Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits & Grainfather – Blending Still Spirits’ Essences

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Hi and welcome to episode 540 with Whats4Chow.com and the next episode of Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits and Grainfather.
Over our 2 previous distilling episodes we distilled a batch of wash through the Still Spirits Turbo 500 reflux distiller, then filtered the product through the Still Spirits Carbon Filter System.
Today we’re going to look at some important points regarding using the Still Spirits essences or flavor packs.
The essences come packaged in sachets and all of the blending instructions are clearly printed on each pack.
This makes it really simple to blend your favorite drinks, however there are a few points to look out for.
The first point is that not all of the packs make the same quantity of product. so you do need to read the instructions and yield quantities really carefully otherwise you may end up with an end product that is either too strong or too weak… be this in alcohol terms or flavor.
The second and most important point to keep in mind is the alcohol content of the drink you are making. For instance, if you are blending a whiskey, then the target alcohol ABV is 43%. This is easy enough, however, some spirits like spiced golden rum is only 37%. If you inadvertently mix it to 43%, it will be far stronger than it should be in alcohol terms. You can find the target alcohol contents on the labels of the original drinks you are emulating, or simply Google the respective drinks to find this information.
This point becomes particularly relevant when blending the liqueurs and cream based liqueurs. These can have an alcohol content spanning anything from 13% to 33% ABV. So as you can see, it is good to do your homework before mixing.
That said, Still Spirits make dozens of different flavoring essences, and you see these on the Brewcraft website… Brewcraft.co.za
Now you ask, “Just how good are the Still Spirits Essences?”
I mixed up a range of these including the Spiced Golden Rum, the Bourbon, a Single Malt Whiskey and a range of the liqueurs. I bottled these up and I was ready for the big test.
We live on a golf range, and the clubhouse is literally 500m from my front door. I dropped the load off with the owner, Frans Hartshorn, and asked him to conduct a blind taste test with a dozen of his high-end customers. Note that I gave them to him…. selling the stuff is illegal, unless you have the license to produce for resale.
After a few days, I checked back with him. No-one could distinguish the difference between the single malt whiskey and the corresponding famous commercial brand, and the same result came back for every single spirit and liqueur.
In summary, these essences are absolutely outstanding.
Some distillers who are more into alembic distilling, blending and aging do comment that this takes all of the art and fun out of distilling, however if you want to make super-high quality spirits and liqueurs comparably to high-end commercial brands, with no frustration and no aging time, this is a sure winner. For those wanting to get a little more creative, our next distilling episode will cover making a homemade essence and blending it with a T500 alcohol batch.
Thanks for joining us today, please give us a thumbs up, subscribe to our channel if you haven’t already done so, share this with your family and friends, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.

The Still Spirits Carbon Filter System for Reflux Distilled Alcohol

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Unboxing and Assembling the Still Spirits Carbon Filter System

Hi and welcome to episode 537 with Whats4Chow.com and another episode in our short series Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits and Grainfather.
Today we’re going to look at the Still Spirits Carbon Filtering system which has been specially designed for filtering the spirits distilled using the Still Spirits Turbo 500 reflux distiller.
When reflux distilling, you can expect an alcohol purity of between 94 and 97%. The 3 to 6 percent disparity is comprised mostly of water, however sometimes a few volatiles can sneak through along with this and adversely affect the flavor of your product. Using a carbon filter will remove these troublesome elements and give you a superior product.
An important note before we start…. this filter should not be used with wines, ciders or alembic distilled product. The filter will remove most of the color and flavor from these drinks. The filter is only for processing reflux distilled product.
Let’s have a look in the box.
The set comes with an upper an lower bucket. The upper bucket has a hole in the bottom where the filter is fitted, while the lower bucket has a hole in the side to receive a tap fitting.
There is a good quality lid for the upper bucket, and a receiver ring which will join the 2 containers together.
In addition there is a decent quality tap fitting, the disposable carbon filter, two seals, a central bolt and a sturdy plastic nut.
To fit the tap, remove the nut and one of the silicon washers from the thread.
Insert the thread into the hole on the side of the container. Replace the silicon washer and screw the nut on firmly.
To install the filter, insert the bolt through the hole in the container, from the inside.
Place a foam seal onto the bolt, followed the carbon candle, followed by the second seal, and finally the nut making sure that spacer ridge on the nut is facing inwards.
Tighten this up firmly.
For final assembly, place the receiver ring onto the lower container. Press the upper container into the receiver ring and you’re ready to go.
Dilute your reflux distilled alcohol to below 50% ABV and pour this into the upper container.
Within a few minutes, the batch will have run through the filter and your spirits are ready for blending with the Still Spirits flavorings. This process will be covered in the distilling episode.
Thanks for joining us today, please give us a thumbs up, subscribe to our channel, and share this with your friends and family, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.

 

Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits & Grainfather – Still Spirits Water Flow Regulator

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Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits & Grainfather – Still Spirits Water Flow Regulator

Hi and welcome to episode 534 with Whats4Chow.com and the next  in our series serious distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits and Grainfather.
In our previous distilling episode we ran a batch of sugar wash through the Still Spirits T500 reflux distiller. As promised, today we are going to have a good look at the Still Spirits flow controller, what it does, and why you need it.
The distilling setup is comprised of 2 parts, the muscle and the brain. The boiler and the condenser are the muscle, while the thermometer and the flow controller are the brain. Anyone who’s been on earth long enough knows that muscle does not work too well without brain.
In previous versions of the T500, the flow controller was a simple micro tap that fitted to your tap. This has evolved into the most ingenious piece of equipment that we’re looking at today.
Before we continue, why do you need a flow controller? Why couldn’t they just make a preset valve at the optimum flow rate?
The answer is quite straight forward. Tap water from different taps, and in different geographical locations is not at the same temperature. The guidline of 500ml per minute given in the instruction manual is just that…. a baseline starting point. Once the still has heated up and the thermometer approaches the target temperature, you need to make small adjustments to the flow rate to achieve the optimum temperature of 60c.
If the temperature fails to reach 60c, the flow rate is too high. If the temperature overshoots 60c, the flow rate is too low and must be increased.
So you ask, “what was wrong with the previous flow controller?”
Unfortunately, just like temperatures vary from tap to tap, so do water pressures…. and water pressure can vary on a single tap from one minute to the next. This makes the optimum range very difficult to achieve when there are so many variables.
Let’s have a look at what comes in the box. First out is the power supply unit with mains cable.
Then comes the unit. All the necessary pipes and tap connections are supplied, including good quality hose clamps.
On the main unit the power plugs into the black cable on the side.
Inside the unit is a variable submersible pump and a float valve which controls the inflow of water from the tap.
Water enters the chamber from the tap through the white connector on the side of the unit. Once the chamber is full the float valve closes and will not allow any more water though until the pump has depleted enough water to open the float valve again.
The water is pumper out at constant flow rate through the silver outlet to the inlet of the distilling column.
The flow rate is controlled by adjusting the silver dial on the lid of the unit.
In conclusion, even if you’re not using the Still Spirits T500, any reflux distilling setup will benefit immensely by adding this incredibly simple and reliable unit to the arsenal.
Please take some time to check out the Brewcraft website by clicking the link in the description below the video.
Thanks for joining us today, please give us a thumbs up, subscribe to our channel if you haven’t already done so, and share this with your friends and family, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.

Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits & Grainfather – Running the Still Spirits T500 Refl

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Running the Still Spirits T500 Reflux Distiller

In our previous episode we cover the process used to make invert sugar, then went on to make a batch of sugar wash using the invert sugar.
Today we’re going to put the Still Spirits T500 Reflux Distiller through its paces when we distill this batch of sugar wash.
First we need to assemble the T500.
Unscrew the large nut from the base of the column taking care not to spill the saddles that fill the column. Insert the threaded end of the column through the boiler lid and screw the nut back on. Tighten the nut firmly.
Attach the water inlet pipe to the inlet. This is the thinner of the 2 long pipes supplied with the T500.
Attach the thicker pipe to the water outlet.
Use the supplied adapters to attach the inlet, or thinner pipe to your flow controller, and position the outlet pipe in your sink.
Attach the pipe from the flow controller to the tap.
Our next episode will look at the operation of the flow controller in detail.
Attach the short transfer tube to the top of the column.
Pour the sugar wash into the boiler and add the packet of boiling enhancers and the distilling conditioner to the wash.
The ceramic boil enhancers give a smoother boil, while the conditioner prevents foaming in the wash.
Pop the lid on the boiler and secure the 4 clips.
Turn on the thermometer by using a toothpick to depress the tiny switch on the back of the unit.
Clip the thermometer on to the column and place the thermometer probe into the recess in the water outlet elbow.
Finally, attach the alcohol outlet pipe to the laterally orientated pipe just below the thermometer.
Start the water flow and set the flow rate to 500ml per minute.
Turn the boiler on. After some time the temperature on the thermometer will start to climb. As it approaches 50c, the first drips of alcohol will emerge. The first 50ml is comprised mostly of acetone and is collected and discarded.
As the temperature approaches 60c, the target temperature, the alcohol flow rate will increase and you will continue to collect alcohol until the boiler shuts down or the alcohol flow ceases.
If the temperature does not climb to 60c, your flow rate is too high and needs to be reduced, and if it spikes past 60c then the rate is too low and needs to be increased on the flow controller.
From this particular batch of sugar wash, I collected just over 5 liters of 94% pure alcohol. This is higher than usual owing to the invert sugar used in the wash. With regular sugar wash, you can expect about 4 liters of product.
Stay tuned for our next episode where we’re looking at the Still Spirits flow controller.

Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits & Grainfather – How to Make Invert Sugar

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Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits & Grainfather - How to Make Invert Sugar
Author: 
Recipe type: Brewing and Distilling
 
Today we're going to look at a refinement that can be implemented to ensure a good strong fermentation that will consistently and will yield above average results, and higher alcohol volumes. Yeast feeds on sugar to stay alive, multiply and produce alcohol. If the yeast has a supercharged food, it goes without saying that it will produce the alcohol faster, and more of it. The food I am talking about is invert sugar.
Ingredients
  • White sugar (regular household sugar)
  • 2.5ml Citric acid per Kilogram of sugar
  • Water
Instructions
  1. Hi and welcome to episode 529 with Whats4Chow.com, and the next episode in our epic series on serious distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits and Grainfather.
  2. Today we're going to look at a refinement that can be implemented to ensure a good strong fermentation that will consistently yield above average results, and higher alcohol volumes.
  3. Yeast feeds on sugar to stay alive, multiply, and produce alcohol. If the yeast has a supercharged food, it goes without saying that it will produce the alcohol faster, and more of it.
  4. The food I am talking about is invert sugar.
  5. Invert sugar is a combination of glucose and sucrose and is manufactured by splitting the disaccharide sugar (regular white sugar) into these two components. This makes the invert sugar more readily available to the yeast resulting in a more reliable, efficient and complete fermentation. Think of it as rocket fuel for your fermenter.
  6. This amazing substance can be made quite easily at home, and works brilliantly with any of the Still Spirits yeast varieties.
  7. To start, add the white sugar and citric acid to a medium size pot. Citric acid is available off the shelf at any store in the baking section. You can also use tartaric acid, however this is more difficult to find. Cream of tartar is not recommended, as you will only achieve a partial conversion to invert sugar.
  8. Pour in enough water to cover the sugar.
  9. Place the pot over medium high heat and stir this until all of the sugar has dissolved.
  10. Our target temperature is 130c or 266f.
  11. As the temperature climbs, the process will stall at 110c or 230f until all of the excess water has been evaporated. If you poured in too much water, don't panic, the process will simply take a little longer.
  12. When the excess water has evaporated, the temperature will start to climb again.
  13. While you wait for the target temperature, fill a small jug with water at room temperature. It is important that the syrup does not spike over 135c or 275f or the process is ruined. Adding small amounts of water will keep the temperature in check.
  14. Once the syrup has reached the target temperature, turn the heat down to medium. We need to boil the mixture for 20 minutes for the process to complete.
  15. Keep a keen eye on the temperature and add about 50ml of the cold water every time it spikes towards 135c. This will bring the temperature back into line.
  16. You will have to add water 4 or 5 times over the 20 minute period. Make sure to stir the water in as you add it.
  17. Also, be aware that the water will give of a puff of steam as it goes into the hot syrup, so make sure your hands are away from the top of the pot.
  18. At the 20 minute mark, turn off the heat and your invert sugar is ready.
  19. I am going use this homemade rocket fuel to ferment a batch of sugar wash using the Still Spirits Classic 8 Turbo Yeast.
  20. The batch pack calls for 8kg of sugar. I have used 2kg of this to make the invert sugar.
  21. Add the remaining 6kg of sugar to your fermentation bucket and fill this to 2 thirds with hot water. Pour in the 2kg batch of invert sugar and stir everything thoroughly until all of the sugar has dissolved.
  22. Top the fermenter up with cooler water to attain a target temperature of between 38 and 40c.
  23. Add the Still Spirits yeast pack and stir this in.
  24. Add the Still Spirits Turbo Carbon and stir this. Put the lid on and allow the fermentation to complete over the following 2 to 4 days.
  25. Use the Still Spirits Turbo Clearing pack to clear the fermented wash and it is ready.
  26. Stay tuned for next serious distilling episode where we're going to distill this batch through the Still Spirits Turbo 500 Reflux Distiller.

 

Pat Mack’s Brewing Caps – How to Make Ginger Beer – Real Alcoholic Carbonated Ginger Beer

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Pat Mack's Brewing Caps - How to Make Ginger Beer - Real Alcoholic Carbonated Ginger Beer
Author: 
Recipe type: Home Brewing
Serves: 3 liters
 
Just before the festive season I stumbled across a rather unique product called Pat Mack's Brewing Caps. The kit comes direct from Pat Mack, and it allows you to brew carbonated alcoholic beverages in regular soft drink bottles.
Ingredients
  • 250ml Sugar
  • 3 Liters water
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 50g Fresh ginger, chopped
  • 5ml Cream of tartar
  • ⅛ tsp Brewer's yeast
  • 30g Sultanas or raisins
Instructions
  1. Just before the festive season I stumbled across a rather unique product called Pat Mack's Brewing Caps. The kit comes direct from Pat Mack, and it allows you to brew carbonated alcoholic beverages in regular soft drink bottles.
  2. The kit comes in various different options, however the one I chose includes 5 of the caps, enough high quality brewer's yeast for 300 liters of brew, a full instruction manual with a load of recipes and a download eBook, with recipes and information.
  3. Anyway, today I am going to make batch of real ginger beer to show you how it all works.
  4. Let's first have close look at the caps. These are standard size bottle caps and inserted into the cap is a flexible diaphragm type valve. This allows some of the CO2 to escape in order that the bottle does not burst. The remaining CO2 remains in the bottles adding the carbonation to the contents.
  5. To start, add the water, roughly chopped ginger, sugar, zest and juice of one lemon and cream of tartar to a large pot.
  6. Bring this to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer the mixture for 30 minutes.
  7. Strain the mixture through a large sieve and allow it stand and cool to 30c before adding the yeast.
  8. Add 1 eighth of a teaspoon of the supplied yeast and stir this in.
  9. Add the sultanas to the bottles and pour the mixture into bottles.
  10. Screw on the brewing caps and transfer the bottles to a warm, but shady place to ferment.
  11. Note how low the valve is sitting before fermentation.
  12. Allow these to ferment for 3 to 5 days. The longer you leave them, the higher the alcohol content will get, and the dryer the drink will get as eventually all of the sugar is consumed.
  13. After 3 to 5 days you will notice the valves in the caps bulging outwards due to the CO2 buildup in the bottles.
  14. The instruction manual supplied gives a very good indication of what alcohol content to expect with various fermentation times and sugar quantities.
  15. Notice the slight sediment of yeast at the bottom of the bottle.
  16. I have allowed mine to ferment for 5 days. Now it is time to clear the ginger beer.
  17. To do this, place the bottles in your refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. The fermentation will stop and most of the particulate in the beer will precipitate to the bottom.
  18. At this stage the ginger beer is ready to consume.
  19. Open the bottles very slowly to avoid spraying your precious cargo all over the kitchen, and serve.
  20. Notice how fizzy, clear and fresh this looks..... and it tastes great as well.
  21. This has come out at about 8 percent ABV, while a 3 day fermentation would probably come out at between 3 and 5 percent.
  22. You can find Pat Mack's website by clicking HERE

 

Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still spirits and Grainfather – Making Gin, Part 1 and 2

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Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still spirits and Grainfather - Making Gin, Part 1 and 2
Author: 
Recipe type: Distilling
 
In this distilling episode we're making gin from start to finish. Starting with the sugar wash, clearing the wash, and distilling the neutral alcohol. This is followed by the actual ginning process where there are 3 different methods to choose from to infuse the gin flavors into the alcohol.
Ingredients
  • 1 Pack Still Spirits Fast Turbo Yeast
  • 1 Pack Still Spirits Turbo Carbon
  • 1 Pack Still Spirits Turbo Clear
  • 6kg Refined white sugar
  • 21 liters water
For the Ginning Spices
  • 2g Star anise
  • 3g Cardamom
  • 15mm Cinnamon stick
  • 6 Cloves
  • 4g Coriander seed
  • 20g Juniper berries
  • 5g Fennel seeds
  • 2g Lemon zest
  • 2g Orange zest
Instructions
To Make the Sugar Wash
  1. Gin requires a base of neutral spirit, and although we have covered sugar wash previously, we're going to do it again, this time with the textbook recipe using all of Still Spirits products resulting in a batch of really clear, quality wash.
  2. To do this we need a pack of Still Spirits Fast Turbo Yeast. This yeast is specially developed for sugar wash and will ferment a batch of wash in as little as 24 hours. The yeast already contains yeast nutrients and anti-foaming agents which make it incredibly easy and reliable to use.
  3. You will also need a pack of Still Spirits Turbo Carbon. This thick liquid carbon absorbs most of volatiles and unwanted flavors that often accompany very fast fermentations.
  4. And finally, you will need a Still Spirits 2-part clearing pack which includes chitosan and kieselsol to clear the wash.
  5. To start, pour 6kg of refined white sugar into a 25lt bucket and fill the bucket to one third with hot water. Stir this thoroughly until the sugar has dissolved.
  6. Continue filling the bucket with cooler water, adjusting as you go to achieve a target temperature of between 36 and 38c.
  7. Pour the yeast over the top of the sugar solution and stir this in thoroughly.
  8. Give the carbon a good shake to break down any lumps, cut it open and pour this in. Stir this in thoroughly.
  9. Put the lid on loosely and let this ferment for 24 to 48 hours.
  10. The time the fermentation takes to complete will be largely dependent on the ambient temperature.
  11. Once the fermentation has ended, which will be quite apparent by the subsiding of the sizzling sound it makes while fermenting, we need to clear the wash.
  12. Use your paddle to stir the wash vigorously. This gets all of the yeast and carbon into suspension and well as degassing the wash. This may take a few minutes of stirring, but be sure not to skip this step.
  13. Cut open part A of the clearing pack and pour this in. Give it another good stir then leave this for 60 minutes to do its work.
  14. Snip the corner off of part B and sprinkle this gently over the surface of the wash. Use your paddle to distribute this across the surface.
  15. Cover the bucket loosely with the lid and let this clear for 24 hours.
  16. The following day, the wash will be amazingly clear and ready to rack off into the distiller.
  17. Distill the wash twice using the alembic setup. On the first run you will achieve about 50% ABV, while on the second you will end up with a neutral, almost flavorless spirit of over 80% ABV.
  18. Please go on to the second part of this demonstration to see the 3 different techniques for ginning the alcohol.
Infusing the Gin Spices into the Alcohol
  1. To continue with gin.... we have fermented our wash and double distilled it to above 80%ABV.
  2. We need to measure out and assemble the ginning spices and botanicals. This includes star anise, cardamom, cinnamon bark, cloves, coriander seed, juniper berries, fennel seeds, lemon zest and orange zest.
  3. Cut a square piece of cotton cloth and place the spices in the center of the square. Gather up the edges of the cloth to enclose the spices. Tie this closed with a length of twine.
  4. This is where you choose which method you're going to follow.
  5. The first, and easiest method is to dilute your neutral spirit to 43% ABV. Pour the spirit into a large non-reactive container and drop the spice bag into the spirit.
  6. Let the spices steep in the spirit until you are happy with the aroma and flavor of the gin.
  7. The second method is to calculate the quantity of water required to dilute the spirit to 43% ABV and pour this into a pot. Add the bag of ginning spices and bring the water to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer the mixture for 10 to 15 minutes.
  8. Allow the liquid to cool and add it to the neutral spirit. In both of the aforementioned techniques, the resulting gin will end up pale golden in color.
  9. The 3rd method, the traditional method, the undiluted spirit is placed in a non-reactive container. The spice bag is added to the spirit and left to steep overnight.
  10. The following day, the bag is removed from the spirit and tied to the vapor outlet in the alembic lid of the distiller.
  11. The spirit is poured into the distiller and distilled a third time. The vapors which are already flavored, pass over the spice bag on their way to the condenser and extract even more flavors from the ginning spices.
  12. The result is a very strong aromatic gin. Dilute this to 43% ABV and you're done.
  13. Bottle the gin in suitable bottles, and voila, you have a batch of magnificently aromatic and flavorful gin.
  14. Click Here to visit Brewcraft's website.

 

Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits and Grainfather – Part 6 – Steam Distilling

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Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits and Grainfather - Part 6 - Steam Distilling
Author: 
Recipe type: Distilling
 
Hi and welcome to episode 517 with Whats4Chow and the 6th in our series serious distilling with Brewcraft, still spirits and Grainfather. In today's episode we're going to convert the Still Spirits Alembic Still to make magnificent batch of steam distilled Cointreau. Cointreau, Triple Sec, and Grand Marnier are all orange flavored spirits and they are excellent drinking as well as key ingredients in classic dishes like duck a 'l orange.
Ingredients
  • 4 Liters 55% ABV vodka from sugar wash
  • 4-5 Oranges
Instructions
  1. In today's episode we're going to convert the Still Spirits Alembic Still to make magnificent batch of steam distilled Cointreau.
  2. Cointreau, Triple Sec, and Grand Marnier are all orange flavored spirits and they are excellent drinking as well as key ingredients in classic dishes like duck a 'l orange.
  3. To start, let's have a quick look at the principal behind steam distilling.
  4. In the regular setup, we have a large heating pot with a dome lid.
  5. The heated alcohol vapors rise and exit through the condenser in the top of the lid. The vapor condenses and drips into a catch bowl.
  6. With steam distilling we're going to add an extra component in the form of a sieve dangling just below the vapor exit.
  7. The vapors pass over the contents in the sieve and are flavored and aromatized in the process.
  8. With that behind us, slice 4 oranges into 4 thick slices each.
  9. Place all of these in a large non-reactive bowl.
  10. Pour in 4 liters of vodka. This is vodka made from distilling sugar wash and the ABV is around 55%.
  11. Cover the bowl with cling-wrap and allow this to steep for 48 hours.
  12. To set up the steam distilling basket, remove the condenser and the threaded nut from the dome lid.
  13. Thread a length of butchers twine through the nut and tie a knot to make large loop.
  14. Take cheap dime store sieve and bend the handle over the sieve.
  15. Create a twin half hitch with the loop of string and attach this to the handle of the sieve.
  16. Screw the nut and condenser back onto the lid and you're ready to go.
  17. Remove the cling-wrap from the bowl and carefully remove the orange slices with a pair of tongs.
  18. Pout the alcohol into the distiller and place 4 or 5 slices of the orange in the hanging sieve.
  19. Turn on the distiller. When the head temperature reaches 40c the first drips will emerge from the condenser. Turn on the cooling water.
  20. All of the foreshots have already been removed from this batch during the first distillation, so all you want to do is collect the product.
  21. At first the alcohol will come out at around 85% ABV and then drop gradually to 40%, and then very quickly to below 20%.
  22. Switch off the still. By this stage you will have collected about 2.5 liters of very robust alcohol.
  23. Dilute this with filtered water to 43% ABV and bottle this in suitable bottles.
  24. If you would like to oak and age the spirit, dilute it to around 64% ABV and add 1 to 2 grams of French oak chips per liter of distillate. Let this age until the coloring is to your liking.
  25. And there we have it.... a perfect batch of orange infused, steam distilled heaven.

 

How to Make Cornflake Whisky from Start to Finish – Part 2 – Homemade Corn Whisky from Cornflakes

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How to Make Cornflake Whisky from Start to Finish - Part 2 - Homemade Corn Whisky from Cornflakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Home Distilling
 
Hi and welcome to episode 512 with Whats4Chow.com and the second part of Making Cornflake Whiskey. In the previous episode we made the cornflake mash. This episode deals with clearing the mash and distilling the corn whisky,
Ingredients
  • 5 Liters hot water
  • 12 liters cool water
  • 4kg Refined white sugar
  • 700g Cornflakes
  • 20g Still Spirits Whisky Yeast
  • Juice of one lemon
Instructions
  1. To strain the mash, place a straining bag in a 25 liter bucket.
  2. Pour the mash into the bag.
  3. Gather up the edges of the bag and lift it from the bucket. Twist the bag to squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
  4. Pour in part A of the Still Spirits Turbo Clear and stir this in thoroughly. Allow the mash to stand for 30 minutes before proceeding.
  5. Pour in part B of the Turbo Clear. Use your stirrer to top stir the liquid. All you want to do is spread part B across the surface of the liquid.
  6. Put the lid on the bucket and allow this to stand for 24 hours to clear.
  7. The following day, rack the mash and pour it into the distiller.
  8. Lock the distiller lid and attach the cooling pipes and distillate pipe.
  9. Drop the probe thermometer into the thermometer receiver.
  10. Turn on the power to the still.
  11. As the head temperature reaches 42c, the first drips will start coming from the still. Collect the first 100ml as the foreshots.
  12. This consists mainly of acetone and methanol, and is discarded.
  13. As the head temperature reaches 60c, the flow will increase.
  14. Collect this in 100ml batches. Measure each batch with your alcometer.
  15. When the ABV reading drops below 80%, this marks the end of the heads. Keep all of these batches separate for blending later.
  16. Continue collecting batches of 100ml. When the alcometer reading drops below 60%, this marks the end of the hearts. Put these batches aside.
  17. Continue collecting batches until the alcometer reading drops below 20% ABV.
  18. At this stage the head temperature will be around 95c.
  19. Turn of the power.
  20. Allow all of your heads, hearts and tails to cool completely. Cover these with lint free cloths and allow them to stand overnight to dispel any volatiles.
  21. The following day, blend the batches as explained in the cutting and blending video, and pour your final blends into bottles.
  22. At this stage, the ABV of the blends will be between 60 and 70%. Don't dilute these yet.
  23. Add 1 to 2 grams of French wine barrel oak chips to each liter of alcohol.
  24. Cap the bottles and place them in a cool place to age and mature.
  25. As they age, the oak will color and flavor the whiskey. There is no rule regarding aging time. When the whiskey attains a golden color that you like, it is ready. Strain the whisky and dilute it with RO water to 43% ABV and re-bottle in suitable bottles.

 

How to Make Cornflake Whisky From Start to Finish – Hand Crafted Corn Whisky at Home!!!

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How to Make Cornflake Whisky From Start to Finish - Hand Crafted Corn Whisky at Home!!!
Author: 
Recipe type: Distilling Whisky
 
In our previous 2 Serious Distilling episodes we covered the equipment and the theory behind alembic and reflux distilling. Today we're getting into the real stuff when we make a batch of amazing corn whiskey from cornflakes.
Ingredients
  • 5 Liters hot water
  • 12 liters cool water
  • 4kg Refined white sugar
  • 700g Cornflakes
  • 20g Still Spirits Whisky Yeast
  • Juice of one lemon
Instructions
  1. Start by machining the cornflakes until fine in your food processor.
  2. Pour the sugar into a 25 liter fermentation drum and ad 5 liters of hot water.
  3. Put the cap on the drum and give this a vigorous shake until all of the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Pour in the lemon juice, followed by the ground conflakes.
  5. Add another 12 liters of cool water to the drum.
  6. Pour in the Still Spirits Whiskey yeast and allow this to stand for 15 minutes before stirring this in gently.
  7. This yeast contains amyloglucosidase enzymes which convert the complex sugars in the corn to simpler structures resulting in a better fermentation and a broader spectrum of aromatics and flavors.
  8. Leave the drum open overnight.
  9. The following day, screw on a cap with a fermentation lock.
  10. Allow the mash to ferment for 10 to 14 days. At this stage, the bubbling will have stopped completely and if you taste a sample, the mash will have no sugar left at all as this has been converted to alcohol.
  11. Please click HERE to go to part 2 of this episode where we will strain and clear the mash, before distilling it using the Still Spirits Alembic still.

 

Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits and Grainfather – Part 2 – Alembic VS Reflux

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In the previous Serious Distilling episode I introduced the Still Spirits Turbo 500 distilling system.
Today we’re going to look at the differences between the alembic pot distilling configuration and the reflux distilling setup.
Historically, the alembic or pot still came first, so let’s start there.
The alembic setup consists of a copper dome which replaces the existing stainless steel lid on the boiler. The copper condenser unit attaches to the top of the dome by means of a large threaded nut.
When distilling spirits in an alembic setup, some of the flavor of the mash or wash naturally passes through the process into the end product. In other words, if you distill a mash made from apples, some of the flavor, aroma and characteristics of the original fermented apple juice will end up I  the distillate.
This is what gives pot distilled drinks their unique taste, aroma and character.
When a mash is pot distilled, the alcohol content of the resulting distillate starts at between 80 and 86 percent ABV and decreases steadily as the distilling run progresses.
Here we can see the condenser attached to the dome. During the run the vapors rise up and exit through the top of the dome.
As the vapors travel through the condenser, the cold water running through the cooling sleeve condenses the vapor to liquid which drips from the end of the condenser into a catchment.
And now onto the reflux setup. The reflux column attaches to the stainlees steel lid of the boiler.
The column is pre-packed with a layered combination of stainless steel saddles and pure copper saddles. These saddles increase the efficiency of the reflux action by dramatically increasing the surface area inside the column.
A large threaded nut secures the column, and the lid fits onto the boiler as normal.
During a reflux distilling run, the vapors rise up the column and continually condense and run back down the column. Only the lightest vapors escape to the secondary condenser. This is the ethanol.
This means that none of the flavors or aromas of the wash will pass on to the end product. Acetone, being the lightest and most volatile compound will pass through first, and this is removed as the foreshot and disposed of. The remaining result of the distilling run will be ethanol with an ABV between 95 and 97 percent purity. The 3 to 5 percent impurity is water that has passed through in the run as a result of the hygroscopic nature of pure alcohol.
The resulting ethanol is then blended with specially formulated flavoring syrup to make a multitude of different drinks. Still Spirits has literally dozens of flavorants to choose from, and these are just a few. You can see these on the Brewcraft website by clicking the link in the description.
Once you have chosen your preferred configuration, whether it be alembic of reflux, you need to understand the dynamics of the yeasts used for each setup.
With the reflux setup, you want to produce alcohol. You are not concerned about flavors or aromas. To achieve this you need a robust yeast like the Still Spirits Turbo Yeast range. These will produce a high alcohol sugar wash in anything between 24 and 48 hours. The trade-off for this insanely quick fermentation is that you should use the matching turbo carbon to absorb excess volatiles that are produced in the wash. This is not absolutely necessary, but will lead to an improvement in the quality of the end product.
In addition, it is advisable to clear the wash using the kieselsol and chitosan 2 part clearing agent. This precipitates any left over yeast and particulate in the wash which may lead to off flavors in the distillate if not removed from the wash before distilling.
When it comes to alembic or pot distilling, specially developed yeast are made specifically for this. These yeasts contain enzymes which break down complex sugars into simple consumable sugars resulting in a more consistent fermentation and a more rounded flavor profile.
These yeast have been developed specifically for pot distilling and produce only negligible quantities of acetone and aldehyde during fermentation.
These volatiles, however small are still removed from the run as foreshots and tails, as they will negatively affect the flavor of the end product.
Again, it is advisable to use the 2 part Turbo clearing kit to clear the wash before distilling.
In summary, if you’re after a setup that will produce artisan style products, then the alembic setup will be your choice.
If you’re looking for a setup to produce absolutely consistent, high commercial quality drinks, then clearly the reflux setup is for you.
Stay tuned for the next serious distilling episode where were going to put the alembic setup through its paces when we make a batch of corn whiskey from start to finish.

Serious Distilling with Brewcraft, Still Spirits T500 & Grainfather – Part 1

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Over the past couple of months our short course in brewing and distilling has covered all the basics from freeze distilling to very basic pot distilling. Today is the start of the serious stuff with unboxing of the Still Spirits Turbo 500 distilling system.

Designed in New Zealand and sold across the globe, in South Africa this system is supplied and serviced by Brewcraft. All of their contact details are below in the description, and on our website.
I contacted Ryan from Brewcraft and he has very kindly sent us a full T500 system and a full Grainfather brewing and distilling system to complete this series. The series will run at 1 episode per week for the following 16 weeks and by the time you’re finished the course, you should know just about everything you need to know about brewing and distilling, and both of these magnificent brewing and distilling systems.
In this first of the series, we are going to introduce the Still Spirits T500 in all it’s glory, and get real close up and personal as we unbox the unit. The system does come in various configurations, and you can find these details on the Brewcraft website.
The core of the system is the boiler. Immediately the quality of the build is apparent.
The brushed stainless steel is at least 800 microns in thickness… certainly not a flimsy unit. There is a solid, quality drainage tap fitted, and the double spring loaded lid clips are superb. The finish on the edges and in fact everything so far is amazing.
The following item is the column reflux condenser. Once again, the build quality is outstanding. This comes with all of the required piping. Included is the digital probe thermometer and all of the various tap fittings you could possibly need to hook up the cooling system.
You also get a complimentary bottle of distilling conditioner and a pack of reusable ceramic boil enhancers. All of these will covered in much more detail during the course of this series.
Next up is the alembic dome for pot distilling. Beautifully finished in heavy gauge brushed copper, the finish is protected with a good coat of heat resistant polymer.
This fits to the top of the boiler and is capped off with the copper condenser.
This option also comes with all the necessary piping, the matching digital probe thermometer and all of the necessary tap connections.
All of the aforementioned equipment comes with full and comprehensive operating manuals.
Other very useful optional extras include the water flow regulator which will control the flow in the cooling system and the EZfilter System for filtering your reflux distilled alcohol.
In our next episode we will be covering the differences between pot distilling and reflux distilling, including the different types of yeast used, additives and clearing agents.
In summary, when you see this system first hand, you cannot help being impressed. Stick with us for the next 15 episodes where we put all of this and more through it’s paces while you learn just about everything you need to know to distill amazing drinks at home.
For those viewers not interested in distilling, our regular food programming will continue as normal.

 

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