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Re: 2" or 3" tower

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  • 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 1 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 2 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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