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Cuts on an All Feints Run?

Since these were all rejects at some time or another, HTF do you guys make cuts on an all feints run? Getting ready to do my first using all rum heads and tails. I'll be running about 4 odd gallons.

Any advice? I am putting this in the beginner's talk section because I feel like a friggin noob asking.

I use VERY conservative cuts on my runs so I'm sure that there is good alcohol in this but no idea how much is salvageable.



  • If you have been really squeezing your heads and tails, I would say dilute to 20% and run it. Then save that bit of yield. Repeat till you have enough diluted to 20% for a full spirit run......then further evaluate.

    The thing is that feins from a plated system are far more nasty than feins from a bone stock pot still.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • Cuts is cuts.

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • @punkin said: Cuts is cuts.


    And drinkable yield is subjective.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • It also depends what product you are after. Are you recycling feints for neutral or are you aiming for a flavoured product?

  • Yes, @Smaug, I compress the shit out of heads and since I got my new rig tails come on fast. I have been keeping very little tails to add back in so there should be a lot of flavor left.

    @Myles, I am going to run it like a normal rum run and try and squeeze out another batch of rum so I will let it go down to about 80ABV or whenever the tails start smelling like bad. I'll let you guys know what happens but I feel like I have gotten almost all of what I need from this stuff. Anything that I get will be a bonus as the real reason I am doing this is to free up about 20 jars.

  • Did my "cuts" on this run last night; Stopped pulling after 14 liters and let them air for 2 days. Couldn't find one damn jar that smelled and tasted good enough to keep. Guess when the still is doing it's job, there isn't a lot left that is worth a shit. From now on with rum, I will just pour out the heads and tails after cuts.

    I did save 2 liters of what was the closest to drinkable stuff that was there. Proofed it down to 65ABV and put a coffee filter on the top of the large Mason jar. Noted the date, ABV, and temp and I will do an experiment to see just how much of the alcohol evaporates. I have always wondered about this and will now know firsthand so it won't be a total waste of time and energy. The jar is in the garage which is not air conditioned. Ambient temp here is about 72F at night and over 90F during the day. Humidity is so high you can taste it.

    Any predictions?

  • If you have the time or energy (physical or mental) you can do as I mentioned previously. Or simply add back your best jars with each subsequent run.

    This way you are not having to cope with so much concentrated funk in one batch.......Spread it out so that you can add back some depth of character without the over powering funk.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • I may try that Smaug. Starting with a concentrated funk and then taking the spirit off at a high ABV has kept it from overpowering so far. Still not quite the droid that I was looking for at this point. Everything that I have read tells me that rum has to age some to be good but you know what an impatient SOB that I am. I have about 1 1/2 gallons of gold from my last run that looks like it will become special. Still has kinda a metallic smell but a very complex flavor and very smooth already.

    I may also go back and try another strip/spirit run instead of just one run. Lotta jars of experiments on the shelf already. Hope one is a hit.

  • Update on my evaporation experiment:

    Just to remind you guys, I had a 2 liter jar with 65abv from an all feints run that I put a coffee filter on and let it air. It was quazi-savable but I am making so much shit that I only keep the cream of the crop so it was used as an experiment. I have always wondered about how much alcohol evaporates and after 30 days I can see that it is better than what I expected.

    My original sample was 60.5abv corrected for temp, not the 65% that I thought I started with. After 30 days in the Easy Bake Oven that I call my garage, the ABV dropped to 52.8ABV . That's roughly a 13% drop. I was expecting closer to 20% so I was a little surprised.

    Now I won't hesitate to take some jars out of the cabinet and air them for 3-4 days every now and then. No doubt that it really softens the edges of the spirit.

  • Hey @FloridaCracker, I did a rum all feints run last April. With a 45 liter charge I ran it thru 5 plates and a packed section, just like a normal neutral run. I thought I might get a sort of Bacardi style white spirit but some flavor carried over and as you have described.... it tastes funky!!! A bit of an acquired taste, although at a stretch not too bad straight up on ice with a squeeze of lime, but still not the best ive made.. I've tried putting some on oak at 65% a few months back, still funky. Ah well, it was worth a try.

    I reckon your right, in the pursuit of perfection to make the best, keep your best cuts from the first run and chuck the rest. After all.... it costs bugger all to make so its no great loss.

  • Heef, since I got my 5" Dash I have been running an unbelievable amount of rum. Trying different things and honing in on what I hope to be an exceptional spirit. As Smaug has pointed out in past threads, once your still is dialed in to maximize the good stuff the stuff that is left over really isn't worth saving.

    When making rum, since I use live dunder added to the wash, I keep the still in a 100% reflux for an hour before I even start dripping out fores. This maximizes esterfication in the wash. Fores usually take another hour. By the time the fores are taken, the heads are unbelievably compressed so there is little waste on the front side. The tails are taken and evaluated after about 3-4 days of airing. Whatever doesn't make the cut is tossed. There might be a miniscule bit of alcohol that could be recovered but as you found out, it really is bottom tier shit.

    On a different note, Smaug and I discussed the fact that after keeping an efficient still in a full reflux for so long it is damn near impossible to bring it back down to normal levels that a complex rum would be taken. In my situation, I have to just add back whatever good tails that I can find to add the complexity. Typically my rum is taken off of the still at 88-94%. After 88 the ABV plummets fast so I have to be quick with the jars.

  • Wow a 5" Dash, sounds like a nice rig. I'm using a 4" crystal dragon with 5 plates and a packed section for neutrals as mentioned on a 50L keg boiler. I remove the packed section and one of the plates for the rums and run a single pass only. Do you mean adding dunder from the boiler after doing a run to make the next wash? If so that's what I've been doing. In a 60 Liter drum I've been mixing 5kg raw sugar, 5 liters of molasses and around 15 liters of hot dunder to dissolve it all then top up to 55L with cold water ( well cold water comes out of the tap at 28 degrees C/ 82F.) I run my CD in a similar fashion but an half hour in 100% reflux, then around 45 mins to collect fores. Generally I only get around 600 - 800mls of heads. Mine starts at 94% to and I find by the time it gets down to 91 it drops off pretty quickly and I stop it there. I don't go too far into tails. What do you mean by "good" tails? What abv tails are you adding? I have read that adding tails is good for a scotch whiskey but I didnt know it could improve a rum. Im all ears!!!

  • The dunder that cracker is talking about is live germs that he breeds in a pit of hell, captures and enslaves and hopes they don't turn on him and kill him. It's all sorts of bacterial death in a bucket.

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • edited August 2015

    @punkin is right - we have proof:


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  • Those in the above picture are just a few of my dunder minions. They protect and nurture the dunder in the fashion that it deserves. I can't show a recent picture of the dunder because it is far too terrifying for human eyes to see.

    The dunder has once tried to turn on me but I was able to talk it down. If I disappear from this forum for any length of time, you will know that it succeeded in getting me.

    On a side note, I am in the middle of a stripping run and once again- not only drinkable off of the still but damn tasty.

  • Heef there will be a LOT of flavors in the tails. Most are nasty but you may find a golden one tucked in the mix. Most of the tails that I keep are pretty early. Let them air for at least a couple of days and then do your tasting and smelling. You should know if it is worth keeping. I don't keep track of the ABV of tails. Just use my nose and taste buds.

    Go and read The Big Dunder Thread found on this forum. You will find a picture of my baby dunder. The moderator of this forum won't let me show pictures of it once it matured......

  • :))

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • @FloridaCracker

    Holy crap!! That's some nasty looking shit, are you sure that's not radioactive!! haha. Interesting read. I'm real interested to read your test results summary of the 3 different styles when your all done. I see your stripping first then doing a spirit run. I haven't tried that yet, as I've said I've just been doing a single pass thru 4 plates. It carries heaps of flavor. Maybe i should give it a try too. I don't go too deep into tails, usually only collect 2 or 3 jars once I notice abv dropping. Usually flick everything off around 90%, next run I'll run it out to 88 and do as you've suggested.

  • On my stripping run yesterday I collected down to about 85% . I was interrupted by a visitor and pulled the plug on the run. I might have gone a little deeper but I had already passed wet dog and probably was close to wet cardboard. I had already collected almost 4 liters of tails so I have a pretty good amount to sort through when doing cuts. I love the fact that on rum I really only do cuts on the tails. All heads are thrown out. I miss some of the buttery flavor but don't miss the hangover part.

    Since using live dunder, one observation that I have made in my experiments is that for my tastes, stripping is mandatory. Too much live dunder flavor is carried through on just a single run (Punkin stomach turns when reading this). It is still too soon to make any definitive calls on my rum experiments but that part I can call already unless something changes with age (which it could).

    What I am really happy about is that everything that has gone into my barrel has been drinkable off of the still. Since it is a 15 gallon barrel I will probably treat it semi-solara style- remove some and then add to what is left. I will have to keep a closer eye on it this way but I only have one barrel so that shouldn't be hard.

  • lately I find cuts lower than 80% disgusting. But this is my very own opinion. I just can't bear the smell after that point. Sometimes even way before. Some of our pro distillers friends like that broad taily style in their products, but it's obviously not for me.

    StillDragon Europe - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Europe & the surrounding area

  • edited August 2015

    Often depends on the RR. And also not everybody likes lima beans.

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  • edited September 2015

    @FloridaCracker, I only run feints through my 4 plater with the packed section on top to recover any ethanol as neutral, not as flavoured product. I have found that this will produce a spirit that needs longer airing and carbon treatment before use, but then is fine especially for macerations & the like where other flavours are introduced.

    Because they are feints, I run in 100% reflux for an hour or more to stack the fores & heads as much as I can but have found that the hearts cut is a lot smaller. Once abv starts to drop, I shut down as I don't see the point in collecting crap from a feints run. I then only need to focus on doing cuts on the heads/ hearts transition & early tails jars.

  • edited August 2015

    @FloridaCracker said: On a different note, Smaug and I discussed the fact that after keeping an efficient still in a full reflux for so long it is damn near impossible to bring it back down to normal levels that a complex rum would be taken. In my situation, I have to just add back whatever good tails that I can find to add the complexity. Typically my rum is taken off of the still at 88-94%. After 88 the ABV plummets fast so I have to be quick with the jars.

    Have you considered runing in full reflux and then shutting down the power whilst leaving the coolant running untill the column cools down to warm, and then starting again? Sort of compromise but without wasting all the energy already put into the boiler. Do the esterification phase, cool down a bit and start again as if you had just warmed up.

  • have you tried completely draining the dephlegmator when stopping heads compression? and then if that not working, remove a plate... I cannot see thermal mass of the column being the only culprit...

  • Also, I can usually overwhelm my RC by dialing up the heat

  • Does it matter if the feints are from rum neutral and ujssm all mixed together?

  • The rum will carry more flavor than the UJ typically. If you are going for a neutral, go for it but don't be surprised if some rum flavor is still there.

  • If I run through carbon filter after will that be enough to remove the taste

  • edited September 2015

    About to do my first all feints run got this bad boy rigged up should be fun note the old girl in the back ground


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