neutral ethanol test

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samleeds
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neutral ethanol test

Post by samleeds »

As a newbie and someone that has spent a lot of time on another site, I am bursting with questions that have to this day remained unanswered. One of my uppermost questions is how do we know when we have made a great neutral spirit.

Obviously, there are the old proof tests like does it burn with a blue flame and what it tastes like. There are even smell tests that you apply by nasal recognition and even rubbing it on your hands etc etc. I am sure there are a myriad of these theories bouncing around and even some like shaking it and noticing the bubbles, but my question is this.....

Has anyone ever come up with a more definitive test that incorporates the use of mechanical devices or failsafe monitoring techniques etc. I ask this because if I was a bloodhound I would be consigned to the sofa as my nose is rubbish and I can only suspect that my refractory system has been crippled by years of chemotherapy and cancer treatments. In so much as I have reasonable taste buds, they are affected by the lack of a nasal system that functions correctly.

Q1 What should a good neutral taste like in terms of sweet and sour and tongue feel.

Q2 Is there a smell we are looking for that smells like ????????

Q3 Can we test the quality f a neutral spirit by adding it to something or mixing it with anything.

I am sure this subject has been flogged to death, but all I have heard in my years on the brew forums are Hill billy methods that we all see when we tune into Moonshiners and reality or utube videos made by people that have severe learning difficulties and just want to waffle for hours saying nothing intelligent.
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gaza the instructor
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Re: neutral ethanol test

Post by gaza the instructor »

I don't know about setting light to things, but the last time i tried
it was a fart and apart from singeing the wallpaper I burnt my arse
quite badly.
You should have very little or no taste to a good Neutral, that is
what we all strive for.
Pure Alcohol has a sweetish smell to it .
As for a taste test, find a mate who drinks V&T make them one with
your best neutral. Listen for comments like "cheers" and "thats great"
nowhere to hide with a V&T.
Mirror-signal-manoeuvre.
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Jennysgin
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Re: neutral ethanol test

Post by Jennysgin »

Main thing - do you like it?
If so, it's good :+1:
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gaza the instructor
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Re: neutral ethanol test

Post by gaza the instructor »

Yes Jenny 100% 'cause you are gonna drink it.
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myles
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Re: neutral ethanol test

Post by myles »

Jennysgin wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:08 pm Main thing - do you like it?
If so, it's good :+1:
Have to agree - and it has to be fit for purpose. How clean do you need it to be?
If you are going to infuse it with flavour, then a slight residual taste might not be a major problem.

I never drink neutral - as it is - I always use it as a base for adding other flavours to. Personally I can't see the point in drinking something that has no taste at all.
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Mash
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Re: neutral ethanol test

Post by Mash »

That's what coke is for 😂😂
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phantom
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Re: neutral ethanol test

Post by phantom »

Well there's always the technical answer, but you need very deep pockets as machines like mass spectrometer or gas chromatograph go to 6 figures............

Personally, I just make sure I use good ingredients, then follow the usual methods to separate out the ethanol and once that's done, o carbon filter to remove any residual flavour.....
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away." Tom Waites
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Easydrinker
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Re: neutral ethanol test

Post by Easydrinker »

You could do worse than buy a bottle of vodka and do a taste comparison.

Robert.
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Mash
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Re: neutral ethanol test

Post by Mash »

Doh. Yes good shout.

I do that with wine. Never occurred to me with spirit.
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Easydrinker
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Re: neutral ethanol test

Post by Easydrinker »

Great minds mate.
They don't really know what they are doing.
They just do it. :lol:

Robert.
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TheWhiteDragon
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Re: neutral ethanol test

Post by TheWhiteDragon »

Sounds logical.. does this method work well ?
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myles
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Re: neutral ethanol test

Post by myles »

TheWhiteDragon wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 9:54 pm Sounds logical.. does this method work well ?
It really does depend. There is some TERRIBLE commercial vodka out there.

Pick one that you think is neutral-ish, and use that as a comparator. If I drink commercial vodka it tends to be Smirnoff Black, pot stilled with a slight flavour, so not a neutral. Buy something YOU like and use that as a base to compare your product to.

To make a really clean neutral at home will take time, dilution, and multiple runs. It all depends on HOW clean you need it to be.
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Easydrinker
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Re: neutral ethanol test

Post by Easydrinker »

Any weary traveller, passing by, could be offered a range of alcoholic beverages, all of which I consider worth top dollar.
I make two excellent beers, various wines, and a whisky that I like.
Mead is an experiment this year. Cheap store bought honey one is ready to bottle, mead from my bees honey started yesterday.

And neutral.....
I carbon filter, with no shame, and drink some, neat, most nights as a nightcap.
I have enough alcohol that I dont need to drink shite.
I re-distill or find other uses for it.

Robert.
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"Everyone's happy. Everyone's smiling. No-One here is sad anymore" :D
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Mash
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Re: neutral ethanol test

Post by Mash »

To make a really clean neutral at home will take time, dilution, and multiple runs. It all depends on HOW clean you need it to be.
Yeah. Clean enough is clean enough it's more about personal taste than PPE (Products , practices & equipment)
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Elecrafter
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Re: neutral ethanol test

Post by Elecrafter »

I agree with nearly all of the above comments. Except to add a warning to lighting Farts... Singed Bum hair smells really bad!

One of my best neutrals came about during lockdown. I decided to have a go at Teds Fast Fermenting Vodka (TFFV).
Its a well known recipe, and calls for Bran from a place like Holland and Barrett. Now considering its was during the first lockdown and everywhere was closed, I thought I would try the Bran Flakes I had in the cupboard.
I have to admit, it made some of the nicest neutral I have made so far.
Came out the column at 91% overall for all 5 litres of it. I did double distil it as well. I double or even triple distil most things. My Gin is triple distilled.

So, whilst some of the distillation process is almost an exact science, varying and trying other things can sometimes give good results.
Yes, I have triple filtered it thru activated carbon, and its really good. In fact so good I am not giving any of it away!

As said above, its about making stuff you like, and enjoy drinking. Its not about being unable to crawl across the carpet, or spending the next 48 hours with Big Ben ringing in your head, and your throat felling like the bottom of a parrots cage, its about producing something worth drinking, and something you can be proud of producing.

Smell, clarity and taste is what I go by. Worst case is consign it to the Feints jar and run it again. That's the beauty of alcohol, its very recyclable. Failing that working, it makes great BBQ lighter fuel!

Ele.
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Easydrinker
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Re: neutral ethanol test

Post by Easydrinker »

Singed Bum hair smells rather like singed wasp wings on an electronic zapper racket, and I am learning to like that.

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

Post by phantom »

Easydrinker wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:39 pm {snip}
Mead is an experiment this year. Cheap store bought honey one is ready to bottle, mead from my bees honey started yesterday{/snip}
Erm, don't forget, we have a member here who's made quite a lot of mead, plus has a bit of a "handle" on many of the different types/styles 😉🤫😁
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away." Tom Waites
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Easydrinker
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Re: neutral ethanol test

Post by Easydrinker »

Thought you were snoozing mate!

I suspect there is no "original" mead, too many regional and historic variations.
I want something as close to fermented honey, no additions, as possible.
I have not yet tried a commercial one that I like.
Maybe it needs herbs, fruit and spices to be "special". I prefer to think not.
I also don't believe it needs the grape concentrate and neutral that the Lindisfarne meads now use.

I tried making cheap honey mead, put it all in at the start, got a slow start, finished around 3 months later at 14.2%.
It is alcohol, it is not moorish.

Rinsed the chopped Honeycomb from my harvest last week, got around 3lbs of honey from it, SG 1.080.
Fizzing within a couple of hours.
Yesterday I added another !lb honey.
Expect it to finish next week.
It may be good.
Or maybe I found a new neural wash. :lol:

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