In American whiskey distilling, a type of pot still used for the second round of distillation, A doubler receives spirit that has already been cooled into a liquid, whereas a thumper receives vapor.
- 1 Should I double distill?
- 2 What does extra distilling do?
- 3 Does moonshine get stronger with time?
- 4 How does distillation affect alcohol content?
- 5 What effect does distillation have on alcohol?
Does double distillation increase alcohol content?
Anyone who has ever done a double or even triple distillation of spirits will know that every time you run the spirits through the still it gets “stronger” – the purity increases, the ABV% percentage rises. Whatever expression your prefer. Most Distillers (especially those that did their training with us) would also be aware (based on the Ethanol – Water Phase Diagram ) that the higher your starting point ABV in the boiler, the higher your average ABV will be in your distillate.
Should I double distill?
| Double distillation of you neutral spirit is the most important method you can use to improve the quality and quantity of your finished alcohol. 1. Distil your wash as normal, you do not have to discard anything as you will do it on the second distillation anyway. This is called a “stripping” run because you “strip” the alcohol.2. Collect the spirit and dilute to 45% using the calculator found here 3. For every 8-10L spirit add 1 tablespoon of sodium carbonate (not bicarbonate). This is sold as washing soda at the supermarket.4. Run the still as normal, discarding the first 50-100mLs. This is called the “spirit run” 5. Dilute to 40% and carbon filter To save time you can strip the alcohol from two or three ferments and then do a single spirit run. barry 4/4/2018 11:53:02 pm why are you adding sodium carbonate to the strip run after collection??? The sodium carbonate in your second distillation causes ‘base catalysed hydrolysis’. Some of the bad tasting compounds get converted into compounds with high boiling points so they cannot come over with your product. This means that the heads and tails fractions are much smaller, leaving you with a cleaner (and larger) hearts cut. An unfiltered double distilled product (with sodium carbonate) will in many cases be cleaner than a single distilled and filtered product. Make sure to never add sodium carbonate to your wash for your first distillation. Dave 10/2/2019 08:36:56 pm Why do you use carbonate instead of bicarbonate? Anything wing with using bicarbonate? Thanks for your help. Duck 6/8/2020 02:23:55 am Sodium carbonate is more basic than sodium bicarbonate so induces base catylised hydrolysis more readily. If you put sodium bicarbonate in a glass oven safe tray in the oven @200C for 2hrs it will convert to sodium carbonate. Matthew Scherf 9/5/2020 06:35:30 pm Hi – I have some heads that I’ve saved. If I add sodium carbonate to the heads, and then add those to fortify the sugar wash, is it safe? sean 11/9/2020 06:13:14 pm hey mate. i do a double batch at a time. when you do your spirit run with sodium carbonate. do u just dilute to 40% or do u fill the still back to the top with water thanks mate Mike 9/23/2022 01:44:46 am Ok so I made the mistake of adding Sodium carbonate washing soda to the wash in a stripping run, now i have a spirit that has a bad smell a bit like ammonia, should I try re running it or just tip it down the drain. Garry 5/7/2018 06:09:21 pm Hi do you get the same result using the turbo 500 reflux still,also double filtering ? Thanks Garry Hi Garry, Yes you can do double distillation in a t500. There is no need to double filter after you’ve done a double distillation, it will be VERY clean. A nice slow single filter is more than enough. Cheers tash 2/26/2020 11:11:00 pm Hi do you filter after the second distillation or the first? noting I am looking to add botanicals to make gin on the second distillation Mark 6/2/2018 08:37:58 pm Hi mate, Do you need to filtee tpw or only turbo. Cheers, Mark. Steve 11/20/2020 06:17:45 am Hi what do you do with heads and tails you collect? camille 6/2/2018 10:28:06 pm Hi Mark, it’s not essential to filter a tpw but it will make it a little cleaner. Always filter a turbo and double distil it if you have the time. cheers Mark 6/2/2018 11:18:02 pm Many thanks, Looking forward to trying your bourbon essence. Do you recommend to age the soirit on wood chunks first and if so which type. Thanks again, Mark camille 6/3/2018 01:49:47 am Hi Mark, the essence already contains an oak profile so I would try it first before oaking. If you feel it’s not enough by all means put in a few chunks. At the end of the day it’s all about you like to drink ? cheers Mark 6/3/2018 03:11:49 pm Hi Camille, Just followed your instructions on double distilling. It made some amazing spirit. The sodium carbonate makes a difference. I lost about 10%, is that normal? Also, with the T500 is it necessary to do cuts as I am lost on how to do that. Kind regards, Mark. camille 6/3/2018 05:48:46 pm Hi Mark, I’m actually unsure why you would have lost 10%. The t500 frequently leaks around the lid so perhaps you lost some there. You can plug that up with flour paste or just accept the loss. The other reason I can think of is you cooling water is too cool and the still struggles to push the last little bit out. It’s always important to do cuts as it will increase the quality of your spirit especially if you don’t carbon filter. Carbon does hide a lot of sins though. cheers jason 7/12/2018 05:48:52 pm Hi I am going to try out the sodium carbonate Woolies have Lectric in wash & soaker Washing Soda Is this good enough or should i look for a different brand Cheers camille 7/12/2018 05:53:20 pm it’s not food grade but it’s the brand I use Adam 8/7/2018 01:50:44 pm Hi Ducks.just want to make sure this is the right stuff. https://www.woolworths.com.au/shop/productdetails/263093/lectric-inwash-soaker-washing-soda and thanks for all the info!!! camille 8/10/2018 07:34:36 pm Hi Adam, yes this is the right product. Have a good brew! Mson 8/25/2018 05:25:20 pm Do I use 1 tablespoon to 8-10 liters of neutral used or 1 tablespoon to 8-10 L of spirit diluted at 45%. Sorry for the simple question, am fairly new to this 🙂 Mate I’m new to it as well but I’m assuming it’s added to the total volume after its diluted? camille 9/5/2018 06:28:58 am can you repeat your question please. I don’t understand what you mean Steve 9/5/2018 02:11:39 pm I run a still spirit condenser do I have to conditions the second run on a double distilling,also thanks for giving out advice about double distilling Jay 9/19/2018 04:58:20 am Camille – I believe what Mson was asking refers to points 2 & 3. Do you add the 1 Table spoon of sodium carbonate to 8-10L of: A. clean distilled spirit OR B. the 45% diluted spirit. Following the directions it’s the diluted, but I guess #3 says spirit – so that’s where the confusion may have come from. Camille 9/19/2018 09:12:02 pm Add the sodium carbonate to the 45% diluted spirit. Sorry for any confusion Robert Christoffel 9/30/2018 12:31:26 pm Hi Hope you will help me, I have a Turbo 500 Happy with it, i would like to try DOUBLE DISTILLING can someone out there tell me how to do it PLEASE, Step by Step would be GREAT, Thanks Very Much Bob Camille 10/1/2018 03:50:19 am Hi Bob, 1. Make ferment 2. Distill ferment without cuts (stripping run, do not drink this) 3. Dilute spirit to 45% 4. Add 1 tablespoon of sodium carbonate to each 9L of 45 Spirit 5. Run again making sure to take foreshots, heads, hearts and tails. (Spirit Run) On average you can strip 3 ferments to a single spirit run to save yourself time. Mick 11/27/2020 01:51:08 pm This may be a dumb question, but I am assuming you clean out the still before the second run yeah? Ian 8/21/2021 11:08:31 pm Hi Bob I run the t500 when I do a double distill, was recommended by the home brew shop on the second run add ten litres of hot water to your near 95% and like the first run it as close as you can to 50 degrees low and slow comes out so clean the women fight over it for there fruit drinks eg lemon chilo etc Luke 11/1/2018 02:38:13 am Hi All, I’m very new to using an air still, I have the Still Spirits 4L air still. I’ve only made one run though the still at the moment using the manufacturers instructions. However I’m interested in double distilling with it. I’m not 100% clear on what the process is. Do I distill the first 700ml as per the manufacturer, then dilute to 45% and add just that and a small amount of sodium carbonate back into the still for the 2nd distillation? Then discard the first 10ml or so? Or have I got it completely wrong? Sorry for the newbie questions! Cheers Luke Denny McIntyre 12/27/2018 01:46:31 am Does the washing soda do the same thing as distillers conditioner? Is better than or just as good or worse? Camille 12/28/2018 08:38:16 am Washing soda does a completely different thing. It is only done in the second distillation, never add it to your wash. Denny 1/14/2019 03:13:11 pm Thanks heaps gonna double distill my next 2 washes. Should i be putting distillers conditioner in my spirit run? Using t500 Dave 12/28/2018 07:06:22 pm Hi, just wondering, when u distill the first wash to 45%, do u add water back to the 21lts to do the second distill??? Dan 1/23/2019 06:47:15 pm Hi all. I didnt discard the first 50ml of my first distil so I have to do a second distil. Ive noticed you have to add sodium carbonate and i proof it to 40%. My question is do i just add the 40% to the still or make up to 25litres? Also to distil again do i need to add the distil conditioner and ceramic boil enhances? Thanks 👍 Hi Dan, You just have to put in the 45%, no need to fill your still up to the 25L mark, you’ll just waste time and electricity. Cheers, Camille Dan 1/23/2019 09:52:26 pm Thanks for that. i ended up just filtering and watering the alcohol the other half after i realised i stuffed up Hi Dan, You can still double distill after its been filtered. If you filter before and after the second distillation you’ll end up with super clean booze. Its unnecessary but it does make it squealy clean! Jules 1/31/2019 05:03:43 pm Hi, Do you have to wait a certain amount of time after adding the lectric soda to the 45% spirit? Or can you mix it all up and run it straight away? Cheers Duck Distilling 7/28/2019 08:13:54 am Just dump it in and run straight away Kev Roberts 6/10/2019 12:38:08 pm G’day mate, to save space and weight in my caravan on an extended trip, I would like to carry 93% alcohol and then reduce that to 40% with local water before adding any essence. To achieve this, before leaving, I intend to use my T500 to produce 93% in the normal manner, (disgarding the first 100 ml) then reduce this to 40% before very slowly carbon filtering this to my normal high standard. At this point, can I re-distill my 40% filtered product back to 93%, again disgarding the first 100ml and carry the concentrate to dilute later with local water back to 40% WITHOUT filtering again? Thanks mate, Kev. Hi Kev, Yes that will work very well. It is in fact the best 95% is made for soaking gin botanicals. Cheers, Luke trevor cottrell 6/19/2019 09:15:44 pm so about a teaspoon of carbonate to my 4ltr wash at 45% abv should do it?second distillation of course in my airstill Duck Distilling 6/19/2019 10:09:46 pm That should do the trick. Make it a heaped teaspoon, a little extra won’t hurt. trevor cottrell 6/19/2019 10:15:26 pm thx, here goes nothing lol, let you know how it went, cheers” Michele 7/28/2019 12:42:31 am Do you need to use water conditioner in the second distillation or just the soda? trevor 7/28/2019 04:13:41 am i didnt bother with conditioner on second run, all went fine, that was with tpw yes? Duck 7/28/2019 08:14:28 am You dont need it on the second run Jade 7/28/2019 04:04:38 am I’m doing a gin in the t500. I’m wondering if I can add my botanicals in the 2nd distillation run? If I do this, should I filter before the 2nd run or still filter after? Thanks!!! Duck 7/28/2019 08:15:46 am Have a look at our section on gin. http://www.duckdistilling.com.au/blogpost/making-gin You want to soak the botanicals in 95% and then cut down chris 4/21/2020 05:50:02 pm what if you did add sodium carbonate to your wash for your first distillation. What will happen??. Craig 5/14/2020 03:25:42 am Im guessing you can tell us.😁 Duck Distilling 5/14/2020 05:04:46 am You’ll release ammonia from your wash and turn your spirit blue making it toxic Dean 5/23/2020 03:20:47 pm Hi Duck Distilling, just wanting to know a couple of things, 1: is it ok to firsr dissolve the sodium carbonate in the water that is added to the high proof? 2: Is it ok to let the sodium carbonate and alcohol mixture sit in the boiler overnight? 3: Do I need to add ceramic saddles in the boiler when doing the final run. Sorry for all the questions and thanks in advance. Duck Distilling 5/23/2020 05:49:09 pm And the saddles are good too but not as necessary as when distilling from wash so if you forget it’s no bother Dean 5/23/2020 07:23:26 pm Hi Duck Distilling thanks for the fast reply but it looks like half of the reply is missing? Dean 5/29/2020 02:26:19 am Hi duck distilling, not sure if you seen my last reply but it looks like half of your response to my original questions was missing? Would love to hear your feedback on the other unanswered questions. Thanks again for your help. Duck Distilling 5/29/2020 03:29:12 am Hi mate, sorry I wrote two replies but only one came through.1. Totally fine to dissolve sodium carbonate in water first. Or you can just chuck it straight in the boiler.2. You can let the alcohol and sodium carbonate sit together as long as you like.3. Without saddles is fine on a spirit run, very hard to puke. No harm adding them though Hi Just got my ducks burbon in the mail, My tpw is now ready to distill. I am using the Air Spirits still. Their instructions is to distill wash to 700 mi of spirit and then and 300 ml to bring it to 40 % finished product before filtering. Question is, as i want to do your double distillation do i put the above 1 litre @ 40 % back in for the second run with soda and discarding first 50 – 100 mill, Or do i top up the 700ml of spirit from the fist run to the 4ltr mark on the still with water then run the second distillation ? regards Rob Duck 6/8/2020 02:27:20 am Diluting to 40 % and then redistilling is best practice. As you’ll have lots of room in the airstill you should do 2-3 runs from the wash, dilute to 40% and then run again. With a 10% tpw wash you’ll do 3 strips, add spirit to boiler and dilute then do a single slow spirit run Natalie Newman 6/10/2020 05:36:04 am OK. COOL I have about 6 l of 40% filtered S@^&*, once filtered still nasty, do I put 4 l of this stuff back in my 4 l turbo still with washing soda and run the whole lot through, ditch the first 100 ml and still all the rest still it stops, or should there be any “tails” if it’s all 40% spirit So much help, but so hard to follow for a dummie Duck Distilling 6/10/2020 05:58:00 am Yes. Stick the 40% back in your still with sodium carbonate and redistill. Take cuts and then keep your hearts. If the 40% you put into the boiler is only hearts from previous run then you only need to take a small heads cut and the rest should be hearts. Natalie 6/11/2020 06:34:15 pm Sorry, but in a second run (spirit run) I still don’t get it as to how much of a 4 l spirit run do I keep after the 100 ml foreshot waste. Should there be any left in the air still, or should I only collect a certain amount and ditch the stuff remaining. I have read somewhere that the remaining stuff can be put back in a wash ? ? ? BUT I really need to know how much to save, and how much to leave. I’ve just pulled out the first 100 ml of rocket fuel, but the next 250 ml tastes like metho.I’ll keep stilling it, but should I still it again (3rd time) or just filter it again? I have a fuselex filter with 5 times washed activated carbon. I’m using sodium carbonate, conditioner and saddles, I want to get it right ! ! ! Help please 🙂 Cheers,Nat John 4/10/2021 11:05:03 pm https://i.imgur.com/1MM0IOo.jpg Check this put it tells you exactly what to do for ya Air Still. Duck Distilling 6/11/2020 07:08:26 pm Please send me an email through our contact form. I’m not 100% sure what you’re doing so shoot me an email and we’ll get it sorted James 6/21/2020 02:14:37 pm Do you have to run in reflux on the second run? Or can you run in pot still mode? Duck Distilling 6/21/2020 06:46:31 pm It’s actually better to use the pot still on the strip run and use the reflux on the second run. It’s a lot quicker getting the booze off a wash with a pot still. baden barry 7/1/2020 04:09:30 pm thanks for the info i will give the 2nd run a go thanks again for the help Rohan Anstey 9/8/2020 07:38:08 pm Hi, I’m using a non commercial still. It is a an beer keg with condensor that attaches to that. It uses a hot water element to heat the wash. Because of the volume required to cover the element, am I best to add my dilute first wash back into still with the remnants of the first wash or? the other option I can think of is to empty enough out that I’m not wasting time/energy but also not running the element dry. Sorry I know this is a little left of centre. Thanks I’m assuming the element is low as possible on the keg? What most people do is collect multiple strip runs before doing a spirit run. Usually 3xstrip runs is enough for 1 spirit run. Because your strippings are 40% there will be plenty of liquid covering the elements. If you’re doing turbo wash you’ll only need to collect 2xstrips before doing spirit run because if the slightly higher yield Shane 9/18/2020 07:20:13 am Hi I have a non commercial still and have tried re-stilling a few times without success, losing volume and percentage after starting with 5 -7 liters @94%, I have use the leftover water for the next wash, Thanks for the useful posts and information, I will have another go hopefully being more successful 👍 Dave 10/5/2020 02:13:16 pm Hi there, was just wondering for the second run, do you top it back up to 20 litres with water or just run the 45% on its own? Shane 10/6/2020 02:25:40 am I am not sure of the percentage it was 7 liters @ 94% and 40 liters of water, I will try again @ 40 % alcohol and see how that goes Jason 10/17/2020 07:06:24 pm Hi its my first time double distilling is normal for the spirit to be coming out hot camille 10/17/2020 07:22:42 pm Yes it can be, what kind of still are you using? And what was your process? Jason 10/17/2020 07:38:11 pm Im using a t500. I have done the same process as in comments. Diluted to 45% added sodium carbonate. sean 11/9/2020 06:21:37 pm what the difference between diluted to 45% and just filling the still back to the top with water for the spirit run with sodium carbonate. camille 11/9/2020 08:25:29 pm I usually say 40% because above 50% is dangerous and gives a bit of leeway. You can dilute to 40% (or 45%) and use sodium carbonate. Alternatively you can just fill the still up with water, even if it’s 20% it will work. The difference is you’ll spend more money on heating your still up if you just fill it to the brim. The main concern is not boiling the elements or the bottom of your still dry sean 11/9/2020 08:56:41 pm thanks sean 11/10/2020 01:11:07 am So if I burn off two 25 litre washers and put that back in my still in top it up to 25 litre of water would I add it 2 and a 1/2 tablespoons of sodium bicarbonate sean 11/10/2020 01:12:56 am Sorry sodium carbonate Camille 11/10/2020 02:03:29 am Yep that’s fine sean 12/6/2020 07:55:03 pm thanks Camille. Just did first burn off with sodium carbonate and the quality is amazing. best stuff ever. thanks again. Hi I’m about second distil two 25L TPW on a second run together. Do you discard more than the 150ml at the start because you are doing double? sean 11/21/2020 01:08:49 am when i do spirit run with two 25l washes do i just take 100ml out or do i double it. Ger Caff 11/25/2020 11:16:52 am Hi, I am new to the process as well. I done a spirit run of 18L and have approx.700ml of 90%. I will dilute this down to 40% which will give me about 1.5L. The still can hold 24L. Is there a probably or risk distilling 1.5L in such a big still? Thanks in advance, Scott Yaxley 12/17/2020 12:01:14 am Hi, New to this Air-Still business and have similar questions to Natalie. I’ve done my first stripping run through the Still Spirits Air Still, based on a 10l wash. From the first two 4l wash runs, I discarded the first 50ml of Foreshots from each, then collected the next 700ml – it came out about 55%, then 50% ABV. I’ve diluted both runs to 40%, filtered through the carbon filter and have about 2litres. I’m keen to do a Spirit Run to get a palatable neutral spirit to make lemoncello (from lemons). So my plan is to put the 2l of 40% in the Air Still, and dilute with water to the 4l mark (this would be 20% right??). I am planning to discard another 50ml of foreshots (to be safe), maybe take another 150ml as Heads, then collect about 1l which I am assuming will be hearts. I’ll probably let it run and collect as much tail as I can, testing occassionally. I did collect abut a further 100ml of tails (~30%) from the remainder of the initial stripping runs, and I was planning to dump this and the Spirit run Heads and Tails in a feints jar until I have enough to do a separate run. Can you see anything wrong with the above strategy, or am I overcomplicating it. I’m not confident in discerning the cuts at the moment, but have noticed the smell differences in the fractions collected so far. Any comments appreciated. Thanks. Neal Ivey 8/21/2022 06:58:24 pm Hi Scott. Did you get an answer to your question. I have the same question. Neil 3/11/2021 05:20:47 pm after reading about TPW and bicarb I’m keen to give them a go I’ve been learning the slow way, everything seems to add time cost and effort, but if the end product and found, double distilling did make a noticeable difference and running thru a carbon filter made a difference when making booze for Xmas presents I’d thought I’d show off and triple distil, I reckon most people could pick the difference over a double but it is only small, and while not necessary for regular drinking it can be a little fun again very keen to try the bi carb thanks to all for their comments, its a good way to learn and I don’t know anyone in Canberra that’s into the craft Cheers Neil quicksloth 12/27/2021 09:42:54 pm Hi Neil, i just did my first double distilled tpw last month and it made a MASSIVE difference from my single distilled version. people thought it was okay before, managed to have a cocktail party out of the double distilled stuff. now i never tried it without the bi carb but i believe it had made a big difference. at first i could taste almost a powdery taste but also a lot of the harshness and off flavours had disappeared. well worth it in my opinion. I also compress the heads by dropping temp for the first half hr after collecting fores. only got about 300-400ml heads (or less) out of a 2 wash 2nd distill Hi, I have a T500, I thought I would give double distilling a go without looking into it, which is what do I do 😂. I took the first 94% and put it back in the T 500. I didn’t put any water with it at all 😂. then I started reading all the comments on this page, I stopped it halfway And added the water, so I didn’t burn the bottom out 😆. So what do you reckon do you think it will still be okay or do I do it all over again but with the sodium bicarb and the 49% water, Thanks BD And the Duck Bourbon essence is unreal!! How much do you discard when doing spirit run with 2 or 3 washes together? Ethan Salmon 11/12/2021 05:56:49 pm hey just wondering i diluted spirit to roughly 20% as i was told but reading this you are saying 40% will this make a diference? quicksloth 12/27/2021 09:54:48 pm Hi Ethan, 20% is fine, but its just a waste of time, 30-40% is enough to run it without any problems. your just heating less water up Hi just wondering if I need to do cuts for a 35l wash of the birdwatchers recipe. Or do I just remove the first 100mls. Thankyou What a great site, thanks Duck Distilling. I am using the T500, I was given a tip the other day regarding clearing the wash. Once fermentation is complete leave it for an extra day so the sediment goes to the bottom of the barrel, drain the contents of the barrel into a clean second barrel leaving the sediment behind in the first barrel. Once degassed use the clear in the normal way, this makes a clearer wash for the still. This is a tip that I haven’t tried yet but having a wash in the barrel atm I will be putting it to the test in the next few day’s. Karl Quilter 12/10/2022 05:06:08 am Thanks I run the Turbo 500 still and ur site has been a big help as I turned the water of by accident halfway through distilling and the temperature raised too over 90 degrees Celsius I turned it off then started it again then I filtered it and did a 2nd wash my 1st ever 2nd wash and too be honest it’s the best tasting moonshine I have had. Jonathan Ritchie 3/9/2023 02:15:58 pm when you double distill with the Sodium Carbonate do you do it in the reflux still or the pot still? (I have a copperhead still) Thanks
How do you double run moonshine?
If you are wanting to double distil the spirit you have collected from your Air Still, we recommend topping up to the 4 L (1.1 US Gal) max line with water. Put the 700 ml (23.7 US fl oz) of alcohol you’ve collected from the first run, back into the boiler and top up to the 4 L (1.1 US Gal) max line with water.
What is the difference between a thumper and a doubler?
Distilling newbie here, I believe I understand the difference between a thumper and doubler. Correct me if I’m wrong. The doubler basically reboils condensed low wines to make high wines. Thumper does not use condensed low wines, only low wine vapors to make high wines.
Should I double distill moonshine?
The Distillation – Distilling Alcohol – For distillation use the entire mash, both liquid and solid parts. Don´t filter the mash before distilling. You would lose taste and smell by filtration. Therefore the stills contain solid parts. Hence it is necessary to use a burn protector, Large stills are jacketed kettles in common, mostly equipped with a stirrer, but this system is not appropriate for small copper stills of hobby distillers. If the mash contains less than about 10 %ABV alcohol, you have to distill twice (double distillation). If the alcohol content is higher than that, a simple distillation is completely sufficient. This kind of distillation produces the most intense taste and smell, more than double distilled alcohol. Don’t forget to separate the heads (foreshot). Also if your mash is free of heads, you should separate about 30 drops per 1,5 liters (1.5 US quarts) of mash. Collect the hearts until 91 °C (196 °F) steam temperature, after that you can collect the tails or stop the distillation.
Why do we distill twice?
HOW MANY TIMES IS AMERICAN WHISKEY DISTILLED? If you’ve ever visited a distillery in Scotland or Ireland, you’ve likely heard a tour guide talk with pride about how their whisky or whiskey is distilled twice, three times, or, in some odd cases, two-and-a-half times.
But it’s far from the only important factor–and it’s not always a useful measure in the United States. So what’s going on stateside? How many times is American whiskey distilled? It’s a bit of a tricky question to answer, simply because there are so many types of American whiskey.
Pot stills are the simplest, most traditional variety of stills, and they operate on what distillers call a “batch system”–a batch of fermented wash is loaded in, the still gets run, and then it has to be emptied and cleaned before you can start the next batch.
While the batch-based process is less efficient than continuous distillation, the tradeoff is that it often yields a rich, oily, full-flavored new make spirit. And, in Scotland, at least, it’s also legally required. The first distillation raises the alcohol level from somewhere around six to 10 percent alcohol to around 25 to 30 percent.
Here in the U.S., the most common practitioners of double-distillation are craft whiskey distillers. Pot stills are simpler (and less expensive) than column stills, which makes them a good choice for smaller companies without deep pockets. They’re also quite beautiful, which makes them appealing objects of ogling through tasting room windows.
In the U.S. most distilleries that use triple distillation are craft producers who are directly inspired by Ireland. They might also turn to the Irish tradition of using a little bit of unmalted barley in their mash bills as done in the style called Irish Pot Still whiskey (once called “pure pot still”.
Rather than requiring distillers to run their stills multiple times to produce a good-tasting whiskey, column stills do it all in a single pass, and they’re so efficient that you can also use them to make neutral spirits (although unaged American whiskey is generally far from neutral).
Complicating the picture even more is the use of gear like doublers and thumpers, which can be thought of as a kind of secondary pot still distillation as part of the continuous distillation process. In short, it’s complicated, and it doesn’t neatly fit into the lens of double vs.
Each master distiller has their own unique approach to fermentation, distillation, and aging, giving us a beautifully diverse palette of flavors to experiment with in our blends and single barrels. Most of the straight rye whiskey and straight bourbon whiskey that goes into our small batch bourbon and small batch rye releases was distilled on column stills, although there are a few exceptions.
What does extra distilling do?
Vodka Myths – · Only potato or corn vodka is gluten free : The distillation process of vodka eliminates all the gluten before time of consumption. The alcohol is separated from the mash and travels through the still to turn into a liquid on the other side.
Over distilled vodka can lose its flavor, aroma and character. Distilling vodka too much can potentially leave the liquid as pure alcohol. · Higher price = better quality : Top shelf vodkas price themselves as such based on the purity of the products that they use.
Running your vodka through a personal filter will not improve the taste or make it easier to drink. At-home filters do not have the same power as the distilleries, and it cannot eliminate the impurities that you taste. Either add a bit more of your favorite mixer or invest in a bottle with a quality reputation! Interested in learning more? Visit our ABC Articles page,
Does moonshine get stronger with time?
Summary – Moonshine cannot really expire. The flavor and characteristics of your moonshine can be changed if it is exposed to light, warmth, or air but it won’t become undrinkable. Even an open bottle of flavored moonshine will last for many years before it will start to go off.
What happens if your thumper is too small?
Thumper Still – A Thumper Still works like this: You boil your wash in your kettle and the vapors pass through the tubing and into the thumper, which is already filled about halfway with a liquid of your choice (e.g., water, fermented mash). The hot vapor from the kettle enters the thumper through a tube and exits that tube towards the bottom of the liquid inside of the thumper.
So now you can see how the thumper part of the Thumper Still works as kind of a second distillation, because when you use one, you are basically double distilling, or doing two runs in one. The lower temperature that occurs in the thumper during this second distillation allows many of the by-products and water to stay in the thumper since the temperature remains below their boiling points.
Then that vapor will just bubble up right through the liquid without being cooled and condensed first, exiting straight through the condenser. In that case, you don’t achieve the second distillation and don’t see the increased purity or proof from it.
Why is it not possible to distill more than 95% pure alcohol?
Absolute ethanol – Absolute or anhydrous alcohol generally refers to purified ethanol, containing no more than one percent water, It is not possible to obtain absolute alcohol by simple fractional distillation, because a mixture containing around 95.6% alcohol and 4.4% water becomes a constant boiling mixture (an azeotropic mixture).
There is also an absolute alcohol production process by desiccation using glycerol. Alcohol produced by this method is known as spectroscopic alcohol – so called because the absence of benzene makes it suitable as a solvent in spectroscopy. Currently, the most popular method of purification past 95.6% purity is desiccation using adsorbents such as starch or zeolites.
What happens if you distill to dryness?
NEVER distill the distillation flask to dryness as there is a risk of explosion and fire. The most common methods of distillation are simple distillation and fractional distillation. Simple distillation can be used when the liquids to be separated have boiling points that are quite different.
Does distillation increase alcohol concentration?
Distillation – The fermented liquid (often called “wash”) then undergoes the final step of the process, distillation, which greatly increases the alcohol content in the mixture. Any distillation mechanism is made up of a still/retort (to hold the liquid during heating), a condenser (to lower the temperature of the vapors), a container (holding flavoring agents), and a receiving container (to collect the cooled liquid condensed from the distilled vapors).
Distillation is generally carried out at about 175F (~79.5C) for all spirits but can be as high as 200F (~93C) in some cases. There are two main types of distillation: batch and continuous. Batch distillation generally occurs in a pot still (a type of batch reactor ) and is performed by loading and distilling the liquid in batches, hence the name.
Continuous distillation involves the use of a distillation column (also called a fractionating column). The wash is fed in continuously and the distilled product (called the “distillate”) is removed as it is formed. Often the distillation column used is a rectifying column, in which the ethanol-rich vapor leaving the column is condensed and some of the distillate is fed back into the column.
This is done to increase the concentration of ethanol in the exiting vapor. Batch distillation is generally used for small quantities and higher quality spirits, especially whiskey and cognac. Continuous distillation is preferred when producing spirits on a large scale due to the ability to produce large quantities of product relatively quickly.
The tradeoff is that it is more difficult to control the temperature and specific composition in continuous distillation. Thus, the quality of the spirits tends to be lower, and the taste is less uniform compared to spirits from a pot still.
How does distillation affect alcohol content?
Actual Operation in the Still – Let us now describe the continuous-feed distillation column process in the still as seen in Figure 2. The “stripping” section and the “rectifying” section of the column are shown in the figure as a single vertical column unit, which is the preferred configuration.
The vapor for the stripping section is supplied either by steam injected at the bottom of the column or by the reboiler, which collects some of the liquid (mainly water) coming out the bottom of the column and boils it to produce the vapor. As the vapor moves out of the stripper, the rectifying section increases the alcohol concentration by allowing the vapor flow to move up the column against some of the final liquid product flow (reflux) moving down.
When the vapor finally reaches the top of the rectifying section, it should have a concentration of 80-95 percent alcohol, depending on the column length and the operating conditions used. The concentrated alcohol-water vapor of 80-95 percent is then condensed to liquid in the condenser by cooling it.
Roughly 2/3 to 3/4 of the final liquid is returned to the rectifying section of the still as “reflux” (a liquid of high alcohol concentration). It provides a highly volatile source of alcohol vapor to facilitate a high final-product concentration and to condense out some of the remaining water vapor.
The higher the reflux ratio, the purer the alcohol product and the more energy that is required for distillation. The incoming beer feed, if well-filtered, may be used as part of the cooling fluid in the condenser. This will bring about condensation of the reflux and finished product, while at the same time preheating the beer feed just before it enters the stripper section.
As the steam moves upward, it causes the alcohol to vaporize from the liquid as some of the water vapor condenses. If the vapor composition at every point in the entire column is plotted versus the corresponding composition of the liquid, the result is the two lines (operating lines) of Figure 3, shown superimposed on the equilibrium diagram of Figure 1.
The axes are based on how many alcohol molecules there are per hundred molecules, rather than on a weight basis (This is because one alcohol molecule evaporates for every water molecule that condenses: thus, the number of molecules of vapor passing a given point per second doesn’t change as you move up the column, and the same goes for the liquid.
So if the stripper has, for instance, four times as many molecules of liquid as of gas passing some point near the top, it will also have four times as many molecules of liquid as of gas passing some other point near the bottom This means that if the molecular composition of the gas changes by percent in a certain segment of the column, then the molecular composition of the liquid has to change by percent in the same segment, regardless of where that segment is.) The two lines in Figure 3 are straight, having a constant slope when axes of molecular percent are used.
What effect does distillation have on alcohol?
Distillation process – All spirits go through at least two procedures – fermentation and distillation. Fermentation is where all alcohol is created, distillation is where the alcohol is separated and removed. In order for fermentation to occur, two things are needed: a raw material in liquid form that contains sugar, followed by the addition of yeast.
The vapours/liquids distilled will separated other ingredients that have lower boiling points. Distilled spirits are produced from agricultural raw materials such as grapes, other fruit, sugar-cane, molasses, potatoes, cereals, etc. For some spirits, only 1 raw material is used (rules set out in categories 1-14 of Regulation 110/2008): Example: production of a spirit made from cereals such as whiskey: Other spirits start with a ‘neutral’ alcohol base, to which flavourings (sometimes sweetening) are added (rules set out in categories 15-46 of Regulation 110/2008): As a result, for ALL spirits, the distillation process transforms the raw materials to the extent that they are no longer present in the final spirit drink. This was demonstrated conclusively when EFSA agreed that allergenic protein from raw materials was not present in spirit drinks.Adblock