Hi from Tassie

Say Hi and introduce yourself

Hi from Tassie

Postby vandaemon » Fri May 21, 2021 4:03 pm

Thanks for adding me to the group. I come looking for knowledge and guidance. A friend loaned me an air still to experiment with and I had lots if fun. I would really like to be able to make gin including locally foraged botanicals. Now that I believe it may be something I am capable of doing, I'm hoping that people here might suggest what real still I should get. I can't build one myself, I need something relatively simple (like me) to use and since I'm a pensioner the budget is ..... tight is the word. Is there such a thing or should I stick to messing around with my own air still?
vandaemon
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu May 20, 2021 8:30 am
Location: Northern Tasmania
equipment: Air still but seeking longer term efficient setup

Re: Hi from Tassie

Postby The Stig » Fri May 21, 2021 5:41 pm

Welcome :greetings-waveyellow:
We have lots of members from the southern island , enjoy your stay
Last edited by The Stig on Fri May 21, 2021 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The Stig
Site Nerd
 
Posts: 10167
Images: 9
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:37 am
equipment: Only the Best will Do.
Mac4 SSG Bubbles of Joy

Re: Hi from Tassie

Postby Professor Green » Fri May 21, 2021 8:45 pm

Welcome vandaemon.

Gin is one of the more complex spirits to make, requiring two different types of still; one, a reflux column to create the neutral spirit base and the other, a pot still to create the final botanical flavoured liquor. Doing this on a tight budget may be slightly difficult but I can think of a couple of ways that may get off and running if you're willing to compromise and/or work a bit harder.

First option compromises on quality of base spirit and requires more work to achieve the end results but will start off being cheaper:
Start off with a pot still (something like the 2" pot still from 5 Star is ideal) and run multiple distillations of a cereal based wash like WBAB to make the base for your gin. The biggest con for this is that you will never quite have the neutrality on the base that you will need for a great gin. Further down the track after saving some more pennies you can add a 2" boka to get you the proper neutral you'll need.

Second option potentially compromises on gin flavour and to some extent, budget as this will have a slightly higher start up cost:
Start off with a 2" boka style still to create the neutral base. At this point you can either flavour the base spirit the with gin cordials if you're not that fussy or you can do a botanical flavouring run by removing the packing which will essentially be running in pot still mode (this is also known as detuning). If you chose the 5 Star boka, you can buy an add-on pot still conversion kit later on to run it as a proper pot still if you like.

Both of these suggestions will function very well on 30 litre HBS style boiler with the right adapter.

You can also keep an eye on the for sale section of the forums, bargains do crop up from time to time.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,
Prof. Green.
Professor Green
 
Posts: 2409
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:10 pm
Location: Victoria
equipment: FSD 100 litre milk can with 2 x 2400W elements
FSD Neutraliser
FSD Carter Head
12 litre double boiler with 2400W element

Re: Hi from Tassie

Postby Wellsy » Sat May 22, 2021 6:10 am

Plus one to what the professor suggested.
I run a 5 star pot still and have had very favourable comments about my gin from family and friends.
I triple distill the wheat bix All Bran wash to get my base and then add the botanicals to this for a final distill
Give Andrew at 5 star a call and he will help you get an idea on cost. For simple to understand no Bull Shit advice Andrew is the go to person. 5 star gear is top notch as well.
If you are not in a hurry as prof says keep your eye on the for sale section as people often upgrade their gear.
Wellsy
Site Donor
 
Posts: 1397
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2020 7:48 am
Location: Victoria
equipment: FSD 4” Modular Pot Still plus 4 FSD Bubble plates on FSD 50 ltr Milk Can Boiler + 2 x 2400W FSD Element and Guard Kits

Re: Hi from Tassie

Postby Carol » Sat May 22, 2021 8:48 am

Hi
I have a FSD 2"Boka and pot. There is a thread on my boka in reflux stills which you might find helpful. They are both very easy to use and produce high quality spirits. It is a modular system so cost effective.
I also have a little air still.
My current gin experiments involve creating a strongly flavoured gin extract ( see recipe for Zymurgy Bob's gin extract on this forum). I use the little air still to distill the macerated liquid.
To make my final "gin" I then add the extract to neutral from the boka . This method allows me to make small batches of different types of gin extract with different proportions of flavouring ingredients and add as much or as little as I want to create the flavour I am looking for. I don't like strong tasting gins.
So while you are working out what you need you could experiment with the air still and your locally foraged botanicals to get an idea of flavours etc.

Cheers
Carol
Carol
Site Donor
 
Posts: 316
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:29 pm
Location: South Australia
equipment: Still Spirits Air Still
FSD 2" Boka (aka Boris)
FSD 2" pot still ( aka Natasha)

Re: Hi from Tassie

Postby iOnaBender » Sun May 23, 2021 11:27 am

Welcome vandaemon, you have certainly come to right place for information and friendly advice
iOnaBender
 
Posts: 111
Joined: Sat May 08, 2021 11:33 am
Location: SE Melbourne
equipment: 4" Mac 5 SSG all bubble's no trouble's! Swear Word......005 obruT - officially retired.

Re: Hi from Tassie

Postby vandaemon » Mon May 24, 2021 3:37 pm

Thanks everyone for the advice. Much appreciated.
vandaemon
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu May 20, 2021 8:30 am
Location: Northern Tasmania
equipment: Air still but seeking longer term efficient setup

Re: Hi from Tassie

Postby vandaemon » Mon May 24, 2021 3:44 pm

Carol wrote:My current gin experiments involve creating a strongly flavoured gin extract ( see recipe for Zymurgy Bob's gin extract on this forum). I use the little air still to distill the macerated liquid....So while you are working out what you need you could experiment with the air still and your locally foraged botanicals to get an idea of flavours etc.

Thanks so much for this info. Exactly what I was looking for. Is this the extract recipe you referred to:
aussiedistiller.com.au/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=1572&p=20674&hilit=Zymurgy+Bob+gin+extract#p20674 ?
Have you posted any more details about what you are doing along this line?
vandaemon
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu May 20, 2021 8:30 am
Location: Northern Tasmania
equipment: Air still but seeking longer term efficient setup

Re: Hi from Tassie

Postby Carol » Mon May 24, 2021 4:06 pm

Yes that is the extract recipe I use.
I use 1 litre of 40% neutral ( with the air still you would want a cereal wash not a tomato paste wash). Add my botanicals - leave it for two weeks - strain it in a coffee press. Add another litre of neutral to the botanical ( i replace the orange peel and lavender head if I am using those) and leave that for two weeks. Then I run the lot through the air still and I get a very strong gin extract. I can make a strongly flavoured gin, a gentle gin or an almost alcohol free gin.
Carol
Site Donor
 
Posts: 316
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:29 pm
Location: South Australia
equipment: Still Spirits Air Still
FSD 2" Boka (aka Boris)
FSD 2" pot still ( aka Natasha)

Re: Hi from Tassie

Postby vandaemon » Mon May 24, 2021 7:26 pm

Carol wrote:Then I run the lot through the air still and I get a very strong gin extract.

Thanks for that. Just wanted to check I understand what to do - apologies but you're dealing with someone who lacks even the most basic knowledge! :roll:

Am I right in thinking that when you run the lot through the air still you start with 2L and if I understand the recipe you would expect to stop when you have collected roughly 1.2L? The recipe talks about 2-2.5 drops per second but the still I have borrowed runs quite a lot faster than that. Would that effect the outcome significantly?

Finally, when you suggest a a cereal wash are you referring to the Easy Weetbix / All Bran Wash (WBAB)?
vandaemon
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu May 20, 2021 8:30 am
Location: Northern Tasmania
equipment: Air still but seeking longer term efficient setup

Re: Hi from Tassie

Postby Carol » Mon May 24, 2021 8:12 pm

Do you have an alcometer? When you run the air still you can check the ABV so you can decide when to stop. Is that what you were doing before?
There is a very good article on running an airstill to get the best result - it is time consuming as it involces double distilling but if you are on a tight budget it makes a big difference in the quality of the product.. Have you read that ? Search on this site will find it for you. In terms of the output It is not the same as running a proper pot still - even though it is a sort of pot still. If i am doing gin extract I just let it do its thing without worrying too much about how many drops etc.
WBAB would be fine - I use a Tomato paste wash because i have a boka and pot and just use the little air still when I am playing with botanicals. That is not a good idea if you only have an air still.
Carol
Site Donor
 
Posts: 316
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:29 pm
Location: South Australia
equipment: Still Spirits Air Still
FSD 2" Boka (aka Boris)
FSD 2" pot still ( aka Natasha)

Re: Hi from Tassie

Postby vandaemon » Tue May 25, 2021 8:27 am

Carol wrote:Do you have an alcometer? When you run the air still you can check the ABV so you can decide when to stop. Is that what you were doing before?

I do have one, it's not what I did on my so far one and only go with the airstill but I will now.
Carol wrote:There is a very good article on running an airstill to get the best result - it is time consuming as it involces double distilling but if you are on a tight budget it makes a big difference in the quality of the product.. Have you read that ? Search on this site will find it for you.

I did find the article and it's exactly what I was looking for. Thank you so much for telling me about it.
Carol wrote:If i am doing gin extract I just let it do its thing without worrying too much about how many drops etc.

Got it.
Carol wrote:WBAB would be fine - I use a Tomato paste wash because i have a boka and pot and just use the little air still when I am playing with botanicals. That is not a good idea if you only have an air still.

The "Running an Airstill" article says:
"The Wash recipe/type does not affect the running of the Airstill but the condition of the finished Wash absolutely does affect the operation of the still and the quality of the final output."
I bought a multipack of Still Spirits Turbo Pure (it was cheaper that way) and will have two sets of yeast etc. left after I finish the wash I am currently fermenting. The mere mention of this yeast in some circles is met with utter disdain and derision but this Forum seems to be more forgiving. My plan is that before I return the still to its owner and look to buy something for myself, I will use up the yeast packs I have and concentrate on getting the double distilling process down pat. Would you advise against this idea?
iOnaBender wrote:Welcome vandaemon, you have certainly come to right place for information and friendly advice

Totally agree with iOnaBender and really grateful for the advice all of you have given above. It's been exactly what I needed and has not made me feel totally like a nooby fool.
vandaemon
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu May 20, 2021 8:30 am
Location: Northern Tasmania
equipment: Air still but seeking longer term efficient setup

Re: Hi from Tassie

Postby Carol » Tue May 25, 2021 9:07 am

When I got my airstill in 2008 I used turbo kits and followed the process as recommended. At that time I did not double distill and I used essences. What I made was drinkable ( sort of) but I did not know any better. Eventually I stopped using it and only returned to distilling when i got my boka and pot a couple of years ago. There is lots to learn and I am still learning.
So you can try what you have and see what you think about the results. The air still is a type of pot still so you will have some of the flavours from the wash that you used. It is all a learning process - so try it and keep notes about what you like or don't like. The cereal washes with baker's yeast are very cheap to make and the process is generally very forgiving.
If you are trying to make gin you would ideally want flavour coming from the botanicals rather than the type of wash that you used. So you will be trying to make a very clean spirit as the base for the gin and the base for macerating your botanicals.


What did you do in your previous run with the air still?
Carol
Site Donor
 
Posts: 316
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:29 pm
Location: South Australia
equipment: Still Spirits Air Still
FSD 2" Boka (aka Boris)
FSD 2" pot still ( aka Natasha)

Re: Hi from Tassie

Postby vandaemon » Tue May 25, 2021 1:20 pm

Carol wrote:What did you do in your previous run with the air still?

I could not find anything coming close to the airstill instructions you pointed me to so I was following info in videos produced by an English HBS called Love Beer who are a Still Spirits supplier. These are better than those produced by Still Spirits, there is quite a lot of useful stuff in them but in the end they are very simplistic. The presenter does a useful job dealing with how to produce and prepare a Still Spirits wash including degassing and fining. When it comes to distillation they describe a single run, collecting no more than 800mL from each 4L and discarding the rest. Unfortunately they don't say anything about foreshots but the friend who loaned me the still I'm playing with suggested that I discard the first 50mL of each batch which I did and then collected the next 750mL. Love Beer use the Still Spirits carbon filter but I did not filter at all. I ended up with ~4.5L of 50% "neutral". To be honest it wasn't too bad. All that seems crude now but it was totally based on what little information I could find at the time.
vandaemon
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu May 20, 2021 8:30 am
Location: Northern Tasmania
equipment: Air still but seeking longer term efficient setup

Re: Hi from Tassie

Postby Carol » Tue May 25, 2021 2:17 pm

If you still have some of that "neutral" maybe you could try the double distilling method in the air still article and see how it turns out.
Carol
Site Donor
 
Posts: 316
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:29 pm
Location: South Australia
equipment: Still Spirits Air Still
FSD 2" Boka (aka Boris)
FSD 2" pot still ( aka Natasha)

Re: Hi from Tassie

Postby Wellsy » Tue May 25, 2021 3:16 pm

I borrowed another forum members airstill as he was having issues with it.
I distilled 4 x 4 litre washes (wheat bix All Bran ) then diluted back to 40% and distilled again.
The second distillation took a lot longer than the previous ones, I put the out put into 100 mil jars and did cuts from there.
The result was quite passable. Give it a whirl mate you have nothing to loose
Wellsy
Site Donor
 
Posts: 1397
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2020 7:48 am
Location: Victoria
equipment: FSD 4” Modular Pot Still plus 4 FSD Bubble plates on FSD 50 ltr Milk Can Boiler + 2 x 2400W FSD Element and Guard Kits

Re: Hi from Tassie

Postby vandaemon » Tue May 25, 2021 7:06 pm

Carol wrote:If you still have some of that "neutral" maybe you could try the double distilling method in the air still article and see how it turns out.

I only have about 900mL left but ...
Wellsy wrote:.... I put the out put into 100 mil jars and did cuts from there. The result was quite passable. Give it a whirl mate you have nothing to loose

I also have about 750mL of really crappy 40% essence "brandy" I experimented unsuccessfully with. So what I'm thinking of doing is combining the two, diluting them to 30% and doing a small second distillation along the lines of the article. If I bite the bullet I'll let both of you know what happened.
vandaemon
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu May 20, 2021 8:30 am
Location: Northern Tasmania
equipment: Air still but seeking longer term efficient setup

Re: Hi from Tassie

Postby southern45 » Wed May 26, 2021 12:11 pm

Wellsy wrote:I borrowed another forum members airstill as he was having issues with it.
I distilled 4 x 4 litre washes (wheat bix All Bran ) then diluted back to 40% and distilled again.
The second distillation took a lot longer than the previous ones, I put the out put into 100 mil jars and did cuts from there.
The result was quite passable. Give it a whirl mate you have nothing to loose


This is how I used to run my AirStill also, fairly time consuming but it does give a good enough neutral at the end of it.
southern45
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:50 pm
Location: Tasmania
equipment: Four plate 5-Star copper bubbler

Re: Hi from Tassie

Postby vandaemon » Thu May 27, 2021 2:47 pm

southern45 wrote:
Wellsy wrote:The result was quite passable. Give it a whirl mate you have nothing to loose

This is how I used to run my AirStill also, fairly time consuming but it does give a good enough neutral at the end of it.

Thanks for the input guys. I've got a wash fermenting now and will definitely distill it along those lines. I've saved 150mL of my first batch for comparison. :?
vandaemon
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu May 20, 2021 8:30 am
Location: Northern Tasmania
equipment: Air still but seeking longer term efficient setup

Re: Hi from Tassie

Postby vandaemon » Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:39 pm

Carol wrote:Do you have an alcometer? When you run the air still you can check the ABV so you can decide when to stop.

Did my first ever stripping runs today and doing spirits runs tomorrow as per article you put me onto which has been really useful. I have a really brainless question. When they quote alcometer %s are they correcting for temperature? I suppose they assume beginners know the answer but it's not explicitly stated.
vandaemon
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu May 20, 2021 8:30 am
Location: Northern Tasmania
equipment: Air still but seeking longer term efficient setup

Next

Return to Welcome Centre



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests

x