Still Head Temperature For Making Moonshine – When To Start And Finish Collecting – Knowing when to start collecting moonshine from your still and when to finish is very important. You will often start to see some product dripping from your still when the Head / Column temperature reaches 56 Celsius.
- But generally the temperature range that you want to collect Moonshine within is between 78-82 °C and we generally stop collecting the distillate once we start getting fusels coming out.
- This is generally happens at a head temperature of 94 °C or higher.
- To Learn more about the process of Making Moonshine Head over to our page.
: Still Temperature Guide For Making Moonshine
- 0.1 What proof is moonshine usually?
- 1 What is the best temperature for distillation?
- 2 Will mash ferment at 70 degrees?
- 3 How long does it take to still moonshine?
- 4 What temperature kills yeast in mash?
- 5 What temperature is mash conversion?
- 6 What temp should mash be for dry beer?
At what temperature does mash turn into alcohol?
Boiler Temperature vs. Speed of Vaporization – Ethanol Phase Diagram So, let’s start from the beginning. The whole idea is to boil your mash to take advantage of the fact that alcohol boils at a lower temperature than water (and a lot of other compounds that you don’t want in your final distillate), resulting in something that has a higher ABV.
- The alcohol distillation temperature that the mash will boil at depends entirely upon the ABV of the mash that is boiling, and based on this ABV will boil somewhere between the boiling point of ethanol (173 F) and water (212F), unless you are 9000 ft above sea level like us.
- The higher your washes ABV is, the closer your temperature will be to 173.
And the lower your ABV is, the closer your temperature will be to 212. To further complicate things, as you start to boil the ethanol out of your wash, the ABV of the wash will decrease, so the temperature that it boils at will also change. To see this illustrated, see the chart to the right, and maybe even print it out for a future reference of recommended boiler temperature! Again, this is very important to repeat: the ABV is the only thing that will affect the temperature that your wash is boiling at (which should be the same as the vapors in the head of your boiler).
Turning up the heat to your boiler will not increase this temperature (unless your mash hasn’t started boiling yet). What turning up the heat will do is increase the rate at which the wash is being vaporized (making a liquid change its phase into a gas takes energy). If you don’t believe me, think about the way boiling a pot of water on the stove works.
Water boils at 212. Once it reaches that temperature, it starts boiling, but it does not go above 212. Turning up the heat makes it boil faster (increased rate of vaporization), turning the heat down makes it boil slower. Make sense? This leads me to why you need to be able to control your heat input; you need to be able to control the rate at which the vapors are traveling up your column or into your still head.
What happens if you run moonshine too fast?
Skip to content Distillation and Condensing Temperature It’s a notion most have heard multiple times – “hot run, hot liquor” or “cold run, smooth liquor.” Is that really the case? Or is this, like some other things in the moonshine world, just an old wives’ tale passed down from generation to generation? If you’ve been running liquor for very long you inherently have a sense of the temperatures at which the azeotropic blend you created in your mash/wash will evaporate alcohols; these will re-condense to create the spirit we all know and love.
- Science tells us the boiling point of pure ethanol is 174° F at sea level.
- Yeah, elevation changes things slightly – and we can cover that in the future.) Remember though, our mashes and washes are not 100% pure ethanol.
- Why does that matter? Let’s cover azeotropic blends real quick Azeotropic blends are best described as “a consistent boiling blend.” To be an azeotrope the mixture must consist of at least two different substances; better put, at least two different elements or compounds.
Oil and water mixed for instance, are not azeotropic because the two separates from one another easily and rapidly.1 Every azeotropic blend has a defined boiling point, either less than the boiling point temperature of the highest concentration individual ingredient (positive azeotrope), or greater (negative azeotrope).
The most well-known example of an azeotrope is – you guessed it, ethanol and water.2 Our mashes and washes are a “positive azeotrope” with over 50% water, so that 174° F boiling point of pure ethanol increases. For example, a mixture of 10% ethanol and 90% water has a boiling point of about 197° F.3 Less than pure water, more than pure ethanol.
Combine that information along with the fact that each still will run and produce differently based on your individual run style, and the fact that our washes contain other components such as acetone, methanol, etc the waters really begin to get “cloudy” on proper temperature – distilling pun intended.
The key thing to take away from the above is that each mash and wash will react differently based on the inherent blend you achieved. Therefore, I despise those diagrams indicating temperatures at which “foreshots, heads, hearts and tails” will distill and appear. They are nothing more than pointless references (if they can even be classified as references).
Don’t get me started on thermometers either while helpful, only use them purely as a reference to maintain a steady run and monitor your heat up, NOT as a hard and fast rule. Speaking of those heads, hearts and tails, temperature can absolutely have an impact on these.
Running your still too fast or too hot will guarantee that the temperature of your azeotropic blend increases to the point that more “other” vapor is being released faster than or equal to ethanol vapor. This results in low proof, smeared cuts, and early tails. (Yes, some smearing happens regardless, but you will exacerbate that effect with a hot and fast run.) As many of you may know from my social media presence, I like to follow the “slow and steady wins the race” approach.
Heat up slow, run slow, at least until you fully learn what your equipment is capable of. Nothing good ever happens fast in this hobby and I believe that also applies to running your still. With that out of the way, lets touch a little bit on the condensing side of things.
- Once we use the previous information to get a handle on what temperature our mash/wash will boil, we then get an idea of what temperature our condenser realistically needs to be to condense that vapor.
- In a perfect world, anything lower than the boiling point of our mash/wash will begin to condense the vapor into good ol’ shine.
There’s a problem though it isn’t that simple. With so many different types of condensers on the market today with differences of volume, surface area etc., there is again much more to consider. Most home distillers I know are always shooting for a super cold worm/condenser.
- I am guilty of it myself – just check out my first TikTok videos.) In my opinion some of us have it in our head that colder condensers will produce better liquor, and we will burn through enough ice to cool a mid-west elk kill in an attempt to achieve that standard.
- With my runs this summer, I didn’t achieve that standard.
My average worm bath temperature was more than 90° F. Full disclosure – I didn’t have a choice. I draft from a farm pond, and in doing so mother nature has full control over my cooling water temperature. Did the run taste “hot?” Nope. “Fiery?” Not a bit.
- The only thing noticed was some early tails, which were directly related to running during such a hot day at my “normal” speed and power settings; purely my mistake and not at all related to the temperature of my condensing water.
- I should have taken into consideration the entire distilling environment I was in that day.
This prompted me to research more into these topics and ultimately inspired this article. As long as your worm is not producing vapor from the spout, I am under the belief that your condensing water is fine, no matter the temperature. I recommend taking a mirror and holding it in front of your worm spout; if it steams up, you’re pushing vapors and should change something or stop the run immediately.
We all know what can happen if that continues. (Insert Fire Dept. sirens here.) I have found no evidence during research, runs, or otherwise to make me think that the temperature of my worm in any way impacts the smoothness or quality of my distillate. As long as you have enough temperature differential to completely condense that vapor to liquid.
Now with that said, you can absolutely have an undersized condenser. A condenser not long enough or with not enough cooling volume or surface area will significantly impact the speed and amount at which you are able to produce/condense, if you are able to condense at all.
- Again, the mirror check will answer that question for you.
- The fix may be as simple as slowing down the run or decreasing your cooling water temperature, depending on the equipment you’re working with.
- Maybe your condenser is smaller, but with colder water it fully condenses as expected? Maybe your condenser is oversized, and allows you to push that cooling water temperature upwards of 100° F? As long as you are safely condensing ALL vapor, run what you have at whatever temperature works for you and achieves the stream you’re looking for.
If you go through your run faster than your equipment can handle, your temperature will inevitably increase, so I can somewhat understand the old adage “hot run, hot liquor.” While if you slow down and your temperature remains rather consistent and proper for your equipment, “cold run, smooth liquor” could very well make sense.
But Hooch how fast is too fast? Let your still answer that question. I don’t understand how will my still tell me that? Through temperature. But I thought temperature didn’t matter? It doesn’t. What matters is how your still is handling and how your run is reacting to that temperature. How will I know if my still can “handle” it? By learning your still and being in-tune with your run.
It may take some trial and error, and that’s OK. Are you dizzy from all the circles? I am. What I do know is that distilling is more of an art than any of us can ever fathom. One can pound science, chemistry, and numbers until they are “blue in the face.” In the end the most important part of the process comes down to the “touch” of the individual distiller and how well that distiller knows and runs his or her equipment.
There’s so much more that could be said on what I mention. From azeotropic blends, temperatures, cuts, proper condenser sizing and how it all can have an impact on your product – feel free to do your own research on those topics. This is one hobby that if you stop learning, it is time to move on. In the meantime, I recommend using temperature during distillation for what it’s worth, a good reference point.
Learn and listen to your still and follow its guidance and I guarantee that you’ll be ignoring that thermometer in no time. Practice your “touch,” learn your equipment, and sharpen your senses – because that’s the only thing that sets you as a distiller and the spirits you produce apart.
What proof is moonshine usually?
What Proof is Moonshine? – Without going into specific details just yet, proof moonshine is a pretty strong concoction. It has high alcohol content, a glass or two is more than what you probably need. On average, a proof moonshine could range somewhere between 100 to 150 proof.
What is the best temperature for distillation?
#4: Tells you about your distillate quality – You can assume that the longer you run your distillation around 175-195 degrees Fahrenheit, the more time you will be producing a large amount of high-quality distillate. With some variations and exceptions, this temperature range produces the purest ethanol and will typically be the “hearts” cut of your alcohol run.
Will mash ferment at 70 degrees?
Procedure: – Heat 5 gallons of mash water up to 165F. Turn off heat when target temperature is reached and stir in the 8.5 pounds of corn. Stir the mash continuously for about 5 minutes then stir for a few seconds every five minutes until the temperature drops to 152F.
- Once the target temp is met, stir in the malted barley.
- Cover and leave it be for about 90 minutes, uncovering only to stir every 15 minutes or so.
- At this point all of the starches should be converted into sugar.
- Leave it sit for a few hours or use an immersion chiller to cool the mash to 70 degrees.
- At 70 degrees, add yeast, aerate (by dumping back and forth between two containers), cap, and add an air lock.
In a week or two fermentation will be complete. Leave it settle for another week and it will be ready to distill. Siphon into still. Make sure to leave yeast and other sediment behind.
What temperature is distillation in Celsius?
What temperature do I run my still at? Different stills run at different temperatures, and if in doubt you should check with the manufacturer/supplier of your particular brand of still. However majority of stills are designed to run similarly. The temperature that ethyl alcohol boils off at is 78C-82C and therefore if your still has a temperature gauge in the top of the condenser (usually in a rubber bung situated at the top) it should run between 78C-82C (with 78C being ideal).
- If your still has a water outlet thermometer to gauge the temperature, it usually sits between 50C-65C (dependant on the brand of still).
- For an Essencia Express Condenser (or Essencia water outlet thermometer used with any still) the temperature is 50C-55C.
- With a Turbo 500 Condenser, the water outlet temperature should sit between 55C-65C (with 60C being the ideal).
Post navigation : What temperature do I run my still at?
How fast should moonshine drip?
Slowly bring your temperature up to 150 °F. Once you reach 150 °F, if your setup has a condenser turn on the condensing water. Next, dial up your heat source to high until your still starts producing. Time your drips as they speed up until you reach 3 to 5 drips per second.
How long does it take to still moonshine?
How Quickly Can You Make Moonshine? – The quickest you can properly make moonshine is about two weeks. However, you really should let mash ferment for at least a week itself, so the best moonshine will usually take closer to a month to complete. Moonshine recipes all have their own timelines, so this may vary depending on what you want to make.
What temperature kills yeast in mash?
Rough Temperature Recommendations – The guide below will give you a rough idea of ideal water temperatures for proving your yeast.
Water at -4°F means your yeast will be unable to ferment. Water at 68° to 104°F means that your yeast’s ability to grow will be hindered, and its growth rate will be reduced. Water at 68° to 81°F are probably the most favorable range for the yeast to grow and multiply in. Water at 79°F are considered the optimum temperature for achieving yeast multiplication. Water at 81° to 100°F is the optimum temperature range for the fermentation process. Water at 95°F is the fermentation temperature that yields the best result. Water at 140°F or higher is the kill zone for yeast. At temps like this or higher, you will have no viable live yeast left.
Of course, these tentative estimations can be higher or lower depending on the type of yeast you are using, and whether it is active dry yeast, live yeast, or rapid rise yeast. The bottom line is that yeast thrives in warm water, sleep in cold water, and die in hot water.
What happens if mash temperature is too hot?
Why your mash temp matters – The bad news is that it will likely affect the outcome of your beer. The good news is it’s probably not as bad as you think, and you can mitigate the effects by taking swift action. We’ll get to the swift action in just a moment.
First, know that the normal mashing temperature range is 145 – 158F (63 – 70C). In general, mashing at the higher end of that range produces longer sugars which are harder for the yeast to eat. More sugar will be left over after fermentation resulting in a more full-bodied beer. Mashing at the lower end of the range produces shorter sugars, which the yeast will gobble right up.
This leaves behind a thinner, drier beer. Mash too much lower than that and you’ll end up with poor starch conversion and a really thin, “watery” beer. You’ll also start breaking down precious proteins needed for head retention. On the other hand, if you mash too high (168-170F), you’ll run the risk of permanently killing the conversion process.
What temperature is mash conversion?
Mash Temperature and pH – “Different enzymes will activate and deactivate depending on the temperature and pH of the mash.” Different enzymes will activate and deactivate depending on the temperature and pH of the mash. For the homebrewer just getting into all-grain style recipes, controlling the mash pH is not as big of a concern as controlling temperature.
Mixing the right proportions of grain and hot water on a homebrewing scale naturally produces a pH that is between 5.1 and 5.5, which is ideal for the enzymes we want to activate. Testing the pH is as simple as picking up inexpensive testing strips from your homebrew shop. Remove a small ladle of liquid from the mash after it has been thoroughly mixed and immerse the testing strip for the length of time listed on the package.
Temperature control is key to proper mashing. In order to activate the enzymes that convert grain into simple sugar, the mash temperature must be between 145°F and 158°F. For most styles of beer, a mash temperature of 150-154°F is used, and will produce a wort that can be easily fermented by the yeast while retaining a medium body.
- If the mash temperature is in the 145-150°F range, the enzymes will produce highly fermentable sugars and the final product will have a drier finish.
- Mash temperatures in the 155-158°F range will produce sugars that are harder for the yeast to ferment, resulting in a fuller bodied beer.
- Mashing in the lower temperature range is appropriate for styles like a Saison or a Tripel, where the higher temperature range is used for Scotch ales and Sweet Stouts.
When first venturing into the world of mashing and all-grain brewing, proper mash temperature can be very difficult to achieve. While it’s always great to strive for perfection, my rule of thumb for people just starting out is “Close is good enough”. If the thermometer in your mash is reading within 5°F of your target, you have nothing to worry about.
What temp should mash be for dry beer?
At 68°C mash temperature –
β-amylase almost inactiveα-amlyase activeGood extract efficiencyLow wort fermentabilityExpect a higher final finishing gravity
Using these details, we can determine that a lower mash temperature range should result in a beer with a lighter body, and a crisper, dry finish. On the other hand, beer styles such as stouts and porters might require a mash temperature of 67°C to 70°C (154°F to 158°F).
- This higher temperature range results in a beer with a full body, and a rich, sweet finish.
- In addition to affecting the body of the beer, mash temperature also affects the beer’s fermentability.
- The temperature range in which the enzymes are active determines the types of sugars produced, with higher temperatures resulting in a greater proportion of fermentable sugars.
This means that beers mashed at higher temperatures will have a good extract efficiency and a higher final finishing gravity, while beers mashed at lower temperatures will have a lower extract efficiency and a lower final finishing gravity. Of course, yeast selection comes into play with alcohol content and final gravity, but this gives you a guide for wort fermentability.
At what temperature does alcohol boil Celsius?
The boiling point of alcohol is 78∘C.
What is the best mash temperature for whiskey?
Warm the hot liquor to a strike temperature of roughly 68-70 degrees C (154-158F) to ensure a mash temperature of 63.5-64 degrees C (146-147F). Water treatment with acid and salts shouldn’t be necessary however, high levels of water hardness should be removed by softener.