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Column packing

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  • vodkaman1976
    I recently decided to switch from rasching rings to copper mesh for packing. How much copper mesh do you need ? The way my cooling lines go through te column
    Message 1 of 24 , Aug 24, 2008
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      I recently decided to switch from rasching rings to copper mesh for
      packing. How much copper mesh do you need ? The way my cooling lines
      go through te column only allow me to pack two rolls before hitting
      the first cooling line, is that enough or should I go back to the
      rings? Or is there some way to get the mesh smashed past the cooling tube?
    • abbababbaccc
      Retailers can usually provide the information of how much you need. Two rolls is typically some 30cm and that is enough if you run your still slowly enough.
      Message 2 of 24 , Aug 25, 2008
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        Retailers can usually provide the information of how much you need. Two
        rolls is typically some 30cm and that is enough if you run your still
        slowly enough. However, by removing those throughpipes and by having
        proper reflux condenser at the top you could make your still much
        faster and more efficient.

        Cheers, Riku

        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "vodkaman1976"
        <vodkaman1976@...> wrote:
        >
        > I recently decided to switch from rasching rings to copper mesh for
        > packing. How much copper mesh do you need ? The way my cooling lines
        > go through te column only allow me to pack two rolls before hitting
        > the first cooling line, is that enough or should I go back to the
        > rings? Or is there some way to get the mesh smashed past the cooling
        tube?
        >
      • Harry
        ... Lemme guess. Do you have a still that resembles this?... ... Slainte! regards Harry
        Message 3 of 24 , Aug 25, 2008
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          > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "vodkaman1976" vodkaman1976@
          > wrote:
          > >
          > > I recently decided to switch from rasching rings to copper mesh for
          > > packing. How much copper mesh do you need ? The way my cooling lines
          > > go through te column only allow me to pack two rolls before hitting
          > > the first cooling line, is that enough or should I go back to the
          > > rings? Or is there some way to get the mesh smashed past the cooling
          > tube?

           
          Lemme guess. Do you have a still that resembles this?...


           

          >
          >
          > If so, here's the instructions for modifying it ...

           

          Slainte!
          regards Harry

          >

        • vodkaman1976
          ... Thanks for the input. I was afraid it would mean reconstucting the whole thing. I need to run it now with only the two rolls any suggestions on how slow or
          Message 4 of 24 , Aug 25, 2008
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            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            >
            > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "vodkaman1976" vodkaman1976@
            > > wrote:
            > > >
            > > > I recently decided to switch from rasching rings to copper mesh for
            > > > packing. How much copper mesh do you need ? The way my cooling lines
            > > > go through te column only allow me to pack two rolls before hitting
            > > > the first cooling line, is that enough or should I go back to the
            > > > rings? Or is there some way to get the mesh smashed past the cooling
            > > tube?
            >
            >
            >
            > Lemme guess. Do you have a still that resembles this?...
            >
            >
            >
            > >
            > >
            > > If so, here's the instructions for modifying it ...
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Slainte!
            > regards Harry
            > >
            >
            Thanks for the input. I was afraid it would mean reconstucting the
            whole thing. I need to run it now with only the two rolls any
            suggestions on how slow or what temp to run it at and for how long,
            i'm only runnin a 15 liter batch. I shoulda stuck to the rasching
            rings but they are a pain the ass to clean.


            T.I.A. Bill
          • Harry
            ... You need to check out the [Links] section, left of screen on our group site. Mason has a fine writeup there...
            Message 5 of 24 , Aug 25, 2008
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              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "vodkaman1976" <vodkaman1976@...> wrote:
              >
              > > >
              > >
              > Thanks for the input. I was afraid it would mean reconstucting the
              > whole thing. I need to run it now with only the two rolls any
              > suggestions on how slow or what temp to run it at and for how long,
              > i'm only runnin a 15 liter batch. I shoulda stuck to the rasching
              > rings but they are a pain the ass to clean.
              >
              >
              > T.I.A. Bill
              >

               

              You need to check out the [Links] section, left of screen on our group site.  Mason has a fine writeup there...
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/Mason%20Jar%20Dixon%20-%20Rye%20Junkie/

              Slainte
              regards Harry

            • rhodeseng
              That was my still from long , long ago. I did the mods like Harry suggested and never looked back. The new variant has a cross flow condenser and works even
              Message 6 of 24 , Aug 25, 2008
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                That was my still from long , long ago.

                I did the mods like Harry suggested and never looked back. The new
                variant has a cross flow condenser

                and works even better.

                I built it to begin with because it looked cool. Cool looks don't
                always make good product.

                cary



                --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...>
                wrote:
                >
                >
                >
                > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "vodkaman1976"
                vodkaman1976@
                > > wrote:
                > > >
                > > > I recently decided to switch from rasching rings to copper mesh
                for
                > > > packing. How much copper mesh do you need ? The way my cooling
                lines
                > > > go through te column only allow me to pack two rolls before
                hitting
                > > > the first cooling line, is that enough or should I go back to
                the
                > > > rings? Or is there some way to get the mesh smashed past the
                cooling
                > > tube?
                >
                >
                >
                > Lemme guess. Do you have a still that resembles this?...
                >
                >
                >
                > >
                > >
                > > If so, here's the instructions for modifying it ...
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Slainte!
                > regards Harry
                > >
                >
              • just me
                you can put your rings in then add your packing underneath. just me. If you don t read the newspapers you are uninformed; if you do read the newspapers you
                Message 7 of 24 , Aug 25, 2008
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                  you can put your rings in then add your packing underneath.
                   
                  just me.
                  "If you don't read the newspapers you are uninformed; if you  
                  do read the newspapers you are misinformed." -Mark Twain
                • vodkaman1976
                  ... Ok, Ok, So I packed 2 rows of copper mesh in the bottom of my column and filled my boiler with my crushed barley mash and brought it up to temperature. I
                  Message 8 of 24 , Aug 25, 2008
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                    --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "rhodeseng" <rhodeseng@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > That was my still from long , long ago.
                    >
                    > I did the mods like Harry suggested and never looked back. The new
                    > variant has a cross flow condenser
                    >
                    > and works even better.
                    >
                    > I built it to begin with because it looked cool. Cool looks don't
                    > always make good product.
                    >
                    > cary
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@>
                    > wrote:
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "vodkaman1976"
                    > vodkaman1976@
                    > > > wrote:
                    > > > >
                    > > > > I recently decided to switch from rasching rings to copper mesh
                    > for
                    > > > > packing. How much copper mesh do you need ? The way my cooling
                    > lines
                    > > > > go through te column only allow me to pack two rolls before
                    > hitting
                    > > > > the first cooling line, is that enough or should I go back to
                    > the
                    > > > > rings? Or is there some way to get the mesh smashed past the
                    > cooling
                    > > > tube?
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > Lemme guess. Do you have a still that resembles this?...
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > If so, here's the instructions for modifying it ...
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > Slainte!
                    > > regards Harry
                    > > >
                    > >
                    >
                    Ok, Ok, So I packed 2 rows of copper mesh in the bottom of my
                    column and filled my boiler with my crushed barley mash and brought it
                    up to temperature. I got a very slow 120 ml of product that was
                    cloudy and stunk just like the grain mash. I was holding the temp
                    steady at 85c and wasn't getting anything to come out. Do you think my
                    packing was too tight? And yes the pictures are exactly what my still
                    looks like!
                  • billy.turf
                    ... ... long, ... group ... 20Dixon%2 ... 20Dixon% ... I was reading that bit there, I still wonder about this recomendation to cut off the
                    Message 9 of 24 , Aug 26, 2008
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                      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "vodkaman1976"
                      <vodkaman1976@>
                      > wrote:
                      > >
                      > > > >
                      > > >
                      > > Thanks for the input. I was afraid it would mean reconstucting the
                      > > whole thing. I need to run it now with only the two rolls any
                      > > suggestions on how slow or what temp to run it at and for how
                      long,
                      > > i'm only runnin a 15 liter batch. I shoulda stuck to the rasching
                      > > rings but they are a pain the ass to clean.
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > T.I.A. Bill
                      > >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > You need to check out the [Links] section, left of screen on our
                      group
                      > site. Mason has a fine writeup there...
                      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/Mason%20Jar%
                      20Dixon%2\
                      > 0-%20Rye%20Junkie/
                      > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/Mason%20Jar%
                      20Dixon%\
                      > 20-%20Rye%20Junkie/>
                      >
                      > Slainte
                      > regards Harry
                      >

                      I was reading that bit there,

                      I still wonder about this recomendation to cut off the spirits run at
                      85degrees. Isn't about 2/3 of the alcohol still sitting in the stil
                      at that temperature?

                      Billy
                    • abbababbaccc
                      It really depends on where you record that temperature and what kind of still and distillation procedure you are using. For properly operated reflux still
                      Message 10 of 24 , Aug 26, 2008
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                        It really depends on where you record that temperature and what kind
                        of still and distillation procedure you are using. For properly
                        operated reflux still while making whiskey and measuring vapor
                        temperature at the top that is a good value. For stripping runs and
                        mash temperature that means that the mash is not even boiling yet.

                        Cheers, Riku

                        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "billy.turf" <billy.turf@...>
                        wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > I was reading that bit there,
                        >
                        > I still wonder about this recomendation to cut off the spirits run at
                        > 85degrees. Isn't about 2/3 of the alcohol still sitting in the stil
                        > at that temperature?
                        >
                        > Billy
                        >
                      • vodkaman1976
                        ... No i wasn t doing a stripping run I was doing a straight run through to make vodka. The problem was that nothing was coming out hardly even when i bumped
                        Message 11 of 24 , Aug 26, 2008
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                          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc"
                          <abbababbaccc@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > It really depends on where you record that temperature and what kind
                          > of still and distillation procedure you are using. For properly
                          > operated reflux still while making whiskey and measuring vapor
                          > temperature at the top that is a good value. For stripping runs and
                          > mash temperature that means that the mash is not even boiling yet.
                          >
                          > Cheers, Riku
                          >
                          > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "billy.turf" <billy.turf@>
                          > wrote:
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > I was reading that bit there,
                          > >
                          > > I still wonder about this recomendation to cut off the spirits run at
                          > > 85degrees. Isn't about 2/3 of the alcohol still sitting in the stil
                          > > at that temperature?
                          > >
                          > > Billy
                          > >
                          >
                          No i wasn't doing a stripping run I was doing a straight run through
                          to make vodka. The problem was that nothing was coming out hardly
                          even when i bumped it up to 90c and held it there for 15 mins.I've
                          been reading everything and can't find anything liike this thats why I
                          was wondering if the copper mesh could be packed too tight. I have
                          only ever used a pot still so using the reflux still is new too me and
                          not having good luck already.
                        • Harry
                          ... You don t bump up the temperature . You don t try to control temperature. The temperature at the top of the column is what it is, depending on the ratio
                          Message 12 of 24 , Aug 26, 2008
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                            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "vodkaman1976"
                            <vodkaman1976@...> wrote:
                            > >
                            > No i wasn't doing a stripping run I was doing a straight run through
                            > to make vodka. The problem was that nothing was coming out hardly
                            > even when i bumped it up to 90c and held it there for 15 mins.I've
                            > been reading everything and can't find anything liike this thats why I
                            > was wondering if the copper mesh could be packed too tight. I have
                            > only ever used a pot still so using the reflux still is new too me and
                            > not having good luck already.
                            >


                            You don't "bump up the temperature". You don't try to control
                            temperature. The temperature at the top of the column is what it is,
                            depending on the ratio of water vapours to ethanol vapours. And
                            there'll be no vapours at all unless you boil the contents of the
                            boiler (funny that).

                            Is there any ethanol in the wash? What was your SG (Starting Gravity)
                            and your FG (Final Gravity). Did you do the math? IOW, What's your
                            potential alcohol content of your wash?

                            Slainte!
                            regards Harry
                          • vodkaman1976
                            ... Harry, my starting gavity was 1.090 after ferment got it down to 1.000 after 4 1/2 days in fermenterusing a 48 hour 18-20% turbo. According to the formula
                            Message 13 of 24 , Aug 26, 2008
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                              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "vodkaman1976"
                              > <vodkaman1976@> wrote:
                              > > >
                              > > No i wasn't doing a stripping run I was doing a straight run through
                              > > to make vodka. The problem was that nothing was coming out hardly
                              > > even when i bumped it up to 90c and held it there for 15 mins.I've
                              > > been reading everything and can't find anything liike this thats why I
                              > > was wondering if the copper mesh could be packed too tight. I have
                              > > only ever used a pot still so using the reflux still is new too me and
                              > > not having good luck already.
                              > >
                              >
                              >
                              > You don't "bump up the temperature". You don't try to control
                              > temperature. The temperature at the top of the column is what it is,
                              > depending on the ratio of water vapours to ethanol vapours. And
                              > there'll be no vapours at all unless you boil the contents of the
                              > boiler (funny that).
                              >
                              > Is there any ethanol in the wash? What was your SG (Starting Gravity)
                              > and your FG (Final Gravity). Did you do the math? IOW, What's your
                              > potential alcohol content of your wash?
                              >
                              > Slainte!
                              > regards Harry
                              >
                              Harry, my starting gavity was 1.090 after ferment got it down to
                              1.000 after 4 1/2 days in fermenterusing a 48 hour 18-20% turbo.
                              According to the formula should have been around 17.7% alcohol
                            • Harry
                              ... Well for starters, the boiling point of a 17.5% wash is 89.5°C AT THE BOILER, so you may not have been at the boil point. Use the chart here to figure
                              Message 14 of 24 , Aug 26, 2008
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                                --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "vodkaman1976"
                                <vodkaman1976@...> wrote:
                                > >
                                > Harry, my starting gavity was 1.090 after ferment got it down to
                                > 1.000 after 4 1/2 days in fermenterusing a 48 hour 18-20% turbo.
                                > According to the formula should have been around 17.7% alcohol
                                >



                                Well for starters, the boiling point of a 17.5% wash is 89.5°C AT THE
                                BOILER, so you may not have been at the boil point. Use the chart
                                here to figure out your expected boiling temp for percentage alcohol
                                in the wash...
                                http://homedistiller.org/theory.htm#strong

                                Tell me more about this temperature control method you were doing.
                                What is your procedure for distilling a strip run? Describe your
                                still configuration. Where are you measuring the temp, boiler or
                                head?


                                Slainte!
                                regards Harry
                              • rye_junkie1
                                ... I had asked some similar questions in an earlier post I typed out but for some reason it never went through. My suggestion to you vodka man is to start
                                Message 15 of 24 , Aug 26, 2008
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                                  --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:

                                  > Well for starters, the boiling point of a 17.5% wash is 89.5°C AT THE
                                  > BOILER, so you may not have been at the boil point. Use the chart
                                  > here to figure out your expected boiling temp for percentage alcohol
                                  > in the wash...
                                  > http://homedistiller.org/theory.htm#strong
                                  >
                                  > Tell me more about this temperature control method you were doing.
                                  > What is your procedure for distilling a strip run? Describe your
                                  > still configuration. Where are you measuring the temp, boiler or
                                  > head?
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Slainte!
                                  > regards Harry

                                  I had asked some similar questions in an earlier post I typed out but
                                  for some reason it never went through.
                                  My suggestion to you vodka man is to start over with this from scratch
                                  with a new thread. With 2 threads on this even I am a little confused
                                  as to the problem. Even though these types of columns are notoriously
                                  finicky they are capable of putting out some nice drink if carefully
                                  run. My best advice right now would be to incorporate the "Strip Run"
                                  into your process from here on.

                                  Mason
                                • vodkaman1976
                                  ... Ok i ll start over. I m running a reflux still exactly like the picture that Harry sent through in post 31311. I have my thermometer mounted in the top to
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Aug 26, 2008
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                                    --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "vodkaman1976"
                                    > <vodkaman1976@> wrote:
                                    > > >
                                    > > Harry, my starting gavity was 1.090 after ferment got it down to
                                    > > 1.000 after 4 1/2 days in fermenterusing a 48 hour 18-20% turbo.
                                    > > According to the formula should have been around 17.7% alcohol
                                    > >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Well for starters, the boiling point of a 17.5% wash is 89.5°C AT THE
                                    > BOILER, so you may not have been at the boil point. Use the chart
                                    > here to figure out your expected boiling temp for percentage alcohol
                                    > in the wash...
                                    > http://homedistiller.org/theory.htm#strong
                                    >
                                    > Tell me more about this temperature control method you were doing.
                                    > What is your procedure for distilling a strip run? Describe your
                                    > still configuration. Where are you measuring the temp, boiler or
                                    > head?
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Slainte!
                                    > regards Harry
                                    >
                                    Ok i'll start over. I'm running a reflux still exactly like the
                                    picture that Harry sent through in post 31311. I have my thermometer
                                    mounted in the top to measure the vapor temp it's not a digital one if
                                    that matters. I started the still up running off propane and brought
                                    the temp up to 75c to start it out. I slowly got my first drips as the
                                    temp rose to about 80c then it got up to 85c and basically quit
                                    dripping and what it had dripped out smelled like the mash and was
                                    cloudy except at the bottom where the first 20ml were
                                  • stavjen76
                                    ... making grain based mashes if one is only going to make vodka with them. Wouldn t it be prudent both economically and time wise to just make a sugar was
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Aug 26, 2008
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                                      ---I know it is kind of off topic but why go through the trouble of
                                      making grain based mashes if one is only going to make vodka with
                                      them. Wouldn't it be prudent both economically and time wise to
                                      just make a sugar was when making vodka?



                                      In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "vodkaman1976"
                                      <vodkaman1976@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "rhodeseng" <rhodeseng@>
                                      wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > That was my still from long , long ago.
                                      > >
                                      > > I did the mods like Harry suggested and never looked back. The
                                      new
                                      > > variant has a cross flow condenser
                                      > >
                                      > > and works even better.
                                      > >
                                      > > I built it to begin with because it looked cool. Cool looks
                                      don't
                                      > > always make good product.
                                      > >
                                      > > cary
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@>
                                      > > wrote:
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "vodkaman1976"
                                      > > vodkaman1976@
                                      > > > > wrote:
                                      > > > > >
                                      > > > > > I recently decided to switch from rasching rings to copper
                                      mesh
                                      > > for
                                      > > > > > packing. How much copper mesh do you need ? The way my
                                      cooling
                                      > > lines
                                      > > > > > go through te column only allow me to pack two rolls
                                      before
                                      > > hitting
                                      > > > > > the first cooling line, is that enough or should I go back
                                      to
                                      > > the
                                      > > > > > rings? Or is there some way to get the mesh smashed past
                                      the
                                      > > cooling
                                      > > > > tube?
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Lemme guess. Do you have a still that resembles this?...
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > If so, here's the instructions for modifying it ...
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Slainte!
                                      > > > regards Harry
                                      > > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > >
                                      > Ok, Ok, So I packed 2 rows of copper mesh in the bottom of my
                                      > column and filled my boiler with my crushed barley mash and
                                      brought it
                                      > up to temperature. I got a very slow 120 ml of product that was
                                      > cloudy and stunk just like the grain mash. I was holding the temp
                                      > steady at 85c and wasn't getting anything to come out. Do you
                                      think my
                                      > packing was too tight? And yes the pictures are exactly what my
                                      still
                                      > looks like!
                                      >
                                    • vodkaman1976
                                      ... I m able to buy a 50 pound bag of crushed barley for 10 bucks compared to 22.00 for 50 pounds of sugar at Sam s club. So it s cheaper in my case to use the
                                      Message 18 of 24 , Aug 26, 2008
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                                        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "stavjen76" <stavjen76@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > ---I know it is kind of off topic but why go through the trouble of
                                        > making grain based mashes if one is only going to make vodka with
                                        > them. Wouldn't it be prudent both economically and time wise to
                                        > just make a sugar was when making vodka?
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "vodkaman1976"
                                        > <vodkaman1976@> wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "rhodeseng" <rhodeseng@>
                                        > wrote:
                                        > > >
                                        > > > That was my still from long , long ago.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > I did the mods like Harry suggested and never looked back. The
                                        > new
                                        > > > variant has a cross flow condenser
                                        > > >
                                        > > > and works even better.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > I built it to begin with because it looked cool. Cool looks
                                        > don't
                                        > > > always make good product.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > cary
                                        > > >
                                        > > >
                                        > > >
                                        > > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@>
                                        > > > wrote:
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "vodkaman1976"
                                        > > > vodkaman1976@
                                        > > > > > wrote:
                                        > > > > > >
                                        > > > > > > I recently decided to switch from rasching rings to copper
                                        > mesh
                                        > > > for
                                        > > > > > > packing. How much copper mesh do you need ? The way my
                                        > cooling
                                        > > > lines
                                        > > > > > > go through te column only allow me to pack two rolls
                                        > before
                                        > > > hitting
                                        > > > > > > the first cooling line, is that enough or should I go back
                                        > to
                                        > > > the
                                        > > > > > > rings? Or is there some way to get the mesh smashed past
                                        > the
                                        > > > cooling
                                        > > > > > tube?
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > Lemme guess. Do you have a still that resembles this?...
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > >
                                        > > > > >
                                        > > > > > If so, here's the instructions for modifying it ...
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > Slainte!
                                        > > > > regards Harry
                                        > > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > >
                                        > > Ok, Ok, So I packed 2 rows of copper mesh in the bottom of my
                                        > > column and filled my boiler with my crushed barley mash and
                                        > brought it
                                        > > up to temperature. I got a very slow 120 ml of product that was
                                        > > cloudy and stunk just like the grain mash. I was holding the temp
                                        > > steady at 85c and wasn't getting anything to come out. Do you
                                        > think my
                                        > > packing was too tight? And yes the pictures are exactly what my
                                        > still
                                        > > looks like!
                                        > >
                                        >
                                        I'm able to buy a 50 pound bag of crushed barley for 10 bucks
                                        compared to 22.00 for 50 pounds of sugar at Sam's club. So it's
                                        cheaper in my case to use the barley. However, I was upset with my
                                        grain escapade yesterday and have a batch of Masons MUM recipe in the
                                        fermenter right now. Figured I would give that one a shot.
                                      • Harry
                                        ... the ... I think that s false economy. Most beer homebrewers using malted barley only get about 75% conversion of starch to fermentable sugars. That means
                                        Message 19 of 24 , Aug 26, 2008
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                                          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "vodkaman1976"
                                          <vodkaman1976@...> wrote:
                                          > > >
                                          > >
                                          > I'm able to buy a 50 pound bag of crushed barley for 10 bucks
                                          > compared to 22.00 for 50 pounds of sugar at Sam's club. So it's
                                          > cheaper in my case to use the barley. However, I was upset with my
                                          > grain escapade yesterday and have a batch of Masons MUM recipe in
                                          the
                                          > fermenter right now. Figured I would give that one a shot.
                                          >



                                          I think that's false economy. Most beer homebrewers using malted
                                          barley only get about 75% conversion of starch to fermentable
                                          sugars. That means at best your barley is equivalent to 37 pounds of
                                          sugars (worth about $16). And here I am assuming you did a good
                                          conversion with malt. If your conversion was less, then the odds tip
                                          more in favour of buying sugar.

                                          Considering all the trouble you appear to be having, (read losses)
                                          why don't you just buy the sugar, work with that until you get more
                                          proficient, then try your hand at all-grain later? All-grain brewing
                                          is not as easy as you may think. Many here will tell you that.

                                          Read here about conversion rates for barley...
                                          http://homedistiller.org/yield.htm


                                          Slainte!
                                          regards Harry
                                        • billy.turf
                                          I am using a reflux stil not a valved compound one, it s got a 90degree bend at the top of and goes on for another 20cm or so. I measure it in the middle of
                                          Message 20 of 24 , Aug 29, 2008
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                                            I am using a reflux stil not a valved compound one, it's got a
                                            90degree bend at the top of and goes on for another 20cm or so. I
                                            measure it in the middle of the bend, center of the pipe.. It seems
                                            to me at more than have, maybe not 2/3 of the alcohol is still in the
                                            still at 85 degrees.... I mean for the spirits run of course, not to
                                            the quick and dirty stripping run.
                                            Is this not correct?


                                            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc"
                                            <abbababbaccc@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            > It really depends on where you record that temperature and what kind
                                            > of still and distillation procedure you are using. For properly
                                            > operated reflux still while making whiskey and measuring vapor
                                            > temperature at the top that is a good value. For stripping runs and
                                            > mash temperature that means that the mash is not even boiling yet.
                                            >
                                            > Cheers, Riku
                                            >
                                            > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "billy.turf" <billy.turf@>
                                            > wrote:
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > I was reading that bit there,
                                            > >
                                            > > I still wonder about this recomendation to cut off the spirits
                                            run at
                                            > > 85degrees. Isn't about 2/3 of the alcohol still sitting in the
                                            stil
                                            > > at that temperature?
                                            > >
                                            > > Billy
                                            > >
                                            >
                                          • Harry
                                            ... , billy.turf ... Billy, You don t have a reflux still. You have a pot still. Your
                                            Message 21 of 24 , Aug 29, 2008
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                                              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "billy.turf" <billy.turf@...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              > I am using a reflux stil not a valved compound one, it's got a
                                              > 90degree bend at the top of and goes on for another 20cm or so. I
                                              > measure it in the middle of the bend, center of the pipe

                                               

                                               

                                              Billy,

                                              You don't have a reflux still.  You have a pot still.  Your through-tubes on the column are an old an inefficient design.  They were intended to create some PARTIAL condensation of rising vapours.  Many tests and experiments over many years have proven that style to be almost worthless, at least in so far as the bottom tube is concerned.  Hence the reason I posted the pic mods for you to make it a USEFUL POT STILL. 

                                               Because you are thinking it is a REFLUX still, you are trying to operate it as such, in cutting off at 85°C.  You CANNOT DO THIS for your style of still.  You need to run it (first strip run) all the way up to 97°C.  Then take the resulting strippate, dilute it to 27% with water, and/or feints (previously saved heads & tails).  This you run again as a SPIRIT RUN, cutting heads for the feints receiver, then hearts to the product receiver, then cutting tails (again to the feints receiver).  The cutoff point from hearts to tails is your preference.  Usually it is somewhere between 85°C and 92°C, depending on taste, smell, product type, your preference etc.  The tails runout is stopped when it passes 96°C.  No point in going further as it's just dimininshing returns (more power for little return).

                                              Now to clear up your misconception on what is a REFLUX STILL.

                                              A REFLUX STILL is a still with a TOTAL CONDENSER somewhere OVERHEAD of the column.  It condenses ALL the vapour that is fed to it by the column.  Then there is some mechanism (metering valve usually) to divide the condensate into reflux that is returned to the column (to enhance purification), and product that is drawn off.

                                               

                                              HTH

                                              Slainte!
                                              regards Harry

                                            • Harry
                                              ... , Harry ... divide ... Back on topic. Further info re pot still and packing materials:
                                              Message 22 of 24 , Aug 29, 2008
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                                                --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:

                                                > Now to clear up your misconception on what is a REFLUX STILL.
                                                >
                                                > A REFLUX STILL is a still with a TOTAL CONDENSER somewhere OVERHEAD of
                                                > the column.  It condenses ALL the vapour that is fed to it by the
                                                > column.  Then there is some mechanism (metering valve usually) to divide
                                                > the condensate into reflux that is returned to the column (to enhance
                                                > purification), and product that is drawn off.

                                                 

                                                Back on topic.  Further info re pot still and packing materials:

                                                Packing in the neck (rising column) of a POT STILL does NOT make it a reflux still.  What it does do is help produce better, cleaner vapours to go over into the Liebig condenser for condensation as product.  If the packing is copper mesh, it removes any sulfides present in the vapours.  If it is some other type packing, it won't remove sulfides.

                                                But all types of packing will help a LITTLE BIT of reflux form due to the combined action of MORE SURFACE AREA and HEAT LOSSES drawn off from the UN-INSULATED neck (column) being contact with the surrounding air.
                                                In this scenario you neck (column) is acting as a PARTIAL CONDENSER.

                                                If you INSULATE the neck (column) it will NOT produce ANY CONDENSATE. thus nothing to contribute to refluxing for purification.

                                                Slainte!
                                                regards Harry

                                              • billy.turf
                                                Harry, Thanks for the clairification.. I thought that it was a must to insulate the colum. From your comments I am thinking that maybe that isn t needed. My
                                                Message 23 of 24 , Aug 30, 2008
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                                                  Harry,
                                                  Thanks for the clairification..

                                                  I thought that it was a must to insulate the colum. From your
                                                  comments I am thinking that maybe that isn't needed. My colum is
                                                  around one meter long and has an iner diamer of about 5cm. I've been
                                                  controling output by adjusting the power input on the internal
                                                  element. I don't have these cross tubes, so does this mean that my
                                                  insulated packed colum would probibly make better hooch uninsulated
                                                  and packed?

                                                  Billy


                                                  --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...>
                                                  wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                                  > <mailto:new_distillers@yahoogroups.com> , "Harry" <gnikomson2000@>
                                                  > wrote:
                                                  > > Now to clear up your misconception on what is a REFLUX STILL.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > A REFLUX STILL is a still with a TOTAL CONDENSER somewhere
                                                  OVERHEAD of
                                                  > > the column. It condenses ALL the vapour that is fed to it by the
                                                  > > column. Then there is some mechanism (metering valve usually) to
                                                  > divide
                                                  > > the condensate into reflux that is returned to the column (to
                                                  enhance
                                                  > > purification), and product that is drawn off.
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > Back on topic. Further info re pot still and packing materials:
                                                  >
                                                  > Packing in the neck (rising column) of a POT STILL does NOT make it
                                                  a
                                                  > reflux still. What it does do is help produce better, cleaner
                                                  vapours
                                                  > to go over into the Liebig condenser for condensation as product.
                                                  If
                                                  > the packing is copper mesh, it removes any sulfides present in the
                                                  > vapours. If it is some other type packing, it won't remove
                                                  sulfides.
                                                  >
                                                  > But all types of packing will help a LITTLE BIT of reflux form due
                                                  to
                                                  > the combined action of MORE SURFACE AREA and HEAT LOSSES drawn off
                                                  from
                                                  > the UN-INSULATED neck (column) being contact with the surrounding
                                                  air.
                                                  > In this scenario you neck (column) is acting as a PARTIAL CONDENSER.
                                                  >
                                                  > If you INSULATE the neck (column) it will NOT produce ANY
                                                  CONDENSATE.
                                                  > thus nothing to contribute to refluxing for purification.
                                                  >
                                                  > Slainte!
                                                  > regards Harry
                                                  >
                                                • Harry
                                                  ... , billy.turf ... .........Reflux type stills should be insulated normally. This prevents heat
                                                  Message 24 of 24 , Aug 31, 2008
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                                                    --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "billy.turf" <billy.turf@...> wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    > Harry,
                                                    > Thanks for the clairification..
                                                    >
                                                    > I thought that it was a must to insulate the colum. From your
                                                    > comments I am thinking that maybe that isn't needed.


                                                    .........Reflux type stills should be insulated normally.  This prevents heat losses which disrupt separation and reduce column efficiency.  However if the overhead condenser is a bit undersized for the job, you can help it by leaving off the insulation.  This will create more condensation in the column due to heat loss to air through the column.  The condensation will act as reflux.  But a better way would be to lower the heat input to match the reflux condenser's capabilities.

                                                    The above induced condensation trick, plus the ability of copper to remove sulfides is why copper pot stills like the big Scotch stills work so well.

                                                     My colum is
                                                    > around one meter long and has an iner diamer of about 5cm. I've been
                                                    > controling output by adjusting the power input on the internal
                                                    > element. I don't have these cross tubes, so does this mean that my
                                                    > insulated packed colum would probibly make better hooch uninsulated
                                                    > and packed?

                                                    ........Not usually.  When you're making vodka type spirits you want the most separation for purity.  But flavoured or brown type spirits 'may' benefit because what you are really doing is slightly de-tuning the reflux still to get similar results to a pot still (i.e 'some' impurities).


                                                    Slainte!
                                                    regards Harry

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