The Modern Distiller

Changing the world, one drink at a time…

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Making cuts is one of the crafts ill defined aspects which mystifies many of those new to the craft… most who have been around the many sites and books on the subject of distilling would by now know there are definable flavours and attributes which we find in the various stages of boiling of the distillate alcohols.
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beside your distillation method and still, it is your ability to detect the ideal cuts of your output, which more than anything else can define the quality of you product. Few other variables are as important to your success. The desire to squeeze the very last drop of alcohol out of every run of the still, is probably the singular most common reason why some people are incapable of creating world class product… be it Vodka, Gin or Whiskey.


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By the end of a good spirits run it is not unusual for me to have collected over a dozen vessels of various sizes, the more secure I am that I am in the heart of the output the larger the vessel, the closer I go towards the fore shots and tails the smaller the vessel. I have standardised on 200ml Erlemeyer flasks for collecting the heavily smeared heads and tails, I leave all the collected cuts numbered and covered with kitchen paper overnight and make my final decision on what is in after the cuts have had a good 15 hours or so to air.
Choosing the final cuts to blend into the final liquor is dependant on the style of product you are trying to make. the very best neutral vodka is almost all hearts, most whiskeys are made better by the inclusion of some of the funkier congeners and impurities. The amount of time you are willing to give to ageing will also affect the decisions you made relative to what cuts to include.
© 2012 The Doctor