Dilution for spirit run?

The distillation process itself
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Curmudgeon
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Dilution for spirit run?

Post by Curmudgeon » Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:20 am

My typical 2 x 25 litre sugar wash/mash gives me 3 demijohns or 15 litres after stripping run.

Some people say a stripping run is to get the water out, but then they dilute back to 30% before doing their second run.

Me, I think stripping run is to strip funk out and diluting back gives the remaining funk water to stick to, ready for 2nd run.

Am I wrong?
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myles
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Re: Dilution for spirit run?

Post by myles » Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:52 am

It is a bit of both really.

Certainly there are some undesirable flavours that remain in the boiler (water soluble) that repeated runs get rid of.
You can get a reasonably clean vodka by doing several runs with re-dilution each time.

However, there are also some nasties that are soluble in ethanol. These can only be removed by concentration and selective cuts.

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Mash
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Re: Dilution for spirit run?

Post by Mash » Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:16 am

Get that, but surely clean fermentation is the way to go.
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myles
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Re: Dilution for spirit run?

Post by myles » Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:32 pm

Absolutely agree with you Mash.

The closest I do to a sugar wash is for rum, and that is fermented to 11% with the sugar/treacle split into 2 additions so as not to push the SG too high. Everything else intended for distilling is fermented to between 7% and 8%.

I always did incremental sugar addition for wine and mead, so it is just my normal routine.

Stress the yeast in any way and you get other fermentation products other than ethanol. If you want clean ethanol do a clean fermentation.

High gravity = more esters
High oxygen = more higher alcohols
Excessive yeast pitch rate = more Ethyl Acetate
Increased temperature = more Acetaldehyde and higher alcohols

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Re: Dilution for spirit run?

Post by jacquie » Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:40 pm

myles wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:32 pm
Absolutely agree with you Mash.


High gravity = more esters
High oxygen = more higher alcohols
Excessive yeast pitch rate = more Ethyl Acetate
Increased temperature = more Acetaldehyde and higher alcohols
would it then be useful to beat a wash daily like when wine making to incorporate more oxygen?
I'm not under the afluence of incohol - though some feeple pink I am......

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StillDave
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Re: Dilution for spirit run?

Post by StillDave » Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:26 pm

jacquie wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:40 pm
myles wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:32 pm
Absolutely agree with you Mash.


High gravity = more esters
High oxygen = more higher alcohols
Excessive yeast pitch rate = more Ethyl Acetate
Increased temperature = more Acetaldehyde and higher alcohols
would it then be useful to beat a wash daily like when wine making to incorporate more oxygen?
I would say no. Yeast need initial oxygen to breed, after that they need to be in an oxygen free environment (anaerobic) to get on with their job of turning sugar into alcohol. I stand to be corrected, but that's my understanding.
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myles
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Re: Dilution for spirit run?

Post by myles » Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:46 pm

You are both right and wrong. As in all things in brewing it is a balancing act with multiple factors. Higher alcohols are produced in both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Even in anaerobic conditions yeast still produce higher alcohols, they just make it a different way to when there is oxygen available.

Ideally you need to oxygenate the wort prior to pitching the yeast. The first phase is growth of yeast, and this needs oxygen.
However, at the same time increased oxygen also results in an increase in production of higher alcohols - fusel oils - (there are more than 40 different alcohols and 90 different esters identified in beer for example).

Top fermenting yeast produce more higher alcohols than bottom fermenting yeast. Beer brewers (and rum distillers) might want some of these higher alcohols and the esters derived from them.

So aeration - you want it before pitching yeast to encourage the yeast to grow, but you don't want it later. For distilling purposes, we want the yeast to use up the disolved oxgyen (in the growth phase) and then switch to producing ethanol. Extra oxygen at this stage increases the production of undesireable (for many distillers) higher alcohols.

Not always though. At least one big gin distillery DELIBERATELY produces higher alcohols because they can sell them. Actually more profitable than the ethanol, but not relevant to most of us home distillers.

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StillDave
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Re: Dilution for spirit run?

Post by StillDave » Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:00 pm

myles wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:46 pm


So aeration - you want it before pitching yeast to encourage the yeast to grow, but you don't want it later. For distilling purposes, we want the yeast to use up the disolved oxgyen (in the growth phase) and then switch to producing ethanol. Extra oxygen at this stage increases the production of undesireable (for many distillers) higher alcohols.
I'm sure that's what I said.... :? :?
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Re: Dilution for spirit run?

Post by Easydrinker » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:48 pm

As myles points out, this is far more techy, than most of us even seek to understand.

Is it any wonder that when we find a ' good wash' and a good resulting brew, strip, spirit, all we want to do is call it our own?

Replicate it and share? :)
There is no ONE way.
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Curmudgeon
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Re: Dilution for spirit run?

Post by Curmudgeon » Thu Nov 14, 2019 12:27 am

Easydrinker wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:48 pm
As myles points out, this is far more techy, than most of us even seek to understand.

Is it any wonder that when we find a ' good wash' and a good reulting brew, strip, spirit, all we want to do is call it our own?

Replicate it and share? :)
I think when we start this as a hobby, we quickly divide ourselves into art vs science type approaches, as per our nature.

Over time, the hobby becomes a passion, part of routine, or is dropped (and may be revisited).
Slowly slowly, catchy funky

Don't stress the yeast

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