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Re: [new_distillers] Re: Thumper

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  • White Bear
    Walter-   Some set-ups really should be heated like in a small home still but the amount of BTU s needed usually are not worth the effort in my opinion.  If
    Message 1 of 26 , Mar 24 2:02 AM
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      Walter-
        Some set-ups really should be heated like in a small home still but the amount of BTU's needed usually are not worth the effort in my opinion.  If you are concerned with the amount of time it takes to run, just wrap the thumper in a towel or some type of insulation to keep the heat in.  Remember that the thumper contents have to reach the point that the alcohol will also begin to vaporize (173°F depending what your altitude is) so retaining that heat from your still is a very good idea.
      WB
       
       
       
       
      From: walter_t_flanagan <sandyfeet@...>
      To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2013 7:29 PM
      Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Thumper
       
      Thanks for the file. I was always wondering how to size the thumper, to make sure it does not overflow. I suppose you could heat the thumper as well, if too large.

      WF

      --- In mailto:new_distillers%40yahoogroups.com, White Bear <sha_man_1@...> wrote:
      >
      > Thomas-
      >   This might help you out a bit more in learning about what a thumper is.
      > WB
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > ________________________________
      > From: Thomas <stought1@...>
      > To: mailto:new_distillers%40yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Sunday, March 17, 2013 4:05 PM
      > Subject: [new_distillers] Thumper
      >
      >
      >  
      >
      > Hello all!
      > I would like information on a thumper, what it does, it's benefits, and some construction ideas.
      > I currently have a simple pot still, made from a stew pot.
      > Thanks,
      > Tom
      >

    • Ted
      I will weigh in on the Thumper issue. I have only been distilling for a few months. I have been a home brewer for many years so it was a fairly easy
      Message 2 of 26 , Mar 27 4:25 PM
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        I will weigh in on the Thumper issue.  I have only been distilling for a few months. I have been a home brewer for many years so it was a fairly easy transition, though I have honestly learned a lot and plan to learn more.

        I started out from the beginning using a thumper because my first goal was to mimic the process and product of the Moonshiners in the Appalachians.  My first thumper was a 6 qt. SS Dutch oven.  It worked, but I believed it was too small (too short).  I then picked up an 8L (2 gal.) SS stock pot at Wally World for $7 and converted it.

        I will say that if you want to try a thumper, I do not consider it a PITA.  The only issue I have had was the build, and I consider that negligible.  I did do one thing different for this small thumper.  Instead of one "long tube" down tube, I put in a down tube, capped the bottom end and branched four 1/4" tubes off of it.  I believe this helps dispense the vapor bubbles into the wash in the Thumper better, especially with the small size.  Whatever, it works great and I get good stuff out of one run.

        1. I fill the Thumper about 1/3 full (about 2.5 quarts) with fresh wash and put the rest into the Pot/cooker. 
        2. I crank the heat up pretty high on the Pot.  I can do this without fear of scorching since I rack the wash off the grain into a carboy then cold crash it to drop out the sediment then rack it into the Pot.
        3. I run the temp at the column up quick to about 188 F.  By this time vapor is bubbling through the thumper pretty good.
        4. I cut the heat back significantly, to a point that merely holds the temp.  This is similar to how you cut back your heat on a standard pot still while doing a spirit  run.
        5. The Thumper continues to bubble and the temp inside the Thumper gradually raises.  Be patient here.  Do not overpower the Thumper by running the Pot too hot. 
        6. During this waiting process, the Pot temp will slowly rise while the Thumper temp also slowly rises.   It's almost an equalizing type thing going on between the Pot and the Thumper.
        7. When the Thumper hits around 170 F or a little more a few drops of nearly pure Acetone come out.
        8. At around 175 F the temp starts to travel up the tube to the condenser and shortly after this the "product" starts to come out.
        9. Set your temp so that about 4 drops per second come out and start collecting and doing your cuts.

        My first cuts come out consistently 150+ proof.  I generally run UJSSM with one difference, I either use flaked maize or I cook the cracked corn before I make my wash.  After letting it air out for a couple of days and blending my cuts, I am very happy with my hooch--proud enough to share it.

        As I said, I am still a learning novice, but I have not found the thumper to be a PITA and I like using it.  I do plan on running stripper/spirit runs in the future for comparison and when I try to make some other recipes like Bourbon, Rum, Scotch and possibly Brandy.  I'll probably even try the old moonshine recipe to see which tastes best, w/ Thumper, or without.

        Well, that's all I have to say.  I do have pics of all of this loaded into the photos section titled "Slohand's Upgraded Still" but they won't show up for a day or two since I just loaded new pics with the new thumper and new condenser with 1/2" tube.

        Slo

        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas" <stought1@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hello all!
        > I would like information on a thumper, what it does, it's benefits, and some construction ideas.
        > I currently have a simple pot still, made from a stew pot.
        > Thanks,
        > Tom
        >

      • Ted
        I run a Thumper and have ever since I started and don t think it s a PITA. I started out running with a thumper because I am a long time home brewer of beer
        Message 3 of 26 , Mar 27 9:10 PM
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          I run a Thumper and have ever since I started and don't think it's a PITA.  I started out running with a thumper because I am a long time home brewer of beer and have a lot of extra equipment laying around.  I also wanted to mimic the process and product of the moonshiners of the hills.  Admittedly, I am still a novice, but I am learning and plan to keep on learning.

          There will be pics of my set up w/ thumper in the Photos Section under the heading "Slohand's Upgraded Still" when they pass inspection.

          My Set Up is a Pot Still made up of a 20L SS Stock Pot with a 1 1/4" copper column/arm running into 1/2 rigid copper tube to the thumper which is made of an 8L (2 gal) stock pot (from Wally World for $7).  Out of the Thumper 1/2" OD flexible copper tube runs to a Graham Condenser (Tube and Coil Condenser).

          Like I said, I don't think it's a PITA.  The biggest problem is constructing the thumper which is one more thing to make before you start distilling, but it's not hard, and once it's done, the process is pretty easy.

          1. I put about 2 1/2 L of fresh wash in the thumper (fill the thumper about 1/3 full) and 4 1/2 gallons (18 L) of wash in the Pot.  I seal it all up and start heating the Pot (I never heat the thumper). 
          2. I heat the Pot pretty fast.  I can do that without fear of scorching, since I rack the wash off of the grain into a carboy, cold crash it for a day or two to settle out the sediment, then rack it into the Pot. 
          3. I heat the Pot to a column temp of about 188 F.  Doing it this way, the vapors are now bubbling (thumping) into the wash in the thumper. 
          4.  At this point, I turn the heat down to stabilize the Pot temp where it is.  It's time to get patient.  Let the bubbling/thumping do it's work.  The bubbling/thumping will continue as the temp in the thumper rises to alcohol evaporation temps.
          5. As the temp in the thumper slowly rises, the temp in the pot will also slowly rise.  Do not try to overpower the Thumper by running the Pot too fast and hot.
          6. Remember, with a Thumper you are accomplishing a stripping run and a spirit run at the same time, so you can afford to be a little more patient.  I have found that a slow patient run produces the best product.
          7. As the temp in the thumper rises to alcohol evaporation temp, the tubing past the thumper will get hot just like when running without a thumper. 
          8. As the heat travels down the tube to the condenser, eventually product will start dripping out of the condenser.  Once this happens, it's just like any other run.  With a 20L Pot and a 1/2" condenser regulate the heat so that about 4 drops of distillate are coming out per second.
          9. At this point, toss your foreshots, make your cuts and let it run to the end.

          Like I said, once you have the thumper built, running a still with a thumper is not a PITA, especially when you look at it like your are accomplishing a stripping run and a spirit run at the same time.

          My distillate starts at 150+ proof and hangs above 140 for more than half of the run.  My product has developed to the point that I will share it with anyone, even boys from the hills.

          Since I started with a thumper for the reasons stated above, I have never run a Pot still without a thumper (stripping run and spirit run).  I plan to do that to compare the difference in product.  I also hope to run some AG bourbon and Scotch in the future which will probably require a non-thumper still.

          One last thing.  When you see my pics, your will see that instead of a single "long tube" running into the thumper, I capped off the end of the down tube and branched out four 1/4" tubes into the wash so that the vapor will more evenly distribute into the wash.  Does it help?  I think so and if not, I still like it.

          Hope this info helps.

          Slo

          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas" <stought1@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hello all!
          > I would like information on a thumper, what it does, it's benefits, and some construction ideas.
          > I currently have a simple pot still, made from a stew pot.
          > Thanks,
          > Tom
          >

        • Ted
          Sorry for the double post. I thought I messed up and lost the first one. Slo
          Message 4 of 26 , Mar 28 9:32 AM
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            Sorry for the double post. I thought I messed up and lost the first one.

            Slo
          • richaaard
            I saw on one of the linked sites, or somewhere, a carribean rum process using 2 thumpers. Since my plan is to use solar tubes for heat, which might not be as
            Message 5 of 26 , Mar 29 12:33 PM
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              I saw on one of the linked sites, or somewhere, a carribean rum process using 2 thumpers. Since my plan is to use solar tubes for heat, which might not be as reliable in heat control, my thinking is that if it gets away from me at times two thumpers is better than one? I already know I will be using one thumper, but I'm curious what your thinking would be on using two.

              Thanks

              ----------------------------------------

              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Ted" <slohand42@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > I run a Thumper and have ever since I started and don't think it's a
              > PITA. I started out running with a thumper because I am a long time
              > home brewer of beer and have a lot of extra equipment laying around. I
              > also wanted to mimic the process and product of the moonshiners of the
              > hills. Admittedly, I am still a novice, but I am learning and plan to
              > keep on learning.
              >
              > There will be pics of my set up w/ thumper in the Photos Section under
              > the heading "Slohand's Upgraded Still" when they pass inspection.
              >
              > My Set Up is a Pot Still made up of a 20L SS Stock Pot with a 1 1/4"
              > copper column/arm running into 1/2 rigid copper tube to the thumper
              > which is made of an 8L (2 gal) stock pot (from Wally World for $7). Out
              > of the Thumper 1/2" OD flexible copper tube runs to a Graham Condenser
              > (Tube and Coil Condenser).
              >
              > Like I said, I don't think it's a PITA. The biggest problem is
              > constructing the thumper which is one more thing to make before you
              > start distilling, but it's not hard, and once it's done, the process is
              > pretty easy.
              >
              > 1. I put about 2 1/2 L of fresh wash in the thumper (fill the thumper
              > about 1/3 full) and 4 1/2 gallons (18 L) of wash in the Pot. I seal it
              > all up and start heating the Pot (I never heat the thumper). 2. I
              > heat the Pot pretty fast. I can do that without fear of scorching,
              > since I rack the wash off of the grain into a carboy, cold crash it for
              > a day or two to settle out the sediment, then rack it into the Pot.
              > 3. I heat the Pot to a column temp of about 188 F. Doing it this way,
              > the vapors are now bubbling (thumping) into the wash in the thumper.
              > 4. At this point, I turn the heat down to stabilize the Pot temp where
              > it is. It's time to get patient. Let the bubbling/thumping do it's
              > work. The bubbling/thumping will continue as the temp in the thumper
              > rises to alcohol evaporation temps. 5. As the temp in the thumper
              > slowly rises, the temp in the pot will also slowly rise. Do not try to
              > overpower the Thumper by running the Pot too fast and hot. 6.
              > Remember, with a Thumper you are accomplishing a stripping run and a
              > spirit run at the same time, so you can afford to be a little more
              > patient. I have found that a slow patient run produces the best
              > product. 7. As the temp in the thumper rises to alcohol evaporation
              > temp, the tubing past the thumper will get hot just like when running
              > without a thumper. 8. As the heat travels down the tube to the
              > condenser, eventually product will start dripping out of the condenser.
              > Once this happens, it's just like any other run. With a 20L Pot and a
              > 1/2" condenser regulate the heat so that about 4 drops of distillate are
              > coming out per second. 9. At this point, toss your foreshots, make
              > your cuts and let it run to the end.
              >
              > Like I said, once you have the thumper built, running a still with a
              > thumper is not a PITA, especially when you look at it like your are
              > accomplishing a stripping run and a spirit run at the same time.
              >
              > My distillate starts at 150+ proof and hangs above 140 for more than
              > half of the run. My product has developed to the point that I will
              > share it with anyone, even boys from the hills.
              >
              > Since I started with a thumper for the reasons stated above, I have
              > never run a Pot still without a thumper (stripping run and spirit run).
              > I plan to do that to compare the difference in product. I also hope to
              > run some AG bourbon and Scotch in the future which will probably require
              > a non-thumper still.
              >
              > One last thing. When you see my pics, your will see that instead of a
              > single "long tube" running into the thumper, I capped off the end of the
              > down tube and branched out four 1/4" tubes into the wash so that the
              > vapor will more evenly distribute into the wash. Does it help? I think
              > so and if not, I still like it.
              >
              > Hope this info helps.
              >
              > Slo
              >
              > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas" <stought1@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Hello all!
              > > I would like information on a thumper, what it does, it's benefits,
              > and some construction ideas.
              > > I currently have a simple pot still, made from a stew pot.
              > > Thanks,
              > > Tom
              > >
              >
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