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30 hours to run mini still batch, normal?

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  • wzuccarello
    Hi all, I built the Mini-still recently, and have run 3 four gallon batches of sugar wash and one 4 gal batch of pear wine thru it so far. I am using a 1100
    Message 1 of 21 , Oct 6, 2013
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      Hi all, I built the Mini-still recently, and have run 3 four gallon batches of sugar wash and one 4 gal batch of pear wine thru it so far. I am using a 1100 watt adjustable hotplate on medium low setting to keep the temp around 175 or so until it automaticly rises at the tails part of the run.  I stop when the temp reaches 200 deg.

      Last 2 runs I left the valve open to run like a pot still. With or without packing seems to make no difference, most all the distillate still comes off at 90% until the tails. The pear wine came out tasteless just like the sugar wash and I collected a lot of it's tails to add back because the end had a good pear flavor.

      So, am I doing something wrong or does it normally take 30 hours to cook off the spirits ?
      Thanks, Wayne
    • Zapata Vive
      I ve never run a ministill, but it sounds like you re new. You say you use the hot plate setting to keep the temp around 175 or so . If you don t know, you
      Message 2 of 21 , Oct 9, 2013
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        I've never run a ministill, but it sounds like you're new.  You say you use the hot plate setting to "keep the temp around 175 or so". 
        If you don't know, you can't control temperature very well with the heat input.  You can affect it some, but not directly.  Lets start down in the pot.  The chemical makeup determines the boiling point in the pot, regardless of your hotplate setting.  If it's boiling on high, or simmering on low, the boiling point in the pot is already predetermined, mostly by the ratio of alcohol to water.  If it's pure water, it's boiling at 212*F (ish, depends on your altitude), high or low doesn't matter.  Med-low doesn't make water boil at anything lower than 212*F.  If it's a 10% alcohol wash, it's boiling point is 199.58*F, high, low, medium doesn't matter.

        Likewise, the temperature at your thermometer, (I assume it's up in the column?) is ONLY determined by the chemical makeup of the vapor that is in that part of the still.  Doesn't really matter what your heat setting is.  In fact, don't even call it  a thermometer anymore until this concept sinks in.  Call it an "indirect vapor alcometer".  Heck, even stop saying it measures degrees.  Because we really don't put thermometers in stills to measure temperature, we use them to measure alcohol content of the vapor (and the stability of the column's alcohol content as it changes).  If your thermometer says it is 175*F, what it's really telling us is that the vapor there is right around 87% ethanol.  I know it seems strange, but don't think of that thermometer as having any connection to your heatsource.

        Your still is (should be) designed to make a certain product under certain conditions.  Give it those conditions and see what it makes.  Your thermometer can tell you what it's making, but not the conditions it was designed for.
        I think the mini-still is designed for 1000w heat input (double check me, might be up to 1500w).  Give it to it.  Constantly, from the moment it boils to the moment you stop collecting.
        The only controls you make are to adjust the reflux ratio, and decide what container you put the output in.  You can use the thermometer to help you make those adjustments, but in the middle of a run you can't change the design of the still, nor the physical constants of boiling points so leave that heat alone!

        So if your setting on your heat source doesn't control your temperature, what does it control?  Glad you asked!  It controls the volume of vapor you generate.  45 liters of vapor per minute per 1000 watts, or any fraction thereof.  In liquid terms it depends on the alcohol content, but it's between the extremes of 30ml of pure water per minute or 89 ml of pure alcohol per minute per 1000 watts.

        Remember you're refluxing most of it and taking off just a small portion, probably just 10%, right?  Now do you see why your run took so long?  You're giving the still (guessing at what med low really means) about 40% of the power it was designed for!  And you probably did it because you thought you could control the temperature with the heat, but you can't.  The laws of physics and the design and operation of the still determine the temperature.

        Now, set that sucker on high, glue it on if you have to, tie your hands behind your back, tell your wife to divorce you if you dare touch it, and use your "indirect vapor alcometer" ahem thermometer to just confirm that your still is doing what it was designed to do!


        On Sun, Oct 6, 2013 at 9:58 PM, <wzuccarello@...> wrote:
         

        Hi all, I built the Mini-still recently, and have run 3 four gallon batches of sugar wash and one 4 gal batch of pear wine thru it so far. I am using a 1100 watt adjustable hotplate on medium low setting to keep the temp around 175 or so until it automaticly rises at the tails part of the run.  I stop when the temp reaches 200 deg.

        Last 2 runs I left the valve open to run like a pot still. With or without packing seems to make no difference, most all the distillate still comes off at 90% until the tails. The pear wine came out tasteless just like the sugar wash and I collected a lot of it's tails to add back because the end had a good pear flavor.

        So, am I doing something wrong or does it normally take 30 hours to cook off the spirits ?
        Thanks, Wayne


      • tgfoitwoods
        Thank you thank you THANK YOU Zapata! Thanks for handling the old I can t control my head temperature with my heat input (but I think I should be able to)
        Message 3 of 21 , Oct 10, 2013
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          Thank you thank you THANK YOU Zapata!


          Thanks for handling the old "I can't control my head temperature with my heat input (but I think I should be able to)" myth. I have come to feel like some sort of stillin' Nazi overlord for jumping on this old saw every time it comes by, which is very often on this forum.


          You took a very slightly different approach to the explanation than I have used in the past, but I like yours at least as much as what I normally do. Fine job!



          ---In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, <zapatavive@...> wrote:

          I've never run a ministill, but it sounds like you're new.  You say you use the hot plate setting to "keep the temp around 175 or so". 
          If you don't know, you can't control temperature very well with the heat input.  You can affect it some, but not directly.  Lets start down in the pot.  The chemical makeup determines the boiling point in the pot, regardless of your hotplate setting.  If it's boiling on high, or simmering on low, the boiling point in the pot is already predetermined, mostly by the ratio of alcohol to water.  If it's pure water, it's boiling at 212*F (ish, depends on your altitude), high or low doesn't matter.  Med-low doesn't make water boil at anything lower than 212*F.  If it's a 10% alcohol wash, it's boiling point is 199.58*F, high, low, medium doesn't matter.

          Likewise, the temperature at your thermometer, (I assume it's up in the column?) is ONLY determined by the chemical makeup of the vapor that is in that part of the still.  Doesn't really matter what your heat setting is.  In fact, don't even call it  a thermometer anymore until this concept sinks in.  Call it an "indirect vapor alcometer".  Heck, even stop saying it measures degrees.  Because we really don't put thermometers in stills to measure temperature, we use them to measure alcohol content of the vapor (and the stability of the column's alcohol content as it changes).  If your thermometer says it is 175*F, what it's really telling us is that the vapor there is right around 87% ethanol.  I know it seems strange, but don't think of that thermometer as having any connection to your heatsource.

          Your still is (should be) designed to make a certain product under certain conditions.  Give it those conditions and see what it makes.  Your thermometer can tell you what it's making, but not the conditions it was designed for.
          I think the mini-still is designed for 1000w heat input (double check me, might be up to 1500w).  Give it to it.  Constantly, from the moment it boils to the moment you stop collecting.
          The only controls you make are to adjust the reflux ratio, and decide what container you put the output in.  You can use the thermometer to help you make those adjustments, but in the middle of a run you can't change the design of the still, nor the physical constants of boiling points so leave that heat alone!

          So if your setting on your heat source doesn't control your temperature, what does it control?  Glad you asked!  It controls the volume of vapor you generate.  45 liters of vapor per minute per 1000 watts, or any fraction thereof.  In liquid terms it depends on the alcohol content, but it's between the extremes of 30ml of pure water per minute or 89 ml of pure alcohol per minute per 1000 watts.

          Remember you're refluxing most of it and taking off just a small portion, probably just 10%, right?  Now do you see why your run took so long?  You're giving the still (guessing at what med low really means) about 40% of the power it was designed for!  And you probably did it because you thought you could control the temperature with the heat, but you can't.  The laws of physics and the design and operation of the still determine the temperature.

          Now, set that sucker on high, glue it on if you have to, tie your hands behind your back, tell your wife to divorce you if you dare touch it, and use your "indirect vapor alcometer" ahem thermometer to just confirm that your still is doing what it was designed to do!


          On Sun, Oct 6, 2013 at 9:58 PM, <wzuccarello@...> wrote:
           

          Hi all, I built the Mini-still recently, and have run 3 four gallon batches of sugar wash and one 4 gal batch of pear wine thru it so far. I am using a 1100 watt adjustable hotplate on medium low setting to keep the temp around 175 or so until it automaticly rises at the tails part of the run.  I stop when the temp reaches 200 deg.

          Last 2 runs I left the valve open to run like a pot still. With or without packing seems to make no difference, most all the distillate still comes off at 90% until the tails. The pear wine came out tasteless just like the sugar wash and I collected a lot of it's tails to add back because the end had a good pear flavor.

          So, am I doing something wrong or does it normally take 30 hours to cook off the spirits ?
          Thanks, Wayne


        • Zapata Vive
          Thanks Bob!
          Message 4 of 21 , Oct 10, 2013
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            Thanks Bob!


            On Thu, Oct 10, 2013 at 10:24 PM, <zymurgybob@...> wrote:
             

            Thank you thank you THANK YOU Zapata!


            Thanks for handling the old "I can't control my head temperature with my heat input (but I think I should be able to)" myth. I have come to feel like some sort of stillin' Nazi overlord for jumping on this old saw every time it comes by, which is very often on this forum.


            You took a very slightly different approach to the explanation than I have used in the past, but I like yours at least as much as what I normally do. Fine job!



            ---In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, <zapatavive@...> wrote:

            I've never run a ministill, but it sounds like you're new.  You say you use the hot plate setting to "keep the temp around 175 or so". 
            If you don't know, you can't control temperature very well with the heat input.  You can affect it some, but not directly.  Lets start down in the pot.  The chemical makeup determines the boiling point in the pot, regardless of your hotplate setting.  If it's boiling on high, or simmering on low, the boiling point in the pot is already predetermined, mostly by the ratio of alcohol to water.  If it's pure water, it's boiling at 212*F (ish, depends on your altitude), high or low doesn't matter.  Med-low doesn't make water boil at anything lower than 212*F.  If it's a 10% alcohol wash, it's boiling point is 199.58*F, high, low, medium doesn't matter.

            Likewise, the temperature at your thermometer, (I assume it's up in the column?) is ONLY determined by the chemical makeup of the vapor that is in that part of the still.  Doesn't really matter what your heat setting is.  In fact, don't even call it  a thermometer anymore until this concept sinks in.  Call it an "indirect vapor alcometer".  Heck, even stop saying it measures degrees.  Because we really don't put thermometers in stills to measure temperature, we use them to measure alcohol content of the vapor (and the stability of the column's alcohol content as it changes).  If your thermometer says it is 175*F, what it's really telling us is that the vapor there is right around 87% ethanol.  I know it seems strange, but don't think of that thermometer as having any connection to your heatsource.

            Your still is (should be) designed to make a certain product under certain conditions.  Give it those conditions and see what it makes.  Your thermometer can tell you what it's making, but not the conditions it was designed for.
            I think the mini-still is designed for 1000w heat input (double check me, might be up to 1500w).  Give it to it.  Constantly, from the moment it boils to the moment you stop collecting.
            The only controls you make are to adjust the reflux ratio, and decide what container you put the output in.  You can use the thermometer to help you make those adjustments, but in the middle of a run you can't change the design of the still, nor the physical constants of boiling points so leave that heat alone!

            So if your setting on your heat source doesn't control your temperature, what does it control?  Glad you asked!  It controls the volume of vapor you generate.  45 liters of vapor per minute per 1000 watts, or any fraction thereof.  In liquid terms it depends on the alcohol content, but it's between the extremes of 30ml of pure water per minute or 89 ml of pure alcohol per minute per 1000 watts.

            Remember you're refluxing most of it and taking off just a small portion, probably just 10%, right?  Now do you see why your run took so long?  You're giving the still (guessing at what med low really means) about 40% of the power it was designed for!  And you probably did it because you thought you could control the temperature with the heat, but you can't.  The laws of physics and the design and operation of the still determine the temperature.

            Now, set that sucker on high, glue it on if you have to, tie your hands behind your back, tell your wife to divorce you if you dare touch it, and use your "indirect vapor alcometer" ahem thermometer to just confirm that your still is doing what it was designed to do!


            On Sun, Oct 6, 2013 at 9:58 PM, <wzuccarello@...> wrote:
             

            Hi all, I built the Mini-still recently, and have run 3 four gallon batches of sugar wash and one 4 gal batch of pear wine thru it so far. I am using a 1100 watt adjustable hotplate on medium low setting to keep the temp around 175 or so until it automaticly rises at the tails part of the run.  I stop when the temp reaches 200 deg.

            Last 2 runs I left the valve open to run like a pot still. With or without packing seems to make no difference, most all the distillate still comes off at 90% until the tails. The pear wine came out tasteless just like the sugar wash and I collected a lot of it's tails to add back because the end had a good pear flavor.

            So, am I doing something wrong or does it normally take 30 hours to cook off the spirits ?
            Thanks, Wayne



          • wzuccarello
            Thanks Zapata for the excellent and imforming post. Helped me understand what the thermometer is telling me. When I did runs in reflus mode, I did leave the
            Message 5 of 21 , Oct 12, 2013
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               Thanks Zapata for the excellent and imforming post. Helped me understand what the thermometer is telling me.


              When I did runs in reflus mode, I did leave the heat high constantly and used the reflux valve to keep the column in the 175 range, causing a fast drip in the collection jar. These runs did take about 6 hours.


              In my OP I stated that I was running in pot still mode with no packing and reflux valve full open. This is where I thought I had to try to maintain the 175 with heat control. I tread somewhere that pot stills were heat controlled and reflux stills were valve controlled.


              So, If I am pot stilling with the Mini, should I still use full heat and just let the output come off on a stream?

              Or maybe just enough control to keep below 200 deg or so?


              Thanks, Wayne



              ---In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

              Thank you thank you THANK YOU Zapata!


              Thanks for handling the old "I can't control my head temperature with my heat input (but I think I should be able to)" myth. I have come to feel like some sort of stillin' Nazi overlord for jumping on this old saw every time it comes by, which is very often on this forum.


              You took a very slightly different approach to the explanation than I have used in the past, but I like yours at least as much as what I normally do. Fine job!



              ---In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, <zapatavive@...> wrote:

              I've never run a ministill, but it sounds like you're new.  You say you use the hot plate setting to "keep the temp around 175 or so". 
              If you don't know, you can't control temperature very well with the heat input.  You can affect it some, but not directly.  Lets start down in the pot.  The chemical makeup determines the boiling point in the pot, regardless of your hotplate setting.  If it's boiling on high, or simmering on low, the boiling point in the pot is already predetermined, mostly by the ratio of alcohol to water.  If it's pure water, it's boiling at 212*F (ish, depends on your altitude), high or low doesn't matter.  Med-low doesn't make water boil at anything lower than 212*F.  If it's a 10% alcohol wash, it's boiling point is 199.58*F, high, low, medium doesn't matter.

              Likewise, the temperature at your thermometer, (I assume it's up in the column?) is ONLY determined by the chemical makeup of the vapor that is in that part of the still.  Doesn't really matter what your heat setting is.  In fact, don't even call it  a thermometer anymore until this concept sinks in.  Call it an "indirect vapor alcometer".  Heck, even stop saying it measures degrees.  Because we really don't put thermometers in stills to measure temperature, we use them to measure alcohol content of the vapor (and the stability of the column's alcohol content as it changes).  If your thermometer says it is 175*F, what it's really telling us is that the vapor there is right around 87% ethanol.  I know it seems strange, but don't think of that thermometer as having any connection to your heatsource.

              Your still is (should be) designed to make a certain product under certain conditions.  Give it those conditions and see what it makes.  Your thermometer can tell you what it's making, but not the conditions it was designed for.
              I think the mini-still is designed for 1000w heat input (double check me, might be up to 1500w).  Give it to it.  Constantly, from the moment it boils to the moment you stop collecting.
              The only controls you make are to adjust the reflux ratio, and decide what container you put the output in.  You can use the thermometer to help you make those adjustments, but in the middle of a run you can't change the design of the still, nor the physical constants of boiling points so leave that heat alone!

              So if your setting on your heat source doesn't control your temperature, what does it control?  Glad you asked!  It controls the volume of vapor you generate.  45 liters of vapor per minute per 1000 watts, or any fraction thereof.  In liquid terms it depends on the alcohol content, but it's between the extremes of 30ml of pure water per minute or 89 ml of pure alcohol per minute per 1000 watts.

              Remember you're refluxing most of it and taking off just a small portion, probably just 10%, right?  Now do you see why your run took so long?  You're giving the still (guessing at what med low really means) about 40% of the power it was designed for!  And you probably did it because you thought you could control the temperature with the heat, but you can't.  The laws of physics and the design and operation of the still determine the temperature.

              Now, set that sucker on high, glue it on if you have to, tie your hands behind your back, tell your wife to divorce you if you dare touch it, and use your "indirect vapor alcometer" ahem thermometer to just confirm that your still is doing what it was designed to do!


              On Sun, Oct 6, 2013 at 9:58 PM, <wzuccarello@...> wrote:
               

              Hi all, I built the Mini-still recently, and have run 3 four gallon batches of sugar wash and one 4 gal batch of pear wine thru it so far. I am using a 1100 watt adjustable hotplate on medium low setting to keep the temp around 175 or so until it automaticly rises at the tails part of the run.  I stop when the temp reaches 200 deg.

              Last 2 runs I left the valve open to run like a pot still. With or without packing seems to make no difference, most all the distillate still comes off at 90% until the tails. The pear wine came out tasteless just like the sugar wash and I collected a lot of it's tails to add back because the end had a good pear flavor.

              So, am I doing something wrong or does it normally take 30 hours to cook off the spirits ?
              Thanks, Wayne


            • Zapata Vive
              When people say pot stills are controlled by the heat, again it s just the amount of vapor that is controlled by the heat. In a pot still you can t control
              Message 6 of 21 , Oct 12, 2013
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                When people say pot stills are controlled by the heat, again it's just the amount of vapor that is controlled by the heat.  In a pot still you can't control the temperature with the heat, the % ethanol dictates the temperature and the still design dictates the % abv.  Repeat after me until it soaks in, and you can explain it to beginners here on this forum!

                So yes, give it full heat, let it come off in a stream.  Turning down the heat, will again just reduce the amount of vapor (and thus product in pot still mode) that you make in a given amount of time.

                If you'll re-read my first message until you really understand it, it answers this question too ;)
                Or lets try a....wait for it......distilled down approach

                Let's get one little detail out of the way, and decide to ignore it.  In pot still mode, SOME reflux will be happening in your column (now rightly called a riser).  It will affect the numbers we are about to talk about, but lets just ignore that for now and pretend that there is no reflux happening to throw these theoretical numbers off.  The principles will be the same, the relationships will be the same, it's just the numbers that will be off.

                Let me give you a scenario, and then lets make deductions.  I give you these things/conditions.
                1.  A pot still
                2.  A wash of 10% ABV ethanol in water
                3.  A magical heat source that will let you adjust it to your hearts content, so long as the wash never stops boiling
                4.  Your local air pressure is equal to sea level

                We now have a predetermined set of facts that can not be changed.  You have the facts I gave you, but you also can make these deductions.  These are proven, unmutable, facts based on LAWS of chemistry and physics.  Disprove them and win yourself a nobel prize.  We KNOW:
                1.  It will boil at 200.38*F
                2.  The initial vapor temperature will be  181.06 °F
                3.  The initial purity of the condensate will be  48.7 % ABV
                4.  The boiling temp will rise
                5.  The vapor temp will rise
                6.  The ABV of the condensate will fall
                7.  we stop paying attention after there is not much alcohol left, and this happens before the boiler runs dry.

                You can play with your ding dang heat control until your palms turn hairy, and as long as the wash is boiling, you will not, shall not, and CAN NOT change any of those facts.  Low, medium, medium-low, high-low.  It does not matter at all!  You can not violate these rules.  Playing with your ding-dang heat control can not hold your boiling temps, vapor temps, or condensate strengths constant.

                Maybe you noticed I didn't include any mention of time in that example?  Because that is dependent on the heat/power input.  And that is ALL heat affects!

                I'll even try to really, really prove this.  Let me walk you through 2 more versions of my hypothetical distillation and see if you get it.  Same exact set of conditions above, once on steady medium heat (say 550 watts) and once on steady high (1100 watts).  I'll even throw in time and volume measurements as well as another set of temp and abv measurements at halfway through the run so you can see the only thing that changes.

                So, a constant 550 watts on 4 gallons stripping run looks like this:
                1.  It will boil at 200.38*F (corrected for sea level/atmospheric pressure)
                2.  The initial vapor temperature will be  181.06 °F
                3.  The initial purity of the condensate will be  48.7 % ABV
                4.  The boiling temp will rise steadily
                5.  The vapor temp will rise steadily
                6.  The ABV of the condensate will fall steadily
                7.  At 83 minutes the run is halfway done.
                8.  At 83 minutes the boiler temperature will be  205 °F
                9.  At 83 minutes the vapor temperature will be  185°F
                10.  At 83 minuters the condensate will be  34% ABV
                11.  At 166 minutes the boiler temperature will be  208°F
                12.  at 166 minutes the vapor temperature will be  192°F
                13.  At 166 minutes the condensate will be 19.9%
                14.  We stop paying attention after there is so little alcohol left that we don't care.
                15.  Total amount collected was  3.42 L it will be 34.78 % and it took a total of 166 minutes boiling time (not counting heatup)
                Note the bolded, "steadily", if we leave the power input at 550 watts, the change in boiler temp, vapor temp, and abv of the distillate will be linear.  This was not in the first example because I let you fiddle with the heat all you wanted in that one...

                Here is the exact same run at High, 1100watts.  This time bold = changes from 550 watts.  ALL changes will be bolded, see how little bold there is?
                So, a constant 1100 watts on 4 gallons stripping run looks like this:
                1.  It will boil at 200.38*F (corrected for sea level/atmospheric pressure)
                2.  The initial vapor temperature will be  181.06 °F
                3.  The initial purity of the condensate will be  48.7 % ABV
                4.  The boiling temp will rise steadily
                5.  The vapor temp will rise steadily
                6.  The ABV of the condensate will fall steadily
                7.  At 41 minutes the run is halfway done.
                8.  At 41 minutes the boiler temperature will be  205 °F
                9.  At 41 minutes the vapor temperature will be  185°F
                10.  At 41 minutes the condensate will be  34% ABV
                11.  At 82 minutes the boiler temperature will be  208°F
                12.  at 82 minutes the vapor temperature will be  192°F
                13.  At 82 minutes the condensate will be 19.9%
                14.  We stop paying attention after there is so little alcohol left that we don't care.
                15.  Total amount collected was  3.42 L it will be 34.78 % and it took a total of 82 minutes boiling time (not counting heatup)


                Get it?  You CAN use heat input to control your pot still, but the only thing you are controlling is how fast things happen, because it only affects the volume of vapor and thus product produced in a given amount of time.



                On Sat, Oct 12, 2013 at 5:53 PM, <wzuccarello@...> wrote:
                 

                 Thanks Zapata for the excellent and imforming post. Helped me understand what the thermometer is telling me.


                When I did runs in reflus mode, I did leave the heat high constantly and used the reflux valve to keep the column in the 175 range, causing a fast drip in the collection jar. These runs did take about 6 hours.


                In my OP I stated that I was running in pot still mode with no packing and reflux valve full open. This is where I thought I had to try to maintain the 175 with heat control. I tread somewhere that pot stills were heat controlled and reflux stills were valve controlled.


                So, If I am pot stilling with the Mini, should I still use full heat and just let the output come off on a stream?

                Or maybe just enough control to keep below 200 deg or so?


                Thanks, Wayne



                ---In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                Thank you thank you THANK YOU Zapata!


                Thanks for handling the old "I can't control my head temperature with my heat input (but I think I should be able to)" myth. I have come to feel like some sort of stillin' Nazi overlord for jumping on this old saw every time it comes by, which is very often on this forum.


                You took a very slightly different approach to the explanation than I have used in the past, but I like yours at least as much as what I normally do. Fine job!



                ---In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, <zapatavive@...> wrote:

                I've never run a ministill, but it sounds like you're new.  You say you use the hot plate setting to "keep the temp around 175 or so". 
                If you don't know, you can't control temperature very well with the heat input.  You can affect it some, but not directly.  Lets start down in the pot.  The chemical makeup determines the boiling point in the pot, regardless of your hotplate setting.  If it's boiling on high, or simmering on low, the boiling point in the pot is already predetermined, mostly by the ratio of alcohol to water.  If it's pure water, it's boiling at 212*F (ish, depends on your altitude), high or low doesn't matter.  Med-low doesn't make water boil at anything lower than 212*F.  If it's a 10% alcohol wash, it's boiling point is 199.58*F, high, low, medium doesn't matter.

                Likewise, the temperature at your thermometer, (I assume it's up in the column?) is ONLY determined by the chemical makeup of the vapor that is in that part of the still.  Doesn't really matter what your heat setting is.  In fact, don't even call it  a thermometer anymore until this concept sinks in.  Call it an "indirect vapor alcometer".  Heck, even stop saying it measures degrees.  Because we really don't put thermometers in stills to measure temperature, we use them to measure alcohol content of the vapor (and the stability of the column's alcohol content as it changes).  If your thermometer says it is 175*F, what it's really telling us is that the vapor there is right around 87% ethanol.  I know it seems strange, but don't think of that thermometer as having any connection to your heatsource.

                Your still is (should be) designed to make a certain product under certain conditions.  Give it those conditions and see what it makes.  Your thermometer can tell you what it's making, but not the conditions it was designed for.
                I think the mini-still is designed for 1000w heat input (double check me, might be up to 1500w).  Give it to it.  Constantly, from the moment it boils to the moment you stop collecting.
                The only controls you make are to adjust the reflux ratio, and decide what container you put the output in.  You can use the thermometer to help you make those adjustments, but in the middle of a run you can't change the design of the still, nor the physical constants of boiling points so leave that heat alone!

                So if your setting on your heat source doesn't control your temperature, what does it control?  Glad you asked!  It controls the volume of vapor you generate.  45 liters of vapor per minute per 1000 watts, or any fraction thereof.  In liquid terms it depends on the alcohol content, but it's between the extremes of 30ml of pure water per minute or 89 ml of pure alcohol per minute per 1000 watts.

                Remember you're refluxing most of it and taking off just a small portion, probably just 10%, right?  Now do you see why your run took so long?  You're giving the still (guessing at what med low really means) about 40% of the power it was designed for!  And you probably did it because you thought you could control the temperature with the heat, but you can't.  The laws of physics and the design and operation of the still determine the temperature.

                Now, set that sucker on high, glue it on if you have to, tie your hands behind your back, tell your wife to divorce you if you dare touch it, and use your "indirect vapor alcometer" ahem thermometer to just confirm that your still is doing what it was designed to do!


                On Sun, Oct 6, 2013 at 9:58 PM, <wzuccarello@...> wrote:
                 

                Hi all, I built the Mini-still recently, and have run 3 four gallon batches of sugar wash and one 4 gal batch of pear wine thru it so far. I am using a 1100 watt adjustable hotplate on medium low setting to keep the temp around 175 or so until it automaticly rises at the tails part of the run.  I stop when the temp reaches 200 deg.

                Last 2 runs I left the valve open to run like a pot still. With or without packing seems to make no difference, most all the distillate still comes off at 90% until the tails. The pear wine came out tasteless just like the sugar wash and I collected a lot of it's tails to add back because the end had a good pear flavor.

                So, am I doing something wrong or does it normally take 30 hours to cook off the spirits ?
                Thanks, Wayne



              • RLB
                If people would read www.homedistiller.org, they would have fewer questions because they cover everything you just stated. For me, one of the best distilling
                Message 7 of 21 , Oct 12, 2013
                • 0 Attachment
                  If people would read www.homedistiller.org, they would have fewer questions because they cover everything you just stated.

                  For me, one of the best distilling videos is on Youtube.  Where he took the viewer from start to finish.  In that video, he turned the heat up on high, and he turned the flame down to simmer when the temperature hit 178 F.  He was done when the temperature reached 200 F.  That video clearly proves this point that temperature will only increase toward water boiling point as alcohol evaporates. 


                  From: Zapata Vive <zapatavive@...>
                  To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Saturday, October 12, 2013 8:31 PM
                  Subject: Re: [new_distillers] RE: RE: 30 hours to run mini still batch, normal?

                   
                  When people say pot stills are controlled by the heat, again it's just the amount of vapor that is controlled by the heat.  In a pot still you can't control the temperature with the heat, the % ethanol dictates the temperature and the still design dictates the % abv.  Repeat after me until it soaks in, and you can explain it to beginners here on this forum!


                • Zapata Vive
                  OK, really study that, and don t let these next few notes confuse you until you do. The last messages hopefully cleared up some glaring misconceptions that
                  Message 8 of 21 , Oct 12, 2013
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                    OK, really study that, and don't let these next few notes confuse you until you do.  The last messages hopefully cleared up some glaring misconceptions that will continue to impede you.  These are more practical suggestions on moving forward.

                    If you want to use your mini still as a pot still:

                    1.  You may want/need to put a vapor lock on your output tube.  this is just a loop in the copper line.  What happens is that take off was designed to work when there is a pool of liquid in the collector it draws from.  With the valve wide open, there is no pool there.  A vapor lock loop will always trap a small bit of liquid and it stops the (small?) possibility of any vapor coming out.

                    2.  You may want/need to put a small liebig on your output.  This will chill your product allowing more accurate readings of ABV, as well as making the product safer, and less likely to evaporate away as you collect.  You can connect it to your current take off with a compression fitting/valve, and plumb it inline with your reflux condenser.  Water into liebig, water out of liebig and into reflux condenser.  Note, this is helpful even when running in reflux mode, and should eliminate the need for the vapor lock as it will condense any vapor that comes out.

                    3.  You'll note that the example numbers I gave are for a true pot still.  No riser arm, column etc and thus no internal reflux.  Your still will never be that, you will have a fair bit of reflux even with no packing, hence your high ABV results.  Running it at full power will likely reduce your abv, even though I said above that it wouldn't.  Really make sure you understand the above message before even thinking about this, or it WILL confuse you.  My above examples are true for a real pot still, but since you actually do have a column, things are a tiny bit different.  We are going to introduce a concept of vapor speed through your column.  In any column that can produce reflux, the slower the vapor travels, the more time it will have to be condensed and reboiled (reflux).  Vapor speed is a function of volume of vapor (determined by boiler power) and volume of the column.  More power makes more volume quicker in the same volume, thus increasing the vapor speed, thus giving vapor less time in the column, thus making less reflux.  Give your unpacked column full power to drop the ABV to more what we expect from a pot still.  (You may revisit this concept at a later date if you decide to build a bigger reflux still or upgrade your heat source, you will need to consider the effect of power and column diameter on vapor speed)

                    4.  You noted the lack of flavor.  As mentioned in #3, full power will reduce the ABV, but it will also increase the flavor.

                    5.  High amounts of internal reflux in your column/riser arm can also be reduced by insulating the riser.  If you don't have it insulated, do so.  It will make your still act more like the pot still you want it to emulate when doing stripping or flavor runs.  It will make your reflux runs more stable too.  Most use pipe insulation or reflectix (silvery bubble wrap).

                    Armed with all this, you should be able to put it all together.  You should be able to make sense of what was happening, know how to run your still better for what you want to make while understanding why, and even have a few small improvements you can make (insulation/product liebig/vapor lock).

                    Feel free to ask more if you can't quite tie them all together.


                    On Sat, Oct 12, 2013 at 8:31 PM, Zapata Vive <ZapataVive@...> wrote:
                    When people say pot stills are controlled by the heat, again it's just the amount of vapor that is controlled by the heat.  In a pot still you can't control the temperature with the heat, the % ethanol dictates the temperature and the still design dictates the % abv.  Repeat after me until it soaks in, and you can explain it to beginners here on this forum!

                    So yes, give it full heat, let it come off in a stream.  Turning down the heat, will again just reduce the amount of vapor (and thus product in pot still mode) that you make in a given amount of time.

                    If you'll re-read my first message until you really understand it, it answers this question too ;)
                    Or lets try a....wait for it......distilled down approach

                    Let's get one little detail out of the way, and decide to ignore it.  In pot still mode, SOME reflux will be happening in your column (now rightly called a riser).  It will affect the numbers we are about to talk about, but lets just ignore that for now and pretend that there is no reflux happening to throw these theoretical numbers off.  The principles will be the same, the relationships will be the same, it's just the numbers that will be off.

                    Let me give you a scenario, and then lets make deductions.  I give you these things/conditions.
                    1.  A pot still
                    2.  A wash of 10% ABV ethanol in water
                    3.  A magical heat source that will let you adjust it to your hearts content, so long as the wash never stops boiling
                    4.  Your local air pressure is equal to sea level

                    We now have a predetermined set of facts that can not be changed.  You have the facts I gave you, but you also can make these deductions.  These are proven, unmutable, facts based on LAWS of chemistry and physics.  Disprove them and win yourself a nobel prize.  We KNOW:
                    1.  It will boil at 200.38*F
                    2.  The initial vapor temperature will be  181.06 °F
                    3.  The initial purity of the condensate will be  48.7 % ABV
                    4.  The boiling temp will rise
                    5.  The vapor temp will rise
                    6.  The ABV of the condensate will fall
                    7.  we stop paying attention after there is not much alcohol left, and this happens before the boiler runs dry.

                    You can play with your ding dang heat control until your palms turn hairy, and as long as the wash is boiling, you will not, shall not, and CAN NOT change any of those facts.  Low, medium, medium-low, high-low.  It does not matter at all!  You can not violate these rules.  Playing with your ding-dang heat control can not hold your boiling temps, vapor temps, or condensate strengths constant.

                    Maybe you noticed I didn't include any mention of time in that example?  Because that is dependent on the heat/power input.  And that is ALL heat affects!

                    I'll even try to really, really prove this.  Let me walk you through 2 more versions of my hypothetical distillation and see if you get it.  Same exact set of conditions above, once on steady medium heat (say 550 watts) and once on steady high (1100 watts).  I'll even throw in time and volume measurements as well as another set of temp and abv measurements at halfway through the run so you can see the only thing that changes.

                    So, a constant 550 watts on 4 gallons stripping run looks like this:
                    1.  It will boil at 200.38*F (corrected for sea level/atmospheric pressure)
                    2.  The initial vapor temperature will be  181.06 °F
                    3.  The initial purity of the condensate will be  48.7 % ABV
                    4.  The boiling temp will rise steadily
                    5.  The vapor temp will rise steadily
                    6.  The ABV of the condensate will fall steadily
                    7.  At 83 minutes the run is halfway done.
                    8.  At 83 minutes the boiler temperature will be  205 °F
                    9.  At 83 minutes the vapor temperature will be  185°F
                    10.  At 83 minuters the condensate will be  34% ABV
                    11.  At 166 minutes the boiler temperature will be  208°F
                    12.  at 166 minutes the vapor temperature will be  192°F
                    13.  At 166 minutes the condensate will be 19.9%
                    14.  We stop paying attention after there is so little alcohol left that we don't care.
                    15.  Total amount collected was  3.42 L it will be 34.78 % and it took a total of 166 minutes boiling time (not counting heatup)
                    Note the bolded, "steadily", if we leave the power input at 550 watts, the change in boiler temp, vapor temp, and abv of the distillate will be linear.  This was not in the first example because I let you fiddle with the heat all you wanted in that one...

                    Here is the exact same run at High, 1100watts.  This time bold = changes from 550 watts.  ALL changes will be bolded, see how little bold there is?
                    So, a constant 1100 watts on 4 gallons stripping run looks like this:
                    1.  It will boil at 200.38*F (corrected for sea level/atmospheric pressure)
                    2.  The initial vapor temperature will be  181.06 °F
                    3.  The initial purity of the condensate will be  48.7 % ABV
                    4.  The boiling temp will rise steadily
                    5.  The vapor temp will rise steadily
                    6.  The ABV of the condensate will fall steadily
                    7.  At 41 minutes the run is halfway done.
                    8.  At 41 minutes the boiler temperature will be  205 °F
                    9.  At 41 minutes the vapor temperature will be  185°F
                    10.  At 41 minutes the condensate will be  34% ABV
                    11.  At 82 minutes the boiler temperature will be  208°F
                    12.  at 82 minutes the vapor temperature will be  192°F
                    13.  At 82 minutes the condensate will be 19.9%
                    14.  We stop paying attention after there is so little alcohol left that we don't care.
                    15.  Total amount collected was  3.42 L it will be 34.78 % and it took a total of 82 minutes boiling time (not counting heatup)


                    Get it?  You CAN use heat input to control your pot still, but the only thing you are controlling is how fast things happen, because it only affects the volume of vapor and thus product produced in a given amount of time.



                    On Sat, Oct 12, 2013 at 5:53 PM, <wzuccarello@...> wrote:
                     

                     Thanks Zapata for the excellent and imforming post. Helped me understand what the thermometer is telling me.


                    When I did runs in reflus mode, I did leave the heat high constantly and used the reflux valve to keep the column in the 175 range, causing a fast drip in the collection jar. These runs did take about 6 hours.


                    In my OP I stated that I was running in pot still mode with no packing and reflux valve full open. This is where I thought I had to try to maintain the 175 with heat control. I tread somewhere that pot stills were heat controlled and reflux stills were valve controlled.


                    So, If I am pot stilling with the Mini, should I still use full heat and just let the output come off on a stream?

                    Or maybe just enough control to keep below 200 deg or so?


                    Thanks, Wayne



                    ---In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                    Thank you thank you THANK YOU Zapata!


                    Thanks for handling the old "I can't control my head temperature with my heat input (but I think I should be able to)" myth. I have come to feel like some sort of stillin' Nazi overlord for jumping on this old saw every time it comes by, which is very often on this forum.


                    You took a very slightly different approach to the explanation than I have used in the past, but I like yours at least as much as what I normally do. Fine job!



                    ---In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, <zapatavive@...> wrote:

                    I've never run a ministill, but it sounds like you're new.  You say you use the hot plate setting to "keep the temp around 175 or so". 
                    If you don't know, you can't control temperature very well with the heat input.  You can affect it some, but not directly.  Lets start down in the pot.  The chemical makeup determines the boiling point in the pot, regardless of your hotplate setting.  If it's boiling on high, or simmering on low, the boiling point in the pot is already predetermined, mostly by the ratio of alcohol to water.  If it's pure water, it's boiling at 212*F (ish, depends on your altitude), high or low doesn't matter.  Med-low doesn't make water boil at anything lower than 212*F.  If it's a 10% alcohol wash, it's boiling point is 199.58*F, high, low, medium doesn't matter.

                    Likewise, the temperature at your thermometer, (I assume it's up in the column?) is ONLY determined by the chemical makeup of the vapor that is in that part of the still.  Doesn't really matter what your heat setting is.  In fact, don't even call it  a thermometer anymore until this concept sinks in.  Call it an "indirect vapor alcometer".  Heck, even stop saying it measures degrees.  Because we really don't put thermometers in stills to measure temperature, we use them to measure alcohol content of the vapor (and the stability of the column's alcohol content as it changes).  If your thermometer says it is 175*F, what it's really telling us is that the vapor there is right around 87% ethanol.  I know it seems strange, but don't think of that thermometer as having any connection to your heatsource.

                    Your still is (should be) designed to make a certain product under certain conditions.  Give it those conditions and see what it makes.  Your thermometer can tell you what it's making, but not the conditions it was designed for.
                    I think the mini-still is designed for 1000w heat input (double check me, might be up to 1500w).  Give it to it.  Constantly, from the moment it boils to the moment you stop collecting.
                    The only controls you make are to adjust the reflux ratio, and decide what container you put the output in.  You can use the thermometer to help you make those adjustments, but in the middle of a run you can't change the design of the still, nor the physical constants of boiling points so leave that heat alone!

                    So if your setting on your heat source doesn't control your temperature, what does it control?  Glad you asked!  It controls the volume of vapor you generate.  45 liters of vapor per minute per 1000 watts, or any fraction thereof.  In liquid terms it depends on the alcohol content, but it's between the extremes of 30ml of pure water per minute or 89 ml of pure alcohol per minute per 1000 watts.

                    Remember you're refluxing most of it and taking off just a small portion, probably just 10%, right?  Now do you see why your run took so long?  You're giving the still (guessing at what med low really means) about 40% of the power it was designed for!  And you probably did it because you thought you could control the temperature with the heat, but you can't.  The laws of physics and the design and operation of the still determine the temperature.

                    Now, set that sucker on high, glue it on if you have to, tie your hands behind your back, tell your wife to divorce you if you dare touch it, and use your "indirect vapor alcometer" ahem thermometer to just confirm that your still is doing what it was designed to do!


                    On Sun, Oct 6, 2013 at 9:58 PM, <wzuccarello@...> wrote:
                     

                    Hi all, I built the Mini-still recently, and have run 3 four gallon batches of sugar wash and one 4 gal batch of pear wine thru it so far. I am using a 1100 watt adjustable hotplate on medium low setting to keep the temp around 175 or so until it automaticly rises at the tails part of the run.  I stop when the temp reaches 200 deg.

                    Last 2 runs I left the valve open to run like a pot still. With or without packing seems to make no difference, most all the distillate still comes off at 90% until the tails. The pear wine came out tasteless just like the sugar wash and I collected a lot of it's tails to add back because the end had a good pear flavor.

                    So, am I doing something wrong or does it normally take 30 hours to cook off the spirits ?
                    Thanks, Wayne




                  • wzuccarello
                    LOL thanks, It has finaly become clear to me . The last sentence sums it up. :) ... When people say pot stills are controlled by the heat, again it s just the
                    Message 9 of 21 , Oct 12, 2013
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                      LOL thanks, It has finaly  become clear to me . The last sentence sums it up. :)



                      ---In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                      When people say pot stills are controlled by the heat, again it's just the amount of vapor that is controlled by the heat.  In a pot still you can't control the temperature with the heat, the % ethanol dictates the temperature and the still design dictates the % abv.  Repeat after me until it soaks in, and you can explain it to beginners here on this forum!

                      So yes, give it full heat, let it come off in a stream.  Turning down the heat, will again just reduce the amount of vapor (and thus product in pot still mode) that you make in a given amount of time.

                      If you'll re-read my first message until you really understand it, it answers this question too ;)
                      Or lets try a....wait for it......distilled down approach

                      Let's get one little detail out of the way, and decide to ignore it.  In pot still mode, SOME reflux will be happening in your column (now rightly called a riser).  It will affect the numbers we are about to talk about, but lets just ignore that for now and pretend that there is no reflux happening to throw these theoretical numbers off.  The principles will be the same, the relationships will be the same, it's just the numbers that will be off.

                      Let me give you a scenario, and then lets make deductions.  I give you these things/conditions.
                      1.  A pot still
                      2.  A wash of 10% ABV ethanol in water
                      3.  A magical heat source that will let you adjust it to your hearts content, so long as the wash never stops boiling
                      4.  Your local air pressure is equal to sea level

                      We now have a predetermined set of facts that can not be changed.  You have the facts I gave you, but you also can make these deductions.  These are proven, unmutable, facts based on LAWS of chemistry and physics.  Disprove them and win yourself a nobel prize.  We KNOW:
                      1.  It will boil at 200.38*F
                      2.  The initial vapor temperature will be  181.06 °F
                      3.  The initial purity of the condensate will be  48.7 % ABV
                      4.  The boiling temp will rise
                      5.  The vapor temp will rise
                      6.  The ABV of the condensate will fall
                      7.  we stop paying attention after there is not much alcohol left, and this happens before the boiler runs dry.

                      You can play with your ding dang heat control until your palms turn hairy, and as long as the wash is boiling, you will not, shall not, and CAN NOT change any of those facts.  Low, medium, medium-low, high-low.  It does not matter at all!  You can not violate these rules.  Playing with your ding-dang heat control can not hold your boiling temps, vapor temps, or condensate strengths constant.

                      Maybe you noticed I didn't include any mention of time in that example?  Because that is dependent on the heat/power input.  And that is ALL heat affects!

                      I'll even try to really, really prove this.  Let me walk you through 2 more versions of my hypothetical distillation and see if you get it.  Same exact set of conditions above, once on steady medium heat (say 550 watts) and once on steady high (1100 watts).  I'll even throw in time and volume measurements as well as another set of temp and abv measurements at halfway through the run so you can see the only thing that changes.

                      So, a constant 550 watts on 4 gallons stripping run looks like this:
                      1.  It will boil at 200.38*F (corrected for sea level/atmospheric pressure)
                      2.  The initial vapor temperature will be  181.06 °F
                      3.  The initial purity of the condensate will be  48.7 % ABV
                      4.  The boiling temp will rise steadily
                      5.  The vapor temp will rise steadily
                      6.  The ABV of the condensate will fall steadily
                      7.  At 83 minutes the run is halfway done.
                      8.  At 83 minutes the boiler temperature will be  205 °F
                      9.  At 83 minutes the vapor temperature will be  185°F
                      10.  At 83 minuters the condensate will be  34% ABV
                      11.  At 166 minutes the boiler temperature will be  208°F
                      12.  at 166 minutes the vapor temperature will be  192°F
                      13.  At 166 minutes the condensate will be 19.9%
                      14.  We stop paying attention after there is so little alcohol left that we don't care.
                      15.  Total amount collected was  3.42 L it will be 34.78 % and it took a total of 166 minutes boiling time (not counting heatup)
                      Note the bolded, "steadily", if we leave the power input at 550 watts, the change in boiler temp, vapor temp, and abv of the distillate will be linear.  This was not in the first example because I let you fiddle with the heat all you wanted in that one...

                      Here is the exact same run at High, 1100watts.  This time bold = changes from 550 watts.  ALL changes will be bolded, see how little bold there is?
                      So, a constant 1100 watts on 4 gallons stripping run looks like this:
                      1.  It will boil at 200.38*F (corrected for sea level/atmospheric pressure)
                      2.  The initial vapor temperature will be  181.06 °F
                      3.  The initial purity of the condensate will be  48.7 % ABV
                      4.  The boiling temp will rise steadily
                      5.  The vapor temp will rise steadily
                      6.  The ABV of the condensate will fall steadily
                      7.  At 41 minutes the run is halfway done.
                      8.  At 41 minutes the boiler temperature will be  205 °F
                      9.  At 41 minutes the vapor temperature will be  185°F
                      10.  At 41 minutes the condensate will be  34% ABV
                      11.  At 82 minutes the boiler temperature will be  208°F
                      12.  at 82 minutes the vapor temperature will be  192°F
                      13.  At 82 minutes the condensate will be 19.9%
                      14.  We stop paying attention after there is so little alcohol left that we don't care.
                      15.  Total amount collected was  3.42 L it will be 34.78 % and it took a total of 82 minutes boiling time (not counting heatup)


                      Get it?  You CAN use heat input to control your pot still, but the only thing you are controlling is how fast things happen, because it only affects the volume of vapor and thus product produced in a given amount of time.



                      On Sat, Oct 12, 2013 at 5:53 PM, <wzuccarello@...> wrote:
                       

                       Thanks Zapata for the excellent and imforming post. Helped me understand what the thermometer is telling me.


                      When I did runs in reflus mode, I did leave the heat high constantly and used the reflux valve to keep the column in the 175 range, causing a fast drip in the collection jar. These runs did take about 6 hours.


                      In my OP I stated that I was running in pot still mode with no packing and reflux valve full open. This is where I thought I had to try to maintain the 175 with heat control. I tread somewhere that pot stills were heat controlled and reflux stills were valve controlled.


                      So, If I am pot stilling with the Mini, should I still use full heat and just let the output come off on a stream?

                      Or maybe just enough control to keep below 200 deg or so?


                      Thanks, Wayne



                      ---In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                      Thank you thank you THANK YOU Zapata!


                      Thanks for handling the old "I can't control my head temperature with my heat input (but I think I should be able to)" myth. I have come to feel like some sort of stillin' Nazi overlord for jumping on this old saw every time it comes by, which is very often on this forum.


                      You took a very slightly different approach to the explanation than I have used in the past, but I like yours at least as much as what I normally do. Fine job!



                      ---In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, <zapatavive@...> wrote:

                      I've never run a ministill, but it sounds like you're new.  You say you use the hot plate setting to "keep the temp around 175 or so". 
                      If you don't know, you can't control temperature very well with the heat input.  You can affect it some, but not directly.  Lets start down in the pot.  The chemical makeup determines the boiling point in the pot, regardless of your hotplate setting.  If it's boiling on high, or simmering on low, the boiling point in the pot is already predetermined, mostly by the ratio of alcohol to water.  If it's pure water, it's boiling at 212*F (ish, depends on your altitude), high or low doesn't matter.  Med-low doesn't make water boil at anything lower than 212*F.  If it's a 10% alcohol wash, it's boiling point is 199.58*F, high, low, medium doesn't matter.

                      Likewise, the temperature at your thermometer, (I assume it's up in the column?) is ONLY determined by the chemical makeup of the vapor that is in that part of the still.  Doesn't really matter what your heat setting is.  In fact, don't even call it  a thermometer anymore until this concept sinks in.  Call it an "indirect vapor alcometer".  Heck, even stop saying it measures degrees.  Because we really don't put thermometers in stills to measure temperature, we use them to measure alcohol content of the vapor (and the stability of the column's alcohol content as it changes).  If your thermometer says it is 175*F, what it's really telling us is that the vapor there is right around 87% ethanol.  I know it seems strange, but don't think of that thermometer as having any connection to your heatsource.

                      Your still is (should be) designed to make a certain product under certain conditions.  Give it those conditions and see what it makes.  Your thermometer can tell you what it's making, but not the conditions it was designed for.
                      I think the mini-still is designed for 1000w heat input (double check me, might be up to 1500w).  Give it to it.  Constantly, from the moment it boils to the moment you stop collecting.
                      The only controls you make are to adjust the reflux ratio, and decide what container you put the output in.  You can use the thermometer to help you make those adjustments, but in the middle of a run you can't change the design of the still, nor the physical constants of boiling points so leave that heat alone!

                      So if your setting on your heat source doesn't control your temperature, what does it control?  Glad you asked!  It controls the volume of vapor you generate.  45 liters of vapor per minute per 1000 watts, or any fraction thereof.  In liquid terms it depends on the alcohol content, but it's between the extremes of 30ml of pure water per minute or 89 ml of pure alcohol per minute per 1000 watts.

                      Remember you're refluxing most of it and taking off just a small portion, probably just 10%, right?  Now do you see why your run took so long?  You're giving the still (guessing at what med low really means) about 40% of the power it was designed for!  And you probably did it because you thought you could control the temperature with the heat, but you can't.  The laws of physics and the design and operation of the still determine the temperature.

                      Now, set that sucker on high, glue it on if you have to, tie your hands behind your back, tell your wife to divorce you if you dare touch it, and use your "indirect vapor alcometer" ahem thermometer to just confirm that your still is doing what it was designed to do!


                      On Sun, Oct 6, 2013 at 9:58 PM, <wzuccarello@...> wrote:
                       

                      Hi all, I built the Mini-still recently, and have run 3 four gallon batches of sugar wash and one 4 gal batch of pear wine thru it so far. I am using a 1100 watt adjustable hotplate on medium low setting to keep the temp around 175 or so until it automaticly rises at the tails part of the run.  I stop when the temp reaches 200 deg.

                      Last 2 runs I left the valve open to run like a pot still. With or without packing seems to make no difference, most all the distillate still comes off at 90% until the tails. The pear wine came out tasteless just like the sugar wash and I collected a lot of it's tails to add back because the end had a good pear flavor.

                      So, am I doing something wrong or does it normally take 30 hours to cook off the spirits ?
                      Thanks, Wayne



                    • Bob Glicksman
                      Not to confuse the otherwise excellent and absolutely correct analysis by Mr. Vive: the initial vapor temperature is the same as the initial boiling point,
                      Message 10 of 21 , Oct 12, 2013
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Not to confuse the otherwise excellent and absolutely correct analysis by Mr. Vive:  the initial vapor temperature is the same as the initial boiling point, 200.38 deg F in this example.  The vapor coming off of a boiling liquid is exactly the same temperature as the liquid - by definition of boiling.  What Mr. Vive means is that the boiling (or dew) point of the initial vapor is 181.06 deg F.  Stated this way, Mr. Vive's analysis is 100% accurate.


                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: Zapata Vive <zapatavive@...>
                        To: new_distillers <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Sat, Oct 12, 2013 5:31 pm
                        Subject: Re: [new_distillers] RE: RE: 30 hours to run mini still batch, normal?

                         
                        When people say pot stills are controlled by the heat, again it's just the amount of vapor that is controlled by the heat.  In a pot still you can't control the temperature with the heat, the % ethanol dictates the temperature and the still design dictates the % abv.  Repeat after me until it soaks in, and you can explain it to beginners here on this forum!

                        So yes, give it full heat, let it come off in a stream.  Turning down the heat, will again just reduce the amount of vapor (and thus product in pot still mode) that you make in a given amount of time.

                        If you'll re-read my first message until you really understand it, it answers this question too ;)
                        Or lets try a....wait for it......distilled down approach

                        Let's get one little detail out of the way, and decide to ignore it.  In pot still mode, SOME reflux will be happening in your column (now rightly called a riser).  It will affect the numbers we are about to talk about, but lets just ignore that for now and pretend that there is no reflux happening to throw these theoretical numbers off.  The principles will be the same, the relationships will be the same, it's just the numbers that will be off.

                        Let me give you a scenario, and then lets make deductions.  I give you these things/conditions.
                        1.  A pot still
                        2.  A wash of 10% ABV ethanol in water
                        3.  A magical heat source that will let you adjust it to your hearts content, so long as the wash never stops boiling
                        4.  Your local air pressure is equal to sea level

                        We now have a predetermined set of facts that can not be changed.  You have the facts I gave you, but you also can make these deductions.  These are proven, unmutable, facts based on LAWS of chemistry and physics.  Disprove them and win yourself a nobel prize.  We KNOW:
                        1.  It will boil at 200.38*F
                        2.  The initial vapor temperature will be  181.06 °F
                        3.  The initial purity of the condensate will be  48.7 % ABV
                        4.  The boiling temp will rise
                        5.  The vapor temp will rise
                        6.  The ABV of the condensate will fall
                        7.  we stop paying attention after there is not much alcohol left, and this happens before the boiler runs dry.

                        You can play with your ding dang heat control until your palms turn hairy, and as long as the wash is boiling, you will not, shall not, and CAN NOT change any of those facts.  Low, medium, medium-low, high-low.  It does not matter at all!  You can not violate these rules.  Playing with your ding-dang heat control can not hold your boiling temps, vapor temps, or condensate strengths constant.

                        Maybe you noticed I didn't include any mention of time in that example?  Because that is dependent on the heat/power input.  And that is ALL heat affects!

                        I'll even try to really, really prove this.  Let me walk you through 2 more versions of my hypothetical distillation and see if you get it.  Same exact set of conditions above, once on steady medium heat (say 550 watts) and once on steady high (1100 watts).  I'll even throw in time and volume measurements as well as another set of temp and abv measurements at halfway through the run so you can see the only thing that changes.

                        So, a constant 550 watts on 4 gallons stripping run looks like this:
                        1.  It will boil at 200.38*F (corrected for sea level/atmospheric pressure)
                        2.  The initial vapor temperature will be  181.06 °F
                        3.  The initial purity of the condensate will be  48.7 % ABV
                        4.  The boiling temp will rise steadily
                        5.  The vapor temp will rise steadily
                        6.  The ABV of the condensate will fall steadily
                        7.  At 83 minutes the run is halfway done.
                        8.  At 83 minutes the boiler temperature will be  205 °F
                        9.  At 83 minutes the vapor temperature will be  185°F
                        10.  At 83 minuters the condensate will be  34% ABV
                        11.  At 166 minutes the boiler temperature will be  208°F
                        12.  at 166 minutes the vapor temperature will be  192°F
                        13.  At 166 minutes the condensate will be 19.9%
                        14.  We stop paying attention after there is so little alcohol left that we don't care.
                        15.  Total amount collected was  3.42 L it will be 34.78 % and it took a total of 166 minutes boiling time (not counting heatup)
                        Note the bolded, "steadily", if we leave the power input at 550 watts, the change in boiler temp, vapor temp, and abv of the distillate will be linear.  This was not in the first example because I let you fiddle with the heat all you wanted in that one...

                        Here is the exact same run at High, 1100watts.  This time bold = changes from 550 watts.  ALL changes will be bolded, see how little bold there is?
                        So, a constant 1100 watts on 4 gallons stripping run looks like this:
                        1.  It will boil at 200.38*F (corrected for sea level/atmospheric pressure)
                        2.  The initial vapor temperature will be  181.06 °F
                        3.  The initial purity of the condensate will be  48.7 % ABV
                        4.  The boiling temp will rise steadily
                        5.  The vapor temp will rise steadily
                        6.  The ABV of the condensate will fall steadily
                        7.  At 41 minutes the run is halfway done.
                        8.  At 41 minutes the boiler temperature will be  205 °F
                        9.  At 41 minutes the vapor temperature will be  185°F
                        10.  At 41 minutes the condensate will be  34% ABV
                        11.  At 82 minutes the boiler temperature will be  208°F
                        12.  at 82 minutes the vapor temperature will be  192°F
                        13.  At 82 minutes the condensate will be 19.9%
                        14.  We stop paying attention after there is so little alcohol left that we don't care.
                        15.  Total amount collected was  3.42 L it will be 34.78 % and it took a total of 82 minutes boiling time (not counting heatup)


                        Get it?  You CAN use heat input to control your pot still, but the only thing you are controlling is how fast things happen, because it only affects the volume of vapor and thus product produced in a given amount of time.



                        On Sat, Oct 12, 2013 at 5:53 PM, <wzuccarello@...> wrote:
                         
                         Thanks Zapata for the excellent and imforming post. Helped me understand what the thermometer is telling me.

                        When I did runs in reflus mode, I did leave the heat high constantly and used the reflux valve to keep the column in the 175 range, causing a fast drip in the collection jar. These runs did take about 6 hours.

                        In my OP I stated that I was running in pot still mode with no packing and reflux valve full open. This is where I thought I had to try to maintain the 175 with heat control. I tread somewhere that pot stills were heat controlled and reflux stills were valve controlled.

                        So, If I am pot stilling with the Mini, should I still use full heat and just let the output come off on a stream?
                        Or maybe just enough control to keep below 200 deg or so?

                        Thanks, Wayne


                        ---In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                        Thank you thank you THANK YOU Zapata!

                        Thanks for handling the old "I can't control my head temperature with my heat input (but I think I should be able to)" myth. I have come to feel like some sort of stillin' Nazi overlord for jumping on this old saw every time it comes by, which is very often on this forum.

                        You took a very slightly different approach to the explanation than I have used in the past, but I like yours at least as much as what I normally do. Fine job!


                        ---In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, <zapatavive@...> wrote:

                        I've never run a ministill, but it sounds like you're new.  You say you use the hot plate setting to "keep the temp around 175 or so". 
                        If you don't know, you can't control temperature very well with the heat input.  You can affect it some, but not directly.  Lets start down in the pot.  The chemical makeup determines the boiling point in the pot, regardless of your hotplate setting.  If it's boiling on high, or simmering on low, the boiling point in the pot is already predetermined, mostly by the ratio of alcohol to water.  If it's pure water, it's boiling at 212*F (ish, depends on your altitude), high or low doesn't matter.  Med-low doesn't make water boil at anything lower than 212*F.  If it's a 10% alcohol wash, it's boiling point is 199.58*F, high, low, medium doesn't matter.

                        Likewise, the temperature at your thermometer, (I assume it's up in the column?) is ONLY determined by the chemical makeup of the vapor that is in that part of the still.  Doesn't really matter what your heat setting is.  In fact, don't even call it  a thermometer anymore until this concept sinks in.  Call it an "indirect vapor alcometer".  Heck, even stop saying it measures degrees.  Because we really don't put thermometers in stills to measure temperature, we use them to measure alcohol content of the vapor (and the stability of the column's alcohol content as it changes).  If your thermometer says it is 175*F, what it's really telling us is that the vapor there is right around 87% ethanol.  I know it seems strange, but don't think of that thermometer as having any connection to your heatsource.

                        Your still is (should be) designed to make a certain product under certain conditions.  Give it those conditions and see what it makes.  Your thermometer can tell you what it's making, but not the conditions it was designed for.
                        I think the mini-still is designed for 1000w heat input (double check me, might be up to 1500w).  Give it to it.  Constantly, from the moment it boils to the moment you stop collecting.
                        The only controls you make are to adjust the reflux ratio, and decide what container you put the output in.  You can use the thermometer to help you make those adjustments, but in the middle of a run you can't change the design of the still, nor the physical constants of boiling points so leave that heat alone!

                        So if your setting on your heat source doesn't control your temperature, what does it control?  Glad you asked!  It controls the volume of vapor you generate.  45 liters of vapor per minute per 1000 watts, or any fraction thereof.  In liquid terms it depends on the alcohol content, but it's between the extremes of 30ml of pure water per minute or 89 ml of pure alcohol per minute per 1000 watts.

                        Remember you're refluxing most of it and taking off just a small portion, probably just 10%, right?  Now do you see why your run took so long?  You're giving the still (guessing at what med low really means) about 40% of the power it was designed for!  And you probably did it because you thought you could control the temperature with the heat, but you can't.  The laws of physics and the design and operation of the still determine the temperature.

                        Now, set that sucker on high, glue it on if you have to, tie your hands behind your back, tell your wife to divorce you if you dare touch it, and use your "indirect vapor alcometer" ahem thermometer to just confirm that your still is doing what it was designed to do!


                        On Sun, Oct 6, 2013 at 9:58 PM, <wzuccarello@...> wrote:
                         
                        Hi all, I built the Mini-still recently, and have run 3 four gallon batches of sugar wash and one 4 gal batch of pear wine thru it so far. I am using a 1100 watt adjustable hotplate on medium low setting to keep the temp around 175 or so until it automaticly rises at the tails part of the run.  I stop when the temp reaches 200 deg.

                        Last 2 runs I left the valve open to run like a pot still. With or without packing seems to make no difference, most all the distillate still comes off at 90% until the tails. The pear wine came out tasteless just like the sugar wash and I collected a lot of it's tails to add back because the end had a good pear flavor.

                        So, am I doing something wrong or does it normally take 30 hours to cook off the spirits ?
                        Thanks, Wayne


                      • Robert Hubble
                        Thanks, Bob, for helping me out with that (seeming) temperature difference, which had me confused. Having said that, I have to applaud Zapata s series of
                        Message 11 of 21 , Oct 12, 2013
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                          Thanks, Bob, for helping me out with that (seeming) temperature difference, which had me confused. Having said that, I have to applaud Zapata's series of explanations, which are extensive, accurate, and also useful in terms of helping the new (or even a bit experienced) user make some of the necessary decisions.

                          I'm also answering this using the hotmail (gag) account through which I read the Zymurgy Bob email, instead of what the Yahoo (gag - puke-shudder) group tool has become, just so I can trim some of the accumulated communication, no matter how good it may be.

                          Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller


                          To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                          From: bobg542492@...
                          Date: Sat, 12 Oct 2013 23:34:16 -0400
                          Subject: Re: [new_distillers] RE: RE: 30 hours to run mini still batch, normal?

                           
                          Not to confuse the otherwise excellent and absolutely correct analysis by Mr. Vive:  the initial vapor temperature is the same as the initial boiling point, 200.38 deg F in this example.  The vapor coming off of a boiling liquid is exactly the same temperature as the liquid - by definition of boiling.  What Mr. Vive means is that the boiling (or dew) point of the initial vapor is 181.06 deg F.  Stated this way, Mr. Vive's analysis is 100% accurate.



                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: Zapata Vive <zapatavive@...>
                          ----snip----



                        • Brian McGill
                          That was probably the best explanation and example I have read anywhere...thanks!!! ... -- Brian J. McGill That was probably the best explanation and example I
                          Message 12 of 21 , Oct 13, 2013
                          • 0 Attachment
                            That was probably the best explanation and example I have read anywhere...thanks!!!

                            On Saturday, October 12, 2013, Zapata Vive wrote:
                             

                            When people say pot stills are controlled by the heat, again it's just the amount of vapor that is controlled by the heat.  In a pot still you can't control the temperature with the heat, the % ethanol dictates the temperature and the still design dictates the % abv.  Repeat after me until it soaks in, and you can explain it to beginners here on this forum!

                            So yes, give it full heat, let it come off in a stream.  Turning down the heat, will again just reduce the amount of vapor (and thus product in pot still mode) that you make in a given amount of time.

                            If you'll re-read my first message until you really understand it, it answers this question too ;)
                            Or lets try a....wait for it......distilled down approach

                            Let's get one little detail out of the way, and decide to ignore it.  In pot still mode, SOME reflux will be happening in your column (now rightly called a riser).  It will affect the numbers we are about to talk about, but lets just ignore that for now and pretend that there is no reflux happening to throw these theoretical numbers off.  The principles will be the same, the relationships will be the same, it's just the numbers that will be off.

                            Let me give you a scenario, and then lets make deductions.  I give you these things/conditions.
                            1.  A pot still
                            2.  A wash of 10% ABV ethanol in water
                            3.  A magical heat source that will let you adjust it to your hearts content, so long as the wash never stops boiling
                            4.  Your local air pressure is equal to sea level

                            We now have a predetermined set of facts that can not be changed.  You have the facts I gave you, but you also can make these deductions.  These are proven, unmutable, facts based on LAWS of chemistry and physics.  Disprove them and win yourself a nobel prize.  We KNOW:
                            1.  It will boil at 200.38*F
                            2.  The initial vapor temperature will be  181.06 °F
                            3.  The initial purity of the condensate will be  48.7 % ABV
                            4.  The boiling temp will rise
                            5.  The vapor temp will rise
                            6.  The ABV of the condensate will fall
                            7.  we stop paying attention after there is not much alcohol left, and this happens before the boiler runs dry.

                            You can play with your ding dang heat control until your palms turn hairy, and as long as the wash is boiling, you will not, shall not, and CAN NOT change any of those facts.  Low, medium, medium-low, high-low.  It does not matter at all!  You can not violate these rules.  Playing with your ding-dang heat control can not hold your boiling temps, vapor temps, or condensate strengths constant.

                            Maybe you noticed I didn't include any mention of time in that example?  Because that is dependent on the heat/power input.  And that is ALL heat affects!

                            I'll even try to really, really prove this.  Let me walk you through 2 more versions of my hypothetical distillation and see if you get it.  Same exact set of conditions above, once on steady medium heat (say 550 watts) and once on steady high (1100 watts).  I'll even throw in time and volume measurements as well as another set of temp and abv measurements at halfway through the run so you can see the only thing that changes.

                            So, a constant 550 watts on 4 gallons stripping run looks like this:
                            1.  It will boil at 200.38*F (corrected for sea level/atmospheric pressure)
                            2.  The initial vapor temperature will be  181.06 °F
                            3.  The initial purity of the condensate will be  48.7 % ABV
                            4.  The boiling temp will rise steadily
                            5.  The vapor temp will rise steadily
                            6.  The ABV of the condensate will fall steadily
                            7.  At 83 minutes the run is halfway done.
                            8.  At 83 minutes the boiler temperature will be  205 °F
                            9.  At 83 minutes the vapor temperature will be  185°F
                            10.  At 83 minuters the condensate will be  34% ABV
                            11.  At 166 minutes the boiler temperature will be  208°F
                            12.  at 166 minutes the vapor temperature will be  192°F
                            13.  At 166 minutes the condensate will be 19.9%
                            14.  We stop paying attention after there is so little alcohol left that we don't care.
                            15.  Total amount collected was  3.42 L it will be 34.78 % and it took a total of 166 minutes boiling time (not counting heatup)
                            Note the bolded, "steadily", if we leave the power input at 550 watts, the change in boiler temp, vapor temp, and abv of the distillate will be linear.  This was not in the first example because I let you fiddle with the heat all you wanted in that one...

                            Here is the exact same run at High, 1100watts.  This time bold = changes from 550 watts.  ALL changes will be bolded, see how little bold there is?
                            So, a constant 1100 watts on 4 gallons stripping run looks like this:
                            1.  It will boil at 200.38*F (corrected for sea level/atmospheric pressure)
                            2.  The initial vapor temperature will be  181.06 °F
                            3.  The initial purity of the condensate will be  48.7 % ABV
                            4.  The boiling temp will rise steadily
                            5.  The vapor temp will rise steadily
                            6.  The ABV of the condensate will fall steadily
                            7.  At 41 minutes the run is halfway done.
                            8.  At 41 minutes the boiler temperature will be  205 °F
                            9.  At 41 minutes the vapor temperature will be  185°F
                            10.  At 41 minutes the condensate will be  34% ABV
                            11.  At 82 minutes the boiler temperature will be  208°F
                            12.  at 82 minutes the vapor temperature will be  192°F
                            13.  At 82 minutes the condensate will be 19.9%
                            14.  We stop paying attention after there is so little alcohol left that we don't care.
                            15.  Total amount collected was  3.42 L it will be 34.78 % and it took a total of 82 minutes boiling time (not counting heatup)


                            Get it?  You CAN use heat input to control your pot still, but the only thing you are controlling is how fast things happen, because it only affects the volume of vapor and thus product produced in a given amount of time.



                            On Sat, Oct 12, 2013 at 5:53 PM, <wzuccarello@...> wrote:
                             

                             Thanks Zapata for the excellent and imforming post. Helped me understand what the thermometer is telling me.


                            When I did runs in reflus mode, I did leave the heat high constantly and used the reflux valve to keep the column in the 175 range, causing a fast drip in the collection jar. These runs did take about 6 hours.


                            In my OP I stated that I was running in pot still mode with no packing and reflux valve full open. This is where I thought I had to try to maintain the 175 with heat control. I tread somewhere that pot stills were heat controlled and reflux stills were valve controlled.


                            So, If I am pot stilling with the Mini, should I still use full heat and just let the output come off on a stream?

                            Or maybe just enough control to keep below 200 deg or so?


                            Thanks, Wayne



                            ---In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                            Thank you thank you THANK YOU Zapata!


                            Thanks for handling the old "I can't control my head temperature with my heat input (but I think I should be able to)" myth. I have come to feel like some sort of stillin' Nazi overlord for jumping on this old saw every time it comes by, which is very often on this forum.


                            You took a very slightly different approach to the explanation than I have used in the past, but I like yours at least as much as what I normally do. Fine job!



                            ---In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, <zapatavive@...> wrote:

                            I've never run a ministill, but it sounds like you're new.  You say you use the hot plate setting to "keep the temp around 175 or so". 
                            If you don't know, you can't control temperature very well with the heat input.  You can affect it some, but not directly.  Lets start down in the pot.  The chemical makeup determines the boiling point in the pot, regardless of your hotplate setting.  If it's boiling on high, or simmering on low, the boiling point in the pot is already predetermined, mostly by the ratio of alcohol to water.  If it's pure water, it's boiling at 212*F (ish, depends on your altitude), high or low doesn't matter.  Med-low doesn't make water boil at anything lower than 212*F.  If it's a 10% alcohol wash, it's boiling point is 199.58*F, high, low, medium doesn't matter.

                            Likewise, the temperature at your thermometer, (I assume it's up in the column?) is ONLY determined by the chemical makeup of the vapor that is in that part of the still.  Doesn't really matter what your heat setting is.  In fact, don't even call it  a thermometer anymore until this concept sinks in.  Call it an "indirect vapor alcometer".  Heck, even stop saying it measures degrees.  Because we really don't put thermometers in stills to measure temperature, we use them to measure al

                            Reply via web post Reply to sender Reply to group Start a New Topic Messages in this topic (6)
                            Recent Activity:


                            --
                            Brian J. McGill
                          • Brian McGill
                            Please if you have the YouTube link it would be greatly appreciated!!! Brian J. McGill
                            Message 13 of 21 , Oct 13, 2013
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                              Please if you have the YouTube link it would be greatly appreciated!!!

                              Brian J. McGill




                              On Oct 12, 2013, at 20:59, RLB <last2blast@...> wrote:

                               

                              If people would read www.homedistiller.org, they would have fewer questions because they cover everything you just stated.

                              For me, one of the best distilling videos is on Youtube.  Where he took the viewer from start to finish.  In that video, he turned the heat up on high, and he turned the flame down to simmer when the temperature hit 178 F.  He was done when the temperature reached 200 F.  That video clearly proves this point that temperature will only increase toward water boiling point as alcohol evaporates. 


                              From: Zapata Vive <zapatavive@...>
                              To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Saturday, October 12, 2013 8:31 PM
                              Subject: Re: [new_distillers] RE: RE: 30 hours to run mini still batch, normal?

                               
                              When people say pot stills are controlled by the heat, again it's just the amount of vapor that is controlled by the heat.  In a pot still you can't control the temperature with the heat, the % ethanol dictates the temperature and the still design dictates the % abv.  Repeat after me until it soaks in, and you can explain it to beginners here on this forum!


                            • Alli Bugger
                              Robert, I obviously missed something along the way.  Can you explain to me how the zymurgybob account works? I have not been able to communicate on the POS
                              Message 14 of 21 , Oct 13, 2013
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                                Robert,
                                I obviously missed something along the way.  Can you explain to me how the zymurgybob account works? I have not been able to communicate on the POS yahoogroups account since they made it better.
                                 
                                Thanks.  Alli

                                From: Robert Hubble <zymurgybob@...>
                                To: "new_distillers@yahoogroups.com" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                                Sent: Sunday, October 13, 2013 2:02 AM
                                Subject: RE: [new_distillers] RE: RE: 30 hours to run mini still batch, normal?



                                Thanks, Bob, for helping me out with that (seeming) temperature difference, which had me confused. Having said that, I have to applaud Zapata's series of explanations, which are extensive, accurate, and also useful in terms of helping the new (or even a bit experienced) user make some of the necessary decisions.

                                I'm also answering this using the hotmail (gag) account through which I read the Zymurgy Bob email, instead of what the Yahoo (gag - puke-shudder) group tool has become, just so I can trim some of the accumulated communication, no matter how good it may be.

                                Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

                                To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                From: bobg542492@...
                                Date: Sat, 12 Oct 2013 23:34:16 -0400
                                Subject: Re: [new_distillers] RE: RE: 30 hours to run mini still batch, normal?

                                 
                                Not to confuse the otherwise excellent and absolutely correct analysis by Mr. Vive:  the initial vapor temperature is the same as the initial boiling point, 200.38 deg F in this example.  The vapor coming off of a boiling liquid is exactly the same temperature as the liquid - by definition of boiling.  What Mr. Vive means is that the boiling (or dew) point of the initial vapor is 181.06 deg F.  Stated this way, Mr. Vive's analysis is 100% accurate.



                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: Zapata Vive <zapatavive@...>
                                ----snip----







                              • Zapata Vive
                                I think Bob means he is using his email service instead of the yahoo web interface. He s using hotmail. I also use email exclusively for this group, and have
                                Message 15 of 21 , Oct 13, 2013
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                                  I think Bob means he is using his email service instead of the yahoo web interface.  He's using hotmail.  I also use email exclusively for this group, and have for years, but I use gmail.  Basically somewhere in your yahoo settings you can have group messages sent to your email.  I think you can choose either individual messages/threads or a daily digest format (at least you could years ago).  In gmail, the indivicual messages show up as threads/conversations.  I filter them automatically into a folder, and have new messages, as well as a complete group archive going back several years.  Replying to threads happens just normally, posting new subjects is done just by composing an email to either distillers@yahoogroups.com or new_distillers@yahoogroups.com

                                  One note on security.  Your messages will show up as from whatever email account you use to send it.  If this is a personal, identifiable email adress you might have a concern.  Sounds like Z bob is doing this by having his message sent to/fro his hotmail account he uses for his book.  I have multiple email addresses forwarded to the same gmail account.  There is a gmail setting that automatically makes your replies come from whatever email they were sent to.  Without this setting, you have to choose each time, and if you forget to change it, you will send a message from your personal account. 

                                  I haven't logged into my yahoo account in ages, I haven't even seen this terrible upgrade I'm hearing about.  All I see is gmail.  I even remember some upgrade being a problem, what 3 years ago or so?  Missed that one too, it's all been easy breezy email for me.

                                  You do have to be logged in to see uploaded files, but from what I'm hearing that is currently problematic anyway...

                                  Completely off-topic, but I love the concept of email based listerves, and am members of many for a variety of hobbies.  The trend of the internet away from perfectly useful and relevant technologies like listservs, BBs, IRC, FTP etc and to web only based interfaces is annoying to me.  A lot of scientific and tech minded groups still use the "old" technologies, but more and more are moving to new fandangled web based social media or blog formats.  Which have their place, but are always more cumbersome, bandwidth intensive, and commerce oriented.  Aside from streaming video, cloud storage and large file transfer abilities, I'm perfectly happy with computer technology from the early 2000's and see most that has happened in the last decade as far from progress for anybody not using the internet to make money.
                                  zapta vive, techno luddite


                                  On Sun, Oct 13, 2013 at 11:25 AM, Alli Bugger <allibugger@...> wrote:
                                   

                                  Robert,
                                  I obviously missed something along the way.  Can you explain to me how the zymurgybob account works? I have not been able to communicate on the POS yahoogroups account since they made it better.
                                   
                                  Thanks.  Alli

                                  From: Robert Hubble <zymurgybob@...>
                                  To: "new_distillers@yahoogroups.com" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                                  Sent: Sunday, October 13, 2013 2:02 AM
                                  Subject: RE: [new_distillers] RE: RE: 30 hours to run mini still batch, normal?



                                  Thanks, Bob, for helping me out with that (seeming) temperature difference, which had me confused. Having said that, I have to applaud Zapata's series of explanations, which are extensive, accurate, and also useful in terms of helping the new (or even a bit experienced) user make some of the necessary decisions.

                                  I'm also answering this using the hotmail (gag) account through which I read the Zymurgy Bob email, instead of what the Yahoo (gag - puke-shudder) group tool has become, just so I can trim some of the accumulated communication, no matter how good it may be.

                                  Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

                                  To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                  From: bobg542492@...
                                  Date: Sat, 12 Oct 2013 23:34:16 -0400
                                  Subject: Re: [new_distillers] RE: RE: 30 hours to run mini still batch, normal?

                                   
                                  Not to confuse the otherwise excellent and absolutely correct analysis by Mr. Vive:  the initial vapor temperature is the same as the initial boiling point, 200.38 deg F in this example.  The vapor coming off of a boiling liquid is exactly the same temperature as the liquid - by definition of boiling.  What Mr. Vive means is that the boiling (or dew) point of the initial vapor is 181.06 deg F.  Stated this way, Mr. Vive's analysis is 100% accurate.



                                  -----Original Message-----
                                  From: Zapata Vive <zapatavive@...>
                                  ----snip----








                                • RLB
                                  I came across it accidently, so I didn t write it down.  The title had the words Sweet feed in it.  ________________________________ From: Brian McGill
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Oct 13, 2013
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                                    I came across it accidently, so I didn't write it down.  The title had the words "Sweet feed" in it. 


                                    From: Brian McGill <bmcgill930@...>
                                    To: "new_distillers@yahoogroups.com" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                                    Sent: Sunday, October 13, 2013 8:42 AM
                                    Subject: Re: [new_distillers] RE: RE: 30 hours to run mini still batch, normal?

                                     
                                    Please if you have the YouTube link it would be greatly appreciated!!!

                                    Brian J. McGill



                                  • Robert Hubble
                                    Alli, When I first started participating in the online distilling fora, at that time only Yahoo Distillers and Yahoo New Distillers, I knew I wanted to
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Oct 13, 2013
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                                      Alli,

                                      When I first started participating in the online distilling fora, at that time only Yahoo Distillers and Yahoo New Distillers, I knew I wanted to maintain my anonymity. As in previous cases where I wanted to remain bashful, I opened a new Hotmail account with a bogus name. Not being very clever with bogus names, I just sorta pulled Zymurgy Bob out of my...erm...imagination, and of course now I'm stuck with it.

                                      When I joined the two Yahoo lists, there must have been an option like "do you want to get the post sent to you as a summary, or for each message". I'm shaky on that point because it's been a long time and I don't remember, exactly, but when I use Hotmail to read my Zymurgy Bob email, all the messages from both Yahoo fora are there individually as well  as messages from other sites that I've dabbled in anonymously.

                                      After I became a moderator, those Yahoo messages in Hotmail would also include messages that needed to be moderated, and were so marked. When I encountered a message that needed to be moderated, only then would I go to the respective Yahoo list to see message needing moderation. Sometimes I'd find that another moderator has taken care of the task, and other times I'd do what moderation was necessary, and then go back to Hotmail to simply read messages.

                                      When replying to a post I'd read on Hotmail, I'd go back to the respective Yahoo list and use that to reply, and I used to have all the tools I'd need to do that. Anymore, I don't seem to be able to do what I want with the Yahoo crap-tool, so I'm reverting back to using Hotmail for replies. I'm a bit more exposed that way, but I found a long time ago that it's hard to keep your head down and sell books at the same time.

                                      Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller


                                      To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                      From: allibugger@...
                                      Date: Sun, 13 Oct 2013 08:25:39 -0700
                                      Subject: Re: [new_distillers] RE: RE: 30 hours to run mini still batch, normal?

                                       

                                      Robert,
                                      I obviously missed something along the way.  Can you explain to me how the zymurgybob account works? I have not been able to communicate on the POS yahoogroups account since they made it better.
                                       
                                      Thanks.  Alli

                                      From: Robert Hubble <zymurgybob@...>
                                      To: "new_distillers@yahoogroups.com" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                                      Sent: Sunday, October 13, 2013 2:02 AM
                                      Subject: RE: [new_distillers] RE: RE: 30 hours to run mini still batch, normal?

                                      ---snip---







                                    • RLB
                                      I know what you mean, I am starting a new business that involves water distillation, grain bill, malt, and equipment.  Kind of hard to hide in the shadows
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Oct 13, 2013
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                                        I know what you mean, I am starting a new business that involves water distillation, grain bill, malt, and equipment.  Kind of hard to hide in the shadows when you are planning to produce and sell items locally, on E-bay, and by internet.


                                        From: Robert Hubble <zymurgybob@...>
                                        To: "new_distillers@yahoogroups.com" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                                        Sent: Sunday, October 13, 2013 6:01 PM
                                        Subject: RE: [new_distillers] RE: RE: 30 hours to run mini still batch, normal?

                                         
                                        Alli,

                                        When I first started participating in the online distilling fora, at that time only Yahoo Distillers and Yahoo New Distillers, I knew I wanted to maintain my anonymity. As in previous cases where I wanted to remain bashful, I opened a new Hotmail account with a bogus name. Not being very clever with bogus names, I just sorta pulled Zymurgy Bob out of my...erm...imagination, and of course now I'm stuck with it.

                                        When I joined the two Yahoo lists, there must have been an option like "do you want to get the post sent to you as a summary, or for each message". I'm shaky on that point because it's been a long time and I don't remember, exactly, but when I use Hotmail to read my Zymurgy Bob email, all the messages from both Yahoo fora are there individually as well  as messages from other sites that I've dabbled in anonymously.

                                        After I became a moderator, those Yahoo messages in Hotmail would also include messages that needed to be moderated, and were so marked. When I encountered a message that needed to be moderated, only then would I go to the respective Yahoo list to see message needing moderation. Sometimes I'd find that another moderator has taken care of the task, and other times I'd do what moderation was necessary, and then go back to Hotmail to simply read messages.

                                        When replying to a post I'd read on Hotmail, I'd go back to the respective Yahoo list and use that to reply, and I used to have all the tools I'd need to do that. Anymore, I don't seem to be able to do what I want with the Yahoo crap-tool, so I'm reverting back to using Hotmail for replies. I'm a bit more exposed that way, but I found a long time ago that it's hard to keep your head down and sell books at the same time.

                                        Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller


                                        To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                        From: allibugger@...
                                        Date: Sun, 13 Oct 2013 08:25:39 -0700
                                        Subject: Re: [new_distillers] RE: RE: 30 hours to run mini still batch, normal?

                                         

                                        Robert,
                                        I obviously missed something along the way.  Can you explain to me how the zymurgybob account works? I have not been able to communicate on the POS yahoogroups account since they made it better.
                                         
                                        Thanks.  Alli

                                        From: Robert Hubble <zymurgybob@...>
                                        To: "new_distillers@yahoogroups.com" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                                        Sent: Sunday, October 13, 2013 2:02 AM
                                        Subject: RE: [new_distillers] RE: RE: 30 hours to run mini still batch, normal?

                                        ---snip---









                                      • Alli Bugger
                                        ZB, I may have said this before but I still have my first computer that I bought in 1957 or so. You know, 2 stationary rules with one in the middle that you
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Oct 14, 2013
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                                          ZB,
                                          I may have said this before but I still have my first "computer" that I bought in 1957 or so. You know, 2 stationary rules with one in the middle that you slide between the other
                                          two.  I did not grow up with computers but have managed to get by well enough; sometimes I just am not sure what is happening in the background.  I get all of the yahoogroups and brewhousform posts on my allibugger yahoo mail - I never quite understood why that was happening but never had the time to worry about it.  I do not remember making any settings changes to make it happen, but maybe I did.
                                           
                                          For some reason I had the idea that I needed to go on the yahoogroups website to communicate with folks - obviously that is not true.  Anyway, thanks for the response. 
                                           
                                          Just FYI, I went on the homedistiller.org website and posted my push for legalizing hobby distilling 2 or 3 weeks ago. I got 5 or 6 responses saying to be careful about exposing my identity so I said I dared the feds to come to my house because there is nothing here for them to see (I moved everything temporarily while the legislative push is on).  I think they all thought I am some kind of a nutcase and never heard back from anyone.  OH well, it was worth a shot. Thanks again.  Alli
                                          From: Robert Hubble <zymurgybob@...>
                                          To: "new_distillers@yahoogroups.com" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                                          Sent: Sunday, October 13, 2013 6:01 PM
                                          Subject: RE: [new_distillers] RE: RE: 30 hours to run mini still batch, normal?



                                          Alli,

                                          When I first started participating in the online distilling fora, at that time only Yahoo Distillers and Yahoo New Distillers, I knew I wanted to maintain my anonymity. As in previous cases where I wanted to remain bashful, I opened a new Hotmail account with a bogus name. Not being very clever with bogus names, I just sorta pulled Zymurgy Bob out of my...erm...imagination, and of course now I'm stuck with it.

                                          When I joined the two Yahoo lists, there must have been an option like "do you want to get the post sent to you as a summary, or for each message". I'm shaky on that point because it's been a long time and I don't remember, exactly, but when I use Hotmail to read my Zymurgy Bob email, all the messages from both Yahoo fora are there individually as well  as messages from other sites that I've dabbled in anonymously.

                                          After I became a moderator, those Yahoo messages in Hotmail would also include messages that needed to be moderated, and were so marked. When I encountered a message that needed to be moderated, only then would I go to the respective Yahoo list to see message needing moderation. Sometimes I'd find that another moderator has taken care of the task, and other times I'd do what moderation was necessary, and then go back to Hotmail to simply read messages.

                                          When replying to a post I'd read on Hotmail, I'd go back to the respective Yahoo list and use that to reply, and I used to have all the tools I'd need to do that. Anymore, I don't seem to be able to do what I want with the Yahoo crap-tool, so I'm reverting back to using Hotmail for replies. I'm a bit more exposed that way, but I found a long time ago that it's hard to keep your head down and sell books at the same time.

                                          Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

                                          To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                          From: allibugger@...
                                          Date: Sun, 13 Oct 2013 08:25:39 -0700
                                          Subject: Re: [new_distillers] RE: RE: 30 hours to run mini still batch, normal?

                                           

                                          Robert,
                                          I obviously missed something along the way.  Can you explain to me how the zymurgybob account works? I have not been able to communicate on the POS yahoogroups account since they made it better.
                                           
                                          Thanks.  Alli

                                          From: Robert Hubble <zymurgybob@...>
                                          To: "new_distillers@yahoogroups.com" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                                          Sent: Sunday, October 13, 2013 2:02 AM
                                          Subject: RE: [new_distillers] RE: RE: 30 hours to run mini still batch, normal?

                                          ---snip---











                                        • Alli Bugger
                                          ZV, Thanks for the response.  I stay on my yahoo mail account when posting to the distillers so I should be fine.  With all of the time I have spent pushing
                                          Message 20 of 21 , Oct 14, 2013
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                                            ZV,
                                            Thanks for the response.  I stay on my yahoo mail account when posting to the distillers so I should be fine.  With all of the time I have spent pushing the legalization of hobby distilling I am getting to the point where I am tired of hiding behind an alias.  It looks like more and more folks are using their personal emails to communicate now, so I guess I am not alone.  Again, thanks for the explanation. Alli.

                                            From: Zapata Vive <zapatavive@...>
                                            To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                            Sent: Sunday, October 13, 2013 1:22 PM
                                            Subject: Re: [new_distillers] RE: RE: 30 hours to run mini still batch, normal?



                                            I think Bob means he is using his email service instead of the yahoo web interface.  He's using hotmail.  I also use email exclusively for this group, and have for years, but I use gmail.  Basically somewhere in your yahoo settings you can have group messages sent to your email.  I think you can choose either individual messages/threads or a daily digest format (at least you could years ago).  In gmail, the indivicual messages show up as threads/conversations.  I filter them automatically into a folder, and have new messages, as well as a complete group archive going back several years.  Replying to threads happens just normally, posting new subjects is done just by composing an email to either distillers@yahoogroups.com or new_distillers@yahoogroups.com

                                            One note on security.  Your messages will show up as from whatever email account you use to send it.  If this is a personal, identifiable email adress you might have a concern.  Sounds like Z bob is doing this by having his message sent to/fro his hotmail account he uses for his book.  I have multiple email addresses forwarded to the same gmail account.  There is a gmail setting that automatically makes your replies come from whatever email they were sent to.  Without this setting, you have to choose each time, and if you forget to change it, you will send a message from your personal account. 

                                            I haven't logged into my yahoo account in ages, I haven't even seen this terrible upgrade I'm hearing about.  All I see is gmail.  I even remember some upgrade being a problem, what 3 years ago or so?  Missed that one too, it's all been easy breezy email for me.

                                            You do have to be logged in to see uploaded files, but from what I'm hearing that is currently problematic anyway...

                                            Completely off-topic, but I love the concept of email based listerves, and am members of many for a variety of hobbies.  The trend of the internet away from perfectly useful and relevant technologies like listservs, BBs, IRC, FTP etc and to web only based interfaces is annoying to me.  A lot of scientific and tech minded groups still use the "old" technologies, but more and more are moving to new fandangled web based social media or blog formats.  Which have their place, but are always more cumbersome, bandwidth intensive, and commerce oriented.  Aside from streaming video, cloud storage and large file transfer abilities, I'm perfectly happy with computer technology from the early 2000's and see most that has happened in the last decade as far from progress for anybody not using the internet to make money.
                                            zapta vive, techno luddite


                                            On Sun, Oct 13, 2013 at 11:25 AM, Alli Bugger <allibugger@...> wrote:
                                             
                                            Robert,
                                            I obviously missed something along the way.  Can you explain to me how the zymurgybob account works? I have not been able to communicate on the POS yahoogroups account since they made it better.
                                             
                                            Thanks.  Alli

                                            From: Robert Hubble <zymurgybob@...>
                                            To: "new_distillers@yahoogroups.com" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                                            Sent: Sunday, October 13, 2013 2:02 AM
                                            Subject: RE: [new_distillers] RE: RE: 30 hours to run mini still batch, normal?



                                            Thanks, Bob, for helping me out with that (seeming) temperature difference, which had me confused. Having said that, I have to applaud Zapata's series of explanations, which are extensive, accurate, and also useful in terms of helping the new (or even a bit experienced) user make some of the necessary decisions.

                                            I'm also answering this using the hotmail (gag) account through which I read the Zymurgy Bob email, instead of what the Yahoo (gag - puke-shudder) group tool has become, just so I can trim some of the accumulated communication, no matter how good it may be.

                                            Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

                                            To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                            From: bobg542492@...
                                            Date: Sat, 12 Oct 2013 23:34:16 -0400
                                            Subject: Re: [new_distillers] RE: RE: 30 hours to run mini still batch, normal?

                                             
                                            Not to confuse the otherwise excellent and absolutely correct analysis by Mr. Vive:  the initial vapor temperature is the same as the initial boiling point, 200.38 deg F in this example.  The vapor coming off of a boiling liquid is exactly the same temperature as the liquid - by definition of boiling.  What Mr. Vive means is that the boiling (or dew) point of the initial vapor is 181.06 deg F.  Stated this way, Mr. Vive's analysis is 100% accurate.



                                            -----Original Message-----
                                            From: Zapata Vive <zapatavive@...>
                                            ----snip----












                                          • Paul
                                            more folks are using their personal emails... I think that s really inadvisable. Think daily huge volumes of spam offering endless enlargements.. You will
                                            Message 21 of 21 , Oct 14, 2013
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                                              "more folks are using their personal emails...."

                                              I think that's really inadvisable. Think daily huge volumes of spam offering endless enlargements.
                                              You will really get sick of that, too.

                                              Yahoo has a feature of "disposable" email addresses under "security"  in the account settings. I'm using one for this message.

                                              Just tried to log - and failed - into yahoo groups. Yahoo is a lemon.

                                              Paul
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