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Jun 08, 2022 View:

Charge in the kettle - Highest Proof

Hey everyone,

I'm curious what is the highest proof people have put into their stills. I know we have to be careful over 100 proof but have people done (or regularly do) in practice? I imagine that there is a big danger difference between direct fire and steam jacketed so I should say I'm really interested in steam jacketed.

The purpose here is to take leftover feints from previous runs and try to clean them up back to neutral, or as close to neutral as possible. My thoughts here are to load up the still with as high proof as possible, run the deflegmator, and run it super slow so it sticks as high as possible. My still is steam jacketed and has 4 plates. I can keep my feints around 170 proof so if I ran that I might get 185+ proof out, and it'll taste about as clean as it can get. So, the question is, is 170 proof too high to throw into the still?

Any thoughts?

Thanks for any and all insight!


Reply:

Please tell everyone in your surrounding community to leave the area while you experiment.


Reply:

Please tell everyone in your surrounding community to leave the area while you experiment.


Reply:

I realized after I posted most people would not answer this question due to the apparent risk. I guess I asked for this.

How about if I rephrase the question, taking it out of practice and application but more of a theoretical question:

Ethanol-water solutions above 50% are flammable and can cause an explosion if there is an ignition source and sufficient oxygen. Neither of these exist in a properly designed still. So, I'm at a loss as to how an explosion could occur.


Reply:

One more comment, someone passed this nugget of info on to me, so I'll share it here.

Feints from a pot still are a different animal than feints from a plated or packed column still. Due to the nature of the tighter fractionation with plates or packing, the concentration of congeners is higher. So while recycling feints from a pot still might have merit, due to the inefficiency of a pot still, recycling feints from a plated or packed still may not. In most cases, if you were to try it, you'd find that it will probably require a specialized still, that can provide even higher levels of separation than your spirit still, and I'd wager a bet that you'll need to take off at azeo to get something usable.


Reply:

If you are trying to clean it up, rather than just increase proof, you want to go in at lower proof and make good cuts.


Reply:

One more comment, someone passed this nugget of info on to me, so I'll share it here.

Feints from a pot still are a different animal than feints from a plated or packed column still. Due to the nature of the tighter fractionation with plates or packing, the concentration of congeners is higher. So while recycling feints from a pot still might have merit, due to the inefficiency of a pot still, recycling feints from a plated or packed still may not. In most cases, if you were to try it, you'd find that it will probably require a specialized still, that can provide even higher levels of separation than your spirit still, and I'd wager a bet that you'll need to take off at azeo to get something usable


Reply:

If you are trying to clean it up, rather than just increase proof, you want to go in at lower proof and make good cuts.


Reply:

One more comment, someone passed this nugget of info on to me, so I'll share it here.

Feints from a pot still are a different animal than feints from a plated or packed column still. Due to the nature of the tighter fractionation with plates or packing, the concentration of congeners is higher. So while recycling feints from a pot still might have merit, due to the inefficiency of a pot still, recycling feints from a plated or packed still may not. In most cases, if you were to try it, you'd find that it will probably require a specialized still, that can provide even higher levels of separation than your spirit still, and I'd wager a bet that you'll need to take off at azeo to get something usable.