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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Charcoal filtering at home

    I have a question. Say I have a bottle of bourbon, or scotch, that seems too congeneric in taste. Recently I bought a McClelland's Islay which I believe is young Bowmore whiskey. It seemed quite feisty (I wonder if "feinty" is etymologically related!), not from the peat, but from the inherent distillery character. Is there any reason I cannot buy activated charcoal and dump some in the bottle, leave it for a few days, and see what happens when it settles down? Where can I get small quantities of such a thing and how much should I add? (Teaspoon, tablespoon, half-cup?). I would like to experiment to see if I can reduce the rough edges. While most bourbons are pretty clean today, I might want to try this with one of the younger bourbons that are available. Any comments/suggestions are appreciated.

    Gary

  2. #2
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    Re: Charcoal filtering at home

    There's lots of information and a number of first-hand reports
    at Tony Ackland's site www.homedistiller.org
    Go to Distilling > Polishing Neutral Spirits > Types of Carbon

    There's also some related interesting reading in the section
    Flavouring > Using Wood > Charcoal & Wood

    The site is mostly aimed at people distilling 'shine from sugar, but
    there's a fair amount of rum and whiskey knowledge on there, too.

    Tim Dellinger

  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Charcoal filtering at home

    Thanks Tim, I have run across this site before when web searching various distillation issues, but did not think of it with regard to my question. I looked at the polishing section per your suggestion and it gave me ideas how to filter commercial (purchased) whiskey. Amazing the extent to which people have thought through these problems.

    Gary

  4. #4
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    Re: Charcoal filtering at home

    Just to give an opinion: if it were me, I'd buy the cheapest Brita
    filter at the store, slice it open to extract the carbon, wash the
    carbon with water to get the dust out and to wet it a bit, then
    toss about a half a cup into a bottle for a few hours... oh, and be sure
    to keep a "control sample" with no carbon in order to see if it's
    working.

    Tim Dellinger

  5. #5
    Administrator in exile
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    Re: Charcoal filtering at home

    Why not just get one of those filter pitchers and pour the bourbon through it?

  6. #6
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Charcoal filtering at home

    I'll try this and let you know!

    Gary

  7. #7
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Charcoal filtering at home

    Not sure what you mean, Jeff.

    Gary

  8. #8
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    Victoria Canada, Whistler, Maui
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    Re: Charcoal filtering at home

    I've got a bag of Barrel char from BT that I had intended to use in my smoke cooker. However, your post got me to thinking, perhaps I can use if for a similar purpose. I'm going to dump some char into some MM and age it for a few years.

  9. #9
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Charcoal filtering at home

    Not sure what you mean, Jeff.
    Brita (and other companies) sell pitchers with built-in replaceable filters, like this.

  10. #10
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Charcoal filtering at home

    Thanks and I will try one of these methods, I am intrigued.

    Gary

 

 

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