corn starch to sugar
- can someone please clarify the means of converting the starches in
grain into fermentable sugars? i live on a farm and am interested in
making ethanol to run my tractor on, and corn seems to be a logical
choice since i can grow and harvest my own, and can feed the
leftovers to my animals. according to some of the beermaking sites i
have seen, if i am reading correctly, that if the grain is heated to
a certain temp for a certain time the enzymes in it will convert the
starches over to sugars. how should i go about doing it?
has anyone had any experience with using wood heat? there is a
sawmill localy that will load up a 12' trailor for $15 with hickory
stacked 4' high, that's a whole lot cheaper than gas.
for the actual distillation i was thinking of using a 55 gallon drum
as a boiler hooking up a thumper to it and then collecting the
ethanol and running it through a reflux column to obtain the required
purity. i really need something in the 5gph range to make it
one last thing, in the reflux column, it was originally designed to
use raschig rings it is 36" high x 2" in diameter, i have heard that
stainless steel pot scrubbers are more effective for use, should i
shorten the column length to cut down on the number of reflux cycles?
thanks for any help you can give me...
>can someone please clarify the means of converting the starches inYou need at least 20% of the grains present to be malted, so that the
>grain into fermentable sugars? ... that if the grain is heated to
>a certain temp for a certain time the enzymes in it will convert the
>starches over to sugars. how should i go about doing it?
enzymes are present in them. I've got a basic outline of this & the mashing
process at http://www.geocities.com/kiwi_distiller/wash-grain.htm but you'll
probably find better information on beer making sites
>one last thing, in the reflux column, it was originally designed toI've got details on this at
>use raschig rings it is 36" high x 2" in diameter, i have heard that
>stainless steel pot scrubbers are more effective for use, should i
>shorten the column length to cut down on the number of reflux cycles?
>thanks for any help you can give me...
http://www.geocities.com/kiwi_distiller/refluxdesign.htm . I figure that
they're 2-3 times better than rachig rings (with the diameter columns we
use) Yes, better packing will allow you to use a smaller column or a lower
reflux ratio to get the same purity. Or keep the same height & reflux
ratio, and have improved purity. Are you happy with the existing purity, or
do you want cleaner alcohol ?
The stainless steel scrubbers are probably only good up to about 2-3 inch
diameter columns. Beyond this, they will get difficult to keep in place &
have even liquid flow over them (e.g. don't want areas where they are really
packed tight or spread too thin - it has to be uniform). It is at the
larger diameters that the more regular packings like rachig rings come into
their own, and for even larger diameters, that you'd consider structured
packings (i.e. carefully stacked into a regular pattern). One rule of thumb
I've heard of for raching rings is to size them 1/10th the diameter of the
column; e.g. the small 6mm rachig rings are really only suitable down to
about 60mm (2.4") diameter columns (and they're expensive!). Might as well
go for the better performing, cheaper option.