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Advice on Redistilling NGS

edited October 19 in General

Looking to get advice on redistilling NGS which has been reduced to a suitable proof, such as 40% abv, to put into a milk can boiler and redistill over a 6 plates, is it possible that the spirit coming off the still would get back up to 96% for vodka?

Or would I need to have more plates?

Thanks

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Comments

  • You want to distill 40%abv NGS to make a vodka?

    And you're also want it to come off the still to provide you a 96%abv spirit?

  • I think it's about the regs in the states George, but i'm going to say without having done it that 6 plates should get you there if you're starting at 40%. If not you could add a packed section.

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

  • edited October 18

    Related to this I was speaking to a well known South Oz gin maker and he unapologetically said he uses grape neutral from Tarac again in SA. He is saying it’s excellent stuff and made in a very fancy still much better than he could possibly make it.

    Has anyone tried their spirit and have an opinion. What quality is generally available in bought ns

  • Try distilling the Ultra Premium neutral through a pot still and tell me what you think of it.

    For a spirit that had been through the equivalent of 100 plates or more, it disinfected separates into an unpleasant fores cut that can be as high as 40% of the original LALs. It's all palette specific of course. However, for a product that's gone through so many plates, I find out hard to comprehend how a single pad through a copper pot still can name such a difference.

    If you want neutral, go to Manildra for a better product. It has a tighter tolerance on the bits that matter IMO.

  • edited October 18

    Manildra sound interesting. Would love to get a sample bottle of both just for education / curiosity.

    I don’t really warm to the idea of pro producers using bought spirit but I am only hobby so making the base spirit is half the fun.

  • Could auto correct have made any more mistakes?

  • IMO the tarac spirit is very good, but it's expensive. Australia makes some great GNS, I tried products from 4 producer prior to deciding which to use.

    George, are you saying that when the tarmac is redistilled it deteriorates? Could this be the reason behind big heads cut we talked about previously?

    @GD50, it's simple economics. The time and cost associated with producing the required volume of neutral or commercial gin/vodka would put the products in the ultra premium category & therefore not generate many sales. Commercial producers need by the very nature of business to look closely at their cost base; market(s) and point of difference. Without strategic decisions such as using gns, the craft spirit market would likely be limited to dark spirits. Without the access to good GNS to generate cashflow (especially during the 1st few years) most craft producers wouldn't survive.

  • @GD50 I know what you mean, when I found that out it ruined a lot of the romanticism you get from reading the bottles. That said I totally understand the economics of buying in Neutral.

    Sadly though not an option for us hobbyists.

    I was starting to think about trying that Neutral White Tarac Grape Juice Concentrate as a base for a neutral as it might be nicer than a TPW. Worst case I’m sure it could be turned into something else!

  • The Tarac has double the impurity spec of the Manildra. When you pot distill this product you get two extremely distinctive cuts. This drive me bloody crazy as it's sold as Ultra Premium 96%.

    A single step pot distillation versus 100+ step column , I shouldn't be able to make such a significant improvement as what I've done. I no longer trust their process. Perhaps increasing demand had result in a decrease in quality.

    When I first started taking product from them I'm pretty sure they went through an additional 30 steps.

  • edited October 20

    Having played a bit, I believe you can improve a XX+ plate NGS even with a potstill - but to do it will require large losses.

    A small heads and tails cut on NGS in a potstill are meaningless. However, distillation is still happening here, and heads/tails congeners are still stacking before and after hearts.

    Take a large enough cut on each side, and you'll have a positive improvement - however - the cost will be large losses of product.

  • I think their neutral might be used a bit in the wine industry for fortified products, I know a winery up here that uses it for their Vermouth

  • @Sam said: ...

    Sadly though not an option for us hobbyists.

    Also not an option for holders of a Washington State Craft Distillers license, where >50% of every product's input materials must be certified grown in Washington.

    Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

    my book, Making Fine Spirits

  • edited October 20

    @Sam. I have used the sweet white concentrate to make a Pisco type product pot stilled

    Turned out ok and about to give another go with a heap of raisins in the ferment. I was always going to make a Raki /ouzo type brew with the grape spirit by a combo of masceration and vapour infusion through GB4. Have not got around to it and still on the to try list.

    Yes their grape spirit is used to fortify lots.

  • @GD50 said: with a heap of raisins in the ferment.

    Slightly off the subject and with the use of raisins, ........ I heard the other day (not sure how correct it is) if you have a carbonated product e.g. beer or champagne and has gone flat since its opening, you can initiate its regas by simply dropping a raisin in.

  • The real question is why would you leave champagne or beer long enough to lose gas in the first place!

  • :( Would need to speak to the wife about this as she's the responsible party.

  • edited October 21

    @richard said: Slightly off the subject and with the use of raisins, ........ I heard the other day (not sure how correct it is) if you have a carbonated product e.g. beer or champagne and has gone flat since its opening, you can initiate its regas by simply dropping a raisin in.

    Tell me, what's your explanation as to how a raisin can 'initiate a regas'? What's a regas anyway?

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

  • Maybe try Brussels Sprouts, they always help me regas

  • Assuming he's talking about priming sugar and carbonating by fermentation in the glass container.

  • @grim said: Assuming he's talking about priming sugar and carbonating by fermentation in the glass container.

    What? refermenting half a bottle of beer?

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

  • Being a bit of a champagne lush i never have the problem of it going flat

  • Thanks for the replies. Sorry, I've been away and not managed to get to this till now.

    I have some vodka at 96% (should have been clearer in my initial question) and I wanted to look at redistilling to make a finer vodka based spirit.

    Because I have a boiler that uses elements I am presuming I need to keep the proof of the spirit to be redistilled lower to not cause any issues. With this in mind, my questions are:

    1. What should the vodka be cut down to to redistill for my setup use case?

    2. What is the suitable number of plates it would take to get 96% spirit from what it entered at?

    Thanks

  • As mentioned above, you can get to 96% using 5 or 6 plates, a packed section and a slow take off rate/high reflux rate. No-one had ever complained about having too many plates or too many packed columns when it comes to making neutral. Don't skimp.

    A VM configuration would be my suggestion.

    It's worth noting that you will only get 96% for a very short time, after that, the abv will slowly drop.

    Collect in lots of numbered jars and leave the kids off overnight. Come back the next day and grade them to make your hearts cut.

    To achieve a constant 96% abv requires a very different and far more expensive setup.

  • What is the purpose of returning the already distilled spirit to a state of aezotrope? Would not a heads cut do at any abv? or do you need it at 96% for a certain procedure?

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

  • edited October 24

    @zither, if that's the case, why not cut it back to 40% & carbon filter it?

  • Fill the boiler with 95%.

    Distill at 96%

    Make your tails cut before you expose your elements.

    Remainder in the boiler is your new tails cut. You can make a heads cut if necessary.

    (runs, hides).

  • It was my understanding that using higher proof with element, as @grim pointed out.

    With that in mind what is a suitable proof to take it down to?

    I was just concerned about the quality of the output and being able to refine it for other needs as well.

    Is there a calculator that can estimate the approx output from something like 80litres of 40%?

    Thanks

  • edited October 25

    I still don't understand the purpose of bringing it back to 96%, but can't think of another way to ask, so will bow out.

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

  • edited October 25

    Why do you need a calculator?

    80 litres @ 40% = 32 litres of pure ethanol.

    Obviously you cannot hit 100% ethanol since the theoretical limit is 97.2%.

  • He's asking for a theoretical plate count calculator. We have calculators here on a calc page. i'm not a proficient searcher but i'm sure @Moonshine will be along shortly.

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

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