Need some help here guys. I have been messing around with Reflux
columns for near a year now but only recently got serious about trying
to make true neutral alcohol. My Rig is as follows. 1 1/2" copper
column 45" packing length set up for VM. Tee'd to 3/4" straight
through to the liebig. I have gotten advice on how this thing should
be run and have follow that advice to the best of what I have. I
started a run Friday morning at 11:00 using 15000ml of 45% low wines.
Heated it up with 2000+ watts and when the boiler got up to 172F I
unplugged the 1440watt element and used the 650watt element for the
remainder of the run. I measured the wattage on the element 2 ways.
One with a "Amp Clamp" that the math (volts x amps) came out at
691watts and also a meter similar to the Kill a watt that had it at
648watts. Once the temp at the top reached 172F I continued to let it
equalize for another hour and then adjusted the valve to 200ml/hour
and it stayed there throughout the run. I shut the still down last
night at 10:00pm.
35 hours. I left it alone after 11:00pm friday night and went to bed.
Pulled the jug at 9 the next morning and it had averaged 162ml/hour.
For some reason it had picked back up to 200ml/hr average by then
though and ran at the pace the remainder of the run. The run yielded
some 5.5 liters of 92% alcohol. I was given the advice to run this rig
at 500watts and 300ml/hour and that should reach the 95% mark. I
figured since I couldnt hit the recommended wattage I would slow the
takeoff rate to make up for it.
In Ian Smileys book, in the chapter on pure ethanol distillation he
writes that he runs a 1 1/4" column of 48" at 1500watts with a take
off rate 12ml/min and achieves 95%. Thats 720ml/hour. What am I
doing wrong here. I am using structured packing and I think I have it
packed properly. The rolls are rolled small enough to fit in the
column but they want fall out.