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RE: [Distillers] Re: Internal Reflux in a Pot Still - Need Help

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  • Robert Hubble
    Comments inline. Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com From: rye_junkie@hotmail.com Date: Sat, 1 Aug 2009 19:43:31 +0000 Subject:
    Message 1 of 17 , Aug 1, 2009
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      Comments inline.

      Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller




      To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
      From: rye_junkie@...
      Date: Sat, 1 Aug 2009 19:43:31 +0000
      Subject: [Distillers] Re: Internal Reflux in a Pot Still - Need Help

       
      --- In Distillers@yahoogro ups.com, "jamesonbeam1" <jamesonbeam1@ ...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > Hi All,
      >
      ----snip----
      >
      > Thanks for any help.
      >
      > Vino es Veritas,
      >
      > Jim aka Waldo.
      >

      Hey Jim, I'll throw my 2 pennies in the ring here.
      Reflux Rigs are somewhat easy to calculate purity if you know and can do the math. They are also, for the most part, of the same design. Column diameter, length of column, insulated column, packing. Pot still are totally different animals and although some of you guys kid with the "Simple Pot Stiller" and "Purist" titles there is nothing simple when it comes to a pot still. To me those calculations are worthless just because of the sheer number of different Pot Still designs out there. Z Bob runs a Keg with 2 feet of uninsulated 2" pipe on top and says his brandies lack flavor, Other guys try to de tune reflux rigs to run them as pot stills. Your design is especially interesting because you have that "pocket" up top and I bet the creates an enormous amount of reflux. Add to that a 2 foot uninsulated riser and you got yourself an efficient pot still. Consider this change I recently made to my pot rig. I too, like Z Bob am looking for more flavor in my whiskeys. My pot rig is a 32 qt boiler with a mixing bowl on top. It HAD a 6"L x 1"Dia riser tee'd to 3/4" then over 24" and elbowed straight down to the Liebig. The change that I made was cutting off the riser and capping it off. I then cut a hole in the mixing bowl about 3/4 the way up the side and brazed 1" pipe in there and then adapted it to 3/4" to the liebig.. That seemingly simple change dropped the ABV on a strip run 6%.

      Do you have an opinion on what happened to the flavor along with that 6% ABV drop?

      Insulating the bowl should reduce efficiency as well. Insulation is cheap. Get you some of that silver bubble wrap stuff from lowes and insulate that riser to the downturn.
      Here is another short example. Using 2"x 24" column under my X flow head, Unpacked and un insulated at 1440watts will put the Heads from a strip run (10-12% wash) at about 85% and the overall run will be in the 60's.
      There are just too many variables.
      As you noted, Mason, I'm looking at changing (augmenting?) my flavor profile, so I've got a new head design I'm playing with. Anything you guys find out with respect to flavor, I'd *really* like to hear about. Keep us posted.

      Mason




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    • jamesonbeam1
      Ok Riku, Think im following that. Maybe way off base here, but wouldn t the condensation on the dome start to vaporize as it drops down the sides of the dome
      Message 2 of 17 , Aug 2, 2009
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        Ok Riku,

        Think im following that. Maybe way off base here, but wouldn't the
        condensation on the dome start to vaporize as it drops down the sides of
        the dome towards the heat and increase the ABV of the vapors comming off
        the liquid?

        What really concerns me is the fact that Tony's calculations on Pot
        Still Purity do not reflect increases in ABV as you change the Internal
        Reflux percents. I know alot of people use this calculator as I did
        when starting out.

        One more question - You said when running your Thor's hammer, you were
        getting 94 - 95% ABV for whisky. Is'nt that a way bit too high for
        keeping the flavors? Usually they say not to distill flavored grain
        mashes over 75% to 80% ABV due to loss of flavor.

        Our Bourbons can't be distilled over 160 proof. But anyways, thanks a
        bunch for the inputs.

        Vino es Veritas,

        Jim aka Waldo.


        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc" <abbababbaccc@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > I don't think the "lid" shape has much to do in this case. What we are
        looking at is internal reflux and very little INTERNAL reflux happens on
        the lid. Rather the stuff that gets condensed drops back to mash. If we
        want to improve the internal RR a column is an easy solution. Have it
        unpacked at first as is often the case with potstill risers and if you
        want higher ABV and more separation add some packing. If that's not
        enough a small top condenser gives even more.
        >
        > As an example I was running my Thor's hammer head with 50cm packed
        column for whisky. With about 1:1 RR it kept giving 94-95% ABV untill
        tails started to come through. That is actually more than some get with
        their old style reflux columns.
        >
        > So, it all depends on what you want to make and how do you want to
        make it.
        >
        > Slainte, Riku
      • rye_junkie1
        ... The way I understand it is that the ABV of the run (everything mixed, heads to tails) cant be over 80%. There is an old post from Pint on the subject.
        Message 3 of 17 , Aug 2, 2009
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          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" <jamesonbeam1@...> wrote:

          > Our Bourbons can't be distilled over 160 proof. But anyways, thanks a
          > bunch for the inputs.
          >
          > Vino es Veritas,
          >
          > Jim aka Waldo.


          The way I understand it is that the ABV of the run (everything mixed, heads to tails) cant be over 80%. There is an old post from Pint on the subject. April/May 08. I asked a similar question.

          Mason
        • abbababbaccc
          To a small degree increased lid area will improve ABV. However, the shape you describe causes droplets that form to drop down quickly thus to some degree
          Message 4 of 17 , Aug 3, 2009
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            To a small degree increased lid area will improve ABV. However, the shape you describe causes droplets that form to drop down quickly thus to some degree negating the effect of increased area.

            On the other hand, when you have a pipe where condensation happens and hot vapor is whizzing past all the time the improvement is more noticeable.

            That 94-95% I got is for the hearts. Heads I took out at zero reflux and they were about 10% ABV higher than with a potstill. As tails started the ABV was dropping quite quickly and I quit at 20% ABV. I was aiming for light whisky and there was quite enough flavor for that purpose, actually a bit heavy on tails to my taste. The trick is that you need to be more careful when doing cuts and take perhaps a bit earlier heads cut. Running hearts at reflux gives you more for your trouble.

            We can here make a comparison to grain neutral produced in Scotland, they take it out at (IIRC) 94.2% ABV in continuous mode. When aged it makes very good light whisky and if you can find a botlle of Grant's Black Barrel it's definately worth trying.

            Slainte, Riku


            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" <jamesonbeam1@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > Ok Riku,
            >
            > Think im following that. Maybe way off base here, but wouldn't the
            > condensation on the dome start to vaporize as it drops down the sides of
            > the dome towards the heat and increase the ABV of the vapors comming off
            > the liquid?
            >
            > What really concerns me is the fact that Tony's calculations on Pot
            > Still Purity do not reflect increases in ABV as you change the Internal
            > Reflux percents. I know alot of people use this calculator as I did
            > when starting out.
            >
            > One more question - You said when running your Thor's hammer, you were
            > getting 94 - 95% ABV for whisky. Is'nt that a way bit too high for
            > keeping the flavors? Usually they say not to distill flavored grain
            > mashes over 75% to 80% ABV due to loss of flavor.
            >
            > Our Bourbons can't be distilled over 160 proof. But anyways, thanks a
            > bunch for the inputs.
            >
            > Vino es Veritas,
            >
            > Jim aka Waldo.
            >
            >
            >
          • jamesonbeam1
            Hi Mason, Yes, im sure the heads might be over 160 proof and the tails under 160 proof as Riku just described, so it equals out to 160 or below proof. But I
            Message 5 of 17 , Aug 3, 2009
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              Hi Mason,

              Yes, im sure the heads might be over 160 proof and the tails under 160 proof as Riku just described, so it equals out to 160 or below proof.  But I still would not try distilling my sour corn mash at the 94 to 95% ABV levels that Riku mentioned.

              Regarding the "official" governing document - 27 CFR 5.22(b). it only states:

               (1)(i) "Bourbon whisky", "rye whisky", "wheat whisky", "malt whisky", or "rye malt whisky" is whisky produced at not exceeding 160° proof from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent corn, rye, wheat, malted barley, or malted rye grain, respectively, and stored at not more than 125° proof in charred new oak containers; and also includes mixtures of such whiskies of the same type. 

              http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=21224b7c634d83e0fa329bfd18bb85dc&rgn=div8&view=text&node=27:1.0.1.1.3.3.25.2&idno=27

              Vino es Veritas,

              Jim aka Waldo.

              --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "rye_junkie1" <rye_junkie@...> wrote:
              >
              > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" jamesonbeam1@ wrote:
              >
              > > Our Bourbons can't be distilled over 160 proof. But anyways, thanks a
              > > bunch for the inputs.
              > >
              > > Vino es Veritas,
              > >
              > > Jim aka Waldo.
              >
              >
              > The way I understand it is that the ABV of the run (everything mixed, heads to tails) cant be over 80%. There is an old post from Pint on the subject. April/May 08. I asked a similar question.
              >
              > Mason
              >

            • abbababbaccc
              Actually I just did a sour corn mash few weeks ago using that technique and it turned out just fine. You can have a dram to test if you pop by ;) The thing is
              Message 6 of 17 , Aug 3, 2009
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                Actually I just did a sour corn mash few weeks ago using that technique and it turned out just fine. You can have a dram to test if you pop by ;)

                The thing is that high ABV is not stripping off anything, rather concentrating different congeners. As described by Ian Smiley you can make perfectly good whisky with high ABV if you pay attention to details. The procedure is somewhat different from a potstill but it gives you much more hearts and less feints.

                Slainte, Riku

                --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" <jamesonbeam1@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > But I still would not try distilling my sour corn mash at the 94 to 95%
                > ABV levels that Riku mentioned.
                >
                >
              • jamesonbeam1
                OOOPS, Sorry Riku, didn t mean it was wrong, just really ment to say - there aint no way I could distill it up to that 94-95% ABV with the little pot still I
                Message 7 of 17 , Aug 3, 2009
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                  OOOPS,

                  Sorry Riku,  didn't mean it was wrong, just really ment to say - there aint no way I could distill it up to that 94-95% ABV with the little pot still I have...  Just like ZB, I is just another one of them thar Southerner  simple pot stiller too...:)

                  Vino es Veritas,

                  Jim aka Waldo.  (but would love to try that there dram - or 2 or 3....)


                  --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc" <abbababbaccc@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Actually I just did a sour corn mash few weeks ago using that technique and it turned out just fine. You can have a dram to test if you pop by ;)
                  >
                  > The thing is that high ABV is not stripping off anything, rather concentrating different congeners. As described by Ian Smiley you can make perfectly good whisky with high ABV if you pay attention to details. The procedure is somewhat different from a potstill but it gives you much more hearts and less feints.
                  >
                  > Slainte, Riku
                  >
                  > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" jamesonbeam1@ wrote:
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > But I still would not try distilling my sour corn mash at the 94 to 95%
                  > > ABV levels that Riku mentioned.
                  > >
                  > >
                  >

                • abbababbaccc
                  No worries mate. But this actually leads to a question, if you have a vertical pipe in your potstill (like most seem to have) - why not stuck few scrubbers
                  Message 8 of 17 , Aug 3, 2009
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                    No worries mate. But this actually leads to a question, if you have a vertical pipe in your potstill (like most seem to have) - why not stuck few scrubbers there and install maybe a small reflux condenser or have a fan blowing to the pipe. In practise that would get you higher ABV and thus get you more hearts.

                    Slainte, Riku

                    --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" <jamesonbeam1@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > OOOPS,
                    >
                    > Sorry Riku, didn't mean it was wrong, just really ment to say - there
                    > aint no way I could distill it up to that 94-95% ABV with the little pot
                    > still I have... Just like ZB, I is just another one of them thar
                    > Southerner simple pot stiller too... [:)]
                    >
                    > Vino es Veritas,
                    >
                    > Jim aka Waldo. (but would love to try that there dram - or 2 or 3....)
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • waljaco
                    According to the Compleat Distiller, if you have a metre column filled with scrubbers, and you control the temperature, you should achieve 90%abv without a
                    Message 9 of 17 , Aug 4, 2009
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                      According to the Compleat Distiller, if you have a metre column filled with scrubbers, and you control the temperature, you should achieve 90%abv without a reflux condenser.
                      wal
                      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc" <abbababbaccc@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > No worries mate. But this actually leads to a question, if you have a vertical pipe in your potstill (like most seem to have) - why not stuck few scrubbers there and install maybe a small reflux condenser or have a fan blowing to the pipe. In practise that would get you higher ABV and thus get you more hearts.
                      >
                      > Slainte, Riku
                      >
                      > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" <jamesonbeam1@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > OOOPS,
                      > >
                      > > Sorry Riku, didn't mean it was wrong, just really ment to say - there
                      > > aint no way I could distill it up to that 94-95% ABV with the little pot
                      > > still I have... Just like ZB, I is just another one of them thar
                      > > Southerner simple pot stiller too... [:)]
                      > >
                      > > Vino es Veritas,
                      > >
                      > > Jim aka Waldo. (but would love to try that there dram - or 2 or 3....)
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      >
                    • gff_stwrt
                      Hi, Wal and hello folks, I think I ll try that one day with my pot still. I have two pieces of two inch copper pipe that I use alternately as a column; one of
                      Message 10 of 17 , Aug 4, 2009
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                        Hi, Wal and hello folks,


                        I think I'll try that one day with my pot still. I have two pieces of two inch copper pipe that I use alternately as a column; one of (say) 2/3 of a metre and the other maybe 1 1/3 metre.
                        I can join them with slip fittings so that would be at least 2 metres and I think there is more of that sized pipe...

                        And I already have a couple of pounds of the good Amphora mesh.

                        So when I start some sugar washes again instead of fooling around trying to get good fruit brandy......

                        The Baker
                        (No I was not drunk in my last post when I mis-spelled my 'nom de plume'.!) G.


                        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "waljaco" <waljaco@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > According to the Compleat Distiller, if you have a metre column filled with scrubbers, and you control the temperature, you should achieve 90%abv without a reflux condenser.
                        > wal
                        > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc" <abbababbaccc@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > No worries mate. But this actually leads to a question, if you have a vertical pipe in your potstill (like most seem to have) - why not stuck few scrubbers there and install maybe a small reflux condenser or have a fan blowing to the pipe. In practise that would get you higher ABV and thus get you more hearts.
                        > >
                        > > Slainte, Riku
                        > >
                        > > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" <jamesonbeam1@> wrote:
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > > OOOPS,
                        > > >
                        > > > Sorry Riku, didn't mean it was wrong, just really ment to say - there
                        > > > aint no way I could distill it up to that 94-95% ABV with the little pot
                        > > > still I have... Just like ZB, I is just another one of them thar
                        > > > Southerner simple pot stiller too... [:)]
                        > > >
                        > > > Vino es Veritas,
                        > > >
                        > > > Jim aka Waldo. (but would love to try that there dram - or 2 or 3....)
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > >
                        >
                      • jeandenis308
                        I can add to this that it does work, although it whas with a presure cooker and a cornflakes mash. the lid could hold 3 liters and the pipe sticked out about 3
                        Message 11 of 17 , Aug 5, 2009
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                          I can add to this that it does work, although it whas with a presure cooker and a cornflakes mash. the lid could hold 3 liters and the pipe sticked out about 3 inches, wich whas only 10 ore 12 inches tall and the lower part whas filled up to 4 inch with scrubbers.

                          i could turn the heat so low that it just barely boiled and got results to 93 % with a 12% mash in it.

                          Now, i dont think it would be the reflux that made it so high because there whas still a lot of flavor, but sooner the really slow boil.
                          ( took me a whole day for just a bottle )
                          the scrubbers helped pre cool the the steam and later on a'd put a little wind blower on top of it for a bit more reflux.
                          It did work and had fine whiskey from it.

                          but i now stepped up and got a new system.
                          wich btw works almost the same.
                          (if you can get your hand on the book The complete Distiller it will show the fractioning still wich we better know as a reflux still)

                          so with very little heat and muchos patience it will work.
                          but then later you want something more efficient cause a whole day heat on it will eventually cost you more the the worth of it.
                          then better rerun it twice ore trippled

                          Greets

                          JD

                          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc" <abbababbaccc@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > No worries mate. But this actually leads to a question, if you have a vertical pipe in your potstill (like most seem to have) - why not stuck few scrubbers there and install maybe a small reflux condenser or have a fan blowing to the pipe. In practise that would get you higher ABV and thus get you more hearts.
                          >
                          > Slainte, Riku
                          >
                          > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" <jamesonbeam1@> wrote:
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > OOOPS,
                          > >
                          > > Sorry Riku, didn't mean it was wrong, just really ment to say - there
                          > > aint no way I could distill it up to that 94-95% ABV with the little pot
                          > > still I have... Just like ZB, I is just another one of them thar
                          > > Southerner simple pot stiller too... [:)]
                          > >
                          > > Vino es Veritas,
                          > >
                          > > Jim aka Waldo. (but would love to try that there dram - or 2 or 3....)
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          >
                        • jamesonbeam1
                          Beaucoup Thanks Riku, Wal and JD, Have a couple of feet of 1 copper in the basement will try it with that. I tried the scrubbers in my 1/2 riser a year or
                          Message 12 of 17 , Aug 5, 2009
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                            Beaucoup Thanks Riku, Wal and JD,

                            Have a couple of feet of 1" copper in the basement will try it with
                            that. I tried the scrubbers in my 1/2" riser a year or so back and did
                            in fact get about a 10% or so ABV increase.

                            Vino es Veritas,

                            Jim aka Waldo.


                            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jeandenis308" <jeandenis308@...>
                            wrote:
                            >
                            > I can add to this that it does work, although it whas with a presure
                            cooker and a cornflakes mash. the lid could hold 3 liters and the pipe
                            sticked out about 3 inches, wich whas only 10 ore 12 inches tall and the
                            lower part whas filled up to 4 inch with scrubbers.
                            >
                            > i could turn the heat so low that it just barely boiled and got
                            results to 93 % with a 12% mash in it.
                            >
                            > Greets
                            >
                            > JD
                            >
                            > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc" abbababbaccc@ wrote:
                            > >
                            > > No worries mate. But this actually leads to a question, if you have
                            a vertical pipe in your potstill (like most seem to have) - why not
                            stuck few scrubbers there and install maybe a small reflux condenser or
                            have a fan blowing to the pipe. In practise that would get you higher
                            ABV and thus get you more hearts.
                            > >
                            > > Slainte, Riku
                          • Robert Hubble
                            Jameson, In the land of clear falling waters and majestic trees to the sky, my people have a wise old saying: My ass! Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller To:
                            Message 13 of 17 , Aug 5, 2009
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                              Jameson,

                              In the land of clear falling waters and majestic trees to the sky, my people have a wise old saying: "My ass!"

                              Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller




                              To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                              From: jamesonbeam1@...
                              Date: Mon, 3 Aug 2009 15:31:08 +0000
                              Subject: [Distillers] Re: Internal Reflux in a Pot Still - Need Help

                               

                              ----snip----

                              Just like ZB, I is just another one of them thar Southerner  simple pot stiller too...:) Vino es Veritas,
                              Jim aka Waldo.  (but would love to try that there dram - or 2 or 3....)
                              ----snip----


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