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Re: [new_distillers] Re: pot still on a budget

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  • John Vandermeulen
    No, you are quite right, and interpreted Tony s graph correctly. I was confused over the word strength - my misunderstanding. Incidentally, that
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 30, 2002
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      No, you are quite right, and interpreted Tony's graph correctly. I was
      confused over the word 'strength' - my misunderstanding.

      Incidentally, that relationship between %age abv ethanol and temp. is
      probably the most important one in this hobby. In my own notebook I plot all
      distill'n data on a piece of graph paper as I sit and watch a run (ca. 4 hrs)
      - x-axis is time (hrs, min), left-side y-axis is temp. and right-side y-axis
      is %abv. I collect into a glass cylinder with an alcoholmeter, and measure
      when there is sufficient distillate in the cylinder to allow the
      alcoholmeter to float (~ every 10-15min). That way I have a running view of
      what is happening.

      Re S.G. below 1.0 - it is not always necessary to wait for the SG to drop
      down to 0.9999. This depends on the initial sugar conc'n - if that is high
      to begin with, the SG may never drop below 1.01 or even better.

      One way to do that 'polishing' is to pour your distillate into a glass
      canning jar, and add a couple Tbsp of activated charcoal. Leave it out where
      you will see it, and everytime you go by, turn it over or shake it. You can
      filter it afterwards by pouring through a paper (or 2 papers) of coffee
      filter.
      good luck,
      John V

      Snow Blind Moose wrote:

      > Thanx for your comnents! They are very much appreciated, however,
      > one of your comments is confusing me.
      >
      > You say "'strength' of mash won't change the distillation curve - it
      > will only lengthen the time." My limited understanding is that the
      > mixture of alcohol and water will have a different boiling point,
      > depending on its strength (% of alcohol in the mixture). The higher
      > the concentration of alcohol, the lower the boiling point - as shown
      > on Tony's site under Distillation Theory, the Distillation
      > Temperature and Concentration Relationship graph. The low % alcohol
      > in my "cheap wine and water wash" (I guess around 4%) produced
      > it's "middles" around 92 - 95 degrees C. (which is about right
      > according to Tony's graph). I expect a concetration of 18% or so to
      > be around the low 80's (I'll have to look at the graph again - but
      > around there).
      >
      > I'm waiting patiently (hardly!) for my mash to to drop below a s.g.
      > of 1.0 so I can run it (another day or 2 I'm sure). Then I'll run it
      > through and see what happens. I probably have a flaw in my
      > understanding - I'm new at this - or I mis-understand what you mean
      > by distillation curve. Thankyou for replying - I'll let you know how
      > it all turns out. It is a "nuetral alcohol" type of product I'm
      > after. I intend to flavour it with some of the fine extracts that
      > are comercially available - and some home recipies. I may have to do
      > a fair bit of polishing seeing as how I'm using a pot still. I'll
      > try more complicated whiskey mashes later.
      >
      > I'll keep you posted.
      >
      > Thanx again.
      >
      > S.M.
      >
      > --- In new_distillers@y..., John Vandermeulen <vandermeulen@n...>
      > wrote:
      > > GREAT GOING!! YOU PRESSED ALL THE RIGHT BUTTONS - SIMPLICITY,
      > INEXPENSIVE,
      > > EXPERIMENTAL.
      > >
      > >
      > > > and then a "wash of 1
      > > > bottle of cheap wine and a couple of bottles of water to see what
      > > > happens at what temp. (this'll change with a stronger mash of
      > course)
      > >
      > > 'strength' of mash won't change the distillation curve - it will
      > only
      > > lengthen the time.
      > >
      > > You then wrote
      > > " I'll be ready to run my 1st real batch in a few days
      > > (sugar/water/superyeast)."
      > >
      > > It will be interesting to hear how that goes. Normally, a
      > Turbo/sugar wash
      > > is run through a reflux column (tall thing, ca. 1m, and packed with
      > stainless
      > > steel kitchen scrubbers), so as to get purest ethanol output
      > possible. Your
      > > present rig is best suited for distillate where you want flavour -
      > such as
      > > whisky, brandies, eau de vie/schnaps and the like. However, run it
      > through,
      > > it won't hurt anything. And next time run some apple juice
      > through, to make
      > > an apple brandy.
      > > John V
      > >
      > > > This is how I constructed my still:
      > > >
      > > > The kettle is a 23 litre steel bucket. (I found them
      > under "pails" in
      > > > a nearby city's yellow pages) - they cost under $7.00 with the
      > lid.
      > > >
      > > > I attached 3/8 copper line to the lid with a compresion fitting
      > > > forced through a hole I drilled and then sealed it with "J-B weld"
      > > > (an epoxy type of stuff used by automotive repair folks - good at
      > > > high temp. and impermiable to chemicals).
      > > >
      > > > I drilled another small hole and inserted a digital kitchen
      > > > thermometer (from a hardware store - $15.00 - the major expense)
      > and
      > > > sealed it with the "J-B weld"
      > > >
      > > > Afer a few appropriate bends in the 3/8 copper line (following
      > angle
      > > > advice from homedistiller), I coiled the line around inside an old
      > > > plastic pail. I poked a hole at the bottom for the end of the
      > coil
      > > > (where the good stuff comes out) and one at the top where I
      > attached
      > > > a household hose spigot (from my junk drawer - but can be bought
      > at
      > > > hardware stores) and sealed everything with good ol' silicone. I
      > run
      > > > a garden hose into the pail, and another piece of one from the
      > spigot
      > > > to the ground outside my garage.
      > > >
      > > > I heat the whole thing with a small camping propane burner. (could
      > > > use a hot-plate or whatever's handy)
      > > >
      > > > I'm considering adding a "thumper" and a "slobber-pot" - But I'll
      > see
      > > > how this works first.
      > > >
      > > > I thought I'd pass this on to folks who are considering building -
      > > > and a worrying about expense. I'll let you know how my batch
      > works
      > > > out in a few days. I'll post some pics if I can find a digital
      > > > camera to use.
      > > >
      > > > Any comments or advice from more experienced folks would be
      > > > appreciated.
      > > >
      > > > S.M.
      > > >
      > > >
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      > > > new_distillers-unsubscribe@o...
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
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