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Re: Technical Observations: Expert Advice Neded

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  • chevisn7
    Thanks Harry and Morgan I did the wash out from the build with vinegar twice for over an hour each time. Once to initially clean out the unit. I then ran a
    Message 1 of 20 , Mar 3, 2008
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      Thanks Harry and Morgan
      I did the wash out from the build with vinegar twice for over an hour
      each time. Once to initially clean out the unit. I then ran a
      stainless steel scrubber through the unit on my drill to polish the
      inside and did the vinegar clean out again. I will try that once more
      time just to be sure I did not miss anything.

      The first mash I did was with cracked corn, sugar and Turbo 48
      yeast. The second mash I did was with Sugar. Grape Juice, Orange
      Juice, Rice Krispies and Turbo 48. The third wash I did was with
      Sugar, Grape Juice, Orange Juice, Rice Krispies and EC-1118. The
      second and third batch had less off flavors than the batch made with
      corn and Turbo 48. But the off flavors were still there.

      I have three thermometers, Two are glass industrial grade and one is
      digital rated in .10 (one tenth of a degree increments) All read the
      same head temperatures. 81C / 179 degrees as the constant to produce
      condensate.

      Each batch has had a abv of around 16 to 17% alcohol.

      I am trying to follow what Morgan said in his reply. What I do not
      understand is this.
      If pure alcohol is said to vaporizes at 173 degrees. I would expect
      to see alcohol vapor in the column when the mash reaches this
      temperature. This is where I may be wrong and where part of my
      problem lies.

      If the wash begins to boil at 180 degrees then I would expect
      everything that vaporizes below this point to be mixing in the steam
      that is going up the column. Again I may be wrong and missing a point
      or two of the process.

      I understand that when the still is in reflux mode the condensed
      liquid is cooler than the vapor coming up the column. This cooled
      liquid cools the vapor rising up the column
      causing the higher temp vapors to return to the pot to be boiled off
      again. But if the column head temp remains at 81C / 179 degrees then
      everything entering the condenser is still mixed and has no way of
      being separated. Again I may be missing something here.

      Yes I was trying to control the head temperatures by varying my heat
      to the Boiler. I did this because the head temp was above what I read
      it needed to be. I also did it because I read the temp would level
      off at around 170 degrees and slowly rise every 15 minutes or so.
      This did not happen. The temp stayed at 170 and would not go up. When
      the heat was slightly increased the head temp instantly went to 81C /
      179F. Again I may be doing something wrong or not understanding the
      entire process.

      Chuck

      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "morganfield1"
      <morganfield1@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi Chuck and Harry,
      >
      > Chuck, I think one thing you are doing wrong, and Harry, correct me
      > if I'm wrong, is you are trying to control the temp of your boil so
      > that only "pure ethanol" is vaporized and only that goes up the
      > column. It may have been mentioned here before, once or twice, that
      > the wash will produce steam at the temp determined by the % of
      > ethanol in the wash. Adjusting the heat only serves the purpose of
      > controlling "the amount of vapor" the boil produces, the more heat
      > applied, the more vapor up the column, and the more vapor the
      reflux
      > condensor has to condense. The mash may begin to boil at 180
      degress,
      > but as the alchohol is removed (lower boiling point components come
      > of first), the boiling temp slowly rises. The head temp may stay
      the
      > same, as reflux action (even with no packing) concentrates lower
      temp
      > vapors at the top of the column. HTH. I have to go, SWMBO has just
      > called me for dinner.
      >
      > Tip one, Morgan
      >
    • C D
      You never mentioned what ABV % you re getting and at what temps. That could certainly help diagnose the problems. Oil-e-ness is too subjective to quantify. I
      Message 2 of 20 , Mar 3, 2008
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        You never mentioned what ABV % you're getting and at what temps. That
        could certainly help diagnose the problems. Oil-e-ness is too
        subjective to quantify.

        I built a valved reflux with 2"x28" column filled with 1 liter of
        rashig rings. I boiled 3 runs of some off-tasting grape wine. Once I
        set the output valve and reflux valve correctly, I could no longer
        taste any grape-e-ness once the ABV% reached 75 or above. Everything
        collected below 75% from prior runs was run through again at almost
        max reflux. I certainly got a clean 90% ABV product. I could have
        gotten higher but didn't want to spend the time. 180 proof was good
        enough.
      • Trid
        ... You hit it right on the head. You need to discard the idea that you re to control the boiler temperature. What vaporizes is not pure ethanol...ever.
        Message 3 of 20 , Mar 3, 2008
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          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "chevisn7" <chevisn7@...>
          > I have three thermometers, Two are glass industrial grade and one is
          > digital rated in .10 (one tenth of a degree increments) All read the
          > same head temperatures. 81C / 179 degrees as the constant to produce
          > condensate.
          >
          > Each batch has had a abv of around 16 to 17% alcohol.
          >
          > I am trying to follow what Morgan said in his reply. What I do not
          > understand is this.
          > If pure alcohol is said to vaporizes at 173 degrees. I would expect
          > to see alcohol vapor in the column when the mash reaches this
          > temperature. This is where I may be wrong and where part of my
          > problem lies.

          You hit it right on the head. You need to discard the idea that
          you're to control the boiler temperature. What vaporizes is not pure
          ethanol...ever. Because ethanol is 100% miscible with water, they
          both vaporize together. You can never get one without the water.

          Remember, water will evaporate at any temperature above freezing, it's
          just that the hotter you make it, the faster it evaporates. The same
          is true with ethanol. Because they're both present in the wash,
          they'll both be evaporating at a certain rate based on the
          temperature. Once you hit boiling, the temperature will not rise, but
          the rate of evaporation will continue to increase if you were to add
          more heat. What happens is that the mix of two liquids of differing
          boiling temperatures causes the actual boiling temperature to be
          somewhere between them...higher than the lower boiling liquid, but
          lower than the higher boiling liquid. This temperature is related to
          the ratio of the mix.

          > If the wash begins to boil at 180 degrees then I would expect
          > everything that vaporizes below this point to be mixing in the steam
          > that is going up the column. Again I may be wrong and missing a
          > point or two of the process.

          See where this theory breaks down? Even though it is boiling at 180,
          that which has a boiling temperature below as well as that which has a
          higher boiling temperature will be present in the rising vapor. As
          the ratio of those components change, the boiler temperature will
          rise...all by itself.

          > I understand that when the still is in reflux mode the condensed
          > liquid is cooler than the vapor coming up the column. This cooled
          > liquid cools the vapor rising up the column
          > causing the higher temp vapors to return to the pot to be boiled off
          > again. But if the column head temp remains at 81C / 179 degrees then
          > everything entering the condenser is still mixed and has no way of
          > being separated. Again I may be missing something here.

          Almost. The cool condensate does partially condense the higher
          boiling liquids out of the rising vapor, but it goes both ways. The
          vapor reheats the liquid coming down and releases the lower boiling
          liquids from the falling condensate. The packing in your column
          raises the surface area in which the vapor and liquid make contact
          which makes it more efficient in doing so.

          As such, the vapor rising to the top should be cooler than your boiler
          temperature. The measure of this is the head temperature. If it's
          higher than the alcohol/water azeotrope, then you're not getting
          complete separation (more vapor going up the column than the falling
          condensate can separate in the space of your column given the amount
          of surface area your packing provides). If it's less than your
          boiler temperature, that means your reflux is working too hard and
          you're condensing all of your ethanol back to the boiler and only the
          more volatile components are getting past (acetone and such).

          > Yes I was trying to control the head temperatures by varying my heat
          > to the Boiler. I did this because the head temp was above what I
          > read
          > it needed to be. I also did it because I read the temp would level
          > off at around 170 degrees and slowly rise every 15 minutes or so.
          > This did not happen. The temp stayed at 170 and would not go up.
          > When
          > the heat was slightly increased the head temp instantly went to
          > 81C / 179F. Again I may be doing something wrong or not
          > understanding the entire process.

          You're catching up. Actually, you're giving us clear enough
          indications to spot exactly where you can improve. Where you increase
          your boiler input (more heat) it instantly goes up to the saturation
          temperature of the alcohol/water azeotrope (plus or minus very
          little). This is a good thing. What you do at this point is to
          settle on a particular heat input and leave it there. Quick
          question...are you using a propane/gas or electric? If it's electric
          and you're using a traditional thermostatic switch to control
          temperature, this will have to be fixed before anything else will be
          of use. If not, nevermind...on to the next step.

          To maintain the head temperature (the measure of your product purity)
          you'll adjust your output valve instead of your heat input. Remember
          that your reflux cools your vapor on its way down to the boiler. If
          it's running too hot, adjust your valve to send more back to the
          boiler (this increases your reflux ratio). Conversely, if your head
          temperature is too cool or your takeoff rate is low, adjust your valve
          to take more product off and thus reduce your reflux ratio. Keep the
          heat input constant regardless of what the temperature of the boiler.

          If, for example, you can take off 1 liter per hour doing a
          zero-reflux, no packing stripping run, then a 0.5 liter per hour
          reflux run would indicate you're refluxing at 50% (or 1:1). Play with
          your rig in a couple different situations and record the results of
          each (takeoff rate, temperatures, no reflux, full heat, and so on) and
          see how they differ. Playing with it will really tune you in to the
          particulars of your rig (no two are exactly alike, so figures quoted
          are only estimates, anyway). Then work out how well it performs for a
          given heat input with no reflux, with 50% reflux, with 75% and so on.
          You'll get it dialed in before you know it.

          Trid
          -getting withdrawals because my rig is packed up for moving
        • morganfield1
          Hello again, Chuck, I also want to apoligize for mis-classifying your rig. That is not a CM, that is a valved reflux LM rig, and as such should give you very
          Message 4 of 20 , Mar 3, 2008
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            Hello again, Chuck,

            I also want to apoligize for mis-classifying your rig. That is not a
            CM, that is a valved reflux LM rig, and as such should give you very
            good results. If I had looked at the pictures you offered earlier, I
            could have avoided the mis-information I gave you.
            But, back to the point, History Channel may have "aluded" to the
            ability to extract alchohol from a mash by "holding" the temperature
            at 172 deg.'s, that is not how it works. I think that Harry will
            agree, this is one of the hardest things for beginners to get their
            head around, and many keyboards have been worn out trying to explain
            this. But, here 'goes. It's not rocket science (it's bio-chemical
            science!!)
            There are three kinds of basic elemental conditions (combinations of
            stuff); solutions, mixtures, and compounds. A solution is a
            combination of two or more things that once combined, will seperate
            out of each other if they are let to set for a time (such as oil and
            water). A mixture is a combination that once mixed, they will stay
            mixed unless a physical energy is exerted upon them. Sugar and water
            is such a combination. Water is the most common solvent, it will mix
            with just about anything (except oil). A compound is combination
            formed at the chemical level, which can only be seperated by chemical
            means, super collider, or a really big hammer. Scratch the really big
            hammer!
            The other most common solvent is our friend, ethanol. Mix etho and
            water together, you have a mixture. The physical energy applied to
            seperate them is distillation. By the way, an oil refinery is a big
            distillery, but that's another topic. Ethanol vaporizes at 172 deg.,
            water vaporizes at 212 deg. Now here's the important part, a mixture
            of etho and water will vaporize (boil) somewhere between the two
            temperatures depending on the percentage of one to the other. Over on
            the "distillers" group, Sherman has posted a graph showing the
            relationship between boiling temps and vapor temps and the
            corresponding temps and percentages of both. Fantastic job,by the
            way, Pint, very nice. OK, you did good, too, Harry. I would strongly
            suggest you wonder on over there and check it out.
            OK, now at this point, Harry would give you the facts and figures,
            but I'm going to let you do your own research (because I'm lazy).
            Let's say your wash started to boil at 180 degrees, the vapor is a
            mixture of methanol, ethanol, propanol and a few other things
            (yummy), but.... the stuff with the lower boiling temps will come off
            first, and that is what makes up MOST of what is in the vapor, and
            that is what collects at the column head. You have also noticed, no
            doubt, that the top of the column remains cool for awhile after the
            wash has started boiling. This is because the sides of the column (in
            a un-packed column) are still cool and condensing the vapor as it
            rises, and the liquid falls back down the column. It takes about 20
            min. for my column to heat up.
            OK, back to the point. As the run continues, the amount of etho in
            the wash slowly diminishes. As this happens, the temperature of the
            boiling wash will increase (because there is more and more water in
            the ratio). This is not to be feared, it is just the normal physical
            properties of the wash coming into play. It doesn't mean the
            distillate coming off is lower quality (remember I said "wash
            temperature). The head temperature is the one to watch. That's why I
            said "set your heat input and leave it for the duration of the run".
            If you have the ability, put the boots to her to get her up to temp,
            then back her down to around 1500 wts, let the column equalize (let
            the head temp reach a steady reading for 20 min or so, and there's
            alot of oppinion on that), adjust your drip rate for the purity
            you're looking for, sit back and enjoy the show.
            Wow, I'm starting to get "Harry fingers". That's enough for one
            night. You might want to go to the "homedistiller" site, check
            out "still operation", I think it's under the "distilling" menu, but
            I'm not sure. I hope this helped.

            Tip one, Moran
          • chevisn7
            CD Prevous post on the ABV No Packing no reflux: first run 80+% Second Run 85 to 90% Third Run 92% With 24 inches of Packing, no reflux First Run 85 to 90%
            Message 5 of 20 , Mar 4, 2008
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              CD
              Prevous post on the ABV
              No Packing no reflux: first run 80+%
              Second Run 85 to 90%
              Third Run 92%

              With 24 inches of Packing, no reflux
              First Run 85 to 90%
              Second run 92%
              Third run 92%

              With Reflux 3 to 1
              First Run 90 to 92% abv

              Hope this helps
              Chuck

              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "C D" <vette69@...> wrote:
              >
              > You never mentioned what ABV % you're getting and at what temps. That
              > could certainly help diagnose the problems. Oil-e-ness is too
              > subjective to quantify.
              >
              > I built a valved reflux with 2"x28" column filled with 1 liter of
              > rashig rings. I boiled 3 runs of some off-tasting grape wine. Once I
              > set the output valve and reflux valve correctly, I could no longer
              > taste any grape-e-ness once the ABV% reached 75 or above. Everything
              > collected below 75% from prior runs was run through again at almost
              > max reflux. I certainly got a clean 90% ABV product. I could have
              > gotten higher but didn't want to spend the time. 180 proof was good
              > enough.
              >
            • chevisn7
              Thanks Harry, Morgan, CD, Trid, hopefully I did not leave any one out. Your answers have been very helpful. I now have a much clearer understanding of how the
              Message 6 of 20 , Mar 4, 2008
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                Thanks Harry, Morgan, CD, Trid, hopefully I did not leave any one out.
                Your answers have been very helpful. I now have a much clearer
                understanding of how the still works and how the ratio or percentage
                of alcohol to water effects the process. You call this a hobby. Once
                I get this mastered I am considering taking up Brain Surgery as my
                next hobby. But I do admit, the process is not so bad once you grasp
                the concept. Your help makes understanding the process a lot easier.
                Thanks again.

                I read the references you referred to, needless to say all of your
                answers are much more understandable

                Based on the information you provided it would seem everything is
                working properly and the temperatures I am recording are
                satisfactory.

                Now my efforts will be to find out where the off taste is coming
                from. I took the still apart again and cleaned the inside with
                vinegar and a stainless steel scrubber mounted to a drill. The inside
                shines like a new penny. I repeated the boil out for over an hour
                with vinegar and steam. I also boiled the copper scrubbers in
                vinegar and rinsed them real good. Hopefully one more possible
                problem eliminated. If I missed something in the cleaning process
                please let me know.

                I will run my last batch through again with the scrubbers installed
                using Reflux to see if the smell and taste are improved. Now that I
                have an understanding of the process I won't be so worried about the
                temps in the Boiler. Also have a new batch started, hopefully the
                results will be improved.

                I still have two questions haunting me.

                I now understand that the boiling point of the mash is relevant to
                the ratio of alcohol to water in the mix. On the first run my ratio
                was between 15 and 17% abv. On the second and third stripping runs
                the ratio was 50% abv. On the second and third run the wash did boil
                sooner at a lower temperature. If I remember on the first run it
                boiled at 190 degrees and on the second and third run it boiled at
                180 degrees. But the head temperature at the top of the vapor column
                remained the same, 81C / 179F on both runs. Is this figure correct.
                Again I may be using mechanics rather than chemistry. Chemistry
                wasn't my best subject. I would think it should have been lower on
                the second and third run. Again I was messing with the Boiler heat
                to try to lower the head temp. But 81C / 179 was where product
                started to condense.

                My second question. I am still having a little trouble understanding
                how the tails are being removed from the final product during the
                early part of the production run when the vaporization temp of the
                Boiler and the temperature at the head of the vapor column are higher
                than the vaporization temp of the unwanted product (The Tails). It
                would seem the unwanted product would still be suspended in the
                vapor. What keeps the Tails in the Boiler where they belong. You
                may have already answered this question and I just missed the point.
                I will read your answers again and do a little more research.
                Possibly just a case of mental block. The fog usually clears about
                2:oo in the morning a day or so down the road. But if I did miss
                something thanks in advance for helping out.
                Chuck
              • morganfield1
                Hi Chuck, Answeres (or feable attemps at answeres) interspersed. ... ratio ... boil ... column ... correct. ... The figure sounds about right. Remember, the
                Message 7 of 20 , Mar 4, 2008
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                  Hi Chuck,

                  Answeres (or feable attemps at answeres) interspersed.

                  --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "chevisn7" <chevisn7@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > I still have two questions haunting me.
                  >
                  > I now understand that the boiling point of the mash is relevant to
                  > the ratio of alcohol to water in the mix. On the first run my
                  ratio
                  > was between 15 and 17% abv. On the second and third stripping runs
                  > the ratio was 50% abv. On the second and third run the wash did
                  boil
                  > sooner at a lower temperature. If I remember on the first run it
                  > boiled at 190 degrees and on the second and third run it boiled at
                  > 180 degrees. But the head temperature at the top of the vapor
                  column
                  > remained the same, 81C / 179F on both runs. Is this figure
                  correct.
                  > Again I may be using mechanics rather than chemistry. Chemistry
                  > wasn't my best subject. I would think it should have been lower on
                  > the second and third run.

                  The figure sounds about right. Remember, the boiler temperature is a
                  function of the alchohol to water ratio, the head temperature is the
                  temperature of the VAPOR at the top of your still and is an
                  INDICATION of the type of alchohol there. So, let's say we start with
                  a stripped run that begins to boil at 180 deg. The head temp is 174
                  after equalization. As the alchohol is depleting, the temp of the
                  boil begins to rise, but the alchohol vapor rising up the column is
                  still ethanol, therefore the temp at the still head remains 174-178.
                  Believe me, when tails start to come thru on a stripped run, that
                  temp will shoot up like a rocket. That's the beauty of doing two runs
                  for high proof spirits, the cuts are very clear. This only applies
                  (this should draw some flak) to reflux runs. Running a pot column
                  still, the temp slowly goes up thru out the run, and cuts are best
                  made by taste, smell, and sight (you can see them on your
                  fingernail). Most reflux stillers don't even run a thermometer on the
                  boiler. The only reason I have one is it gives me an idea when the
                  boil is about to start, so I'm not running cooling water needlessly.

                  Again I was messing with the Boiler heat
                  > to try to lower the head temp. But 81C / 179 was where product
                  > started to condense.

                  Once the column has equalized, don't mess with the heater. You can't
                  control head temp by adjusting boiler heat input.
                  >
                  > My second question. I am still having a little trouble
                  understanding
                  > how the tails are being removed from the final product during the
                  > early part of the production run when the vaporization temp of the
                  > Boiler and the temperature at the head of the vapor column are
                  higher
                  > than the vaporization temp of the unwanted product (The Tails)

                  A; Temperatures aren't written in stone, each still will behave with
                  it's own temperatures. Where they start, and how far and fast they
                  rise is the important issue.

                  B; Removing tails from the lower boiling point fractions is a
                  function of the packing material. That is why it is important to keep
                  the heat constant and steady so the column remains equalized thru out
                  the run. If you're looking for high proof, clean tasting spirit, a
                  packed column is the only way to go. As the vapor, with all it's
                  impurities, rises up the column thru the packing, it comes in contact
                  with condensed liquid falling down the packing. Higher boiling point
                  vapors are condensed by the falling liquid and return to the boiler
                  (this is the short version of events, film at eleven!)while lower
                  boiling point vapors remain in vapor form and continue up the column.

                  (I hate writing these long disertations 'cause the more I write, the
                  better chance I have of screwing up and looking like an idiot! I am
                  no expert on this stuff, and I don't want to give anybody bad
                  information, besides looking like an idiot.)

                  Tip one, Morgan

                  >
                • chevisn7
                  Morgan No chance on looking or sounding like an idiot. I have that spot reserved. For a while anyway. Your explinations make a lot of sense and have given me a
                  Message 8 of 20 , Mar 4, 2008
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                    Morgan
                    No chance on looking or sounding like an idiot. I have that spot
                    reserved. For a while anyway. Your explinations make a lot of sense
                    and have given me a better understanding of what is happening so I
                    can make the proper adjustments.

                    At this point my deduction is the bad flavors were either comming
                    from trash remaining in the still after the build or the yeast I was
                    using crapped some nasties into the wash.

                    The still has been re-cleaned to the point where is shines on the
                    inside like a brand new penny and a new batch is brewing. I will let
                    you know the outcome.

                    The only question that remains is how do I break the habbit of
                    sampling the brew as it comes out of the still. Disregard. I would
                    listen to that answer about as well as a I keep New Years
                    Resolutions. Jan 2nd they are out the door.
                    Thanks
                    Chuck





                    --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "morganfield1"
                    <morganfield1@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Hi Chuck,
                    >
                    > Answeres (or feable attemps at answeres) interspersed.
                    >
                    > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "chevisn7" <chevisn7@>
                    > wrote:
                    > >
                    > > I still have two questions haunting me.
                    > >
                    > > I now understand that the boiling point of the mash is relevant
                    to
                    > > the ratio of alcohol to water in the mix. On the first run my
                    > ratio
                    > > was between 15 and 17% abv. On the second and third stripping
                    runs
                    > > the ratio was 50% abv. On the second and third run the wash did
                    > boil
                    > > sooner at a lower temperature. If I remember on the first run it
                    > > boiled at 190 degrees and on the second and third run it boiled
                    at
                    > > 180 degrees. But the head temperature at the top of the vapor
                    > column
                    > > remained the same, 81C / 179F on both runs. Is this figure
                    > correct.
                    > > Again I may be using mechanics rather than chemistry. Chemistry
                    > > wasn't my best subject. I would think it should have been lower
                    on
                    > > the second and third run.
                    >
                    > The figure sounds about right. Remember, the boiler temperature is
                    a
                    > function of the alchohol to water ratio, the head temperature is
                    the
                    > temperature of the VAPOR at the top of your still and is an
                    > INDICATION of the type of alchohol there. So, let's say we start
                    with
                    > a stripped run that begins to boil at 180 deg. The head temp is 174
                    > after equalization. As the alchohol is depleting, the temp of the
                    > boil begins to rise, but the alchohol vapor rising up the column is
                    > still ethanol, therefore the temp at the still head remains 174-
                    178.
                    > Believe me, when tails start to come thru on a stripped run, that
                    > temp will shoot up like a rocket. That's the beauty of doing two
                    runs
                    > for high proof spirits, the cuts are very clear. This only applies
                    > (this should draw some flak) to reflux runs. Running a pot column
                    > still, the temp slowly goes up thru out the run, and cuts are best
                    > made by taste, smell, and sight (you can see them on your
                    > fingernail). Most reflux stillers don't even run a thermometer on
                    the
                    > boiler. The only reason I have one is it gives me an idea when the
                    > boil is about to start, so I'm not running cooling water needlessly.
                    >
                    > Again I was messing with the Boiler heat
                    > > to try to lower the head temp. But 81C / 179 was where product
                    > > started to condense.
                    >
                    > Once the column has equalized, don't mess with the heater. You
                    can't
                    > control head temp by adjusting boiler heat input.
                    > >
                    > > My second question. I am still having a little trouble
                    > understanding
                    > > how the tails are being removed from the final product during the
                    > > early part of the production run when the vaporization temp of
                    the
                    > > Boiler and the temperature at the head of the vapor column are
                    > higher
                    > > than the vaporization temp of the unwanted product (The Tails)
                    >
                    > A; Temperatures aren't written in stone, each still will behave
                    with
                    > it's own temperatures. Where they start, and how far and fast they
                    > rise is the important issue.
                    >
                    > B; Removing tails from the lower boiling point fractions is a
                    > function of the packing material. That is why it is important to
                    keep
                    > the heat constant and steady so the column remains equalized thru
                    out
                    > the run. If you're looking for high proof, clean tasting spirit, a
                    > packed column is the only way to go. As the vapor, with all it's
                    > impurities, rises up the column thru the packing, it comes in
                    contact
                    > with condensed liquid falling down the packing. Higher boiling
                    point
                    > vapors are condensed by the falling liquid and return to the boiler
                    > (this is the short version of events, film at eleven!)while lower
                    > boiling point vapors remain in vapor form and continue up the
                    column.
                    >
                    > (I hate writing these long disertations 'cause the more I write,
                    the
                    > better chance I have of screwing up and looking like an idiot! I am
                    > no expert on this stuff, and I don't want to give anybody bad
                    > information, besides looking like an idiot.)
                    >
                    > Tip one, Morgan
                    >
                    > >
                    >
                  • C D
                    Chuck My best guess would be that your still had crap in it causing oily taste even though you were running under reflux and getting 75% ABV. Even yeasty
                    Message 9 of 20 , Mar 4, 2008
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                      Chuck
                      My best guess would be that your still had crap in it causing oily
                      taste even though you were running under reflux and getting >75% ABV.
                      Even yeasty caused bad flavor should be distilled out at that high a
                      proof.
                    • morganfield1
                      Wait, there s more?! I noticed that you mentioned your wash was between 15 & 17%, and you re using eleven eighteen. Great yeast, but you might try backing down
                      Message 10 of 20 , Mar 4, 2008
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                        Wait, there's more?!

                        I noticed that you mentioned your wash was between 15 & 17%, and
                        you're using eleven eighteen. Great yeast, but you might try backing
                        down the fermentables a bit. A 17% wash, partiquarly one done at a
                        temperature of 80 or 90 deg, will produce alot of nasties. Again, a
                        good column will seperate the good from the bad, but next wash, try
                        shooting for around 12% and see how that run turns out. Keep notes of
                        your runs, so you have something to compare to. It has helped me alot
                        over the years, and still does.

                        I never asked you, you say you can adjust the heat going to your
                        boiler, how is that accomplished?

                        Tip one, Morgan

                        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "chevisn7" <chevisn7@...>
                        wrote:
                        >
                        > Morgan
                        > No chance on looking or sounding like an idiot. I have that spot
                        > reserved. For a while anyway. Your explinations make a lot of sense
                        > and have given me a better understanding of what is happening so I
                        > can make the proper adjustments.
                        >
                        > At this point my deduction is the bad flavors were either comming
                        > from trash remaining in the still after the build or the yeast I
                        was
                        > using crapped some nasties into the wash.
                        >
                        > The still has been re-cleaned to the point where is shines on the
                        > inside like a brand new penny and a new batch is brewing. I will
                        let
                        > you know the outcome.
                        >
                        > The only question that remains is how do I break the habbit of
                        > sampling the brew as it comes out of the still. Disregard. I would
                        > listen to that answer about as well as a I keep New Years
                        > Resolutions. Jan 2nd they are out the door.
                        > Thanks
                        > Chuck
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                      • Tom Smith
                        Chuck, I don t know if I qualify as a newbie or not as I have been experimenting for about 4yrs. I too went through what your going through and I learned a lot
                        Message 11 of 20 , Mar 5, 2008
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                          Chuck,
                          I don't know if I qualify as a newbie or not as I have been
                          experimenting for about 4yrs. I too went through what your going
                          through and I learned a lot by trying everything. water, yeast,
                          temps etc. what I finally found was while although knowing your temps
                          and abv are usefull tools you can't make quality hooch by the
                          numbers. the thing that finally improved my stuff was learning to
                          make the cuts properly. an oldtimer told me that when making your
                          cuts to water down the distilllate to about 20% abv. I could'nt
                          believe how much easier I detected the heads (ethyl acetate) I think
                          they call it and tails. I found that by taking a middle fifth cut
                          appx. the stuff markedly improved. I also found that the best flavors
                          seem to me at least, are just before the tails turn bitter. so I
                          allways start using small containers when the middle run starts to
                          lose that real sweet ethanol taste. Previously I was trying to go by
                          the cuts on tony's site and alcohol percent in the parrot. but when
                          trying to make corn whiskey it always had a slightly bitter after
                          taste. I am presently working with a professor at a major university
                          and he insists that all of the cuts can be made with a real time
                          analysis by a gas chromatagraph. but I am yet to be convinced.

                          sorry for being so long winded.

                          would be interested in anything that any of the other member think of
                          this post.

                          Youngblood
                        • chevisn7
                          Hi Morgan and all of you that continue to help out with my dilemmas. All of you have been a tremendous help. Your inputs of information all add up to a greater
                          Message 12 of 20 , Mar 5, 2008
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                            Hi Morgan and all of you that continue to help out with my dilemmas.
                            All of you have been a tremendous help. Your inputs of information
                            all add up to a greater understanding of the distillation process and
                            how to control what is going on.

                            Morgan you asked how I adjust my heat to the Boiler. Simply I just
                            turn down the flame. I have a good flame heat control that came with
                            my Turkey Fryer Burner. In this case I kept turning the flame up and
                            down every time I noticed any type of movement in my head
                            temperature. It head temp wanted to stabalize either at 70C where
                            nothing was procuded or it wanted to stabalize at 81C. If I raised
                            the heat just a little the head temp jumped to 90C. So I did what I
                            could to keep it at 81C

                            Since I did not know what I was doing, ( See I told you I had that
                            Idiot spot reserved) I felt if the temp went over 81C I would pick up
                            additional nasties in the brew. So I kept fiddling with the flame
                            every few minutes or so to keep the head temp at 81C during the
                            entire run on every run.

                            As I now understand it I am to run at high temp to get things warmed
                            up then turn the heat down to where the column temp stabilizes at 79
                            to 81C and let it run with no adjustments. When the alcohol
                            diminishes in the Boiler the heat will automatically start to rise.
                            Since I do not want to keep the tails at this time. When the temp
                            starts to rise it is time to make a cut and stop the process when the
                            taste is not what I am looking for. Simplicity at its best!

                            I am going to switch to a double element 2000 watt electric heat
                            source. Total 4000 watts. It is much cheaper here to use electricity
                            than gas. One direct switched element for heat up and one on a 2000
                            watt rheostat so I can control the amount of heat to the Boiler.
                            Also with the increased safety of not using a flame it makes it a win
                            win situation.

                            I will try the EC-1118 at 12% abv as you recommend to see if it makes
                            a difference in the taste. I can control my fermentation temperature
                            and I have been able to keep the temperature at 77 degrees throughout
                            the entire fermentation process. I understand the little yeasties
                            produce far less nasties at a controlled tempetature below 80
                            degrees.


                            Chuck

                            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "morganfield1"
                            <morganfield1@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Wait, there's more?!
                            >
                            > I noticed that you mentioned your wash was between 15 & 17%, and
                            > you're using eleven eighteen. Great yeast, but you might try
                            backing
                            > down the fermentables a bit. A 17% wash, partiquarly one done at a
                            > temperature of 80 or 90 deg, will produce alot of nasties. Again, a
                            > good column will seperate the good from the bad, but next wash, try
                            > shooting for around 12% and see how that run turns out. Keep notes
                            of
                            > your runs, so you have something to compare to. It has helped me
                            alot
                            > over the years, and still does.
                            >
                            > I never asked you, you say you can adjust the heat going to your
                            > boiler, how is that accomplished?
                            >
                            > Tip one, Morgan
                            >
                            > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "chevisn7" <chevisn7@>
                            > wrote:
                            > >
                            > > Morgan
                            > > No chance on looking or sounding like an idiot. I have that spot
                            > > reserved. For a while anyway. Your explinations make a lot of
                            sense
                            > > and have given me a better understanding of what is happening so
                            I
                            > > can make the proper adjustments.
                            > >
                            > > At this point my deduction is the bad flavors were either comming
                            > > from trash remaining in the still after the build or the yeast I
                            > was
                            > > using crapped some nasties into the wash.
                            > >
                            > > The still has been re-cleaned to the point where is shines on the
                            > > inside like a brand new penny and a new batch is brewing. I will
                            > let
                            > > you know the outcome.
                            > >
                            > > The only question that remains is how do I break the habbit of
                            > > sampling the brew as it comes out of the still. Disregard. I
                            would
                            > > listen to that answer about as well as a I keep New Years
                            > > Resolutions. Jan 2nd they are out the door.
                            > > Thanks
                            > > Chuck
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            >
                          • morganfield1
                            Hi Chuck, Sounds like you re getting the idea. I can t help you much with the electric elements and rheostat, I just have my boiler sitting on top of a 1000
                            Message 13 of 20 , Mar 5, 2008
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                              Hi Chuck,

                              Sounds like you're getting the idea. I can't help you much with the
                              electric elements and rheostat, I just have my boiler sitting on top
                              of a 1000 wt. hot plate. I can tell you that when you're dealing with
                              power controllers, what ever style they be, you are dealing with kilo-
                              watts, and that means heat, alot of it. And that heat has to go
                              somewhere, either to the boiler, or to the controlling unit. What I'm
                              trying to say is, most people attach a heat sink (of some kind) to
                              their controller to draw off the extra heat. HTH.

                              Tip one, Morgan

                              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "chevisn7" <chevisn7@...>
                              wrote:
                              >
                              > Hi Morgan and all of you that continue to help out with my
                              dilemmas.
                              > All of you have been a tremendous help. Your inputs of information
                              > all add up to a greater understanding of the distillation process
                              and
                              > how to control what is going on.
                              >
                              >
                            • chevisn7
                              Hi Morgan No Worries Mate: I have a functional knowledge of electricity and electrical components. Same principle as your stove or hot plate burner. The only
                              Message 14 of 20 , Mar 6, 2008
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                                Hi Morgan
                                No Worries Mate: I have a functional knowledge of electricity and
                                electrical components. Same principle as your stove or hot plate
                                burner. The only difference is you are placing the element in the
                                liquid like in an electric hot water heater.

                                No heat sink is needed and no temperature relay switch. The reostat
                                controls the amount of electricity supplied to the heating element.
                                This in turn controls the amount of heat the element puts out.

                                The lack of a tempeature over ride relay like hot water heaters and
                                most new products have today will gives very percise control of the
                                heat supplied to the Boiler.

                                I have a hot plate but its cycle on and off feature caused heat up
                                problems. And being an outside heat source much of the heat is
                                waisted to the air. Also the new hot plates I have found are not like
                                the like the hot plates of a few years back where you could set the
                                temp and they would remain on.
                                Chuck

                                --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "morganfield1"
                                <morganfield1@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Hi Chuck,
                                >
                                > Sounds like you're getting the idea. I can't help you much with the
                                > electric elements and rheostat, I just have my boiler sitting on
                                top
                                > of a 1000 wt. hot plate. I can tell you that when you're dealing
                                with
                                > power controllers, what ever style they be, you are dealing with
                                kilo-
                                > watts, and that means heat, alot of it. And that heat has to go
                                > somewhere, either to the boiler, or to the controlling unit. What
                                I'm
                                > trying to say is, most people attach a heat sink (of some kind) to
                                > their controller to draw off the extra heat. HTH.
                                >
                                > Tip one, Morgan
                                >
                                > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "chevisn7" <chevisn7@>
                                > wrote:
                                > >
                                > > Hi Morgan and all of you that continue to help out with my
                                > dilemmas.
                                > > All of you have been a tremendous help. Your inputs of
                                information
                                > > all add up to a greater understanding of the distillation process
                                > and
                                > > how to control what is going on.
                                > >
                                > >
                                >
                              • morganfield1
                                Hi Chuck, Sounds like you re on your way then, good luck, have fun, and be safe. One of the most important things to remember about this hobby is, you can make
                                Message 15 of 20 , Mar 6, 2008
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                                  Hi Chuck,

                                  Sounds like you're on your way then, good luck, have fun, and be safe.
                                  One of the most important things to remember about this hobby is, you
                                  can make it as simple or as complicated as you like, and with a little
                                  practise, you'll get good hooch.

                                  Tip one, Morgan

                                  --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "chevisn7" <chevisn7@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Hi Morgan
                                  > No Worries Mate: I have a functional knowledge of electricity and
                                  > electrical components. Same principle as your stove or hot plate
                                  > burner. The only difference is you are placing the element in the
                                  > liquid like in an electric hot water heater.
                                  >
                                  >
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