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Rum Jellyfish

edited June 2018 in General

Hi guys, i'm not sure if this has been discussed before but I have been getting this precipitant of white cloudy stuff developing in my bottles after a few days that I'm calling jellyfish. My rum at 60% doesn't appear to have anything in it and is very clear for dark rum. I have experimented with spring water, distilled water, demineralised water and tank water all with the same result. Once I water it down to 40% and leave it sit for a few days this white cloudy thing sits on the bottom of the bottle looming up about 1cm or so. Whatever this is must be in the alcohol before I add the water. Where I live hardly ever gets below 20c/68f in winter. Does anyone know what this could be. Thanks



  • Pics?

    If you have the same result using distilled and demineralized water, it's likely not mineral based precipitation.

    Sounds like possibly haze/floc from tails. Is this single or double pot distilled? Are you adding anything else?

  • edited June 2018

    If your not a commercial guy its a super easy fix.

    Prior to bottling, if you transfer your finished product into a more narrow glass cylinder type jar with a wide mouth, place in the fridge for,,,,more than a day. Once the jelly fish drops and stratifies/settles, you should be able to easily pour off the clear with out disturbing the jelly fish. Pour gently.

    If you don't have the practice for pouring without disturbing you can place some 2" (or the like), 100% cotton padding over the mouth of your receiver vessel to catch some of any dreggs. Don't try and recover any liquid that the jelly fish occupies.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • @Smaug That kinda sounds like experience talking.

  • I'll get some pics grim, I have a 4inch dash running 4 plates and strip then spirit run. I add caramel for extra colour about 500ml to 100l of 40% spirit. Thanks Smaug I will try that.

  • E150a or are you making your own?

  • Making my own, white sugar until very dark brown then water until all dissolved.

  • edited June 2018

    It's a long shot, but one thing to consider, make sure your sugar doesn't have anti-caking agents in it, it may not be easy to tell because in many countries it's not a labeling requirement. It's not entirely uncommon to see stearate-based anti-caking agents added to improve flow and processing (to make packaging and storage easier), and these will absolutely cloud up at cooler temps if the volume is high enough.

    In a pinch, I used this really finely granulated sugar once to make syrup (not powdered sugar, which absolutely will contain anti-caking agents), and it was problematic.

    Sometimes you see cornstarch added as well, which is insoluble in ethanol.

    Running a strip and then on 4 plates, your tails cut can't be that off to cause the room temp clouding. Maybe consider commercial E150a?

  • Thanks grim, I will try with a commercial colour and see how it goes.

  • edited June 2018


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  • Just one more question, one of my friends is having the same trouble and about the only thing we do the same is use a silicon defoamer in the stripping run. Could this possibly have anything to do with the problem. Thanks

  • Free fatty acids. What @Smaug said should do the trick.

  • edited June 2018

    My guess its a floc. Most probably from the sugar but flocs are common in brewing and form yeast flocs. Unlikely in distilling but just a though.

  • Thanks guys, ,i'm sure what Smaug said will work fine, just that I have three 60l barrels one ready to go and then 2 more next month and putting containers in the fridge is going to take a long time lol, so I would like to get this right for the future. The sugar is from a local sugar mill and they said it is 100% refined sugar with no additives but I will use commercial colouring next time to be safe.

  • edited June 2018

    I've been meaning to try these Graver filter cartridges for chill filtration

    TCW only has them in a 20" code-7 size, not 10", so I need a bigger housing.

    At $75 or so for the cartridge, and probably $200-300 for the housing, it's not a huge outlay.

    And just find lift top chest freezer to cool the product.

  • edited June 2018

    Just an FYI - it is very difficult to find a Code-7 style filter cartridge effective for chill haze filtration. Typically, you only find the correct filter media in large plate/frame filter sizes, not something like this which could be a game changer for micro/craft distillery chill filtration. You might need to spend $2500-5000 for just the filtration equipment for plate/frame, vs a couple hundred for Code-7 style filtration.

    Just cooling and sending through a typical Poly or PES particulate filter will not work.

  • An additional note .............. These are nominal rated pleated filters. Ideally you need absolute rated depth filters where the filtration takes place within the filters media depth. Such filters are never back flushed and are better suited for haze filtration.

    They ought be available in code 7.... certainly if it's a reputable cartridge.

  • Cellulose and Cellulose+DE depth filtration is typically used in spirits chill filtration, they generally have fairly low efficiencies (60-65%) , worse than typical poly nominal-rated cartridge filtration. Chill filtration is more than just simple pore sizes. The filtration medium needs to be conducive to attracting and holding long-chain esters, sterols, lipids, etc.

    In addition, nominal vs absolute is somewhat relative. For example, let's say you want 2 micron filtration.

    A 2 micron absolute filter will give you 2 microns absolute.

    A 0.22 micron nominal filter will give you 2 microns absolute.

    The absolute rated cartridge is 3-4x more expensive, generally it will have significantly less dirt holding capability, meaning they need to be replaced much more frequently, and probably needs significant pre-filtration to protect the cartridge.

    If we're talking about filter sterilization of a microbiological or pharmaceutical product, I can see this being really, really, really important.

    I've tried using absolute rated PES cartridges for chill filtration and it didn't work well at all. My theory is that the colloids and other hazes become well mixed in the filtration process and work their way through the filter cartridge. Cellulose, DE, and other filter medium for haze filtration typically have ionically charged filter medium, binding more of these in the filter medium not by trapping them in the pores, but by binding with them ionically.

  • edited June 2018

    This is one of the best resources I've found on the topic:

    Feasibility testing of chill filtration of brown spirits to increase product stability (PDF)

    First, the elephant in the room, increasing proof is the easiest way to eliminate haze. From the study above, product proof impact on chill haze. 4 (red) represents the worst haze, 0 (blue) represents the least. This is prior to chill filtration. They tested no 80 or 86 proof product, because 100% of it would haze. The easiest answer, bottle your aged product at 90 proof or above.


    After chill filtration, you can see, significant difference in haze formation, which allows for lower product proofs with very little chance of haze formation.


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  • The other option that the study presents, adding DE to the spirit as a filter aid prior to filtration.

    I've not tried this, but it might be a reasonable option to leveraging standard poly cartridge filtration.

  • I’ve been hunting for the Beco Protect CS cartridge which is a cellulose sheet swapped around a core, but also hard to find without buying a case.

  • I have had the jellyfish thing in whiskey before, years ago... I think back then I attributed it to somethign growing in the barrel between uses... Lately, I had several batches of whiskey in new barrels that I had to decant several cases of off of way too unattractive floaty sediment (very un-flocculant, similar to mead sediment), I used a 1/4" stainless tube custom bent to fit in the bottle on a shelf and siphon to the shelf below, leaving 1/4" in, I topped the bottles off, re-capped, swirled the contents of the sediment and dumped to a mason jar for future settling and topping off... after several cases of that, you take stock of what you can do to stop it......

    Just last night used the hexoganal plastic plate vino filter with a march 809 pump with the #1 (coarsest, supposedly 2-7 micron)pads for 15gal bbl of whiskey(freshly dumped and proofed to 90), it started out flowing through a 1/4" tube like there was no restriction, , about 2/3 the way through, it was down to the trickle from a boca... I have never had the filter pads so full of stuff, and the whiskey looked pretty clear other than some large chunks of char.... FYI - the day before, I used a single set of the .5 micron #5 sterile pads for 35 gal vodka, and had no problems...

    I might try setting up a cooling rig to chill it to below freezing, but next barrel I will proof and cover for 48 hours and not move it before pumping through filter into bottling vessel, I think I can settle out enough to not spend an hour filtering the last gallon..

  • I did a series of proofing water experiments with my UJSM and rum both of which used Australian raw sugar as part of the fermentables.

    Used same batches and proofed with tap water, bottled water and then with deminerilised water.

    The latter won hands down and i think if i used that water for the ferment as well as the proofing i may have eliminated the haze.
    I still use demineralised water for proofing, but it's too exe for ferments. Perhaps RO would be cheaper and suitable?

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

  • @grim said: I've been meaning to try these Graver filter cartridges for chill filtration

    TCW only has them in a 20" code-7 size, not 10", so I need a bigger housing.

    Based on the positive feedback we're getting from customers on the GFC filters we're going to start carrying them in 10" as well. First batch should arrive in a couple weeks.

    We also just started carrying a 10" SS housing that accepts Code 7 cartridges. Check it out here.

  • Can’t wait to try the 10”, please let us know!

  • Love a company that listens to it's customers. Well done.

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

  • @grim said: Can’t wait to try the 10”, please let us know!

    They're heeeere

  • @MichaelAtTCW Just ordered! And some extra bits of hose too.

    Love Glidetech Distillery - happy you carry that too.

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