Manage Temperature Carefully – Just the right amount of heat needs to be added to a still for it to function properly. If too much heat is added, liquid will boil up into the column and puke into the collection vessel, causing distillate to turn cloudy.
- If too little heat is added, the distillation process will take much longer than it should.
- To determine how much heat to add, a distiller typically monitors still output to get a sense for what level of output corresponds with cloudy distillate.
- They log the temperature input details and always remain below this level.
Note, the total volume of liquid added to a still will have an impact. A still that is overfilled will be more likely to puke.
- 1 Why does adding water to moonshine make it cloudy?
- 2 How can you tell if moonshine is poisonous?
- 3 What is the white stuff in moonshine?
- 4 Why is my homebrew always cloudy?
- 5 What happens if you drink homebrew too early?
Why is my moonshine cloudy?
Solution #4 – Let your yeast settle – Once the yeast is done fermenting, it will settle down to the bottom of your fermentation pot. If you do not allow sufficient time for the yeast to naturally settle, some of it may get into the still, causing cloudy shine.
- Yeast Selection for Grain, Fruit and Sugar – A great guide for selecting the correct yeast for your fruit or grain mash or sugar wash.
- How to Correct For Temperature When Measuring Proof of Alcohol – This is especially important when diluting alcohol for consumption.
- Still Plans with Gin Basket – If you want to make gin here’s a free set of plans to build your own gin basket and still,
If you’ve got any questions or would like to add something to this article please drop us a comment below. We love it when you guys ask questions we’ll do our best to answer them. Feel free to also join our Facebook group it’s a great place to share ideas and ask questions.
Is it OK to drink cloudy moonshine?
Is cloudy moonshine okay to drink? – No, cloudy moonshine is not okay to drink. Vodka and other spirits are typically distilled multiple times and filtered to obtain a clear product. With moonshine, however, the distillation process is often done quickly and the spirit is not filtered or aged.
Why does adding water to moonshine make it cloudy?
What’s With Cloudy Moonshine Ideally, moonshine is brilliant and crystal. And if it ain’t, then you done screwed up! Yup, we’re talking about cloudy moonshine. Some possible reasons would include: Manage Your Heat A clear or cloudy moonshine is obtained during the temperature management.
- The temperature added to the still will influence the results you get.
- For instance, too high temperature means that the liquid will boil and move into the column of the still finally dripping down into the vessel where it is collected.
- This is a process which is also known as puking, and it leads to the moonshine being cloudy.
On the other hand, if you are for quality, all you need is to turn low the heat. However, make sure the lowering is not too much since this can lead to your moonshine cook taking too long than you would expect and end up causing a lot of inconveniences.
- Maintain a temperature that ranges between 172 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit so that the results obtained will be excellent and pleasing.
- Meanwhile, you can also decide to look at the output of still closely and carefully so as to know when to add or even reduce the heat.
- The heat should be turned off if the liquid is pouring out of the still.
If a drop is being put out by the still at a given time, then turn up the heat. Check Your Water Source Some minerals are found in water that is obtained from a tap. These minerals can make your shine appear cloudy. To avoid this, it is advisable to use water that is filtered.
During the process of mixing, be sure that the moonshine and water are at the same temperature and make sure that when combining the two, the water should be poured into the distillate and not the other way around. No Yeast Allowed Yes, I know you have to use yeast, but you don’t want it in your still.
Using an auto-siphon machine is useful during the process of transferring the wash into the still. This action is a useful tool that will aid you in separating the yeast and trub that is in the bottom of the fermenter due to sinking. The removal of the yeast is very crucial since if allowed to go to the still the moonshine will look like a fog.
- Tails Tales Moonshines can also be made cloudy by fusel oils.
- It can happen when making improper tail cuts.
- It is wise to keep the hearts and do away with the tails so as to avoid having a product that is cloudy from the word go.
- In a case of the fusel oils are in low concentration, the hazy color will appear once the moonshine cools.
These oils do have an odor and are not something you’d prefer to taste. : What’s With Cloudy Moonshine
How do you fix cloudy moonshine?
Can I treat the cloudy spirit and make it drinkable? The usual carbon filtering process will in most cases remove the cloudiness, but as the cloudiness often stems from your wash coming through with the spirit, the sure way is to redistill the cloudy spirit.
- Simply pour the spirit back into your still, top up to the usual height with tap water, then run as per normal.
- Helpful Hint: Make sure that you add the extra water (up to the usual level in your boiler) to ensure that the element will still be covered when all the alcohol has been boiled off, otherwise you will boil it dry and ruin the element.
: Can I treat the cloudy spirit and make it drinkable?
How can you tell if moonshine is poisonous?
One way to test the purity of a moonshine liquor is to pour some in a metal spoon and set it on fire. If it burns with a blue flame, it is more likely safe to drink. If it produces a yellow or red flame, it is an indication of the presence of lead.
Can moonshine be toxic?
Consuming Methanol In Moonshine – Upon first sip, the dangerous potential of methanol is undetectable. It will simply get people drunker. However, after it is metabolized, the methanol can have an extremely harmful effect in someone’s body.10 milliliters (ml) of methanol is all it takes to permanently damage the optic nerve and cause partial, if not complete, blindness.30 ml of methanol is lethal.
- For reference, and standard shot glass in the United States holds 40 ml.
- If less than 10 ml of methanol is consumed then the worst someone will experience is a hangover, (albeit, quite possibly the worst hangover of their life).
- However, if someone consumes 10 ml or more of methanol, even split up among drinks, that can be enough to cause permanent damage or kill them.
While there are processes today to discard the toxic alcohol that is visually indistinguishable from water, some illegal Moonshiners will add methanol back in to provide a stronger potency. Obviously, without regulation, there is no way to know if illicit alcohol contains methanol.
Is moonshine always clear?
Why is my moonshine cloudy? – DIY Moonshine – Discount Moonshine Stills For Sale Home / Blog / Why is my moonshine cloudy? Moonshine, when it’s made properly, should be clear as water. However, some people may experience a haze-like cloud when producing moonshine. This naturally raises concern among amateur and seasoned ‘shiners’ alike. After all, it’s no secret that traditional moonshine looks like water.
What happens when you distill too hot?
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 is the white stuff in moonshine?
Waxes, esters, oils. So what exactly are the white flakes? They’re basically the core units of flavor extracted from the many botanicals. In lay terms, you can think of them as things like waxes, esters and essential oils, though their actual chemical identities are a bit more complicated than that.
How do you get rid of methanol in moonshine?
How to Remove Methanol from Moonshine – One way a commercial distiller would determine the presence of methanol is to monitor still temperature, If anything is produced by the still before wash temperature reaches 174 degrees, it’s methanol. A commercial distiller will discard it.
- Again, methanol boils at a lower temperature than ethanol and will concentrate at the beginning of distillation runs.
- Additionally, commercial distillers have determined that simply discarding a standard amount per batch, based on batch size, is enough to keep things safe.
- The rule of thumb is to discard 1/3 of a pint jar for every 5 gallons of wash being distilled.
How much initial product to discard:
1 gallon batch – discard the first 2/3 of a shot glass 5 gallon batch – discard the first 1/3 of a pint jar 10 gallon batch – discard the first 3/4 of a pint jar
Regardless of still temp, it’s a good idea to always follow this rule of thumb. Methanol or not, the first stuff to come off the still tastes and smells like rubbing alcohol. It’s by far the worst stuff in the entire production run and it isn’t going to impress anyone. Kyle Brown is the owner of Clawhammer Supply, a small scale distillation and brewing equipment company which he founded in 2009. His passion is teaching people about the many uses of distillation equipment as well as how to make beer at home. When he isn’t brewing beer or writing about it, you can find him at his local gym or on the running trail.
Why is my homebrew always cloudy?
You have a good, old-fashioned case of chill haze. – Chill haze is a condition in which malt-derived tannins and proteins clump together at cold temperatures (I like to think they’re trying to keep each other warm) and render a beer cloudy. The haze is harmless, and once the beer warms up a little, it’ll go away.
What happens if you drink homebrew too early?
What Happens if You Drink Homebrew Too Early? – If you are a first-time homebrewer, the urge to drink right away is strong, and even seasoned brewers sometimes battle with patience. You want to taste the fresh homebrew as soon as possible. However, the wait is always worth it in the end.
If you drink homebrew too early, you will get the green beer taste. It’s the flat taste of young or premature beer that wasn’t given enough time to condition properly in the bottle. The green beer taste is flat and sometimes bitter, as the flavors are yet to dissolve completely and blend with the beer in the maturation/conditioning process.
The green beer taste isn’t the only off-taste you’ll experience when you drink your homebrew too early. When drinking just after bottling, you may sometimes pick sulphuric flavors and other harsh notes that will disappear after a few weeks. This might lead you to think your beer is infected and is the reason for the horrible taste, but it’s just the beer demanding,