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:51 am

Thanks for the quick responses. I think maybe some of the peat smoke coming through the distillate is making it difficult for me. I've made a porter with a 1/4 peated malt and although the beer was awsome, i could detect a bit of that chemical flavor it imparts. Perhaps that is throwing me off.

I also thought that my abv's were way higher than what I've seen from others. No idea why.

Anyway I'm still just looking down at my tasting set up. I hope aging will smooth this stuff out b/c right now I couldnt drink any of it at 40%.

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by blind drunk » Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:01 am

I also thought that my abv's were way higher than what I've seen from others. No idea why.
This is one reason why -
I ran this pretty slow...fast drip
Also, if you dilute to 27%, it will help you get a lower abv.
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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by billy5077 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:10 am

I'm assuming you mean lower my low wines to about 27%.....a 27% low wine would yield lower abv and more volume in my spirit run.....would this make the distinctions between fractions more easily to notice for a novice such as myself?

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by blind drunk » Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:22 am

yes and yes. you can also adjust your collection speed. slower = higher abv and vice versa. what you've done so far doesn't sound that bad. i've never used peat in a mash so i'm not familiar with its MO. you can run it again if you like or blend and age. i agree that the heads in an all grain aren't as hot/bad as they are in a sugar head. it really confused me the first couple of times.
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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by tom sawyer » Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:30 pm

Great thread! I'm sitting here reading as I do my spirit run on my little pot still. I ran a little over 4gal of my homemade grape wine through in two stripping runs earlier today. I took 4.5quarts, not having an alcometer I was just going kinda by what the alcohol content of the wine was and figuring on getting a good portion of it. I added 0.5qt of water just in case I was over 40%although I doubt it was. I also treated the low wines with some baking soda, I'm wanting something a little more neutral than a brandy. Now I'm collecting into 1cup jars, will collect 16 cups of the 20 cup total volume since I don't want to run the pot dry. Covering with coffee filters and will evaluate tomorrow. I'm hoping for 6 good cups, based on the hope that I had about 5quarts of low wines and looking at lilies graphs I might expect 1/3 to 1/2 of that to be drinkable. I'll let the spirits tell me what I get of course.

One question, the wine was a red wine (12%ABV) and my low wines came out clear. How does brandy get it's color?

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Dnderhead » Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:09 pm

"How does brandy get it's color?"
barrel..some they cheat and add caramel..or do both.but the "real stuff" the color is from a barrel.

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by tom sawyer » Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:30 am

Makes sense, barrels have magic. I have three 11gal wine barrels, one 11gal beer barrel, one 5L port barrel, one 5L vinegar barrel, and one 3gal barrel that is currently empty and may get pressed into use for spirits.

I only took twelve 1-cup samples of my 20cup spirit run last night. The last one seemed to be mostly water. The temp was up towards 210F although I know you can't trust thermometers It had what looked like fusels on it. Should I have taken another cut or two? It was getting late, tht was a long day of distilling. Enjoyed the heck out of it!

In general, when you do a spirit run you get your cuts, but is there a typical volume you tend to collect? Like, do you get your alcohol out in about half the volume on a run of 40% low wines? Or closer to 2/3?

I can see theres going to be no substitute for an alcometer.

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Dnderhead » Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:58 am

usually when running brandy I single,(one run) that is, i take off fore shots,,then heads
save harts. harts is about 1/2? then i put the heads and tales into a "low wine receiver"
this is a corny keg with a spigot on bottom.when the low wines cool the the "fusel oils" float
then i draw off the low wines from below .then low wines is added to the next run.
my method is a bit different than most can /will do.as i tend to acquire rather large amounts of product "in season" to ferment.then run one after another until all is gone.

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by tom sawyer » Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:39 am

Thanks I can see where that'd be the way to go to keep the character.

I just found the pot still calculator on the parent site and thats giving me a better idea of what I've got in each cut as far as ABV. It more or less confirms what I was tasting. Plus I think my spirit run was probably closer to 34% than 40%.

I did just order a couple of alcoholometers from brewhaus so I won't be flying blind too much longer.

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by billy5077 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:17 am

billy5077 wrote:Just thought I would post what I did on my first whisky run. My purpose was to make a scotch style whiskey to be aged on toasted/charred white oak sticks

equipment - mile-hi mighty mini column detuned to pot still mode on a sanke keg with a blichmann burner 72k btu.

wash - 70 liters of 6% abv made from marris otter and peated malt 4 to 1 ratio fermented with 3rd gen kolsch ale yeast I had from brewing. Ferment took 5 days.....distilled after 2 weeks to degas.

stripping run yielded about 5.5l of low wine at about 75%abv....very stinky...not just from foreshots but very wet paper/dog like......slighly tinted yellow. diluted to 40% for spirit run

spirit run yielded following; 200ml (90% abv ) foreshots discarded. Distillate collected in 500 ml jars. I ran this pretty slow...fast drip.
1 84%
2 84
3 84
4 84
5 83
6 80
7 75
8 60
9 half jar collected under 40 %

I let the jars air out for 2 days and have been diluting sample to 40% for tasting and cutting. Im new to this and just building a library of tastes and smells in my head. The wet dog/paper smell starts to fade in at jar 5. Jar 6 is the same and 7 just stinks. As far as heads the first three jars dont smell that bad...well at least as bad as my brandy runs were, which I could easily smell the sharp heads. Jar 3 and 4 seem too have the least of any aroma and smell the most like ethanol. I have a 40% diluted glass of everclear as a rough comparison. I'm having difficulty deciding where I might make my cuts keeping in mind I will be aging in glass with toasted/charred oak and a coffee filter on top.

For those with experience please review my methods and numbers/yields....any comments/advice/suggestions would be much appreciated.

BIlly

Update.....I ended up letting the jars sit open for about 4 days which caused a bit of evaporation, maybe a bout 50 mls per jar. The aroma improved alot. Since I plan on aging with oak I made a wide cut choosing jars 2-6. I diluted to 65% which yielded me just under 4 liters the added 5 charred oak sticks. So far so good. Cheers all !

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Pogomac » Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:08 am

This is great information. I'm changing my entire methods from all the learning!
I'm running an Easy Still (air still)

One thing I'm still not 100% clear on: Foreshots and Heads

This is my new method based on reading:
1. Do a stripping run of the entire wash - keep everything and get the 25Liters down
2. Re distill to the higher percentages - remove foreshots up to 200ml
3. Collect Heads and save
4. Collect Hearts for use
5. Collect Tails, mix with Heads and save for another run

Sound right?

Now, Questions:
When I decide to run the Tails/Heads - do I remove the Foreshots again?
Are there Foreshots and Heads on every run - no matter how many times you distill something?

How many times is overkill for distilling? I noticed that each time I ran a batch, the amount of higher percentage alc came out. I figured if I ran something 4 times and collected and removed Foreshots and Heads each time, the stuff on the 4th run would be clean and clear for use... is this correct?

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by mash rookie » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:18 am

Kiwis guide on cuts and blending is the best I have ever read. The blending information is very informative.
Let me help clear up a couple of things about fore shots and heads. Heads can be recycled back in to your next distillation run however they will become very concentrated and do need to be thrown out after a couple of recycles. They can be saved with tails that were not used in your final blends and ran as an “All feints run” Yes, make cuts again. There is some good alcohol hiding there. Here are a few other points.

(1) There is no risk of Methanol poisoning. There is little or no Methanol in distilled wash. It occurs rarely and the antidote is ethanol.

(2) Heads can not be eliminated only reduced. The most common lower boiling point fraction is ethyl acetate. It is the most difficult fraction to remove from pure ethanol because it is an azeoptrope compound when mixed. Generally what is being thrown out as fore shots is a high concentration ethyl acetate. It is also what can give you a whopping headache.

(3) Ethyl acetate will always be there in some percentage. (smearing) Making a heads cut on every run is advantageous for reducing the percentage. Theoretically if you re ran it enough times making a heads cut each time eventually you would lower the percentage to zero.

(4) Flavor congeners found in tails do not give you a headache. You want to use some of them blending whiskey, rum or flavored distillate. You probably don’t want to use them in a neutral. Read Kiwis blending advice.

MR
:D :D

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Pogomac » Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:04 am

Nice one! Thakn's for the quick and informative reply. This really is a sort of chemistry when you get past the beginner stage isn't it? I can tell that I'm gonna have a lot of fun learning over the years, what a fantastic hobby. I wish I'd been turned on to it in my 20's. Then again, maybe it's a good thing I wasn't ;)

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by Pogomac » Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:34 am

I just returned from a weekend camping on Isla Scotland. Wow! I'll share more about it later, but I've come back with a question on cuts. Laphroaig, Caol Isle and other distilleries said that they don't discard any foreshots. All foreshots go into the next run of low wines. The only thing they send out to sea is the last 1% wash at the bottom of the still when it gets cleaned.

Is this do to the giant copper stills? Can I run my foreshots again and again into the stripping runs or faints runs with a pot still?

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Re: Novice Guide for Cuts (pot still)

Post by KSAguy » Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:46 am

:crazy:

Is this strange? It is my 1st STRIPn run and trying to make small cuts.

I use a 5L pressure cooker, length of copper over to a large waste basket with the coil and water sitting in it with a 5L frozen jug of ice for cooling.

Prior to this, from my 20L ferments I took 4L and stilled it - single run. Not very efficient. Lately the highest % I was getting this way was 50!!!

New results:

Stripped all 20L and collected down to ~25%, ended up with 4L.

(I did not check what this % was before running it)

SPIRIT RUN:

4 L rum

# min % mL

1. 6 55, #2. 6 55 250mL (same taste so I combined)

3. 5 67 180
4. 5 73 100
5. 5 75 180
6. 5 70 , #7. 5 70 440mL (again combined)

8. 5 63 170
9. 5 58 140
10. 4 55 110
11. 4 49 100
12. 4 43 100
13. 7 31 200 (at < 40% I collected until 31%)

:?: :?: :?: Why from #1 @ 55%, #3 @ 67% did I go UP to hit 75% in #5!!!

:wtf:

ps - I have no temp readings available.
KSAguy

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