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Old 01-31-2011, 07:02 AM   #1
Veinman
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Default Freeze Distillation- Estimating Final ABV%

I just finished up some freeze distillation and was wondering if anyone had a good way to estimate the finished ABV of a freeze distilled drink.

I started with a hard limeade cooler I made that was 12% and then freeze concentrated it twice and ended up with around 1/4 the original volume.

The finished drink doesn't freeze in my freezer that is set around 0F which tells me its fairly high ABV and should tell me its minimum percentage but I don't know the formula to figure that out. Another estimate I was using was if I got 80% of the alcohol out it should be around 38% ABV. So any simple tests anyone knows of to test a solutions ABV? Its supposed to get to about -25c (-13F) in the next few days so I might use those temperatures as another freeze test.

EDIT: some basic google research is telling me that it's approximately 35% to not freeze at 0F.

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Old 01-31-2011, 08:19 AM   #2
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Are you sure your on the right site?

If you want to know the alcohol content specifically you need a hydrometer that reads below 1.000. Fairly common in chemistry labs.

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Old 01-31-2011, 11:35 AM   #3
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Sorry Veinman, but that is not something that we discuss here.

EDIT** I am wrong and have learned something myself. Carry on.

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Old 01-31-2011, 12:01 PM   #4
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Technically it wouldn't be considered "distillation" so much as "concentration", and contrary to a popular believe IS legal. This is the same process used to make an eisbier, so i think this thread's presence here could be useful given the appropriate info and if it can be applied to the creation of eisbier.

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Old 01-31-2011, 12:09 PM   #5
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Nothing wrong with what he is doing (the mods won't lock). It is, in fact, one of the BJCP recognized beer styles (eisbock - 5D). It's been discussed ad nauseum on this site.

My attempt at it in pic below. More info at Basic Brewing audio podcast.

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Old 01-31-2011, 12:57 PM   #6
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Thanks for the correction cactusgarrett and passedpawn. I stand corrected and have have edited my previous post to reflect the same.

Just an added note to the OP and any others interested:

The problems with trying to purify alcohol this way was that not only does the ethanol come out of the ice, but so does all the nasty higher and lower alcohols that cause painfull hangovers, and there is no way to separate them from the ethanol by freezing.
The method, however, is to put the beer/wine in a plastic jug, leaving enough room for expansion, then put this in the freezer until it's a solid block of ice, then invert the container over a collection jar and gather everything that melts out until you have collected half of what is in the jug. (as shown in passedpawn's post above) Starting with a 10% beverage, this will come out to about 17% ABV.
Note also that simply lowering the temperature to 0 C will not produce an increase in alcoholic strength. The temperature required for this process is in the range of -15 C and below, but must vary.
This allows crystals of ice to form as the temperature drops. As the temperature rises slightly the alcohol will drain out of the crystals so that when the temperature again goes down and more crystals of ice re-form they are purer crystals of water, containing less alcohol. As this process repeats itself the solution will gradually work its way toward the alcohol concentrations listed in the following table.
Temperature (F/C).......% Alc.
............10 / -12.2.........8
.............5 / -15.0.........11
.............0 / -17.8.........14
...........10 / -12.2..........8
...........-5 / -20.6.........17
.........-10 / -23.3..........20
.........-15 / -26.1..........24
.........-20 / -28.9..........27
.........-25 / -31.7..........30
.........-30 / -34.4..........33

To be at 35%, you would to have had to have a very cold freezer. So, getting a hydrometer would be the best solution to answering your question with any surety.

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Old 01-31-2011, 01:52 PM   #7
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No worries - that's why we're all here. I'm glad you're open to adjusting your beliefs - what frustrates me is the huge amount of info that's passed down here by means of at *least* second hand information, and some people aren't open to the possibility that something they've been doing or told isn't optimum (or wrong).


garrett

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Old 01-31-2011, 02:02 PM   #8
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Well I'll be darned - learned something. Carry on...

(Previous post deleted )

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Old 01-31-2011, 02:13 PM   #9
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I'm relatively new here. I also am learning a bunch of new knowledge regarding the entire "distillation" conversation. There is a rather interesting and heated conversation going on in the Cider Forum regarding this topic even as we speak. Wow, apparently there is a lot of misinformation out there even though as you say, this has been discussed here "ad nauseum".

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Old 01-31-2011, 02:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cactusgarrett View Post
No worries - that's why we're all here. I'm glad you're open to adjusting your beliefs - what frustrates me is the huge amount of info that's passed down here by means of at *least* second hand information, and some people aren't open to the possibility that something they've been doing or told isn't optimum (or wrong).


garrett
That seems to be more of an issue with the newer folk that wander in. I have been here long enough to know that I don't know crap compared to many others here and am always open to correction.
Of course, being wrong is something that very rarely happens with me.
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