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2 posts

Wannabe Geek

#295806 24-Apr-2022 15:59
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I have inherited my fathers TS500 and having a lot of success so far … until the other night when the outlet tap blew apart as the still was heating up. 😩 I am fortunate enough that it was not that hot and to have a 3.5l boiler base and on hand. I have processed it all in batches and the leftover liquid is still producing the odd bubble now it has fully cooled. I have searched everywhere and I can’t find what the SG reading should be after the distillation process to ensure all alcohol has been extracted. There was a certain amount of lovely warm mash that was sprayed around my kitchen and lounge when the tap blew and my first 8kg wash so not sure what my “normal is for that”

Does anyone know what the reading should be??

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1206 posts

Uber Geek

  #2906143 24-Apr-2022 16:11
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Are you referring to the SG of the wash after you've run it through the still? You really don't bother doing that. With a pot still you taste the distillate and when it's pretty much coming out as water you are done. With a reflux still like your T500, because of the reflux you don't get watery distillate, you just get a dramatic drop off in the amount coming off the still. You probably don't want to go too deep into the tails anyway as they tend to taste pretty awful.




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Uber Geek

  #2906144 24-Apr-2022 16:16
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Also, remember that SG is really about measuring sugar -it won't tell you how much alcohol is in the wash, you have to figure that out using the start and end values when you ferment.


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Wannabe Geek

  #2906164 24-Apr-2022 17:50
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I understand it is not normal practice but then having the tap blow off is not normal either :-) I just thought someone may know as I would not have expected air to be produced after it had been cleared and destilled. (I’m still quite new at this)

Also random side question as hubby and I were debating this - when having the situation where we were in and are doing it in small batches, as we had to, do you remove the first 50 of each batch it just of the wash as a still cleansing exercise? . Be interested in your opinion!

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Ultimate Geek

  #2906257 25-Apr-2022 06:50
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I would dump the heads and tails from each batch.

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Uber Geek

  #2906598 25-Apr-2022 20:48
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The gravity is unlikely to change as this is the measurement of sugar.  Boiling below 100 degrees will have little effect.  The taste test is 100% the fastest way to know.  Alternatively use a parrort with an alcometer to give you real time readings of the spirit coming off the still.  If whats coming off the still is lower than 20% I shut it down, some people go lower, but thats a lot of water coming through at that point, and IMO not worth my time.

In regards to how you split batches it depends with what you are making.  I run a 60L still (self build).  I do washes of 200L and the do stripping runs.  I throw away foreshots from these, and run them as fast as my still will let me.  Then with the stripped runs I then run again all together as Spirit run, and run this more slowly to get tighter cuts, with more defined flavours (or no flavours in the case of vodka).


What are you making?  Have a basic recipe?  Using reflux or just pot still?

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