Suspension in brown spirits

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Suspension in brown spirits

Postby Fishws » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:38 pm

All,

I'm making really nice brown spirits in a 4 plate bubbler. Crystal clear off the still, clean stuff. Have been ageing whisky and rum in 23L oak barrels (clean and first time used) at 65% abv. After ageing the spirit comes off beautifully for bottling diluted to 40% abv, however after a few days a slight suspension seems to form at the bottom of the bottles. Almost looks like a whispy, darkish substance. taste is great but just wondering what this stuff is. Any ideas?
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Re: Suspension in brown spirits

Postby RC Al » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:44 pm

Were your barrels charred?

Got a Pic?
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Re: Suspension in brown spirits

Postby Doubleuj » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:44 pm

Could be louching from a touch to much tails, can you post a pic?
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Re: Suspension in brown spirits

Postby Fishws » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:40 pm

I don't have pics but will take in the next few days. Barrels have medium char.
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Re: Suspension in brown spirits

Postby scythe » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:41 pm

Take another few small samples (100ml or so), dilute one to 35% one to 45%.
Label them and sit them aside and see if it still does it and to which one.
Last edited by scythe on Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Suspension in brown spirits

Postby Fishws » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:10 am

scythe wrote:Take another few small samples (100ml or so), dilute one to 35% one to 45%.
Label them and sit them aside and see if it still does it and to which one.


Hi Scythe, I am interested in why you would want to do this. What will this tell me?
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Re: Suspension in brown spirits

Postby Doubleuj » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:46 am

Louching will occur more at lower abvs
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Re: Suspension in brown spirits

Postby ed9362 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:12 pm

i have has this problem with both BWKO and rum aged in barrels.
no idea what causes it because i run all my spirits through a coffee filter when bottling.
the only solution i can come up with is to give the bottle a shake before pouring a drink.
i would be surprised if it was louching because it seems to be solids rather than cloudy
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Re: Suspension in brown spirits

Postby ed9362 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:15 pm

i did a quick search and below came from a distillery in the USA

What’s that stuff in my whiskey!?
by Guy | posted in: Whiskey | 2
We get the occasional inquiry from people who have purchased a bottle of our whiskey (and other barrel aged spirits) and have found a hazy cloud floating or sunk in the bottom of the bottle (see video below). Don’t panic, what you’re seeing is flavor!
During the fermentation, distilling and oak maturation processes various phenols and esters are produced. These components make up a lot of the flavors we enjoy in whiskey. The large volume producers use chill filtering to remove the visible components. Why? because it makes the product look pretty, it is strictly for cosmetic reasons that they do this although it also takes away some flavor and mouth-feel from the product. Chill filtering in whiskey production has been a common practice for most of the last century although the big producers still occasionally release smaller batch products without chill filtering.
While we do filter out wood particles from the barrels, we do not employ chill filtering at Great Lakes Distillery. We want to provide our product to consumers with the maximum flavor of the whiskey as it came from the barrel. Don’t like how it looks in the bottle? Simply shake the bottle twice and these flavor components will be dispersed.
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Re: Suspension in brown spirits

Postby PeterC » Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:44 pm

When I visited Sullivans Cove Distillery in Hobart they showed us how they decanted their 68% abv whisky from barrels into IBC's. From there they did any dilutions to final bottling strength. This was often about 53% abv. They then had haze formation that they let settle for a month (no cold filtration). They racked off the clear liquid and fine filtered the remainder when bottling. So my guess is extracts from the wood soluble at high abv separates out when the abv is lowered. What they actual do to flavour if you filter or not I don't know.
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Re: Suspension in brown spirits

Postby southern45 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:00 pm

PeterC wrote:When I visited Sullivans Cove Distillery in Hobart they showed us how they decanted their 68% abv whisky from barrels into IBC's. From there they did any dilutions to final bottling strength. This was often about 53% abv. They then had haze formation that they let settle for a month (no cold filtration). They racked off the clear liquid and fine filtered the remainder when bottling. So my guess is extracts from the wood soluble at high abv separates out when the abv is lowered. What they actual do to flavour if you filter or not I don't know.
Peter C.


Floc (sp?) from the barrel ageing process. Like you say, at Sullivan's Cove they settle the whisky after emptying out of barrels into plastic containers for a time period before bottling. Apparently the floc actually adds mouth feel and flavour, but consumers don't like a "dirty" looking product.
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Re: Suspension in brown spirits

Postby coffe addict » Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:00 pm

Perhaps someone can have a polite word to Sullivans Cove about the use of plastic with high abv spirit.
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Re: Suspension in brown spirits

Postby RC Al » Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:02 pm

I keep seeing the plastic in many commercial setups :handgestures-thumbdown:
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Re: Suspension in brown spirits

Postby bluc » Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:06 pm

Bundy rum you to sell rum in 30l plastic cubes going back quit few years. Don't know if still do..
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Re: Suspension in brown spirits

Postby RC Al » Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:10 pm

I remember seeing them at campbells cash n carry, smirnoff and jb white too, 20-25 years ago?
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Re: Suspension in brown spirits

Postby bluc » Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:12 pm

Yes we used to buy them for $300 all chip in and have massive 3 day pissups :handgestures-thumbupleft: ..
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Re: Suspension in brown spirits

Postby southern45 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:59 pm

coffe addict wrote:Perhaps someone can have a polite word to Sullivans Cove about the use of plastic with high abv spirit.


I would have, but they've won World's Best Single Cask Single Malt and World's Best Single Malt in recent years so I don't recon they would've paid much attention. :))

Not bad for a distillery who buy in ALL their wash from a big name brewery.......
Last edited by southern45 on Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Suspension in brown spirits

Postby db1979 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:46 pm

southern45 wrote:Not bad for a distillery who buy in ALL their wash from a big name brewery.......

:handgestures-thumbdown: much of the craft comes from fermentation, especially if it's all-grain. Maybe there needs to be different categories for these types of awards, one for distillers that also ferment, and one for those that don't.
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Re: Suspension in brown spirits

Postby coffe addict » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:34 pm

I don't pay too much attention to the awards as they are kinda like fashion and we all know some fashions just shouldn't be popular!
That said I'm sure their whisky is good but high abv alcohol is a bloody good solvent and should not spend any time in plastic let alot a month!
The haze in whisky is often said to be proteins carried over from the grain but it's just as often there in rum and I suspect that there's more too it and it's not completely understood.
The science that happens in an oak barrel is extremely complex and only a small part of it is understood on a scientific level.
From my experience some of the best I've made over the yrs has had a haze to it and I would hate to think that I removed it and produced a less tasty drink. :obscene-drinkingdrunk:
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Re: Suspension in brown spirits

Postby Sam. » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:02 am

db1979 wrote:
southern45 wrote:Not bad for a distillery who buy in ALL their wash from a big name brewery.......

:handgestures-thumbdown: much of the craft comes from fermentation, especially if it's all-grain. Maybe there needs to be different categories for these types of awards, one for distillers that also ferment, and one for those that don't.


No different to gin distilleries that buy in their nuetrel spirit....
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