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Author Topic: Still  (Read 742 times)

Part time dabbler

  • Joined Aug 2016
  • Cornwall
Still
« on: August 11, 2018, 10:52:20 pm »
I want to try to make some Calvados this year but wanted to check if there were any recommendations for still's or important considerations I should take into account

Thanks

Richard
Physically part time in the garden, mentally full time in the garden
Voss Electric Fence

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Still
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2018, 01:32:57 pm »
Back in 1980 when I was researching such things,  distilling at home was illegal unless you had the required licences , approved gear ,a bonded storage area & account with the tax collectors to pay duty on your product .

 That position remained the same when we relooked at it in 2004. We were   wanting to get the basics under our belt  using our honey rooms facilities  hoping to migrate from kitchen sink production to a small commercial production . There was also a bigger shed load of paperwork to read , comply with and extra fees to pay .


 In my research around the  world it was opined several times on no end of websites :-

 One way of reducing the amount of water in the fermented grape,apple or pear juice is by freezing it out in a suitable food grade plastic jug or bowl  at minus 21 oC in  your domestic freezer,   stirring it every few minutes to get it into a fine  crushed ice crystal ( think almost  slush puppies crystals . Once it is reasonably crystalised pour the slush  through a food grade plastic sieve into a bowl .

Bottle in sterile bottles what runs though the sieve .

Try storing the ice you have sieved out in the fridge & drinking  it as it thaws , some times it's drinkable
 
Of the concentrated fermented out juice you now are left with apparently it does not have the same aroma or taste as the real distilled stuff nor will it develop them  even if you store them in bulk in the right sort of barrel .

Do be careful though as there will still be high levels of fusel oils that can make you blind / insane or both .
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: Still
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2018, 05:20:55 pm »
Thanks Clod. ..... I thought it was illegal .... But didn't think  I'd better say till I'd checked.
Linda

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Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Still
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2018, 08:36:50 pm »
I *think* freeze distillation is legal, though I've never tried it. It's just distillation using a still that isn't.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Still
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2018, 10:57:51 pm »
it's not distillation it is removing the ice particles from a strong home made wine .

 At the end of the day once you've done it once or twice ,  it should lose it's attraction.

Unless of course your a real hardened alcoholic for really high spirits levels  burn your mouth and irritate your stomach as well as making you as rat eyed as a drunken skunk very quickly . If you get to that stage you'll  need help before you kill yourself.
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Still
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2018, 05:50:55 am »
it's not distillation it is removing the ice particles from a strong home made wine .


Yes, understood, but that process is called 'freeze distillation'. A google search for 'how to make apple jack' should turn up more info for anybody that wants to try it.


The fusel oils still confuse me though. In malt whisky production, the heads and tails go back into the process and go round and round (they're never removed). That explains why the first distillates to come off are very methanol rich for example.  But what about our process? Unless you're recycling like that, intuitively, I can't see why it would be an issue?
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Still
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2018, 12:36:30 am »
I'm not 100 % sure , my memory is not so hot some days, 

But I seem to think from doing several whisky & one whiskey tours  that the very  first part of the  first distillation is used for industrial alcohols as well as very first part of the tail from the first session , the rest is added back to the distillate .
Then the same is repeated in the second distillation & if your Irish the same happens with third distillation .

 It might be that freezing does not produce the fusel oils or perhaps the same amount  I don't know about that so I'll look it up ..

 Ha ha...…  seems I'm totally wrong in my thinking in a strange sort of way
I put, " Does freezing wine remove the fusel oils ? "   into Google .

 Here is one answer about cider being frozen to make it stronger .


" According to Wikapedia this process is illegal in many countries because a number of by-products of fermentation (fusel alcohols), which are mostly removed by heat distillation, tend to accumulate to an unhealthy level in freeze-distilled beverages " .

 On checking the healthy levels it suggests 1.5 to 2 gram of refined fusel oils per litre for it to be safe .


What would the point of the distilling be if you didn't also take off some of the excess easy to remove highly volatile fusel oils to make the finished product at the recommended / suggested levels 1.5 to 2 grams per litre in the distillate?

 So I'm thinking that freezing does not evaporate them & so they stay in the concentrated  residues left after you remove the ice crystals .

« Last Edit: August 18, 2018, 01:04:03 am by cloddopper »
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Still
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2018, 09:25:55 am »
That's interesting @cloddopper . However, in (at least most?) malt distilleries, the foreshots (i.e. the most methanol rich distillates) just go round and round:

The key to not going blind is that there was never much methanol there in the first place, and in generally we don't drink whisky by the tonne.

The fusel oils are the larger molecules like n-pentanol, isobutanol etc, and in the diagram above come off last, and end up in the feints cut, which is then recycled to make sure the ethanol that came off with them isn't wasted.

It's true that freeze distillation doesn't remove them, but in the case of applejack, I'm also not sure what concentration they'd be present in to begin with?  My simple head says that as long as you were happy to drink the cider, the applejack should also be fine to drink, as long as you don't over-indulge!
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Still
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2018, 07:38:23 pm »
Reality.If making a few bottles home still for own consumption then a) gov won't know unless you keep telling all your friends to try it and that you've made 100's of bottles. b) if they did then worst case is a fine and slapped wrist unless you're caught selling the stuff.
I'd think a simple pot still and dump the heads and tails...

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Still
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2018, 11:30:47 pm »
That's interesting @cloddopper . However, in (at least most?) malt distilleries, the foreshots (i.e. the most methanol rich distillates) just go round and round:

The key to not going blind is that there was never much methanol there in the first place, and in generally we don't drink whisky by the tonne.

The fusel oils are the larger molecules like n-pentanol, isobutanol etc, and in the diagram above come off last, and end up in the feints cut, which is then recycled to make sure the ethanol that came off with them isn't wasted.

It's true that freeze distillation doesn't remove them, but in the case of applejack, I'm also not sure what concentration they'd be present in to begin with?  My simple head says that as long as you were happy to drink the cider, the applejack should also be fine to drink, as long as you don't over-indulge!

Thanks Womble,
 I think I followed what it says in the link and can see why I recalled about things being split off but it looks like I forgot about them being recombined
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

 

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