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29623Re: [Distillers] Re: FIRE (cont.)

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  • Roderick Holmes
    May 3, 2005
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      Slip,
      I am just glad that you are OK.

      The first time I fired up my still, I forgot to turn on the cooling water. Had the wash spewing out of the column and had my whole house smelling like ethanol. My wife exclaimed, "I thought you said it would not smell !!! " My still was set up right across from the stove and oven in the house. Lucky nothing was cooking at the time.

      We all learn by our mistakes. If we survive them, we get something very valuable called "experience" !

      Regarding the correct amount of heat: In my opinion, the boiler should be bubbling a slow boil like when you simmer a pot of soup on the stove on a low flame. You can hear the boiler slowly bubbling but it is not a rapid or roaring boil like if the flame is on high. I use an electric element with a sutronics controller so I have it a bit easier than with propane.

      I also check the temperature of my cooling water to see that it is not too hot coming out (increase water flow if needed). My total output is around 50ml per minute. I collect at 10ml per minute and my stuff comes out clean at 95% plus. I initially tried collecting at lower heat with total output of around 30 ml per minute and collecting at 5 ml per minute. Result was about the same. I have found that if the reflux rate is around 4 to 1 I am ok for making sugar wash vodka. It is up to you an your taste and what you are making.

      Enjoy.....

      Roderick

      slipslider2 <slipslider2@...> wrote:
      Harry,
      I am fine ... fortunately ... and I was reluctant to "tell my story"
      especially to you and Mike and Roderick. I am humbled by the
      experience and did not expect to receive much respect from the group
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