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Jun 08, 2022 View:

watering down low wines

I have seen where some people water down their low wines before their spirit run. I used to do this a long time ago when I was running direct heat for safety reasons.just wondering what other benefits there are for doing this? 


There are no safety benefits, that is a hobbiest myth.

Collecting deep into tails might require the addition of water to ensure elements remain submerged, but that will depend on the still.


Thanks for the quick reply. I have only ran steam jacketed stills for the last several years. 


we triple distill our vodka and for safety we add water to our high wines. reducing 120 proof high wines down to 80 proof before it goes into the still for final distillation.

I cant see a reason to add water to low wines if they are under 100 proof



Depending on the desired product and the low wines proof, we will add water to them to be able to run the spirit and stay below 160p for whiskey.  I find that low wines about 60p require me to adjust the run speed and dephlemator/condenser water flow rates to keep below 160p at the start of the run.  It is just easier and faster for me to dilute the low wines to 50p and run as expected.

Reply:21 hours ago, MikeR said:
Reply:On 6/16/2018 at 4:27 PM, MikeR said:

We have a highly variable raw material so our sugar (and thus ABV) can vary from batch to batch.  When we run LW we dillute to get a consistent hearts run.  It's more practical for our setup than regulating the fermentation gravity. 


Some people do a hydroseparation on their feints before they redistill them. I.E. add water to your feints, let sit for a day or two and rack off the desired fraction before loading and redistilling.

Also, the volatility of some alcohols in a complex mixture changes depending on the relative % water, so if somehow you had one or more fusels smearing into your hearts you might be able to get them to move into the heads or tails fraction by changing the % water, but that would be really tricky to do reliably.


This topic is discussed in Whisky: Technology, Production, and Marketing    page 168 (2nd edition)


We perform a two pot distillation, in the Scottish tradition,for whiskey. 

Our stripping run yields low wines at ~24% ABV.  At this abv lipids and the like separate out and float on top.  We leave an inch of LW in the receiver in order to leave these entities behind.

Our feints yields ~34% ABV which get watered down with filtered water to 25% ABV; again, allowing undesirables to stratify to the surface, though there isn't a lot that separates out.  However, this allows for a balanced distillation  of almost equal parts low wines and feints (volume and abv).