Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by jonnys_spirit » Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:48 am

So, 40# of grains yielded just under 1gallon of barrel cut and about the same or a little less feints? Are you doing these one and done on a column or stripping three charges then spirit through a pot?

For feints I'd consider removing early heads / late tails and making a feints cut to be added to next spirit run and experimenting with that over the course of your runs. Just my personal opinion but I'd also make a clean white cut in addition to a barrel cut. I quite enjoy the white too.

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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Deplorable » Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:23 am

40# in 23 gallons of water gave me about 19 gallons of 8%. Two stripping runs to <5% yeild was only ~3.5 gallons of 35%. Dilute with 1 gallon water and ran a spirit run and collected in 300ml jars after 250ml of fores. Collected down to 20% and past dirty tails. Total collection was 6850ml. Volume left in the still measured 10 qts. Aired all but the heart of the run overnight and sampled with dilution. Blended my selection together and jugged it. Kept the heads and tails in separate jars for subsequent runs.

Edit to answer your other question in detail. Two stripping runs and a spirit run on a pot still. 20 inch riser, 12 inches of mesh copper. Gas fired. 300ml every 8.5 minutes give or take.
Same process I've used for SF, but the abv of beer in the boiler. SG is 10% abv.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Deplorable » Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:37 am

The white is delicious, but im on a mission. I have another 69 pounds of grain for this, so plenty to fill the barrel and have some white to sip as well. Fill the barrel first, without getting greedy on cuts.
2nd mash should have a higher yeild. Mop wringer will be here today to improve the squeeze. And the SG on this mash started at 1.072 so if it finishes at 1 or lower and I recover more from the squeeze I'll get a bit more after the spirit run.
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by jonnys_spirit » Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:44 am

Thanks! The grain is what converts to alcohol so my approach over a number of mash/ferment/strip cycles is to sort out (like you're doing) #/gallon in the mash and gauge how much yield after cuts for an approx amount of grains.

What size is your boiler? I get about 2.5-3g barrel cut in probably a 15g charge of 35-40% low wines for a spirit run...

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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Deplorable » Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:56 am

13 gallon milk can, 10 gallons working volume. Running a sight glass at the bottom of the riser to catch the puke before it happens.
Jimbos recipe, I followed to the letter, and got an 8% beer from a 1.061 SG as expected. But thats not 2/1 ratio with 23 gallons of water. A true 2/1 got me 1.072 on my 2nd mash. I won't go any higher than 10%.
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Twisted Brick » Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:58 am

Sounds like you got it goin' on, Deplorable. If you're being conservative on cuts, you might want to save some late heads. In the event you don't have enough 'spank' to your aged spirit, you could always add some of these reserved heads later. If you have some oak sticks you could even age these separately in glass. I don't have the experience of a Barrel Mill barrel (but gonna have real soon) but I have read many times it is advisable to put your spirit away 'dirty' as the barrel is real good at extracting volatiles. As one decides on an aging strategy, the challenge, IMHO, is to make the cuts so that the correct amount of volatiles have been removed right before the age at which the spirit becomes over-oaked.
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by jonnys_spirit » Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:25 am

Sounds like a great plan! I've got a 13g and a 16g milk can. On the 13g spirit run I can fill it right up to almost full because puking isn't really an issue and i'll run it slower for the first couple jars after fores. Probably slightly over 12g charge. More volume on a spirit run seems to help me with cuts and I net about 2-2.5g barrel cut (about 120-130'ish proof) on one of those ~12g spirit runs for reference.

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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Deplorable » Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:59 am

Yeah, I was telling TB, I'm almost limited on storage of LW as well as time since I'm not retired yet, so I ran what I had in the carboy.
This next run should have a much higher yeild.
I'll blend this run with the first and the next and then make it a little hot for the barrel and set aside some for the end as he mentioned above just in case. TB has become a really great sounding board for me. I really appreciate his mentorship.
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Deplorable » Tue Oct 13, 2020 12:00 pm

Now I got go sit on my ass at work for the rest of the day/night. Swing shift sucks.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Deplorable » Tue Oct 13, 2020 3:04 pm

jonnys_spirit wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:25 am
Sounds like a great plan! I've got a 13g and a 16g milk can. On the 13g spirit run I can fill it right up to almost full because puking isn't really an issue and i'll run it slower for the first couple jars after fores. Probably slightly over 12g charge. More volume on a spirit run seems to help me with cuts and I net about 2-2.5g barrel cut (about 120-130'ish proof) on one of those ~12g spirit runs for reference.

Cheers!
-jonny
If I run anything larger than about a 6 gallon spirit run I really have to be careful with the jars. Im currently limited on collection jars after we put up a shit ton of jams this season and used a good number of my jars. Canning goods are wiped out right now every where local.
One of my spirit runs of SF I had to pay attention to the heads/hearts transition and switched to qt jars and filled them to about 700ml for a few jars before going back to 300ml cuts to find early tails. Ended up using around 32 jars.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by BlueSasquatch » Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:10 am

Deplorable wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:23 am
40# in 23 gallons of water gave me about 19 gallons of 8%. Two stripping runs to <5% yeild was only ~3.5 gallons of 35%. Dilute with 1 gallon water and ran a spirit run and collected in 300ml jars after 250ml of fores. Collected down to 20% and past dirty tails. Total collection was 6850ml. Volume left in the still measured 10 qts. Aired all but the heart of the run overnight and sampled with dilution. Blended my selection together and jugged it. Kept the heads and tails in separate jars for subsequent runs.

Edit to answer your other question in detail. Two stripping runs and a spirit run on a pot still. 20 inch riser, 12 inches of mesh copper. Gas fired. 300ml every 8.5 minutes give or take.
Same process I've used for SF, but the abv of beer in the boiler. SG is 10% abv.
Trying to follow what you're doing here as I am also trying my first barrel and we seem to have close-enough targets.
You ran all 19 gallons through your 10 gallon still, and ended up with 3.5 gallons of 35%?
Sunday I ran 20 gallons through a 6 gallon still and ended up with 4 gallons of 50% and then four fifths of 20% Tails. (SG of 1.06-7 to 0.996-7)

I've yet to do a spirit run, you got 1.8 gallons from your 4.5 gallons? What did you dilute it down to? Isn't 35% good enough for a spirit run? Can I ask how much of the spirit run you kept for the barrel?

I'm considering just barreling what I get from this batch, 5 gallon barrel sounds great but talk about alot of wash!


Deplorable wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 3:04 pm
If I run anything larger than about a 6 gallon spirit run I really have to be careful with the jars. Im currently limited on collection jars after we put up a shit ton of jams this season and used a good number of my jars. Canning goods are wiped out right now every where local.
One of my spirit runs of SF I had to pay attention to the heads/hearts transition and switched to qt jars and filled them to about 700ml for a few jars before going back to 300ml cuts to find early tails. Ended up using around 32 jars.
Similar Jar dilemma, but for the stripping cut I just started using growlers, we have about 30 of the dang things.

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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Deplorable » Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:42 am

Yeah on the first run.. not sure what the issue was there. The 2nd run was more in line with what i usually get. 5 gallons of LW from 20 gallons of beer. For the stripping runs I collect in 1/2 gallon growlers and dump them into a 5 gallon carboy. Strip to around 10% or lower off the still making no cuts. My combined LW abv is 35%. That goes back into the still for the spirit run. Pulled fores slow during heat up, then collect in 300ml jars until I get to hearts and collect 600ml. Towards the end of hearts switch back to 300ml collection and collect to around 20%.
Air all but the best of hearts overnight, sample and blend everything in a SS pot and store in 1 gallon glass jugs.

Three 23 gallon mashes, I have to run the 3rd this weekend. I'll likely end up doing a 4th mash to give me product to top off the barrel over the course of a year, and some to ages in glass on some sherry stave to blend in at bottling.

As far as your collection, I cant speak to what you get, every still and every operator is different. For my run this weekend, I honestly don't know what I will get, I'm running this next run on a completely different still.
The first two batches were run on an all SS still with copper mesh in the 2" riser, and a very restricted take off (.370")to the 48" long 3/4" over 1/2" liebig. The new still is all 2" copper, into a 2"×20" shotgun with 4 each 1/2" vapor tubes, so I have a full 2" wide path all the way through the process with no restrictions. Everything about this next run will be different.
I hope to get a more full bodied spirit, with a little less bite, and shorter run times.

Edited for some clarification.
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Durhommer » Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:43 am

Nice work on that yeast cap I love seeing that kinda stuff
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by zapata » Wed Nov 11, 2020 12:42 am

edit ignore me, I responded to the first page thinkin it was current

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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by BlueSasquatch » Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:52 am

Deplorable wrote:
Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:42 am
Yeah on the first run.. not sure what the issue was there. The 2nd run was more in line with what i usually get. 5 gallons of LW from 20 gallons of beer. For the stripping runs I collect in 1/2 gallon growlers and dump them into a 5 gallon carboy. Strip to around 10% or lower off the still making no cuts. My combined LW abv is 35%. That goes back into the still for the spirit run. Pulled fores slow during heat up, then collect in 300ml jars until I get to hearts and collect 600ml. Towards the end of hearts switch back to 300ml collection and collect to around 20%.
Air all but the best of hearts overnight, sample and blend everything in a SS pot and store in 1 gallon glass jugs.

As far as your collection, I cant speak to what you get, every still and every operator is different. For my run this weekend, I honestly don't know what I will get, I'm running this next run on a completely different still.
Feeling foolish, thought my growlers were full gallons but they are half-gallons which means I got half the yield I thought I did from the stripping run.
16 Gallons of Wash (Spilled the 4 gal that would've made it 20) and I pulled 2 gallons at 50% and 4/5ths at 20% (2.8 Gallons Total, added them all together and ended up at about 40% and I believe I added another 1/5 of water, lacking my notes at the moment)

Ran my first spirit run last night, went rather smoothly, I hit an ideal consistency with my flour paste, had none of the leaks that plagued me during the stripping run, and I ran this spirit run at a much lower heat, yet the stream was still very steady, especially when dealing with 1/2 pint jars. But I did spit some vapor out the end before getting the water temp down, I need to notch the back so I can just trickle feed it with the hose, it can overflow and run into the collection jar right now If I'm not careful.

Ended up with 28 jars that are 1/2 pint each, which works out to be 14 pints or 1.75 Gallons. (60% Yield? ) I tossed about 200ml of fores.
Jar # / Proof
1 / 160
10 / 152
19 / 130
23 / 100
27 / 60

Paid closer attention to the jars, trying to visually determine when the tails were kicking in, but kept reading much higher than I thought it would, I was looking for an oily behavior on the glass, I did notice that as I got closer to tails that the stream made less noise/bubbles. Anyways really pleased with the spirit run, makes me wonder why I just stopped at a stripping run all the times before.

Image
Older picture, same set-up. 6-Gallons


Didn't mean to Hijack your thread!

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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Expat » Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:59 am

BlueSasquatch wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:52 am
Paid closer attention to the jars, trying to visually determine when the tails were kicking in, but kept reading much higher than I thought it would, I was looking for an oily behavior on the glass, I did notice that as I got closer to tails that the stream made less noise/bubbles. Anyways really pleased with the spirit run, makes me wonder why I just stopped at a stripping run all the times before.
Ignore the hydro and visuals and use your sense of taste and smell, its the most effective tool you've got.

BTW - I like the blind and Dumbo feather cup!
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by BlueSasquatch » Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:10 am

Expat wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:59 am
BlueSasquatch wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:52 am
Paid closer attention to the jars, trying to visually determine when the tails were kicking in, but kept reading much higher than I thought it would, I was looking for an oily behavior on the glass, I did notice that as I got closer to tails that the stream made less noise/bubbles. Anyways really pleased with the spirit run, makes me wonder why I just stopped at a stripping run all the times before.
Ignore the hydro and visuals and use your sense of taste and smell, its the most effective tool you've got.

BTW - I like the blind and Dumbo feather cup!
Can't bring myself to distill inside or in the garage/shop, atleast not for a while yet. I wanted to brew inside but the electric stove won't get 5 gallons to that 160-70 mark so I mash on the deck and distill in the corner, We have 11 foot hedges on all other sides, figure i'd "Dry" some sheets when I run the still. The cup has my paste but I've since moved it, Didn't think it through but it cooks solid when sitting on the still, not much good for repairs then.

My taste buds are shot, I got a friend who can pick out flavors all the time, I have to be smacked in the face with something to detect it. I've spent the last 2-3 years drinking bourbon on the rocks and just started on scotch neat, I doubt that has much to do with it, Part of why I never did a spirit run, the stripping runs taste fine to me, even the heads aren't to bad. Then my first run before I got a meter, I collected and drank some 10% tails, I could still "taste" the alcohol, but had no idea it was that low. Just need more practice I guess, anyways I did nab a finger-sample about every-other jar.

Gonna Air and then blend this weekend with that friend who's taste buds are superior, looking forward to maybe getting 5 liters to barrel.

I did notice the smell of the tails tho, but not until it dropped past about 50% it seemed.

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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Expat » Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:26 am

BlueSasquatch wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:10 am
My taste buds are shot, I got a friend who can pick out flavors all the time, I have to be smacked in the face with something to detect it. I've spent the last 2-3 years drinking bourbon on the rocks and just started on scotch neat, I doubt that has much to do with it, Part of why I never did a spirit run, the stripping runs taste fine to me, even the heads aren't to bad. Then my first run before I got a meter, I collected and drank some 10% tails, I could still "taste" the alcohol, but had no idea it was that low. Just need more practice I guess, anyways I did nab a finger-sample about every-other jar.
Don't forget dilution when tasting, it can help to bring out the flavor to detectable levels. Side note that might possibly help, I've tried using carbonated water (cheap soda stream) for sample dilution, I find it helps to 'float' the flavor. Might be worth a try.

One other method, not new to the OG here, but you can feel the difference between heads and tails by rubbing a drop of distillate between your thumb and fore finger; a bit more slick. Not perfect, but another tool in the box.
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Deplorable » Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:39 am

Expat wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:26 am
BlueSasquatch wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:10 am
My taste buds are shot, I got a friend who can pick out flavors all the time, I have to be smacked in the face with something to detect it. I've spent the last 2-3 years drinking bourbon on the rocks and just started on scotch neat, I doubt that has much to do with it, Part of why I never did a spirit run, the stripping runs taste fine to me, even the heads aren't to bad. Then my first run before I got a meter, I collected and drank some 10% tails, I could still "taste" the alcohol, but had no idea it was that low. Just need more practice I guess, anyways I did nab a finger-sample about every-other jar.
Don't forget dilution when tasting, it can help to bring out the flavor to detectable levels. Side note that might possibly help, I've tried using carbonated water (cheap soda stream) for sample dilution, I find it helps to 'float' the flavor. Might be worth a try.

One other method, not new to the OG here, but you can feel the difference between heads and tails by rubbing a drop of distillate between your thumb and fore finger; a bit more slick. Not perfect, but another tool in the box.
Feeling, IMO is as important as smelling and tasting when looking for changes in the run. Especially valuable tool when its time to make a run and you've come down with a terrible head cold.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by jonnys_spirit » Thu Nov 12, 2020 1:35 pm

I'll put my hand under the spout and rub em together like it's sanitizer and cup them into my nose to get a big wiff too.. Love it!

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water into whiskey into water
just getting started in home distilling - been drinking for decades
16g copper pot still, 10l alembic, and a column or two
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by zapata » Thu Nov 12, 2020 6:32 pm

BlueSasquatch wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:10 am
[Can't bring myself to distill inside or in the garage/shop,
Good call. Forgive me if I sound snobby but that rig looks sketchy as hell for running inside, especially when you say you've had problems with leaks and condenser failures. Personally I wouldn't run a still outside that wasn't safe to be run inside, especially not on gas, collecting a foot away from the flame, and the tank on a 1 foot hose. Sheets and tall hedges are unlikely to stop a pot rocket if you light it up. I'd spend my drinking time thinking of how to contain and condense 100% the vapor 110% of the time.

Sorry, but the pic and story make me cringe a bit. Like watching a buddy refuse to use a jack stand or chock a tire, odds are he'll probably be fine, but it wouldn't take much to just be safe.

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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by BlueSasquatch » Fri Nov 13, 2020 9:48 am

zapata wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 6:32 pm
BlueSasquatch wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:10 am
[Can't bring myself to distill inside or in the garage/shop,
Good call. Forgive me if I sound snobby but that rig looks sketchy as hell for running inside, especially when you say you've had problems with leaks and condenser failures. Personally I wouldn't run a still outside that wasn't safe to be run inside, especially not on gas, collecting a foot away from the flame, and the tank on a 1 foot hose. Sheets and tall hedges are unlikely to stop a pot rocket if you light it up. I'd spend my drinking time thinking of how to contain and condense 100% the vapor 110% of the time.

Sorry, but the pic and story make me cringe a bit. Like watching a buddy refuse to use a jack stand or chock a tire, odds are he'll probably be fine, but it wouldn't take much to just be safe.
All for advice, sounds like you suggest a longer length of pipe between the still and the condenser? How much longer? My vapor leaks at the Still seem to be if I run things to hot, and then vapor blowing out the end is due to not cooling the vapor well enough, which I'm looking to remedy with a trickle-feed in the coil-pot. For the spirit run I achieved a runnier flour-paste than normal, but it sealed much better, and I kept the heat down lower than normal.

The sheets and hedges are just for prying eyes, I grew up on a farm with no neighbors where you could do what you pleased, don't have that luxury anymore.

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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by zapata » Fri Nov 13, 2020 11:24 pm

To be fair, I may be biased beyond the point of being helpful. I've decided gas is simply unsafe, or at least beyond the range of possible hazards I'm willing to take. But yes, when I ran gas I used lyne arms and liebigs to collect like 4-8 feet from the burner. Does it need to be that far? Your call. Sit there and picture what could go wrong and decide what you are willing to do to address it. I just picture knocking over a collection jar, the puddle of booze makes a small fireball but it's enough to set off the leaky still. I would also put the collection jar in a wide pan to help prevent that. Maybe that's enough for you?

Overpowering the condenser is simple, repeatable behavior, and you ought to be able to just not do that. But a boiler shouldn't leak at any temperature/heat input. That seems to be the thing that most needs investigating and addressing. It's hazardous and not normal even for people that use similar stills.

Forgive me, but boilers that rely on flour paste, open flame burners, and worms in undersized flake stands almost seem barbaric to me when 100% reliable solutions have been common for 100 years. I'm aware that is just an opinion, but you are experiencing unnecessary problems. In a world of teflon, everlasting gaskets, ferrules, triclamps, flanges, a variety of fittings and high quality solder in every hardware store, or even water seals... flour paste can be relegated to a quaint trick to handle an emergency. Worms are great low tech solutions if the tub holds enough water to not need flow or if they are fed by a convenient natural water source. But if you need a hose for an undersized flake stand, why not just use a much more capable condenser design? And in a world of hotplates and immersion elements, why put naked flame within inches of explosive vapors and hope for the best? I understand "well, my still is just made like that, and I'm ok with it". So feel free to make your own assessment and brush me off when I say there are better ways. But vapor leaks are always dangerous and I'd suggest that any answer that includes "seems like" deserves a definitive solution.

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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Chauncey » Sat Nov 14, 2020 12:42 am

Buy 3 more brutes and another milk can to use as a thumper. For each strip do 11gal in the main, 8.5 in the thump. Insulate them. Strip like that 3 times, then do a big ol spirit run and voila, 5g at 125 proof. Ymmv but you get the idea. I do this with my double keg setup in a slightly larger amt and i get a 5g barrel worth each time.


Im also drunk right now and realizing it made more sense before my bar opened back up wednesday and i went back to work. Times a bitch.

And thats my non practical advice lmao
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Deplorable » Sun Nov 15, 2020 3:28 pm

Three 23 gallon ferments, 148 pounds of 50/50 Maris Otter and 2 row pale malt. Final blend was 64% ABV.
4.25 gallons into the barrel.
20201115_152507.jpg
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Durhommer » Sun Nov 15, 2020 3:50 pm

Deplorable wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 3:28 pm
Three 23 gallon ferments, 148 pounds of 50/50 Maris Otter and 2 row pale malt. Final blend was 64% ABV.
4.25 gallons into the barrel.
20201115_152507.jpg
Expensive drinks are made here by us
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Deplorable » Sun Nov 15, 2020 4:32 pm

Meh, not really. Do the math, and don't factor your labor of love, and the upfront cost of the equipment. lol

If all you think of is the cost of ingredients its pretty cheap really. But then there is the cost of the still, propane, all the water, the barrel, the jars, hoses, fermenter, barrel, buckets, funnels, etc.
Last edited by Deplorable on Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

hellbilly007
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by hellbilly007 » Sun Nov 15, 2020 5:00 pm

I applaud your guys' efforts and ventures.

I don't include the investments of the "gifts" that keep on giving, nor the labor of "love". Only raw materials

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Durhommer
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Durhommer » Sun Nov 15, 2020 5:15 pm

I'm cheap so yeah to me it is expensive at times but worth it
You have two ears and one mouth for a reason....

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Twisted Brick
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Re: Building up product for a 5 gallon barrel

Post by Twisted Brick » Sun Nov 15, 2020 5:32 pm

Great job, Deplorable. I remember when you first got your barrel and grains and had a plan. You executed that plan even while upgrading your still midway through the project. :clap: Yours is an excellent example for all others looking to take on their first all-grain mash.

In a year, when you sit down with a couple of fingers of your prized scotch and factor in everything involved, the true value of the learning, stilling experience, satisfaction, and the final, delicious product is: priceless.
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