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How can I speed up the Distallation time. Iamtaking far to long ??

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  • surfcaster68
    I made the big Leap from Beer to Spirits late last year, and have so far distalled 4 washs. I have been using dextrose as that was recommended. (6kg @ 20 ltr)
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 4, 2002
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      I made the big Leap from Beer to Spirits late last year, and have so
      far distalled 4 washs. I have been using dextrose as that was
      recommended. (6kg @ 20 ltr) (7kg @ 23ltr) the 6kg washs using a super
      yeast ferment out for me in 10 days + a couple to clear, and the 7
      kgs around 17 days + 4 days to clear. I get the hydromtar reading to
      stabalise at 884 to 886

      The stills a reflux with extended 3 ft column filled with media I
      think the element is 1700 watt.

      The temperture the still runs at is very even, Wash Spirit starting
      at around 70 deg, then I stabalise it at 81.5 to 82.5 for the
      duration of the distallation. The spirit off the still averages
      around 89% to 90% and I get a yeild of 2.7 ltrs off a 6 and 3.2 off a
      7kg. All seems good up to here and am very happy with the finished
      product, (so is my wife). My problem is the time it takes. I here
      about people taking around 6 to 7 hrs to complete a distallation.
      Well I take around 11 hrs for a 6 and 13 for a 7kg. I have tried
      adjusting the reflux water but am worried I will sacrifice quality by
      taking it over 84 deg.

      Any ideas I was thinking about going own to 5kg washes off around 18
      ltr washes ???

      Any ideas appreciated
    • Tony & Elle Ackland
      ... What style still is it ? One with cooling tubes through the column (ie StillMaker, Euro), or one where you have more control over the reflux (ie
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 4, 2002
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        > The stills a reflux with extended 3 ft column filled with media I
        > think the element is 1700 watt.

        What style still is it ? One with cooling tubes through the column (ie
        StillMaker, Euro), or one where you have more control over the reflux (ie
        Nixon-Stone) ? And what diameter is the column ?

        To be able to decrease the reflux ratio (and thus collect the distilate
        faster), you need to get the column working better for you. The options are
        ...

        1) improve the packing. What sort of "media" is in it ? If not stainless
        steel scouring pads, I'd suggest that you try it with them.

        2) increase the packed length. Add another 2+ foot to it (I just added
        another foot to my column height, and its increased its take-off rate)

        3) make sure the packing is working properly - not overpacked too tight, no
        channels through it, the reflux is encouraged to distribute itself out over
        the packing, not just run down the walls, that its first dripped into the
        center of the packing - not just left to its own devices.

        4) help the column maintain equilibrium - smooth application of heat to the
        boiler (no thermostats that cut in & out), insulate the column, and if it
        has cooling tubes through the column (oh no ... Tony's on his hobby horse
        again ...) remove them and find a way of making the reflux from the top of
        the column.

        With 1800W (not much more than you), I'm able to do a 25L wash, taking 1
        hour to heat up, and less than 3 hours to collect the distillate. Its a
        1.5m column, 50mm diam, packed with scrubbers.

        Tony
        http://homedistiller.org
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