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Re: 2" or 3" tower

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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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