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43645Re: Thumper--How I do it.

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  • Ted
    Mar 27, 2013
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      I will weigh in on the Thumper issue.  I have only been distilling for a few months. I have been a home brewer for many years so it was a fairly easy transition, though I have honestly learned a lot and plan to learn more.

      I started out from the beginning using a thumper because my first goal was to mimic the process and product of the Moonshiners in the Appalachians.  My first thumper was a 6 qt. SS Dutch oven.  It worked, but I believed it was too small (too short).  I then picked up an 8L (2 gal.) SS stock pot at Wally World for $7 and converted it.

      I will say that if you want to try a thumper, I do not consider it a PITA.  The only issue I have had was the build, and I consider that negligible.  I did do one thing different for this small thumper.  Instead of one "long tube" down tube, I put in a down tube, capped the bottom end and branched four 1/4" tubes off of it.  I believe this helps dispense the vapor bubbles into the wash in the Thumper better, especially with the small size.  Whatever, it works great and I get good stuff out of one run.

      1. I fill the Thumper about 1/3 full (about 2.5 quarts) with fresh wash and put the rest into the Pot/cooker. 
      2. I crank the heat up pretty high on the Pot.  I can do this without fear of scorching since I rack the wash off the grain into a carboy then cold crash it to drop out the sediment then rack it into the Pot.
      3. I run the temp at the column up quick to about 188 F.  By this time vapor is bubbling through the thumper pretty good.
      4. I cut the heat back significantly, to a point that merely holds the temp.  This is similar to how you cut back your heat on a standard pot still while doing a spirit  run.
      5. The Thumper continues to bubble and the temp inside the Thumper gradually raises.  Be patient here.  Do not overpower the Thumper by running the Pot too hot. 
      6. During this waiting process, the Pot temp will slowly rise while the Thumper temp also slowly rises.   It's almost an equalizing type thing going on between the Pot and the Thumper.
      7. When the Thumper hits around 170 F or a little more a few drops of nearly pure Acetone come out.
      8. At around 175 F the temp starts to travel up the tube to the condenser and shortly after this the "product" starts to come out.
      9. Set your temp so that about 4 drops per second come out and start collecting and doing your cuts.

      My first cuts come out consistently 150+ proof.  I generally run UJSSM with one difference, I either use flaked maize or I cook the cracked corn before I make my wash.  After letting it air out for a couple of days and blending my cuts, I am very happy with my hooch--proud enough to share it.

      As I said, I am still a learning novice, but I have not found the thumper to be a PITA and I like using it.  I do plan on running stripper/spirit runs in the future for comparison and when I try to make some other recipes like Bourbon, Rum, Scotch and possibly Brandy.  I'll probably even try the old moonshine recipe to see which tastes best, w/ Thumper, or without.

      Well, that's all I have to say.  I do have pics of all of this loaded into the photos section titled "Slohand's Upgraded Still" but they won't show up for a day or two since I just loaded new pics with the new thumper and new condenser with 1/2" tube.


      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas" <stought1@...> wrote:
      > Hello all!
      > I would like information on a thumper, what it does, it's benefits, and some construction ideas.
      > I currently have a simple pot still, made from a stew pot.
      > Thanks,
      > Tom

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