How neutral should i expect?

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Fierymac
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How neutral should i expect?

Post by Fierymac » Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:49 pm

Quite new to this generally, and only tried one batch of kale wash so far because I was chasing a totally neutral spirit from which to make gin.
I've followed the "proper" airstill instructions and not those that come with it and done triple distillation of the final product because quality is more important than quantity for me. I don't drink a lot of spirits, it's more for the fun of being able to create your own flavours.
Anyway, it has what my Mrs describes as a kind of "chemically" smell to it. I was in Holland last week and tried Jenever for the first time, and the smell of young jenever is exactly like my spirit but the jenever isn't as strong.

Am i chasing the impossible? Or are there any ideas what i can do differently?

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Mash
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Re: How neutral should i expect?

Post by Mash » Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:29 pm

I think that sounds like either very young spirit or a bits of heads. Either way a aquarium pump and stainless stone would smooth out away.

How much and when did you make your cuts? When did you stop?
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Fierymac
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Re: How neutral should i expect?

Post by Fierymac » Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:20 pm

Mash wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:29 pm
I think that sounds like either very young spirit or a bits of heads. Either way a aquarium pump and stainless stone would smooth out away.

How much and when did you make your cuts? When did you stop?
Okay so maybe asking a question like that isn't fair when i can't actually give details to diagnose what i could do differently!
I made it about 6 months ago and it's just been sitting open in a DJ with a muslin cover hoping the smell might go away. I wasn't able to register on the old forum so couldn't ask the question at the time.
I can't tell you exactly when i did the cuts although after doing the first batch with the starter kit (Turbo yeast and carbon) and being disgusted with the result I wasn't trying to eke out more spirit. I figured that I would prefer to take less hearts than risk it being tainted by heads or tails.

Even if some heads were in there though - i've triple distilled the whole lot to try and get it neutral so surely that would've "cancelled" out some heads if they had crept in?

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gaza the instructor
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Re: How neutral should i expect?

Post by gaza the instructor » Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:21 pm

High Fierymac nice to meet you.
If you don't separate the Heads from the Hearts they stay in your
spirit mate, however many times you distil it.
Heads does have a nasty sweet almost sickly smell.
I have not used my AS for strip or spirit runs for a long time, but
I make a lot of Gin in it and it is great for the job.
If you get your neutral right you will get your Gin mate.
You are on the right path with Kale or try TPW or Lentils.
I am using a mix of TPW and Lentils atm and its very good.
Mirror-signal-manoeuvre.

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Fierymac
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Re: How neutral should i expect?

Post by Fierymac » Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:38 pm

Nice to meet you too Gaza. It really is the "friendlier forum"!
I don't pretend to even begin to know the chemistry of distillation, but my rationale is that if the heads cut was taken too late, whatever it is that's in the heads that we don't want is still there, so there's no reason to think it wouldn't be extracted as heads again in the next run.

I suppose the main takeaway is that i'm not chasing the impossible, and i just need to try again. I Think because of the time involved in making a batch i've been reluctant to crack on with another unless i know it will be better if you catch my drift?

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gaza the instructor
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Re: How neutral should i expect?

Post by gaza the instructor » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:24 pm

Practise makes perfect mate, the more you do the better your results.
Crack on buddie you are closer that you think!!
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Easydrinker
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Re: How neutral should i expect?

Post by Easydrinker » Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:16 am

Fierymac, good to see you here.!
You caught gaza on a good day, and he is talking sense.
Not sure which wash you speak of here: do step away from Turbo and Carbon.
They bite.
Take your pick of any other neutral wash mentioned here.

Robert.
There is no ONE way.
"Everyone's happy. Everyone's smiling. No-One here is sad anymore" :D

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Mash
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Re: How neutral should i expect?

Post by Mash » Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:47 am

With a sugar wash, an easy method to use. Take the first 50ml away and stop at 30% (easiest way to spot that is with a £15 spirit refractometer).

Also consider your yeast. You start this game from the beginning. A good gin, comes from a good neutral, which comes from good stilling, after a good ferment. Look after the yeast, funny stress them. Keep the temp even day and night. Don't do more that 5kg sugar in 25 litres.
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Mash
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Re: How neutral should i expect?

Post by Mash » Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:51 am

Fierymac wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:38 pm

I suppose the main takeaway is that i'm not chasing the impossible, and i just need to try again. I Think because of the time involved in making a batch i've been reluctant to crack on with another unless i know it will be better if you catch my drift?

If we can you can. I certainly had some horrible smells & tastes early on, but I don't tell anyone!

... All this and I haven't mentioned a freezer :D
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Fierymac
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Re: How neutral should i expect?

Post by Fierymac » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:13 am

Thanks guys,
I don't think i did mention that the strange smelling batch i've got is from a kale wash with Allinsons bread yeast - (the yellow tin?). That all seemed to go fine. I've used an aquarium heater to keep the temp even. Maybe a refractor is the next thing on the shopping list!

I like the sound of the freezer idea - does seem to make things less time consuming in that you don't have to stand over it for a couple of hours - and if i understand the theory, it should be more accurate too.

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