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Old 01-28-2013, 08:43 PM   #31
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Fractional freezing, which is one of the more technical terms for freeze concentrating (kinda sounds cooler too) can be done a couple of ways. The most common is litterally just throwing your base liquid in the freezer and every 24 hours or so taking it out and letting it pour into another container, letting it drip until the ice starts dripping clear liquid, then discard the ice and do it again. That'll work but it's inefficient, labor intensive and just sounds like a pain in the a$$.

The other commonly used method requires watching it a little more closely and is easiest if a bucket is used. every 8-12 hours after the brew is chilled enough to form ice crystals, a sanitized (yeah even at this stage i'd be a sanitizer junky) slotted spoon, is used to scoop any ice crystals off the surface and discard them.

I'm sure there are other methods, these are just two that have been explained to me. the second the common procedure for ice beers.

as far as the abv change....A good friend and biochem guy told me he isn't sure if reduction directly corrilates with increased abv. My simple mind thinks if you reduce in half it should double it. He said that may not be the case, and would have to look at some numbers and think about it. Then spouted out a bunch of big words above my simple medical pay grade and said he would get back to me
Nice summary. The second one looks easier (and less messy).

It would be interesting to see how this affects taste depending on when in the process it was done (before aging or after). Also if you take a SG reading right before freezing and another right after seperating out the liquid and returning to the same original temp, will the increase give a direct correlation to ABV increase or are there other factors?


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Old 01-29-2013, 07:48 PM   #32
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if you take a SG reading right before freezing and another right after seperating out the liquid and returning to the same original temp, will the increase give a direct correlation to ABV increase or are there other factors?
I'm not sure how skewed it would be since reducing the water will concentrate the alcohol by volume it is also going to concentrate the amount of sugar and other things so I'd think the hydrometer reading will be higher after it's gone through the process


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Old 01-29-2013, 07:59 PM   #33
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I'm not sure how skewed it would be since reducing the water will concentrate the alcohol by volume it is also going to concentrate the amount of sugar and other things so I'd think the hydrometer reading will be higher after it's gone through the process
Right, you have a number of variables changing. The reason it works for fermentation is b/c the only variable moving is the sugar content; not the case here.

But, if you measure the volume of what you've removed (gravity should be pretty close to 0), you can get an implied ABV of what's left.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:58 AM   #34
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So:
A = original Abv%
B = original volume
C = volume of water removed
D = final Abv%

D= (B*A) / (B-C)

How I got that:
B (orig vol) times A (orig Abv) = C (removed H2O) times 0Abv + B-C (orig minus removed) times final Abv

As long as you only remove H2O or anything not alcohol, that should work. Mathmaticians may want to double check that.

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Old 01-30-2013, 04:05 AM   #35
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Any ideas on when during the aging process fractional freezing might work better?

If the water molecules bind in any way during the aging process, I would think earlier would be better. Like right after stabilizing, if stabilizing would even be necessary. Then right after clearing and racking maybe.

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Old 01-31-2013, 01:43 AM   #36
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Any ideas on when during the aging process fractional freezing might work better?

If the water molecules bind in any way during the aging process, I would think earlier would be better. Like right after stabilizing, if stabilizing would even be necessary. Then right after clearing and racking maybe.
when I did my applejack, I did it when I reached Final ABV. like, 1.5 weeks after starting the cider. I froze lees and all, it all filtered out, then I backsweetened it and put a screw cap on it in the cupboard. No restart of fermentation. I assume the yeasties filtered out or hit their alcohol tolerance.

I don't see a need to stabilize or age prior to freezing. I think it would benefit from aging after freezing, now, but I don't see a reason to do so before. Just a thought
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:14 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by EndlessPurple View Post
So:
A = original Abv%
B = original volume
C = volume of water removed
D = final Abv%

D= (B*A) / (B-C)

How I got that:
B (orig vol) times A (orig Abv) = C (removed H2O) times 0Abv + B-C (orig minus removed) times final Abv

As long as you only remove H2O or anything not alcohol, that should work. Mathmaticians may want to double check that.
The basic math here is right, the problem is that this assumes no 'fuzzies' with the chemistry. For instance, dry gas (which we put in the gas tank to pull the condensation out of our gas tank etc) is made in part of ethyl alcohol, so to some extant, there is attraction between the alcohol we drink and the water it is in (good thing or it would be a pain to find a way to make it!).

Does that scew with your formula? possibly. If the frozen ice you see is clear, then it is probably 100% water.

Anyhow my feeling is that the formula above is a good 'first order approximation' meaning if you take out 1/2 the volume, you can assume it is all water and assume you just about doubled the ABV %. The formula above should give it to you regardless of how much water you take out, so it is more general.

It is worth noting that our gravity to ABV% conversions are not exact either (so our original ABV's may be a bit off) Again since we aren't selling and only trying to get a feel, how many of us could tell the differance betwen say 23% and 24% and 25% by taste/feel? not many I'd guess.
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:00 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unferth

when I did my applejack, I did it when I reached Final ABV. like, 1.5 weeks after starting the cider. I froze lees and all, it all filtered out, then I backsweetened it and put a screw cap on it in the cupboard. No restart of fermentation. I assume the yeasties filtered out or hit their alcohol tolerance.

I don't see a need to stabilize or age prior to freezing. I think it would benefit from aging after freezing, now, but I don't see a reason to do so before. Just a thought
Just a thought. The water might actually play a role in the aging process that mellows out the harshness in a young mead. Water is a reactive chemical, also known as the "universal solvent". It is possible that fractional freezing prior to aging takes out the necessary water for proper aging. I have no data, just a hypothesis.
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:30 PM   #39
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I'm giving this a go tonight. I just threw some clover honey, AJ concentrate, and water in a gallon jug. og 1.14, pitched ec1118.
So, I got the cyser to go down as far as it would, FG being 1.010, making the ABV estimate around 17% (wowza! )

Last night, about 12 hours ago, I put it in some left-over Welches 1.36 liter containers... checked it just a few minutes ago and no ice whatsoever. not even little crystals on the side. I'll check it again tonight, but if it doesn't freeze I guess we'll know to maybe not make it so strong?
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:08 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Unferth

So, I got the cyser to go down as far as it would, FG being 1.010, making the ABV estimate around 17% (wowza! )

Last night, about 12 hours ago, I put it in some left-over Welches 1.36 liter containers... checked it just a few minutes ago and no ice whatsoever. not even little crystals on the side. I'll check it again tonight, but if it doesn't freeze I guess we'll know to maybe not make it so strong?
It will freeze, but it will take time. Just keep it in the freezer.


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