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Clarity question

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Re: Clarity question

Postby bionicbrew » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:41 pm

to "clarify" my answer about the bad distilled water- it turned slightly cloudy immediately. I didn't catch that the OP's turned after a week or more. I would look to some of the other answers here.
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Re: Clarity question

Postby S-Cackalacky » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:32 am

Some of the reading I've done seems to say that louching can happen because of the temperature of the spirit and/or the ABV. The higher the ABV, the less likely oils are to come out of suspension. At a lower ABV and a colder temp, it would seem to be more likely to louch.

I know from personal experience, If I pour tonic water into 45% gin, it will sometimes turn cloudy. IDK, maybe it's a combination of the ice and dilution by the tonic. That said, I try not to bottle anything below 45% ABV.
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Re: Clarity question

Postby Pa_bon » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:31 pm

Got this from a member on another forum. I believe he is in it commercially. Makes sense to me.


Getting cooler? Probably chill haze/flocking. Put a bottle in the freezer for a couple days and see if it gets worse, and you get dense fuzzy clouds or larger fuzz-flakes. If it doesn't, it could be mineral precipitation. However, if you used distilled water, it's highly unlikely. Warm it up and shake it, does it go away?

It's tough to filter for chill haze, because you need to keep everything brutally cold to do it (0 to -5c), and standard PP style particulate filters don't not work. Even if you try to filter it cold, the saturated/unsaturated fatty acids that make up the haze just disassociate and get forced through the filters. I've filtered bourbon at .1 micron through standard PP cartridges and still got chill haze after the fact. You really need to go through specialized cellulose filter media, which can attract the longer chain fatty acids and esters, and bind them up in the media (adsorption).

Pall IR filter sheets are widely used in commercial industry for this. If you got yourself a sheet or two, you could potentially rig something up. They are impregnated with DE and Perlite as well, which make it a bit more challenging than just using a pleated cellulose filter. They make some serious claims about being more effective in the C12-C18 fatty acid range (the ones which cause chill haze), as opposed to being more broad, which would absolutely reduce short-chain esters as well (big flavor impacts).


The man seems VERY knowledgeable on the chemistry of what we do. Thought I'd pass it along.
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Re: Clarity question

Postby zapata » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:09 pm

Lots of things besides the usually blamed tails can cause haze. Fatty acids as mentioned above. Even various esters, which could come across at any point in the cuts. I had an UJ go cloudy on me when diluted. It was a wide cut so I blamed tails. Redistilled it leaving out more tails. It still clouded. Tried chill filtering which worked a bit but was a pain. Eventually decided I liked the whiskey and really didnt care if it was hazy.
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Re: Clarity question

Postby Pa_bon » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:49 pm

Zap, I don't really care about the haze either. It's all just the visual. I bottled some at 45% and the haze was gone or just about gone.
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Re: Clarity question

Postby pintoshine » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:48 am

Cloudiness is usually a sign you went a bit deep into the tails. This usually shows up when diluted just below 80 proof. Either your procedure allowed you to go below 80 proof or you had too many fusels to begin with, I tend to go too deep into the tails because I like the flavors around that point.
Distill safe. Make good cuts. Enjoy yourself. Give as much as you take. Have fun doing this incredibly hard work. Be a good example. It's your hobby.
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Re: Clarity question

Postby Pa_bon » Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:29 am

Pint, so do I go deeper into the tails where I find flavor I want to add to the total. I like SOME of the tails not all of it. It appears if I bottle at 45% it may be a non issue. I will take a little more care proofing from now on.
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Re: Clarity question

Postby pintoshine » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:37 pm

I found it was worth buying one really good commercial style hydrometer in the 70 to 90 proof range and a good thermometer. Then you can use the TTB table 1 to temperature correct your proof readings. here is a link to a good one.
https://www.coleparmer.com/i/h-b-instru ... -2/0829609
Distill safe. Make good cuts. Enjoy yourself. Give as much as you take. Have fun doing this incredibly hard work. Be a good example. It's your hobby.
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Re: Clarity question

Postby Pa_bon » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:54 pm

Thank you Pint.
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Re: Clarity question

Postby sasquatch » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:39 pm

pintoshine wrote:Cloudiness is usually a sign you went a bit deep into the tails. This usually shows up when diluted just below 80 proof. Either your procedure allowed you to go below 80 proof or you had too many fusels to begin with, I tend to go too deep into the tails because I like the flavors around that point.


This explains my fathers method of shutting the still down when the spirits stopped burning on the spoon.
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