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I'm still a relative beginner to distilling with the bubble cap technology. On a couple of early rum runs, I attempted to distil in one spirit run, straight from the wash (no strip run) using 4 bubble cap tees. I found that there was almost no flavour in the hearts, where as the heads had plenty. I don't like using much heads so I've generally been a little unhappy. I figured (incorrectly) that the lack of flavour was being caused by the 4 bubble caps stripping too much out. I've even made a lemon vodka and distilled this in one run using 4 bubble caps. The 50L of wash contained flesh from about 80 lemons and I used about 20 lemon skins too, but the flavour didn't carry through much into the hearts. I've seen a number of postings on other forums with members talking about a similar issue. I just couldn't even get close to the quality I could produce with a pot still. It didn't make sense.
Due to some unrelated issues where I was burning my rum wash with the exposed elements (due to burning the unfermentable sugars), I decided to start doing lowish power strip washes first. Believing that lack of flavour in my original runs was caused by the use of 4 bubble caps, i decided to use 2 for my spirit run. Don't get me wrong, the result was good - but still not quite as good as my pot stilling.
Yesterday, I decided to give 4 bubble caps a go during my latest rum spirit run. I also used more reflux on the RC (about 25°C different between hot water temp and the head of the still). I'm really impressed by the results and the only real difference was doing a strip wash first. The hearts now have plenty of flavour. I'd make a bet that if I had stripped the lemon vodka first, I would have ended up with a much better result i.e. with flavour distributed all through the various cuts.
Any idea what causes this strange anomaly please? Logic would say there should be less flavour as I'm doing an additional run (the strip run). Seems to me that I always need to do strip runs as part of my distilling process?