The distilled spirit from the Turbo 500 needs to be filtered to remove any unwanted impurities and unpleasant flavours, resulting in a pure clean spirit.
There are two carbon filtration systems we recommend for the T500 system. The ‘Still Spirits’ EZ Filter cartridge system using a water activated carbon cartridge which absorbs the unwanted bits while allowing the spirit (or water, if distilling water) to pass through free of impurities …
… the ‘Essencia’ ceramic and carbon filtration system which takes alcohol filtration to a whole new level producing an exceptionally pure and aroma free spirit. It uses a twin cartridge system, with the spirit firstly going through a ceramic encased unit then through a carbon granulated cartridge it totally cleans it up. No mess, no hassle ready to pour straight from the tap. (Note: The Essencia filter units are currently unavailable in the UK)
Although it is not essential to filter the alcohol it does make it more enjoyable to drink as the yeasty aromas (wet cardboard taste) created during the fermenting process carries through to the distilled spirit. A lot of that flavour can be masked with the essence you add. The spirit mixtures like whiskey, bourbon, brandy and rum will hide a lot but the more subtle spirits like gin and vodka will become unpleasant to drink.
WATERING THE ALCOHOL DOWN Float a Spirit Hydrometer (AKA) Alcometer in the spirit to measure the alcohol content. Alcohol is thinner than water so the higher in strength the alcohol is, the further down the alcometer floats. Read the line where the level of the spirit cuts across it. Dilute this with water to 40-50% ABV (use your alcometer to determine the dilution).
Spirit hydrometers should only be used to test spirit before any additives such as flavouring or liquid glucose are mixed, which can distort the alcometer readings. Spirit Alcometers are calibrated to work at a temperature of 20°C (68°F). If the spirit is a different temperature to this then you can refer to the Temperature Correction Chart below.
Note: Higher strength alcohol than 50% ABV will not work effectively with carbon filtering.
For the EZ filter unit – Presoak the carbon cartridge in water for an hour (preferably overnight). This will activate the carbon and give a better quality result. Then fit the cartridge to the bottom of the upper filter bucket (over the screw with the washers either side), and place this on top of the second container.
Pour the diluted alcohol into the top container of the filter unit (10 L). The alcohol will then run through the carbon filter (6-8 hours) into the bottom container. If it takes longer than this, don’t worry as it’s removing any impurities in the spirit.
We recommend the carbon cartridge is replaced each time you use the still although if you are running continuously you can use it once more, although the quality will suffer.
For the Essencia filter unit – On first use fill the top reservoir with enough water to cover the ceramic cartridge and let run through overnight, discard water or use to dilute the alcohol. Pour the diluted spirit into the top and leave to run through to the lower reservoir. This could be overnight. Then collect the cleaned alcohol from the tap. It is a continuous process so top-up and collect as necessary. You will need to note the amount you put through as the lower carbon cartridge will need replacing after 45 L. The upper ceramic cartridge after 200 L.
After carbon purifying the spirit it should then be watered down in strength to 40% ABV prior to drinking, though there are some spirit flavours that recommend a 50% alcohol.
We strongly advise against making higher strength spirit. Please drink responsibly!
Filtering with the EZ Filter
TEMPERATURE CORRECTION CHART
Your Spirit Hydrometer reads 50% ABV at a temperature of 25°C (77°F) , look up the Correction Adjustment chart and you will see the value is minus 1.88. You then adjust your reading by that number – in this case subtract 1.88 from your reading of 50% A/V which will give you a realistic reading of 48.12% A/V.