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# 217800 12-Jul-2017 19:41
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I am interested in brewing my own bourbon. By way of using Still to get alcohol etc..

 

But the still is $600+ and i don't want to make the investment.. if I don't like the end product..

 

Does anyone in Canterbury have their own still and have made bourbon? or even better honey bourbon.. I am really keen to try a sample..


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  # 1821522 12-Jul-2017 20:48
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I've got a family friend up here who does.

 

 

 

Power cost in it is kinda like mining, little return ;)

 

in terms of the product produced though, I'm forever impressed. Definitely the smoothest i've got on hand here.

 

 

 

When you get down to flavoring it and all for a special little treat, so good!

 

In your starting up, you will probably have a few vial batches - Horrible party trick!

 

 

 

Recommend also getting the testing kits if you don't wanna end up overproducing the heavy stuff





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  # 1821559 12-Jul-2017 22:37
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A mate up here brews his own and it is delicious and smooth.

 

He uses the Jim Beam wood chips for the flavouring.


 
 
 
 


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  # 1821580 13-Jul-2017 01:03
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I think you distill bourbon rather than brew it.






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  # 1821584 13-Jul-2017 01:15
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Geektastic:

I think you distill bourbon rather than brew it.



Yes you're right! He does have a still.

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  # 1821596 13-Jul-2017 07:06
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Geektastic:

I think you distill bourbon rather than brew it.


You need to do both.




Location: Dunedin

 


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  # 1821599 13-Jul-2017 07:28
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A friend of mine is in the brewers Guild in Auckland and they have a still for members, that may be an option as you will have the experience of others to call apon and hopefully less bad batches.

 

John

 

 





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  # 1821600 13-Jul-2017 07:29
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I have an almost full bottle of Jim Beam Maple that I dont want... havent touched in a couple years at least ! 

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  # 1821602 13-Jul-2017 07:41
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hio77:

 

I've got a family friend up here who does.

 

 

 

Power cost in it is kinda like mining, little return ;)

 

 

 

 

Even 12 hours running a 2200 watt still is going to be peanuts compared to the cost of any 37.5% spirit per litre.

 

I worked out I was making vodka for $8 per litre (everything from ferment through to carbon filtering) compared to about $40 at the bottle store.

 

Making bourbon properly is an art, most of the time home brew bourbon is just vodka with a bourbon flavour essence put in it. Real bourbon is made from fermented corn (not sugar), and is distilled through a pot still to keep the flavour. It is brown because it is aged in oak.

 

To learn more I recommend these forums:

 

http://www.artisan-distiller.net/phpBB3/index.php

 

 

 

When I started out I thought the guys at the home brew shop knew what they were doing, pretty soon I realized they only really knew the basics, so read up first before beginning. Don't expect miracles to start off with. I must say the first time you see a drop of home made alcohol come out of the condenser it's pretty exciting though.

 

You'll see recommendations that you should build your own still, while this is true I think very few first timers have the time and skill to do this.  You might want to get a reflux still first and make some vodka, then looking at getting a pot still condenser for your existing boiler.

 

 

 

 








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  # 1821623 13-Jul-2017 08:49
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With very little research, I got the Turbo 500 still with the vertical condenser. Gives me very quality product (consistently get 90+% purity).

 

Then I used the Jim Beam wood chips to flavour. Have also bought one of those mini oak barrels that has had a batch in it for around 2 years now (not really sure when I should open it).

 

But what I found out is that the vertical condensers are better suited to your clear spirits as it strips all the flavour from the 'mash'. One of these days I will get the copper pot lid with the 'traditional' condenser. But quite honestly the stuff I'm making at the moment is dam good so not too worried.

 

But yes as others have said, the first couple of batches sucked! Mainly because I was impatient and didn't let the wood chips do their thing.


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  # 1821663 13-Jul-2017 10:22
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chevrolux:

 

With very little research, I got the Turbo 500 still with the vertical condenser. Gives me very quality product (consistently get 90+% purity).

 

Then I used the Jim Beam wood chips to flavour. Have also bought one of those mini oak barrels that has had a batch in it for around 2 years now (not really sure when I should open it).

 

But what I found out is that the vertical condensers are better suited to your clear spirits as it strips all the flavour from the 'mash'. One of these days I will get the copper pot lid with the 'traditional' condenser. But quite honestly the stuff I'm making at the moment is dam good so not too worried.

 

But yes as others have said, the first couple of batches sucked! Mainly because I was impatient and didn't let the wood chips do their thing.

 

 

 

 

I built my own still a few years back out of an old keg, that puts out about at 94-95%. The spirits are so much smoother than any commercial brands. For clear spirits some of the flavourings available out there are terrific, I'm not a Gin drinker but have many friends who really enjoy the "Gin" I make.

 

I'm lucky as with some minor modifications I can reduce the reflux in my still and effectively turn my still into a pot still which I use mainly for Rum.

 

For Whisky and Bourbon the barrels play a huge part in the flavour and cant really be rushed, 3 - 4 years is pretty standard for them to stay in their barrels. I'm not patient enough to wait that long.


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  # 1821732 13-Jul-2017 11:23
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Do a LOT of reading first (see link in gbwelly's post). You don't want to spend money then realise you have bought the wrong thing for what you want to produce.

 

First choice is whether you want a pot still or a reflux still. A pot still carries flavour through from your mash and comes out at approx 60%. A reflux still is for producing pure ethanol that you flavour later. A well designed and managed reflux still can produce up to 95+%.

 

I made my own reflux still using a 50 litre beer keg and a 1.2 metre stainless 50mm packed column. Run at the right rate it produces 95+% and needs no filtering. It cost me peanuts (find a scrap metal dealer) and I had a lot of fun making it. First time I knew you could solder stainless steel! But, yes, not everyone wants to go this route. A reflux still should also have a power controller so that the heat input can be accurately controlled. 

 

I would hate to be buying at $40/litre! But, in fairness, what I do really requires you to be retired as there is quite a lot of supervisory time goes into producing 95% purity. But filtering a 'smelly' batch takes time too.

 

Anyway, good luck if you decide to get into this. And re-read my first sentence!

 

My VM reflux still.

 


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  # 1821739 13-Jul-2017 11:39
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linw:

 

Do a LOT of reading first (see link in gbwelly's post). You don't want to spend money then realise you have bought the wrong thing for what you want to produce.

 

First choice is whether you want a pot still or a reflux still. A pot still carries flavour through from your mash and comes out at approx 60%. A reflux still is for producing pure ethanol that you flavour later. A well designed and managed reflux still can produce up to 95+%.

 

I made my own reflux still using a 50 litre beer keg and a 1.2 metre stainless 50mm packed column. Run at the right rate it produces 95+% and needs no filtering. It cost me peanuts (find a scrap metal dealer) and I had a lot of fun making it. First time I knew you could solder stainless steel! But, yes, not everyone wants to go this route. A reflux still should also have a power controller so that the heat input can be accurately controlled. 

 

I would hate to be buying at $40/litre! But, in fairness, what I do really requires you to be retired as there is quite a lot of supervisory time goes into producing 95% purity. But filtering a 'smelly' batch takes time too.

 

Anyway, good luck if you decide to get into this. And re-read my first sentence!

 

My VM reflux still.

 

 

 

Nice looking still, pretty much the same as mine(yours is a lot tidier) , but I have a copper column.


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  # 1821804 13-Jul-2017 12:57
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A former in-law used to do this.  He matured his bourbon in small red wine or port barrels  (?barriques?).  Best bourbon I have ever tasted.





Mike

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