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RE: [Distilling] Re: Hints and tips

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  • Tony & Elle Ackland
    ... How tall is the column ? ... Reflux ratio is used to describe when you return some of the distillate back to trickle down over the packing and back into
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 16, 2001
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      >I have a reflux currently, I am using large ballbearings in a gause
      >bag placed in the tower.

      How tall is the column ?

      >I havent any water cooling in the tower just
      >the condenser. I don't know what you mean by the reflux ratio, but I
      >am getting about 4L@70% in about 3 hrs.

      Reflux ratio is used to describe when you return some of the distillate
      back to trickle down over the packing and back into the pot. You can do
      this a number of ways - either condensing all the vapour in a condensor,
      then diverting some of it back to the top of the column, or by having some
      cooling coils in the top of the column so that a portion of the vapour is
      condensed & drops back down. The "Reflux ratio" is the ratio of how
      much you return to the column to how much you collect - eg my still
      produces about 50 mL per minute of distillate. I return about 40 mL to the
      column, and keep about 10 mL. This is a reflux ratio of (40/10) = 4

      Why do it ? Its because the reflux running back down over the packing gets
      to mingle with the upcoming vapour, and simulataneously strip the vapour of
      its water content, and release its own ethanol, so that the vapour becomes
      more pure. The greater the surface area for it to spread out over, and the
      more reflux happening, the greater your purity will be. This is how you
      can get up to 95% purity. The downside is that it takes longer (a cost
      well worth paying). If you reflux, but don't have suitable packing, there
      will be no improvement. If you have packing, but little reflux, there will
      be no improvement.


      >I am using 3/4" copper pipe
      >for the tower going into 1/4" pipe for the run off through the
      >condensor. My still is 20L.
      >Can you tell me how much space I would need for reflux, and if there
      >is a better way to do the packing.

      The more surface area the better for packing. Stainless steel pot scourers
      are the best for this. For more details, see
      http://www.geocities.com/kiwi_distiller/refluxdesign.htm , and also look at
      the photos pages to see how other people have gone about doing it

      Tony
      http://www.geocities.com/kiwi_distiller/
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