Treating Water For Proofing

Gday guys,

Just a general interest question on how and if people treat their water used in proofing spirit down.

Some guys use regular tap water, some carbon filter, some buy bottled water and some go to the extent of seven stage reverse osmosis!

What do you do? And why

We use a triple stage carbon filtration system, but I have been thinking of adding a reverse osmosis plant with re mineralised water lately...

Chris

Comments

  • I know back when i was doing a bit at home, i'd get a hazey precipitate in the spirit that would be minimized by using demineralised water.

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

  • Not saying its only way but we use RO water for proofing .

  • @hudsonbaydistiller does your RO add minerals post treatment?

  • RO + DI with a target of 0 tds.

    Spare me the marketing of using the tears of the daughters of the American revolution, or the limestone creek that ran through your pappys secret recipe cave ... or virgins.

  • edited March 4

    @grim. What’s DI? Probably deionised as that’s all I can think of that would make it more pure Used to do that for cooling water for high power amplifiers at satellite earth station. On second thoughts we distilled then deionised thru nuclear grade resin. RO had not really become big in the late 80’s

    But what ever that is pure water.

  • I find RO or heavily carbon filtered water tastes a bit earthy and bland unless there is some minerals put back in. Its needs a little something to sweeten it up a bit

    Virgins tears generally do the trick :))

  • On our malt whiskeys, on the final still run, and after we have collected (potstilled, of course) down to a aggregate appropriate collected aging proof (differs with the whiskeys), the following still output that in a sane world would get into tails, gets richer and richer malt flavor with no tails off-flavors. We use this for proofing that same aged whiskey from which the lower proof late 'stillings are taken. It makes for great malt flavor.

    NOTE: This seemingly magical fraction ONLY works for us with the last still run on malt whiskey. Everything else we do produces tailish flavors at the appropriate time just like everyone else's distillation.

    Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

    my book, Making Fine Spirits

  • @grim said: RO + DI with a target of 0 tds.

    Spare me the marketing of using the tears of the daughters of the American revolution, or the limestone creek that ran through your pappys secret recipe cave ... or virgins.

    There is a gin brand in the UK, named after the pool next to the distillery.

    The water goes through a chalk bed.

    That means huge amounts of calcium in the water.

    Too much for proofing.

    So they probably run it through an RO system.

  • RO+DI ? Really? Good grief guys. We're not making semiconductors.
    How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
    How did they ever make spirits worth drinking back in the day?

    I'm more like I am now than I was before.

  • edited March 5

    0.0546µmho or BUST!!!

    I'm more like I am now than I was before.

  • We just get ours out of the beautiful crick running out back

    image

    creek.jpg
    705 x 800 - 220K
  • Virgin water :)

  • edited March 6

    I have it on good authority that most spirits years ago were sh!t compared to even the worst of the bottom shelf today. Your pappy's moonshine was garbage, they were too drunk to care. Spirits were so bad, they needed to be adulterated with so much nonsense as to almost completely cover up the disaster that was the base spirit. Entire spirits industries were founded on adulteration, imitation, and doing anything to even make a remotely palatable alcohol delivery methodology. Real the old trade literature, the shit they put in spirits in the 1800s thru early 1900s would make your head spin.

    Embrace technology and innovation, and create better spirits through chemistry. Technology is not anathema to craftsmanship in this regard, they are one in the same.

  • edited March 6

    Spirits were so bad, adulteration was so bad, poisoning was so bad, that it was one of the main reasons that the Pure Food and Drug Act was passed in 1906.

    For those that don't know the US history, the fact that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) even exists right now in the US, can be traced almost directly back to shitty spirits being sold to customers and the regulation of that through the Pure Food and Drug Act.

    @Kapea said: How did they ever make spirits worth drinking back in the day?

    The fact is, they didn't.

  • edited March 6

    It was no better in Europe.

    Food and Drink Adulteration in the 1700 and 1800s @ Geri Walton

    Friedrich Christian Accum, a German chemist, arrived in London in 1793. He soon discovered that food and drink adulteration were occurring on a regular basis in England and that it caused deleterious and even fatal effects to those who consumed such items. In 1820, he published a treatise on adulteration in food and drink and noted that “there is none more reprehensible, and at the same time more prevalent, than the sophistication of the various articles of food.” Accum also claimed that adulteration had become such an “unprincipled and nefarious practice,” that it touched “almost every commodity which can be classed among either the necessaries or the luxuries of life … in every part of the United Kingdom.”

    Among the items regularly counterfeited or adulterated were drinks (beer, tea, coffee, spirits, and wine), bread, cheese, pickled foods, and sweet treats. In fact, by the early 1800s, the practice of adulteration had become so common, nineteenth century people developed a taste for fraudulent substances in their food and drink and often did not realize anything was wrong with what they were ingesting until it was too late.

    Among the adulterated items consumed were a variety of counterfeited liquors and other beverages. For instance, although statutes prohibited brewers from adding anything more than malt and hops to beer, nefarious brewers were not deterred, and they regularly added deleterious or illegals substances, such as molasses, brown sugar, capsicum, licorice root, ginger, quassia, or copperas. One gentleman, a Mr. Jackson, decided to train brewers how to brew beer without any malt or hops because he could make a fortune selling unlawful ingredients. However, he was somewhat thwarted after an Act of Parliament was instituted and a stiff fine enacted to prevent supplying such ingredients to brewers. Spirituous liquors, such as brandy, rum, and gin, were also substituted with “a weaker liquor for a stronger one.” As for wines, “many thousand pipes of spoiled cyder [were] … brought … from the country, for the purpose of being converted into factitious Port wine.” In addition, in some cases, preparations of lead or adulterated vinegars were introduced into wine. Tea and coffee were both counterfeited with imitation tea leaves often substituted for real ones and coffee beans were substituted for peas and pigeon beans (also a type of pea) or by various other vegetable sources.

    Liquor and other drinks were not the only item nineteenth century consumers found altered or adulterated because spurious items were regularly added to bread.

  • You could not have said it better @grim. This whole grand pappy recipe shit is funny, I have drank stuff that the grand pappies made, it wasn't good at best it was palatable once you were 3/4 pissed. I believe that's the whole reason distillation is still illegal.

  • edited March 6

    So the Scots, and the French, and the Kentuckians were producing shit back in the day? Methinks not.

    I have been doing industrial and lab grade water chemistry professionally since 1973. I can get as pedantic as the next guy.

    When it comes to spirits I go the KISS route: Rainwater filtered through a 5 micron filter and GAC. It just falls out of the sky for free. Never had any issues. I could use the rainwater raw, so my filters are a nod to modernism.

    But hey, I'll be glad to sell you a nice RO system if you like.

    I'm more like I am now than I was before.

  • No offense intended @grim. You know I love ya more than my luggage. And I do enjoy a lively debate.

    I'm more like I am now than I was before.

  • edited March 6

    And I'd really like to taste those whiskeys someday that they reviewed in the video you posted over in No Topic Thread.

    I'm more like I am now than I was before.

  • I know we in the US made an d drank some terrible adulterated and even toxic spirits during American prohibition, and when I was in London (decades ago, scrounging for a job) I remember being told that there was, by statute, a maximum percentage of sawdust allowed in the traditional English banger.

    On the other hand, I'd happily hold our whiskeys up beside (if not against) the best of comparable age out there, and we hold to the whiskey-maker's "Reinheitsgebot" of malt, water, yeast (bread), and wood, making an addition of Irish peat for the Islay-style, all distilled in a very simple pot still. (OK, we do rely on Star San to stay uninfected, but if we had to, we could do without that).

    The only place where my old and shaky chemistry background comes in, is in judgement, not ingredients. Of course, YMMV - hell everybody's M probably V's.

    Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

    my book, Making Fine Spirits

  • Taste is very subjective poisoning isnt lol . Quite often we are offered to try someones home made distilate . And to clarify i come from a scotish / metis back ground so i ll drink anything . But i have started a rule that im not tasting anything untill u tell me about your process and your equiptment , this came after having a long discussion with a fella that told me taking cuts was just wasting alcohol and he keeps everything that comes off the still ..... so is there some bad spooky sketchy grand pappy recipes out there, bet your liver onit there out there . There is so much accurate information out available especially on this site about making safe distilled spirits there is no need for people to be making sketchy shit even if thats the way it was done during prohibition .

    Tim

  • But to answer your first question we use RO water because we do water tests every thursday and keep results from the lab when they return for our records as well as our piece of mind .

  • edited March 8

    @Kapea said: When it comes to spirits I go the KISS route: Rainwater filtered through a 5 micron filter and GAC. It just falls out of the sky for free. Never had any issues. I could use the rainwater raw, so my filters are a nod to modernism.

    Yeah but you live on an island that might possibly have the purest rainwater falling outside the Arctic.

    Unless you start getting a breeze from Wuhan. I hear it’s raining black in Japan, ash from the bodies being burned in China.

    Nothing that a 5 micron wouldn’t take care of.

    Too soon?

Sign In or Register to comment.