Discussion - Spirits, Essential Oils, Vinegar

Would you like to exchange your experiences about spirits, essential oils and vinegar with other participiants? Please observe our forum rules (see Helpful tips for use).

June 2018:

It has now been an unbelievable 16 years (!) since the last major change to the website and forums. When you think that two to three years are an eternity for the Internet sector, that is really something. In any case, there has been so much going on in terms of technology that it has become urgently necessary to completely redesign not only the forums, but also the entire website, from scratch and bring the programming up to date. Naturally, along with this we also introduced various new features; for example it was high time we allowed pictures to be uploaded with a forum post too or enabled users to subscribe to the forums via RSS feeds. And of course we have subsequently included pictures that are saved on external websites and were then integrated here using an img tag, so that no valuable information is lost. In any case, we hope you continue to have fun swapping experiences and trying things out.

Juni 2002:

At this point, we would first like to extend a big thank-you to all the users of our specialist questions for their lively involvement. Without you, we could never have developed such an informative and high-quality reference guide in such a short time (the first post dates from April 8, 1999). The large number of posts and high numbers of visitors made it necessary for us to develop the specialist questions ourselves using PHP and MySQL (at last no more annoying advertising banners!). During the course of this, we have hopefully introduced several improvements.


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So, that’s it. We hope you have a lot of fun swapping experiences, reading, posting and naturally also trying things out afterwards. Dr Malle & Dr Schmickl Dr. Malle & Dr. Schmickl

Too much water

Clutch am 13.11.2023 12:32:14 | Region: Midwest U.S.

I ran a batch of fermented apples through my still. I pressed the liquid out of the wort prior only putting the juice in the still. Kept the temp at about 190 degrees. I used Red Star distillers yeast and it fermented strong for a bout 2 weeks. Around 175 degrees a got a strong run off for about 10 minutes. Figuring that was the heads. Bumped the temp up to 185-190 and then got a trickle. I let that run for about 10 hours and the first cup did taste a bit watery but has a good kick of alcohol. Then the next quart was pretty much all water. I shut the still down then. Started with 5 gallons of wort... Is my wort just that crappy or am I missing something to get the alcohol out of it? If I run the temp closer to 180 I get nothing out of it.

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RE: Too much water

Tom am 16.11.2023 08:41:56 | Region: Tyrol
First of all, you should learn the basics, e.g., in this excellent written and easy to understand book "The Artisan’s Guide to Crafting Distilled Spirits". It's mentioned here https://www.distilling-spirits.com/books/

It sounds like you based your distillation technique on trying to hold certain temperatures. This is not possible. Each liquid or a mixture of liquids has got its own, specific boiling point. Will say, the boiling or steam temperature depends on the actual alcohol content in the kettle and therefore it is forced to increase during the distillation (since alcohol concentration in the kettle decreases during distillation time). Like water: water boils at 100 °C (212 °F) under normal air pressure conditions. If you hold the temperature at, e.g., 95 °C, the water won't boil, no distillate can form. If you try to rise the temperature to 110 °C, the water starts to boil at 100 °C and it can't get hotter than that, since all energy is completely consumed by the evaporation process.

In fact: try to adjust the flow of the distillate instead, by adjusting the power of your heater. Yes, the content in the kettle must boil (otherwise no distillate), but not too strong, adjust the heat so that the content boils evenly and moderately during the entire distillation. Meanwhile you can measure the steam temperature, but, as already said, it's not possible to adjust it's behavior.

And of course: the yield depends on alcohol content, fermented apple juice contains something about 4 to 6 % ABV of alcohol, depending on the type of apples (higher sugar content will form more alcohol). Expectable yield of 5 gallons fermented apple juice: 5 / 100 * 4 * 0.7 / 43 * 100 = 0.3 gallons of distillate, containing 43 % ABV alcohol, presumed, the fermented apple juice contains 4 %ABV and you succeeded to collect about 70 % of the entire alcohol in the hearts fraction.

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