Stripping Run vs. Spirit Run

Please bear with me as I'm very new to this.

I'm about to do my first fast stripping run with my new Baby CD (configured for a stripping run) followed by a slower spirit run. My question is how much of my first run do I need to do the spirit run. I have read... as long as it covers the elements (in my milk-can boiler) it is OK but what happens when the liquid boils off exposing the elements, if I add water to increase the volume before starting the spirit run... this would seem to undo the stripping run?


  • Hi there. Best to do multiple ferments and strip each. Collect the strip and after 3-4 then do a spirit run.

    Or, if you only have only one ferment, why don't you go straight into a spirit run?

  • edited January 2016

    Hi MiniMike

    As Unsensibel says - you probably practically need a minimum of 2 strip runs per spirit run - watering down doesn't 'undo' the stripping run because you've removed the wash and only partially replaced it with water-it's been cleaned up in other words.

    Doing one spirit run is certainly an option with your gear

    Definitely don't expose your elements

    The norm is to have a spirit charge at no more than 30% alc - so you either strip down until you reach that target, or stop stripping at a higher ABV and dilute to 30% or less

    EG: a 40L wash @ say 8% might yield approx 2.8L 100% al or thereabouts accountng for losses - this would then give a 9.3L charge @ 30% - In that case I'd make it 10L @ 28%

    This'll reduce to say 7.something litres over the spirit run - maybe ok depending on where you elements are located - But doing 2 stripped runs will give you a more practical roughly half boiler charge (I'm assuming a 50L boiler)

    To some degree what you do depends what you want to achieve from the spirit..

    Best of luck...

  • edited January 2016

    Thank you @Unsensibel & @Eucyblues that has made the process much clearer.

  • Hi Mike for another perspetive I never do a spirit run on flavoured spirits without some raw wash. What I typically do is strip a whole wash then add the strip to the boiler, top up with wash and distill. This will result in a big ball of flavour, but with excellent quality.

    The point is that you just need to work out what works for you. BTW neutral is different, use a packed section and Eucyblues advice. I take the time to tripple distill it, or use my bokka.

    Hope this helps.

  • @rossco said: Hi Mike for another perspetive I never do a spirit run on flavoured spirits without some raw wash.

    This is a perfect example of how every still/wash is different. For my whiskey I just do one run on the wash using 4 plates and really watch the cuts.

    For my rum, I do a stripping run and never add any wash to the spirit run because I have live dunder in the wash and haven't been able to get the final product I wanted without a true stripping/spirit run.

    Your rig will be different in a lot of ways just by the way that you run it. Take notes. Once you figure what works for you then you will have it dicked. THEN it gets really fun!

  • Hesitant to comment with all the above great ideas, but what the heck...

    • Run it in stripping mode (no plates, no RC) 3-5 times, no cuts whatsoever

    • Take all the low wines and run through as a stripping run, with lots of marked jars around where you think the cuts need to be... stop earlier than you think to keep tails from making your gaskets smell...

    if you want neutral, make it a 10-16 plater or add a 2'--6' section of packed column

  • If you want to be sure not to blow your elements, cover them with water before adding the spirit. You know positively you will be safe then.

    For a flavoured spirit i'd do it like rossco said, for neutral i'd do it like unsensible said.

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

  • edited January 2016

    @CothermanDistilling said: if you want neutral, make it a 10-16 plater or add a 2'--6' section of packed column

    Yep that'll do it.

  • Thank you everyone, what a helpful & friendly lot of guys. I have found the process a little daunting as I've only ever used a simple reflux column but your comments have given me a bit more confidence and I'm now going to approach it with a suck it and see attitude, learning on the way... Thanks again!

  • Mike you can't screw it up. If its not right put it back in the boiler with some fresh wash or 97 plates, and run it out again. :D

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