the modern distiller

Empty bottle syndrome

Empty bottle syndrome

Postby S-Cackalacky » Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:37 am

I don't know if the topic title really fits - it's more about almost empty bottles. I've read on different forums and heard in various videos that, as a bottle nears the empty point that the liquor is negatively affected by oxidation. I haven't found that to be the case at all. When I pour the last drink from a bottle, I usually feel disappointed that the first draw from the same bottle didn't taste as good as the last. It's like, ok it taste great now that it's gone, so why couldn't it have been that good from the beginning?
.
I drink most liquors neat, or maybe with a splash of spring water. A bottle (750ml) might last for a month or two and sometimes longer - depending on how many bottles are open at the same time. Point is, I've never experienced any off flavors from a near empty bottle sitting for a long time. Just wondering what others experiences might be. Is the (near) empty bottle syndrome just a myth?
User avatar
S-Cackalacky
 
Posts: 403
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:27 am
Location: The Massanutten Mountain Ridge

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby Aussiedownunder » Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:25 am

A bottle lasts a month do you only drink 2 nights a month :lol:
If its free pick it up
Aussiedownunder
 
Posts: 199
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:39 am
Location: Near melbourne airport

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby S-Cackalacky » Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:34 am

No, usually 3 or 4 times a week - more or less. I only drink 2 or 3 ounces at a time. I don't enjoy getting drunk, but I do enjoy the experience and flavors of good liquor. I drank a lot when I was younger and probably the reason my health is for shit now that I'm older.

Sorry to go so far off topic this early on.
User avatar
S-Cackalacky
 
Posts: 403
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:27 am
Location: The Massanutten Mountain Ridge

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby kimbodious » Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:44 am

Milk - yes, beer - yes, wine - yes, spirit or liqeuer - NO
--
50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
kimbodious
 
Posts: 456
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:56 pm
Location: The deep North of Queensland, Australia

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby S-Cackalacky » Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:52 am

Well, I've heard the myth(?) often enough. There must be at least one person out there who will say that the last few ounces in their bottle taste like shit.
User avatar
S-Cackalacky
 
Posts: 403
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:27 am
Location: The Massanutten Mountain Ridge

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby Swedish Pride » Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:55 am

I've a almost empty bottle syndrome.
I drink untill there are 3 helpings left in the bottle and then dont touch it, so have loads of almost empty bottles :/
Don't be a dick
Swedish Pride
 
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2014 6:51 am
Location: Ireland

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby res » Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:31 am

My colleagues and I finished off the last quarter of a bottle of Midori Lena Banana that had been sitting around for literally years :shock: It tasted like arse... but probably always did :puke-front:

Never heard of this one myself
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
Winston Churchill
User avatar
res
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:24 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby S-Cackalacky » Sat Dec 10, 2016 12:09 am

Swedish Pride wrote:I've a almost empty bottle syndrome.
I drink untill there are 3 helpings left in the bottle and then dont touch it, so have loads of almost empty bottles :/

SP, does it taste bad, or do you just have some weird psychological quirk? :?
User avatar
S-Cackalacky
 
Posts: 403
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:27 am
Location: The Massanutten Mountain Ridge

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby S-Cackalacky » Sat Dec 10, 2016 12:36 am

res wrote:My colleagues and I finished off the last quarter of a bottle of Midori Lena Banana that had been sitting around for literally years :shock: It tasted like arse... but probably always did :puke-front:

Never heard of this one myself

That could very well be with a lower proof liqueur. There are things in there besides distilled spirit. I can see how it might become skanky after sitting for a long time.
User avatar
S-Cackalacky
 
Posts: 403
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:27 am
Location: The Massanutten Mountain Ridge

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby Swedish Pride » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:56 am

S-Cackalacky wrote:
Swedish Pride wrote:I've a almost empty bottle syndrome.
I drink untill there are 3 helpings left in the bottle and then dont touch it, so have loads of almost empty bottles :/

SP, does it taste bad, or do you just have some weird psychological quirk? :?


I'm just a bit odd, savour the last drop or whatever :)
Don't be a dick
Swedish Pride
 
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2014 6:51 am
Location: Ireland

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby The Baker » Tue Dec 13, 2016 3:04 pm

S-Cackalacky wrote:
res wrote:My colleagues and I finished off the last quarter of a bottle of Midori Lena Banana that had been sitting around for literally years :shock: It tasted like arse... but probably always did :puke-front:

Never heard of this one myself

That could very well be with a lower proof liqueur. There are things in there besides distilled spirit. I can see how it might become skanky after sitting for a long time.


Hi,
The internet ads say 25% alcohol; a do-it-yourself recipe for banana liqueur contains bananas, light rum, turbinado sugar and some water.
Geoff
The Baker
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2016 2:57 pm

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby Tassie Tiger » Mon May 01, 2017 2:00 pm

Geez and I thought Empty Bottle Syndrome was when there's none left in the bottle.
Cheers TT
User avatar
Tassie Tiger
 
Posts: 384
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:18 pm
Location: Tasmania

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby RefluxEd » Tue May 02, 2017 5:34 pm

My bottles are 7 litre Farmer's Direct bottles with SS taps.
With that quantity you'd reckon that the last drinks would be really awful if EBS was real.
I reckon it was a phurphy thought up by beer, wine and cider drinkers to put one up the spirit drinkers.
2 inch BOKA/LM/VM
Bubbler with 14 4x3x4 inch tees and 15 bubble plates under a 4 inch section under the dephlagmator (RC).
2 inch Pot still.
2 inch to 4 inch Gin head.
2x 1.2 mtre Leibig condensors.
2 inch x 800 mm shotgun condenser.
Love it!
User avatar
RefluxEd
 
Posts: 132
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:10 pm

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby S-Cackalacky » Tue May 02, 2017 11:26 pm

I just recently finished 3 bottles of bourbon I was gifted back in December. One of these was about 5 months to the bottom of the bottle. The other 2 were more than 4 months. One of these was a bottle of Wild Turkey 81p. It wasn't particularly good in the beginning, but became somewhat nice over time. The other 2 were Elijah Craig and Knob Creek. Both were excellent when opened and became smoother with time. The volume of the 3 bottles decreased pretty evenly over the 4 or 5 months.

A side note - when the 3 bottles were down to about an inch or less remaining, I combined the 3 into one bottle. The three blended together was better (IMO) than any of the 3 individually.

Just wondering - at what point should I expect a small volume of likker in a big bottle to become skanky - 6 months, a year, or more? I haven't seen that break point yet.
User avatar
S-Cackalacky
 
Posts: 403
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:27 am
Location: The Massanutten Mountain Ridge

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby crow » Thu May 04, 2017 1:04 am

If you drink the bottom shelf crap this might be trueish , as in it didn't get any better :lol: I noticed while in America the real bottom shelf junk was sold in plastic PET bottles and this I could well imagine would get worse and worse. I didn't a heap of beer years ago in PET bottles as I had an issue one summer of long necks exploding. OK well the beer was ok at first and was put up to age a bit till I drank most of the glass. So a few months down the track I cracked a ex coke bottle of beer, holy cow it was bad as in vomit and baked arse bad and the older it got the worse it wasand also made ppl violently ill. I'm talking a whole lot of batches to, like draught, ales porters all was shit. I have zero faith in PET as a storage vessel for beer and a whole lot less than zero for spirits.
Point being I have no doubt EBS is a real thing in plastic bottles and am glad as fcuk they don't allow that shit here.
2 cents from a highly traumatized ex beer brewer.
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,we borrow it from our Children.
native American proverb
User avatar
crow
 
Posts: 209
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:11 pm
Location: Central Highlands Victoria Aust.

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby S-Cackalacky » Thu May 04, 2017 3:21 am

Yep, last I was in the liquor store, I noticed a few brands in PET bottles. Seemed to be mostly the 375ml size. I wonder if they realize that the practice may be discouraging sales. I, for one, wouldn't have anything to do with it.
User avatar
S-Cackalacky
 
Posts: 403
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:27 am
Location: The Massanutten Mountain Ridge

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby just sayin' » Thu May 04, 2017 6:42 am

SC,
I recently revisited a Highland Park 15 year old single malt, it has been open since 2007 or2008. It was open long enough that cork broke when I opened the bottle. The bottle was down to about a quarter fill and tasted nothing off, I was actually surprised after that many years at a low fill. It was still quite enjoyable.
JS
just sayin'
 
Posts: 154
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:02 am

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby JayD » Thu May 04, 2017 10:11 am

I often leave my aged Whiskey cracked open on my bar, and i have noticed it does get better and smoother and you only seem to loose a abv point or so, however i only leave it cracked untill i feel it has become as good as it can.
User avatar
JayD
 
Posts: 1501
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 8:58 pm
Location: Tasmania, home of world class Whisky...jaydboka@gmail.com, Travelling.

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby S-Cackalacky » Fri May 05, 2017 12:21 am

There seems to be a good bit of conflicting information about what happens to spirits once bottled - in particular the effect of oxidation after it's opened. I've heard reputable reviewers say that the spirits should be transferred to a smaller bottle once it's past 1/2 full, or so. According to my own experience and what I'm hearing here, that might be all nonsense. Or, it doesn't happen rapidly enough to be of concern.

I've also heard that the aging process stops once the spirit is bottled. That may be true as long as the bottle remains unopened, but I question that assertion as well. By "aging", I mean "changes". It's hard to imagine that the presence of oxygen is the only catalyst of change in a bottle of spirits. Point being - I don't take everything I hear or read at face value.
User avatar
S-Cackalacky
 
Posts: 403
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:27 am
Location: The Massanutten Mountain Ridge

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby crow » Sun May 07, 2017 11:38 am

The reason victioners etc will say aging stops at bottling is more to do with the description or understanding of aging by those holding to that belief and technically I'd say that are right. Not all amelioration is aging and not all of it isn't. Ullage (crazily) describes two processes, ullage is the air pocket in the barrel so the affects on air (not just oxygen) and the spirit surface is ullage and part of an aging process that possibly could be argued to continue in the bottle. Ullage that is (normally but not always) the loss of smaller molecular compounds through the staffs and joints is an important part of aging that is not really happening in a bottle, even most corks are capped or waxed to stop what little might occur.
Then there is the flavouring caused by spirit moving in and out of the timber drawing sugars and compounds out and those chemical reactions of them and the spirit over time also not really continuing in the bottle. Of cause there are slow chemical changes going on over time with the spirit and with the compounds already present that is a sure slow amelioration.
So with only a couple of theses slower processes going on the spirit is no longer really aging but that does not mean it won't get better. Would a greater ullage in the bottle have a negative affect on a spirit? I really don't know, I found a bottle in dads shed that was maybe a 10th full of Gilt Edge whiskey probably left over from a party 15 years earlier. I took a sip and it was bloody awful but dad informs me Gilt Edge (an early Aussie made whiskey) was pretty agricultural to start with
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,we borrow it from our Children.
native American proverb
User avatar
crow
 
Posts: 209
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:11 pm
Location: Central Highlands Victoria Aust.

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby S-Cackalacky » Sun May 07, 2017 10:54 pm

Just sayin' that to associate "aging" only with what goes on while the spirit is inside a barrel is a bit narrowly focused. "Aging" is very much a subjective process. It's proven that there are many environmental conditions that effect the changes happening to a spirit over time - position in the rick house, daily and seasonal temperature changes, humidity, etc. And, what of change? Some changes may be happening in a nano second while others may need years. It's probably impossible to determine all the different interactive changes taking place during the time a spirit sits in its environment. Many of the changes taking place may be completely dissociated with the paradigm of the barrel and more to do with chemical interactions - even while inside a bottle. Do the congeners (i.e., fusels, esters, tannins, etc.) continue to interact with each other, and other compounds, even after bottling? I find it hard to believe that "change" becomes an inert thing after the spirit is sealed in a bottle.
User avatar
S-Cackalacky
 
Posts: 403
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:27 am
Location: The Massanutten Mountain Ridge

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby crow » Tue May 09, 2017 3:51 am

Not inert no but reduced returns, that is the differences over time become less and less. The difference in the first three months is vast the next three fairly vast and in the next six months a lot but not vastly different and so on until the changes become very subtle and barely noticeable. I believe the improvement is a finite phenomenon (paticularly in glass) and I have a few reasons for this. Years ago one of dads older friends took a 32 year old whisky that had spent a least another 38 years in the bottle up on a Barra fishing trip for us to drink. It was 38 years since he sold his hotel so it wasn't less than that. Well it was nice, yeah it was OK but not what ya might hope from a 60 year old whisky. Now if it aged at the rate in the barrel and the process was linear it should have been extraordinary then while in the States I was given a glass of an 1850s calvados, I'd love to say it was out of this world fantastic but nup, it tasted like the same stuff I can buy down the local pub.
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,we borrow it from our Children.
native American proverb
User avatar
crow
 
Posts: 209
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:11 pm
Location: Central Highlands Victoria Aust.

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby just sayin' » Thu May 11, 2017 3:46 am

SC, I can't believe that placing a soup of many related chemicals in a bottle freezes it in time. In a barrel the products of distillation react with each other and to a greater extent with the compounds in the charred oak. The small atmospheric changes as outside temperatures changes creating internal pressure followed by pulling a slight vacuum as temperatures drop at night or as seasons change. A bottle is imperious and does not permit liquid or gas exchange except through the cork and the occasional pour of a dram. A bottle can't stop time. When mashing enzymes each have optimum temperatures, but but if not denatured, they continue their mission at ambient, be it at a much slower rate. Mix up at Lemoncello or Nochino or what ever, time changes them in a sealed bottle. Sometimes in weeks or months, sometimes in years. Spirit change slowly once sealed in glass, providence decided if it is for the better or worse. I have experienced the change in nearly undrinkable early hearts grape "brandy" forgotten for near a decade in a sealed jar. The change was almost unbelievable. From a canidate for fuel for a fondue burner to a delight!
just sayin'
 
Posts: 154
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:02 am

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby The Baker » Thu May 11, 2017 10:53 am

Important question; was the jar sealed with cork?
I accept that changes probably occur just with time, when the jar is COMPLETELY sealed from the atmosphere.
There will be (additional...) changes with some slight access to the atmosphere through the cork
Geoff
The Baker
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2016 2:57 pm

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby RefluxEd » Thu May 11, 2017 11:23 am

I agree TB, I was given a bottle of slipovich (not sure of the spelling) from a Hungarian friend which was firewater when I tried it. I screwed the cap back on and put it on the shelf and forgot about it. Found it about 18 months later so tried it again. It was beautifully smooth with a great mouth feel. An absolute joy to drink. It proved to me that changes can occur in a sealed bottle.
2 inch BOKA/LM/VM
Bubbler with 14 4x3x4 inch tees and 15 bubble plates under a 4 inch section under the dephlagmator (RC).
2 inch Pot still.
2 inch to 4 inch Gin head.
2x 1.2 mtre Leibig condensors.
2 inch x 800 mm shotgun condenser.
Love it!
User avatar
RefluxEd
 
Posts: 132
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:10 pm

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby S-Cackalacky » Fri May 12, 2017 1:02 am

The Baker wrote:Important question; was the jar sealed with cork?
I accept that changes probably occur just with time, when the jar is COMPLETELY sealed from the atmosphere.
There will be (additional...) changes with some slight access to the atmosphere through the cork
Geoff

I've done some reading on cork stoppers. Apparently air doesn't permeate cork as readily as you might think. It's been a while since I read this and don't remember the source. I'll see what I can do to find a citation.

About barrel aging - The home distillation hobby has made great strides in experimentation and development in simulating the effects of barrel aging using methods that overcome the need for a barrel. I believe there is enough documented confirmation of this throughout several forums based on personal experience and the testament of others. The key here being, we have found ways to "simulate" what happens in a barrel. Whether these methods are as good, better, or not as good as using an actual barrel is arguable, but maybe moot to those who have been successful using the alternatives. The point being - glass shouldn't be interpreted as a barrier to aging, whether it be a bottle or a big pickle jar.
User avatar
S-Cackalacky
 
Posts: 403
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:27 am
Location: The Massanutten Mountain Ridge

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby S-Cackalacky » Fri May 12, 2017 1:08 am

BTW - y'all be careful with what you drink from an old bottle you find laying around. You never know what someone might have put in that bottle - just sayin'.
User avatar
S-Cackalacky
 
Posts: 403
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:27 am
Location: The Massanutten Mountain Ridge

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby JayD » Fri May 12, 2017 9:47 am

S-Cackalacky wrote:BTW - y'all be careful with what you drink from an old bottle you find laying around. You never know what someone might have put in that bottle - just sayin'.


How true is that :handgestures-thumbupright: i've got part weights every where, a good sniff soon works out what it is, having saying that, I had a big jug of Rum tails that was rejected for aging and the next run i was looking for our feints to put in with the fresh run and when i smelt the old bottle of rejected Rum and it smelt amazing...however paranoia made me re run it.
User avatar
JayD
 
Posts: 1501
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 8:58 pm
Location: Tasmania, home of world class Whisky...jaydboka@gmail.com, Travelling.

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby crow » Fri May 12, 2017 5:02 pm

air and vapour doesn't go through wood supper easy either, sealed coffins don't make for a healthy bed. Cork is the bark of quercus suber, an oak so it is more porous than oak wood which is kinda considered fine by most for aging , jus sayin
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,we borrow it from our Children.
native American proverb
User avatar
crow
 
Posts: 209
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:11 pm
Location: Central Highlands Victoria Aust.

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby JayD » Fri May 12, 2017 5:50 pm

crow wrote:air and vapour doesn't go through wood supper easy either, sealed coffins don't make for a healthy bed. Cork is the bark of quercus suber, an oak so it is more porous than oak wood which is kinda considered fine by most for aging , jus sayin



and believe it or not it's also a hardwood, just like Balsa is.
User avatar
JayD
 
Posts: 1501
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 8:58 pm
Location: Tasmania, home of world class Whisky...jaydboka@gmail.com, Travelling.

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby S-Cackalacky » Fri May 12, 2017 10:17 pm

crow wrote:air and vapour doesn't go through wood supper easy either, sealed coffins don't make for a healthy bed. Cork is the bark of quercus suber, an oak so it is more porous than oak wood which is kinda considered fine by most for aging , jus sayin

From Wikipedia:
Cork is an impermeable buoyant material, the phellem layer of bark tissue that is harvested for commercial use primarily from Quercus suber (the Cork Oak), which is endemic to southwest Europe and northwest Africa. Cork is composed of suberin, a hydrophobic substance and, because of its impermeable, buoyant, elastic, and fire retardant properties, it is used in a variety of products, the most common of which is wine stoppers.

Doesn't say "impermeable" to what - liquid, gas? I think it's used to keep liquids IN the bottle. Not sure there was ever any desire to use it because it might breathe.

crow wrote:Cork is the bark of quercus suber, an oak so it is more porous than oak wood which is kinda considered fine by most for aging , jus sayin

What is this based on? Do you have a source for the information? Do you age your liquor on oak bark?

I'm thinking that a cork stopper has little, if anything, to do with any continuing aging process that may be going on in a bottle of spirits. If anyone has authoritative information to prove otherwise, please post it.
User avatar
S-Cackalacky
 
Posts: 403
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:27 am
Location: The Massanutten Mountain Ridge

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby Aussiedownunder » Sat May 13, 2017 5:33 pm

Just spent the last hr mixing drinks my mates cleaned the cupboard bare the other night :lol:
If its free pick it up
Aussiedownunder
 
Posts: 199
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:39 am
Location: Near melbourne airport

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby crow » Mon May 15, 2017 3:12 pm

Corks are zinc, wax or plastic cap sealed so as to prevent any breathing, not much to prove its just a known fact :confusion-shrug: .
You will get some slow loss through an unsealed cork and old bottles are often recorked for this reason, had this reasently with a 1933 para port that someone laid on its side :angry-cussing: . Are they going to breath much? No of friggen cause not :lol: but over a very long period they surely will. I guess you could say I age on oak bark...... via a cork :handgestures-thumbupright:
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,we borrow it from our Children.
native American proverb
User avatar
crow
 
Posts: 209
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:11 pm
Location: Central Highlands Victoria Aust.

Re: Empty bottle syndrome

Postby S-Cackalacky » Tue May 16, 2017 12:20 am

crow wrote:Corks are zinc, wax or plastic cap sealed so as to prevent any breathing, not much to prove its just a known fact :confusion-shrug: .
This is the first time I've heard this. I always saw those things as a means to make them somewhat tamper resistant. Can you cite a source for this information?
You will get some slow loss through an unsealed cork and old bottles are often recorked for this reason, had this reasently with a 1933 para port that someone laid on its side :angry-cussing: . Are they going to breath much? No of friggen cause not :lol: but over a very long period they surely will. I guess you could say I age on oak bark...... via a cork :handgestures-thumbupright:
Cork is organic material, so my assumption would be that it probably deteriorates over time and would need to be replaced if used for long term storage. However, I can't assume that it would contribute to the aging process simply because it's part of an oak tree. It's kinda like saying that your skin is the same as the muscle tissue that lies under it - two wholly different things, even though they're both part of the same human body.

Sorry Crow, but the sources I'm reading seem to refute what you're presenting as fact. I really don't want to get into a pissing contest over this. I'll concede to what you're saying if you can offer some scientific or expert information that proves it.

In support of my own assertions, here are some other sources:
https://www.bangorcork.com/faqs/cork
http://www.jelinek.com/about-jelinek-co ... t-is-cork/
http://www.madehow.com/Volume-5/Cork.html
User avatar
S-Cackalacky
 
Posts: 403
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:27 am
Location: The Massanutten Mountain Ridge


Return to Ageing & Flavouring

  • Who is online

    Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest