--- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com
, "edbar44" <edbar44@...> wrote:
> And I'm always thinking how to improve and wind up with weird things happening. I keep very detailed notes and cannot determine what has changed except the atmospheric conditions.
hmm, is your column insulated ? - that's a key factor that *will* allow atmospheric conditions to possibly affect operation. If it's a packed column (3" usually are),chill air and random currents can cause condensation and even worse, "channeling" down the inside of the column, really reducing proper interaction, and increasing reflux to make up for it can just make it worse too!
If it's well insulated, it could well be a mystery!, once all the other things like hydrometer corrections etc accounted for.
a true stripping operation only tends to be 1 or two "plates" worth and as such is mainly a way of removing solids, allowing separation of fusels in a pot still spirit run, and in a column still, helping maintain a reasonable reflux ratio and product output for most of a spirit run.
So stripping doesn't gain much to raise actual proof for a column still, as it is the "last" majority of "plates" or top 1/3rd say of packed column(and hence many effective distillations)that squeeze the proof up from 90 towards azeotropic. - Much more effort (and reflux)is required to get that last bit of proof, than getting from say 10% to 50% or 80%
hmm an interesting one, I've seen some mysterious variations myself and put it down to variations in packing when I've removed it for rinsing, or a bit too much power input causing a bit of channelling or loss of efficiency in the column. If the column is runing close to it's "limit", it doesn't take much to put it "off its stride".... nice to pin down these things though, and while some things in distilling can happily be left a "mystery", I'm not so sure about certain "variations" ! Good luck for the next round