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First run with a Thumper

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  • s_cunneen@prodigy.net
    I have some thumper questions. I ve searched and I have found plenty of posts advising the addition of thumpers and what they are supposed to do. My question
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 31, 2012
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      I have some thumper questions. I've searched and I have found plenty of posts advising the addition of thumpers and what they are supposed to do. My question comes from the use of a thumper...

      I spent the afternoon running rye whiskey in little tiny batches. This is my third time distilling with a pot still but the first time with a thumper. My pot is a 4qt pressure cooker that each time I filled with about 3qts of beer. My thumper was an 18oz glass jar filled with 8oz of 80proof vodka. My tubing is 1/4" copper.

      The first run was great, about 8oz of real rocket fuel! The thumper took a little time to heat up and the output at the coil was reduced from what I recollect of previous runs however the proof was 2x-3x of anything I ran before. The flavor was excellent and I am pleased as punch.

      The second run I recharged the pot and left the thumper alone. That run went a little quicker but the proof was greatly reduced. Proof-wise and flavor-wise the output was exactly the same as what I had without the thumper.

      For the third run I recharged the pot with another 3qts beer from my mash and I filled the thumper with fresh vodka and viola, back to rocket fuel! I recharged everything for the fourth run and I am pleased as punch.

      It was obvious with my third run that the pot stripped the thumper vodka of its alcohol. What was left in the thumper after the second, third and fourth runs was a lot like watered down, cooked wash. Nothing I researched about Thumpers made any mention of recharging between runs, most said that Thumpers could be filled with wash, beer, low wines, tails, vodka, or anything I had laying around. From my experience, the fresher the vodka in my thumper, the better my final result was.

      My expectation was that the thumper would be left alone between runs. Was I correct in that assumption or should I start with fresh vodka each run? I am quite happy with my result but now I am wondering if something in my setup is out-of-balance and is being masked by my using 80proof vodka in my thumper.

      Telling me to shut up and be happy is fine too... I am a beginner you know...
    • bliss.nagpur
      Well though I too am new, I feel adding Vodka to thumper amounts to adding direct alcohol to your final product, as alcohol content from thumper evaporates
      Message 2 of 5 , Feb 1, 2012
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        Well though I too am new, I feel adding Vodka to thumper amounts to adding direct alcohol to your final product, as alcohol content from thumper evaporates and lands in your final distillate. It is bound to be rocket fuel.

        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "s_cunneen@..." <s_cunneen@...> wrote:
        >
        > I have some thumper questions. I've searched and I have found plenty of posts advising the addition of thumpers and what they are supposed to do. My question comes from the use of a thumper...
        >
        > I spent the afternoon running rye whiskey in little tiny batches. This is my third time distilling with a pot still but the first time with a thumper. My pot is a 4qt pressure cooker that each time I filled with about 3qts of beer. My thumper was an 18oz glass jar filled with 8oz of 80proof vodka. My tubing is 1/4" copper.
        >
        > The first run was great, about 8oz of real rocket fuel! The thumper took a little time to heat up and the output at the coil was reduced from what I recollect of previous runs however the proof was 2x-3x of anything I ran before. The flavor was excellent and I am pleased as punch.
        >
        > The second run I recharged the pot and left the thumper alone. That run went a little quicker but the proof was greatly reduced. Proof-wise and flavor-wise the output was exactly the same as what I had without the thumper.
        >
        > For the third run I recharged the pot with another 3qts beer from my mash and I filled the thumper with fresh vodka and viola, back to rocket fuel! I recharged everything for the fourth run and I am pleased as punch.
        >
        > It was obvious with my third run that the pot stripped the thumper vodka of its alcohol. What was left in the thumper after the second, third and fourth runs was a lot like watered down, cooked wash. Nothing I researched about Thumpers made any mention of recharging between runs, most said that Thumpers could be filled with wash, beer, low wines, tails, vodka, or anything I had laying around. From my experience, the fresher the vodka in my thumper, the better my final result was.
        >
        > My expectation was that the thumper would be left alone between runs. Was I correct in that assumption or should I start with fresh vodka each run? I am quite happy with my result but now I am wondering if something in my setup is out-of-balance and is being masked by my using 80proof vodka in my thumper.
        >
        > Telling me to shut up and be happy is fine too... I am a beginner you know...
        >
      • Bob Glicksman
        I think that what you may have built is steam distillation of vodka and not a thumper. To be a thumper, it has to re-condense your pot still vapors and then,
        Message 3 of 5 , Feb 1, 2012
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          I think that what you may have built is steam distillation of vodka and not a thumper.  To be a thumper, it has to re-condense your pot still vapors and then, after the thumper mixture heats up enough to boil, provide a second stage of distillation to further enrich your product.. 

           
          -----Original Message-----
          From: s_cunneen <s_cunneen@...>
          To: new_distillers <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Wed, Feb 1, 2012 3:03 am
          Subject: [new_distillers] First run with a Thumper

           
          I have some thumper questions. I've searched and I have found plenty of posts advising the addition of thumpers and what they are supposed to do. My question comes from the use of a thumper...

          I spent the afternoon running rye whiskey in little tiny batches. This is my third time distilling with a pot still but the first time with a thumper. My pot is a 4qt pressure cooker that each time I filled with about 3qts of beer. My thumper was an 18oz glass jar filled with 8oz of 80proof vodka. My tubing is 1/4" copper.

          The first run was great, about 8oz of real rocket fuel! The thumper took a little time to heat up and the output at the coil was reduced from what I recollect of previous runs however the proof was 2x-3x of anything I ran before. The flavor was excellent and I am pleased as punch.

          The second run I recharged the pot and left the thumper alone. That run went a little quicker but the proof was greatly reduced. Proof-wise and flavor-wise the output was exactly the same as what I had without the thumper.

          For the third run I recharged the pot with another 3qts beer from my mash and I filled the thumper with fresh vodka and viola, back to rocket fuel! I recharged everything for the fourth run and I am pleased as punch.

          It was obvious with my third run that the pot stripped the thumper vodka of its alcohol. What was left in the thumper after the second, third and fourth runs was a lot like watered down, cooked wash. Nothing I researched about Thumpers made any mention of recharging between runs, most said that Thumpers could be filled with wash, beer, low wines, tails, vodka, or anything I had laying around. From my experience, the fresher the vodka in my thumper, the better my final result was.

          My expectation was that the thumper would be left alone between runs. Was I correct in that assumption or should I start with fresh vodka each run? I am quite happy with my result but now I am wondering if something in my setup is out-of-balance and is being masked by my using 80proof vodka in my thumper.

          Telling me to shut up and be happy is fine too... I am a beginner you know...

        • tgfoitwoods
          S (if I may call you that), While I m not a thumper user, the principles are pretty well known. Your still output will be condensed in the thumper, heating the
          Message 4 of 5 , Feb 1, 2012
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            S (if I may call you that),

            While I'm not a thumper user, the principles are pretty well known. Your still output will be condensed in the thumper, heating the liquid there. When it comes to a boil, it's just another little potstill, although a steam-injection-heated potstill, with interesting steam. If your still (now we're talking about the little one, the thumper) is full of high-proof liquid, like your vodka, the output will also be high-proof at first, tapering off with time in typical potstill fashion, as the %ABV of what's in the thumper drops. 

            In a very similar way to ordinary potstill operation, at the end of the run, your thumper's contents will be way different from what you started with. If you leave that old alcohol-depleted liquid in your thumper, you can't expect to get high-proof distillate like you did when there was high-proof vodka in the thumper. While I know of no "rules" as to how you run a thumper, I doubt that anyone will start with vodka in the thumper and then leave the thumper liquid unchanged for the following runs.

            It's my impression that most thumper users fill both the still boiler and the thumper container with fresh wash for each run, and they will jump in to tell me if that's not what they do.

            Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits

            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "s_cunneen@..." <s_cunneen@...> wrote:
            >
            > I have some thumper questions. I've searched and I have found plenty of posts advising the addition of thumpers and what they are supposed to do. My question comes from the use of a thumper...
            >
            > I spent the afternoon running rye whiskey in little tiny batches. This is my third time distilling with a pot still but the first time with a thumper. My pot is a 4qt pressure cooker that each time I filled with about 3qts of beer. My thumper was an 18oz glass jar filled with 8oz of 80proof vodka. My tubing is 1/4" copper.
            >
            > The first run was great, about 8oz of real rocket fuel! The thumper took a little time to heat up and the output at the coil was reduced from what I recollect of previous runs however the proof was 2x-3x of anything I ran before. The flavor was excellent and I am pleased as punch.
            >
            > The second run I recharged the pot and left the thumper alone. That run went a little quicker but the proof was greatly reduced. Proof-wise and flavor-wise the output was exactly the same as what I had without the thumper.
            >
            > For the third run I recharged the pot with another 3qts beer from my mash and I filled the thumper with fresh vodka and viola, back to rocket fuel! I recharged everything for the fourth run and I am pleased as punch.
            >
            > It was obvious with my third run that the pot stripped the thumper vodka of its alcohol. What was left in the thumper after the second, third and fourth runs was a lot like watered down, cooked wash. Nothing I researched about Thumpers made any mention of recharging between runs, most said that Thumpers could be filled with wash, beer, low wines, tails, vodka, or anything I had laying around. From my experience, the fresher the vodka in my thumper, the better my final result was.
            >
            > My expectation was that the thumper would be left alone between runs. Was I correct in that assumption or should I start with fresh vodka each run? I am quite happy with my result but now I am wondering if something in my setup is out-of-balance and is being masked by my using 80proof vodka in my thumper.
            >
            > Telling me to shut up and be happy is fine too... I am a beginner you know...
            >
          • Gavin Flett
            I am no thumper expert either, but I do recall posts stating that the heads goes into one temper and the tails into another, if you only have one thumper, just
            Message 5 of 5 , Feb 1, 2012
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              I am no thumper expert either, but I do recall posts stating that the heads goes into one temper and the tails into another, if you only have one thumper, just add the feints. So yes you are adding direct alcohol to your final product, but it is otherwise undrinkable alcohol.


              To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
              From: chandatnagpur@...
              Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2012 14:45:28 +0000
              Subject: [new_distillers] Re: First run with a Thumper

               
              Well though I too am new, I feel adding Vodka to thumper amounts to adding direct alcohol to your final product, as alcohol content from thumper evaporates and lands in your final distillate. It is bound to be rocket fuel.

              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "s_cunneen@..." <s_cunneen@...> wrote:
              >
              > I have some thumper questions. I've searched and I have found plenty of posts advising the addition of thumpers and what they are supposed to do. My question comes from the use of a thumper...
              >
              > I spent the afternoon running rye whiskey in little tiny batches. This is my third time distilling with a pot still but the first time with a thumper. My pot is a 4qt pressure cooker that each time I filled with about 3qts of beer. My thumper was an 18oz glass jar filled with 8oz of 80proof vodka. My tubing is 1/4" copper.
              >
              > The first run was great, about 8oz of real rocket fuel! The thumper took a little time to heat up and the output at the coil was reduced from what I recollect of previous runs however the proof was 2x-3x of anything I ran before. The flavor was excellent and I am pleased as punch.
              >
              > The second run I recharged the pot and left the thumper alone. That run went a little quicker but the proof was greatly reduced. Proof-wise and flavor-wise the output was exactly the same as what I had without the thumper.
              >
              > For the third run I recharged the pot with another 3qts beer from my mash and I filled the thumper with fresh vodka and viola, back to rocket fuel! I recharged everything for the fourth run and I am pleased as punch.
              >
              > It was obvious with my third run that the pot stripped the thumper vodka of its alcohol. What was left in the thumper after the second, third and fourth runs was a lot like watered down, cooked wash. Nothing I researched about Thumpers made any mention of recharging between runs, most said that Thumpers could be filled with wash, beer, low wines, tails, vodka, or anything I had laying around. From my experience, the fresher the vodka in my thumper, the better my final result was.
              >
              > My expectation was that the thumper would be left alone between runs. Was I correct in that assumption or should I start with fresh vodka each run? I am quite happy with my result but now I am wondering if something in my setup is out-of-balance and is being masked by my using 80proof vodka in my thumper.
              >
              > Telling me to shut up and be happy is fine too... I am a beginner you know...
              >


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