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Offline CLAY

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The home distiller thread
« on: January 26, 2014, 09:06:57 PM »
I'm not intending this to be a how-to; there are plenty of places out there for that.   More of a tips, tricks, and recipes.

I have some to distill right now I need to get to.  Corn mash and some straight sugar mash.  I put it in a bottle then cut up some small cubes of oak, char them with a torch, and add them to the bottle.  Then it has to sit for a few years.  The stuff I am currently drinking is from '11.  I need to do it regularly- I am going to have down time again now. 

Anyone else?
"Most accidents happen when the meek meet the douchebags."  -Viffergyrl
"The wider the road, the worse the food." -Coho
Let's do some science.

Offline Stripes

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2014, 09:22:27 PM »
I don't get much down time!






« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 10:38:59 PM by Stripes »
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Offline CLAY

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2014, 09:35:08 PM »
You lost me at:

I don't get much down time!
:lol:
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 05:35:56 AM by CLAY »
"Most accidents happen when the meek meet the douchebags."  -Viffergyrl
"The wider the road, the worse the food." -Coho
Let's do some science.

Offline coucours grad

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2014, 10:17:42 PM »
Made a very interesting batch of stuff last year.....


Was making some Russian Imperial stout and ran out of Hoppes on the first 7.5 gallons. So on the second run I just didnt add any.


   Let it age right along with the bottling batch but when the first carboy hit the bottles this one hit the machine. it turned out 12.5 abv as mash....94% off the coils in the middle....NASTY head and the tail was like pure sugar water.....


    Right off the coils you could tell it was something special. Great flavor, not like anything I've ever had before. Bourbon on steriods is the best I can come up with.


   Right now its aging in a charred oak barrel. by this time next year it should be something to contend with.

   If it last's that long!
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Offline giaka

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2014, 12:15:12 AM »
If it last's that long!

I recently "jarred" up some 120 proof corn sugar based with slices of apple and a cinnamon stick.  Its only been sitting for a week and its damn good. I wanted to let it sit for at least a month. Its just not gonna last that long.  :bigsmile:

I have some other corn sugar based 120 with toasted oak chips in it. How its going to sit for a year without me "trying" it I will never know.
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Offline CLAY

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2014, 09:48:55 AM »
Well I'm heading out to fire up the still and try the corn mash.
"Most accidents happen when the meek meet the douchebags."  -Viffergyrl
"The wider the road, the worse the food." -Coho
Let's do some science.

Offline giaka

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2014, 01:11:03 PM »
Well I'm heading out to fire up the still and try the corn mash.

How did it go?
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Offline coucours grad

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2014, 01:12:45 PM »
I have a theory that corn whiskey is easy too obtain legally so anything that hits the machine must be something thats not bottled commercially.

   In the past I've done peach brandy (Notebook says be more particular abut the peaches that get into the mash. It had to have some green peaches in it as it turned out kinda bitter), I've turned "Outhouse Stout" into whiskey that knocks the socks off... Plum/cherry brandy that the wife polished off before it could age more then a month (sweet )  and tried a rye whiskey that is also setting in a 2gallon keg in the garage. (My garage smells really really good in the summer.)


This Russian was a lesson though as I had always blown off the theory of cutting out the heads and the tails. Needless to say some of the stuff around here that made the aging rack wasnt worth drinking. This machine I have is too thick for good heat transfer....I've gotta turn it back into a kitchen appliance and get a worthy rig one of these days.

   Now, the neighbor has some really good luck with Corn whiskey...I'm having problems getting a useful starting gravity with corn and have supplemented with barley in the past to get them going....Which means I'm making Barley wine/brandy instead of corn whiskey.

   SO FAR I if I am being honest I prefer what comes home from the liquor store to whats coming off the coils.....But I havent given up yet!
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Offline giaka

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2014, 03:27:40 PM »


This Russian was a lesson though as I had always blown off the theory of cutting out the heads and the tails.



Tails aren't so bad but have you tasted the heads? Holy crap they taste like azz (very chemical like).  :hurl: I imagine if I left mine in it would ruin the whole batch.  :shrug:  Seems to me that's the stuff that causes nasty hangovers and headaches too, but Im just guessing at that one. The tails taste like the middle only watered down. Not that big of a deal in regards to taste. I have been saving mine and just dumping it in the next batch.
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Offline giaka

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2014, 03:36:02 PM »
So I was thinking. I wonder with the legalization of pot will things come full circle eventually? Will it one day be illegal to grow your own pot? If not how can distilling spirits remain illegal?
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Online bedlamite

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2014, 04:01:34 PM »
You do realize that a large part of the heads is methanol, and is toxic, don't you? Take the temp up slow and get rid of that crap.

I really need to make a batch of mead brandy, but every batch of mead I've made the last couple years was good enough that I've left them as is.
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Offline giaka

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2014, 05:37:47 PM »
You do realize that a large part of the heads is methanol, and is toxic, don't you? Take the temp up slow and get rid of that crap.

Yeap when I say taste its dip your finger and tatse then spit. Lol...

The cure for methanol poisioning is ethanol though so I guess if you left it you might be ok but why do it? Its simple enough to toss the first 50 to 100ml.


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Offline coucours grad

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2014, 06:14:09 PM »
"Holy crap they taste like azz (very chemical like)"......Yup.




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Offline CLAY

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2014, 06:33:04 PM »
Well I'm heading out to fire up the still and try the corn mash.

How did it go?

The first run was good.  I got about a half- 2/3 gallon or so.  Not a huge taste differential, but I'm keeping the corn run seperate.  Tomorrow I'll run the last bucket of corn mash then run the straight sugar stuff and compare.   :thumbsup:
"Most accidents happen when the meek meet the douchebags."  -Viffergyrl
"The wider the road, the worse the food." -Coho
Let's do some science.

Offline giaka

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2014, 06:58:08 PM »


The first run was good.  I got about a half- 2/3 gallon or so.  Not a huge taste differential, but I'm keeping the corn run seperate.  Tomorrow I'll run the last bucket of corn mash then run the straight sugar stuff and compare.   :thumbsup:

Very nice, my rice mash turned out really good. In fact I ordered a bag of amylase since I have a 40 lb bag of rice that I cant eat.  8)  Oh and that airstone in the condenser worked awesome.  :bigok:

Having said that, should this thread be in the members only forum?  :bigsmile:
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Offline CLAY

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2014, 10:24:42 PM »
I can move it- after all, I'm a mod!   :bigsmile:
"Most accidents happen when the meek meet the douchebags."  -Viffergyrl
"The wider the road, the worse the food." -Coho
Let's do some science.

Offline giaka

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2014, 11:05:15 AM »
I can move it- after all, I'm a mod!   :bigsmile:

So was there much difference in your sugar based vs corn that you mashed?
I don't know how to act my age, I have never been this old before.........
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Offline CLAY

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2014, 01:02:52 PM »
The rest of the corn is running right now.  I had to go help a co-worker fix a link in his sink this morning.  Great guy but totally helpless.  Fixing the leak involved tightening drain trap fittings.   :facepalm: 
"Most accidents happen when the meek meet the douchebags."  -Viffergyrl
"The wider the road, the worse the food." -Coho
Let's do some science.

Offline giaka

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2014, 01:20:11 PM »
The rest of the corn is running right now.  I had to go help a co-worker fix a link in his sink this morning.  Great guy but totally helpless.  Fixing the leak involved tightening drain trap fittings.   :facepalm:

I thought that was a California thing.  :bigsmile:  So how valuable are you if you survive the apocalypse?  I should start a tread on that.

Anyway, I have been reading a little on Amylase. Its a digestive enzyme and can be found in human saliva. Many moons ago the natives of south america used to have their women (probably village virgins) chew cracked corn and spit it in a container. The saliva would break down the starch and create sugar. The sugar would ferment and the men would later enjoy the beverage.

I'm sure glad you can buy a pound of amylase on Amazon.com now.  :bigsmile:  I guess it can be used to make sugars from rice, corn, potatoes, etc. This could get interesting.
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Offline fourstring

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2014, 08:08:50 PM »
Acknowledging that this is not a how-to thread, what IS a good source for learning how to do this right, both in terms of brewing and distilling?  I've always had an interest in brewing, but currently have too many hobbies and not enough of the equipment.

BTW, the idea of distilling 'bad beer' is actually kind of intriguing.  Is that a normal practice?
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Online bedlamite

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2014, 08:51:54 PM »
A plan is just a list of things that doesn't happen.

Offline CLAY

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2014, 09:41:18 PM »
Acknowledging that this is not a how-to thread, what IS a good source for learning how to do this right, both in terms of brewing and distilling?  I've always had an interest in brewing, but currently have too many hobbies and not enough of the equipment.

BTW, the idea of distilling 'bad beer' is actually kind of intriguing.  Is that a normal practice?


Your wife.  It's all physics.   :bigsmile:  That's how I built my first 'still  :thumbsup:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/ Don't bring up distilling there.

http://homedistiller.org/


Do a search.  Learn about the theory and the physics, not just "how-to" (I know you will).  Once you understand what is happening it all makes sense.   :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

When you come in June I'll show you my very simple rig.   :bigok:
"Most accidents happen when the meek meet the douchebags."  -Viffergyrl
"The wider the road, the worse the food." -Coho
Let's do some science.

Offline giaka

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2014, 12:45:25 AM »

When you come in June I'll show you my very simple rig.   :bigok:


This looks to be a simple rig.  :bigsmile:

http://mike.chornbe.com/Z4/20140105_113423.mp4
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Offline giaka

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2014, 12:47:14 AM »


BTW, the idea of distilling 'bad beer' is actually kind of intriguing.  Is that a normal practice?

Distilling wine that didn't turn out is not a bad idea either. At least that's what I read on the internet.  :shrug: ;)
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Offline coucours grad

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2014, 01:31:15 AM »
distilling bad "anything" isn't really a good idea.


Your product always tastes like your mash.


But what is mash?? Fermented grain. What is beer?? Fermented grain with Hoppes as a preservative.

Unless your just in it for the alcohol ....But I prefer it has some flavor.


Some folks make a plain base and flavor it.




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Offline USAMEDIC

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2014, 01:53:27 AM »
All sounds good! A good friend of mine used to make beer in his garage...... Now he owns like the 35th largest brewery in the US. He makes good stuff, but I don't think he shares recipes anymore......lol

Bear republic brewery if your wondering


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Offline CLAY

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2014, 06:42:24 AM »
distilling bad "anything" isn't really a good idea.


Your product always tastes like your mash.


But what is mash?? Fermented grain. What is beer?? Fermented grain with Hoppes as a preservative.

Unless your just in it for the alcohol ....But I prefer it has some flavor.


Some folks make a plain base and flavor it.

I usually flavor it, but I am going to run a bad batch of beer this afternoon.  Straight sugar mash running right now.  Today I'm going to be charring some oak in preparation for bottling.  And waiting.  Three years.   :crazy:

Why I don't run a batch every winter I don't know.    :facepalm:
"Most accidents happen when the meek meet the douchebags."  -Viffergyrl
"The wider the road, the worse the food." -Coho
Let's do some science.

Offline CLAY

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2014, 06:55:10 AM »
Some interesting info here on aging with wood:
http://homedistiller.org/aging/aging/wood
"Most accidents happen when the meek meet the douchebags."  -Viffergyrl
"The wider the road, the worse the food." -Coho
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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2014, 09:29:34 AM »
distilling bad "anything" isn't really a good idea.


Your product always tastes like your mash.


But what is mash?? Fermented grain. What is beer?? Fermented grain with Hoppes as a preservative.

Unless your just in it for the alcohol ....But I prefer it has some flavor.


Some folks make a plain base and flavor it.

With a pot still you're right, but with a good reflux still you can pull out 180-190 proof. Everclear is always useful ...
A plan is just a list of things that doesn't happen.

Offline giaka

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2014, 10:53:39 AM »
I find this one really interesting.  :P

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #30 on: January 29, 2014, 09:58:55 PM »
distilling bad "anything" isn't really a good idea.


Your product always tastes like your mash.


But what is mash?? Fermented grain. What is beer?? Fermented grain with Hoppes as a preservative.

Unless your just in it for the alcohol ....But I prefer it has some flavor.


Some folks make a plain base and flavor it.

With a pot still you're right, but with a good reflux still you can pull out 180-190 proof. Everclear is always useful ...


So there really is no such animal as "bad beer!!!"
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Offline giaka

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #31 on: January 30, 2014, 11:01:27 AM »
So I am trying an experiment with an old school rice wine (that can be distilled to rice whiskey). The only area I am cheating on is using amylase in a bag versus having my entire neighborhood stop by and chew a mouth full of rice and spit it in a bucket.  8)

10 cups of white sticky rice in a large pot covered in about 2 inches of water, let soak overnight. Next day, bring up to about 190 to 200f and add enough water to keep it in a "soupy" state for about 15 minutes. Add enough cool water to lower the temp to 140f. Add two tablespoons of amylase, stir and cover. Allow to sit overnight. The amylase will convert the starch to sugar and the entire mixture should thin out and become watery with small kernels of rice floating around. Strain the mixture into your fermenting bucket. You should end up with around 3 gallons of liquid (no rice) at this point. Add enough cool or warm water (what ever it takes) to get the temp to 85-90f.  Make a yeast starter and pitch it along with 2 tablespoons of yeast nutrient.  Cover with an airlock.

I have had some very active fermenting going on with the above recipe. I will post how it turns out in a week or two. BTW nothing in this recipe is illegal unless of course you distill the results.  :bigsmile:
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Offline DNA

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #32 on: January 30, 2014, 11:54:55 AM »
This tread screams for the most iconic home still of all time:

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Offline giaka

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #33 on: February 03, 2014, 10:51:35 AM »
The shochu experiment was a success. Using nothing but rice and amylase I ended up with about 750ml of 60 proof shochu. Its awesome if you like sake but not so awesome if you don't.
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Offline giaka

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #34 on: February 11, 2014, 11:37:10 AM »
So if someone had about a liter and a half of 100 to 120 proof shine, a half cup of each of the wood chips shown below (toasted them in a pan in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes), two or three Cinnamon sticks and two tablespoons of vanilla and combined all of this and let it sit for two weeks, one would be impressed. Oh and add the wood chips while they are still hot.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BP963EC/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

http://www.amazon.com/WESTERN-78075-Hickory-Smoking-Chips/dp/B006OD885G/ref=sr_1_3?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1392139919&sr=1-3&keywords=hickory+wood+chips

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MR MOJO RISIN unscrambled spells JIM MORRISON

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Offline CLAY

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #35 on: February 11, 2014, 03:54:49 PM »
I'm gonna have to try that...
"Most accidents happen when the meek meet the douchebags."  -Viffergyrl
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Let's do some science.

Online jadziadax8

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2014, 06:59:13 PM »
With a pot still you're right, but with a good reflux still you can pull out 180-190 proof. Everclear is always useful ...

Yeah. Mostly for cleaning machinery, in my experience. Oh, and for the machinist to drink.  :eek:


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« Last Edit: February 11, 2014, 09:20:07 PM by jadziadax8 »
She's got a worm in 'er belly? That's disgusting! That's interesting, but very disgusting. 

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Offline coucours grad

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2014, 07:37:03 PM »
the hard part is going to be letting it sit.


At one time I ran a batch a month to keep from having to constantly drink young whiskey....



My problem is usually I like it coming off the still and dont have the patience to wait.


But I like you recipe and may try it.


Lately we been running 40% corn 40% rye and 20 percent barley....But for some odd reason I'm having problems getting gravity out of the corn.


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Offline giaka

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #38 on: February 12, 2014, 12:43:24 PM »
the hard part is going to be letting it sit.



One of the reasons I am toasting smoker chips is to try and get more flavor quicker. It seems to work OK. At least well enough that I can have something to sip while I wait for the other stuff to grow old.  :bigsmile:
I don't know how to act my age, I have never been this old before.........
MR MOJO RISIN unscrambled spells JIM MORRISON

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Offline CLAY

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #39 on: March 15, 2014, 07:23:12 AM »
I just placed an order for a charred barrel from here:
http://www.barrelsonline.com/ShowDepartments.aspx

I'm going to barrel some for a few years and see how it turns out.
"Most accidents happen when the meek meet the douchebags."  -Viffergyrl
"The wider the road, the worse the food." -Coho
Let's do some science.

Offline coucours grad

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #40 on: March 16, 2014, 11:38:37 PM »
GOOD BARRELS!


HAVE HAD Much LUCK with them.
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Offline stew71

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #41 on: March 17, 2014, 01:27:34 PM »
I just placed an order for a charred barrel from here:
http://www.barrelsonline.com/ShowDepartments.aspx

I'm going to barrel some for a few years and see how it turns out.


You'll have to add fresh product to them occasionally as the angels take their share. I once had a small 2 gallon barrel lose about 30% to evaporation when I forgot to move it indoors during a particularly hot summer.
With enough thrust, a pig flies just fine.

Offline CLAY

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #42 on: March 17, 2014, 03:24:41 PM »
GREAT point.  Thanks- I'll have to stick it in the basement when it gets hot out...
"Most accidents happen when the meek meet the douchebags."  -Viffergyrl
"The wider the road, the worse the food." -Coho
Let's do some science.

Offline giaka

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #43 on: March 19, 2014, 01:28:50 PM »
Anyone ever try this stuff?

Alcotec 24-hour Turbo Yeast, 205 grams

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0064O78HE/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I don't know how to act my age, I have never been this old before.........
MR MOJO RISIN unscrambled spells JIM MORRISON

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Offline CLAY

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #44 on: March 31, 2014, 09:00:58 AM »
"Most accidents happen when the meek meet the douchebags."  -Viffergyrl
"The wider the road, the worse the food." -Coho
Let's do some science.

Offline CLAY

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #45 on: April 06, 2014, 06:11:54 PM »
18 gallons of mash percolating away right now.  Another couple days and it will be ready to run!  I need to fill the barrel and have some extra to play with.
"Most accidents happen when the meek meet the douchebags."  -Viffergyrl
"The wider the road, the worse the food." -Coho
Let's do some science.

Offline giaka

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #46 on: April 07, 2014, 11:48:29 AM »
I got 12 going. I need a barrel. I should order one.
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MR MOJO RISIN unscrambled spells JIM MORRISON

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Offline stew71

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #47 on: April 07, 2014, 12:28:10 PM »
(sigh) Fine. I'll succumb to peer pressure and get a few gallons going this week.
With enough thrust, a pig flies just fine.

Offline CLAY

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #48 on: April 10, 2014, 01:59:52 PM »
So I wound up with about 3 gallons.  Around 2 to fill the barrel (I had some left over) and a little less than a gallong left to play with,.  I also ran some wine (that didn't turn out) through it that is pretty decent as-is.

Time to try that apple-cinnamon thing.  How did it turn out Gaika?
"Most accidents happen when the meek meet the douchebags."  -Viffergyrl
"The wider the road, the worse the food." -Coho
Let's do some science.

Offline stew71

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Re: The home distiller thread
« Reply #49 on: May 08, 2014, 07:16:12 PM »
Just a little sample of what came off the still this afternoon while "working from home".....(cough) (cough) (sniffle).

About 3 gallons of apple juice fermented using a turbo yeast from Mile High Distillers. Came off the still at 120 proof. Cut to 60 using a mix of spring water and apple juice. Very tasty.

This jar is going to my BIL.

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I plan to experiment with pineapple and mango to get ready for a summer houseboating trip we have planned in July.  ;D
With enough thrust, a pig flies just fine.