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Re: First Run - Experiences

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  • watertrade2003
    Hi Adam, Its a nice feeling isn t it... :) It sounds like your first run was pretty successful. After stripping the wash you ended up with about 3600 mls of
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 4, 2004
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      Hi Adam,
      Its a nice feeling isn't it... :) It sounds like your first run
      was pretty successful. After stripping the wash you ended up with
      about 3600 mls of alcohol (in your 6 liters @ 60%) so you probably
      tossed away about 1 liter when you did the stripping run - I
      wouldn't worry about it, I have never worked it out but I probably
      waste about the same during stripping runs.
      Anyway I wouldn't have thought that not cleaning the still after the
      stripping run wouldn't leave that much residual taste behind (I
      might be wrong here) I think the hot volatile vapour would flush all
      the crap back into the boiler or be taken as heads. The only thing I
      can comment on is that next time I would leave the column to
      stabilize by this I mean when the wash starts boiling leave the
      still at 100% reflux (like you did- but for longer) I find after the
      wash boils and everything gets up to temp and has been left at 100%
      reflux the temp drops down a fraction - this is the higher alcohols
      (alcohols with lower boiling points) collecting in the top of the
      column. I usually leave it for about 60 - 90 minutes just to make
      sure I'm getting all the nasties and then slowly take off the heads
      the amount I take can vary but I just keep sniffing away until I'm
      sure I'm into the main body of the run (one idea is to just collect
      everything slowly in smaller jars and deal with the separations
      later). I normally have a rough idea how much alcohol is in my wash
      so when I start to get near the end I watch the temperature like a
      hawk until the temp changes as soon as it changes I start collecting
      tails. Some good advice someone gave me was to watch for the change
      of temperature not the actual figure.

      This works for me but I'm sure everyone has a slightly different way
      of running their still.
      I hope this has been of some help!
      **you should probably also know that I have never used a El still**

      Cheers
      Jim

      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "The Ooz" <theooz@h...>
      wrote:
      > I thought I'd share my first run experience so that others can
      learn from
      > it, and so that I can get some more tips to improve my procedure.
      >
      > The Gear
      >
      > I have built an EL still as per the plans on homedistiller.org.
      The still
      > has a power controller (Sutronics) and the boiler is a 20Litre urn.
      >
      > The Process
      >
      > After some stuffing around, I ended up with a 25 litre sugar wash
      at 18
      > percent. I decided to do a stripping run first based on
      suggestions made in
      > this group. I put about 18 litres in and ran my still at high
      power (2.4kW
      > element) until I had about 3 litres of clear liquid. I then ran it
      again
      > with the remaining part of the wash thrown in as well.
      >
      > I ended up with 6 litres of spirit (I'm not sure how much I should
      have had
      > at this point, but any advice appreciated). I was fairly vague in
      my
      > settings but decided to stop the run when my thermometer was at
      about 98
      > degrees. I measured the alcohol in the clearer liquid and it was
      at 60%.
      >
      > The next day (and not having cleaned my still) I put the 6 litres
      plus 2
      > litres of tap water in my boiler and started again. This time I
      was very
      > fussy with my temperature and had the still running at exactly 78
      degrees
      > for 10 minutes before starting to draw off the spirit. I collected
      about
      > 100ml of foreshots and set them aside (my mate wants it for some
      reason). I
      > then collected the heads but was unsure of when I should make the
      cuts so
      > just smelt each container as I went through. Everything seemed to
      smell the
      > same to me.
      >
      > When the temperature was at about 86 degrees, and not much
      products was
      > coming out of the tap, I decided to stop the run. I think I had
      about 3
      > litres of 95 percent spirit. This run took around 5 hours. The
      spirit smelt
      > a little like the wash had that I started with. I think this is
      because I
      > hadn't cleaned the still after the stripping run and all of the
      crap was
      > caught in the scrubbers. After the run I cleaned everything out.
      Can anyone
      > comment on this?
      >
      > The final spirit was okay, but not as neutral in smell as I
      thought it would
      > be. Is this due to the lack of cleaning?
      > I wasn't sure how much product I should have gained from the
      stripping run -
      > is there a way that I can know this before proceding next time?
      > I wasn't sure when to take the cuts - is there a calculation I can
      use based
      > on the quantity at hand?
      >
      > I found that using some 'Top Shelf' liquer essences was great and
      they taste
      > fine. I used a scotch essence and found that I could smell the
      odour from
      > the wash that I mention. So I think it was almost all out, but I
      was not
      > quite there.
      >
      > Any advice or questions welcome.
      >
      >
      > Adam
      >
      > _________________________________________________________________
      > Hot chart ringtones and polyphonics. Go to
      > http://ninemsn.com.au/mobilemania/default.asp
    • dark_taet
      Mate congradulations....! Firstly as an introduction, i am pretty fussy about getting pure spirit, as well as being REALLY lazy.. ;-) What i normally do is
      Message 2 of 7 , Jan 4, 2004
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        Mate congradulations....!

        Firstly as an introduction, i am pretty fussy about getting pure
        spirit, as well as being REALLY lazy.. ;-)

        What i normally do is make two lots of wash ie 50L do two lots of
        stripping then one final run. (I have a 60L drum which i add 8kg of
        sugar one table spoon of tomato paste (food for the yeasties) and
        ONE packet of turbo yeast, stir vigoursly... try and get lots of air
        into the water. Leave the lid off and come back the next day and
        add another 6Kg of sugar and give it another stir and then seal the
        lid.)

        Stripping runs straight into a flagon or a mash bucket.

        Then when i am taking the main run i put a old 700ml bottle in a 2L
        container (that way if i miss it doesn't matter), take it 700ml at a
        time. I usually stop around 85-90c.

        This way i have less hassel in cleaning also i find the first couple
        of bottles have a slight contamination i dont like so i dont use
        them for my spirits. I also dont use the last 2 or 3 bottles.

        Some add them back to the next run to get out the "little" extra bit
        of ethanol... Eventually you will end up with 10L of heads/tails
        like me that you finally through away, or add blue dye and hand out
        as window cleaner, or use in a dual fuel stove etc etc.

        I never need carbon these days and overall am very happy with the
        final product.

        Ohhhh and if your into the flavours like me try buying some of the
        oak chips and add it... After 4 weeks drink and go WOW...!

        Matt
      • dark_taet
        Ohhh how embarrasing... I forgot, after the stripping runs and before the main run i give it a thorough clean. I used to use dishwashing power, leave it
        Message 3 of 7 , Jan 4, 2004
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          Ohhh how embarrasing...

          I forgot, after the stripping runs and before the main run i give it
          a thorough clean.

          I used to use dishwashing power, leave it overnight worked REALLY
          well, but got concerned that it might leave some nasties, so have
          switched to vinegar.

          Matt
        • Laurens W
          That s great, which Still R U using, is it the Vapour Management Still? and do you also treat the packing with vinegar? are you using the structured copper
          Message 4 of 7 , Jan 4, 2004
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            That's great, which Still R U using, is it the Vapour Management Still?

            and do you also treat the packing with vinegar? are you using the
            structured copper packing?
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "dark_taet" <ndistillers@...>
            To: <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Monday, January 05, 2004 4:42 PM
            Subject: [new_distillers] Re: First Run - Experiences


            > Ohhh how embarrasing...
            >
            > I forgot, after the stripping runs and before the main run i give it
            > a thorough clean.
            >
            > I used to use dishwashing power, leave it overnight worked REALLY
            > well, but got concerned that it might leave some nasties, so have
            > switched to vinegar.
            >
            > Matt
            >
            >
            > New Distillers group archives are at http://archive.nnytech.net/
            > FAQ and other information available at http://homedistiller.org
            >
            > ttp://archive.nnytech.net/
            > FAQ and other information available at http://homedistiller.org
            >
            >
            >
            >
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          • dark_taet
            I bought a Still Spirits boiler 25L with a 1380W element, then thanks to a VERY nice guy added a Sutronics controller do my run at around 700w. My column etc
            Message 5 of 7 , Jan 5, 2004
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              I bought a Still Spirits boiler 25L with a 1380W element, then
              thanks to a VERY nice guy added a Sutronics controller do my run at
              around 700w.

              My column etc is the PDA-1, i have tried all sorts of
              alternatives... I REALLY love VM particularly for new people, the
              downfall i see is when trying to get flavours etc to come through.

              The PDA-1 gives me the flexibility to play with flavours and it
              packs into a sexy case etc. The price tag is pretty scarey, but i
              was more than happy to pay considering the effort the two mikes put
              in.

              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Laurens W" <lwildebo@b...>
              wrote:
              > That's great, which Still R U using, is it the Vapour Management
              Still?
              >
              > and do you also treat the packing with vinegar? are you using the
              > structured copper packing?
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