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RE: [new_distillers]First wine distilation

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  • Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
    Steve, ... Wow that has some serious plumbing around it. Why the cooling leg for the condensate once its left the condenser ? Is that just a secondary
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 20, 2004
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      > You said I need a vent hole. How would it be if I drill a 1/8
      > inch hole in the top of the reflex condenser top. The piece
      > with the condenser coil going through. I have posted more
      > photos of my still on new_distillers photos under "stevos
      > still".

      Wow that has some serious plumbing around it.

      Why the cooling leg for the condensate once its left the condenser ? Is that just a secondary precaution to make really sure that it has all condensed ? By using that incoming water just to cool the hot spirit, you will be robbing yourself of a little more cooling ability up in the main condenser.

      Yes, the ideal spot for the vent hole will be at the very top, above the coil etc, where you would have expected all the condensing to have occured. If that hole does start to have vapour coming out of it during the main run, that could suggest that either you are using too much heat, not enough water, or not enough coil in the coil - backing off the heat would be required. Plugging the vent and running at more heat input is not an option - the pressure inc you get will change the vapour-liquid equilibrium and make purity seperation more difficult, and you know that you're running it under "bomb" mode.

      If you are really concerned, or just have a very small amount of vapour trying to get out, you could either put a small air lock on your vent hole, or plug it VERY loosely say with a wee cork or wet-bread-dough seal - something that will let go in a hurry if required.

      > All the photos I have seen don't show a vent.

      Many its not obvious, but the coils often dont fit through a cap, but rather just drop into an open sheath (eg see http://homedistiller.org/image/tony_head_apart.jpg or the others at http://homedistiller.org/photos-ns.htm )

      > I was
      > worried about pressure build up and left reflux tap open,
      > even when building up to running temp. I tested if pressure
      > would build up by holding a cup of water under outlet and it
      > slowly bubbled

      There will always be some escaping vapour during heat up. But its air, not alcohol. As the alcohol heats up and starts generating some alcohol vapour, it will displace the air that was originally in the still & column, and push it out. Because it is just air, it wont condense, but rather just push past the condenser and exit the column. Any alcohol present though will hit the condenser, condense and return back down. Once that initial "venting" has occured during heat up, you should then expect no more vapour to come out the vent.

      > I was after 90% + and was disappointed with the result, my
      > column should of been taller, but would not fit under ceiling
      > in kitchen. I have interchangeable columns as they just push
      > in and seal with o-ring, so I can make any hight. In
      > Australia do you know where I can buy pure copper packing.

      It will be hard to get 90+ out of a 800mm ?? tall column, unless you run it with a very low heat input (very slow simmer), and use heaps of reflux.

      I dont know where to source Cu scrubbers - stainless scrubbers should be fine though - you already have heaps of copper present in the wall of the column

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