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Re: Making whisky

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  • Sherman
    Yes the liquid vapor equilibrium is hard to understand. I made a graph using some equations from HD that gives a practical application of that concept as
    Message 1 of 28 , Mar 3, 2008
      Yes the liquid vapor equilibrium is hard to understand.
      I made a graph using some equations from HD that gives a practical
      application of that concept as related to ethanol and water.
      here is an example with instructions.
      http://tinyurl.com/ytxwre
      here is the graph in F http://tinyurl.com/28xnt9
      and one in C http://tinyurl.com/ywfw2l



      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "mavnkaf" <mavnkaf@...> wrote:
      >
      > Harry, your a smart ass!! And I like it,.. just those two names
      > opened a whole lot of reading for free, no illegal stuff here. I like
      > your way of thinking. Just one link I found which I'm trying to get my
      > head around.
      >
      > http://tinyurl.com/ynn7wh
      >
      > My head hurts!!
      >
      > Cheer
      >
      > Marc
      >
      >
      > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Harry <gnikomson2000@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Mssrs. McCabe & Theile musta been talking through their hats. :)
      > >
      > > Slainte!
      > > regards Harry
      > > http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/
      > > =======================================
      >
    • mavnkaf
      Thanks Sherman, Thats not the only thing that is confusing me at the moment. I m trying to work out the best way to use a 1 inch full bore ball valve in a
      Message 2 of 28 , Mar 3, 2008
        Thanks Sherman,

        Thats not the only thing that is confusing me at the moment. I'm
        trying to work out the best way to use a 1 inch full bore ball valve
        in a side draft arm VM still?

        I better post that in a thread of it own:))

        Cheers
        Marc

        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Sherman" <pintoshine@...> wrote:
        >
        > Yes the liquid vapor equilibrium is hard to understand.
        > I made a graph using some equations from HD that gives a practical
        > application of that concept as related to ethanol and water.
        > here is an example with instructions.
        > http://tinyurl.com/ytxwre
        > here is the graph in F http://tinyurl.com/28xnt9
        > and one in C http://tinyurl.com/ywfw2l
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "mavnkaf" <mavnkaf@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Harry, your a smart ass!! And I like it,.. just those two names
        > > opened a whole lot of reading for free, no illegal stuff here. I
        like
        > > your way of thinking. Just one link I found which I'm trying to
        get my
        > > head around.
        > >
        > > http://tinyurl.com/ynn7wh
        > >
        > > My head hurts!!
        > >
        > > Cheer
        > >
        > > Marc
        > >
        > >
        > > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Harry <gnikomson2000@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Mssrs. McCabe & Theile musta been talking through their
        hats. :)
        > > >
        > > > Slainte!
        > > > regards Harry
        > > > http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/
        > > > =======================================
        > >
        >
      • Harry
        ... ... Good charts, Sherman. That shows the result of one (1) simple distillation with a given starting mash percentage (proving
        Message 3 of 28 , Mar 3, 2008


          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Sherman" <pintoshine@...> wrote:
          >
          > Yes the liquid vapor equilibrium is hard to understand.
          > I made a graph using some equations from HD that gives a practical
          > application of that concept as related to ethanol and water.
          > here is an example with instructions.
          > http://tinyurl.com/ytxwre
          > here is the graph in F http://tinyurl.com/28xnt9
          > and one in C http://tinyurl.com/ywfw2l

           

          Good charts, Sherman.  That shows the result of one (1) simple distillation with a given starting mash percentage (proving that mash %age is relevant).

          Now draw in a second, and third, and fourth set of lines using the resulting yield strength of each simple distillation (in the interests of education, I temporarily borrowed your diagram to illustrate, Sherman.  Hope you don't mind).

           

           

          What you have is the beginnings of a McCabe-Thiele diagram.  It begins to look like a flight of stairs.  Each 'step' is a simple distillation.  Also equivalent to a 'theoretical plate'.  See where this is going?

          It takes more & more 'plates' (simple distillations) which are closer & closer together in terms of starting point to yield strength, to increase the ethanol percentage and eventually arrive at azeotrope.

          If you count the 'plates' (steps), that's how many you need in a plate or tray column (plus a few extra to allow for inefficiencies).  For packed columns, other formulae are used to arrive at an amount and height of packing aka HETP or Height Equivalent of each Theoretical Plate.

          As you can see, most of the gains are at the low number of distillations (2 or 3).  After that, it becomes a merry-go-round of inputting more energy for not much gain.  Thus two runs in a pot still is usually sufficient for most purposes (brown spirits).  But you need to go all the way if you want purity for Grain Neutral Spirits (GNS) or vodka.

          This might help people get a handle on why we build our various stills (pot and reflux/fractioning) like we do (see Jim?  We're not just a 'reflux' group).  =P~

          HTH

          Slainte!
          regards Harry
          http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/

        • Harry
          So, now that you ve digested that little bit of info on reading charts, let s put it to something really worthwhile, particularly for pot distillers (you with
          Message 4 of 28 , Mar 3, 2008

            So, now that you've digested that little bit of info on reading charts, let's put it to something really worthwhile, particularly for pot distillers (you with me Jim?)

            Use such a chart to work out what you should dilute your second run down to, to recover hearts at a pre-determined strength (ain't that neat?)

            All you gotta do is work backwards & draw in the necessary lines.  To illustrate (again with Sherman's base graph)...


            It's not absolutely accurate, because you will have small amounts of heads & tails included, but it is close enough to use as a reliable guide or 'rule-of-thumb'.

            If you want to know a whole lot more about the why's or advantages of diluting the still charge, have a read of my paper in the Library...
            http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/Diluting_the_still_charge/

             

            HTH
             
            Slainte!
            regards Harry
            http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/

          • duds2u
            I think a light just came on for me. Thanks Harry. I had read that chart a number of times and had never considered using it in reverse to work out a dilution
            Message 5 of 28 , Mar 3, 2008
              I think a light just came on for me.
              Thanks Harry. I had read that chart a number of times and had never
              considered using it in reverse to work out a dilution to give me a
              specified final ABV%.
              I just happen to have something fermenting in the shed that will get
              a slightly different treatment to my previous efforts.
              It will be interesting to taste the results.

              --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > So, now that you've digested that little bit of info on reading
              charts,
              > let's put it to something really worthwhile, particularly for pot
              > distillers (you with me Jim?)
              >
              > Use such a chart to work out what you should dilute your second run
              down
              > to, to recover hearts at a pre-determined strength (ain't that
              neat?)
              >
              > All you gotta do is work backwards & draw in the necessary lines.
              To
              > illustrate (again with Sherman's base graph)...
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > It's not absolutely accurate, because you will have small amounts of
              > heads & tails included, but it is close enough to use as a reliable
              > guide or 'rule-of-thumb'.
              >
              > If you want to know a whole lot more about the why's or advantages
              of
              > diluting the still charge, have a read of my paper in the Library...
              > http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/Diluting_the_still_charge/
              > <http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/Diluting_the_still_charge/>
              >
              >
              >
              > HTH
              >
              > Slainte!
              > regards Harry
              > http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/
              > <http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/>
              >
            • gff_stwrt
              Hi, Todd and Peter, hi folks, Todd, can you tell me, is your Bokakob still the slant plate one or another of his designs? And have you used a two-inch column?
              Message 6 of 28 , Mar 3, 2008
                Hi, Todd and Peter, hi folks,

                Todd, can you tell me, is your Bokakob still the slant plate one
                or another of his designs?

                And have you used a two-inch column?

                I am thinking of making the slant plate one some day, after I
                get better at operating my pot still.

                And I am thinking of using a small (maybe ten imperial gallons,
                which I think is fortyseven litres) hot-water system boiler for my
                pot still, instead of the liquid propane gas one I use now. Perhaps
                the two-inch column I use now is not big enough for the 3,6oo watt
                element.

                If so I will either have to use a bigger-diameter column, or
                replace the element with a lower-rated one.

                What do you more experienced distillers think?



                --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "toddk63" <toddk63@...> wrote:
                >
                > I run a 48" BOK as a pot still for my corn. I leave just a couple
                of
                > scrubbers at the top ( about 6 to 8" of scrubbers). For the
                strip, I
                > run it wide open and about 3200W (measured at the condenser) until
                > about 211°F at the top. The strip cuts the volume and increases
                > strength 4x. Theoretical is about 3x to give you an idea of any
                > natural reflux going on. For the spirit run, same hardware setup.
                Run
                > it about half the power as the strip (1600W). I may pinch the
                > off-take valve back a bit just for the foreshots, then open it wide
                > and just watch my cuts. No intentional reflux...none! This run
                brings
                > my 30% low wines up to about 75% in the main cut.
                >
                > So lose all but a bit of packing and leave that off take valve open
                > and you'll be fine.
                >
                > I admire and respect Smiley for much of his book on corn whiskey,
                but
                > when it comes to his method of reflux still and cuts, I never
                could do
                > it either. So I tried simple pot stilling and have never gone
                back.
                >
                > Good Luck,
                >
                > Todd K.
                >
                >
                >
                > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "peter442737" <peter.coleman20@>
                > wrote:
                > >
                > > Hi Mason
                > > The 3 stripping runs were done without the packing and they were
                fine
                > > they produced 50% no problem. In the final run I tried to make
                the
                > > cuts as per Smiley's Corn book but obviously failed miserably.
                The
                > > Two Cup Bok still is great. No probs with that can produce 95%
                > > fine. I think like you say I will have to try without packing.
                > > Worked out the ratios of the cuts from the Corn Book and it did
                seem
                > > that the smell and the taste had guided me in the right
                direction.
                > > Ah well thats inexperience for you. Will try again.
                > > Thanks PC
                > >
                > >
                >
              • jamesonbeam1
                Yes Harry, Right with ya boss. As a matter of fact, I studied this chart way before I found this forum and started distilling and posting here. I found
                Message 7 of 28 , Mar 3, 2008

                  Yes  Harry,

                  Right with ya boss.  As a matter of fact, I studied this chart way before I found this forum and started distilling and  posting here.  I found this by accident, (not as concise of course)  and the theory behind it on a site of  Tony Ackland's - HomeDistllers.com: http://homedistiller.org/theory.htm#strong 

                  It took me a while, but finally figured out what  them red and blue lines ment.  However, being the lazy  SOB (self-made of course :) distiller that i am, ended up using that self-calculating table below it, instead of trying to extrapolate the lines.

                  I also studied the theory behind reflux still design and theoretical plates (believe it was developed by McCabe-Thiele)  at: http://homedistiller.org/refluxdesign.htm and finally figured out that a pot still is one plate, and each additional plate equals a second, third or 4th distillation on a pot still, till azerotrope is reached (impossible on a pot still of course).

                  (and BTW Sherman and Harry, what a great job ya'll did on improving and connotating that chart, im really impressed - wish i'd had it a year ago - would a kept me sober a bit longer and been so much simpler :):):).

                  Im very sorry if  offending anyone by my comments, but the point I was trying to make, is that i still cant understand why folks would do stripping runs on a reflux still, without taking the packing out and running it wide open like a pot still, then doing the spirits run with cuts the same way (as Todd K stated), and I appologize.

                  Vino es Veritas,

                  Jim.

                   

                  --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > So, now that you've digested that little bit of info on reading charts,
                  > let's put it to something really worthwhile, particularly for pot
                  > distillers (you with me Jim?)
                  >
                  > Use such a chart to work out what you should dilute your second run down
                  > to, to recover hearts at a pre-determined strength (ain't that neat?)
                  >
                  > All you gotta do is work backwards & draw in the necessary lines. To
                  > illustrate (again with Sherman's base graph)...
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > It's not absolutely accurate, because you will have small amounts of
                  > heads & tails included, but it is close enough to use as a reliable
                  > guide or 'rule-of-thumb'.
                  >
                  > If you want to know a whole lot more about the why's or advantages of
                  > diluting the still charge, have a read of my paper in the Library...
                  > http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/Diluting_the_still_charge/
                  > <http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/Diluting_the_still_charge/>
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > HTH
                  >
                  > Slainte!
                  > regards Harry
                  > http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/
                  > <http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/>
                  >

                • Harry
                  ... No offence taken Jim, so you ve got nothing to apologise for. There s too much fun happening here for molecule-sized things to be rocking the boat. Re
                  Message 8 of 28 , Mar 3, 2008
                    --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" <jamesonbeam1@...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    > Im very sorry if offending anyone by my comments, but the point I was
                    > trying to make, is that i still cant understand why folks would do
                    > stripping runs on a reflux still, without taking the packing out and
                    > running it wide open like a pot still, then doing the spirits run with
                    > cuts the same way (as Todd K stated), and I appologize.
                    >
                    > Vino es Veritas,
                    >
                    > Jim.



                    No offence taken Jim, so you've got nothing to apologise for. There's
                    too much fun happening here for molecule-sized things to be rocking the
                    boat.

                    Re stripping & reflux stills: The main reason for doing it (or should
                    be) is to rapidly separate most of the water, AND any residual
                    unfermented sugars (some sugars, like dextrins, are non-fermentable
                    normally as you will be aware). If you were to reflux these for a
                    prolonged period (some reflux stills apply heat for 8-10 hrs or more)
                    then there's a REAL chance that you'll end up with a burnt taste
                    through your distillate, which no amount of post-treatment (carbon or
                    otherwise) will remove. Rapid stripping to separate these non-
                    fermentables followed by a second slow distillation of the strippate
                    will always result in an improved (not burnt) product suitable for GNS
                    or vodkas. Of course if brown spirits is the goal, then a pot still is
                    a more sensible option, but it can be achieved with a de-tuned reflux
                    still, in which case the burnt issue might actually be an advantage (as
                    in some rums).

                    Hope this explains it.

                    Slainte!
                    regards Harry
                    http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/
                  • toddk63
                    Its the SR (Single Reducer) design. Yes 2 column 2 column would be perfect with your 3600W element so long as you have a variac or other temp controller.
                    Message 9 of 28 , Mar 4, 2008
                      Its the SR (Single Reducer) design. Yes 2" column

                      2" column would be perfect with your 3600W element so long as you have
                      a variac or other temp controller. It may be a bit much without the
                      temp controller.

                      Todd K.


                      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "gff_stwrt" <gff_stwrt@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > Hi, Todd and Peter, hi folks,
                      >
                      > Todd, can you tell me, is your Bokakob still the slant plate one
                      > or another of his designs?
                      >
                      > And have you used a two-inch column?
                      >
                      > I am thinking of making the slant plate one some day, after I
                      > get better at operating my pot still.
                      >
                      > And I am thinking of using a small (maybe ten imperial gallons,
                      > which I think is fortyseven litres) hot-water system boiler for my
                      > pot still, instead of the liquid propane gas one I use now. Perhaps
                      > the two-inch column I use now is not big enough for the 3,6oo watt
                      > element.
                      >
                      > If so I will either have to use a bigger-diameter column, or
                      > replace the element with a lower-rated one.
                      >
                      > What do you more experienced distillers think?
                      >
                      >
                      >
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