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Re: [new_distillers] Which Still to build

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  • B13013ob@cs.com
    vandermeulen@ns.sympatico.ca writes:
    Message 1 of 16 , Apr 3, 2002
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      vandermeulen@... writes:

      << I sketched out a design, that has a ~24"x2" column, ~18" lyne arm, and 18"
      jacket condenser - passed it around on this list for comments. Tony A.
      thought that it should work, as did others. I ran it a week ago and right off
      got ~80%abv product!! Way too high for what I wanted. I suspect that the
      column is far too long - so I am shortening it to maybe 12" and will try
      again. >>

      Howdy John! ....which brings me to more questions --- it seems that
      almost all of the folks in this group use electricity and are stuck with 1 or
      2 choices as to heat output for the boiler. Since the heat used for the
      reflux is less, aiming for purity, might it not be enough to maximize vapor
      production to get the "Flavors" over the top? I use a big gas burner (for
      boiling crab and lobster) under my boiler. With the infinite heat range (to
      maximum, of course), might that push more vapor? The pic you attached used
      fire, for instance.
      As to fire vs electricity, why is the latter chosen over gas? Is it a
      safety issue or a matter of convenience? I use very little LP gas in aiming
      for 95% since the only vapor sought is Ethanol and the water runs only enough
      to cool the vapor and equalize the reflux (2L water / min.). I must be
      living on the edge or something, but the fire extinguisher is always close
      by...
      Thanks for the reply...please don't think you're "ranting"! I can't get
      enough information and sometimes the pearl in buried in the meat. More is
      good....bob....
    • John Vandermeulen
      Hi, I have sent your query on to Tony Ackland, moderator of this list as he is far more knowledgeable in that area. John V ... -- ÿWPC5
      Message 2 of 16 , Apr 3, 2002
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        Hi, I have sent your query on to Tony Ackland, moderator of this list as he is
        far more knowledgeable in that area.
        John V

        B13013ob@... wrote:

        > vandermeulen@... writes:
        >
        > << I sketched out a design, that has a ~24"x2" column, ~18" lyne arm, and 18"
        > jacket condenser - passed it around on this list for comments. Tony A.
        > thought that it should work, as did others. I ran it a week ago and right off
        > got ~80%abv product!! Way too high for what I wanted. I suspect that the
        > column is far too long - so I am shortening it to maybe 12" and will try
        > again. >>
        >
        > Howdy John! ....which brings me to more questions --- it seems that
        > almost all of the folks in this group use electricity and are stuck with 1 or
        > 2 choices as to heat output for the boiler. Since the heat used for the
        > reflux is less, aiming for purity, might it not be enough to maximize vapor
        > production to get the "Flavors" over the top? I use a big gas burner (for
        > boiling crab and lobster) under my boiler. With the infinite heat range (to
        > maximum, of course), might that push more vapor? The pic you attached used
        > fire, for instance.
        > As to fire vs electricity, why is the latter chosen over gas? Is it a
        > safety issue or a matter of convenience? I use very little LP gas in aiming
        > for 95% since the only vapor sought is Ethanol and the water runs only enough
        > to cool the vapor and equalize the reflux (2L water / min.). I must be
        > living on the edge or something, but the fire extinguisher is always close
        > by...
        > Thanks for the reply...please don't think you're "ranting"! I can't get
        > enough information and sometimes the pearl in buried in the meat. More is
        > good....bob....
        >
        >
        > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        > new_distillers-unsubscribe@onelist.com
        >
        >
        >
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        --
        ÿWPC5
      • mattdistiller
        ... good one - ... written about ... going for it by ... and 18 jacket ... thought that it ... John and others, This conversation kind of ties in with a
        Message 3 of 16 , Apr 3, 2002
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          > sorry, for not getting back to you immediately. Your question is a
          good one -
          > why not convert refrlux column to pot still? There is almost zero
          written about
          > pot-still design, either from experience or theoretical. So I am
          going for it by
          > trial and error.
          > I sketched out a design, that has a ~24"x2" column, ~18" lyne arm,
          and 18" jacket
          > condenser - passed it around on this list for comments. Tony A.
          thought that it
          > should work, as did others.

          John and others,

          This conversation kind of ties in with a project I currently have on
          the go. I have been playing with a hybrid still design for a while
          now, in which you get a pot still and a n/s still in one. I posted
          the drawings here a while ago:

          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/mattdistiller/potst
          illdesign.jpg

          Because I want to be able to make rum's and whiskey's, I think a pot
          still is the way to go for this. However, I am not happy with
          the "traditional" design, so have come up with my own design
          (well I think its my own!), which converts a nixon stone still into
          a "Hybrid Nixon stone/Pot Still".

          On the diagram, you can see at the far left, a rough drawing of my
          current N/S still. The boiler is 60L, with a 2" BSP fitting on the
          top. To this the column gets screwed on, which also has 2" BSP
          fittings either end. The Nixon Stone head then screws on the top of
          the column, by way of another 2" BSP fitting.

          Next to this diagram, you can see my proposed design for my hybrid
          still. It utilises the boiler and n/s head of my current setup, but
          the column is removed. In its place, there is a T-junction screwed
          to the boiler. At the top of the T, a 2" ball/gate valve is screwed,
          followed by a either a shorter column (around 500mm I plan) or my
          standard column, and then the N/S head on top. Out of the horizontal
          section of the T, a 3/4" ball/gate valve is screwed, from which the
          3/4" pot still arm goes to the thumper, and then onto a water jacket
          condenser.

          The way I plan to have it working is:
          a) 2" valve open, 3/4" valve shut - This runs it in 'short column N/S
          Still' mode. The column is packed with scrubbers (as usual!). This
          is how the run starts, and after equilibrium, the heads are removed
          from the N/S head. A further 100 - 500mL are removed, in order to
          get rid of any other 'nasties'.
          b) The Still gets turned off, and once the head temp has gone down to
          around 30-40 degrees, the 3/4" valve then gets opened, and the 2"
          shut.
          c) The power gets turned back on, (probably with a decrease in heat
          power). This then runs it in 'pot still mode', with the lower purity
          distillate coming out as normal from a pot still.

          I see this as an advantage, as I can be sure that any methanols and
          other nasties are removed, while still having the benefits of a pot
          still for flavour profile.

          I planned to have this up and running ages ago, but have been too
          busy - hopefully sometime soon though! I'm still collecting bits,
          and redesigning it, so any input would still be gladly taken!

          Matt
        • Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
          ... By now you should know that that doesn t count as a guarantee... Tony A.
          Message 4 of 16 , Apr 4, 2002
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            > .. Tony A. thought that it should work ...

            By now you should know that that doesn't count as a guarantee...

            Tony A.
          • Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
            Bob, ... Not necessarily so - you still want the same amount of heat & vapour, its just that you then go and return say 80-90% of the vapour back to the column
            Message 5 of 16 , Apr 4, 2002
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              Bob,

              > Since the heat used for the
              > reflux is less, aiming for purity ...

              Not necessarily so - you still want the same amount of heat & vapour, its
              just that you then go and return say 80-90% of the vapour back to the column
              as reflux. My choice is always to maximise the amount of heat input to suit
              the column diameter (a method which has its critics). Only in cases where
              the amount of reflux cooling is fixed would you necessarily decrease the
              heat input to get the greater purity / higher reflux ratio

              > might it not be enough to maximize vapor
              > production to get the "Flavors" over the top?

              thats basically the same method as in the "making corn whisky" book by Ian
              Smiley - reduce the amount of reflux, so that more flavours do come through.
              Its all about adjusting the ratio of reflux to vapour to get the purity you
              want. Since its a reflux, you can do it either way - decrease the reflux,
              or increase the vapour rate.

              > As to fire vs electricity, why is the latter chosen over
              > gas? Is it a safety issue or a matter of convenience?

              for me electricity is convienient. Gas is perfectly fine to use, provided
              you follow safety guidelines, like those of Davids at
              http://homedistiller.org/concept.htm

              Tony
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