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
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 :(
--- In email@example.com
, "Sherman" <pintoshine@...>
> 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
> My column is actually 90mm ID because it is schedule 10, 3" pipe.
> 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
> the column holds it is how much separation that can be had that I
> 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
> the heads can be separated off and the heart can have a sufficient
> time to be worth the effort along with a distinct tails cut.
> So maybe the criteria I was using was different than yours.