Re: Newbie problems
I have two elements, a standard 2500watt x 240 volt kitchen kettle element also an 850 watt x 240 volt small caravan element. All camp site power outlet ratings inEurope are 16 amp x 240 volts hence the wee camping element so as not to over load the caravan to camp site connection.
I do 5gallon/25litre washes usually because sitting in a wheelchair still watching for a 5 gallon run for 6 hours plus is just quite long enough for me, and the butt gets numb. I know I could automate it a lot more but I like to watch whats going on as it happens and be there to adjust things as and when needed (electric elements are as far as I like to automate and have reasonable control
I operate an insulated valved reflux still (old and reliable and because I have it) I have know sense of smell, I could (and have been quite a few times) been in a world of sh*t and havent been able to know or smell a thing, which also means my taste is severely impaired. Hence my reluctance to go the pot still route. Being by nature a lazy bugger Ive gone for the easy option i.e. MUM and turbo washes and a lot of high strength/concentrate ethanol macerations to flavour my neutral ethanol.
I use both elements for heat up and usually get there in about 40 minutes and Im at 78 C and I then unplug the 2500watt element and fully reflux with the 850watt for an hour (doing the azeotrope separation thingy) one hour gives plenty good fore shots and heads separation in a 5 gallon wash. I collect (real slow) the first 200ml in order to get both fore shots and heads. (not sure which is which but 200ml covers both). I put them in the heads and tails jar. Im not wasting any potential ethanol either because its all going back into the next batch for distilling.
I then switch to hearts collection still on the 850watt element (and I'm still collecting real slow less than a litre an hour)and collect up until 85 C (yes I know I could collect longer but neutral is my goal) hence the switch to tails collection at 85 C and I then collect right up to 96 C. And as I say because its all going back into the next batch for distilling. So nothing is wasted
I consistently get 94-95 % Abv clean, clear neutral in the one run.
- Funny you should bring this up at this time, Geoff. I've just been digesting the information from the 2 ethanol-water mixture density tables that Harry sent me, and in the process, looking at my hydrometer and alcoholometer. While Waldo and Harry have covered all the important parts in depth, let me put some of this in some practical forms.
First, my hydrometer can measure densities from .990 to 1.170 g/cm^3, reading from the internal paper scale. In addition, doing some serious guesstimating, it appears that at densities below .950 g/cm^3 the hydrometer will sink to the bottom of the measured liquid.
Similarly, my alcoholometer measures (also on the internal paper scale) densities from .789 to 1.000 g/cm^3, amd looks to sink at any density less than about .774 g/cm^3
If we look at the density range where both instruments can serve as sugar-concentration hydrometer or ethanol-concentration alcoholometer, the range shared betweenthe 2 instruments is from 1.000 to .990, which means that the hydrometer (if you had some conversion from density to %ABV like the tables Harry sent me) could read ethanol concentrations form 0-7% ABV, and the alcoholometer could measure sugar concentrations from 0 to 0% (since all sugar-water solution must have a density greater than 1.000, even if an FG of .994 is common in wine).
Further, because after the hydrometer can still move downward, even after the liquid level is above the readable paper scale, at about 41%ABV, the hydrometer will sink to the bottom of the test jar and can not register (and sure as hell can not read) ethanol concentrations greater than 41% (a guess, but close).
So, at least with my instruments, you could use the hydrometer, with conversion tables, to crudely measure %ABV from 0-7, and my alcoholometer will give you no reading with any sugar solution.
If you're wondering why I dwell on the sinking instrument, it's because I started a spirit run with my hydrometer in my parrot beak, and the hydrometer did not lift at all when the beak overflowed. Starting ABV was probably 78-80.
I hope this helps.
Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller
--- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "geoff" <jeffrey.burrows@...> wrote:
> Hi Jim,
> I 'm not trying to be nit pick Jim but it has always bothered me why ner' the twain will do for the same job although in a different way, if you know what I mean