Airstill wash

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freeflow

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Thinking about getting an Airstill for making spirits, where it is legal, but apparently, you make a 21/23 litre or so wash and the still only holds 4 litres, is there a way to make just a 4-litre wash? The packets of yeast carbon finings etc one buys are all made up for 21 litres, can one split them?
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bernardsmith

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Hi freeflow and welcome. Simply thinking aloud here: if you make a mash or a wash that if you decided not to distill would still be drinkable as an unhopped beer or a wine then what would be the purpose of removing all the flavor notes through carbon filters? I presume that the reason why the makers of air stills recommend carbon filtration is that they also recommend poor fermentation protocols (turbo yeasts to ferment at the speed of light; flavor-poor fermentables and the like).

If you came to distilling via brewing or wine making you could make a one gallon (4 L) ale or a wine at the drop of a hat, (and wine yeasts in the US cost about $1.50 a pack and unless you have excellent storage conditions that inhibit bacterial contamination of the yeast you would use a whole pack even for a single gallon though that pack can also ferment 5 or 6 gallons at reasonable starting gravities) and while presumably, the quality of the beer or wine may not need to be as high as the quality you would want for an ale or a wine you would never think of filtering it with carbon to obtain just the ethanol.
 
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freeflow

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Hi freeflow and welcome. Simply thinking aloud here: if you make a mash or a wash that if you decided not to distill would still be drinkable as an unhopped beer or a wine then what would be the purpose of removing all the flavor notes through carbon filters? I presume that the reason why the makers of air stills recommend carbon filtration is that they also recommend poor fermentation protocols (turbo yeasts to ferment at the speed of light; flavor-poor fermentables and the like).

If you came to distilling via brewing or wine making you could make a one gallon (4 L) ale or a wine at the drop of a hat, (and wine yeasts in the US cost about $1.50 a pack and unless you have excellent storage conditions that inhibit bacterial contamination of the yeast you would use a whole pack even for a single gallon though that pack can also ferment 5 or 6 gallons at reasonable starting gravities) and while presumably, the quality of the beer or wine may not need to be as high as the quality you would want for an ale or a wine you would never think of filtering it with carbon to obtain just the ethanol.
No sorry I am distilling it, but here in the UK you buy packets which make 21 litres, so it says put sachet into 21 litres of water, but I can only distil 4 litres of wash at one time in the machine, will the rest not spoil if I do it over 2 days?
 

bernardsmith

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If you make 21 liters of a mash or a wash then you have made 21 liters of alcohol. If the ABV is above say, 5%*** and the containers at all times are full (no headroom) then nothing will spoil. Alcohol is usually pathogenic to spoilage organisms and organisms that can damage your wine or ale need oxygen and if there is no headroom then there is no likelihood that anything will spoil even over months (you only need to put your beer in a fridge if you want to drink it chilled. You can store beer or wine in a cool room for just about any length of time (OK , beer might not keep for as long as wine but you get the point). So, if you make 21 L of a mash or a wash there is no good reason why you cannot use 4 L at a time as long as you ensure that what you are not using is prevented from contact with the air (smaller containers and airlocks or caps. The latter if you KNOW that fermentation has totally ended).
*** Presumably you want the ABV to be closer to 10 -12% than 5%. Distillation does NOT create alcohol. Fermentation does that. If you distill a solution with 5% alcohol and you have 1 L then you have ONLY 50 ml of 100% alcohol MAXIMUM. That same liter with 10% alcohol has 100 ml 100% alcohol maximum. You cannot get 1 more ml of ethanol from that liquid AND in fact you will not be able to hit those maxima either for a variety of reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with your process or equipment. It is just not physically possible to extract that level of pure alcohol using distillation processes. With an airstill you might aim for 65% ABV (130 proof) so you might get 60 or 70 ml with a 5% wash or double that with a 10% wash and so perhaps 400 ml with 4 L
 

Abhishek Dewan

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Make 21 liter batch like beer with 10-12% ABV and the after fermentation, bottle them in 10 Soda bottles of 2L each. You can then do strip runs with two bottles at a time without risk of spoiling your beer. You can then also do a spirit run with the yield from strip runs. Make sure ABV is below 40% while doing so. Toss out initial 100 ml.
 

mashpaddled

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The answer to your basic question is yes, you could divide the ingredients by five and use them one at a time. Keep in mind with the airstill that a single 4l run is going to give you about 500ml of 40-60% spirit which, depending upon the proof and volume, might get you to a single 750ml bottle. You might want to do a 21l batch which would yield five or so bottles of spirits. You could ferment the full 21l batch and run all of it through strip runs in a single day and then do a second strip run another day and then your spirit run(s) out of that a separate day.
 

jtratcliff

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I know "someone" who makes 5 gal (19L) batches of fruit wine... Then bottles about 2/5 to drink as wine, stores the
other 3/5 in 1 gal (4L) carboys, and distills 4L at a time... discards the first 100ml or so, then collects the rest in
~ 100ml increments until about it's only about 15% abv coming out of still...

Then the separate 100ml samples are blended to taste... Anything not used to blend is saved and added back to the next run.

Or so I've heard....
 

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