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Jun 08, 2022 View:

Question on Distilling

I was just wondering for those of us who are distilling on a striping run would you rather have a less amount of alcohol of a higher proof or a larger amount of a lesser proof? Or does it not matter at all? Coop


Reply:

On a stripping run I want all the alcohol and flavor. I'll be re-distilling it to make the cuts later, but I want as much as possible to work with.

I was just wondering for those of us who are distilling on a striping run would you rather have a less amount of alcohol of a higher proof or a larger amount of a lesser proof? Or does it not matter at all? Coop
Reply:On a stripping run I want all the alcohol and flavor. I'll be re-distilling it to make the cuts later, but I want as much as possible to work with.
Reply:

Everything but vodka... of course I am not distilling anything right now. If I need to practice I go visit friends distilleries. So maybe I shouldn't be talking here.

I guess my answer is based on the 'everything but vodka' mindset I have.

BUT, the purpose of a stripping run is to remove the alcohol from large quantities of wash, the spirits runs for purifying and getting higher alcohol levels. Even for a vodka I'd still do a stripping run as fast and dirty as possible, and worry about alcohol strength and purity later. It also depends what type of still you have. One with enough plates can distill it up to vodka in one run. Also how is the vodka made? From GNS? Or grains/fruit/vegetables?

Jonathan - What are you distilling vodka or whiskey? Would it make a difference then for you? Thanks, Beast
Reply:

There is a problem here and one that pops up its ugly head with any column still. Once you 'strip' you do just that as you change the way in which the next distillation proceeds. The entire processes of obtaining a fine spirit is dependent on both the partition coefficient of the flavor components of interest as well as its solubility in polar vs. non-polar solvents (you can also think of this as alcohol vs. H2O). Thus, distilleries making high quality brandies and whiskeys will do two distillations at fixed alcohol in each run. Otherwise you will either miss getting the flavor components entirely or lose them in a second pass at too high a proof. You can entirely disregard these comments if you are making vodka.


Reply:There is a problem here and one that pops up its ugly head with any column still. Once you 'strip' you do just that as you change the way in which the next distillation proceeds. The entire processes of obtaining a fine spirit is dependent on both the partition coefficient of the flavor components of interest as well as its solubility in polar vs. non-polar solvents (you can also think of this as alcohol vs. H2O). Thus, distilleries making high quality brandies and whiskeys will do two distillations at fixed alcohol in each run. Otherwise you will either miss getting the flavor components entirely or lose them in a second pass at too high a proof. You can entirely disregard these comments if you are making vodka.
Reply:

Thanks for all of your feedback I appreciate it! Beast