Off neutral

Filtering spirits after distillation
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Northern Stiller
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Off neutral

Post by Northern Stiller » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:37 pm

My latest batch of neutral has an off taste and smell according to Mrs Stiller me I can't tell any difference but what do I know? :roll:

I must admit I'm in the the no filtering camp but I can't be arsed reruning I've got about 12 litres of 95% after cuts apparently every jar has that smell. :shock:

Is the Still spirit filter worth the money or any other suggestions I have 2/3 inch stainless pipes activated carbon but no needle valve. And I try to avoid plastic wherever possible. Hope you guys can help.

Desperate of Manchester

Lee
Deja pooh. I've seen this shit before :chart_with_downwards_trend:

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myles
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Re: Off neutral

Post by myles » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:08 pm

There is a popular misconception that 95%+ booze is "neutral".

This is NOT the case. True "neutral" is composed of ethanol and water only.

What comes out of any packed or plated column on the first pass at 95%+ is NOT ethanol and water. It is alcohol and water. The alcohol component is a mixture of ethanol and other alcohols.

It may take you two or three passes of taking the 95% alcohol, diluting it to 40% and re-running it to get closer to "neutral".

Each run cleans up the ethanol by taking some lower boiling point alcohols off as heads, and leaving some higher boiling point alcohols in the boiler as tails.

You just have to repeat the runs until your taste buds tell you that it is clean enough. Unless you have a true fractional distillation column you will never get a mix of only ethanol and water. However, you can get close enough by taste.

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Easydrinker
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Re: Off neutral

Post by Easydrinker » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:12 pm

I unashamedly filter my neutral, using a plastic Essencia.
Try reading through the archive for alternatives made from glass and metal?

Robert.
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Curmudgeon
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Re: Off neutral

Post by Curmudgeon » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:49 am

I have never filtered, but as ED suggests, it may be easier/quicker than re-distilling 2 or 3 times which is the more correct way Myles describes.
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Mash
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Re: Off neutral

Post by Mash » Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:36 am

An easy thing to try might be to put an air stone in it. Small stainless air stone and an aquarium pump.
Run it for about 30 mins in 4L in a DJ
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myles
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Re: Off neutral

Post by myles » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:02 am

I don't have an issue with carbon filtering itself. I have done it myself in the past - I just choose not to do it at the moment.

You have to pick the right carbon for the job, there are 100's of them for different purposes. My big issue is that the carbon "absorbs" the off flavours - that you then need to clean. Either in the oven or by steam, and it really stinks. You have concentrated the off flavours in the carbon, so it does make sense that when you remove them the smell is offensive.

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Northern Stiller
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Re: Off neutral

Post by Northern Stiller » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:49 pm

Thanks lads for all the advice

Never thought of it like that Myles thanks for your continued education 😄.

Thanks Robert I always forget to check the old site as only being a recent member and I've used essencia filter until it broke and Mash I will look at the Airstone have seen you mention it before. Thanks curmudgeon.

I've rigged something up I have some PTFE sieve gaskets and coffee filters and cotton wool pads to try and slow the flow through a 1kg bag of alcotel carbon seems to have done the job passed Mrs Stillers test.

rps20190912_143858_797.jpg
It goes to 2 inch pipe but it still needs a needle valve to slow down properly at the moment it's a steady stream good stripping run :D about 1 litre every 20 minutes.

Lee
Deja pooh. I've seen this shit before :chart_with_downwards_trend:

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myles
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Re: Off neutral

Post by myles » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:38 pm

Northern Stiller wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:49 pm

rps20190912_143858_797.jpg

It goes to 2 inch pipe but it still needs a needle valve to slow down properly at the moment it's a steady stream good stripping run :D about 1 litre every 20 minutes.

Lee
This is just a gut feeling - but that may be way too fast. The speed through a carbon filter bed is mostly dependent on the volume of the carbon, not necessarily the width or height.

There is a general rule of filtration speed which is 0.25 of the bed volume per hour. So for each litre of carbon in the filter you might expect a product flow rate of just 250 ml per hour. It is not fast. (Of course you can speed this up a bit, by keeping the filter bed wet at all times.)

1 litre every 20 minutes suggests that you might be using as much as 12 litres of carbon.

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Northern Stiller
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Re: Off neutral

Post by Northern Stiller » Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:48 pm

I know Myles but without some sort of valve I can't get it much slower it has slowed now to 1.5 litres an hour but there is only about 1.5 litres of charcoal. I don't think the original product was to far off being right as it seems ok now but I've ordered a stainless needle valve should make it much easier for next time. :collision:
Deja pooh. I've seen this shit before :chart_with_downwards_trend:

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myles
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Re: Off neutral

Post by myles » Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:34 pm

OK, you can use a manometer style takeoff instead of a valve if you need to. Just raise the output from the filter to slow down the throughput rate.

Also it is worth retaining the last bit that comes out of the filter to use to saturate the filter bed before the next use. Some folks keep it constantly wet, but I never used mine enough to make that worth while. Work out how much you need to soak the carbon and just keep that back from the end of a run to use to soak the (cleaned?) carbon prior to the next use.

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