whiskey turned cloudy, why?

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

Moderator: Site Moderator

Post Reply
nickbbb
Bootlegger
Posts: 141
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:35 pm

whiskey turned cloudy, why?

Post by nickbbb » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:37 pm

So I poured me a glass of whiskey that I just cut from 78 to 40% well a little was left in the glass and know it's extremely cloudy in the glass I drank from. What would cause this?? Have never had a problem with my sweet feed whiskey until this. Thanks in advance.

User avatar
scuba stiller
Swill Maker
Posts: 222
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:10 pm

Re: whiskey turned cloudy, why?

Post by scuba stiller » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:06 pm

Perhaps gas and minerals in the water.

nickbbb
Bootlegger
Posts: 141
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:35 pm

Re: whiskey turned cloudy, why?

Post by nickbbb » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:55 pm

Well it was clear while drinking it. Then the next morning it was cloudy like oil after frying fish.

Braz
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1900
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:38 pm
Location: Indiana, USA, Inc.

Re: whiskey turned cloudy, why?

Post by Braz » Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:35 pm

My wife has noted that my brandy and my UJSSM based rye will occasionally cloud up if if she lets a bit sit in the bottom of the glass overnight. It doesn't always happen, but sometimes. We've not been able to come up with a reason. I think it may depend on the humidity level in the house but I have no good data to verify that theory.
Braz

nickbbb
Bootlegger
Posts: 141
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:35 pm

Re: whiskey turned cloudy, why?

Post by nickbbb » Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:52 pm

Well that's exactly what happened. I'm glad it wasn't just me!

User avatar
still_stirrin
Master Distiller
Posts: 8222
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:01 am
Location: where the buffalo roam, and the deer & antelope play

Re: whiskey turned cloudy, why?

Post by still_stirrin » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:08 am

Well you've heard of "the angel's share" and the "devil's cut". That must've been the "devil's backwash"! :moresarcasm:
ss
Attention new distillers: Cranky's spoon feed info
My LM/VM & Potstill: My build thread
My Cadco hotplate modification thread: Hotplate Build
My stock pot gin still: stock pot potstill
My 5-grain Bourbon recipe: Special K

heartcut
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 2781
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:31 am
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: whiskey turned cloudy, why?

Post by heartcut » Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:04 am

Could be higher alcohols from tails. They can form a solution in high abv spirits but go into suspension when the abv is lowered.
heartcut

We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don't know.

W. H. Auden

User avatar
MichiganCornhusker
Master Distiller
Posts: 4441
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:24 am

Re: whiskey turned cloudy, why?

Post by MichiganCornhusker » Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:15 am

heartcut wrote:Could be higher alcohols from tails. They can form a solution in high abv spirits but go into suspension when the abv is lowered.
+1
I just had a jar of rum that was crystal clear at 120 proof, but when I took it down to 90 proof it went very cloudy. I don't care because it tastes great, but was surprised.
Shouting and shooting, I can't let them catch me...

nickbbb
Bootlegger
Posts: 141
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:35 pm

Re: whiskey turned cloudy, why?

Post by nickbbb » Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:57 am

So how would I go about keeping it from happening again? Or is going to happen no matter what? I usually do 5 stripping runs to make 1 spirit run.

rager
Distiller
Posts: 1584
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:52 pm

Re: whiskey turned cloudy, why?

Post by rager » Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:28 pm

nickbbb wrote:So how would I go about keeping it from happening again? Or is going to happen no matter what? I usually do 5 stripping runs to make 1 spirit run.

i wouldnt worry to much about it. make some more and try again and see what happens. its nothing that is going to kill you. unless you are overly OCD id keep on keeping on

what kind of water did you use to cut it down?


cheers

rr

nickbbb
Bootlegger
Posts: 141
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:35 pm

Re: whiskey turned cloudy, why?

Post by nickbbb » Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:00 am

Filtered tap water from the door of the fridge.

User avatar
dstaines
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 448
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:46 am
Location: The Left Coast

Re: whiskey turned cloudy, why?

Post by dstaines » Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:13 pm

nickbbb wrote:So how would I go about keeping it from happening again? Or is going to happen no matter what? I usually do 5 stripping runs to make 1 spirit run.
This doesn't happen to me every time, but often enough, and usually (but not only) on things that have been single-run. I agree that it has to do with diluting the water. I had a jar of XX brandy at 100 proof that I diluted down to 80. I knew to look out for cloudiness so I was relieved that nothing happened. Grabbed that jar on my way out the door the next day to a buddy's party and - crap - cloudy. My best educated guess is that the higher more oily alcohols that come through at the end of the heart/start of tails stay suspended at higher proof, and tend to become colloidal at lower proof but that it takes a while for them to glob up.

I'm not so experienced that I can give you advice on how to prevent it, but I have been able to FIX it once it's happened. Just put the jar in the freezer for a day to get as much of those oils to come out of suspension, then chill-filter through a wad of cotton ball, rolled up strip of clean cotton tshirt, or a plug of toilet paper in the neck of a stainless funnel (I've used all of those filter media successfully). Coffee filters have too large of holes to grab the suspended... whatever-it-is. It will take a long time for it to drip all the way through, so I just keep the whole setup in the freezer and top off the funnel as it drips through. Once it warms back up it should be back to clear.

It will taste *ALMOST* the same. Ever time this has happened to me I have felt that it tasted very subtly more rich and full flavored before chill filtering
I buy all my liquor at the hardware store.

rager
Distiller
Posts: 1584
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:52 pm

Re: whiskey turned cloudy, why?

Post by rager » Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:00 pm

nickbbb wrote:Filtered tap water from the door of the fridge.
try distilled water :wink:

User avatar
shadylane
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 7235
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:54 pm
Location: Hiding In the Boiler room of the Insane asylum

Re: whiskey turned cloudy, why?

Post by shadylane » Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:07 pm

I say the cloudiness is from minerals in the water.
Bubba said it's from the angels pissing in the jar after drinking their share.

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: whiskey turned cloudy, why?

Post by T-Pee » Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:18 pm

Nasty bastages. Really. :think:

tp

woodshed
Master Distiller
Posts: 2970
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:21 pm
Location: Pagosa Springs,CO

Re: whiskey turned cloudy, why?

Post by woodshed » Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:49 pm

Too far into tails. And do not use a cotton ball (bleached and god knows what else) , t shirt (any idea what all they put in detergent), Toilet paper( see cotton ball).
You put the cloudy in that drink. Best to figure out how to stop doing so than figure out how to fix it after the fact.

nickbbb
Bootlegger
Posts: 141
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:35 pm

Re: whiskey turned cloudy, why?

Post by nickbbb » Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:25 pm

Awesome advice fellas! So I am thinking tighter cuts and better water. This was the first time I had anything go wrong with my whiskey (that I know of) whiskey usually doesn't last long around this place!

User avatar
NZChris
Master Distiller
Posts: 8890
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:42 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: whiskey turned cloudy, why?

Post by NZChris » Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:30 pm

Not all whiskey is clear. Whether, or not, cloudy is a bad thing is debated by those who can be bothered. You could try chill filtering if it bothers you.

User avatar
ShineonCrazyDiamond
Site Mod
Posts: 2914
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:14 pm
Location: Look Up

Re: whiskey turned cloudy, why?

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:28 am

nickbbb wrote:Well it was clear while drinking it. Then the next morning it was cloudy like oil after frying fish.
Braz wrote:My wife has noted that my brandy and my UJSSM based rye will occasionally cloud up if if she lets a bit sit in the bottom of the glass overnight. It doesn't always happen, but sometimes. We've not been able to come up with a reason. I think it may depend on the humidity level in the house but I have no good data to verify that theory.
I, too, have noticed this phenomenon of the last sip of whiskey going milky overnight. Even in jars that have tight cuts and have never been cloudy, even at 40% using distilled water to cut.

I did find a solution, that I highly recommend.

Don't leave anything in the glass when you head to bed.

Try it- you'll thank me.
"Come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!
You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.
Shine on you crazy diamond."

nickbbb
Bootlegger
Posts: 141
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:35 pm

Re: whiskey turned cloudy, why?

Post by nickbbb » Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:15 pm

Now that's my kind of theory!

User avatar
Twinrivers
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 103
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2014 3:59 pm
Location: Way up north where twin rivers meet...

Re: whiskey turned cloudy, why?

Post by Twinrivers » Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:03 am

I keep a 5 gallon carboy that I dump heads and tails in. After about a year it finally filled up. Made 15 gallons of mash and topped off my pot with the whole 5 gallons of feints. It was a different kind of run. After cutting foreshots and heads (a lot of heads) I got into the hearts at 130 proof. Usually it's 140. The run was consistent and I kept collecting tasting ect. I noticed tails coming through early. Checked the proof and it was just under 120. I told myself that I can't be getting tails at 120 because it's not possible. I was wrong. I somehow convinced myself to collect down to 110 regardless of the smell. I pitched the first and last quart into the feints container as usual and went through my normal separation of hearts for aging and bottling of white dog at 90 proof. The next day I grabbed a quart of white dog out of the cabinet and it was cloudy. I cut it with distiller water. This is my procedure for every run and I have never had cloudy product. All I can think is that I tainted my white dog with supertails from all those feints going in the pot. Wierd huh??

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

Re: whiskey turned cloudy, why?

Post by rad14701 » Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:43 am

Twinrivers wrote:I keep a 5 gallon carboy that I dump heads and tails in. After about a year it finally filled up. Made 15 gallons of mash and topped off my pot with the whole 5 gallons of feints. It was a different kind of run. After cutting foreshots and heads (a lot of heads) I got into the hearts at 130 proof. Usually it's 140. The run was consistent and I kept collecting tasting ect. I noticed tails coming through early. Checked the proof and it was just under 120. I told myself that I can't be getting tails at 120 because it's not possible. I was wrong. I somehow convinced myself to collect down to 110 regardless of the smell. I pitched the first and last quart into the feints container as usual and went through my normal separation of hearts for aging and bottling of white dog at 90 proof. The next day I grabbed a quart of white dog out of the cabinet and it was cloudy. I cut it with distiller water. This is my procedure for every run and I have never had cloudy product. All I can think is that I tainted my white dog with supertails from all those feints going in the pot. Wierd huh??
You never stated what %ABV the boiler charge was... When pot stilling feints you should dilute way down below 40%... When I've been crazy enough to pot still feints I've diluted down to 20% or under... Ideally, you want to run your feints only run through a reflux column...

User avatar
Twinrivers
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 103
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2014 3:59 pm
Location: Way up north where twin rivers meet...

Re: whiskey turned cloudy, why?

Post by Twinrivers » Sun Feb 15, 2015 7:34 am

I didn't check it but with 15 gallons of 8% mash and 5 gallons of feints I can't believe it would be all that high. I didn't run it through my tower. Just the good old pot/ thumper set up. There are so many variables here it totally has my head spinning.

User avatar
dstaines
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 448
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:46 am
Location: The Left Coast

Re: whiskey turned cloudy, why?

Post by dstaines » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:25 am

Nickbob

Digging up a dormant thread I know, but I thought you might be interested if you go back and read this. I just has the same phenomenon happen to me with a glass of wild turkey 101. There was about a quarter ounce of whiskey left in the glass from last night, and when I took it to the sink I saw that it was very cloudy. Much cloudier than I have ever seen my homemade whiskey turn when diluting. I had added no extra water to this glass at any point. So....so much for my theory. Its a mystery.
I buy all my liquor at the hardware store.

Post Reply