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View Full Version : Distilling cyser in a pot still.



kenour
05-26-2011, 10:39 PM
Hi All,

I put down a cyser (my first brew!) about 2 months ago.

20lt apple and pear juice
2.5lt honey
SN9 yeast
OG 1.094

After bottling (24 pint bottles) I should have about 5lt's left. My friend (who infected me with the homebrew virus) has invited me to put it through his pot still.

I'm wondering is there a rule of thumb in regards to head, heats and tails? The still instructions recommend you discard the first 100ml (apparently this is more than other types of stills) but doesn't mention anything about tails? I'm only hoping to get one 750ml bottle of something resembling an apple brandy type thing :P It's a 5lt pot still.

Any advice?

Cheers,

Ken.

akueck
05-27-2011, 12:05 AM
Hi Ken,

Since this is a US-based site, and distillation (without a license) is illegal in the US, we try not to discuss it on the forum. I'm sure folks could PM you some info though.

fatbloke
05-27-2011, 12:32 AM
Well, it does seem rather strange that someone who lives where it might be legal can't discuss or ask questions. I'd have though that a little paranoid, but fine.......

So the OP should Google for the "stillsmart" forums. Then they'll probably be able to respond about heads, hearts and making cuts without causing possible upset.

akueck
05-27-2011, 12:39 AM
Well, it does seem rather strange that someone who lives where it might be legal can't discuss or ask questions. I'd have though that a little paranoid, but fine.......

Paranoid it is, but that's better than having the site shut down. Odds are probably low, but if we start coming up in tons of searches for distillation, unpleasant things may happen. Information is of course not illegal, just the actual act, in the US, without a license. Still, we'll cover our collective ass.

kenour
05-27-2011, 12:41 AM
You poor guys! Even though you may not be able to do it, I thought you guys were still free to speak about anything you want? :p Or have they taken that away from you too! :mad:

I suppose it's technically frowned upon here too just having a quick read of the local laws. But as it's completely legal in New Zealand, and as I'm from New Zealand, it's probably ok ;D I'll have to see if I can set up a still at the embassy.

tweak'e
05-27-2011, 12:47 AM
i would simply follow your mates ways of doing it. cut the heads as methanol evaporates before ethanol. tails is more on taste afaik. i hae a mate that does it but i havn't put a mead through it.

kudapucat
05-27-2011, 01:13 AM
you're looking at about 12% if you go dry.
12% of 5litres = 600ml

So if you're looking for a 40% alcohol by vol Brandy, then you'll have 1.5 litres of brandy, if there's no wastage.

You throw out the first 100ml because it is likely to contain methanol (especially if you brew ethanol the way most spirit distillers do)

If you distill as per his instructions, you'll get a pretty flavourless batch. The Ideal of most home distillers is pure ethanol - which is crap.

So toss the first 100ml if that's recommended for the sized stil. Toss more if your brew is hot tasting. (confirm this) Let it age for a while before brewing for the higher order alcohols (methanol) to change to ethanol and sugar (again check what it breaks down to)
If you can remove the methanol prior to distilling, it's much safer.

keep the distillation going until you have 1.5 litres in your final product. (ie keep the tails)
This will give more of the cidre flavour.

If it still doesn't have enough flavour, mix it with some virgin cidre. (ie fortify some cidre with your distillation)

Side Note:
If you have a good Fractionating column (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractionating_column) and a good thermometer. You can control what comes out of your pot, ie, set it up to the temp at which methanol evaporates, and wait until liquid stops flowing, this should remove all your higher order alcohols

Then just turn it up and extract all the alcohol and water that you please.

kudapucat
05-27-2011, 01:16 AM
Hmmm
I wrote that 2 hours ago but got distracted by work before I could post... now I see there are a great many replies...
Moderate as you see fit, I'll send a PM to Kenny (Or just ring him) if I get moderated. Sorry.

Also FYI it's illegal to distill at home in this country too...

kenour
05-27-2011, 02:43 AM
Also FYI it's illegal to distill at home in this country too...

That's it! I'm moving back to NZ!!! :p

It's funny, I was actually thinking about fortifying to bring it back up to 40% to maintain flavour. I also really like the idea of freeze distillation as it concentrates the flavours. Maybe a combination of both, freeze distillation to concentrate flavours and ABV, and do this:


If you have a good Fractionating column and a good thermometer. You can control what comes out of your pot, ie, set it up to the temp at which methanol evaporates, and wait until liquid stops flowing, this should remove all your higher order alcohols.

to remove the headache inducing bits ;D

mmclean
05-27-2011, 08:44 AM
You poor guys! Even though you may not be able to do it, I thought you guys were still free to speak about anything you want? :p Or have they taken that away from you too! :mad:

The problem here is, this is not a public forum. This is Vicky's private playground. You want to play, you need to play by her rules. :)

Loadnabox
05-27-2011, 12:50 PM
The problem here is, this is not a public forum. This is Vicky's private playground. You want to play, you need to play by her rules. :)

I think what he was saying though, is that we're worried about the Feds hassling us (or Vicky is) when we should be allowed to speak freely.

It's a conundrum and I'm not saying Vicky is wrong to avoid the hassle, it probably wouldn't be worth it to me either :P

Oskaar
05-27-2011, 04:29 PM
I think what he was saying though, is that we're worried about the Feds hassling us (or Vicky is) when we should be allowed to speak freely.

It's a conundrum and I'm not saying Vicky is wrong to avoid the hassle, it probably wouldn't be worth it to me either :P

Bottom line is as mentioned earlier. This is not a public forum it is privately held by Vicky and I and as such we would be the focus of any actions by the feds if any are taken. Based on that we don't want distillation discussed openly in the general forums since we prefer to fly under the radar. We also have advertisements here from Meaderies, home brew shops, honey producers and other businesses. Promoting activities that are illegal in the USA is not the way to attract and keep advertisers.
We will moderate and close threads that follow this subject. I understand that there are folks who are not in the USA that may want to discuss distillation. I'd suggest that you take that offline. We've had suggestions that perhaps opening a distillation discussion forum for the folks that are not in the USA would be appropriate. We're considering that for the future.

For now, consider this thread closed. We may consider putting something up in the Patrons forums where it is easier to control who starts and responds to threads.

adTHANKSvance for your cooperation,

Oskaar