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RE: [Distillers] Question about yield

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  • Lars Norberg
    Hmmm.. that s quite impressive. I don t even come close to those results these days (though I used to get better results half a year ago, but not as good as
    Message 1 of 9 , Jan 31, 2002
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      Hmmm.. that's quite impressive. I don't even come close to those results
      these days (though I used to get better results half a year ago, but not
      as good as yours).
      I would estimate that I approximately get around 50% of the supposedly
      available alcohol.
      I assume that the mash is 15-20% as I use the specified amount of sugar
      for a 20% mash (using a 20% turbo) and run it until it reads around
      .990.
      I suspected that there might be a leak in the still or something like
      that, but I did not find any.
      If you subtract the heads and tails from those 3 liters, how much is
      there left? Do you keep and use 3 liters or is that the total amount you
      take out from the still?
      Any ideas what could be going wrong?

      /Lars


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Tony & Elle Ackland [mailto:Tony.Ackland@...]
      Sent: den 1 februari 2002 20:40
      To: 'Distillers newsgroup'
      Subject: RE: [Distillers] Question about yield

      Lars,

      > How many liters of pure ethanol should you expect to get from say 20
      liters of both 15 and 20% mash?
      > What do you get?

      I usually get about 95% of the available alcohol out,

      eg 20 L x 15% alcohol = 3 L pure alcohol to be had.
      If my still makes it at 96% purity, then there would be around 3/0.96=
      3.1L,
      but I only collect about 95% of that, = 3L

      How sure are you that the wash was up to 15-20% ?

      Tony




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    • Lars Norberg
      I use 8 kg of sugar for 25 liters of mash, so according to your theoretical calculation I should be getting around 8*610 = 4.8 liters, which adds up pretty
      Message 2 of 9 , Feb 1, 2002
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        I use 8 kg of sugar for 25 liters of mash, so according to your
        theoretical calculation I should be getting around 8*610 = 4.8 liters,
        which adds up pretty well to upwards of 20%.
        Of course there will be losses, but is it reasonable to get around a 50%
        loss?
        If I really push the distillation going as high in temperature as I
        possibly can I probably could get somewhere around 2.5-3 liters of
        output from those 25 liters. Doesn't sound too good does it?
        And the mash has to be pretty close to 20% as the density readings are
        low and there is basically no sugar left in it.
        Or could there be a leak in the fermentation vessel perhaps? So that the
        yeast has access to oxygen and thereby ferments the sugar to only water
        and carbondioxide? I do not think that this is the case, but it could be
        a possibility, right?

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Tony & Elle Ackland [mailto:Tony.Ackland@...]
        Sent: den 2 februari 2002 01:38
        To: 'Distillers newsgroup'
        Subject: RE: [Distillers] Question about yield

        > I assume that the mash is 15-20% as I use the specified amount of
        sugar
        > for a 20% mash (using a 20% turbo) and run it until it reads around
        > .990.

        Double check the amount of sugar they ask you to use. Just because the
        advertisment says it can do XX%, doesnt always mean their instructions
        will
        get you there.

        Eg : the max yield (theoretical) you can get off sugar is 480 g per 1kg
        of
        sugar. 480g = 610 mL

        Still Spirits Turbos
        "Turbo" - pack is grey/purple on gold background
        recommend 6kg for 25L. This will only make a max of 6 x 610 = 3.6 L
        pure
        alcohol, which as 3.6/25 = 14.5%

        "Turbo Extra" - blue pack
        recommend 8kg for 25L. 8 x 610 = 4.9L; 4.9/25 = 19.5%

        Interesting enough, neither pack actually says what % to expect from it.

        But there will always be some other losses. Not all the sugar may
        ferment;
        some of it goes into growing more yeast too.



        > I suspected that there might be a leak in the still or something like
        > that, but I did not find any.
        > If you subtract the heads and tails from those 3 liters, how much is
        > there left? Do you keep and use 3 liters or is that the total amount
        you
        > take out from the still?

        The heads are < 100 mL, and the tails are usually < 500 mL. I collect
        the
        tails all the way form 82C up to about 96C - eg at that stage they're
        only
        about 35%. So the collected good stuff is say around 2.8L if I'm
        expecting
        3L, but I figure the other 0.2L I'll get next time from the recycled
        tails.
        The tails get recycled into the next batch, the heads are thrown away.

        > Any ideas what could be going wrong?

        Do you know the starting OG of the wash ?
        How long do you run the still for, what heat input,
        what % do you collect at,
        when & how do you decide to finish a run ?

        Tony



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      • Tony & Elle Ackland
        Lars, ... I usually get about 95% of the available alcohol out, eg 20 L x 15% alcohol = 3 L pure alcohol to be had. If my still makes it at 96% purity, then
        Message 3 of 9 , Feb 1, 2002
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          Lars,

          > How many liters of pure ethanol should you expect to get from say 20 liters of both 15 and 20% mash?
          > What do you get?

          I usually get about 95% of the available alcohol out,

          eg 20 L x 15% alcohol = 3 L pure alcohol to be had.
          If my still makes it at 96% purity, then there would be around 3/0.96= 3.1L,
          but I only collect about 95% of that, = 3L

          How sure are you that the wash was up to 15-20% ?

          Tony
        • Tony & Elle Ackland
          ... Double check the amount of sugar they ask you to use. Just because the advertisment says it can do XX%, doesnt always mean their instructions will get you
          Message 4 of 9 , Feb 1, 2002
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            > I assume that the mash is 15-20% as I use the specified amount of sugar
            > for a 20% mash (using a 20% turbo) and run it until it reads around
            > .990.

            Double check the amount of sugar they ask you to use. Just because the
            advertisment says it can do XX%, doesnt always mean their instructions will
            get you there.

            Eg : the max yield (theoretical) you can get off sugar is 480 g per 1kg of
            sugar. 480g = 610 mL

            Still Spirits Turbos
            "Turbo" - pack is grey/purple on gold background
            recommend 6kg for 25L. This will only make a max of 6 x 610 = 3.6 L pure
            alcohol, which as 3.6/25 = 14.5%

            "Turbo Extra" - blue pack
            recommend 8kg for 25L. 8 x 610 = 4.9L; 4.9/25 = 19.5%

            Interesting enough, neither pack actually says what % to expect from it.

            But there will always be some other losses. Not all the sugar may ferment;
            some of it goes into growing more yeast too.



            > I suspected that there might be a leak in the still or something like
            > that, but I did not find any.
            > If you subtract the heads and tails from those 3 liters, how much is
            > there left? Do you keep and use 3 liters or is that the total amount you
            > take out from the still?

            The heads are < 100 mL, and the tails are usually < 500 mL. I collect the
            tails all the way form 82C up to about 96C - eg at that stage they're only
            about 35%. So the collected good stuff is say around 2.8L if I'm expecting
            3L, but I figure the other 0.2L I'll get next time from the recycled tails.
            The tails get recycled into the next batch, the heads are thrown away.

            > Any ideas what could be going wrong?

            Do you know the starting OG of the wash ?
            How long do you run the still for, what heat input,
            what % do you collect at,
            when & how do you decide to finish a run ?

            Tony
          • Lars Norberg
            And now you are talking about 100% spirits? Ok, then there must be something wrong with my process, time for some evaluation. /Lars ... From: Pete Sayers
            Message 5 of 9 , Feb 3, 2002
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              And now you are talking about 100% spirits?
              Ok, then there must be something wrong with my process, time for some
              evaluation.

              /Lars

              -----Original Message-----
              From: Pete Sayers [mailto:brubarn@...]
              Sent: den 3 februari 2002 22:37
              To: Lars Norberg
              Subject: Re: [Distillers] Question about yield

              Lars, with a Still Spirits Turbo Extra, the rule of thumb, when using a
              "Fractionating Column Still", take off half in litres, the weight of
              sugar
              in the wash,ie if you have used 8 kgs sugar, then take off 4 litres of
              spirit.
              Pete
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Lars Norberg" <lano1701@...>
              To: <Distillers@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Saturday, February 02, 2002 1:14 AM
              Subject: RE: [Distillers] Question about yield


              > I use 8 kg of sugar for 25 liters of mash, so according to your
              > theoretical calculation I should be getting around 8*610 = 4.8 liters,
              > which adds up pretty well to upwards of 20%.
              > Of course there will be losses, but is it reasonable to get around a
              50%
              > loss?
              > If I really push the distillation going as high in temperature as I
              > possibly can I probably could get somewhere around 2.5-3 liters of
              > output from those 25 liters. Doesn't sound too good does it?
              > And the mash has to be pretty close to 20% as the density readings are
              > low and there is basically no sugar left in it.
              > Or could there be a leak in the fermentation vessel perhaps? So that
              the
              > yeast has access to oxygen and thereby ferments the sugar to only
              water
              > and carbondioxide? I do not think that this is the case, but it could
              be
              > a possibility, right?
              >
              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: Tony & Elle Ackland
              [mailto:Tony.Ackland@...]
              > Sent: den 2 februari 2002 01:38
              > To: 'Distillers newsgroup'
              > Subject: RE: [Distillers] Question about yield
              >
              > > I assume that the mash is 15-20% as I use the specified amount of
              > sugar
              > > for a 20% mash (using a 20% turbo) and run it until it reads around
              > > .990.
              >
              > Double check the amount of sugar they ask you to use. Just because
              the
              > advertisment says it can do XX%, doesnt always mean their instructions
              > will
              > get you there.
              >
              > Eg : the max yield (theoretical) you can get off sugar is 480 g per
              1kg
              > of
              > sugar. 480g = 610 mL
              >
              > Still Spirits Turbos
              > "Turbo" - pack is grey/purple on gold background
              > recommend 6kg for 25L. This will only make a max of 6 x 610 = 3.6 L
              > pure
              > alcohol, which as 3.6/25 = 14.5%
              >
              > "Turbo Extra" - blue pack
              > recommend 8kg for 25L. 8 x 610 = 4.9L; 4.9/25 = 19.5%
              >
              > Interesting enough, neither pack actually says what % to expect from
              it.
              >
              > But there will always be some other losses. Not all the sugar may
              > ferment;
              > some of it goes into growing more yeast too.
              >
              >
              >
              > > I suspected that there might be a leak in the still or something
              like
              > > that, but I did not find any.
              > > If you subtract the heads and tails from those 3 liters, how much is
              > > there left? Do you keep and use 3 liters or is that the total amount
              > you
              > > take out from the still?
              >
              > The heads are < 100 mL, and the tails are usually < 500 mL. I collect
              > the
              > tails all the way form 82C up to about 96C - eg at that stage they're
              > only
              > about 35%. So the collected good stuff is say around 2.8L if I'm
              > expecting
              > 3L, but I figure the other 0.2L I'll get next time from the recycled
              > tails.
              > The tails get recycled into the next batch, the heads are thrown away.
              >
              > > Any ideas what could be going wrong?
              >
              > Do you know the starting OG of the wash ?
              > How long do you run the still for, what heat input,
              > what % do you collect at,
              > when & how do you decide to finish a run ?
              >
              > Tony
              >
              >
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
              > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              >
              >
              >
              > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
              >
              >
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
              http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              >
              >
              >
            • Lars Norberg
              ... it to drop enough SG at the end. If half the sugar was becoming yeast (very remote chance), then you d probably notice it from the shear volume of
              Message 6 of 9 , Feb 3, 2002
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                >Looks like you're making the alcohol ok - using enough sugar & getting
                it >to drop enough SG at the end. If half the sugar was becoming yeast
                (very >remote chance), then you'd probably notice it from the shear
                volume of >yeast remaining at the end. But I'm guessing your yeast
                sediment is only >1-2cm thick (normal) ?

                Hehe, yeah, I would guess it is about normal. Absolutely not more than 1
                cm sediment when the rest of it is absolutely clear. This is a possible
                place of some loss though, as I opened the fermenter lid once every
                other day to make a measurement of how far in the process I was, and to
                make a comparison between the different strands of yeasts that I used,
                so some oxygen may have been available and thereby letting the yeast
                grow instead of producing alcohol, but it shouldn't have happened to any
                large extent.


                >> If I really push the distillation going as high in temperature as I
                >> possibly can I probably could get somewhere around 2.5-3 liters of
                >> output from those 25 liters. Doesn't sound too good does it?

                >No point ruining the quality though.

                No, I don't use the stuff, it was just to see how much non-water stuff
                there was in the mash. And it still wasn't much.

                >Have you checked the still for vapour leaks ? Smell/hear anything ?

                Yeah, I did a comparison between what I got out + what was left in the
                still, and it added up to what I put in.

                >Could the distillate somehow not be dripping into the collection jar
                but >running somewhere else ? (gees - reckon you'd spot a litre or so
                puddle on >the floor !)

                No, not a chance :)
                And as I did the out vs in check, there just isn't more alcohol in the
                mash than what I get out.

                Hmm... the mystery continues :)

                /Lars
              • Lars Norberg
                Ok, so around 4 liters of 92% alcohol from 8 kg of sugar. Well, I m still pretty far below, but not by more than perhaps 1 liter though. But 4 liters of 92%
                Message 7 of 9 , Feb 3, 2002
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                  Ok, so around 4 liters of 92% alcohol from 8 kg of sugar.
                  Well, I'm still pretty far below, but not by more than perhaps 1 liter
                  though.
                  But 4 liters of 92% alcohol is a pretty bad result also, as the
                  mash then only would be barely 15%, and it should be closer to 20 than
                  that.

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: Pete Sayers [mailto:brubarn@...]
                  Sent: den 4 februari 2002 22:22
                  To: Lars Norberg
                  Subject: Re: [Distillers] Question about yield

                  Not 100% but bloody close, 92-92% average.
                  Pete
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "Lars Norberg" <lano1701@...>
                  To: <Distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Monday, February 04, 2002 1:38 AM
                  Subject: RE: [Distillers] Question about yield


                  > And now you are talking about 100% spirits?
                  > Ok, then there must be something wrong with my process, time for some
                  > evaluation.
                  >
                  > /Lars
                  >
                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: Pete Sayers [mailto:brubarn@...]
                  > Sent: den 3 februari 2002 22:37
                  > To: Lars Norberg
                  > Subject: Re: [Distillers] Question about yield
                  >
                  > Lars, with a Still Spirits Turbo Extra, the rule of thumb, when using
                  a
                  > "Fractionating Column Still", take off half in litres, the weight of
                  > sugar
                  > in the wash,ie if you have used 8 kgs sugar, then take off 4 litres of
                  > spirit.
                  > Pete
                  > ----- Original Message -----
                  > From: "Lars Norberg" <lano1701@...>
                  > To: <Distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                  > Sent: Saturday, February 02, 2002 1:14 AM
                  > Subject: RE: [Distillers] Question about yield
                  >
                  >
                  > > I use 8 kg of sugar for 25 liters of mash, so according to your
                  > > theoretical calculation I should be getting around 8*610 = 4.8
                  liters,
                  > > which adds up pretty well to upwards of 20%.
                  > > Of course there will be losses, but is it reasonable to get around a
                  > 50%
                  > > loss?
                  > > If I really push the distillation going as high in temperature as I
                  > > possibly can I probably could get somewhere around 2.5-3 liters of
                  > > output from those 25 liters. Doesn't sound too good does it?
                  > > And the mash has to be pretty close to 20% as the density readings
                  are
                  > > low and there is basically no sugar left in it.
                  > > Or could there be a leak in the fermentation vessel perhaps? So that
                  > the
                  > > yeast has access to oxygen and thereby ferments the sugar to only
                  > water
                  > > and carbondioxide? I do not think that this is the case, but it
                  could
                  > be
                  > > a possibility, right?
                  > >
                  > > -----Original Message-----
                  > > From: Tony & Elle Ackland
                  > [mailto:Tony.Ackland@...]
                  > > Sent: den 2 februari 2002 01:38
                  > > To: 'Distillers newsgroup'
                  > > Subject: RE: [Distillers] Question about yield
                  > >
                  > > > I assume that the mash is 15-20% as I use the specified amount of
                  > > sugar
                  > > > for a 20% mash (using a 20% turbo) and run it until it reads
                  around
                  > > > .990.
                  > >
                  > > Double check the amount of sugar they ask you to use. Just because
                  > the
                  > > advertisment says it can do XX%, doesnt always mean their
                  instructions
                  > > will
                  > > get you there.
                  > >
                  > > Eg : the max yield (theoretical) you can get off sugar is 480 g per
                  > 1kg
                  > > of
                  > > sugar. 480g = 610 mL
                  > >
                  > > Still Spirits Turbos
                  > > "Turbo" - pack is grey/purple on gold background
                  > > recommend 6kg for 25L. This will only make a max of 6 x 610 = 3.6 L
                  > > pure
                  > > alcohol, which as 3.6/25 = 14.5%
                  > >
                  > > "Turbo Extra" - blue pack
                  > > recommend 8kg for 25L. 8 x 610 = 4.9L; 4.9/25 = 19.5%
                  > >
                  > > Interesting enough, neither pack actually says what % to expect from
                  > it.
                  > >
                  > > But there will always be some other losses. Not all the sugar may
                  > > ferment;
                  > > some of it goes into growing more yeast too.
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > > I suspected that there might be a leak in the still or something
                  > like
                  > > > that, but I did not find any.
                  > > > If you subtract the heads and tails from those 3 liters, how much
                  is
                  > > > there left? Do you keep and use 3 liters or is that the total
                  amount
                  > > you
                  > > > take out from the still?
                  > >
                  > > The heads are < 100 mL, and the tails are usually < 500 mL. I
                  collect
                  > > the
                  > > tails all the way form 82C up to about 96C - eg at that stage
                  they're
                  > > only
                  > > about 35%. So the collected good stuff is say around 2.8L if I'm
                  > > expecting
                  > > 3L, but I figure the other 0.2L I'll get next time from the recycled
                  > > tails.
                  > > The tails get recycled into the next batch, the heads are thrown
                  away.
                  > >
                  > > > Any ideas what could be going wrong?
                  > >
                  > > Do you know the starting OG of the wash ?
                  > > How long do you run the still for, what heat input,
                  > > what % do you collect at,
                  > > when & how do you decide to finish a run ?
                  > >
                  > > Tony
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                  > > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                  > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                  http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
                  ... No - sounds like something is going wrong. Looks like you re making the alcohol ok - using enough sugar & getting it to drop enough SG at the end. If half
                  Message 8 of 9 , Feb 4, 2002
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                    > Of course there will be losses, but is it reasonable to get around a
                    > 50% loss?

                    No - sounds like something is going wrong.

                    Looks like you're making the alcohol ok - using enough sugar & getting it to drop enough SG at the end. If half the sugar was becoming yeast (very remote chance), then you'd probably notice it from the shear volume of yeast remaining at the end. But I'm guessing your yeast sediment is only 1-2cm thick (normal) ?

                    > If I really push the distillation going as high in temperature as I
                    > possibly can I probably could get somewhere around 2.5-3 liters of
                    > output from those 25 liters. Doesn't sound too good does it?

                    No point ruining the quality though.

                    Have you checked the still for vapour leaks ? Smell/hear anything ?

                    Could the distillate somehow not be dripping into the collection jar but running somewhere else ? (gees - reckon you'd spot a litre or so puddle on the floor !)

                    Tony
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