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TPW Questions - Clearing, Stripping, etc

edited December 2013 in Recipes

OK, I'm relatively new to the TPW game. I stripped one 10 gallon batch a few weeks ago, and I've got 2 10 gallon batches of TPW in the fermenters at the moment.

The first batch I put in the primary fermenter, racked it off about a week later and then didn't get around to stripping it for about a month. It was super clear by the time I ran it and came out very clean.

How long do you usually allow for fermenting and clearing?

The 2 batches I have fermenting are 5 and 6 days old and both fermented quickly down to .990. I don't actually know how fast as I had broken my hydrometer and just picked up 2 new ones yesterday. They both read out at .990 at 4 and 5 days old, which is awesome compared to what I'm used to with brewing beer. Must have been some happy yeast.

I racked one of the batches to carboys yesterday to get it off the trub and have time to strip it tonight, but should I give it more time to clear? Does clearing more really make that much of a difference for neutral that will be stripped and the run through a hybrid dash?

Last question... How many batches of stripped product do you combine for your spirit run? I was thinking of combining 3, but even with watering it down, I should be able to fit 4 strip runs in the boiler and not run the element dry. Does adding more or less water for the spirit run make much difference in the final product?

Comments

  • edited December 2013

    There is a theory and practise called hydroseperation where a spirit run is watered down below 28% in order to allow easier and better seperation of the alcohol from the water.

    The theory goes that ethanol and water joints are much easier to bust than ethanol/ethanol ones and so the lower the abv the more ethanol water ones you have from memory.

    Somewhere in Harrys Tastylime Library is the process, but i don't remember where.

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

  • Wow, that's an awesome resource. Thanks.

    28% or lower seems doable. Under 40% seems safer anyway.

    Thoughts on letting it clear substantially or just settling things out for a couple days first? Obviously I'm anxious to run, but I'm willing to wait if I'm going to get inferior product.

  • So I had the time and was already set up, (and it would have been at least a week or more before my next chance) so I ran the batch. A fair amount settled in the 1 day rest in secondary so I figured what the heck.

    After setting aside the first 500ml, I collected 10 liters, from about 130 proof (at 35C) down to 60 proof (19C).

    Now I lost my notes on the last batch I had run, so I'm not sure all of the specs, but I'm pretty sure I used a different yeast on the two runs(current run was just active bakers yeast we had around). This round had a sharper taste and simply wasn't as smooth as the previous, but as they're hot and fast stripping runs, I'm hopeful they'll clean up nicely with a slow, careful spirit run.

    Would the sharper taste be from having not cleared it for as long and the stuff in there scorching on the element?

  • @punkin said: There is a theory and practise called hydroseperation where a spirit run is watered down below 28% in order to allow easier and better seperation of the alcohol from the water.

    The theory goes that ethanol and water joints are much easier to bust than ethanol/ethanol ones and so the lower the abv the more ethanol water ones you have from memory.

    Somewhere in Harrys Tastylime Library is the process, but i don't remember where.

    What happened to that library? The link is broken. Does anyone know where it is now?

  • @Mickiboi said: What happened to that library? The link is broken. Does anyone know where it is now?

    It appears Harry has closed the library down.

  • edited April 2015

    It's from the Whiskey Technology book, you can read the whole section as part of the free preview.

    @punkin you are missing one piece, and that's to discard the top layer of the low wines prior to distillation.

  • Jung, it would make sense that the more "stuff" that you have in suspension, the more flavor carried through. I have found that the clearer the TPW, the cleaner the spirit. Of course you can always redistill to remove whatever you don't like.

  • Yes mate, top and bottom layers. Harry posted a keg design that drew from a few inches up from the bottom in order to leave the taily settled stuff and leave the top stuff as well on Artisan a few years ago.

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

  • edited April 2015

    @jung It depends what your process is, unless I am making a flavoured product I don't go out of my way to ensure that the wash is cleared. Stripping runs will remove all the yeast from the product, if you are having issues with scorching I would look at your element, I have ultra low density elements and have never had any issues and never worry about the clarity of the wash unless I am making a flavoured product.

    Most of my distilling over the years has been on a VM/LM hybrid that I made and its pretty tough to get the thing to do anything other than Azeotrope, that said I have noted a wider hearts cut when I filter my washes with a 1 micron absolute filter. This indicates to me that the yeast has an effect on the quality to some point, but due to this being a hobby for me I don't care about wasting a little bit and taking a smaller hearts cut.

    Lastly what sort of water are your cutting it with? When your tasting a vodka product which is essentially water/ethanol, than the water really needs to be a factor. Municipal water to my tastes varies considerable, my personally favourite is the earthly flavours of dirt! YMMV

    Here is a link with some conversation on water.

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