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Re: Beginner Questions

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  • air_lock84
    I have also uploaded a picture if it helps at all. The lyne arm and tubing have been cut down much shorter since this picture was taken. The tube is only
    Message 1 of 18 , Dec 3, 2012
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      I have also uploaded a picture if it helps at all. The lyne arm and tubing have been cut down much shorter since this picture was taken. The tube is only about 6 inches now. The photo album is titled "My Setup" if you would like to see.

      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "air_lock84" <dboogie230@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hey Guys,
      > I have given distilling a few tries and I'm having some issues that I can't seem to work out. My still is constructed out of a stainless stock pot and a stainless mixing bowl that luckily had the exact same diameter as the pot. The rims of each fit perfectly and I just use vice grip pliers to hold them together. Out of the top, I have a ½ inch copper tube going vertical for about 2 inches then goose necking down at about a 70 degree angle. This leads to my condenser. I cut out a small section of the copper leading to my condenser and replaced it with clear vinyl tubing so I can monitor my output visually. Also, I have my thermometer installed right next to where my goose neck connects to the top of the still.
      > What I am struggling with is that between 78 C and about 86 C degrees I am getting little to no output at all. And if I go any higher than that, I get a completely cloudy product. I realize that I am measuring vapor temperatures at the top instead of liquid temperatures at the bottom. Is this incorrect? Could it be the vinyl that is causing the cloudy product or is it the high temperature? I thought that the reason I am getting little to no output at lower temperatures is because my pot is too exposed and not sufficiently insulated causing too much condensing internally before the vapors can reach my condenser. Could this be the problem?
      > Thanks for your help,
      > A Newbie
      >
    • ballard_bootlegger
      That s a good question, I think I was picturing the vinyl tubing elsewhere in your system. If you can keep to copper connections between your still and
      Message 2 of 18 , Dec 4, 2012
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        That's a good question, I think I was picturing the vinyl tubing elsewhere in your system. If you can keep to copper connections between your still and condenser you will have several benefits. Flexible copper lines with compression or even Sharkbite push fittings will work great. Or you can just slide together hard copper pieces that are meant to be soldered and use a little stretch tight tape. The pressure should be low enough that the un-soldered union will work fine.

        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "air_lock84" <dboogie230@...> wrote:
        >
        > Will the FDA approved beer lines hold up at those temperatures? To be honest i use the tubing not only to visually monitor output, but it gives me a very simple way to connect my still to my condenser without using any soldering or compression fittings.
      • M L
        I also use short pieces of clear tubing and hose clamps to connect copper lines, I butt them together so there is little or no contact with the alcohol as it
        Message 3 of 18 , Dec 4, 2012
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          I also use short pieces of clear tubing and hose clamps to connect copper lines, I butt them together so there is little or no contact with the alcohol as it flows through it.

          --- On Mon, 12/3/12, air_lock84 <dboogie230@...> wrote:

          From: air_lock84 <dboogie230@...>
          Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Beginner Questions
          To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Monday, December 3, 2012, 10:26 AM

           

          Will the FDA approved beer lines hold up at those temperatures? To be honest i use the tubing not only to visually monitor output, but it gives me a very simple way to connect my still to my condenser without using any soldering or compression fittings.

          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "ballard_bootlegger" <meriwetherdistilleries@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hey Noob,
          > You seem to be doing what you need to for a basic distillation. Do you know the ABV of your wash? Often times at the end of the run or if for some reason your wash is short on alcohol you won't get much at the lower distillation temps. When you raise the temp to allow less volatile compounds to boil they may come through as cloudy or murky. I'd put my money on a lack of ethanol in the wash. Also I'd say get rid of that vinyl tubing as high alcohol, especially when warm, will eat right through that and you'll have a synthetic taste in your distillate. Stick to silicone or nitrile if available. If not, go with an FDA approved beer line from your local home brew shop or one of the great websites that are out there.
          >
          > Good luck and drink well!
          > W.
          >

        • derick881
          Several of the designs I have seen use a 12 rise before breaking over for a pot still.
          Message 4 of 18 , Dec 5, 2012
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            Several of the designs I have seen use a 12" rise before breaking over for a pot still.


            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "air_lock84" <dboogie230@...> wrote:
            >
            > How high should the vertical leg rise before the bend is made? And what diameter should i go up to for reducing velocity?
            >
            > I also picked up a compression coupling to replace the clear tube in case that is why i have a cloudy product or if it produces some unwanted flavors.
            >
            >
          • GGB
            Thank you John Brase and Zymurgy Bob for your comments. I have picked up a 25 litre keg so maybe that will do away with the need to double up on batches. I had
            Message 5 of 18 , Dec 5, 2012
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              Thank you John Brase and Zymurgy Bob for your comments.

              I have picked up a 25 litre keg so maybe that will do away with the need to double up on batches.

              I had thought that getting spirit as pure as possible would be the holy grail of distilling, but not so, it seems. Home brew shops here sell a lot of essences to flavour up clear spirit, that would seem to be cheating but convenient. I had read that pure spirit excludes a lot of the congeners that cause hangovers and perhaps that was why it seemed best to aim for pure spirit.

              Bob, in respect of your explanation about vapour temperatures. - I understood that at sea level as long as ethanol was the primary vapour it would evaporate or boil at 78*C no matter what the pot temperature. I'll have to watch what happens when I finally do my strip run.

              Best regards
              Paul
            • GGB
              Here s a suggestion from methanol recovery in biodiesel making. Not only insulate your riser but heat it. It could be that cold air is causing your ethanol
              Message 6 of 18 , Dec 15, 2012
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                Here's a suggestion from methanol recovery in biodiesel making. Not only insulate your riser but heat it. It could be that cold air is causing your ethanol vapor to condense in the rising tube and drop back down into the wash.

                John Braze and Z.Bob, both your approaches are identical and now that I have studied the chart you referenced Z.Bob, I understand the vapour temperatures vs. %ABV better, thank you. It's to do with partial pressures.

                Paul
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