First distillation-pot still

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So the time has come for your first distillation with a pot still you have made. Run your charge and then there are only a few steps that need to be followed:

1. Add boiling chips to your wash - these will help the boiling be smoother.

2. Heat up the wash to near its boiling temperature - from 78C to 100C depending on its alcohol content.

3. If you have some means of cooling your condenser coil, turn it when the wash is about to boil.

4. Once liquid starts to drip from the condenser, turn down the heat on the boiler.

5. Throw out the first 50 milliliters of your wash, called the foreshots. This helps eliminate unwanted higher alcohols in your wash. Use these foreshots as glass cleaner or ant killer, and so on.

6. Collect your distillate in small containers.

  • Label each container so you know which is from what part of your run
  • Optimally, you'll probably want 5-10 small containers per run. The more, the better.

7. After you have collected as much alcohol as you see fit, turn off the heat to the boiler, and let your apparatus cool down for a little while.

8. Judge the contents of those individual bottles. The first ones may still have a slight "flowery" smell to them - residual from the heads. The middle ones may be fairly neutral - just an "alcohol" smell to them. The last ones may be more harsh - getting into a "wet cardboard" smell. Take the middle ones, and incrementally add in the heads and the tails to suit your tastes. If you find the heads & tails containers (eg the first & last few) too strong, do not use them, but rather add them to the next batch you brew.

9. Age the spirits on oak.

10. Enjoy

Go back to the introduction Go back to making your first still Go on to flavoring your first spirit