How to prevent a burning flavor in the distillate?

edited February 10 in General


What is the most important parameter to limit the hot side of a distillate? boiler power? boiler temperature? aging? other?

Thank you so much,



  • edited February 10

    You are talking “burning” flavor? If so:

    1. Fermentation
    2. Cuts and Still Operation

    Many many problems are caused by fermentation issues, and many of them can not be corrected through distillation.

    Tighter cuts, higher output proof can help, but this can be detrimental for full flavored product.

  • edited February 10

    If you’ve got a sweet flavor profile along with a solventy/hot profile - that’s head cut issues. This is upfront burn, fast, pop, right in your mouth.

    Is you’ve got a spicy hot, burn, back of the throat - that’s usually tails/fusel, later in the flavor profile - watch your tails cut.

    In both of these cases, you are making compounds in fermentation that cause this, only to need to cut more to correct. Ideally, fix fermentation issues and you don’t need to make massive cuts to correct.

  • The tails cut burn can be sneaky though. Make sure your palate is accustomed to alcohol first. All it takes is a little bit of a sore throat, post nasal drip, etc etc - and your perception of it gets wonky real fast. Usually a sip of vodka to tame the alcohol burn front helps baseline.

  • Sorry, I forgot to specify: start with a neutral quality 96% alcohol diluted to obtain a 20% vat for the purpose of making a gin.

  • edited February 11

    @Jean, do you know the fermentable source of your "neutral quality 96% alcohol"? Neutral produced from sugar can be hot. Has your vender provided you with an analysis? Are you making any kind of heads cut? What proof are you collecting at?

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • @Smaug Thank you for your help it is wheat alcohol of organic origin. yes there is an analysis I keep almost all of the buds because the flavor seems satisfying and interesting. I have the impression that the 'hot' side comes when the temperature of the vapors becomes too high. therefore the% alcohol of my final distillate is quite high: 60-65%

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