Hypothetical question???

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Hypothetical question???

Postby FilthyPhil » Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:00 pm

If I strip 200 litres of CFW using a homemade 2" pot still with a shotgun condenser & 50 litre keg boiler with 2 x 2400w elements & keep everything & say end up with about 50 litres of low wines at 40% ABV, when I do a spirit run how much foreshots should I get rid of before collecting heads, hearts & tails?
I'm thinking probably toss the first litre. Is that enough?
Last edited by FilthyPhil on Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hypothetical question???

Postby RuddyCrazy » Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:13 pm

If you worked out the % of the wash it's easy to estimate just how much one will get out of strip run, now let's just say your wash was 10% so with a 200 litre wash there's about 20 litres of alc in it. Now if you strip down to 20% to low the low wines % you may get a few more litres but a good guide doing the math generally works out pretty spoton.

With a 50 litre spirit run I take a 500ml cut as fores/heads then several smaller cuts before the hearts come into play, let the cuts air for atleast a day to let the angels have a share then use ya nose heads will smell like nail polish and as you would of heard deep tails like a manky dog.

But horses for courses do the maths and use it as a guide.

Cheers Bryan
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Re: Hypothetical question???

Postby Wellsy » Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:21 pm

In what cuts and why do we do them in the newbie section the recommendation is 125 ml per 25 litres for grain based washes. Higher for fruits.
So 8 x 125 = 1.2 litres of my maths is right mate would be the recommended minimum
I hope that helps
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Re: Hypothetical question???

Postby RC Al » Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:38 pm

So first up, 50l isnt going to run very well in a 50l keg - aim for a 40l fill - In the fermenter there will be a fair bit of trub, but you wont have to fill it quite to the top, 180L ish should work out reasonably well and some head room usually dosent hurt if it decides to go nuts initially (summer is coming!), but you will work that out over time, any excess can be stored and run next time.

If your doing generations with backset, then taking the time to do smaller batches for the first 5-6 times will build up the flavours in the trub, after that the batch sizes can increase to the qty you want to make AND be a good drop to drink

Actual foreshots are much less than many think, the 1.2l mentioned above is in reality very excessive, but that first litre of heads out of a potty is going to be undrinkable crap anyway, so meh. I have always taken a small fores cut when stripping, but will be leaving it in from now on to help compress it all for the spirit run.

Be prepared for how long that size spirit run will take - I generally run slow for the first 5L - around 1.5L/h and then crank up to around 2-2.5L/h for the hearts for the next 10l or so and then im usually into tails and just start turning up the gas - run time without heat up is usually 10-11 hours and I usually end up with around 20L or so of 73-74% roughly half of which is put in the feints keg. As im pretty familiar with the washes im doing, I can have a good guess at jars sizes for the cuts, but do occasionally get caught out using a to big jar than I should near a transition

Have a search for stacking fractions - the re-use of heads n tails to concentrate the nasties
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Re: Hypothetical question???

Postby FilthyPhil » Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:30 pm

RC Al wrote:So first up, 50l isnt going to run very well in a 50l keg - aim for a 40l fill - In the fermenter there will be a fair bit of trub, but you wont have to fill it quite to the top, 180L ish should work out reasonably well and some head room usually dosent hurt if it decides to go nuts initially (summer is coming!), but you will work that out over time, any excess can be stored and run next time.

If your doing generations with backset, then taking the time to do smaller batches for the first 5-6 times will build up the flavours in the trub, after that the batch sizes can increase to the qty you want to make AND be a good drop to drink

Actual foreshots are much less than many think, the 1.2l mentioned above is in reality very excessive, but that first litre of heads out of a potty is going to be undrinkable crap anyway, so meh. I have always taken a small fores cut when stripping, but will be leaving it in from now on to help compress it all for the spirit run.

Be prepared for how long that size spirit run will take - I generally run slow for the first 5L - around 1.5L/h and then crank up to around 2-2.5L/h for the hearts for the next 10l or so and then im usually into tails and just start turning up the gas - run time without heat up is usually 10-11 hours and I usually end up with around 20L or so of 73-74% roughly half of which is put in the feints keg. As im pretty familiar with the washes im doing, I can have a good guess at jars sizes for the cuts, but do occasionally get caught out using a to big jar than I should near a transition

Have a search for stacking fractions - the re-use of heads n tails to concentrate the nasties


Ok, so 40 litres of low wines into my 50 litre boiler :handgestures-thumbupleft:
Sorry RC Al, you misunderstood. I don't have a 200 litre fermenter. I have 3 x 30 litre & 1 x 60 litre fermenter. In my original post I thought I would need roughly 200 litres of wash to make enough low wines to fill the boiler for a spirit run.
Thanks for the info.
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Re: Hypothetical question???

Postby FilthyPhil » Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:34 pm

Thanks Bryan & Wellsy for your replies.
There seems to be a big difference in a lot of info on here.
It's all trial & error I suppose until I get it right.
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Re: Hypothetical question???

Postby Wellsy » Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:14 pm

Gidday Filthy
Sorry mate I was just going off what is in the recommendations. As RC said it is a bit academic as there is not a lot of difference between the last of the fore’s and the first of the heads :)
When I run my bourbon whiskey knock off, or nutrigrain washes I usually put about 40 litres into my boiler (50litre) and that usually gives me about 10 litres of low wines. Then I run 4 batches of low wines on my spirit run. It takes me about 12 hours mate and end up with about 20 litres to make my cuts from.
I tend to be very conservative in my cuts as a newbie I want the best product possible, can’t actually see that changing lol. What will change is my ability to taste what is happening as it happens.
Keep lots of notes for next time as it helps get you a starting point
I hope that helps
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Re: Hypothetical question???

Postby FilthyPhil » Sat Nov 21, 2020 8:52 pm

Wellsy wrote:Gidday Filthy
Sorry mate I was just going off what is in the recommendations. As RC said it is a bit academic as there is not a lot of difference between the last of the fore’s and the first of the heads :)
When I run my bourbon whiskey knock off, or nutrigrain washes I usually put about 40 litres into my boiler (50litre) and that usually gives me about 10 litres of low wines. Then I run 4 batches of low wines on my spirit run. It takes me about 12 hours mate and end up with about 20 litres to make my cuts from.
I tend to be very conservative in my cuts as a newbie I want the best product possible, can’t actually see that changing lol. What will change is my ability to taste what is happening as it happens.
Keep lots of notes for next time as it helps get you a starting point
I hope that helps


Yep, all good help thanks mate.
So when you do the cuts on your 20 litres from the spirit run, how much of that 20 litres do you actually keep to drink & I assume the rest goes in a feints container?
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Re: Hypothetical question???

Postby Wellsy » Sun Nov 22, 2020 5:19 am

I keep about 12 litres, usually averages out at 70 - 75% abv
Yes the rest go into feints, the one feints run I have done yielded about 9 litres from 40 litres of feints. I still can’t get my head around getting 40 litres of stuff that was no good and getting 9 litres of good stuff from that, but I will take it lol
As I said keep lots of notes mate, I have a laptop that I record every jars abv on and that helps me find a starting point :).
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Re: Hypothetical question???

Postby RC Al » Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:31 pm

Wellsy, It's all to do wth the nasties liking to bind to alcohol, but also having the preference to bunch up with its own kind.

The higher concentrate of a particular one of the things, the more chance they will clump up, freeing more bound ethanol and it boiling off as more of a whole earlier, as a lighter fraction (heads) or later as a heavier fraction (tails)

Again, go and research stacking / recycling heads and tails
Last edited by RC Al on Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hypothetical question???

Postby Wellsy » Sun Nov 22, 2020 3:03 pm

Thanks RC

Just what I needed, more reading lol.

At least now I might actually absorb some of this new info
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