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Stillmaster still operation

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  • G&N
    This is my last distilling operation that i used .... Alcotech 8 yeast......i normally use turbo extra but giving this a try with very simalar results... 9 kgs
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 3, 2001
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      This is my last distilling operation that i used ....
       
      Alcotech 8 yeast......i normally use turbo extra but giving this a try with very simalar results... 9 kgs of sugar in 27 litres of water
       
      sg down to 1.000 in 7 days always letting the wash  get to 28 to 30 degrrees in the first 2 days then let it cool while the alcohol content isn't to high .
       
      I use a 19 litre stock pot so i have to split the wash in two .. my still has two, 1/2 inch through tubes at the top of  a 50 mm stainless column by 1. 2 metres ...the bottom half is filled with stainless scrubbers and the top half  copper ones......i have the 13 litres of wash heating on the stove while i fill up the bathtub with cold water, get my hot plate and pond pump ready ....... I back flush  the column with 2 litres of  boiling water with two teaspoons of citric acid in it to really wash any residue out.......then i rinse well with the garden hose ...by this time the wash is at about 75 degres [half an hour]...
       
       
      My hot plate is a dual Breville 700 to 800 watt element and a 1600 to 1700watt element ..i have bypassed both of the thermostats to keep the temperature from varying ..
       
      I have cardboard for insulation which i slip the pot into and and then i place the bottom half of the column which is welded to a dome lid  on to the  pot which fits just perfectly over a split clear tube on the pot as to not have any leaks :}}.... then i place the pot onto the hotplate and then fit the rest of column and attach the cooling hoses ...
       
       
      Now with the thermostats bypassed in  the hotplate i wanted to see what the two differant elements would give in the way of results ... the first pot of wash was on the 1700 watt plate........ i set the water flow at full pace to get the most reflux i can because i need every bit that i can get with this much power...... the water in the bath also had a fair amount of ice in it to keep the water cool.
       
      Twenty minutes later the column starts to get hot in the middle so i know that the distalation is about to start very soon ....the head temperature gets to 82degrees at the start and then goes back down to 78.5c once the reflux kicks in  .....with the stillmaker there is not time to really reach equilibrium ...depending on heat input and cooling tube setup [reflux ratio]......so i get the first 30 mls in about 60 seconds once distalation starts....which really has that nail polish smell to it so i guess i get most of it out .......i collect the next 200mls so i can run it in my next batch and knowing that i will use 800 watts i will get it all out.
       
      The next 500mls i get out in 11mins @ 91%  .......  78.5
                    500                       11mins @ 92%   ...... 78.5
       
      As you could imagine the distalate is coming out at a rapid pace and if its the purity that you want this is a good time to get it out at
                    500                       12mins @ 90%  .......  79.2
                    500                       16mins @ 85%  .......  80.1 .....the smell of the spirit at this stage is starting to get a bit off on smell so i switch to get the tails out now and i wind the water flow right down to get it out as quick as i can
       
       
      Then i collected another 700 for redistalation for my next batch which takes approx 35 mins to get ......mean while i have my other wash on the stove preheating to 75degrees .........when the head temp is at 97 C and the flow is more like water than spirit i stop collecting.
       
      Thats one batch out of the way .....to cut it a bit short.... i  run 2 litres of boiling water down the column to backflush the tails .....add the tails and the heads to the next batch  and connect it all back up again.
       
      I use the 1700 watt plate to get the temp up quickly so i can get the temperature  close to boiling as i can and then slide the pot across to the 800 watt hotplate .
       
      With the water  flow set at maximum again i can equilibriate the column as much as possible ...the temperature has climbed to 60 degrees and just seems to sit there for a while ..then it starts to climb slowly to 70 C and i am starting to get the odd drip..... it takes 15 mins to get the next 30 mls out at about 1 drip a second with the temperature fluctuating and the the temperature steading to about 77.3 degrees ...the smell of the nail polish remover is really not noticablely worse as to the other 30 odd mls i got out the first time ......but i figure this is a lot more relaxing!!......still with the reflux set as much as i can get...... i start collecting the ethanol to see how long this is going to take and the purity that i can get.....with the temp sitting on 77.8  .. the first 350mls takes me 30 mins and i am getting a bit restless and starting to think this is going to take all friggin day ....so i check what purity i am getting and i have got 95.5% ethanol ...cant beleive my luck i have never had that before so i am wrapped ..
       
      Having the temperature so low at the head of the column i turn the reflux water right down to only 300 to 400 mls a minute so i can speed things up a bit ..the temp gets to 78.1 and the flow rate gets better......the next 650 mls i get out is in 32 mins at 95% so i am still pleased with the results...  this  spirit has a very nice quite sweet scent to it, to what 91.. 92% spirit has:))...really is quite amazing what that 3 % can do the the final result.... then i get the next 500....93.5% in 30 mins ......the temp is starting to climb slightly to 79.1 so i turn the water up a little to keep it steady and i get the next 500.....93.5  ...in 35 mins ...and the last 500 or so in 45 minutes at 91% ......the smell is starting to get that really acrid smell to it so i decide to call it quits and get the tails for later redistalation ....after collecting so much in the way of tails the first time i figure that i will get something simalar...... so i slide the pot back to the 1700 watt plate again to get it out quickly ......but quite surprisingly i only get 300mls and the purity drops very rapidly so i guess this is because i had that equilibrium at  good sted.......when i have finished i boil 2 litres of water with another couple of teaspoons of citric acid and backflush the column and clear well with the garden hose and pack everything away.....8 litres of 50 % i ended up with...
       
       
      Well that about it i hope i dont bore anyone with this long posting......i know its not as good as Tonys explanation to it all but it hope it helps someone on here!!!
       
       
      Glenn
       
       
       
       
       
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