Comments on: Turning Water into Wine: Legal Distillation http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/09/27/turning-water-into-wine-legal-distillation/ The International Culinary Center's Tech 'N Stuff Blog Thu, 09 Jan 2014 18:17:16 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 By: James Ross http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/09/27/turning-water-into-wine-legal-distillation/#comment-260384 Fri, 18 May 2012 02:02:36 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=4694#comment-260384 P.S. The alcohol in the “thumper” is what catches most of the flavors that you would want.

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By: davearnold http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/09/27/turning-water-into-wine-legal-distillation/#comment-50381 Mon, 20 Jun 2011 23:16:20 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=4694#comment-50381 We aren’t sure if our dehydrated alcohol has any benzene in it. It is USP, so I hope not.

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By: Eric Moore http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/09/27/turning-water-into-wine-legal-distillation/#comment-50342 Mon, 20 Jun 2011 21:14:36 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=4694#comment-50342 Oh, yeah, if you take 190 proof alcohol, and pass it over dry lime (CaO) as a dessicant, you should be able to get 199 proof alcohol.

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By: Eric Moore http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/09/27/turning-water-into-wine-legal-distillation/#comment-50341 Mon, 20 Jun 2011 21:13:15 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=4694#comment-50341 For legal flavor extraction I’d think the way to go is heating a water-based solution under reflux, bubble some nitrogen through it, and connect the top of the condenser to a trap/bubbler and fill it with ethanol, so the off-gas from the top of the condenser bubbles through the ethanol. Put the trap in dry ice, and the combination of the ethanol solvent, and the low temperature should trap the volatiles in the trap. Since the solvent (water) is mostly not getting past the condenser, you can run the thing a long time w/o having to muck with the trap.

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By: davearnold http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/09/27/turning-water-into-wine-legal-distillation/#comment-21946 Thu, 05 May 2011 18:08:07 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=4694#comment-21946 Hello Allie,
I think part of the problem is as you state it, but there is something else as well. The aroma and flavor of water based distillates are extremely fugitive (compared to ethanol distillates). I think water is just poor at holding on to the flavors, so it is easy for them to get pumped out through the vacuum system. I don’t see a legal problem with adding ethanol to the trap because it is never subjected to a separation process –so it isn’t ever distilled.

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By: Allie http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/09/27/turning-water-into-wine-legal-distillation/#comment-20921 Wed, 04 May 2011 14:31:49 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=4694#comment-20921 Hi Dave,

I was rotovapping in lab thinking about this problem today, and I remembered a sidenote from an earlier post that faster distillations gave better flavor than slow distillations – is it possible that the water distillations are just too slow because of the higher boiling point/lower vacuum required?

Also in terms of retaining flavor would it be legal to add ethanol to your trap? you’d have to keep the trap cold (ice bath?) so it wouldn’t evaporate too much but that might retain some of the flavor better than the water.

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By: davearnold http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/09/27/turning-water-into-wine-legal-distillation/#comment-15720 Thu, 24 Feb 2011 02:07:27 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=4694#comment-15720 Howdy Mait,
In traditional distillation what you say is correct, because ethanol is the desired product with very few congeners desired. We want to capture essentially all of the congeners, so we try to get a very high temperature delta which lets us do a fast distillation without losing much.

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By: Mait http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/09/27/turning-water-into-wine-legal-distillation/#comment-15311 Thu, 17 Feb 2011 02:13:20 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=4694#comment-15311 Dave,

You make the following statement, “For maximum flavor retention, you want this coolant to be as cold as possible without freezing your distillate to the coils.” however is this true? I always thought that it was only important to get down to around the serving temperature, say somewhere in the mid 50sF. By not getting colder am I really losing something? I believe that in Cognac and Armagnac production, tap/well water is used as the coolant.

thanks

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By: davearnold http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/09/27/turning-water-into-wine-legal-distillation/#comment-9680 Mon, 15 Nov 2010 19:09:15 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=4694#comment-9680 In the future I’ll order the lower proof –just to be safe.

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By: Jurgen http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/09/27/turning-water-into-wine-legal-distillation/#comment-9406 Sun, 07 Nov 2010 19:08:12 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=4694#comment-9406 Dave,

Brilliant work! I would like to echo part of Jake’s comment above. Flavour molecules are often poorly water soluble and therefore distill much better when ethanol is present. For separation by distillation not only boiling points but also interactions between the compounds distilled are important. Ethanol can act as a “carrier” for flavour compounds.
There is a reason why flavour distillates are often made with ethanol… So, IMHO 2 is correct.

Like all scientist above, I was scared by your use of the 100% ethanol, we always order the 96% food grade for drinks with Christmas.

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