Tag: distillation

Liquid Activated Carbon – Distilling the Wash


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Drunk bird

The bird put about 2 gallons of the wash that had the activated liquid carbon and yeast dropped out , in the still and went to work distilling the wash . Running it very slow to get out as much alcohol as possible with as little of the sweet flavor as possible. Ran it until it was about 80 proof.
Ended up with about a pint of hooch that had a lot of corn flavor and was not overly sweet. It actually was not too bad considering it had about 1/4 of it being tails.

The bird then decided since the flavor was pretty good for what it was that he would try and ferment it out. He poured the rest into a bucket and added water to double the volume.

To this he added a little 24 hour turbo yeast. The yeast took a lot longer than 24 hours to do its job as it had to deal with whatever stopped the fermentation the first time. I say that was the molasses. They do not list any preservatives in it but you know it has them.

Fermentation started about 12 hours later. A small heater was put by it to raise the temp up. It never really kicked in hard as you normally would get from a turbo but then the sugar content had been cut in half also. Just a thin white foam swirling around on top.

After a few days he distilled it off. I snapped this rare photo of the bird at his still. He is wearing a disguise so as to not be identified.

Hooch Bird had let this sit in the fridge for a day to drop down most of the yeast and crap. Then ran off about 2 gallons or so as a test. It was ran fairly quickly as a strip run. It produced about 1 3/4 quarts of drinkable but not real tasty hooch. This also had the tails in it down to about 30 proof.

He then ran the rest at a fast flow down to 50 proof. This was all mixed together to make almost 1 gallon and allowed to sit another day.

The gallon was mixed with 1 gallon of water and put back in the still for a second distillation. He ran this very slow to make sure all the bad flavor stayed out .

Fusels were small. Only had to toss out a  hundred milliliters. The resulting spirits were basically neutral as you would expect and were about 3/4 gallon. Just enough flavor to make it have a taste. This he put in the aging jar and added in some charred white oak.

Another batch of shine saved from the drain by the infamous Hooch bird.



One Last Word on Charcoal

I see little use for liquid carbon or clearing agent. In my opinion it is just money spent on something you do not need. This I see as just another product brought out by the brew industry to make money after convincing people they really need it.
Unless you are using some special type of yeast that might require it due to all the extra added whatever in it , I would not use it. How ever some people swear by it and it may very well do a good job.

So to end this , I say don’t use it. You do not need it. Just let your beer settle in the cold and rack. Then distill it if your making whiskey.
If after distillation you think it has any off flavors simply pour it through a tube filled with activated charcoal. A cheap one can be made easy out of a fluorescent bulb cover and some granular activated charcoal. See Charcoal Filter for instructions.

As a side note on the charcoal, add in some crushed up sugar maple charcoal. Sugar Maple buy it by the pound. There is a link at bottom of page. Adds in a nice flavor and is what is used to make fine rye whiskey and others.  I will be writing about this later. Also about turbo yeast.

The off flavors in your beer are most likely from :

  • Fermenting at too high of a temp for the yeast used
  • Using turbo yeast
  • Mashing or sparging at too high of a temp
  • Perhaps going too far with the mash efficiency could pull out some tannins. ( I have a extremely efficient home made mash tun design False Bottom filter and it will do this if not done properly) at least that is what I think it does.