Add water to the ferment before putting in the boiler?

Production methods from starch to sugars.

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Rex
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Add water to the ferment before putting in the boiler?

Post by Rex » Wed Sep 21, 2005 9:43 am

I am a newbie: I made some apple mash with some sugar. I used 20# crushed apples, 5# sugar and 25L of water. Used some enzymes and distillers yeast. It fermented out to a SG of 1.00 in a week. I cleared it nicely and it looked just like store bought apple juice.

Now …. Do you just put this in the boiler straight or do you mix some water with it first? Seems that if it is just straight that it is VERY difficult to control the temperature and hold it steady … even from the beginning. Running in pot mode it also seems very slow.

Recommendations?

If you used say all grain like corn would you do it the same way?

Grayson_Stewart
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Post by Grayson_Stewart » Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:04 pm

What do you mean its difficult to control the temperature and keep it steady? It's going to seek out its ouwn boiling temperature based on the alcohol % in there and will run its course as it is supposed to.

And also you say this is an apple mash...then later in the post you say running in pot still mode also seems slow? Did you run this apple mash thropugh a column? If so why? That would remove more of the apple flavor and might as well just use a straight sugar wash.
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Yttrium
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Post by Yttrium » Thu Sep 22, 2005 5:04 am

Usually the only reason to add water to a mash before distilling is to make sure any internal heating elements will be completely covered by fluid during the whole distillation process. That being said, if you find that you get a better product by adding water, hey go for it, I'm not one to argue with success.
The future is not set. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves. --John Conner

Rex
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Post by Rex » Thu Sep 22, 2005 9:09 am

Grayson_Stewart wrote:What do you mean its difficult to control the temperature and keep it steady? It's going to seek out its ouwn boiling temperature based on the alcohol % in there and will run its course as it is supposed to.

And also you say this is an apple mash...then later in the post you say running in pot still mode also seems slow? Did you run this apple mash thropugh a column? If so why? That would remove more of the apple flavor and might as well just use a straight sugar wash.
Humm ... temperature fluctuatess means that it goes up and down and it is very hard to regulate it with the burner. I am constantly chasing it to hold it steady.

You can run a reflux column unit is "pot still" mode you know. So you say that if you run it straight through the column then it is refluxed and stripped of all the flavor?? You sure about that?

Grayson_Stewart
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Post by Grayson_Stewart » Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:01 am

Rex wrote:Humm ... temperature fluctuatess means that it goes up and down and it is very hard to regulate it with the burner. I am constantly chasing it to hold it steady.
You must have some reflux going on if you have some fluctuation in temperature. If you were running a column in true potstill mode there would be no variation in the vapor's temperature. The vapor temperature would gradually increase over the course of the run as the alcohol is boiled off.
Rex wrote:You can run a reflux column unit is "pot still" mode you know. So you say that if you run it straight through the column then it is refluxed and stripped of all the flavor?? You sure about that?
First of all, yes....I'm a vaguely familiar with columns run in pot still mode. :lol:

And no, I do not say that running straight through a column automatically makes it refluxed, and strips all the flavor away. I do whoever say that if you return any of the condensed vapor back into the column as reflux and if you have the copper scrubbers in the column (even without returned reflux) that you will be stripping some flavor away. And I'm sure you have plenty of scrubbers in your column if you are seeing a fluctuation in the head temperature. Whats happening is you are getting pure product at the top of the column that drops the temperature....due to reflux. The rise in temperature is when you increase the heat which blows the enriched vapor out and you are seeing the "true" pot still mode temperature then.

You want to run in potstill mode with a column? Remove all the scrubbers from the column and close off the reflux return line. You can use one, maybe two scrubbers at the most near the bottom of the column but any more and you are going to be creating reflux.
Light travels faster than sound. That is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

The Chemist
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Post by The Chemist » Thu Sep 22, 2005 12:31 pm

How "newbie" are you, Rex? Is your statement "I am constantly chasing it to hold it steady" from experience, or something you expect to happen (i.e. present tense expressing habitual action, or present tense expressing what would be, if English had such a thing, conditional subjunctive)?

[Forgive me--language is a hobby]

If you boil something, it will boil at a certain, characteristic, temperature (with pressure held constant) until the composition changes. Boiling water is 100 deg. C. How much energy you put into it doesn't matter--it's still 100 deg.C. More energy will, however, cause quicker evaporation, which means quicker distillation. Any column above the distillation vessel will cause some amount of reflux. More column, more reflux. Even in a pot still. If you're just doing a quick "stripping" run, in a reflux still, you just turn the heat up, and collect until you decide not to--the temp. should rise steadily. On the other hand, when you are distilling to collect final product, you want to go slow. Don't make large changes in heat input. Be patient. Make the right cuts (discussed all over on this forum). You'll like the result.
Purposeful motion, for one so insane...

level Joe
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Post by level Joe » Fri Sep 23, 2005 11:11 am

Are you running your still with a column? If thats a yes, how long and did you insulate it? If its not insulated the temp will move up and down (thats bad it your after a neutral spirit). You used apples so you want apple flavor? If you want as much flavor as you can get loose the column.
If you use an internal element, you MUST keep it covered with fluid when distilling (first run of the wash, middle or last). If you have to add water to keep it covered through the entire run, do it. If its not an internal element but external heat, only add enough water so that it will NOT boil dry.
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demonio

Post by demonio » Fri Sep 23, 2005 11:39 am

If the temp of a boiling mixture of liquids is jumping up and down, you have a broken thermometer, or you aren't steadily boiling it.

Liquids have a fixed boiling point at a given pressure; as you boil a mixture, the temp increases until everything that can vaporize, does.

From where are you taking your temp measurements? Can you try another thermometer?

Uncle Remus
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Post by Uncle Remus » Fri Sep 23, 2005 7:16 pm

... do it the old fashion way and put fire under you boiler!
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all day and drink beer.

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