Pot still, single run.

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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Sat Oct 31, 2020 5:29 am

4 bags of corn, we'll say $40, plus no more than $10 in liquid enzymes will fill a barrel with all grain Booner's corn whiskey. Can make any combination of raw grains the same way. $2 a bottle all grain. Can't get sugar that cheap.
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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by Dancing4dan » Sun Nov 15, 2020 5:18 pm

I’m sure I will get sucker punched for this but here goes. :shock:

If distilling repeatedly removes flavors.... how does that taste better?

I’m not really a Vodka fan for the reason that it lacks flavor.

Does everyone strip flavors from the original grains then infuse or oak to something they like to drink?

I do single run, make cuts to flavor and smell, oak that to taste, and enjoy.

Seems odd to strip flavor then reflavor then drink....

:think: This won’t hurt for long.
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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by Dancing4dan » Sun Nov 15, 2020 5:21 pm

Just in case I need em...

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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by n_plains_drifter » Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:28 pm

Howdy D4D,

I'm not much ahead of you in terms of experience, my first distillation was in late spring this year. I'm running a simple pot, but I've now done a couple of 4X distillations in addition to multiple 2X so perhaps my perspective may help.

I didn't catch a description of your still in this thread, but guessing that you aren't running a column. I'm also not certain what you're distilling, whether it's a sugar wash or all grain, or something in between.

First, multiple distillations on a pot still don't strip 'all of the flavor'. They do refine the output however. The general concept we're talking about here is 'smearing'. Your wash is a mixture of a bunch of chemicals, one of which is ethanol. The distillation process evaporates those chemicals from the water, and your condenser cools that distillate for collection. A simple explanation is that the nasties get pushed to the fores and the tails, but some portion are present throughout.

Your first run collection includes ethanol, flavor and some portion of other chemical compounds you'd like to avoid. Even your hearts are going to have some portion of those nasties. But some got discarded with your fores, and some got tossed with the tails.

In a second run, you dilute your low wines with water, and run again. Now the nasties get pushed fore and tails, and your hearts are cleaner. And although you may have lost a bit of the 'flavor', there is still plenty there.

I've pulled hearts from my strip just so I had some white for sipping. Trust me, it's a damn sight rougher than what you'll have after a nice cut on a 2x.

The other night, I tasted a 4x distilled sugar wash vs a 4x ferment on used bourbon grains, vs a commercial vodka. Both of the 4x still had much more taste than the vodka.

Distill how you will, and drink what you like.

Drifter.
Dancing4dan wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 5:18 pm
I’m sure I will get sucker punched for this but here goes. :shock:

If distilling repeatedly removes flavors.... how does that taste better?

I’m not really a Vodka fan for the reason that it lacks flavor.

Does everyone strip flavors from the original grains then infuse or oak to something they like to drink?

I do single run, make cuts to flavor and smell, oak that to taste, and enjoy.

Seems odd to strip flavor then reflavor then drink....

:think: This won’t hurt for long.

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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by Deplorable » Sun Nov 15, 2020 8:26 pm

Dancing4dan wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 5:18 pm
I’m sure I will get sucker punched for this but here goes. :shock:

If distilling repeatedly removes flavors.... how does that taste better?

I’m not really a Vodka fan for the reason that it lacks flavor.

Does everyone strip flavors from the original grains then infuse or oak to something they like to drink?

I do single run, make cuts to flavor and smell, oak that to taste, and enjoy.

Seems odd to strip flavor then reflavor then drink....

:think: This won’t hurt for long.
If you cant taste the improvement from a 1X to a 2X distillation, I really dont know what to say that might not be found offensive. My Low Wines are surely full of flavors, but they arent really suited for drinking, yet. Frankly, if I was to bottle my low wines, they'd likely taste like ass in the end. As others have said, pull the center 300 to 600ml jar from your first run, then run all the rest a 2nd time and compare the two middle jars. What do you have to lose?
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by tiramisu » Sun Nov 15, 2020 8:41 pm

Tough Crowd. I was just thinking about malted barly and flaked barley today. 3 plates and grab the middle. ;)

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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by v-child » Mon Nov 16, 2020 5:21 am

Dancing4dan wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 5:18 pm
I’m sure I will get sucker punched for this but here goes. :shock:

If distilling repeatedly removes flavors.... how does that taste better?

:think: This won’t hurt for long.
You can't get sucker punched if you are sure you will be sucker punched.
Some prefer clear almost tasteless neutral. Some prefer to flavor or infuse their drink (lemoncello for example). Double or triple distilling does not remove all flavor all the time, most use a reflux to get to that point. It's all a matter of preference and I like a clear neutral at about 37% for effect. Research Irish and Scotch whiskeys and you'll find they pot distill two or three times.

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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by Corsaire » Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:51 pm

To each their own. If you like single run spirits who am I to argue?

But a strip and spirit protocol doesn't strip flavors. It separates fractions better, so you can make a better choice of what goes in your final blend.

Me personally, I don't like the smeared mess that is a stripping run. But I do run those as fast as my condenser lets me.

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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by zapata » Mon Nov 16, 2020 2:53 pm

tiramisu wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 8:41 pm
Tough Crowd. I was just thinking about malted barly and flaked barley today. 3 plates and grab the middle. ;)
Plated stills are made for single runs, nowhere near the same as pot still singlins. But I'm sure you know that, or you wouldn't have a plated still :D
If distilling repeatedly removes flavors.... how does that taste better?
If you really don't know the answer experientially, and you don't trust the word of everybody in this thread, why ask? But who told you that distilling repeatedly removes flavors? The only thing that distilling repeatedly definitely removes is water. That's the whole point of distillation, is to CONCENTRATE alcohol, right? Well it CONCENTRATES lots of flavors too. Sure it lets you choose to tailor the flavor by making cuts and not overly concentrating some flavors, but even with the strictest cuts someone would make for whiskey, many flavor congeners are also concentrated because the total volume is reduced. If you really think distilling removes flavor and removing flavor is bad... well, uh, why are you distilling anything at all? You know your wash has all the flavors, right? Save your time and trouble and just drink that.
I’m not really a Vodka fan for the reason that it lacks flavor.
You're in good company there, have you not noticed there are far more threads on whiskey here than vodka?
Does everyone strip flavors from the original grains then infuse or oak to something they like to drink?
No, most of us make whiskey the way 99.9% of everyone who has run off more than a few batches agrees makes the best most flavorful whiskey.
Seems odd to strip flavor then reflavor then drink....
Yeah, it would be totally odd if anybody was stripping out a flavor and adding it back in. Which is why that literally never happens and nobody anywhere does that. Who have you ever heard of double distilling whiskey and then just adding all the cuts back together? Right, nobody. You like low wines, thats fine, no need to invent straw man arguments.

You know, if you really really like the taste of low wines, distill it again but don't make any cuts except a super late tails cut, say about 30%. All those nasty things you like about low wines will be twice as concentrated. :sick:

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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by Dancing4dan » Mon Nov 16, 2020 5:47 pm

Thank you to everyone who commented. Not nearly as painful as I was anticipating.

Several of you made comments similar in content to Corsaire's below. Thank you for good clear explanations. Everyone's answers have helped me push through a misunderstanding on my part regarding how much flavour is lost on second distills.

Looking forward to doing stripping runs and spirit runs. Three batches in process all grain and no sugar. A batch on grain as of yesterday. A batch that has been racked off grain and is still fermenting, and a third batch that is finished fermenting and clearing ready to go.
Corsaire wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:51 pm
But a strip and spirit protocol doesn't strip flavors. It separates fractions better, so you can make a better choice of what goes in your final blend.
"What harms us is to persist in self deceit and ignorance"
Marcus Aurelius

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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by SaltyStaves » Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:45 pm

When you run low wines, you have the opportunity to create esters that simply aren't possible with a single run of wash.
Its a complex topic with lots of science I am yet to understand, but certain compounds will never even be created (let alone make it into your collection jars) if you don't do a second run.

Other unwanted compounds will be over-represented after a single run (like ethyl carbamate). After a second run, they are reduced by as much as 90 percent. There is debate about the harmfulness of that particular chemical (known carcinogen), but many spirit producing countries have hard limits on how much they allow and multiple distillations is how they overcome it. The point being, there are some thing in your low wines that can go on to be interesting and other thing that will (thankfully) get left behind.

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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by Dancing4dan » Tue Nov 17, 2020 4:31 pm

About low wines...

When I run the pot still the heads are coming off at 120 proof. By time I eliminate what I don't think tastes good from heads and tails the result is 100 to 110 proof.

Is that to be considered "low wines"?

And YES I read till my eyes bled!
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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by Deplorable » Tue Nov 17, 2020 5:30 pm

On a stripping run for low wines run it down to 10 to 20% ABV. Your ABV for the total collection should be around 35 to 40% or 70 to 80 proof.
Don't worry about taste until you do your spirit run.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by Dancing4dan » Tue Nov 17, 2020 5:50 pm

Deplorable wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 5:30 pm
run it down to 10 to 20% ABV. Your ABV for the total collection should be around 35 to 40% or 70 to 80 proof.
Thank you.

The problem I am having is getting my head around the idea that I run the still, after fore's (?) until the ABV of everything collected is an ABV of 35-40%? That is would be very deep into tails as my initial heads come off at 120 proof. :?

Is that what you recommend? Then do a spirit run? I appreciate the input because I am about ready to do three runs and want to try stripping runs and a spirit run on each.

I can see why guys would think the flavour would be off on a "single run" if that is what I was doing... but it hasn't been. I quit distilling after 30 to 40 % ABV. When I do that, after my cuts, my blend is about 50 to 52 ABV or 100 + proof. Not the 35 to 40 ABV you are recommending.

Here to learn so please chip in a response.

here is a shot of the modified still.
IMG_3304.jpg
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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by Deplorable » Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:44 pm

You're leaving valuable alcohol in the still stopping at 30 to 40% on a single run.
Fill your still with wash, run it hot and fast, collecting down to 10% ABV. MAKE NO CUTS. These low wines should be around 35 to 40 ABV. Now you have all the alcohol, and most of the flavors.
Repeat this a 2nd time, and maybe a 3rd until you have a full still charge of Low Wines.
Then run all your low wines together slow, and making cuts for fores heads hearts and tails. Measure ABV of the individual jars and take notes of smells, textures etc.
Let the jars air out overnight.
Next day, make diluted samplings of each jar and chose your keep cut.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by SaltyStaves » Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:47 pm

Dancing4dan wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 5:50 pm
Is that what you recommend? Then do a spirit run?
Yes.

I collect with my hydrometer inside my 10L collection jar, because I don't care what the ABV at the spout says. I stop when my target abv is reached. Sometime there is nothing but flavoured water coming off the spout.

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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by Deplorable » Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:01 pm

SaltyStaves wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:47 pm
Dancing4dan wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 5:50 pm
Is that what you recommend? Then do a spirit run?
Yes.

I collect with my hydrometer inside my 10L collection jar, because I don't care what the ABV at the spout says. I stop when my target abv is reached. Sometime there is nothing but flavoured water coming off the spout.
See, this is why I keep reading here. Little epiphanies like this.
I need to start collecting my strips in a pot rather than a growler dumping into a carboy. Then I dont need the parrot. Just lay the hydrometer in the pot and turn on the still. :clap:
10L jar? Where does one find a 10l jar?
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by SaltyStaves » Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:03 pm

I just bought a shorter one so I can float it a bit sooner. :ebiggrin:

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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by Deplorable » Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:13 pm

Ive looked for a stubby, but no luck yet.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by Dancing4dan » Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:19 am

Deplorable wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:44 pm
You're leaving valuable alcohol in the still stopping at 30 to 40% on a single run.
Fill your still with wash, run it hot and fast, collecting down to 10% ABV. MAKE NO CUTS. These low wines should be around 35 to 40 ABV. Now you have all the alcohol, and most of the flavors.
Repeat this a 2nd time, and maybe a 3rd until you have a full still charge of Low Wines.
Then run all your low wines together slow, and making cuts for fores heads hearts and tails. Measure ABV of the individual jars and take notes of smells, textures etc.
Let the jars air out overnight.
Next day, make diluted samplings of each jar and chose your keep cut.
Thanks for the help guys. Looking forward to giving this a try.
"What harms us is to persist in self deceit and ignorance"
Marcus Aurelius

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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by zapata » Wed Nov 18, 2020 3:47 pm

Deplorable wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:01 pm
10L jar? Where does one find a 10l jar?
Edit: Yeah, IDK, the forum isn't letting me link to an amazon product, looks like this:
Image
Called "Anchor Hocking 2.5-Gallon Glass Barrel Jar"
Walmart has/had some that look like that and were a good bit cheaper too.
Or you can use a carboy, a keg or even a stockpot. Not as easy to get a precise hydrometer reading in the keg and stockpot, but easy to get close enough. If you use a carboy and only half fill it then it might take you a few minutes figuring out how to fish your hydrometer out. And friendly reminder, never just drop a hydrometer into a container, 9/10 it bottoms out and smashes.

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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by Deplorable » Wed Nov 18, 2020 6:25 pm

Thats a cool jar. I dont know that I'd trust the wire handle while full, but certainly a handy vessel.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by SaltyStaves » Wed Nov 18, 2020 6:28 pm

Deplorable wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 6:25 pm
Thats a cool jar. I dont know that I'd trust the wire handle while full, but certainly a handy vessel.
That is the exact one I have. I don't trust that handle either.

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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by NZChris » Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:23 pm

My stripping receiver is a parallel sided 11l vase that I picked up in a charity shop and graduated myself. I was looking out for something for several months before I found it. It is easy to read a hydrometer through at any level and is more than enough for any sized strip I will ever do. I have bought a short alcometer to float in it.

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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by Deplorable » Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:29 pm

I would be greatful for a link to these stubby hydrometers you wizards have purchased.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by NZChris » Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:08 pm

I've got two sizes of short alcometers from the Ukraine and a 0-50% from China, all on Ebay. I'm not saying they are fantastically accurate, but for stripping they don't really need to be.

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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by Dancing4dan » Thu Nov 19, 2020 6:02 pm

COSTCO was selling something like those but they had a spigot at the bottom.
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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by SaltyStaves » Thu Nov 19, 2020 6:59 pm

Dancing4dan wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 6:02 pm
COSTCO was selling something like those but they had a spigot at the bottom.
Avoid those. They're made for holding orange juice, not hot alcohol.

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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by Twisted Brick » Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:18 pm

Dancing4dan wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 6:02 pm
COSTCO was selling something like those but they had a spigot at the bottom.
With a rubber seal that isn’t compromised by iced tea with lemon.
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Re: Pot still, single run.

Post by jonnys_spirit » Fri Nov 20, 2020 4:16 pm

I like the large mouth vessels for larger pieces of staves (not cut down to fingers) and have several one gallon size.

Wonder if you could get a cork to fit the 10l jar?

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