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corn starch to sugar

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  • deathstalker@netease.net
    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
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 6, 2000
      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
      worthwhile.
      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...
    • Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
      ... You need at least 20% of the grains present to be malted, so that the enzymes are present in them. I ve got a basic outline of this & the mashing process
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 8, 2000
        >can someone please clarify the means of converting the starches in
        >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?

        You need at least 20% of the grains present to be malted, so that the
        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 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...

        I've got details on this at
        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.

        Tony
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