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New Reflux Still: First run w/Sugar Wash - Questions

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  • sawyer7271
    I have a new reflux still that my brother and I assembled: 15Gal. SS Keg boiler, 2 x24 column packed w/ss scrubbers... As a test, I ran it wide open and
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 15, 2007
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      I have a new reflux still that my brother and I assembled:

      15Gal. SS Keg boiler, 2"x24" column packed w/ss scrubbers...

      As a test, I ran it wide open and gathered 100Ml/Min. (0 reflux)

      --Is this too fast? Should I turn down the heat?

      I closed the valve, and ran it at about 100ml/5 min....

      (wash was 10Lb sugar, turbo yeast...)

      I tossed the first 150ml, and we began collecting.

      The temp stayed around 173. Then something odd happened:
      periodically, the temp would spike to 185+, and then settle back down
      to 173. This happened several times. Any ideas?

      Eventually, I turned down the heat (propane), and ran it quite slow
      for about 2 hours, and collected 2L more.

      The last part of the run almost tasted like bourbon... had an almost
      sweet quality.

      Then the temp started quickly climbing and we shut down. One odd
      note: the main body of the run tastes like nail polish remover.
      Will Carbon clean this up? Did something go wrong?

      I was reading about adding sodium bicarbonate before distilling, but
      doesn't a >7 PH wash produce amonia and that funny blue copper
      compound?

      Anyway, next run, I'll pull the scrubbers, we have a 100% corn mash
      fermenting...

      Thanks!

      ---Spam
    • morganfield1
      Hey Spam, Kwik question for you, first. What material is the column made from? Second, it sounds like you are indeed running the column a little hard. You want
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 16, 2007
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        Hey Spam,

        Kwik question for you, first. What material is the column made from?

        Second, it sounds like you are indeed running the column a little
        hard. You want just a slow, rolling boil... especially for a 24"
        column, JMSO, guys who run the meter and meter and a half columns
        can really put the fuel to 'em and get high output with good
        seperation. Wow, a hundred ml's a minute, water doesn't come out of
        my faucet that fast! If I'm making neutral spirit, I draw about 1
        drop/sec., but everybody's still is different.
        Tip one, Morgan

        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "sawyer7271" <sawyer7271@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > I have a new reflux still that my brother and I assembled:
        >
        > 15Gal. SS Keg boiler, 2"x24" column packed w/ss scrubbers...
        >
        > As a test, I ran it wide open and gathered 100Ml/Min. (0 reflux)
        >
        > --Is this too fast? Should I turn down the heat?
        >
        > I closed the valve, and ran it at about 100ml/5 min....
        >
        > (wash was 10Lb sugar, turbo yeast...)
        >
        > I tossed the first 150ml, and we began collecting.
        >
        > The temp stayed around 173. Then something odd happened:
        > periodically, the temp would spike to 185+, and then settle back
        down
        > to 173. This happened several times. Any ideas?
        >
        > Eventually, I turned down the heat (propane), and ran it quite
        slow
        > for about 2 hours, and collected 2L more.
        >
        > The last part of the run almost tasted like bourbon... had an
        almost
        > sweet quality.
        >
        > Then the temp started quickly climbing and we shut down. One odd
        > note: the main body of the run tastes like nail polish remover.
        > Will Carbon clean this up? Did something go wrong?
        >
        > I was reading about adding sodium bicarbonate before distilling,
        but
        > doesn't a >7 PH wash produce amonia and that funny blue copper
        > compound?
        >
        > Anyway, next run, I'll pull the scrubbers, we have a 100% corn
        mash
        > fermenting...
        >
        > Thanks!
        >
        > ---Spam
        >
      • mtnwalker2
        ... Indeed too fast for a spirit run, but fortunately you have made a good stripping run. If that first run was for neutral, then soak your strippings on soda
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 16, 2007
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          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "morganfield1"
          <morganfield1@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hey Spam,
          >
          > Kwik question for you, first. What material is the column made from?
          >
          > Second, it sounds like you are indeed running the column a little
          > hard. You want just a slow, rolling boil... especially for a 24"
          > column, JMSO, guys who run the meter and meter and a half columns
          > can really put the fuel to 'em and get high output with good
          > seperation. Wow, a hundred ml's a minute, water doesn't come out of
          > my faucet that fast! If I'm making neutral spirit, I draw about 1
          > drop/sec., but everybody's still is different.
          > Tip one, Morgan
          >
          > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "sawyer7271" <sawyer7271@>
          > wrote:
          > >
          > > I have a new reflux still that my brother and I assembled:
          > >
          > > 15Gal. SS Keg boiler, 2"x24" column packed w/ss scrubbers...
          > >
          > > As a test, I ran it wide open and gathered 100Ml/Min. (0 reflux)
          > >
          > > --Is this too fast? Should I turn down the heat?
          > >
          > > I closed the valve, and ran it at about 100ml/5 min....
          > >
          > > (wash was 10Lb sugar, turbo yeast...)
          > >
          > > I tossed the first 150ml, and we began collecting.
          > >
          > > The temp stayed around 173. Then something odd happened:
          > > periodically, the temp would spike to 185+, and then settle back
          > down
          > > to 173. This happened several times. Any ideas?
          > >
          > > Eventually, I turned down the heat (propane), and ran it quite
          > slow
          > > for about 2 hours, and collected 2L more.
          > >
          > > The last part of the run almost tasted like bourbon... had an
          > almost
          > > sweet quality.
          > >
          > > Then the temp started quickly climbing and we shut down. One odd
          > > note: the main body of the run tastes like nail polish remover.
          > > Will Carbon clean this up? Did something go wrong?
          > >
          > > I was reading about adding sodium bicarbonate before distilling,
          > but
          > > doesn't a >7 PH wash produce amonia and that funny blue copper
          > > compound?
          > >
          > > Anyway, next run, I'll pull the scrubbers, we have a 100% corn
          > mash
          > > fermenting...
          > >
          > > Thanks!
          > >
          > > ---Spam
          > >
          >Hello Spam,

          Indeed too fast for a spirit run, but fortunately you have made a
          good stripping run. If that first run was for neutral, then soak your
          strippings on soda until next run, and add some non-iodized salt
          (canning salt), and run slow. Your fore and after cuts will be much
          more definative, and more hearts.

          I always do this for neutral, saveing up until I have enough to
          make the spirit run. It saves energy, time, and a much better end
          procuct. Just more orginization.

          For your corn wash, strip run, quick and fast, save for 2 or 3 runs,
          and spirit run, or run results slow.

          Your column is capaple, but anemic per speed/quality- just adjust for
          what works for you and your still, and taste.

          Go real slow with your grain mash, and try to make your first batch
          the very best you will ever make. Its do'able.

          Good luck, rich rewards, joy of shareing, and just plain drinking
          pleasure
        • sawyer7271
          Thanks for the tips. The Column is all copper, and I have 2 copper potscrubbers at the top of the column, the rest are SS. The unit has 1 output valve, right
          Message 4 of 4 , Jan 16, 2007
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            Thanks for the tips.

            The Column is all copper, and I have 2 copper potscrubbers at the top
            of the column, the rest are SS. The unit has 1 output valve, right
            below a 1/2" copper T. Everything that overflows the T is refluxed.

            I have plenty of 2" copper left, and if it would make sense, I can
            lengthen the column real easily. (I have a union fitting in the
            column for easy cleaning, it's soldered at the bottom, and friction
            fit at the top. that way I figure I can have a short column, no
            scrubbers, for my corn whiskey, and a taller column for neutral
            spirits...)

            What's odd is that I only recovered about 2L from my run. From the
            amount of sugar, starting and final gravity of the wash, I was
            expecting more like 4L.

            > strippings on soda until next run, and add some non-iodized salt
            > (canning salt), and run slow.
            How much salt? How much Baking Soda... Won't this give me
            ammonia/blue alcohol?

            BTW: My father told me that his uncle ran shine in rural North
            Carolina... He always wore his shoes without laces because he could
            run faster barefoot... :-) I can just see it now: "But your honor, I
            was just going back to my roots!"

            Thank you both for the help...

            My brother came up with a 20Gal. Food-grade barrel. I'll be
            expanding the mash quantity from 5Gal to 10. (Much more than that
            and it would take forever to boil). next Q: for those that make
            Corn Whiskey or Sour Mash:

            I have 50Lbs of rolled feed corn. Batch 1 was 15Lbs Rolled corn. It
            didn't disperse well, but we mashed it out (just like our beers).
            and rinsed/fermented OFF the grain... Starting gravity was low
            1.045, finished just under 1.0... (5 Gallons water) I expected the
            starting gravity to be around 1.060 or higher.

            From what I can guess, this corn probably needs to be boiled before
            mashing to convert and disperse the starches...before mashing. I've
            been reading (too much) that I shouldn't ferment "on the grain" for
            malted barley or I'll get a grassy taste in the shine. SO...

            How do I convert the starches to sugar AND ferment on the grain?
            Should I buy enzymes (in addition to beano?)??? If so, what kind?
            and from WHO in the U.S.?

            Thanks for the help!

            --Spam
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