FSD 2" Boka

Reflux still design and discussion

Re: FSD 2" Boka

Postby Gasman » Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:15 pm

Hi Rc
Excuse my ignorance and thank you both your replies

If I'm stripping some flavoured washes ( with my 2 inch FSD pot) - taking cuts and my ABV has slowly dropped and has gone down to 20 % - does that not mean I'm into the tails ?.Could I ask if that was the case what do you do with the product below 20 % ? Do you mix it with the higher off take and once combined put it aside with some staves or dominoes in it ?
At the 20% point I've tasted it and its not bad shit ( Mbko ) but as it was so low in abv I had no idea what to do with it and I've perhaps mistakingly thought it was only good at that point to dump it in with a neutral wash or stop all together
TIA Geoff
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Re: FSD 2" Boka

Postby RuddyCrazy » Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:42 pm

Hi Gasman,
If your stripping then just take the foreshots off then the whole stripping run can go straight into say a 5 litre glass demi and the idea of taking it all the way down to 20% or lower is so the low wines end up around 40% so very little or no water is needed for the spirit run. Then when doing the spirit run do your cuts.

Cheers Bryan
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Re: FSD 2" Boka

Postby Carol » Sun Jan 10, 2021 5:16 pm

Hi Geoff
I take notes of all my runs so I can refer back to it later.
I am doing TPW at the moment for neutral for infusions etc. So I will strip down to 20% (or a bit lower) with the pot still and store that in my flagons etc. You reach a point where it is not worth running it any longer. I do not keep the rest of the wash as there is not much alcohol left in it.
When I am ready for a spirit run with the boka ( for me it is 3 x stripping runs with my 25 litre fermenters) I put all of the low wines in the boiler and check the ABV. it is usually pretty close to 40%.
The boka will make neutral spirit ie take the flavour out. I take it off into 300ml lots in Vegemite jars and then do my cuts.

When I have made Nutrigrain whisky - I stripped it wit the pot still and then used the pot still again for the spirit run. Pot still retains the flavour.

Happy to answer any questions you might have.
Cheers
Carol
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Re: FSD 2" Boka

Postby Gasman » Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:21 pm

Thank you both for helping me
I had no idea that :
1/. With a spirit run you still did cuts.( I always thought this was the domain of a pot still )
Or
2/.You did a stripping run in the pot and after that did a spirit run again in the pot
Carol can I ask when doing a spirit run after a stripping run did the set up need to be changed when using the pot and if so what do you do ?
Kind regards Geoff
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Re: FSD 2" Boka

Postby Carol » Sun Jan 10, 2021 8:58 pm

Hi Geoff
What are you trying to make?
If you can tell me what you are trying to do and the details of the washes that will be helpful.
Here is what I do. (I keep notes of every wash and every run in case I need to refer to them later).
Wash is TPW to make high quality neutral.
I have 3 x 25 litre fermenters.
Wash is fermented and left to clear.
Wash is stripped ( pot sill - no cuts). No copper mesh. (While I am minding the still I clean the fermenter and put the next wash on so my fermenters are always full). I take it down to 20 % or a bit lower. Discard the remainder.
Do this three times (once per fermenter) and I have enough low wines for a spirit run.

Spirit run. Low wines are put in boiler. Still is reconfigured to boka. Copper mesh in column. ABVof low wines is approx 40% (no higher). Have power controller set up as well. Run full power until temp is reached - approx 78 degrees - takes about an hour. Valve is closed. Reduce power but still maintain temp. Reflux for 45 minutes. Then open valve a bit to get drip drip dribble of distillate. Looking to keep it slow. ABV is around 95%.
Take off in measuring jugs in 300ml lots. Approx 300 ml fores to cleaning. Then 300ml lots - to my Vegentite jars (numbered). Tails have a distinctive smell ( which I could not smell at first but I get it now). When you hit tails temp also starts to rise without any increase in power. Once I am clearly into tails I turn it off.
Next day I take lids off jars and cover with tea towel or similar to keep bugs out. Then I make my cuts. I am getting better at discerning heads, hearts and tails.

When I made nutrigrain whisky both the stripping run and the spirit run used the pot still configuration. Pot still retains flavour (eg whisky). Boka ( reflux still) strips flavour (eg neutral). Hope this helps. I can send a private message with my phone number if you want to chat. I am planning a spirit run tomorrow.
Cheers
Carol
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Re: FSD 2" Boka

Postby Gasman » Sun Jan 10, 2021 10:02 pm

Carol many thanks.
I think I've got a greasy grip on the reflux side of things although i haven't yet used my FSD as I'm waiting for the power controller but I've got loads of spirit waiting and I'm confident after reading your post I can bumble my way thru the reflux bit.
In regards to the pot side of things i've started bwko ( bourbon knock off with grains ) washes as I basically only wish to make Bourbon ( but if your also like bourbon please feel free to recommend another wash).So as I understand this - I run the Still in pot mode,stripping out my wash,basically throw out the foreshots,collect down to ( 10 % ish as recommended by other posters ) then with what I've gathered run the still as is once again with these low wines ( I note not greater than 40 % )

In this configuration is there a better way of improving the spirit run ? Turn down the PC ? Or do we just accept it is what it is,then do cuts which we can then flavour with oak or dominoes

I haven't yet tried a TPW.Looks like another trip to woollies for tomatoe paste :-D

Kind regards Geoff
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Re: FSD 2" Boka

Postby Wellsy » Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:48 am

Hello Gasman
BWKO is a great recipe for a bourbon, and to retain the flavour you are best running your spirit run through a pot still.
Let’s just talk about BWKO onlytohelp get your head around it
Both stripping and spirit runs are done with pot still.
The difference between stripping run and spirit is essentially the control you exercise. With stripping run you tend to run with temp as high as it will go. Spirit run you use the power control to slow things down. So its same still just run differently.
With the spirit run you need to get a recommended flow rate. Sorry i don’t know the rate for a 2” pot mate others will or give Andrew a call. Everyone says drip drip dribble but that made no sense to me soi grabbed the stopwatch feature on my phone and worked out how long to should take get 50 mil at the recommended rate and adjusted power to suit. Now I have a bit of an idea just looking at stream but initially I had no idea.
The slower you go especially at the start the better the separation of heads from hearts but with a pot still you are always going to get some smearing. Just dilute your cuts down and sniff and taste. I had no idea what I was tasting but knew what I liked :)
BWKO works best when generations are used so reread the recipe until it makes sense. And think about ageing it mate as it is the oak that gives it its colour.
I hope that helps a little mate.
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Re: FSD 2" Boka

Postby Carol » Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:02 am

Hi Geoff
Wellsy has a FSD 4" pot and has "played" with it a lot so he is a good source of info.
I have done one lot of nutrigrain whisky. Pot still configuration - 2 copper coils in column.


My notes tell me that I discarded 300ml fores and then collected in 300 ml lots wirh power at 60%. Started at 82% ABV and collected down to 19%. Power increased as I got into tails.
I ended up with 31 jars. Then I made my cuts.

Maybe you will need to wait until the power controller arrives.

Cheers
Carol
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Re: FSD 2" Boka

Postby Gasman » Mon Jan 11, 2021 7:19 am

Wonderful
Thank you both for your help
My controller will arrive soon
My next post will be the proof of the pudding
He's hoping its successful

Cheers and thanks once again.G
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Re: FSD 2" Boka

Postby Gasman » Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:45 am

Gasman wrote:Carol many thanks.
I think I've got a greasy grip on the reflux side of things although i haven't yet used my FSD as I'm waiting for the power controller but I've got loads of spirit waiting and I'm confident after reading your post I can bumble my way thru the reflux bit.
In regards to the pot side of things i've started bwko ( bourbon knock off with grains ) washes as I basically only wish to make Bourbon ( but if your also like bourbon please feel free to recommend another wash).So as I understand this - I run the Still in pot mode,stripping out my wash,basically throw out the foreshots,collect down to ( 10 % ish as recommended by other posters ) then with what I've gathered run the still as is once again with these low wines ( I note not greater than 40 % )

In this configuration is there a better way of improving the spirit run ? Turn down the PC ? Or do we just accept it is what it is,then do cuts which we can then flavour with oak or dominoes

I haven't yet tried a TPW.Looks like another trip to woollies for tomatoe paste :-D

Kind regards Geoff



Well I have done a number or spirit runs and couldn't be happier.
Today I am doing a run of a recipe Andrew was kind enough to email me about
350 G wheat bix/ 40g bakers yeast/25 liters /6kg sugar

I wouldn't say it fermented out quickly as I mixed it on the 3rd Jan.
Today tho the objective was only to use this as an exercise in seeing what the still could do in Boka mode with just one simple slow run
Not yet sure how much it will produce buy its currently at 98 % ABV
Yes I know this may be impossible but its not temp.corrected but these numbers I've not ever been able to get close to with my old essencia.Im really

I'm really happy with this FSD product

Regards Geoff
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Re: FSD 2" Boka

Postby Wellsy » Wed Jan 13, 2021 12:04 pm

Great news Geoff
Now you are starting to understand why we rave out our 5 star gear, it is fabulous stuff and the backup and after sales support from Andrew is outstanding
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Re: FSD 2" Boka

Postby Carol » Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:54 pm

Hi Geoff
Sounds like you are on the right track.
Boris consistently produces high quality 95% neutral. (It will read higher if the distillate is warmer). He is an absolute trooper. I take my time with a spirit run ( and find plenty of things to do while I am minding the still). With practice I am getting better at making cuts. So much so that my nephew and his partner now prefer my fruit gins over store bought pink gin ( that may or may not be a good thing!) You can look forward to many happy hours playing with your new toys..
Cheers
Carol
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Re: FSD 2" Boka

Postby Gasman » Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:24 pm

Carol wrote:Hi Geoff
Wellsy has a FSD 4" pot and has "played" with it a lot so he is a good source of info.
I have done one lot of nutrigrain whisky. Pot still configuration - 2 copper coils in column.


My notes tell me that I discarded 300ml fores and then collected in 300 ml lots wirh power at 60%. Started at 82% ABV and collected down to 19%. Power increased as I got into tails.
I ended up with 31 jars. Then I made my cuts.

Maybe you will need to wait until the power controller arrives.

Cheers
Carol


First of all thank you for any contributions any of you moon shiners may have to my latest endeavours
So over the last 10days I have fermented 3 BWKO washes.2 are first generation and one is the 2 nd generation.After stripping these in my FSD pot I ended up with about 14 liters of Alcohol @ 40 %
After some helpful contributions I gathered this was good as I didnt need to dilute it any lower.
So today,after following Carol's advice ( which was gratefully received btw) i did my first spirit run however I did this in my pot still using only 2 rolls of copper as per Carol's previous post
So having turned down the power to around 55% on the new power controller ( which i love ) these are my results
Now I know that I didnt make cuts etc ( fully ) but I just wanted to get a " lay " of the land

1 liter @85%

1 liter @82%

1 liter @81%

1 liter @78%

1 liter @65%

1 liter @40%
And a dribble @ 20 %

So my question is what do I do now with my cross section of spirit.The high Abv smells obviously strong and the low abv smells like corn/ wheat etc
Do I blend it or just use bits and pieces of it?
I have SS kegs i can oak it in and have a range of toasted and charcoal staves.I must admit on early tasting of a previous experimental batch ( sick of going to Dan Murphy's- so I made some quick how ya goen batches) I prefer the charcoal as the toast was a little to sweat
Tia and kind regards Geoff
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Re: FSD 2" Boka

Postby RC Al » Tue Jan 19, 2021 10:56 am

Mate a 1/6 of your volume is not cuts on a pot still or any still for that matter...
If the dunder is still in the boiler, drop the lot back in the boiler and run it through again and do smaller cuts
If its gone, I would suggest re running it with wash from generation #3

This is not how you cut anything except the double retort setup that some scotch and rum producers use, you could stick the middle two jars on oak maybe... dilute some down with water and see whats there.

You cant shortcut learning cuts. This is the single most important skill in our proccess, how much you dont drink is determined by everything else

How long did the run take?
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Re: FSD 2" Boka

Postby Wellsy » Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:33 am

Hey gasman

Are all those litres in 1 litre jars,or are they in lots of smaller jars.

If you have them in a few big jars I would recommend you read the cuts guide in the newbie section. To be honest for me this was the hardest thing to get my head around but I can promise you it is well worth the effort of understanding.

If you are unsure of anything mate just ask
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Re: FSD 2" Boka

Postby Carol » Tue Jan 19, 2021 1:28 pm

Hi Geoff
Haven't done BWKO so not much help there.
For the Nutrigrain "whisky" according to my notes 1.5 litres went to the Heads container and 2 litres to the Tails container. The distillate comes off into a measuring jug ( I have two and swap them in and out) and the 300ml lots go into numbered vegemite jars. I use a 100ml column to measure ABV for each jar.

So your first litre is probably heads and the last two litres probably tails. At a rough guess the second litre is probably heads/hearts, the third litre hearts and the 4th litre is hearts/tails. There is a graph in the cuts info that shows how this works - it is not a clean change from heads to hearts to tails..
Fo my nutrigrain whisky the middle sections "hearts"" (or heads/hearts, hearts and hearts/tails) were watered down to 65% and oaked for a while and then put aside to age. Some 6 months later the result is very smooth - doesn't taste like whisky though. (I have just diluted some of the 65% down to 40% and put a bit of blue food colouring in it ( just because I can) so I have Once-In-A-Blue-Moon-Shine!)
So as Wellsy says - read about cuts. It takes a while to get your head around the fact that you are not going to use it all - considering how much time and effort it took you to make it. The smaller jars give you a bit more flexibility. Some people use stubbies as they are about the right size.
I found it took me a while to work out the differences in the distillate in the separate jars but I have got better with practice.

Wellsy is probably your go-to-man about this! He has had quite a bit of practice with the pot still.

Cheers
Carol
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Re: FSD 2" Boka

Postby Gasman » Tue Jan 19, 2021 4:20 pm

Thank you folks
Rc i did it nice and slow.Abt 20 mls/ min with my power turned right down to 55% ( less than 100volts )and yes collected it in 1 liter bottles.
I realised I wasnt doing cuts per se the proper way but as it was my first spirit run with the pot it was also an exercise in running the still and seeing what sort of quantities,ABV and smell / tastes it was going to produce.It was a sort of training run
To be honest even if I had placed them in to 20 / 300ml jars I still think I would be cutting them purely mathematically and by doing so would slowly learn the smells associated with where the heads hearts and tails ' should be '
But again could i ask once you have determined what the hearts are via cuts what does one do with the left overs ? Is it ok to put the heads in with a neutral spirit run ?
I also wasn't sure where to place the 2 copper rolls Carol ? ( up the top or down the bottom ) so i placed them up the top.Anyway the beauty of the whole shooting match is that it can be all thrown back in the boiler once again and all I have lost is some time
I still have the dunder in the Boiler btw knowing some comments may come my way with what to do with it. :))
Thanks once again Geoff
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Re: FSD 2" Boka

Postby Carol » Tue Jan 19, 2021 4:47 pm

Hi Geoff
I used my heads recently in an all heads run to see what I would get.(Reflux still - most of it was TPW heads - just one lot of Nutrigrain heads).
I added the tails to other spirit runs when I had space in the boiler ( reflux still again as I mostly make neutral).

I am sure Wellsy will have some info on what to do with them.

Anyway - it is lots of fun and a good learning curve. I hope you are keeping notes. It comes in handy later when you can;t remember what the hell you did!

Cheers
Carol
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Re: FSD 2" Boka

Postby The Stig » Tue Jan 19, 2021 4:51 pm

I chuck heads and tails into the next boiler charge of the same flavour
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Re: FSD 2" Boka

Postby hgwells » Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:19 pm

The Stig wrote:I chuck heads and tails into the next boiler charge of the same flavour



:text-+1: I’ve started doing that too.
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