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REFLUX STILL

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  • jody
    First timer I cant grasp the refux or collum stills can any body explain it to me in redneck terms and mabey give me an exploded picture of all it consists I
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 5, 2010
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      First timer I cant grasp the refux or collum stills can any body explain it to me in redneck terms and mabey give me an exploded picture of all it consists I would appreciate it.
    • geoff
      Hi Jody, By redneck terms I assume you mean in language everyone understands well I ll give it a try. Take it a bit at a time and I think you should get a
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 6, 2010
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        Hi Jody,

             By redneck terms I assume you mean in language everyone understands well I'll give it a try.  Take it a bit at a time and I think you should get a good idea what happens 

             To Reflux your distillate what you are doing is making your distillate stronger (but in the process you are loosing flavour) and this is measured in % Abv.  In other words a bottle of store bought Vodka at 50 % Abv would be half or (50%) alcohol and half or (50%) water.

             To increase the % Abv of your home made spirit you need to return a certain amount of your condensed spirit to the column and let it drip down onto the packing in your column.  (When you first heat up your column you return all your alcohol to the column for “full reflux” to equalize it or get it into equilibrium)  It is very important at this stage that you understand what is now happening inside your packed column when it is returned for refluxing.  OK You have a mixture of steam and alcohol (or ethanol) rising up the column and condensed drips going back down. 

             As this hotter rising steam/ethanol mix meets the returning drips coming down through and wetting a very large surface area and depth of your packing.  This rising alcohol/steam mix will reheat the liquid drips on the wetted packing.  This will combine with the already wetted alcohol rich packing and turn it back into a stronger ethanol/steam mix and it will continue to rise on up the column getting stronger all the time.

             This keeps happening all the way up through the whole length of the column and your steam ethanol mix just keeps getting stronger and more dense all the time with alcohol.    This is called Refluxing.  So common sense says the taller the column you have the more Reflux you are going to get, this is true but only up to a certain point were it will not get any denser that's when it has reached total saturation.

             But there comes a time when as hobby distiller we are only going to get a maximum reflux or density of % Abv with a given height of packed column usually about 3 feet to 5 or 6 feet is about average.  Some people swear by the taller packed column set up (for alcohol purity), other people maintain that 3 foot of packed column suits their needs.  I have 3.5 feet of packed column and it suits me fine (I get 94 % Abv most every time but it’s slow collecting it on an old Valved Reflux Still) its small and compact enough to not be in your face as you walk into the garage.

        HTH

        Geoff      

      • Mike Haney
        Thank you very much. I needed that
        Message 3 of 6 , Feb 6, 2010
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          Thank you very much. I needed that

        • Harry
          Hi Geoff, That s a very good description of the process. I m sure it will benefit Jody and quite a few people. Many thanks for that. I have an animation
          Message 4 of 6 , Feb 6, 2010
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            Hi Geoff,

            That's a very good description of the process. I'm sure it will benefit Jody and quite a few people. Many thanks for that.

            I have an animation (only 17 kB) that describes the same thing. It may also help people understand (pics, thousand words & all that jazz)...

            http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/misc/Distillation/FD.htm


            Slainte!
            regards Harry
          • dirk7976
            http://homedistiller.org/refluxdesign.htm This page on the homedistiller.org site, while not in redneck lingo, does a great job of explaining reflux stills.
            Message 5 of 6 , Feb 7, 2010
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              http://homedistiller.org/refluxdesign.htm

              This page on the homedistiller.org site, while not in redneck lingo, does a great job of explaining reflux stills. If needed, I can translate into cajun coonass lingo.

              This is a wonderful group here. Do some research and don't be afraid to ask questions.

              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi Geoff,
              >
              > That's a very good description of the process. I'm sure it will benefit Jody and quite a few people. Many thanks for that.
              >
              > I have an animation (only 17 kB) that describes the same thing. It may also help people understand (pics, thousand words & all that jazz)...
              >
              > http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/misc/Distillation/FD.htm
              >
              >
              > Slainte!
              > regards Harry
              >
            • ric
              Yes that is a very good re fence but very dated and I fear is why so many newbies choose to build those complicated and inefficient offset LM stills. It really
              Message 6 of 6 , Feb 7, 2010
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                Yes that is a very good re fence but very dated and I fear is why so many newbies choose to build those complicated and inefficient offset LM stills.

                It really needs to be updated to include VM designs. In particular the LM/VM concept of a Bokakob with a VM off take.

                How does one go about editing those pages?



                --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "dirk7976" <dirk7976@...> wrote:
                >
                > http://homedistiller.org/refluxdesign.htm
                >
                > This page on the homedistiller.org site, while not in redneck lingo, does a great job of explaining reflux stills. If needed, I can translate into cajun coonass lingo.
                >
                > This is a wonderful group here. Do some research and don't be afraid to ask questions.
                >
                > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@> wrote:
                > >
                > > Hi Geoff,
                > >
                > > That's a very good description of the process. I'm sure it will benefit Jody and quite a few people. Many thanks for that.
                > >
                > > I have an animation (only 17 kB) that describes the same thing. It may also help people understand (pics, thousand words & all that jazz)...
                > >
                > > http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/misc/Distillation/FD.htm
                > >
                > >
                > > Slainte!
                > > regards Harry
                > >
                >
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