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Acronyms and Terms Used on The Forums

About the run...temperatures, technique, cuts, anything at all about the art of distilling.

Acronyms and Terms Used on The Forums

Postby JayD » Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:02 am

Glossary of Distilling Terms

ABV Alcohol by Volume, often expressed as a percentage. Example 40% abv.

Activated Carbon A micro porous substrate used to filter impurities out of alcohol. Commonly used where fermenting with turbo yeast,due to the high proportion of impurities generated also when you need a very clean Vodka. Activated carbon made from coconut shells is a particularly good carbon to use.

Alcohol A member of a class of organic compounds containing carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.

Aerobic with presence of oxygen.

Anaerobic without presence of oxygen.

Alcometer Or alcoholmeter is an instrument used to find the ethanol percentage in a strictly binary ethanol-water solution. Sometimes referred to as a "Proof and Traille".

Aldehyde A volatile impurity found in the fore shots.

Amino Acids One of the nutrients required for yeast growth, amino acids are used to make up proteins.

Amylase An enzyme added during a mash which breaks down starch into fermentable sugars, refers to both Alpha amylase, which, simply put, cuts large starch molecules into smaller molecules and Beta Amylase, which cuts the smaller molecules into fermentable sugars.

Azeotrope Liquid mixture of two or more components which has a unique constant boiling point. Maximum azeotrope for alcohol is 192 degrees proof.

Backset The liquid left in the still after distillation has completed. Essentially a weak, acidic beer which has been boiled for a number of hours. Used in the creation of sour mash whiskey.

Barm The foam, or scum formed on the top of liquor (i.e. fermented alcoholic beverages such as beer or wine, or feedstock for hard liquor or industrial ethanol distillation) when fermenting.

Barrel Whiskey Barrels usually made from white oak.

Beta Glucan Carbohydrate found in the cell wall of grains, can present problems in mashing makes the mash thick and sticky if not properly broken down.

Beta Glucanase Enzyme generated during grain germination that breaks down beta glucan.

Beer Stripping A crude primary distillation of fermented wash. See stripping.

Birdwatchers See TPW.

Bubbler Australian slang for a hobby scale plated column reflux still, a smaller, scaled down version of a traditional commercial style still. Also called a “Flute” (American term). There are 3 commonly used plate types:

Perforated or sieve plates vapour passes up through small holes.

Bubble Caps Used in a column and sit over vapor pipes. Caps provide contact between the rising vapors and descending enriching the vapours.

Valve plates vapour passes up through holes that have liftable caps that direct the vapour down and sideways.

Botanicals Fruits and herbs used for flavouring gin, including juniper berries as a main component. These can be used either: by soaking the botanicals in neutral and redistilling, Or by placing the botanicals in the vapour stream of the still so that flavours are extracted.

Carbohydrate Hydrocarbon chains of varying lengths, includes simple fermentable sugars (glucose, fructose and sucrose), simple unfermentable sugars (maltose), as well as longer chains such as starches.

Channeling Is the unequal wetting of the packing in the tower. If channeling occurs, poor mass transfer happens, and therefore, less efficiency of the tower.

Charge The volume of alcoholic beverage wash, or low wines going to the still.

Charring Burning the surface of oak staves and dominoes or inside of casks, by setting on fire, used to develop flavour to be imparted to spirit. There are various degrees to charring.

CM Cooling Management reflux still.

Condenser An apparatus in which hot vapors are cooled and condensed into liquids. Different types of condensers

Congeners Impurities. These minor chemicals give liquor (spirits) distinctive character and flavors. Found in both heads and tails. Maybe considered desireable or undesireable depending on quantity and type.

Conversion The enzymatic transformation of starches into various fermentable and unfermentable sugars that occurs during the mashing process.

Cuts The process of separating different types of alcohol through the foreshots, heads, hearts and tails cuts made during the final distillation run. KiwiStiller Guide to Cuts

CCF: Custom Copper Fabricator. Supplier of fine hand made copper distilling equipment and associated products for the hobby distiller. JayD's Copper Stills/Custom Copper Fabricator

DAP Diammonium Phosphate

Density Meter Portable device that measures specific gravity thus allowing the distiller to make precise cuts.

Dephlegmator A pre-condenser at the top of the column that sends distillate back toward the pot. This process increases the reflux and the purity of the spirit.

Dextrose Basic sugar also known as corn sugar.

Distillation The process of boiling and condensing a mixture of volatile liquids that changes the relative concentrations of those liquids in the output.

Diastatic Power Measurement of how active amylases are in a malted barley (used for whisky or beer), tells the brewer what proportion of adjuncts they can get away with while still converting sufficient starch.

DME Dried malt extract. When dissolved in water and fermented can be distilled.

Double Distilling A process where the distillate is distilled twice first to remove alcohol and second distillation is to make cuts separating heads, hearts, and tails.

Downcomer A pipe or tube for conducting fluid material downward usually conveying liquid from one tray to the one below in a bubble tray column.

Dunder Any waste from processing sugar cane or sugar cane product left from the boiling after distilling rum.The stillage from a rum distillation, commonly poured back into a new wash to add flavour characteristics. Can also be stored and allowed to support the growth of a mixture of bacteria, providing a richer flavour to the rum.

DWWG Death Wish Wheat Germ recipe.

Enzymes Proteins that assist conversion of starches into sugars that will ferment.

Esters Fermented by products made by yeast action that contributes fruity characteristics, aroma, and flavor to the wash.

Ethanol Otherwise known as ethyl alcohol. A clear colorless, flammable oxygenated hydrocarbon with a boiling point of 78.5 C. Drinking alcohol.

Entrainment The undesirable upward transportation of liquid droplets by vapour in a plated reflux column. This is caused where vapour travels too quickly up the column.

False Bottom In a mash tun the false bottom is slotted copper pipe, the slots of which allow wash to drain while holding back the grain, while the false bottom in a brew kettle is a perforated plate or bazooka screen.

Feints Often used to refer to a mixture of heads and tails to be recycled into a following run. Some feel feints refer to tails only but not always defined as such on the various forums.

Fermentation A change that takes place when yeast converts the sugar to alcohol.

Final Gravity The density of the wash after fermentation. Knowing the original and final gravity of a wash allows you to determine the percentage of alcohol of the wash.

Flocculation The clumping and settling of yeast out of solution, forming a cake-like substance in the bottom of the fermenter.

Flute Scaled down commercial type plated still.

Foreshots A small amount of low boiling distillate containing acetone, methanol, and aldehyde volatiles.

Fractional Still Has a vertical column still using plates and bubble caps or packing. The process separates spirits into different volatility.

Fusel Oil A bitter oil found in tails. A liquid composed of amyl and isobutyl alcohols.

Graham Condenser A condenser that has the coolant-jacketed spiral coil running the length of the condenser.

Grist Germinated, kilned and crushed malt grains, will next be mashed to make a wort.

Heads Spirits from the beginning of the run that contain a high percentage of low boiling alcohols and other compounds such as aldehydes and ethyl acetate.

Hearts The desirable middle alcohols from your run.

HETP Height Equivalent of a Theoretical Plate.

Hydrometer Sometimes referred to as an SG meter is an instrument that measures the weight or gravity of a liquid in relation to the weight of water. Cannot be used to measure alcohol already in a mixture. Sometimes referred to as wine or triple scale hydrometer for measuring sugar content in washes.

Herms Heat Exchanged Recirculating Mash System.

Lees What is left in your fermenter after the liquid is siphoned into the still usually contains spent nutrients and barm.

Liebig A straight-tube jacketed condenser at the product end of a still.

LM Liquid Management reflux still.

Low Wines The spirits collected from the first distillation.

Lyne Arm In a pot still the tubing from the pot’s head to the condenser.

Mash A mixture of ground malted grains and hot water.

Malting The process used to prepare grains [commonly barley and wheat] into a form where fermentable sugars can be produced (by mashing). Malting grain breaks down the protein-starch matrix in grain, allowing the starch to be accessed by enzymes to convert it to fermentable sugars. Malting also produces the enzymes needed for this conversion. Malting involves 3 main steps: Germination, Kilning and Gristing.

Malt Sprouted Dried grains. Malted grains contain enzymes that convert starches into fermentable sugars.

Mash Tun A double-jacketed tank with a false bottom in which hot water and grains are mixed.

Must A fermentable liquid that uses the sugars from fruit.

Mum Mason’s Universal Mash also known as TPW, a nutrition-enhanced tomato-paste sugar wash.

Neutral See NGS.

NGS Neutral Grain Spirits 190 + proof alcohol.

Oaking Aging your liquor in oak barrels, chips or sticks.

OG Original Gravity The density of the wash before fermentation.

Packing Material used in a still’s column to increase the surface area and thus the reflux and quality of the alcohol.

Parrot A device resembling a bird that attaches to the still or is at the point of collection that floats the alcoholometer (alcometer, proof and Traille hydrometer).

pH A measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. The pH scale used ranges from 0-14.

Pitch The process of adding yeast to the wash.

Plates Sometime referred to as trays are located horizontally at intervals in a column, often contain bubble caps or perferations that enrich the reflux.

Pot Still A simple batch distillation unit used for the production of heavily flavored distillates for beverage use. It consists of a boiler and an overhead-vapor pipe leading to a condenser. Usually chosen for stripping runs and the making of whiskey and rum.

Proof A measurement of alcohol 100 proof is equal to 50% abv.

Rum/Grog is the base for the Royal Navy's grog. "The word "grog" is derived from the nickname of Admiral Edward Vernon, the English naval officer after whom George Washington's estate was named. The Admiral was known as "Old Grog" because he wore a shabby coat made out of grogram, a coarse fabric woven from silk and wool. He insisted that his men take a daily dose of rum and water as a precaution against scurvy. The diluted tipple eventually became known as "grog."/ Rum bible

Reflux Formed when vapors condense and re-vaporize in the column of a still.

SG Specific Gravity. SG meters are a hydrometer calibrated to measure sugar content in a wash to determine potential alcohol.

Shot Gun A type of condenser with multi-tubes where the vapors pass through the tubes surrounded by coolant.

Slant Plate A liquid collection plate used in a Bokakob style reflux still.

Slop Hot stinky spent corn mash from the still.

Sparging At end of mashing, a process in which hot water is sprayed on or run through the grain bed to extract additional sweet barley water.

Spirit Run The final distillation producing finished whiskey.

SPP Spiral Prismatic Packing used in reflux type stills.

Stripping The process of running low abv wash through a still with no head or tails cuts to remove alcohol that will be re-distilled.

Stillage The liquid and solids remaining in the boiler after the distillation is complete. Typically contains water, a small amount of ethanol (~0.1%) as well as dead yeast, fusel oils and possibly solids remaining from the wash,fruit pieces and grains etc.

Sugar Head Grain ferment that sugar has been added to achieve a higher alcohol potential.

Sweet Spot The head temperature in a reflux still between 174 degrees F. and 180 degrees F. This range produces a swee3t tasting spirit and is considered the heart of the distillation run.

Toasting Partially burning oak (staves or inside of casks), by raising their temperature without setting fire, used to develop flavour to be imparted to spirit. Some wrap dominoes/partial staves in aluminium foil and toast on bbq.

Tails A distillate containing a high percentage of fusel oil and little alcohol collected at the end of a run.Often described as the smell of wet cardboard or dirty socks

TPW Tomato Paste Wash sometimes referred to as "Birdwatchers". A simple wash used for creating a clean simple neutral "vodka like" spirit.

UJSSM Uncle Jesse Simple Sour Mash. Recipe made from Corn.

VM Vapor Management reflux still.

Wash Fermented substrate containing alcohol, generally between 8-14%abv, ready for distillation. Also called beer or wine depending on the ingredients.

Wort Liquid containing fermentable sugars ready for fermentation. Generally only used where the liquid has been produced by mashing starch containing raw ingredients such as grains.

WPOSW Winos plain old sugar wash recipe.

Yeast Any of a certain unicellular fungi, generally members of the class Ascomycetaceae. Many types of yeast are capable of producing ethanol and carbon dioxide by the anaerobic fermentation of sugars. Yeasts are composed of approximately 50 percent protein and a rich nutritional source of B vitamins.

Bushman/unknown others.
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Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 8:58 pm
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Re: Acronyms and Terms Used on The Forums

Postby JayD » Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:50 am

Posts: 1534
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 8:58 pm
Location: Tasmania, home of world class Whiskey...

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