20 years of aging in 6 days

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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby SaltyStaves » Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:36 am

Max_Vino wrote:Hi Fulls and Salty,
I have a few questions for you based on the Davis Patent. Here are some patent quotes and my questions.


My corks deform over time and I have had runs where there has been very little pressure (or none) because of the poor fit, but I don't have a separate control for adjusting it.
This usually results in some Angel's share, but it doesn't have a negative impact on the product.

Haven't done the wood washing.
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby Fills Jars Slowly » Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:37 am

Hi, Max. I followed what I considered the "default" laid out in the Davis documents and sealed the vessel (as well as I could using materials like flour paste, PTFE tape, and binder clips) and let the pressure do what it would as temperature changed. I have not experimented with other methods of varying pressure at this time.

I also did not wash the wood staves with vinegar or anything else, though I also read about that practice from Davis. Seemed like he spoke about washing in vinegar solution as a thing to do more when aging whiskey than rum, but I can't exactly recall the details.
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby Max_Vino » Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:42 am

SaltyStaves wrote: I assume the jar is soda lime glass? There are gains to be had using borosilicate.


When considering which glass to use I would opt for the safest, which is Borosilicate. " Borosilicate glass is an “engineered” glass developed specifically for use in laboratories and applications where thermal, mechanical and chemical conditions are too harsh for standard, household-type soda lime glass. One of the common names of borosilicate is Pyrex" i.e. Borosilicate glass is less lightly to break under the stress of heating.

As for light transmission, Actinic lighting peaks in the 420 nanometer range, so Borosilicate is "slightly" better than Soda lime in that range.

Max
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby SaltyStaves » Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:40 pm

Agreed. Borosilicate gives greater peace of mind.

Heat from the lighting seems to be more a byproduct, rather than a desirable function (according to the patent), but in the case of having active cooling that could fail, I'd much rather have a vessel that could cope.

Mine peaks at 37C in the summer and I don't actively cool it.
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby Max_Vino » Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:35 pm

Hi Salty and Fulls.

Thanks for getting back to me. You two are leading the way and I appreciate your efforts.
The way the patent reads to me is that Davis is trying to accomplish several things, please add anything else you see.

From the patent:
"Spirits derive their distinct characteristics over time while stored in wooden containers in part by the production and presence of esters. Esters are compounds made by chemically bonding acid molecules and alcohol molecules to form new compounds, often with pleasant aromas and tastes. This process is known as "esterification." In addition to esterification, wood-aged spirits derive additional characteristics through other processes, including extraction of flavor compounds and sugar from the wood container “


1) He is attempting to accelerate the chemical reactions in the distillate by exposing it to elevated temperatures. There is the old rule of thumb that for every 10°C rise in temperature the reaction time is doubled. This would speed up the esterification process.
"Heating in accordance with the invention triggers the esterification of free volatile acids and alcohols in the distillate 2, while the headspace 3 provides for reflux within the vessel 1 allowing any weak acids to be rapidly extracted from the wood. These weak acids, in combination with elevated temperatures, appear to help catalyze the esterification of free acids in the distillate per the Fischer process, which would otherwise take many years in traditional containers."

2) He is attempting to pump the distillate in and out of the wood by varying pressure. This technique is covered fairly well in the Cleveland patent. In addition to drawing out flavor and aroma there are other favorable compounds which he defines as weak acids etc. the weak acids would aid in the Fischer process. As for reflux, theoretically maybe but when I think about Raoult's law and the temperatures involved I doubt that would be significant. There is the added benefit of the charcoal absorbing some congeners.

3) By exposing the wood to light he is attempting to accelerate the decomposition process within the wood itself. UV light carries the most energy which would explain his choice of actinic light. Exposing distillate over wood chips to sunlight is a well-known method of extracting oak flavor. There is also the weber patent, which does something similar.
"This indicates that the irradiation conducted in accordance with the process of the present invention provides for an oxidation process which is substantially identical with that of the distilled spirit which has been subjected to an aging for a period of 9 months in an oak vessel."
https://patents.google.com/patent/US3787587A/en


4) Decomposition of the wood with a acid wash. I’m not sure if this is helpful either. So like both of you I probably will not do this.

Looking at each individual aspect of the patent I don’t believe it would hold up to a challenge but when you look at the claim of "Sequential Temperature and Light Processing" he could be right about that. So I’m going to give it a try and I’ll report back to you in a month or so.
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby SaltyStaves » Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:33 pm

Looking forward to your findings Max.

One area I deviate from the patent is allowing air into the distillate (passively) during the light treatment. I found this significantly reduces the time in which the finished spirit settles down and becomes drinkable. I later read that Davis holds back from bottling/shipping for at least 3 months after treatment, which makes a lot of sense given they don't allow for oxidation during treatment.
I imagine those licensees who were using the reactor, were probably not accounting for this rest period.
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby Max_Vino » Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:51 pm

Hi Salty,

I have had the same thoughts about oxygenation. Here is what Davis had to say about it.

"Without diving too far into the complex science, the basics of barrel aging are that with the right catalysts from the wood, acids are turned into esters, and polymers from the wood such as lingins and cellulose are broken down, interacting with oxygen all the while to further transform. As time goes on, the angel’s share also works to concentrate all of the compounds."

I don't recall Davis making an issue out of oxygenation in his patent...He does however have that part in there about reflux… Heating in accordance with the invention triggers the esterification of free volatile acids and alcohols in the distillate 2, while the headspace 3 provides for reflux within the vessel 1 allowing any weak acids to be rapidly extracted from the wood. These weak acids, in combination with elevated temperatures, appear to help catalyze the esterification of free acids in the distillate per the Fischer process, which would otherwise take many years in traditional containers."

I believe he is worried about blowing off the weak acids he is trying to preserve for the Fischer process. So perhaps oxygenating at the beginning but not durning the 2 and 3rd stages.

Max

PS I just ran across this patent.
Accelerating Aging of Ethanol-Based Beverages
https://patents.google.com/patent/US20110070331A1/en
Here is the first claim. So it would seem he’s adding energy and oxygen.
1. A method for accelerating aging of an alcoholic spirit comprising:
introducing into a container an ethanol-based solution;
increasing an oxygen concentration of the ethanol-based solution by introducing an oxygen-containing component into the container; and
increasing an average kinetic energy of the ethanol-based solution and the oxygen in the container for a designated time period.
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby SaltyStaves » Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:13 pm

Max_Vino wrote:I believe he is worried about blowing off the weak acids he is trying to preserve for the Fischer process. So perhaps oxygenating at the beginning but not durning the 2 and 3rd stages.


Interesting. I would assume that the transfer from the heating to the lighting vessels (and back again), is all done within in a closed system (certainly looks like it from what I have seen).

I always ensure my oak has gassed off and sunk to the bottom before I begin the process. Usually takes four days if the oak is new/dry. This may be a good time to introduce oxygen.
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby oakgriff » Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:04 pm

I was inspired by this thread to do some experimenting of my own.

I bought a simple heating pad online, and measured the temperature of the highest heat setting. It measured about 125 degrees F fairly consistently. I put my fresh distillate into a 1 gallon jar with a sealing lid. Filled it up about halfway, and wrapped the heating pad around the bottom half of the jug. Plopped two 4 inch sticks of charred oak in the jug and sealed it. I have been leaving it on the heater for 24 hours, then I turn off the heating blanket and open the top for 1 hour. After that I seal the lid, shake the crap out of it, and allow the distillate to come back to room temperature before opening again to release the vacuum and to start the heating cycle again.

After a week of this cycling the product has taken on a gorgeous dark caramel color, and the profile has been rounded out significantly. I purposely took a generous hearts cut for this, and included more of the heads and tails than I otherwise would, in order to see how this aging would affect those flavors. Where before the hearts and the tails flavors were easily distinguished from the profile, now they have significantly mellowed, and married with the flavor of the main body of the whisky (a bourbon based on Honey Bear). There is also a distinct vanilla and caramel flavor and smell from ther oak, which was toasted at 400F for an hour and given a medium char.

While the product is heating, you can clearly see evaporated liquids dripping down the sides of the vessel, meaning that reflux is occurring, and hopefully smoothing out the heads in the cut. I am hoping that my cyclic shaking after opening the vessel is introducing some amount of oxygen to catalyze (not sure if that is the correct term) some of the tails into esters. In addition, the creation of a positive pressure during herting and a vacuum during cooling rapidly brings out colors and flavors from the oak.

Anyway, the info in this thread did a great job of informing this process, and I think I have found my preferred method of aging. I wanted a straightforward and fairly bulletproof method, without having to purchase expensive equipment.
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby Max_Vino » Tue May 01, 2018 8:00 am

Hi Oakgriff,
What you are describing is what I call “The Caribbean Method” of aging. It seems to be generally accepted in the industry that rum aged in hot climates ages faster. I currently have 3 gallons undergoing a similar test. I use a plant warmer hooked to a 24 hour cycle timer. This give me a nice heating/cooling cycle along with a modest pressure variance. I add oxygen daily. I am experimenting with this and several other aging strategies and hopefully in a month or two will have something to report back.

Cheers,
Max
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby oakgriff » Tue May 01, 2018 1:53 pm

Caribbean method, I like that!

I did not even think about a timer that would be much more convenient. Also would discourage me from taking samples every other day haha. Have you found that this method is more prone to over-oaking? That's something I'm trying to be wary of here, especially in my case with such a small batch
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby goose eye » Tue May 01, 2018 2:20 pm

Don't know bout 6 days but you can put some in a bulk barn with the burners off and in the summer it'll get 150 degrees inside then cool down at nite. Condensation forms inside the jugs. All this with the lids tight cause you'll have only water if not. You figure it goes through a season like this and it ages. When I first got here are argued with some that it won't possible to age in glass an
I don't know what you call but it done it.
You want to experiment put it in your trunk on a summer day . y'all puttin numbers on somethin would be interesting I here

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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby Max_Vino » Tue May 01, 2018 6:28 pm

Hi Oakgriff & Goose eye

Caribbean temperatures average 30 - 35 C. “Caribbean rum matures on average around 2-3 times faster than in cooler climates. As a consequence, a two or three year old rum can easily match the complexity and ‘age’ characteristics of other premium spirits that have been aged for much longer.” (From the West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers’ Association Inc. (WIRSPA))

So I think both of you are on to something. Most home distillers aim for 1 - 2 years aging, if that can be cut to 6 months that would be helpful….It is gentler, safer and it allows for some time to enter into the equation.

As for the oak extraction..yes, we have to be careful. I go by color and taste.

Cheers,
Max
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby thecroweater » Thu May 03, 2018 8:11 pm

Heat works, so does humidity and lack of. Buffalo Trace is no little rinky dink back street affair and I seen with my own eyes it's what they do. I'm not the biggest fan in the whole world of Buffy and I do think their white dog got outa the dick is atrocious but the top floor centre rickhouse gear (called Eagle Rare) is ok and fairly quickly "aged". We are still talking a few years rather than 6 days though, I'm still convinced the only thing that ages properly in 6 days is a rain moth.
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Benjamin Franklin
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby MoonBreath » Thu May 10, 2018 3:06 pm

Heatn pad and freezer cycle 12hr each.
Get that winter in there makes for proper also.

For a longer aged simulation, 1wk heat freeze cycles till proper.
*Spend it all, Use it up, Wear it out*
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Re: 20 years of aging in 6 days

Postby Max_Vino » Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:05 pm

I just finished my first go around using the method outlined in the Davis Patent. The results were good and the product had no trace of "new make” distillate. That said, if you’re thinking that by using this method you will produce great rum you are mistaken… There are many reasons for this but the main reason I think is that rum as we know it in the marketplace is not something that is simply distilled from molasses and then tossed into a barrel for a few years. The rums that I’ve been tasting lately all have additions to that simple formula. It may be a used whiskey or Sherry barrel, added sugar, caramel, added dunder or more likely something I don’t know about.

I’m going to have another go at it and I have several other rapid aging techniques that are in the works for a side-by-side comparison. I’m thinking another month or two should tell us the complete story.

So for those of you who have tried this, do my comments ring true to you ?

Cheers,
Max
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