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Re: [new_distillers] thumper woes

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  • Bob Glicksman
    The height of the reflux column depends on many factors; principally the percent ethanol of the beer, the HETP of the packing material, and the reflux ratio
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 9, 2011
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      The height of the reflux column depends on many factors; principally the percent ethanol of the beer, the HETP of the packing material, and the reflux ratio that you set.  The best way to understand all of this, and the best way to save you a lot of time and money (IMHO) is to buy the book "The Compleat Distiller" by Nixon and McCaw.  You can find this book, as well as a good beverage still and real copper mesh packing with high HETP at the Amphora Society website: http://www.amphora-society.com/

      -----Original Message-----
      From: M L <kekedog13@...>
      To: new_distillers <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Fri, Dec 9, 2011 6:47 am
      Subject: Re: [new_distillers] thumper woes

      OK, I now understand that the doubler is actually a second pot and that pretty much all of the alcohol needs to go into it where it gets re-boiled.So what would you say would be the minimum size a reflux column packed with copper scrub pads would need to be to run a 3 to 5 gallon pot still. And would this be sufficient enough  in order to eleminate the need for a doubler or to re-distill it ? I guess a lot of people don't even bother with any of this and just run it  through once from the pot to the coil and call it good. It already tastes pretty clean with no processing other than running it just once through the condenser, but then I'm no connoisseur. Also does it matter from where I take the temperature like dirrectly in the mash or should it be taken from the steam. As long as I can gauge it so I'll know when the temp. rises so I'll know when to stop.At least  I'm guessing that is why you check the temperature in the first place. MarkL.

      --- On Tue, 12/6/11, Bob Glicksman <bobg542492@...> wrote:

      From: Bob Glicksman <bobg542492@...>
      Subject: Re: [new_distillers] thumper woes
      To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Tuesday, December 6, 2011, 4:25 PM

      Re. Thumper:  You have to wait long enough for the ethanol comtent of your boiler (mash pot) to go below the ethanol content of the doubler (thumper).  At this point, the vapors coming off of the boiler will be hot enough to boil the mixture in the thumper.  As long as your boiler is boiling, and you don't have significant heat loss along the way, this point has to be reached sometime.  It's basic conservation of energy.  Put a thermometer in your boiler and one in your thumper (careful not to lose heat or vapors) and watch them.  As your boiler depletes its ethanol, its temperature will rise toward the bp of water (212 F at sea level).  At the same time, the vapors that are being condensed in the doubler are adding ethanol to the water that you originally put in there, and the bp of the doubler will be decreasing.  You won't see this at first of course, because the doubler liquid is not boiling (the vapors from the boiler are below the bp of water), but as the boiler becomes depleted in ethanol and its bp rises, you will see a temperature increase in the doubler and somewhere short of the bp of water the doubler liquid will begin to boil. 
      Re, reflux column -- the refux column performs continuous "doubling" all of the way up the column and if the column is long enough and the reflux ratio is high enough, you will get vapor at the azeotropic mixture coming off the top of the column.  There is no need for a separate doubler -- the reflux column does many, many doublings.  Of course, some reflux still designs, such as the C803, have a doubler between the boiler and the column in order to shorten the column -- one less doubling for the column to do.  So this is your choice, but you can dump the thumper and have a perfectly good still none-the-less.

      -----Original Message-----
      From: kekedog13 <kekedog13@...>
      To: new_distillers <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Tue, Dec 6, 2011 4:04 pm
      Subject: [new_distillers] thumper woes

      I got awesome info about the methanol worries I had and really do appreciate the input , you make it easy to understand an I thank you for that. But I had a question about the thumper I built.It's a 1 gal. glass jar and when I included into my run the production stopped . I waited and the jar and it's contents (water) got very hot with still nothing coming out of the finish end. It was as if the thumper was doing the work of the coil and receiving the alcohol .I tried different levels of water and having the tube at different depths into the water. Once I removed it from the system it started producing again. I'm just trying things I read will make the best product possible. I'm planning on building a reflux tower . Does one need a thumper AND a tower or will one or the other be sufficient. And would this eliminate the need to run your product through the still twice or is this all just over kill. Still learnin distillin. MarkL.

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