help with still spirits still...copper or stainless steal
- At 11:28 AM 10/16/2006, you wrote:
>what about using all 3??? marbles in the top as i do now, withNo, as a matter of fact it needs to be packed as loosely as you can
>stainless steel mixed with copper wool shoved in the bottom??
>i was hitting high 80's to mid 90's with copper wool and marbles, but
>then i took copper out to clean it and now i don't get the same
>results as before... maybe it needs to be packed tight????
possibly pack it and still not have it fall out when you hold the column
The whole point of packing is to provide as much surface-area for vapors to
condense on as possible.
Marbles are the worst thing you can use, next to nothing, or mesh that's
too tight, because they provide the fewest square inches of surface area.
Whether it's stainless steel mesh, copper mesh, ceramic rings, or glass
marbles, makes no difference... only square inches of condensing surface
If you use copper or stainless mesh, and pack it too tightly, you reduce
the amount of surface that vapors can get to, in addition to slowing the
operation of the still significantly.
Ideally, no two strands of the mesh would ever lie flat against each other,
thus cutting the available surface-area of those two strands in half. Of
course, that isn't possible, and keeping it loose is the best you can do.
The only difference that packing material (steel, copper, ceramic) makes is
in flavor of the output. Copper, somewhere in your system, will improve
flavor of the output.
The best way get lots of copper surface into the vapor path is to use
copper mesh for packing.
If your column is made from copper pipe, and/or you have a coil-type
condenser made from copper tubing, the flavor effect should be the same as
using copper mesh packing.