How much is enough?

Pot still design and discussion

How much is enough?

Postby Jedstar » Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:53 pm

When pot stilling what is the minimum amount of low wines I can effectively run is my pot still, its a 25L. I've been doing some experimental washes 25L and getting between 3-5L of low wines, but I am nervous about running such a small amount in the 25L still. I was thinking of adding a couple L of water to give a buffer against boiling dry but then I'm not sure if that would compromise my spirit run. I have read on here somewhere that adding water to the low wines can increase the flavours carried over in the spirit run but would like clarity if possible from a more seasoned traveller. If this covered else where just point me.
Cheers
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Re: How much is enough?

Postby RuddyCrazy » Tue Feb 16, 2021 4:37 pm

Just simply keep fermenting and stripping until you have enough low wines to do a full spirit run and remember no higher than 40%. Now when you strip go down to 20% or lower so if you need to water down the low wines use the tails you collected.
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Re: How much is enough?

Postby Jedstar » Tue Feb 16, 2021 4:43 pm

Thanks Ruddy,
I understand that principle, but what if don't want to commit to that much final product on an experiment? Is it truly and all or nothing scenario or is there away to do a smaller amounts for cuts without filling the boiler completely?
Last edited by Jedstar on Tue Feb 16, 2021 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How much is enough?

Postby hgwells » Tue Feb 16, 2021 4:55 pm

Jedstar wrote:Thanks Ruddy,
I understand that principle, but what if don't want to commit to that much final product on an experiment? Is it truly and all or nothing scenario or is there away to do a smaller amounts for cuts without filling the boiler completely?



If you know the % of your wash (use your hydrometer at start and end of ferment) then you can use the following calculator to work out how much liquid will be left in your still at the end of the run. This is assuming your still has a covered not exposed element

https://www.hillbillystills.com/distill ... -s/265.htm

Use the “distill to water” calculator
Last edited by hgwells on Tue Feb 16, 2021 4:57 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: How much is enough?

Postby RuddyCrazy » Tue Feb 16, 2021 5:03 pm

I Agree knowing the alc% of wash before you distill is handy to know as a simple calc will give you the idea of what you can get.

Sp for a 10% 25 litre wash one can expect about 2.5 litres in total so going down to 20% should net about 2.2 litres. now you said you were getting 5 litres of low wines out of a 25 litre wash :scared-eek: I just hope your not using that polished turd yeast :violence-smack: :violence-smack: :violence-smack:

Back in the day when i only had one 30 litre fermenter I use to strip 4 ferments before I did the spirit run and by going down to 20% my low wines came out to 40% which meant I didn't have to put much water in to get it below 40%
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Re: How much is enough?

Postby Jedstar » Tue Feb 16, 2021 5:55 pm

Ruddy,

No a more accurate yield is 2.5 to 3.5 the yield to lift 25L since leaving the DarkSide of the force. I have been using Lowens until recently, I got some DADY yeast and its good for 15% ABV and so I expect a little better yield hence the jump. Yes the 5L was in the past using Alcotech that stuff is a beast but leaves a nasty taste to be sure.

OK so what I am taking home from this is: Yes you can do a run with less than full boiler but, do some calculations to be sure that you maintain a minimum amount in the still by runs end.
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Re: How much is enough?

Postby Jedstar » Tue Feb 16, 2021 6:00 pm

HG

thank you for that link that will be very handy. :text-thankyoublue:
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Re: How much is enough?

Postby BigRig » Tue Feb 16, 2021 6:10 pm

Yep enough wash is ensuring once you have stripped the alcohol out the boiler is not left dry (or element is high and dry for an exposed element boiler).

Re: 25L ferment it is normal to pull 5-6L of low wines if running it down to 20%abv. I get this from tpw and rum washes.
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Re: How much is enough?

Postby Wellsy » Tue Feb 16, 2021 6:31 pm

Jetstar just check your instructions mate.

I believe some of those 25 litre turbo boilers have a boil dry safety feature that turns them off. If so you should be right.

Also if you are putting in a 40% abv low wine into the boiler , and you are doing a slow spirit run it will mean the output will be around the 80% abv so there will be fluid left in the boiler.

I just ran a 3 litre run through my boiler today with no hassles mate.

All this is assuming your element is not an exposed element which I believe is the case with a T500 boiler
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Re: How much is enough?

Postby Jedstar » Tue Feb 16, 2021 7:15 pm

Wellsy,

That is exactly the information/reassurance I was looking for and yes it is a boiler with an auto run dry cut off and a sealed element not exposed, so I am all sorted and confident to proceed with caution. Thank you everybody for your input and support.

Cheers
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Re: How much is enough?

Postby Wellsy » Tue Feb 16, 2021 7:23 pm

Just remember to have the low wines at or under 40%

Also be aware that with limited volumes they heat up super fast.

Mine was producing spirit in about 10 to 15 minutes and I needed to run it at about 40% out at the power controller to ge5nit to run nice and slow.
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Re: How much is enough?

Postby hgwells » Tue Feb 16, 2021 7:40 pm

Jedstar wrote:HG

thank you for that link that will be very handy. :text-thankyoublue:


:handgestures-thumbupleft: No probs
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Re: How much is enough?

Postby Jedstar » Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:17 pm

Wellsy,

yup understand completely and a great tip ( may have done this before :oops: ... but unsanctioned :shock: :shock: ) now have a voltage regulator to add another layer of control.
cheers again my brother

gratitude
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Re: How much is enough?

Postby scythe » Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:54 am

Why not just add 5L or whatever to the boiler then put your low wines on top.
Your spirit run does not need to be done from exactly 40%ABV.
You'll get the same amount of booze out if you start with 16L of 25% that you will from 10L of 40%.
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Re: How much is enough?

Postby Wellsy » Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:10 am

Scythe
I have read that the more you dilute the low wines the more flavour you loose. I have no idea where I read it, I assume on here as I only read here, but do not know if this is accurate or not with a pot still. Have you had any experience with this ?

Thanks
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Re: How much is enough?

Postby scythe » Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:15 am

Yeah that comment was made on here in one of the many spirit run threads.
I doubt you will really notice it with a pot still as you don't get proper separation like you do through reflux stills.

If you are that worried about flavour carry over just wait till you have more low wines then.
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Re: How much is enough?

Postby Wellsy » Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:40 am

Thanks Scythe

Appreciate the response :)
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Re: How much is enough?

Postby Sam. » Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:42 am

If you water down your wines too much in a pot still you won’t be able to get the higher ABV you may want for oak aging....
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Re: How much is enough?

Postby Dude » Wed Feb 17, 2021 8:31 am

Sam, is it not the same as distilling a wash at a low ABV ?
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Re: How much is enough?

Postby Sam. » Wed Feb 17, 2021 11:52 am

Dude wrote:Sam, is it not the same as distilling a wash at a low ABV ?


Never heard of anyone doing a spirit run thru a pot still with a 10% charge...
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