I have been distilling for a while on a 25-litre alembic pot still to make rum from molasses, and have scoured forums including this one for research, info and answers.
Recently I upgraded to a 230-litre copper alembic pot still to embark on a commercial (ad)venture and am encountering issues like never before.
I double distill and collect two or three stripping runs for a single spirit run. I charge the still <30%ABV by adding water. The fermentation works like clockwork having gone up from 25 litres >200 litres - ferments out naturally in our subtropical climate in under four days, and I leave it to settle for a couple of days after that. Around 7%ABV. The product is an unaged white rum (to start with for cashflow purposes, and later will be barrelling too).
Currently I am still at an experimental stage and have some QUESTIONS:
1. Cloudiness/haze when proofing to 40%ABV. Through experimentation I have found that most of the oils are NOT in the tails, but are in the HEADS. Of course, there is so much flavour in the heads so I'm annoyed to cut too much of it out. QUESTION: What micron filter for an Enolmatic might assist in removing this haze (non-soluble oils), does between micron 2 and micron 3 sound reasonable to remove some of these oils without stripping too much flavour?
2. To reduce the chances of carrying over too many oils in the spirit run, I have been running the still very slowly. Once at a boil, I run it at around 2000 watts - this gives me a flow rate of between 50ml per minute ro 70ml per minute of distillate. My last spirit run was 12+ hours. Q: Do you think this is reasonable?
3. I have been starting to collect the hearts at 80%ABV and by about 70%ABV I can start to taste/smell the beginnings of tails. 70%ABV seems very, very high to get into fusel oils. Q: Could this be a consequence of running the still so slowly?
I would be very appreciative of any advice or tips the brains trust here can offer.
Reply:5 hours ago, keriruri said:
@Thatch Hi there - thanks, yes I have read that info and have tried slow proofing, also ensuring water is at the same temperature, but it doesn't make a difference.
@Thatch I'm not 100%, but I'm pretty sure that's not the issue. I use twice filtered water (not RO), and was using the same water for over a year to proof down spirit made in the 25-litre still without a hitch. I do believe the issue is with the speed with which I'm running the new still and so am looking for some guidance around that.
Reply:18 hours ago, keriruri said:
Chill filtering may help
Reply:On 11/15/2020 at 11:56 PM, keriruri said:
@Silk City Distillers - Thank you for sharing your thoughts here...and in so many other posts, I have learned a lot from them over the months.