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distilling beginner

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  • neilzeitner
    Hi,my name is Neil im new to distilling and to this group and I would first like to say hello to everyone. Being new to this i dont exactly no if im doing it
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 25, 2010
      Hi,my name is Neil im new to distilling and to this group and I would first like to say hello to everyone. Being new to this i dont exactly no if im doing it correctly and looking for some answers,I would most appreciate. First off all explain my setup then my problems to give ya better idea. I bought a 8 gallon reflux still with 40inch tower and is 2 inch in diameter from Mile Hi stills and using a 1500watt Deni hotplate. what im trying to make is ethanol for vodka, so I attempted my first batch. I setup outsde under cover and took about 3 hours to get the temperature up for it to begin dripping, . i got three jars ready to collect the heads,ehtanol and tails. my problem is it started to drip at 78c',i thought it would start to drip at temp of 64c' so i would then start to collect my heads(methanol)and then collect my ethanol at temp of 78c'. So i had no idea if I were collecting methanol or ethanol so i discarded the first 100ml. I continued on and the temperature stayed at 78c'-79c' the intire time of a total cooking time of 10hours before i threw in the towel. I have no idea what i collected, if its just a blend of methanol,ethanol,propanel all mixed together. I tried to tell my smelling it and some jars smelled a lil rancid then the others but not sure for they all smell strong. So could my problem be my digital temperature gauge or my hotplate or cooking outside in a air temp of 10c' that day or is it just me . I would very much apprecaite what you think, thanx
    • jamesonbeam1
      Hi Neil, Welcome Aboard to this great hobby. While this is Advanced Distillers, you might want to also join our sister group - New Distillers at
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 26, 2010

        Hi Neil,

        Welcome Aboard to this great hobby.  While this is Advanced Distillers,  you might want to also join our sister group - New Distillers at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/  you should first do some reading at Tony Acklands site Homedistillers - http://www.homedistiller.org/ and read up on the introduction, concepts and especially the section on distilling the wash and how to seperate the various portions called Foreshots, Head, Middle Run (hearts) and the Tails at http://www.homedistiller.org/dtw.htm .  These then are mixed and matched to make your spirits.  There are many aspects to this art and it sounds like you need to do so more research. 

        Please do some reading first and then come back here or New Distillers and we will be glad to answer your questions.  But right now it would take several pages to explain in detail what you are trying to do.

        Again Welcome Aboard, Good Luck and Be Safe.

        JB.

         


        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "neilzeitner" <neilzeitner@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi,my name is Neil im new to distilling and to this group and I would first like to say hello to everyone. Being new to this i dont exactly no if im doing it correctly and looking for some answers,I would most appreciate. First off all explain my setup then my problems to give ya better idea. I bought a 8 gallon reflux still with 40inch tower and is 2 inch in diameter from Mile Hi stills and using a 1500watt Deni hotplate. what im trying to make is ethanol for vodka, so I attempted my first batch. I setup outsde under cover and took about 3 hours to get the temperature up for it to begin dripping, . i got three jars ready to collect the heads,ehtanol and tails. my problem is it started to drip at 78c',i thought it would start to drip at temp of 64c' so i would then start to collect my heads(methanol)and then collect my ethanol at temp of 78c'. So i had no idea if I were collecting methanol or ethanol so i discarded the first 100ml. I continued on and the temperature stayed at 78c'-79c' the intire time of a total cooking time of 10hours before i threw in the towel. I have no idea what i collected, if its just a blend of methanol,ethanol,propanel all mixed together. I tried to tell my smelling it and some jars smelled a lil rancid then the others but not sure for they all smell strong. So could my problem be my digital temperature gauge or my hotplate or cooking outside in a air temp of 10c' that day or is it just me . I would very much apprecaite what you think, thanx
        >

      • Gavin Flett
        Hi Neil and welcome. To answer your question in short, I think that the first drops came out because of a low ABV% in the wash you were trying to distill. The
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 6, 2010
          Hi Neil and welcome.
          To answer your question in short, I think that the first drops came out because of a low ABV% in the wash you were trying to distill.
           
          The fact that you were distilling outside i think would have affected the cooling of the reflux on the tower, but in reality that should have just increased the ABV% of the distillate coming out.
           
          In my experiences, the times that I have had the first drops come out at a temp higher than 64C is when the wash ABV% is low. And one other time when I tried to insulate the main boiling unit with a towel, I found that it threw off the whole 'balance' of the still by spitting out unrefluxed wash at an alarming rate.
           
          I hear your questions as to what came out, I remember being there. After reading all of Tony Acklands site, please visit us again. But remember this, the heads taste like some sort of solvent or thinner, the hearts are what people would consider to taste good (and often have a sweet lingering ticklish feeling on the throat) and the tails just taste like an old and tired diluted version of the hearts.

          To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
          From: neilzeitner@...
          Date: Fri, 26 Nov 2010 02:30:28 +0000
          Subject: [Distillers] distilling beginner

           
          Hi,my name is Neil im new to distilling and to this group and I would first like to say hello to everyone. Being new to this i dont exactly no if im doing it correctly and looking for some answers,I would most appreciate. First off all explain my setup then my problems to give ya better idea. I bought a 8 gallon reflux still with 40inch tower and is 2 inch in diameter from Mile Hi stills and using a 1500watt Deni hotplate. what im trying to make is ethanol for vodka, so I attempted my first batch. I setup outsde under cover and took about 3 hours to get the temperature up for it to begin dripping, . i got three jars ready to collect the heads,ehtanol and tails. my problem is it started to drip at 78c',i thought it would start to drip at temp of 64c' so i would then start to collect my heads(methanol)and then collect my ethanol at temp of 78c'. So i had no idea if I were collecting methanol or ethanol so i discarded the first 100ml. I continued on and the temperature stayed at 78c'-79c' the intire time of a total cooking time of 10hours before i threw in the towel. I have no idea what i collected, if its just a blend of methanol,ethanol,propanel all mixed together. I tried to tell my smelling it and some jars smelled a lil rancid then the others but not sure for they all smell strong. So could my problem be my digital temperature gauge or my hotplate or cooking outside in a air temp of 10c' that day or is it just me . I would very much apprecaite what you think, thanx


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