Still design in NZ, alcohol %, alcoholometer accuracy
I have visited the pages:
at spirits unlimited and I can not understand how to
get 95% out from those stills. You must have seen
another still that is not yet on the site?
It is great that influence from Europe and John Stone
(and this egroup) push the still design in
NZ. Please send a picture or url with those new
Still design is not complete before one distill pure
alcohol in a reasonable time and all commercially sold
or home build reflux stills do this.
The 95.5% alcohol is possible to achieve. The boiling
point of 95.6% alcohol and water is lower then for
pure alcohol (chemically called an azeotrope, when a
mixture of 2 liquids have a lower constant boiling
point then any of them have separately). The reason
for the discussions about how much one can achieve is
that those 95.6% is commonly mentioned as 95%. Then
there is some saing 96%. One can check this in any
chemistry book and also online, for example at:
So when one read 97% at the alcoholometer it s not
possible with distillation (more on this later). To a
achieve that one must dehydrate this alcohol within
the column or after distillation. Within the column
this can be made by making another azeotrope to get
the ethyl alcohol out separately. To do this one need
a deadly poison third ingredient, that is why one do
not do it. The other way to do it is to build a
molecular sieve inside the column. It cost a fortune
and can not be done in home distillation scale today -
but maybe in ten years. Probably there is people
There is no real need for 99.5% alcohol as 95% (95.6
to be exact) is pure. There will always be some
congener in it as the fore shots and the head passes
the column and condenser first, leaving traces. Those
is easy to take away with granulated activated carbon.
Both Smirnoff and Stolichnaya are using activated
carbon. If one thereafter regenerates the carbon and
smell when the impurities leave the carbon, there is
no doubt there is volatiles, even if many people tells
that there is not.
When one measure 97% the alcoholometer is not showing
right. This can be because of a lot of volatiles in
the distillate but this is not common. The reason use
to be that the temperature of the distillate is to
warm. Then the distillate gets thinner, the
alcoholometer sinks to deep and shows to high %. There
is no conversation table for this as it must be made
for each design of alcoholometer separately.
The second case is that the alcoholometer shows wrong:
There are 2 qualities of those instruments, scientific
sold in laboratory shops (brands like Widder, Germany)
and home brew quality made in China. Home brew quality
use to differ 2-3%. Laboratory quality cost the double
or more and use to have a very good accuracy. But
still, the scale can have moved after calibration.
So the best is to test the instrument in water first,
if 0% is included in the scale, or test it on a
commercial vodka first, as those are controlled.
--- Peter Sayers <brubarn@...> wrote:
> Ola Have a look at the stills produced by the__________________________________________________
> Spirits Unlimited Ltd people in NZ. Go
> to " spirits.unlimited@...." They have
> produced a still capable of producing
> alcohol at 95.5%, i have seen it running and have
> tasted the results. Bloody
> They also have a web site www.spiritsunlimited.co.nz
> Regards Pete at Brewers Barn
Do You Yahoo!?
Get Yahoo! Mail - Free email you can access from anywhere!