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Re: How much left in Column...

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  • mickm2au
    ... it follows ... there is ... separation occurs ... be present ... the power ... but the ... fairly ... wash ... witches brew ... but ... always ... it pays
    Message 1 of 22 , Feb 27, 2005
      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Nixon" <mike@s...>
      wrote:
      > Hi Mick,
      >
      > You are withdrawing ethanol from the still in a linear manner, so
      it follows
      > that the % mix of the vapour decreases in the same way. However,
      there is
      > NO separation from the water at the T junction! All the
      separation occurs
      > inside the still and what you are withdrawing is what happens to
      be present
      > at the top of the still, all the way from 95-96% down to 43%. At
      the power
      > you are (correctly) running at, the drop should be quite sudden,
      but the
      > "slowness" you experienced would be expected if you already had a
      fairly
      > pure mix of ethanol/water in the boiler. With an ordinary sugar
      wash
      > (stripped of course) you are quite right. The tails contain a
      witches' brew
      > of compounds that all have a higher boiling point than ethanol,
      but
      > separation on boiling being what it is (see Raoult's Law) you will
      always
      > have quite a bit of ethanol mixed in with the tails. That is why
      it pays to
      > save the tails and chuck them into your next stripping run ... so
      you can
      > recover that "masked" ethanol.
      >
      > With 96% on your trial run, it sounds as though you are doing
      things exactly
      > right :-))
      >
      > All the best,
      > Mike N

      Thanks again Mike...we'll put down another sugar wash and try it.
      I'll post some photos when we've tidied up a couple of bits. We've
      just installed a shotgun reflux condenser as we're using a small
      pump and evaporative cooling and had trouble pushing water through
      the original coil we made. But with the new condenser the evap
      cooling works terrific, only need about 20-30 litres of water
      circulating.

      Mickm
    • abbababbaccc
      Hi Mike, Would you mind explaining what all factors are involved in this drying up before tails? When I had my VM system I was able to make whiskey with it,
      Message 2 of 22 , Feb 28, 2005
        Hi Mike,

        Would you mind explaining what all factors are involved in
        this "drying up" before tails? When I had my VM system I was able to
        make whiskey with it, ie. quite a lot of tails were coming out. In my
        case I had 64mm (2.5") column filled with amphora mesh and ~1500W was
        reaching the condenser (~14"/s vaporspeed). So basically I'm asking
        what's the difference in my setup, why did the tails bleed in? I
        don't have VM system right now, so I might build another one (maybe
        aircooled) if you can promise me automated shutdown before tails :)
        (you can never have too many stills, now can you?).

        Greetz, Riku


        Mike wrote:

        > the downward path via the side valve. However, by the time the
        vapor
        > reaches 43% ethanol the density of the ethanol/steam mix has fallen
        to the
        > same as that of air (ie. 1.0 times as dense), so the output of the
        still
        > will "dry up". Under usual circumstances this is fine, for with a
        standard
        > wash the tails become evident at around this point and you want the
        still to
        > stop producing. In your case, instead of the usual brew of
      • Mike Nixon
        abbababbaccc wrote: Subject: [new_distillers] Re: How much left in Column... Hi Mike, Would you mind explaining what all factors are involved in this drying
        Message 3 of 22 , Feb 28, 2005
          abbababbaccc wrote:
          Subject: [new_distillers] Re: How much left in Column...

          Hi Mike,

          Would you mind explaining what all factors are involved in
          this "drying up" before tails? When I had my VM system I was able to
          make whiskey with it, ie. quite a lot of tails were coming out. In my
          case I had 64mm (2.5") column filled with amphora mesh and ~1500W was
          reaching the condenser (~14"/s vaporspeed). So basically I'm asking
          what's the difference in my setup, why did the tails bleed in? I
          don't have VM system right now, so I might build another one (maybe
          aircooled) if you can promise me automated shutdown before tails :)
          (you can never have too many stills, now can you?).
          ================
          Hi Riku,

          It's all to do with density of the vapor. If denser than the air
          surrounding the still then it will tend to fall, and if less dense then it
          will tend to rise. However, and it's a BIG however, that is affected by
          vapor speed and geometry. If you blast dense vapor past an opening in the
          side of the column, don't expect it to suddenly swerve round and go in the
          opposite direction. The vapor speed in the mesh is a darn sight greater
          than 14"/sec, no matter what your calculations are for an empty tube (and
          they are correct!). Vapor emerging from the packing doesn't suddenly drop
          down in speed to a sedate crawl, but erupts from the top of the packing in
          jets. If you want to "persuade" some of that vapor to choose between an
          upward or a downward path then you have to try and simulate static
          conditions. You'll never achieve that of course, unless you provide a large
          bulge with baffles in it right after the top of the packing, but you can go
          a long way towards it by deliberately introducing vortices that swirl the
          vapor around. That way, you stand a fifty-fifty chance that some of the
          vapor will enter the side path and decide that "down" is a more restful
          existence.

          With what you had, I'm not surprised that tails got into the act. Remember,
          the vapor is being pushed forcibly up the column ... it's not gently
          drifting up. So the more power, the more grunt. If making whiskey, where
          you want some of the tails to get up there, then that is good. However,
          it's a bit of a balancing act with a VM setup, so if I were making whiskey
          and wanted a quiet life, then I would go for LM every time ... and leave the
          packing out. You don't have to worry about length of column then either, so
          it's all on the plus side. Trying to make a cut based on percentage of
          tails using a VM still is darned tricky. It can be done if you are cunning
          enough, but unless you want to go into advanced vapor control theory and
          very careful design then I don't recommend it. Both LM and VM have their
          strengths and weaknesses. To keep life simple, I would go for either method
          for vodka production, but LM for flavored spirits.

          Trust that was confusing enough :-))

          All the best,
          Mike N
        • abbababbaccc
          Not confusing enough I m afraid :) So what vaporspeed would you recommend? Is 7-9 /s (empty column) good value for this application? Any clever design
          Message 4 of 22 , Feb 28, 2005
            Not confusing enough I'm afraid :) So what vaporspeed would you
            recommend? Is 7-9"/s (empty column) good value for this application?
            Any clever design suggestions to slow down the vaporspeed?

            Greet, Riku

            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Nixon" <mike@s...>
            wrote:
            > abbababbaccc wrote:
            > Subject: [new_distillers] Re: How much left in Column...
            >
            > Hi Mike,
            >
            > Would you mind explaining what all factors are involved in
            > this "drying up" before tails? When I had my VM system I was able
            to
            > make whiskey with it, ie. quite a lot of tails were coming out. In
            my
            > case I had 64mm (2.5") column filled with amphora mesh and ~1500W
            was
            > reaching the condenser (~14"/s vaporspeed). So basically I'm asking
            > what's the difference in my setup, why did the tails bleed in? I
            > don't have VM system right now, so I might build another one (maybe
            > aircooled) if you can promise me automated shutdown before tails :)
            > (you can never have too many stills, now can you?).
            > ================
            > Hi Riku,
            >
            > It's all to do with density of the vapor. If denser than the air
            > surrounding the still then it will tend to fall, and if less dense
            then it
            > will tend to rise. However, and it's a BIG however, that is
            affected by
            > vapor speed and geometry. If you blast dense vapor past an
            opening in the
            > side of the column, don't expect it to suddenly swerve round and
            go in the
            > opposite direction. The vapor speed in the mesh is a darn sight
            greater
            > than 14"/sec, no matter what your calculations are for an empty
            tube (and
            > they are correct!). Vapor emerging from the packing doesn't
            suddenly drop
            > down in speed to a sedate crawl, but erupts from the top of the
            packing in
            > jets. If you want to "persuade" some of that vapor to choose
            between an
            > upward or a downward path then you have to try and simulate static
            > conditions. You'll never achieve that of course, unless you
            provide a large
            > bulge with baffles in it right after the top of the packing, but
            you can go
            > a long way towards it by deliberately introducing vortices that
            swirl the
            > vapor around. That way, you stand a fifty-fifty chance that some
            of the
            > vapor will enter the side path and decide that "down" is a more
            restful
            > existence.
            >
            > With what you had, I'm not surprised that tails got into the act.
            Remember,
            > the vapor is being pushed forcibly up the column ... it's not
            gently
            > drifting up. So the more power, the more grunt. If making
            whiskey, where
            > you want some of the tails to get up there, then that is good.
            However,
            > it's a bit of a balancing act with a VM setup, so if I were making
            whiskey
            > and wanted a quiet life, then I would go for LM every time ... and
            leave the
            > packing out. You don't have to worry about length of column then
            either, so
            > it's all on the plus side. Trying to make a cut based on
            percentage of
            > tails using a VM still is darned tricky. It can be done if you
            are cunning
            > enough, but unless you want to go into advanced vapor control
            theory and
            > very careful design then I don't recommend it. Both LM and VM
            have their
            > strengths and weaknesses. To keep life simple, I would go for
            either method
            > for vodka production, but LM for flavored spirits.
            >
            > Trust that was confusing enough :-))
            >
            > All the best,
            > Mike N
          • abbababbaccc
            I forget to ask, Mike what do you think of a product condenser going ddown at 45 degrees angle for VM? Greetz, Riku ... Riku, ... then it ... affected by ...
            Message 5 of 22 , Feb 28, 2005
              I forget to ask, Mike what do you think of a product condenser going
              ddown at 45 degrees angle for VM?

              Greetz, Riku

              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Nixon" <mike@s...> > Hi
              Riku,
              >
              > It's all to do with density of the vapor. If denser than the air
              > surrounding the still then it will tend to fall, and if less dense
              then it
              > will tend to rise. However, and it's a BIG however, that is
              affected by
              > vapor speed and geometry. If you blast dense vapor past an
              opening in the
              > side of the column, don't expect it to suddenly swerve round and
              go in the
              > opposite direction. The vapor speed in the mesh is a darn sight
              greater
              > than 14"/sec, no matter what your calculations are for an empty
              tube (and
              > they are correct!). Vapor emerging from the packing doesn't
              suddenly drop
              > down in speed to a sedate crawl, but erupts from the top of the
              packing in
              > jets. If you want to "persuade" some of that vapor to choose
              between an
              > upward or a downward path then you have to try and simulate static
              > conditions. You'll never achieve that of course, unless you
              provide a large
              > bulge with baffles in it right after the top of the packing, but
              you can go
              > a long way towards it by deliberately introducing vortices that
              swirl the
              > vapor around. That way, you stand a fifty-fifty chance that some
              of the
              > vapor will enter the side path and decide that "down" is a more
              restful
              > existence.
              >
              > With what you had, I'm not surprised that tails got into the act.
              Remember,
              > the vapor is being pushed forcibly up the column ... it's not
              gently
              > drifting up. So the more power, the more grunt. If making
              whiskey, where
              > you want some of the tails to get up there, then that is good.
              However,
              > it's a bit of a balancing act with a VM setup, so if I were making
              whiskey
              > and wanted a quiet life, then I would go for LM every time ... and
              leave the
              > packing out. You don't have to worry about length of column then
              either, so
              > it's all on the plus side. Trying to make a cut based on
              percentage of
              > tails using a VM still is darned tricky. It can be done if you
              are cunning
              > enough, but unless you want to go into advanced vapor control
              theory and
              > very careful design then I don't recommend it. Both LM and VM
              have their
              > strengths and weaknesses. To keep life simple, I would go for
              either method
              > for vodka production, but LM for flavored spirits.
              >
              > Trust that was confusing enough :-))
              >
              > All the best,
              > Mike N
            • Cary Rhodes
              it was tolled off by the spirit gods. ... water) ... ml
              Message 6 of 22 , Feb 28, 2005
                it was tolled off by the spirit gods.





                --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "mickm2au" <mmorris2@b...>
                wrote:
                >
                > Hi All
                >
                > We've just built a VP still as per The Complete Distiller book and
                > have just done the first test run (after a run thru with plain
                water)
                > I loaded up with 4 litres of water and 800ml of 77% spirit produced
                > by my old short Euro Still column. I calculated that we should end
                > up with about 640 ml if we got 95% out of it, as the heads and most
                > of the tails had already been removed. We ended up with about 400
                ml
                > of >95% before the temp started to rise quickly and the product
                > slowed down. We only have about 500 watts on the boiler at this
                > stage. The column is 1 mtr X 50 mm with Amphora copper packing.
                >
                > What happened to the other 240 ml of spirit ? I would have thought
                > that it all would have been pushed up the column by the higher temp
                > stuff and not much would have stuck to the packing.
                >
                > Any thoughts ??
                >
                > Mickm
              • Mike Nixon
                abbababbaccc wrote: Subject: [new_distillers] Re: How much left in Column... Not confusing enough I m afraid :) So what vaporspeed would you recommend? Is
                Message 7 of 22 , Feb 28, 2005
                  abbababbaccc wrote:
                  Subject: [new_distillers] Re: How much left in Column...

                  Not confusing enough I'm afraid :) So what vaporspeed would you
                  recommend? Is 7-9"/s (empty column) good value for this application?
                  Any clever design suggestions to slow down the vaporspeed?

                  Greet, Riku
                  =================
                  Damn! I'll have to try harder! :-))
                  In your case, with a "standard" column, 700-800W should do the trick.
                  Clever suggestions? From a thick old pensioner like me?? You've got to be
                  joking!!!
                  Anyway, I gave you the clue ... turbulence. Try to get around all that that
                  kinetic energy going upwards and make it work for you instead of against
                  you..

                  All the best,
                  Mike N
                • Mike Nixon
                  abbababbaccc wrote: Subject: [new_distillers] Re: How much left in Column... I forget to ask, Mike what do you think of a product condenser going ddown at 45
                  Message 8 of 22 , Feb 28, 2005
                    abbababbaccc wrote:
                    Subject: [new_distillers] Re: How much left in Column...

                    I forget to ask, Mike what do you think of a product condenser going
                    ddown at 45 degrees angle for VM?
                    ===============
                    Hi Riku,

                    What do you think of a fireplace chimney going up at a 45 deg. angle?
                    Same principle ... it works, but needs to be longer.

                    All the best,
                    Mike N
                  • abbababbaccc
                    ... going ... angle? ... OK, I have two 1 meter pieces of 22mm convector pipe (each able to cool ~400W). I was thinking 1.6 meter column of 42mm pipe, 1
                    Message 9 of 22 , Feb 28, 2005
                      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Nixon" <mike@s...> wrote:
                      > abbababbaccc wrote:
                      > Subject: [new_distillers] Re: How much left in Column...
                      >
                      > I forget to ask, Mike what do you think of a product condenser
                      going
                      > ddown at 45 degrees angle for VM?
                      > ===============
                      > Hi Riku,
                      >
                      > What do you think of a fireplace chimney going up at a 45 deg.
                      angle?
                      > Same principle ... it works, but needs to be longer.
                      >
                      > All the best,
                      > Mike N

                      OK, I have two 1 meter pieces of 22mm convector pipe (each able to
                      cool ~400W). I was thinking 1.6 meter column of 42mm pipe, 1
                      convector close to vertical position as reflux condenser and another
                      at ~45 degrees downslope as a product condenser. Ambient cooling
                      would make that "fire & forget" type of a system and I have an idea
                      how to build that as a modular addition to my current ARC/VM/LM test
                      head. I guess I'll have to do some more testing with the ARC first
                      though (running low on vodka due to this damn flue and I promised to
                      test MrSvetsare's heads removal system).

                      Greetz, Riku
                    • mickm2au
                      ... But....we said our prayers and payed our dues !! ... and ... produced ... end ... most ... 400 ... thought ... temp
                      Message 10 of 22 , Feb 28, 2005
                        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Cary Rhodes"
                        <rhodeseng@y...> wrote:
                        >
                        > it was tolled off by the spirit gods.
                        >

                        But....we said our prayers and payed our dues !!
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "mickm2au" <mmorris2@b...>
                        > wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Hi All
                        > >
                        > > We've just built a VP still as per The Complete Distiller book
                        and
                        > > have just done the first test run (after a run thru with plain
                        > water)
                        > > I loaded up with 4 litres of water and 800ml of 77% spirit
                        produced
                        > > by my old short Euro Still column. I calculated that we should
                        end
                        > > up with about 640 ml if we got 95% out of it, as the heads and
                        most
                        > > of the tails had already been removed. We ended up with about
                        400
                        > ml
                        > > of >95% before the temp started to rise quickly and the product
                        > > slowed down. We only have about 500 watts on the boiler at this
                        > > stage. The column is 1 mtr X 50 mm with Amphora copper packing.
                        > >
                        > > What happened to the other 240 ml of spirit ? I would have
                        thought
                        > > that it all would have been pushed up the column by the higher
                        temp
                        > > stuff and not much would have stuck to the packing.
                        > >
                        > > Any thoughts ??
                        > >
                        > > Mickm
                      • Glenn
                        Ah - that explains it; thought you were talking about the type of still Dick Cheney uses. Ooops...VP should read VC New Distillers group archives are at
                        Message 11 of 22 , Mar 1, 2005
                          Ah - that explains it; thought you were talking about the type of still Dick Cheney uses.

                          Ooops...VP should read VC





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                        • Henry Stamp
                          can you explain what LM and VM mean to this noobie? :) ... -- --henry
                          Message 12 of 22 , Mar 1, 2005
                            can you explain what LM and VM mean to this noobie? :)


                            Mike Nixon wrote:

                            >Both LM and VM have their
                            >strengths and weaknesses. To keep life simple, I would go for either method
                            >for vodka production, but LM for flavored spirits.
                            >
                            >Trust that was confusing enough :-))
                            >
                            >All the best,
                            >Mike N
                            >
                            >


                            --
                            --henry
                          • Mike Nixon
                            Henry Stamp wrote: Subject: Re: [new_distillers] Re: How much left in Column... can you explain what LM and VM mean to this noobie? :) =============== Hi
                            Message 13 of 22 , Mar 1, 2005
                              Henry Stamp wrote:
                              Subject: Re: [new_distillers] Re: How much left in Column...

                              can you explain what LM and VM mean to this noobie? :)
                              ===============
                              Hi Henry,
                              LM = Liquid Management
                              VM = Vapor Management
                              With LM you manage the reflux ratio by controlling how much of the liquid
                              condensed by the top condenser is diverted from returning to the column by
                              withdrawing it as product, and with VM you manage the reflux ratio by
                              withdrawing some of the vapor from the column before it reaches the top
                              condenser, then condensing that as product.

                              You will no doubt also see CM mentioned occasionally. This stands for
                              Cooling Management, and means different things to different folks. With
                              some it means putting cooling coils through the middle of the column in an
                              attempt to control what happens inside. This is to be avoided at all costs,
                              for it only serves to upset the separation process going on inside the
                              packing, so making the still far less efficient. I would rename what they
                              try to do as "Cooling Meddling"! With others (who do know what they are
                              doing) it means managing the flow of cooling water through the top condenser
                              in order to control how much vapor gets past it, and hence the reflux ratio.
                              The vapor that makes it past that top condenser is collected and liquified
                              in a side condenser as the product, just like you do with VM. This is
                              sometimes quite a good technique to use, and has been around for a long
                              time. However, it does not have the feature that VM offers of automatically
                              stopping production towards the end of the main run, when the amount of
                              ethanol in the vapor starts to reduce and the tails start to rise in the
                              column. Nevertheless, that can be useful when making flavored spirits, for
                              then you do want to be able to select parts of the heads and the tails.

                              Hope all that makes sense :-))

                              All the best,
                              Mike N
                            • Henry Stamp
                              yes, it really helped clear up some stuff. im not sure i ll build a reflux column any time soon, but its still fascinating to learn about :) ... -- --henry
                              Message 14 of 22 , Mar 1, 2005
                                yes, it really helped clear up some stuff. im not sure i'll build a
                                reflux column any time soon, but its still fascinating to learn about :)


                                Mike Nixon wrote:

                                >Hope all that makes sense :-))
                                >
                                >All the best,
                                >Mike N
                                >
                                >


                                --
                                --henry
                              • abbababbaccc
                                Sorry to interrupt Mike, but CM has automated shutdown if adjusted properly. Assuming constant cooling when the boiling point of vapor increases the cooling
                                Message 15 of 22 , Mar 1, 2005
                                  Sorry to interrupt Mike, but CM has automated shutdown if adjusted
                                  properly. Assuming constant cooling when the boiling point of vapor
                                  increases the cooling efficiency increases and output ceases. This of
                                  course requires that the output is pretty slow to start with. Best
                                  suited for air cooling, low wattage and power controller.

                                  Greetz, Riku

                                  --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Nixon" <mike@s...> wrote:
                                  > time. However, it does not have the feature that VM offers of
                                  automatically
                                  > stopping production towards the end of the main run, when the
                                  amount of
                                  > ethanol in the vapor starts to reduce and the tails start to rise
                                  in the
                                  > column. Nevertheless, that can be useful when making flavored
                                  spirits, for
                                  > then you do want to be able to select parts of the heads and the
                                  tails.
                                  >
                                  > Hope all that makes sense :-))
                                  >
                                  > All the best,
                                  > Mike N
                                • Mike Nixon
                                  abbababbaccc wrote: Subject: [new_distillers] Re: How much left in Column... Sorry to interrupt Mike, but CM has automated shutdown if adjusted properly.
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Mar 1, 2005
                                    abbababbaccc wrote:
                                    Subject: [new_distillers] Re: How much left in Column...

                                    Sorry to interrupt Mike, but CM has automated shutdown if adjusted
                                    properly. Assuming constant cooling when the boiling point of vapor
                                    increases the cooling efficiency increases and output ceases. This of
                                    course requires that the output is pretty slow to start with. Best
                                    suited for air cooling, low wattage and power controller.
                                    ================
                                    Tarue Riku ... but I was trying to be as general as possible. As you say,
                                    with careful "tweaking" then it can be made to shut down after the main run
                                    ... but it's quite a tricky balance to achieve and, as you say, you have to
                                    be running at a snail's pace.

                                    All the best,
                                    Mike N
                                  • abbababbaccc
                                    ... of ... you say, ... main run ... have to ... Indeed so, for quality you need to take your time (unfortunately). You can, as a matter of fact, achieve
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Mar 1, 2005
                                      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Nixon" <mike@s...> wrote:
                                      > abbababbaccc wrote:
                                      > Subject: [new_distillers] Re: How much left in Column...
                                      >
                                      > Sorry to interrupt Mike, but CM has automated shutdown if adjusted
                                      > properly. Assuming constant cooling when the boiling point of vapor
                                      > increases the cooling efficiency increases and output ceases. This
                                      of
                                      > course requires that the output is pretty slow to start with. Best
                                      > suited for air cooling, low wattage and power controller.
                                      > ================
                                      > Tarue Riku ... but I was trying to be as general as possible. As
                                      you say,
                                      > with careful "tweaking" then it can be made to shut down after the
                                      main run
                                      > ... but it's quite a tricky balance to achieve and, as you say, you
                                      have to
                                      > be running at a snail's pace.
                                      >
                                      > All the best,
                                      > Mike N

                                      Indeed so, for quality you need to take your time (unfortunately).
                                      You can, as a matter of fact, achieve shutdown inbetween heads and
                                      main run as well, but for that you'd better have 3-4 days to process
                                      25 liters mash (spirall still with column as an example). Still
                                      strugling to find a perfect balance of time versus quality versus
                                      trouble. Making whiskey on the other hand ... :)

                                      Greetz, Riku
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