sweet spirit

Sugar, and all about sugar washes. Where the primary ingredient is sugar, and other things are just used as nutrients.

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DonaldDrunk72
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sweet spirit

Post by DonaldDrunk72 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:04 am

Hi, my latest batch of distillate, from a sugar wash, I did a strip run and then a spirit run, is basically bland and sweet, I mix mine with coke but its really too sweet to drink, I haven't seperated the cuts yet, I tried a taster from the middle of the run, nothing like a vodka, it looks ok, smells ok, but bland and I would say overly sweet, any ideas as to what I could maybe blend/infuse it with. Doesn't seem to be a section on this, but all major distillers do it, Ive tried oak but all this does is impart a woody taste (apart from colour)

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Re: sweet spirit

Post by malt_lover » Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:00 am

Try a sachet of India masala chai tea. The masala chai has good spices to balance sugar effect. They also come in dip bags, so you can infuse in less than an hour.

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still_stirrin
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Re: sweet spirit

Post by still_stirrin » Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:12 am

Also, a “better” sugar wash recipe may give you a better neutral spirit. You didn’t give your recipe here, so I can’t comment on it.

In addition, “processing” it properly will help too. Vodkas are distilled to a very high purity before tempering back to bottle strength. Did you do that?
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DonaldDrunk72
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Re: sweet spirit

Post by DonaldDrunk72 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:27 am

You say a better sugar wash, as in? Its been stripped and then a spirit run, twice, haven't done any cuts as Im thinking of trying another spirit run. And what process would you recommend.

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Re: sweet spirit

Post by DonaldDrunk72 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:28 am

malt_lover wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:00 am
Try a sachet of India masala chai tea. The masala chai has good spices to balance sugar effect. They also come in dip bags, so you can infuse in less than an hour.
Have you done this then?

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Tummydoc
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Re: sweet spirit

Post by Tummydoc » Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:27 am

Your wash recipe would help. Was it just sugar, water, and yeast? If you don't have adequate nutrients (nitrogen source) then you'll stress the yeast into producing ethyl acetate which is sweet tasting. It has a boiling point 1 degree celsius off from ethanol and is very difficult to separate unless you have a long reflux column with multiple theoretical plates.

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Re: sweet spirit

Post by malt_lover » Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:43 am

DonaldDrunk72 wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:28 am
malt_lover wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:00 am
Try a sachet of India masala chai tea. The masala chai has good spices to balance sugar effect. They also come in dip bags, so you can infuse in less than an hour.
Have you done this then?
Yes, with Vodka. Tea gives a nice color too. Tastes and smell nice. Make a small sample. Adding some freshly grated ginger also makes it nice but then everyone has different tastes.
Do small quantity with small infusion and taste and add more if you need it.

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Re: sweet spirit

Post by DonaldDrunk72 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:49 am

malt_lover wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:43 am
DonaldDrunk72 wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:28 am
malt_lover wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:00 am
Try a sachet of India masala chai tea. The masala chai has good spices to balance sugar effect. They also come in dip bags, so you can infuse in less than an hour.
Have you done this then?
Yes, with Vodka. Tea gives a nice color too. Tastes and smell nice. Make a small sample. Adding some freshly grated ginger also makes it nice but then everyone has different tastes.
Do small quantity with small infusion and taste and add more if you need it.
I'll try that thanks

DonaldDrunk72
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Re: sweet spirit

Post by DonaldDrunk72 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:54 am

Tummydoc wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:27 am
Your wash recipe would help. Was it just sugar, water, and yeast? If you don't have adequate nutrients (nitrogen source) then you'll stress the yeast into producing ethyl acetate which is sweet tasting. It has a boiling point 1 degree celsius off from ethanol and is very difficult to separate unless you have a long reflux column with multiple theoretical plates.
Yes, just sugar, yeast, yeast nutrient and water obviously, about 14%, not noticed before, but then Ive not really made that much and I've added brandy or whiskey essence, but not noticed any taste as such, just the sweet taste. Just a small 8ltr pot still so only do small batches.

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DSmith78
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Re: sweet spirit

Post by DSmith78 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:00 am

Pot still or reflux?
There are three types of people in this world - those who can do maths and those who cannot.

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Re: sweet spirit

Post by DonaldDrunk72 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:00 am

8ltr pot still

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DSmith78
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Re: sweet spirit

Post by DSmith78 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 12:32 pm

Then from listening to the collective experience in here over the past couple of years, I'd say you won't be able to make a completely clean vodka without multiple distillations in a pot still.
There are three types of people in this world - those who can do maths and those who cannot.

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DSmith78
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Re: sweet spirit

Post by DSmith78 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 12:33 pm

Don't get me wrong - I use a pot still too. But I've never attempted a vodka because I don't want to disappoint myself! My rum is awesome however..... :D
There are three types of people in this world - those who can do maths and those who cannot.

DonaldDrunk72
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Re: sweet spirit

Post by DonaldDrunk72 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:21 pm

DSmith78 wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 12:33 pm
Don't get me wrong - I use a pot still too. But I've never attempted a vodka because I don't want to disappoint myself! My rum is awesome however..... :D
Surely if you use a sugar wash you end up with a neutral spirit, ok not vodka, but something drinkable.

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Re: sweet spirit

Post by still_stirrin » Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:13 pm

DonaldDrunk72 wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:21 pm
...Surely if you use a sugar wash you end up with a neutral spirit, ...ok not vodka, but something drinkable.
D_Drunk,
Not all “sugar washes” are equal. A simple wash with only sugar will obviously finish dry, provided the wash has enough nutrients for the yeast to fully reduce all the sugars. But, if not, it may have residual sugars that leave the wash, and the spirit, sweet.

I like to use Rad’s All Bran wash for my neutrals because they are clean without a lot of sugar “bite” or residual sweetness. The result through the still is a neutral that does not have a lot of lingering sweetness. However, when I make neutral spirits, especially for maceration or even to leave “white”, I ALWAYS run the spirit run through the reflux column. I would NEVER rely only on a potstill to make a “vodka” or a neutral (to be used in gin, etc.).

So...as I suggested (although you didn’t like my answer) is that first, the recipe matters. Then, how you ferment it, ie-yeast selection, nutrients (sugar alone does not have adequate nutrients for yeast), and temperature control, etc. matters. Finally, how you process it, ie - strip run + reflux spirit run to get the clean spirit from your still. A potstilll just won’t do it, most likely even after multiple runs.

And I would not suggest a carbon filter process because I believe if you pay attention and do the preceeding processes correctly...you should not need a carbon filter. Activated carbon filtering is a “band-aid” solution, not a process-oriented solution.

Bottomline here, I think you’re very inexperienced and as such, you’re trying to produce something out of your capability using the wrong tools for what you’re trying to make. If you were more knowledgeable, then you’d know this without having to ask the questions you have. Experience and knowledge are important tools in this hobby. You’ll get there, but it’s going to take a commitment on your part....no “get rich quick” players here.
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Re: sweet spirit

Post by Beerswimmer » Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:31 pm

still_stirrin wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:13 pm
A potstilll just won’t do it, most likely even after multiple runs.

And I would not suggest a carbon filter process because I believe if you pay attention and do the preceeding processes correctly...you should not need a carbon filter. Activated carbon filtering is a “band-aid” solution, not a process-oriented solution.

Bottomline here, I think you’re very inexperienced and as such, you’re trying to produce something out of your capability using the wrong tools for what you’re trying to make. If you were more knowledgeable, then you’d know this without having to ask the questions you have. Experience and knowledge are important tools in this hobby. You’ll get there, but it’s going to take a commitment on your part....no “get rich quick” players here.
ss
This is the problem. Wrong recipe with wrong ingredients, using the wrong tools and the wrong process. A good vodka isn't made with sugar, and is made with a refluxing column. And you'll have an almost impossible time using an 8L still. Go for gallons. The bigger the amount, the easier and better the cuts will be.
Ut Alii Vivant!!!!

DonaldDrunk72
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Re: sweet spirit

Post by DonaldDrunk72 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:06 am

So, a pot still is useless, vodka isn't made using sugar, yet to make alcohol you need sugar, yeast and water. I used the term vodka in my original post when I should have used the term neutral, so forget about vodka. I don't want to be making gallons, a couple or three bottles now and again suit me fine. Ive had some success in the past, but this time its just a bit bland and sweet, neutral, no smell or taste. Now gin or a neutral spirit can be blended/infused with different fruits, brandy can have candied fruit and cocoa beans added to it, rum can have spices mixed with it, its all made from fermented sugar and yeast, regardless of how the sugar is offered up to the yeast, it all distills into a clear, tastless liquor which has something blended/infused into it, some is aged in oak, some are not. My latest attempt was sweet, what can I add or do to tone it down.

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DSmith78
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Re: sweet spirit

Post by DSmith78 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:38 am

I don't really understand why you seem to be taking offence and refusing to listen - nobody said a pot still was useless. In fact I said that's all I use. Pot stills are general used for brown spirits or when a good amount of flavour is needed to be brought across from the boiler. Not at all what you need for a neutral. You really need to do a ton of research my friend - and that is meant in the nicest possible way. You will get a lot more out of this hobby if you do!
There are three types of people in this world - those who can do maths and those who cannot.

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Re: sweet spirit

Post by jonnys_spirit » Mon Aug 03, 2020 3:48 am

I love making whiskies, grappas, brandies, and such and taking a nice clean white cut! It might be my favorite :) it’s not neutral though and not vodka either...

Best without sugar too!

Cheers,
Jonny
————
i make stuff i break stuff
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: sweet spirit

Post by DonaldDrunk72 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:11 am

jonnys_spirit wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 3:48 am
I love making whiskies, grappas, brandies, and such and taking a nice clean white cut! It might be my favorite :) it’s not neutral though and not vodka either...

Best without sugar too!

Cheers,
Jonny
How do you make alcohol without sugar?

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DSmith78
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Re: sweet spirit

Post by DSmith78 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:13 am

They mean without the addition of sugar - ferment using the sugars in the grain/fruit.
There are three types of people in this world - those who can do maths and those who cannot.

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Re: sweet spirit

Post by DonaldDrunk72 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:18 am

DSmith78 wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:38 am
I don't really understand why you seem to be taking offence and refusing to listen - nobody said a pot still was useless. In fact I said that's all I use. Pot stills are general used for brown spirits or when a good amount of flavour is needed to be brought across from the boiler. Not at all what you need for a neutral. You really need to do a ton of research my friend - and that is meant in the nicest possible way. You will get a lot more out of this hobby if you do!
Someone has already hinted a pot still is useless, not you. How do you get flavour from a basically flavourless wine/wash, to a final spirit if you keep running it through a still?

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Re: sweet spirit

Post by DSmith78 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:21 am

There will always be flavour, no matter how little, from the ingredients and yeast interaction.
There are three types of people in this world - those who can do maths and those who cannot.

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Re: sweet spirit

Post by jonnys_spirit » Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:33 am

All grain, wine/grape-pomace, honey, cider & fruit, agave, molasses, sorghum, all ferment. All copper pot still all the time! Lol.

Cheers,
Jonny
————
i make stuff i break stuff
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: sweet spirit

Post by DonaldDrunk72 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:51 am

I've just distilled some cider made from just apple juice, no added sugar, why doesn't it taste like brandy? (cant taste apple either)

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Re: sweet spirit

Post by Tummydoc » Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:37 am

Apple is difficult. The apple flavor is in the heads which you may have tossed. Problem is in your cuts, which are nearly impossible on an 8 liter still because of smearing. Even with a 50 liter boiler i find apple cuts challenging. Read Cranky's posts on "fruity goodness". And then read Odin's blog on still design. A dedicated apple brandy still would have bubble caps as a tails trap and push heads through. Distill cider again in a few years, with a big enough boiler and better understanding and your product will be much more refined even with a pot still. Patience is the most difficult ingredient in this hobby. And read till your eyes bleed. The answers are all here if you take the time. A small boiler will be great for gin down the road, but initially its just the gateway drug to get you hooked on the craft and enticed to upgrade.


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Re: sweet spirit

Post by The Baker » Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:42 pm

You can make 'vodka' with a pot still.
But the number of times it needs to be distilled makes the job a pain.

Geoff
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