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Equilibrate

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  • Jane Doe
    I have been stumped by the term equilibrate. What does that mean, and also, with my column, could someone tell me how to *do* it? Thanks ahead of time! Jane
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 1, 2005
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      I have been stumped by the term equilibrate. What does that mean, and
      also, with my column, could someone tell me how to *do* it?
      Thanks ahead of time!
      Jane
    • Derek Hamlet
      Jane, I assume equilbrate in this case refers to equilibrium. For some members of this list it refers to that state of being that happens when sampling too
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 1, 2005
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        Jane,
        I assume equilbrate in this case refers to equilibrium.
        For some members of this list it refers to that state of being that
        happens when sampling too much product (strictly for quality control)
        while distilling. It's use would go something like: " After sampling
        his product over a period of hours, Joe stood up, tripped over the
        220 volt power cord which was pulled from the boiler striking the cat
        who was instantly electrocuted. His loss of equilibrium was a direct
        result of imbibing too much hooch."
        Another and more likely explanation of equilibrium in this case is
        the layering of product vapours in the column.
        When you bring your still up to temperature, you would leave your
        product takeoff valve fully closed. You now wish to get your still
        in balance for a period of time. You can do this by adjusting the
        heat applied to the boiler and to a lesser extent the volume and
        temperature of the water going through the condenser.
        The aim is get a constant temperature (say 76 degrees C) that will
        hold. Over time the various alcohols will form in layers inside your
        column with the nasty methanols at the top, ethanol beneath that and so forth.
        Then when you slowly open your output valve the product coming out
        will be almost pure foreshots (i.e. methanol). This is the stuff you
        throw away, keep for paint thinner or sell to anarchists for molotov coctails.
        Does this explain things satisfactorily.
        By the way. these are just my opinions on how things work. Reading
        Tony's site carefully plus some of the good books out there also helps.
        Distilling is not especially difficult, but, one does have to be careful.
        I had a friend who made his hooch with a stainless boiler, controlled
        by a hot water heater element. I used to ask little questions and
        express concerns about his products because a thermostat like that
        could have a several degree on off range and for the life of me I
        could not see where he got any decent separations of foreshots,
        middles and tails.
        Truly scary.
        At 09:11 AM 12/1/2005, you wrote:
        >I have been stumped by the term equilibrate. What does that mean, and
        >also, with my column, could someone tell me how to *do* it?
        >Thanks ahead of time!
        >Jane
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > New Distillers group archives are at http://archive.nnytech.net/
        > FAQ and other information available at http://homedistiller.org
        >
        >
        >Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >

        Derek
        Victoria, B. C.
        Canada
      • Robert Thomas
        Equilibrate, in terms of rectifying columns (ie (simplistically) those with packing) is to let it reflux until the temp drops to under 78degC stabily. Then
        Message 3 of 4 , Dec 1, 2005
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          Equilibrate, in terms of rectifying columns (ie (simplistically) those
          with packing) is to let it reflux until the temp drops to under 78degC
          stabily. Then take off the heads slowly until you hit a stable 78.??
          degC.
          You are letting the column do what it is designed for. Patience is the
          bottom line.
          Cheers,
          Rob,


          --- Jane Doe <laffingrrl@...> wrote:

          > I have been stumped by the term equilibrate. What does that mean,
          > and
          > also, with my column, could someone tell me how to *do* it?
          > Thanks ahead of time!
          > Jane
          >
          >
          >
          >


          Cheers,
          Rob.




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        • _{*L*}_
          In plain simple term equilibrating means (IMHO) you wait until the returned condensate would saturate the packing starting from the top and working toward
          Message 4 of 4 , Dec 1, 2005
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            In plain simple term "equilibrating" means (IMHO) you wait until the returned condensate would saturate the packing starting from the top and working toward the bottom. It takes approximately 15~25 minutes.

            Depending on power of your boiler and cooling power of your condenser, there will be an equilibrium point along the column height toward the bottom where upcoming vapor is so "strong" that it forcefully evaporates whatever distillate condensate comes from the top.

            The lower this point is located, the better the separation process will be. The temperature above this point tends to stay close to 78*C and it steady rises toward the boiler temperature below it.

            The more "saturated" height of the column you have above the equilibrium point -- the better the distillation product will be.

            Whatever length of the column you have below the equilibrium point it is certainly *not working* in your favor. Ideally, the column height should be the length when the equilibrium point is located at the column base.

            It means that the most efficient column would be fully saturated with condensed distillate what is exactly happens in shorter columns. The *non-working* bottom of long columns is simple waste of material, headroom and fuel.

            The finesse is to determine the length so that it is not very short and not excessively long. I did some experiments (note: for my boiler and my condenser); in 1.5" copper pipe column the most efficient column length is approximately 18" or ratio 12:1 -- your setup may vary.

            I hope it helped.

            Jane Doe <laffingrrl@...> wrote:
            I have been stumped by the term equilibrate. What does that mean, and
            also, with my column, could someone tell me how to *do* it?
            Thanks ahead of time!
            Jane





            New Distillers group archives are at http://archive.nnytech.net/
            FAQ and other information available at http://homedistiller.org





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