California Shiner's recipe Question...

Production methods from starch to sugars.

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Striker
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California Shiner's recipe Question...

Post by Striker » Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:20 pm

Well,

I found this wonderful site not more than 3 weeks ago now, and read alot to get an idea on how distilling works. I put around $30 into a new still for my home use, and built it out of an 8-quart stainless-steel pot with a floor drain flange, 1 length of about 1-foot 3/4 in. copper piping, attached the fittings to get the right angle, and attached a length of 2-foot 1/4 inch copper piping for a condenser. The condenser almost touches the ground on a flat surface.

I sealed it up using one cork gasket, and one normal cloth-type gasket form my auto shop. I torqued the bolts holding the flange down tight, and found that the pot-stills small column didn't sit upright! It was at a funny angle, but wasn't off too much to really make a difference.

I had my buddy make the wash, and used my other buddies house to let it ferment in.

To make a 6-quart wash that would fill the pot-still to almost 3/4's of the way we used:

1 box of Meijer Brand Corn-Flakes.
1 small box of dried cherries (half to ferment, the other to distill. for even more flavor.)
2 Pounds of Pioneer Sugar.
1 packet of Meijer Brand 'fast-acting' bakers yeast
and
around 1.35 Gallons of water.

We followed the directions almost to the T. With the exception of the completely crushed up corn flakes (they were only semi-crushed.)

Now, what I think was my first mistake was the fact that I was really excited to use my pot-still, and didn't bother to run a dry water run with it to check for leaks... It leaked where the bolts held down the floor-flange.

Another first-time attempt while being anxious mistake was that I only let the thing ferment for around 2-3 days. The temperature also was not very consistent. Well it appeared to me that it was done fermenting so I took it out, strained it into the still, drove to my secret location, and tried to run it. It had started coming out, and it seemed like it'd be good, when my buddy gets a call and has to leave. Than my other buddy leaves with him, which forces me to leave (not-knowing exactly where I was, I felt I had no choice.) So we collected around 10ml of ethanol, and never finished getting the full 50. I took the still off the fire, and set it back into its hiding place with the contents inside....

My first question is this: Do you have to extract and throw away the first 50ml of any wash? Mine was 4ltrs about , or is it a fraction?

....Well we couldn't get back there till 2-days later. I thought that since it was winter the contents would be fine, that the cold would act like a refrigerator....

My second question is this: How long can you store unused distillate? If at all? and at what temp is safe?

....We fired up the fire pit, and put the still on. It turned out the condenser was not long enough, and got too hot causing quite a bit of vapor to escape out of the end, unless we cooled it with chunks of ice found in the creek. It was coming out pretty good. Even though the top of the still leaked, we didn't give 2 s**ts, and a fart. We wanted it done. We collected about 400ml in an hour or so, and I then decided to taste-test it. I eagerly gripped the little cup, and took a sip. I thought I'd be blown away! I thought I'd be stone-cold drunk in like 5 minutes, and my face would feel on fire! It tasted like WATER!!!!!!!! I took another sip, WATER! I took a sip from the coffee can....WATER!!!!!!!!! It tasted like corn-flakes and cherries water!

GAAAAAAAAHHHHHFDFDHSJERERHSURERTH!!!!!
THAT MADE ME MAD!!!!! $11 DOLLARS DOW THE DRAIN!!! GAHHHH!!!!!!

What went wrong?

In My Opinion I think we left it sit for too long out in the cold, and all the alcohol evaporated. When we first took it out of the fermenter it smelled of some alcohol, and I was sure it had some in it.... why? WHY!? What happened?



EDIT:

I was also wondering.... I never could exactly figure out if you just strain, or siphon the liquid into the still, and leave all the gunk left-over from the corn-flakes, or whatever....or do you put everything into your still? I'm so confused!
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"Do you know what that is? I'll tell you what it isn't... it isn't Napoleon Brandy."
Hendley's question answered by Blithe in 'The Great Escape'.

BW Redneck
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Post by BW Redneck » Sat Mar 10, 2007 5:16 pm

2-3 days isn't nearly long enough to do a ferment. Most of us let it go for at least a week, sometimes two.

Get your leaks fixed an size up your condenser. On my very first run, I lost about 3/4 of my total yield. I collected only a pint on my first run. Used a different gasket (flour paste) and made my condenser longer, and I got at least 2 quarts.

50ml is a measure to take off of a 5 gallon wash. 20ml is sufficient for the 2 gallons.

Just strain your mash residue off. Pour it off slowly through an old shirt, as much of the residue behind as possible. Some of us like to siphon because we're used to making beer
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20lt small pot still, working on keg

Striker
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Post by Striker » Sun Mar 11, 2007 9:21 am

ok so should i try to force the juices out of the inflamed corn flakes to to get as much as possible, or should i just get the standing alcohol and throw the rest away?

EDIT:

heres a rough sketch of my still.
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"Do you know what that is? I'll tell you what it isn't... it isn't Napoleon Brandy."
Hendley's question answered by Blithe in 'The Great Escape'.

Fretman124
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Post by Fretman124 » Sun Mar 11, 2007 3:23 pm

If your running that thing over an open flame with nothing to condense the vapor coming out of the 2 foot uncooled condensor, I'd worry more about blowing my balls off than anything else.

Just my opinion, but you may want to do a little more research on still design. Add about 10 feet to the condensor and do something to get some water around it. Or make a leibig condensor.

then read some on fermentation, do a few searches on the forum, read the main site and make a simple rum. Mollasses, water, sugar and yeast.

Just a guess....but you might outta graduate highschool first
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Striker
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Post by Striker » Sun Mar 11, 2007 3:39 pm

Fretman124 wrote: just a guess....but you might outta graduate highschool first
:roll: ......hmmm... good guess. 1 month to go...
You know whats kind of funny and ironic to me.... I finally find a hobby thats do-able for a guy like me, and I get this from people I don't even know....The $*%@!$ already hittin' the fan and blowin' back in my face...
I'm not mad...ok... so don't get me wrong here. I'm just annoyed.

Anywho, I know about the condensing issues. I planned on building either the leibig condenser for the main 2 feet attaching an extra length or 2 of copper, or attaching a coil down through a bucket which would be filled with ice water (roughly 10-15 feet worth of copper?). That should take care of the condensing problems. My biggest concern was with the columns 3/4in. tubing... I couldn't find any piping wider. Do you think I will need it to be bigger? I did do some research today on the small pot-still condensers, and most people stated that it shouldn't really be a problem so long as you don't get any plugging up in the condenser. I don't think vapor build-up from one run can do that...
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"Do you know what that is? I'll tell you what it isn't... it isn't Napoleon Brandy."
Hendley's question answered by Blithe in 'The Great Escape'.

Grayson_Stewart
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Post by Grayson_Stewart » Mon Mar 12, 2007 4:21 am

What kind of school in America graduates kids in February?
Light travels faster than sound. That is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Striker
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Post by Striker » Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:00 am

Grayson_Stewart wrote:What kind of school in America graduates kids in February?
may... first quick guess was wrong by me... more like 2 months...
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"Do you know what that is? I'll tell you what it isn't... it isn't Napoleon Brandy."
Hendley's question answered by Blithe in 'The Great Escape'.

msrorysdad
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Post by msrorysdad » Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:08 am

if'n you're really underage why would you try a hobby with so many ways to get in trouble, and or burned? It's pretty easy to get busted with a still, they're too big to stick in your pants, and at times could leave a nasty burn. I figure if anything, talk to the folks, tell them that responibility, and knowledge is what you're lookin for. IF they would help you, it would stop the nickin stuff from the pantry, and sneekin around, half steppin. If not, STOP!!! I was once young and full of piss and vinagar, now I'm just old and full of shit. Until you're legal, to at least drink, keep readin, study, design, and plan. There are too many ways to enjoy yourself when you're young to be doin an old man's hobby. I'ld hate for you to have to go to college in the pen. There are too many things a young 'un should be doin for to spend that time locked up. Just my opinion. Remember to be old and wise one must first be young and stupid. However, he who listens to the wise needs not suffer from young decisions.

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