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Allthough the still is not totaly finished (at some stage I will fit
some sort of jug element plug box for the four elements)I really
needed to make some alcohol for Christmas.I replaced the marbles with
84 yes 84 s/s pot scrubers. Teased them out to fit the whole 150 mm
dia.My last wash did not come out very well. Had it in a room ubove
the garage which does not have a ceiling in it. Room got hot, wash
got hot, and S/G finnished at 1. Total of 75 liters. Very disapointed
to say the least. Would have loved a good wash for the first run.
Tasted and smelled OK so put wash into the still,but not expecting
very much. 1Hr 20min later started colecting the foreshots and then
the heads etc.I had allready decided to run the still flat out (6000
watts) to flood it on purpose, just to see what or how it happen
incase if it did happen in the future I would realise what was
happening.Guess what? I couldn't make it flood.The diameter of the
tower must be large enough to stop that from happening.When the
thermometer reached 78deg and I opened her up the alcohol came out
too hot with vapor. The water in the 900mm tube condencer was opened
right up max and I had to put more water through the heat exchange
unit to stop the vapor coming through.I then held the glass 100mm
measure tube in the stream and it filled in 50 seconds.By my maths
thats 7.2 liters / hour. A corrected adv of 95%.I kid you not. After
about 10 mins it setteled down to 6 Ltrs/Hr and stayed there for a
while. I have put another thermometer in the lid of the just to see
what happens through out the distilling process. The foreshots
started coming of at 90 deg and the temp steadally rose as the temp
on top of the tower stayed at 78 deg. With this heat exchange unit I
was able top keep the temp below 82 deg as the temp in the boiler
rose to 100 deg, the alcohol flow then vertually stoped. Final abv of
93 deg. the smell of the heads first came of very sweet and clean
smelling,and I thought I won't have to carbon this, but gradully the
smell got stronger and stronger. I would think that is from the yeast
getting hotter and hotter. Would this be right? Just goes to show the
cleaner the wash, and the higher the abv, the cleaner sweeter and
better tasting alcohol you will get. Does anyone do more than turbo
cleaning their wash, possably putting it through a 1 micron filter,
or is this just going overboard as the carbon will take the flavours
and smells out anyway.
It is obvious I need to cut back to 2 or 3 elements (3000 or 4500
watts) at the start, but because it didn't flood do you think it
would help if more s/s scrubers where fitted. I think I could fit in
about another 40. Would this increase the HETP and help the cleaning
of the alcohol as it went up the tower.
The yeasty smell in the tower after finnishing! How do you get rid of
it? Or is it OK to leave it in there.I have been told it will not get
any worse, but if it is easy enough to do I would like to get rid of
it after every distillation. Will caustic soda get rid of it.
What I thought was a bad wash turned out OK. 12 Ltrs.
Don't give up to soon if you have a problem.
How do you tell the difference between heads middle and tails, is it
smell or abv.
More Questions another time.