Posted by Moonshiner Chuck on

Welcome. We are your humble host and excited to be here with you. As always, our intent is to unlock the mysteries of home distilling, and we're here to help unlock one more. You're going to enjoy this. We're going to talk about clarification. Now that you've made it through the introduction, and our quick title, we want to get right to the meat of what we're going to do today, we're going to talk about clarification because we all know that once we've created a mash or a wash those terms are interchangeable. 

You can use them however you like. A wash is primarily sugar, water, and a mash, which is a noun as well as a process verb. Something you're doing is really more reserved for growth. rains, cereals and water. But the terms are interchangeable. People know what you're talking about as long as you know what you're talking about. That's all we care about.

So let's move on, you know that the clearer, the cleaner that you enter the still the clearer and cleaner you will exit the still, which is our way of trying to avoid. Scorching, and you can scorch regardless of what type of heat source you use. But when you have a lot of solid particulates and a bunch of stuff running around in there, and you're not keeping it moving, which would require an agitator. 

There are stills that are oil jacketed that heat collectively from across the outside. I'm getting off track here, but they also have an agitator that keeps everything moving that you can actually have the green inside the still and distill in that manner. But most of us are using direct heated or direct fired stills. And in that particular case, anything you put in there any solid particulars are going to settle. 

And when they settle and touch the source of your heat, what do they do? Yes, they do burn which is called scorching, and that really does create a nasty taste that will make its way throughout your spirit. We don't want that to happen. So, what we want to do is we want to clarify and this is the step after fermentation. Now remember before you do any clarification, but one thing you need to do after fermentation and you have validated and verify that fermentation has completed. Before you go to your clarifying step, what do we have to do? Yep, We have to D gas.


Why do we do the D gas?  so that all of the co2 that's resident is Inside there, because what happens during fermentation is that one of the byproducts of your yeast creating alcohol is a sort of pass out co2. And as co2 will start to lock itself with some of those water molecules, and it will become trapped over a period of time it builds up and it's like having a coke. You know, or a sprite is an easy one, you put Sprite Porter in a glass and sit back and watch it. 

You'll see co2 escaping it, trust me, it doesn't want to be in there in the first place. So it's trying to get out and it'll just rise up to the top and pop off. Well, what will happen in your wash or your mash is that it'll start to rise but it gets captured. So you'll have all the co2 floating around in there. What happens whenever you try to clarify anything you use to clarify will be captured by that floating co2. 

So you'll start having layers and or you'll have no clarity whatsoever. So make sure your D gas a couple different ways. In this particular case with these jars and these may be familiar I use these on a video we did four in the very same ones that we did for a column using sugar and verify how much sugar goes into, you know, points per gallon per pound points per pound per gallon. Gravity points per pound per gallon, there we go. 

So, I'm using the same ones, the easiest way to get rid of that co2 and those was just shake them real hard and open the top, close it, shake it real hard, open the top, you know, let all escape close it until you get all the co2 out. You can also use a drill with a whip on the end of it. You can open up the top of your fermenter you can use a big whisk and you can just start whipping. But you need to find a way to get rid of all that co2.

So we have D gas. Now what we want to do is we want to remove, and we want everything in there to drop out to the bottom. What are the methods we can use? Well, the very first one is one that's always works in our favor. And it's natural. It's called gravity. Yes, over a period of about two weeks, and sometimes maybe three weeks, depending on the amount. And the size of gravity will cause all of your solid particulates to settle down to the bottom. Okay, and it will leave you with a clear mash or wash.

That's one way. But of course, anytime we do something, we're always looking for an easier way to do it, or a method in which to get there a little bit quicker. So we use what we call finding agents. And these finding agents are plentiful. A couple that I don't have with me. One of them is bentonite. Bentonite is really a clay, but it's a really good clay and it's a really, really compact and small crush. With this clay it absorbs water first it expands and it starts to drop because it's very heavy. It has a really high molecular mass.

So it drops when it does, it captures particles and it drops down to the bottom. So that's bentonite. bentonite does that very well. It's not really messy to use but it works extremely well.

I just don't have any because I don't normally use it. It's really popular in wines. Now we have another top product called spark Lloyd sparkle Lloyd is a white powder. If you use that you mix it up with a little bit of water and you make a slurry out of it and pour that in and it does exactly the same thing. It's just sold under the name spark Lloyd. 

Of course we have what my favorite which is the turbo clear and the turbo clear is what also you have Instagram Instant glass is an extract from a dried fish platter and is primarily used in beer brewing and you just add that to your mash and Wallah. Things settle down to the bottom. But one of my favorites is a keystone Cheetah saying it's made in turbo clear, and we'll get to that now we'll do it right now. It's a two part you have Part A Part B. Excuse me, Part A is one out it's okay we're going to talk about a six gallon batch okay is good for up to six gallons.

 Part A is 20 milliliters or point seven ounces. And Part B is right at 85 or so milliliters, which is three ounces. So yep, peace kisa Saul and Chico sane and these are positively negatively charged and they are made extracts from shellfish so well. Although if you Have a shellfish allergy, this should not affect that at all. It's an extract.


And additionally, if you're going to use this, you can also buy it in the large bottles and just it's a lot more economical if you just bought big bottles of it. And here's the name Pisa saw and the cheater saying or China saying however you want to pronounce it. But these are the two chemicals that you use together you use Part A and then you wait 45 minutes or so and then you put in Part B and within 24 to 48 hours. 

Everything drops down to the bottom and you're crystal clear. Everybody doesn't have access to that. Oh by the way, remember this is a one to three ratio chisa salt is one ounce, point seven is close enough one ounce, and cheater saying is three ounces. So that is your one to three ratio when you use those two chemicals together. Now These three jars I have in front of me I wanted to show this to you because this is another solution other than what we've already discussed, this is 111 pound of sugar in one gallon of water equivalent, okay, that we did earlier, you'll notice that it's crystal clear. 

It is already finished fermenting, because this was over two weeks ago, and I still got this jar sitting around. So when I open it up, it smells like alcohol. It's got about 4% alcohol by volume. And all of the co2 has escaped. I shook it. So all the co2 escaped. You can see it's crystal clear in the lack of better words. This is a jar and it's still cold. And that's why it's a little hazy because anytime that you chill, a fermented mash or wash, those long chain fatty acids will become visible. And then when it warms up, it will start to clear out and then I have this here as well.

Now these are two equivalents because remember, we did an adjustment to these, we added more water to them in order to bring down the levels of sugar. So we could work with our points, gravity points per pound per gallon. Or actually, yeah, that's what it was. So we got these about equivalent, but that's not what we were interested in. We're interested in the clarification process. So I degassed, both of them a simple shake, several times to get all the co2 out.

And then what I did was I introduced another product in I want to show you this, and now there's a guided back sitting there right now going, Oh my God, he's going to shut the video off and from now on, he's going to use jello, and you're going to be rudely, you're already gone. So it doesn't matter. Gonna be really disappointed because I'm showing this. I'm holding this up as an example of what not to use. 


Okay gelatin is what we're looking for jello is gelatin. But remember that there's 32 grams of sugar in here as well. So what's going to happen if I add jello to any one of these? You better believe it. I've already got yeast in there because you can't get rid of that. And I'm going to feed them again and guess what they're going to do? Yep, they're going to start fermenting and guess what the byproducts are, aside from the ethanol is going to be co2 that you've already shook out and try to get rid of so you could clarify you've taken three steps backwards. 

Alright, so do not use your flavored jell or because it already has some, some of them have 32 silom and 39 grams of sugar already added to it and it's just not a good product for what we're looking for. They have a product called unflavored gelatin, which has zero grams of fat, zero grams of proteins. Your grams of sugar is nothing more than just gelatin. And this will work in a pitch. But there's two ways to use it. And I wanted to show you this because this is the demonstration This is an example of what I have as the results of what we went through.

Now this comes in small boxes that cost me 89 cents at my local Walmart. Here's another one made by Knox Knox makes a gelatin as well and they're made by many, many different names. So choose the one you want, as long as it's unflavored and not sugared. You can bet your bottom dollar if it's unflavored it doesn't have any sugar in it because that 's just the way it is. You got four little packs inside there. These are a seven gram pack. So you've got a total of four, one quarter ounce or seven gram satchels in here, and I used one in this jar and I used one in this jar.

 Four of these is more than enough, actually two of these will probably do, you're really good at a five gallon batch. The way I use this was the right way, the right method. And I also used the printed instructions method, which is something that men normally do, you never read the instructions. When all else fails, then you read the instructions. So follow along. What I did was I opened up this jar, and I sprinkled the gelatin on top and just allowed it to sit there and then I closed the jar. And I allowed that gelatin to soak up all that water and become a glob. 

Well, that glob did exactly what I had expected it to do. It filled up and it started to drop, and it dropped all the way down to the bottom. And you'll notice you can see the level of sediment that I have here because that's two things. One is all the things that drug out And settle down to the bottom. But additionally, it's a big glob of gelatin, which can be problematic. Just think of this in the long term down the road. If I have that much in this small court jar, can you imagine what that's going to do to my fermenter on actually sacrificing a pretty large space because what I don't want to do is I don't want to siphon this out and put this into the still for obvious reasons.

Okay, now what I did with this one was I did it the correct way, which is I took a half a cup of water, I followed the direction that's all I had to do. pour this in, stirred it, let it sit for about two minutes. And then I introduced a half a cup of hot water, actually boiling water in there. And what it does is it gets the gelatin to start to liquefy and get it set up in its proper form so that they can work. in your favor. And then I just introduced that I added that to this jar and closed the jar and allowed that to set. If you look at this one, look closely, you can see way way at the very bottom here, I've probably got about oh, maybe an eighth of an inch, I can see. 


If you look really close, I can see about, oh, an eighth to a quarter of an inch of gelatin is sitting down on top of all that sediment so everything he did dropped out, it drove out all the way down. And so this is clear, all I have to do is siphoned things off the top. So remember, you can use gelatin, make sure you use unflavored gelatin or you can use a case of salt Cheetah saying you can use a sparkle or you can use bentonite. There's one other method called cold crashing and when you Cold Crush and of course these two I put them in the refrigerator because according to the instructions you have to choose: But in order for that to solidify, then it's heavy and it falls.

And that's why you can see some of the fatty acids that are still located in there. You can also do what we call cold crashing if you have a device large enough like a chest freezer, you can put a large five gallon fermenter into a chest freezer, you can Cold Crush it, because what happens there is that the temperature causes your, all of your acids, all your fatty acids to solidify, clump together, they become heavy, they drop everything else that he pulls everything else with it. 


So as one way of clarifying that can take anywhere from 24 to 36 hours. Very simple and very direct. 

So I hope you've enjoyed this part. Now, there's one other thing that I want to discuss before we go away. I wanted to share this video because I get so many messages about hand sanitizer folks. When we make hand sanitizer, we know what the recommendation is for the level of alcohol by volume in the final product, okay? And that's 60% or higher 60% alcohol by volume or higher in your final product, hand sanitizer. So that means that you have to produce out of what you're still going to have to produce a minimum, if you are going to use it at 100% strength, you're going to have to produce 120 proof. 

We produce normally 140 proof, it'll potstill. That's a pretty good draw, but sometimes it's a little bit lower than that. So a potstill is not the solution for making ethanol to make hand sanitizer. It really requires a certain amount of what they call rectification or flux, because the higher the proof you start with, of course, the more medium medium, you can put it the aloe gel, or the glycerin or baby oil or the more of that you can add to it in order to help use that to spread that around.

If you use a pure ethanol, ethanol will evaporate too quickly and become non effective. It'll also dry your skin out. I hope that clarifies that because those questions are coming in dozens at a time and I understand but we've got to do this. 

If we're going to do it. We got to do it right! Happy to still it!