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2" or 3" tower

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  • redy44fun
    I m getting ready to build a reflux. I m using a 15.5 gal keg with a pressure cooker lid. My plans I m using for the tower call for a 2 tower and I was
    Message 1 of 7 , Nov 30, 2008
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      I'm getting ready to build a reflux. I'm using a 15.5 gal keg with a
      pressure cooker lid. My plans I'm using for the tower call for a 2"
      tower and I was thinking of changing to a 3" tower. Are there any
      disadvantages to doing this. Should I change anything on the condensor
      to allow for more cooling if I do this.
    • abbababbaccc
      Humm, tower = column in distillation slang. 3 column can take twice the power of a 2 column and you need to size condenser(s) accordingly. It is also a good
      Message 2 of 7 , Nov 30, 2008
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        Humm, tower = column in distillation slang. 3" column can take twice
        the power of a 2" column and you need to size condenser(s) accordingly.
        It is also a good idea to size the heating element to match the column
        diameter. Without any further information of your plans it is
        impossible to give you more technical advice, but I do suggest you look
        around and study a bit so you won't end up with another labmaster
        or "world class" still.

        Cheers, Riku

        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "redy44fun" <redy44fun@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > I'm getting ready to build a reflux. I'm using a 15.5 gal keg with a
        > pressure cooker lid. My plans I'm using for the tower call for a 2"
        > tower and I was thinking of changing to a 3" tower. Are there any
        > disadvantages to doing this. Should I change anything on the
        condensor
        > to allow for more cooling if I do this.
        >
      • Sherman
        The worst problem with a 3 is the amount of alcohol it takes to get it to work efficiently. You need to strip out about 5 gallons of 40% minimum to get it
        Message 3 of 7 , Dec 1, 2008
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          The worst problem with a 3" is the amount of alcohol it takes to get
          it to work efficiently.
          You need to strip out about 5 gallons of 40% minimum to get it where
          it makes good cuts. This translates to 20 gallons of wash. Any less
          and it just fills the column and doesn't stack up the fractions very
          well. The result is about 2 gallons of 95% after cuts. This is a lot
          of work.


          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc"
          <abbababbaccc@...> wrote:
          >
          > Humm, tower = column in distillation slang. 3" column can take twice
          > the power of a 2" column and you need to size condenser(s) accordingly.
          > It is also a good idea to size the heating element to match the column
          > diameter. Without any further information of your plans it is
          > impossible to give you more technical advice, but I do suggest you look
          > around and study a bit so you won't end up with another labmaster
          > or "world class" still.
          >
          > Cheers, Riku
          >
          > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "redy44fun" <redy44fun@>
          > wrote:
          > >
          > > I'm getting ready to build a reflux. I'm using a 15.5 gal keg with a
          > > pressure cooker lid. My plans I'm using for the tower call for a 2"
          > > tower and I was thinking of changing to a 3" tower. Are there any
          > > disadvantages to doing this. Should I change anything on the
          > condensor
          > > to allow for more cooling if I do this.
          > >
          >
        • abbababbaccc
          Not quite, I ve done some 4 column testing and it works even with 12 liters of mash. However, it works much better (ie. you get reasonable amount of alcohol
          Message 4 of 7 , Dec 1, 2008
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            Not quite, I've done some 4" column testing and it works even with 12
            liters of mash. However, it works much better (ie. you get reasonable
            amount of alcohol out) with 25 liters of mash or some 10 liters of
            low wines. The fact is that the packing holds some amount of alcohol
            (up to 1 liter in 4" size) but typically that's not a huge problem
            with only 3" column.

            Cheers, Riku

            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Sherman" <pintoshine@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > The worst problem with a 3" is the amount of alcohol it takes to get
            > it to work efficiently.
            > You need to strip out about 5 gallons of 40% minimum to get it where
            > it makes good cuts. This translates to 20 gallons of wash. Any less
            > and it just fills the column and doesn't stack up the fractions very
            > well. The result is about 2 gallons of 95% after cuts. This is a lot
            > of work.
            >
            >
            > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc"
            > <abbababbaccc@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Humm, tower = column in distillation slang. 3" column can take
            twice
            > > the power of a 2" column and you need to size condenser(s)
            accordingly.
            > > It is also a good idea to size the heating element to match the
            column
            > > diameter. Without any further information of your plans it is
            > > impossible to give you more technical advice, but I do suggest
            you look
            > > around and study a bit so you won't end up with another labmaster
            > > or "world class" still.
            > >
            > > Cheers, Riku
            > >
            > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "redy44fun" <redy44fun@>
            > > wrote:
            > > >
            > > > I'm getting ready to build a reflux. I'm using a 15.5 gal keg
            with a
            > > > pressure cooker lid. My plans I'm using for the tower call for
            a 2"
            > > > tower and I was thinking of changing to a 3" tower. Are there
            any
            > > > disadvantages to doing this. Should I change anything on the
            > > condensor
            > > > to allow for more cooling if I do this.
            > > >
            > >
            >
          • Tony Lacitignola
            I just caught up to all my mails after the holiday and feel confident that Limoncello is something I can contribute to   first, smell the lemons - doesnt
            Message 5 of 7 , Dec 1, 2008
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              I just caught up to all my mails after the holiday and feel confident that Limoncello is something I can contribute to
               
              first, smell the lemons - doesnt matter what kind - the smell you get is the taste youll get in your liqueur - so whether they are ripe, unripe or overripe - start there.
               
              second, Ive made it with Sunkist squeezing lemons my first time out years ago and it was good - I now use meyer lemons. These lemons are very thin skinned but extremly flavorful almost peppery sometimes BUT be careful when you zest them - the key is just getting skin and NO pith. The guy whose batch came out sketchy I can guess probably had a "pithy" batch - it happened to me when I was rushed - so be careful, be careful. 
               
              third, I learned that vodka is not as good as everclear or the store bought grain alcohols - the proof and the distillation makes a difference. Ive tried with both.
               
              Making my own grain alcohol for my concoctions is why i joined this group (like a lot of others Im sure)

              fourth, Ive made combinations of meyer lemons and blood oranges - each year's batch is different - getting the right proportions is an art. My friends however love the tastings.
              To the guy with the great citrus market nearby - im jealous - when in doubt - use the smell test as you make your selections.
               
              Fifth, I like to macerate for a longer time period. I go until the peels are almost colorless. If they reach the stage where they almost like a potato stick or potato chip then youve gotten it all out of them.
               
              Sixth, filter before adding your syrup - I use coffee filtes and it is usually slow so I have several filetrs and funnels going at the same time
               
              last, I hate over sweetening. I make batch of syrup and only add to my taste, sometimes instead of simple syrup being 1cup sugar to one cup water, I do one cup sugar to one and half water.
               
              Good luck.
               
              T
               
              PS My Nocino is next! But thats a whole other subject but if any of you guys have access to walnut trees let the fun begin.

            • Sherman
              Riku, you are by far the most advanced expert in the field of column tech that I know. The problem is that without exact duplication of your equipment and
              Message 6 of 7 , Dec 1, 2008
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                Riku, you are by far the most advanced expert in the field of column
                tech that I know. The problem is that without exact duplication of
                your equipment and processes, I cannot duplicate your results as I
                suspect many others can't.

                I was only speaking from my own experiences and If I knew where to
                improve the column I operate, whose design is the result of at least
                ten variations over 25 years, then I would be eager for improvements.
                My column is actually 90mm ID because it is schedule 10, 3" pipe. This
                is a lot larger than normal 3" copper. Since I am more sensitive to
                the mercaptans I tend to have a higher bar to meet. It isn't how much
                the column holds it is how much separation that can be had that I was
                referring to. And it does take a lot of alcohol in my column to get
                good equalization and throughput with a decent yield of heart cut.
                Maybe we are not comparing apples to apples. Sure I can use a few
                liters of wash to get 95% but it isn't going to meet my standards.
                Just because it can sink my hydrometer to 95% or more that doesn't
                mean it is clean because some of the congeners are lighter than
                ethanol and some are heavier but simply removing the water doesn't
                remove them. So all I was referring to was having enough ethanol that
                the heads can be separated off and the heart can have a sufficient run
                time to be worth the effort along with a distinct tails cut.
                So maybe the criteria I was using was different than yours.




                --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc"
                <abbababbaccc@...> wrote:
                >
                > Not quite, I've done some 4" column testing and it works even with 12
                > liters of mash. However, it works much better (ie. you get reasonable
                > amount of alcohol out) with 25 liters of mash or some 10 liters of
                > low wines. The fact is that the packing holds some amount of alcohol
                > (up to 1 liter in 4" size) but typically that's not a huge problem
                > with only 3" column.
                >
                > Cheers, Riku
                >
                > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Sherman" <pintoshine@>
                > wrote:
                > >
                > > The worst problem with a 3" is the amount of alcohol it takes to get
                > > it to work efficiently.
                > > You need to strip out about 5 gallons of 40% minimum to get it where
                > > it makes good cuts. This translates to 20 gallons of wash. Any less
                > > and it just fills the column and doesn't stack up the fractions very
                > > well. The result is about 2 gallons of 95% after cuts. This is a lot
                > > of work.
                > >
                > >
                > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc"
                > > <abbababbaccc@> wrote:
                > > >
                > > > Humm, tower = column in distillation slang. 3" column can take
                > twice
                > > > the power of a 2" column and you need to size condenser(s)
                > accordingly.
                > > > It is also a good idea to size the heating element to match the
                > column
                > > > diameter. Without any further information of your plans it is
                > > > impossible to give you more technical advice, but I do suggest
                > you look
                > > > around and study a bit so you won't end up with another labmaster
                > > > or "world class" still.
                > > >
                > > > Cheers, Riku
                > > >
                > > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "redy44fun" <redy44fun@>
                > > > wrote:
                > > > >
                > > > > I'm getting ready to build a reflux. I'm using a 15.5 gal keg
                > with a
                > > > > pressure cooker lid. My plans I'm using for the tower call for
                > a 2"
                > > > > tower and I was thinking of changing to a 3" tower. Are there
                > any
                > > > > disadvantages to doing this. Should I change anything on the
                > > > condensor
                > > > > to allow for more cooling if I do this.
                > > > >
                > > >
                > >
                >
              • abbababbaccc
                The configuration I was running was an early version of Thor s hammer LM-E-ARC. I have lately concentrated on 2 column so the memory may be a bit blurry.
                Message 7 of 7 , Dec 1, 2008
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                  The configuration I was running was an early version of Thor's hammer
                  LM-E-ARC. I have lately concentrated on 2" column so the memory may
                  be a bit blurry. Anyway, what I got out was completely neutral 95.6%
                  ethanol, no heads or tails as it goes with hammerhead and E-ARC. The
                  point is that the speed was relatively low (IIRC ~2 liters/hour) for
                  3kW I was using and the yield was also quite low as well as over half
                  a liter was held by the packing while my test mashes had only 1.5
                  liters of ethanol+heads+tails. Of course the results were quite
                  inaccurate due to the small amount of alcohol I had. I managed to
                  improve the column efficiency some but then I decided to switch
                  experiments to 2" platform as it is more user friendly for small
                  scale experiments.

                  Lately I have toyed with the idea of switching to 3" columns. That
                  should be a good compromise as 4" stuff is a bit overkill for hobby
                  distillers. Heavy, expensive and powering it up requires two separate
                  circuits + several heating elements.

                  Well, we shall see what I can come up with. The experimentation time
                  is somewhat limited nowadays :(

                  Cheers, Riku

                  --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Sherman" <pintoshine@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > Riku, you are by far the most advanced expert in the field of column
                  > tech that I know. The problem is that without exact duplication of
                  > your equipment and processes, I cannot duplicate your results as I
                  > suspect many others can't.
                  >
                  > I was only speaking from my own experiences and If I knew where to
                  > improve the column I operate, whose design is the result of at least
                  > ten variations over 25 years, then I would be eager for
                  improvements.
                  > My column is actually 90mm ID because it is schedule 10, 3" pipe.
                  This
                  > is a lot larger than normal 3" copper. Since I am more sensitive to
                  > the mercaptans I tend to have a higher bar to meet. It isn't how
                  much
                  > the column holds it is how much separation that can be had that I
                  was
                  > referring to. And it does take a lot of alcohol in my column to get
                  > good equalization and throughput with a decent yield of heart cut.
                  > Maybe we are not comparing apples to apples. Sure I can use a few
                  > liters of wash to get 95% but it isn't going to meet my standards.
                  > Just because it can sink my hydrometer to 95% or more that doesn't
                  > mean it is clean because some of the congeners are lighter than
                  > ethanol and some are heavier but simply removing the water doesn't
                  > remove them. So all I was referring to was having enough ethanol
                  that
                  > the heads can be separated off and the heart can have a sufficient
                  run
                  > time to be worth the effort along with a distinct tails cut.
                  > So maybe the criteria I was using was different than yours.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
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